‘Jersey Shore’ Finale Recap: The End Is Nigh

Jersey Shore Final RecapAs four very wise gentlemen once said, it’s so hard to say goodbye to yesterday. But it’s not that hard really. You just have to wave your hand, remember where you went, and try to do a better job placing your foot next time. That’s how we’re moving away from the donkey turd that is Jersey Shore, the most important sociological experiment of our time. Yes, sociology is something you’re supposed to learn from and now that we have processed the lives and maturing process of the North American Guidous Americanus, we should know how to avoid getting mired in this reality swamp once again (or at least until Buck Wild premieres in two weeks).

As long as we’re learning from the guidos, let us look at our last glossary entry so we know just what they hell they are talking about.

Gooey Vuitton: The act of shitting in a woman’s purse. It is not that often one has an opportunity to soil a pocketbook, but it is one of only two ways to break an ancient curse. The other is peeing on a woman’s car.

Yes, that is correct, we are talking about the ultimate prank that Paula pulled on The Situation and the rest of our little clan of guidos. For those of you just joining us (and, if you are, then you are an idiot because this show really went downhill after Season 3, so why you’re just watching the finale is about as dumb as having an AA meeting at Karma) the organizing philosophy of guido life is a complicated set of tenets known as Guy Code and Girl Code, which only allows for men to associate with men and women to associate with women, with the one exception of being those who are interested in engaging in an act of sexual congress or who have started a long-running monogamous relationship. According to these rules, Paula, The Situation’s wronged ex, is not allowed to talk to him.

But there is one other way that men and women can settle their scores: pranks. These are pseudo-comical stunts that one gender pulls on the other to settle some grievance. Once a successful prank is pulled the grievance is forgotten, but another prank can be pulled for retribution. This is the sort of tit-for-tat that we saw last night when DJ Paulie D and Vinny tried to move Sammi’s bed and popped it, they were getting her back for locking them out on the porch one night. Anyway, more on that later, we need to get back to Paula for the ultimate prank ever.

Paula is one of the high priestesses at the guido temple in the tanning salon and she has been communicating with The Situation by leaving him notes when he comes tanning. Then, one day, when JWOWW and Sammi come in, her coworkers give them two cakes to take to The Situation along with a birthday card. They take the cakes home, everyone eats the cake and sprays crumbs all over their decimated carpet while laughing at how Paula is obsessed with The Situation. The next time everyone goes into the tanning salon, another of Paula’s fellow priestesses says, “Did you guys eat those cakes?” And Sammi and Ronnie say, “We didn’t but The Situation and some others did.” The priestess tells them that’s too bad because some guy put his balls all over the cake. She then shows them a picture of this man’s nuts in the frosting to prove it to them. Sammi and Ronnie tell the rest of the crew this news and it sends a terror through the house.

Now, while this isn’t necessarily unsanitary (well, it kind of is) it is an ancient curse that has plagued the guido race for generations. The problem with Guy Code and Girl Code is that it sets up not only a competition between the genders but also one within the genders. The Situation is the alpha dog of the house, setting the schedule and tone for their activities. However, now he has been decimated by this prank, his masculine power has been sapped. Why? Because the essence of another man has been placed on his food and he has ingested it. His genitals are no longer his own, they are owned by another man. And not just another man, but a man did this at a woman’s urging so this means that another woman really has the upper hand over The Situation. This is why he can’t beat Jionni at football. This is why he can’t get laid. This is why his largest source of income is now over. It’s the ball cake.

The Situation, knowing that he has been cursed and the only way to assert his dominance is to either shit in Paula’s handbag or piss on his car, he still calls her to verify that she did put balls on his cake. She pretends like she can’t hear him and he is enraged. He is so enraged that he throws the Duck Phone, the guido’s household god, into the wall and then steps on it, crushing it into a little pile of plastic and circuits. But no one hears the hissing, the electrical hum of its spirit being loosed from its body. The great vengeance of the Duck Phone has been unleashed and it will take down those that disparage it, those that sully its human form. It floats up above the house, over the shore, getting larger and larger as it dissipates into the air and forms itself into a cloud of anger, a dark rolling thunderhead that will one day come back to unleash its mighty fury at the desecration that has been performed on this day.

This all started because of a prank, as did the final fight between Sam and Ron that we will ever see. Ronnie is pissed that his inflatable bed was popped. Now, I’m sorry, I have spent the better part of three years dedicated to the study of guidos and I have no idea why they would want to sleep on a glorified air mattress. Maybe it’s to seem like they’re camping all the time? Maybe it’s because no house ever feels like a home? Maybe it’s because they feel the most comfortable when it seems like they’re crashing on someone’s floor. Who knows? Anyway, even though Vinny popped it, he blames Sam because they never would have pranked her if she never pranked them. She doesn’t apologize and he doesn’t talk to her for an entire day and finally she is like, “What is your problem?” and they sit out on the porch and he threatens to break up with her and it’s the same old Love Ballad of Sammi and Ron-Ron all over again.

But then something happens. Something different and strange. Once the pressure has been released Ronnie goes into their room and, right there next to the bad, sagging like a 60-year-old in a bikini, he apologizes. And she apologizes. They kiss and make up and say they love each other and it’s over. They’re back together. No more drama. Have these two grown up? Are they finally in a mature and equal relationship? It seems like they are. It seems like they will move in together, as they plan to and all of their parents agree is a bad idea. It seems like they’ll get married and have some kids and maybe use their money to open a small store and people will come in to see them and year by year, little by little, the people who visit just to see Ron and Sam from that old TV show will slow to a trickle. But they’ll have their store and their nest egg and their children and their annual blow up that releases all that pent up aggression they have for each other. It seems like they’ll have that forever, or at least until Ronnie cheats and Sam files for divorce and remarries some boring guy who does everything she says. It seems like one of these things will happen. It seems like they have finally discovered the meaning of “done.”

In the wake of the Great Duck Phone Massacre of 2012 and Sam and Ron’s final fight, there was not much else to report from this final dispatch. There was a bonfire on the beach and everyone invited their friends and family. Know who was missing? Ryder! What happened to Snooki’s best friend? Is she out of the picture? I always loved her. That happened and it started off a wave of nostalgia among the roommates that carried them through their final day together. They sat on the roof and read their lines off of cue cards and hit all the talking points they were supposed to discuss, reliving the highlights, starting with the “Snooki punch,” which they now refer to in the popular vernacular, talking about it not as a personal experience but a national phenomenon. The media has taken over their discussions even of their own lives.

The next morning they all gather for breakfast and then pack up their belongings for the last time. I was hoping that they would leave one at a time, as is customary, leaving a pregnant Snooki alone in the house to show the transformation that the crew has really undergone, but they did not. They all gathered in the street out front to shed a tear and pretend like there weren’t throngs of people watching them film their final scene. JWOWW cries and says that her life is now perfect because of this house. She looks back at it and she is right. It isn’t a house, it is a two-story lottery ticket. Yes, her life is perfect. She is rich and famous for doing nothing but impressing some casting directors and being her drunk, aggressive, wonderfully disastrous self. That is the American dream right there, that individuality can somehow be commodified and drag the poor out from their humble circumstances and catapult them to the top strata of society. That is the real promise of the reality age, that if we can just genuinely be ourselves we will be rewarded – if not accepted – for it.

They all stand there and cry and talk about how their lives have changed and there is a minute where they all just stare up at the house, looming over them, their eyes blinking in the sun as its shadow tilts imperceptibly a degree to the south. That is when Snooki feels it. A rumble in her belly. It feels maybe like gas or maybe it’s baby Lorenzo. She feels him spin around and she gets light in the head and she sees something, not with her eyes but with her mind. It’s as if a spirit is trying to tell her something. She looks at the house, not as it is now, but as it is in the future. She sees it standing alone on a pile of sand. There is sand everywhere and all the other houses are destroyed. Their roofs are ripped off and their walls moldy with flood waters. She sees the boardwalk ripped down by some brute force. The Shore Store is gone as is Beachcomber and Aztec. Everywhere she spent her youth is gone. The Ferris wheel they all enjoyed has toppled and the roller coaster that she screamed on so many times as she clutched her stuffed animals is sunk under the ocean, barnacles clinging to its smooth white posts.

They all sit there thinking about how much they have all changed, but everything around them has changed. The world has changed and Snooki sees that it will change some more. That this place will never be the same again. It won’t even exist. It isn’t that hard to say goodbye to yesterday, but greeting tomorrow will leave you a blubbering mess. It will ruin you. The future, with its tentacles of uncertainty, will strangle you right where you stand. Snooki feels something closing around her throat and she raises her manicured hand and rests it on the top of her bosom. “You guys,” she says, stifling something back. She wants to tell them, she wants to tell them all what is coming, about their future, about the storm that they can’t even see forming as little wisps of vapor thousands of miles away. But as she opens her mouth to tell them a loud belch comes out instead. Everyone laughs and heads for their cars. That Snooki will never change, they say. She will always be the same. She knows that isn’t true, but she doesn’t say anything. It must have been gas all along.

Follow Brian Moylan on Twitter @BrianJMoylan

[Photo Credit: MTV]


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