Jersey Shore recap: The Chessmen of Mars; or, why 'Jersey Shore' has become every reality show

The Situation makes his move on Jionni. It only took two seasons
Ep. 09 | Aired Mar 1, 2012

MY BROTHER, MY EXECUTIONER, MY BOY UNIT There are times when I think that the Seaside Heights of Jersey Shore is roughly equivalent to The Island in the first half of Lost's season 5: An area where space and time are one and the same, where it's entirely possible to run into your past or future self. In that sense, you could argue that The Unit is essentially the past self of the entire Jersey Shore cast. He gets sloppily drunk and yells at cops, just like Ronnie in season 1 and Snooki in season 3. He shows off his untrademarked abs constantly, which is what The Situation used to do before he got ab insurance. He has Pauly D's hair. He even spent the middle part of the season in Miami! In conclusion, I anticipate that the final scene of Jersey Shore will be the whole cast taking a group picture, which The Unit will photobomb, and when he puts his arms around everyone, they'll all melt into cross-temporal mulch, because as we learned in Timecop, the same matter cannot occupy the same space.

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Once again, nothing really happened on this week's episode of Jersey Shore. At this point, that's not really a criticism. Over the course of the last two seasons, Jersey Shore has evolved into a show about inaction. The housemates threaten to do something, but essentially keep to their routine. Karma one night, Aztec the next, then a trip over to Jenks just to shake things up. Even that routine has been mostly drained of exciting particularities. In days gone by, the dudes would bring girls home and host a hot tub party. The Situation would make a sandwich for one girl. Pauly D would conduct a cruel social experiment on another. Ronnie and Sammi would be fighting about something. Snooki and Deena would bounce off each other and lick the walls, or vice versa. Now, the dudes bring girls home, smush, and phone Dr. McQuack's Quack-Taxi. Ron and Sam are comfortably numb. Last night's episode began with the possibility of Vinny and Snooki sleeping together, but that faded away quickly. Deena wanted to get serious with Joey, but he turned out to be a jerk, so she remained the only person in the house without a boyfriend.

The posterboy for Jersey Shore's new period -- call it the Era of Passivity -- is The Situation, who has spent two seasons forming an incredibly vague plot to destroy Snooki and Jionni's relationship. Originally, his evil master plan was to steal Snooki for himself. At this point, though, Snooki has transformed into the object of his aggression. "She tried to play me like a chess piece recently," he said, "So the girl's got to get her medicine!" (Pause to imagine an angry chess piece screaming "Vengeance is mine!" while feeding Snooki two gelcaps of NyQuil.) You'll recall that The Situation is angry at Snooki because, a few episodes ago, she tried to help him.

"I've been trying to plan this master plan for a number of weeks now," said Sitch, "And time is running out." Viewers, let's try to analyze this master plan for a second, shall we? The Situation claims that he hooked up with Snooki while he was hanging out with The Unit, thus making The Unit the witness to a crime. (Keep in mind, this was a crime committed by The Situation himself -- even if Jionni is startled to learn that his girlfriend who became famous for doing terrible things to herself and everyone around her isn't exactly committed to monogamy, surely Jionni will be equally angry at the 45-year-old man who slept with his girlfriend.) So The Situation wants The Unit to tell Jionni. Why? Is The Unit somehow more trustworthy than The Situation?

The utter pointlessness of this plan became clear later in the episode. After spending an entire night at Karma staring at Jionni and Snooki, Sitch took the Unit home to the Shore House to have it out. Unfortunately, The Unit was a drunk mess, and quickly got picked up by the fuzz. (The Situation knew bad things were on the horizon. He referred to himself as "Sitchtrodamus.") Uncle Sitch was angry. "Every time I'm ready to drop the bomb on Jionni, something happens!" he screamed, sounding like the world's stupidest supervillain. But then the next morning, Jionni ambled past him in the kitchen. The Situation declared, "This is my moment!" and proceeded to tell him all about AND CUT END OF EPISODE.

Following the show's recent trend of ending on cliffhangers that turn out to be non-events -- and taking into account the rumors that Snooki is currently pregnant with Baby Jionni -- we can assume that this much-anticipated showdown will quickly be resolved next week. The Situation will have once again proved just how little he can be trusted. Snooki will get briefly angry. To everything, turn, turn, turn.

NEXT: The Unified Theory of Jersey Shore

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