By Karen Malmquist
BEFORE THE APOCALYPSE BEFALLS US, BEFORE FIRE SPILLS FROM THE SKY and the Earth’s crust splits open, let’s take a moment to reflect on the final episode of Jersey Shore. Of course, it can’t be too sappy. There are unmentionables making their way into the roommates’ mouths, and we experience yet another horrific moment in Nicole’s life. But dammit if this isn’t one of the saddest finales in television history.
The roommates plan a big farewell bonfire. After six seasons of G,T and L, the guidos are saying goodbye to Seaside for good, and not just because there’s a hurricane coming (too soon?). Vinny and Pauly gather wood together, and they make sure they exhaust every possible “morning wood” joke in the book. They go to a lumber store and realize that their load is too big for their car, so Vinny pushes it home on a dolley the entire way home, while Pauly drives slowly behind him. Yes, Vinny even stops at a red light.
Friends and family are at this bonfire. Roger and Jionni arrive with bouquets for their ladies, and Jionni’s flowers are handpicked… from various neighbors’ yards. How romantic. As the guys walk towards their women together, it looks as if Roger is the dad to a very small four-year-old trailing behind him. Jionni’s that small.
Roger and Jionni play football together on the beach, and Mike, who just finished telling everyone that he’s in the best shape of his life, decides to join in. Jionni outruns Mike, and Nicole is obviously impressed. Mike playfully asks for a rematch, but is too out of breath to finish his sentence.
Time for the obligatory Sam and Ron stuff! Sammi tells her parents that she and Ronnie are thinking of moving in together, but they’re not too keen on the idea. Ron’s dad isn’t that crazy about it, either. No kidding; this is the worst idea on the planet. They can’t even live together now without Sam helplessly yelling “STAAAAHP” as Ron destroys her room after she breaths in another guy’s direction.
The gang goes to work for the last time at the Shore Store, and they all tell Danny about how much they’ll miss the boardwalk, and reminisce about the great times they had destroying his house every year. Pauly’s going to miss working for Danny, but Mike won’t miss Danny being so hard on him. He spends his shift hitting on girls, inviting them out instead of asking if he can sell them a T.
Sam and Jenni go tanning, and since it’s Mike’s birthday, Paula gives them a cake and a card to give to Mike, just like an overly-attached ex-girlfriend.
Pauly and Vinny scheme to get Sammi back for locking them on the deck, so they take Ron’s mattress and try to move it. They accidentally deflate the mattress, then put it back like nothing happened. It gets bad when Ron and Sam come home and Ron tries to inflate his bed again. He gets mad at Sam, even though she had nothing to do with it. They start fighting, because apparently her locking the guys on the deck is the reason why this whole thing happened. It’s interesting, because when she did pull the harmless prank, no one cared. Not even Ron.
The next day, Sam is busy baking cakes and cookies for Mike and Pauly’s joint birthday. Ron is mad because she hasn’t apologized for something she didn’t do. He just stares at her angrily while she — god forbid — bakes for someone’s birthday.
After the boys blow out their candles together, Ron takes Sam outside so they can argue some more. They go back and forth about all the stuff they’ve done to each other, and Sam, who really hasn’t done anything to Ron, tells him that she isn’t going to bring up what happened in the house two years ago (you know, with him smashing all of her furniture and breaking her glasses and forcing her to leave the house so she can breathe for once). Things are suddenly resolved, and they go to bed.
The next day, Ron, Sam, Vinny, and Mike go to the tanning salon. When Mike goes into his session, one of the employees asks the others if they tasted the cake. They say no, and the girl says “good,” then shows them a picture. It’s of a guy’s pale balls on top of the cake.
They tell Mike about the cake, and he tries to play it off like he only had a small taste. Playback shows that he devoured his cake, and so did Pauly. When they get home and tell the house, Pauly is mortified, and Deena quietly says that she had cake, too. Pauly is then very saddened at the thought of someone defacing a cake. Boy loves his cake. Mike decides to call Paula about this, but she does the old “pretending to have bad reception” trick on him. He knows she knows that she’s been caught, but he’s still mad about eating ball cake, so he hangs up the duck phone by just smashing it. Rest in peace, duckie!
Everyone gets on the deck one last time and reminisces about their time together. They recount first meeting Snooki, and how Vinny and Jenni were put off by her originally, and then how the house came together after she got punched in the face. MTV even shows the uncensored clip!
Next it’s time to relive the crazy night they met Deena. Deena laughs about how her bikini bottoms fell off in front of Mike while trying to be sexy in front of him, but she’s clearly embarrassed. Speaking of embarrassing, we’re forced to be reminded of the night Jenni and Pauly went at it at Karma, and then hooked-up in his room… while Jenni was still dating Tom.
It’s the final day at the Shore, and Pauly starts the day by banging pots and pans in everyone’s faces. Over an emotional breakfast, they all decide that their kids are going to grow up and get a shore house together. Vinny and Pauly pack up their room, and they’re both visibly sad about moving out. Deena cries in her interview about how this was the roughest, but best summer of her life.
After everyone is packed, they all load up their cars and have a group huddle outside of the house. EVERYONE is crying, and they can’t stop saying how they’re going to be best friends forever and how they changed each other’s lives. Pauly says that they’ll be 80 years old and still as close as ever, he’ll make sure of it. Oh god, here come the tears!
The series ends appropriately, with an ‘In Memoriam’ to the duck phone.
Karen Malmquist is a senior at La Salle University, and is a member of the Overpopulated Peninsula comedy troupe. You can follow her on Twitter @KarenSays.