Credit: Photo courtesy of MTV © and TM MTV Networks    
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Jersey Shore

Jersey Shore Season 4 Finale Recap: “Ciao, Italia”

As we bid the macaroni rascals of Jersey Shore ciao for yet another season of pranks, debauchery, and good old-fashioned Situation manipulation, we can't help but imagine that the city of Florence collectively did a little dance as MTV crews hoisted their cameras and headed to back to the airport. At last; they're free. But not before The Sitch rather pathetically tries to stir up one last moment of dramz, so let's brace ourselves for the impending farewell sh*tshow of Season 4, Episode 12: “Ciao, Italia,” shall we?

Indeed, in the aftermath of being left to stand alone in a club fight, Mike opened the episode by having a total psychotic break. He stumbled home from the club on his own, which, of course, means that rare opportunity for Mike to perform solo for the cameras. Granted, he may have genuinely been a shade of white girl-wasted at the time, but we're pretty an hour of talking nonsense and harassing Snooki, who opted out of clubbing that night (again?! Is this girl on anti-depressants or something?), while making a little drunk snack is normal for him.

The rest of the gang eventually made their way back to the apartment, at which point we're pretty sure everyone was blacked out, because even Sammi admitted to being effed up at the time. But even wackier was Ronnie deciding to confront The Sitch guido-to-guido to discuss his behavior as of late. Of course, this entire conversation was held in tones of drunken croaking that gave us laryngitis just from listening to it, but we soldiered through, because Mike held a comically adolescent pity party while Ron advised that he just get over it and make up with everyone, because seriously? Seriously, Mike. You're being a total creep weasel.

The next day, the gang headed off for their last day of "work," which mostly consists of Pauly D behaving like an obnoxious 13-year old with a bullhorn, but, hey, it's Pauly, so he smiles that billion-watt smile, and somehow, we can't stay mad. It's as if Pauly and Vinny are the only semi-normals in a sea of crazypants.

Credit: Photo courtesy of MTV © and TM MTV Networks    

Back home, Ronnie and Sammi decide, rather anticlimactically, and definitely anti-romantically, that they just can't keep their hands off each other for another moment, so they grab pillows and blankets and traipse off into the smush room, unfortunately having to pass the peanut gallery in the living room on the way. A grand total of five minutes later, they emerge, apparently satisfied (although we suspect less so on Samantha's end) and proceed on what Pauly dubs the ever-appalling "in-house walk of shame." As our spiky headed friend astutely pointed out: really Ron? Five minutes? No wonder Sam never smiles.

The Sitch is predictably pouty that no one is paying attention to him, so he places a call to his sister Melissa, also known as The Little Situation, during which he very publicly confides that he wants to skip Seaside and go home after Italy. Snooki and Deena overhear, but wait, they don't give a sh*t? Seriously? We're shocked. Astounded, really.

An especially sloppy club outing takes place later that evening, after which Snooki and Deena drunkenly stumble home on their own, and, while they've mastered the secret behind not twisting their ankles walking in stripper shoes on the cobblestone (solution: take off your shoes), they do get a little lost on their way home. At one point, we're pretty sure they passed the pharmacy Deena drunkenly visited at 6am to take a totally unnecessary pregnancy test. You know, from all those girls she's been hooking up with lately.

Mike had a girl who seemed to make a totally rational, well-though out, sober decision to go home with him (...) but he somehow lost her along the way, and wound up falling asleep alone. Possibly on the couch. Pauly D, too, ditched his girl when it became clear that she was way too wasted to make a decision of her own. Good for you, Pauly!

The next morning, the macaroni rascals parade off to O Vesuvio Pizzeria to bid farewell to Marco, the boss-man. In what we can only assume is an Italian tradition completely fabricated by the producers of the show, they bring Marco pieces of clothing that best represent them to hang on the clothesline in the restaurant. Because all we've ever wanted is to eat a slice beneath Snooki's zebra-striped bra, and Deena's pink lace thong. Although, to be fair, we can be sure that Deena's thong was clean, because she didn't wear underwear a single goddamned day in Italy. Bye-bye, Marco. Bye-bye, Nemo. We congratulate you on being able to return to your pizzeria free of loud Jersey kids.

Credit: Photo courtesy of MTV © and TM MTV Networks    

Vinny takes it upon himself to plan an art history walking tour of Florence after the American nostalgia BBQ the kids throw for family dinner, because, he comes to realize, they haven't done a single tourist-y or culturally relevant thing since arriving in Florence, other than check out the sad club scene. A noble effort, Vin, but if he had seen the appalling way in which Snooki conducted herself on the wine tour, he probably would have realized history isn't these kids' jam and cut his losses.

So, after a quick cigarette break on the balcony, in which The Sitch cries out to Snooki for help and threatens to go home (and she basically tells him to go eff himself), the rascals meet Bernardo, the world's most patient tour guide, who holds up a prominently displayed American flag for the duration of the tour, as if to say, "Beware: Stupid American Tourists" to unsuspecting passersby. Snooki required a bit of convincing that the cherubs featured in Renaissance art (the “babies with wings,” before you go wikipedia them) were, in fact, mythical, and the Meatballs had to be physically restrained from humping a replica of the statue of David (because you know they're not taking a chance on those b*tches defiling the real thing).

Everyone kicked back with a drink, post-tour, in a little ristorante tucked in the Tuscan Hills overlooking the city of Florence. After making some hideously awkward jokes, Mike is inspired by the grand beauty of it all to apologize to his housemates,'s still kind of awkward. Everyone seems heart-warmed for a moment, until we cut away to JWOWW in the confessional, rolling her eyes and calling out "same sh*t, different country." We're inclined to agree.

Mike picks one last club fight that night, with some kid who's approximately 12 years old, and Vinny finally calls him out, telling him to pick on someone his own size. At last, we meet that anti-bullying Vinny we hear so much about!

That night commences the age-old art mastered by most kids in college: DRUNK PACKING! A mattress falls on Deena, which like — is she just convinced at this point that if she keeps allowing large pieces of furniture to fall on her, they'll keep her on the show? Sweetie, you're crazy enough not to have to break your neck like some of your fellow cast members to be kept around.

In a drunken stupor, the Meatballs execute "the best prank of all time" which entails taking all the potted plants from the balcony and placing them inside on the kitchen table. HILAR, right guys? The rest of the house wakes up confused the next morning, but Deena assures everyone that it's a secret garden! … Guess you had to be there. Oh well, family brunch, complete with mimosas, ensues, during which The Scenario assures everyone that, while he was contemplating staying home, he was, in fact, going to Jersey after all.

Major twist ending, are we right?

We'll spare you a recap of the ubiquitous "at the end of the day, we're a fambly" lecture that closes every season, and leave you a couple of months to shake off all that quaint architecture. Because come 2012, we'll be back in gritty, nasty, slimy Seaside, where the girls are down and the guys don't get hickeys from their sisters. Ciao, friends, until Season 5.

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