Credit: Thelonius / Splash News Photo: Vinny Leaves the Jersey Shore House For the Last Time on August 1, 2011

A few key themes unfolded in Thursday night's saga of the New Jersey Macaroni Rascals, also known as Jersey Shore Season 5, Episode 2: “One Man Down.” So, in this week's lecture, we bring your attention to the following lessons: jokes about abstaining from booze on any particular outing are less funny and more just make you look like an alcoholic; drunken kleptomania is a serious problem; and boys are allowed to be on their periods too sometimes — as long as they refer to it as "clinical anxiety." So, without further ado, here's our rundown of Thursday night’s episode.

We pick up where we left off with Vinny. He is continuing to mull over leaving the house, while Ronnie exhibits impressive levels of sympathy. When Pauly D grows weary of listening to Vin’s whining and realizes he can't do anything to cheer up his bestie, he reveals that they have work the next day. Vinny actually, literally blows a gasket — aha! The truth comes out! Vinny's just trying to get out of work. Jeez, Vin, fake a hangover like the rest of your housemates.

And, of course, we're reintroduced to Paula from Season 1! For those of you who don't remember her, Paula is the (unfortunately) totally cute girl The Situation smushed in the hot tub, who later fell down the stairs as he was escorting her out. We're pretty sure this incident alone garnered the hot tub its grody-to-the-max reputation. Hmm, speaking of which, we haven't seen any hot tub dips yet, this season...

Anyway, as if the weather gods themselves, were attempting to vehemently discourage Paula from going home with Mike again, a monsoon descended upon the streets of Seaside Heights while the gang is leaving the club. Snooki nearly melts under the rain.

The Scenario generously lends Snooki’s beau Jionni a dry set of clothes (undies included! Where's this chivalrous gesture every time Deena Nicole forgets her underwears?) after he gets soaked in the downpour on his walk home, so Snooki's boyf graciously offers to whip Mike up some drunchies (drunk + munchies) as a thank you. This is all pretty awkward and strange since almost the entire first episode of this season revolved around Snooki’s nervousness that Mike might spill the beans about their alleged pre-Italy hook-up to Jionni.

In a bizarre twist of fate (read: a total manipulation by The Scenario), Mike and Jionni  totes start becoming biffles! Obviously, this sketches Snooki out, so homegirl throws a temper tantrum and stomps off to the Smush Room to lure her man upstairs. It works. But Mike, keenly aware of Snooki's antics, decides to kill them with kindness. He feels bad Jionni had to abandon his egg sandwich, so he followed the couple upstairs and serves Jionni his fourthmeal in bed. We're pretty sure Snooki's head exploded in there, but we didn't see the shot from inside the Smush Room, so we can't be sure. Mike swiftly kicked out Paula at dawn, and Snooki does the same to Jionni, although we suspect under different ircumstances.

That morning, Ronnie crawls into bed with Pauly (look! More homoerotic undertones!) but leaves prematurely because he doesn't want Vinny to get jealous in his weakened state. Pauly reams RonRon for leaving before he got his cuddle fix, and not even calling him a cab! Ronnie offers to buy him breakfast. Peace is made. Why can't chicks be this easy?

Speaking of chicks, Sammi Sweatpants and JWOWW head to the Shore Store for their first shift, while Vinny shows up late for the first time in three years. Danny is so concerned that he takes him out for lunch and girl talk, where Vincenzo assures us all that the reason he confided in the bossman was because he was mature and thus unashamed of discussing his problems. Then he drops the bomb — he's suffered from "clinical anxiety" since he was 16. Don't get us wrong; we're sympathetic to  the deep psychological plight of young people in America. But that sounds like the biggest load of bull-cockadoodle armchair diagnosis we've ever heard. Vinny claims to have had a million anxiety spells in his past (which is curious, considering one would imagine we'd have seen him crack at least once in five seasons of filming), but this time, it's different.

This eventually turns into an after school special in which Vinny champions the importance of talking about your feelings. Plus, he slips in a joke about how, if Danny lets him get with his girlfriend again, he'll bounce right back. Cue arm in arm walk into the sunset.

The boys finally concede that hookers won't cheer Vinny up, so they take him out for a guys' day to get — what else — MANI/PEDIS! And yes, it's every bit as foul as you would imagine, from nasty boy feet to Vinny keeping his fingers crossed for a happy ending.

Back at the house, Pauly requires hourly aloe vera infusions to heal his burnt face. Apparently, last week's "jump start" tan was more of an "insta-cancer" tan. Oh, and then because skincare genius Pauly couldn't stand the sight of a less than silky smooth mug, he exfoliated on top of the burn. Yeeouch! The girls rush to administer cocoa butter while Ronnie blends a batch of Ron-Ron juice, which is appropriate, because, yes, boys and girls, we're privy to the rising action of the first night at Karma. Like over-tanned pilgrims, the macaroni rascals set their sights on the guido Mecca, and the house music calls them home.

Snooki decides that for that extra special Karma kick, she's going to wear her undies that read "Jionni's" across the butt. JWOWW prudently suggests that might lead to Snooki flashing the club later, and isn't that how the last fight started back in Italy? (Which she remembers in great detail, dear fist-pumpers, because she was the one chasing after Snooki's boyfriend. Not Snooki.)

Meatball #1 agrees, so she shimmied out of them, and, hopefully, lest we have a Deena Redux, remembered to replace them with something else. As it turns out, the svelte Snooki actually has some pretty decent moves, while she's still sober and in control of making sure her barely-there frock is covering all her unmentionables at the same time. Once Snooki's lady-bits start popping out and she starts falling down a lot, Jionni drags her home.

Meanwhile, we watched Deena Nicole tongue-wrestle an old flame named Damian, but she asks permission first, so that's nice.

Pauly takes home a girl named Shantal, which we previously thought was exclusively a stripper stage name. Mike fakes a headache as he's leaving the club alone, and who should be at the gate but Paula to "poor baby" him and awkwardly tack herself onto the caravan home. Pauly lets Vinny use the Smush Room to get some rest while he and his girl get it on; Snooki and Jionni find love in a hopeless place. By which we mean they hook up on the roof deck.

Pauly, like a gentlemen calls Shantal a cab when he's finished with her, but there won't be one available for an hour. He tries to speed the cabbie by telling him he has a girl about to die, and apparently it works. He boots her out before she can even get her hooker shoes strapped on, but JOKE'S ON HIM, because she steals his diamond chain right off the floor when she's getting dressed, slips it in her pocket in front of the night vision cameras, and peaces out.

Unfortunately, the girl doesn't have the good sense to steal it and run, teaching Pauly a lesson. She used it to get back in the House the next morning. No, not to see Pauly again like a Stage 5 clinger, but just to get her shoes back. So at least she's smart enough to understand collateral and blackmail. Pauly vows he's a reformed man. Uh huh.

Vinny continues to mope around the house like Sweatpants at her finest, so Ronnie takes him for a stroll on the boardwalk. The two have an okay time, but Ronnie's offer to make out with him on the ferris wheel goes unnoticed. The whole house gets a little Debbie Downer at the thought of Vinny leaving and Snooki almost convinces herself that she doesn't feel like drinking that night. Bahahaha!

So Pauly volunteers to stay home and babysit depressed Vin while the gang goes out. The moment they're gone, Vinny calls his famiglia and tells them he's coming home. Cue a lovely bromantical moment in which Pauly maybe tears up? Or this may just be how his face looks after the permanent burn damage. Pauly helps Vinny pack and he heads out that night to "heal," "fix himself," and a bunch of other life coach jargon.

Welp, bye forever, Vinny! Okay, it's not that we're heartless monsters (even though we are). It's just that it's really hard to get upset over Vin leaving when we know he comes back three days later. But, for those of you who need a dramatic ending and/or for us to take this seriously to survive —

WHA? Vinny go bye-bye? Will it ever be t-shirt time again? Stay tuned next week, friends, for the thrilling conclusion.

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