It’s all coming to an end. We could wax poetic about the journey, how the face of reality television has forever been changed, the imprint this group has left on society — alright, that one’s arguable — but let’s just focus on tonight’s main event: the series finale, “The Icing on the Cake.” Thursday Jerzday is here one last time.
“We’re not finished rockin. We’re gonna party one last time and go out like true champions.”
It’s time for the first bonfire in Seaside history. Seaside Lumber happens. Pauly and Vinny head in to get some “afternoon wood,” for the bonfire. Vinny makes a lot of wood jokes and preempts each by explaining wood as a metaphor for the penis. Big wood. Long wood. Hard wood. Once the big, long, hard wood is collected, family and friends gather ’round the fire pit, with a sea of fans staring on from the boardwalk. Everyone’s mom and cousin is there, and the hourlong reflection commences on the beach.
The ladies put flowers in their hair, and Snooki lets out a big burp, which is the official warning bell of the beginning of the end. Familiar faces from seasons past come together, and the biggest party Seaside has ever seen begins to heat up. Roger shows up with a huge bouquet of flowers. Jionni, who’s shortness is put on blast when sized against Roger, falls in line with a baby bouquet for his Snookems.
The Situation says that he probably looks better than he did when was 24. He talks about being a grasshopper and jumping over garbage cans. A beach football game ensues with the boys, and everyone is being all masculine and catching balls. Jionni has never looked shorter — evocative of a pitbull — but to the dude’s credit, he can catch a ball. Go, Jionni Utah!
Sammi reminisces about the “amazingest” summer she’s ever had. She finally got over the drama. Cut to a flashback of the infamous fight where Ronnie destroys all of Sammi’s belongings. It’s no easier to watch now, even retrospectively, as he literally throws her bed across the room. “It’s about friggin’ time,” Sammi says, in present time, referring to any number of things. Meanwhile, Ronnie’s dad is still a bit iffy about things. And that’s where we’re going to leave off on that plot. Or will we?
Last work day at the Shore Store! It starts to hit everyone that a television show existence cannot last forever, and the group’s getting all sad and super nostalgic. Meanwhile, Mike hits on some customers who might also work there — verdict is inconclusive. Snooki mentions sending Lorenzo to the Shore Store to work, but we’re thinking he’ll likely never need to work a day in his life. But maybe Danny can hook him up with a tee?
Paula leaves a cake at the tanning salon. JWOWW, the self-appointed relationship mediator, picks it up and brings it home. Upon unwrapping, it’s discovered that Paula baked not one but two cakes for Mike’s birthday. JWOWW jokes that there’s likely arsenic in the cake — good one, JWOWW — and this plot is also put to bed. Or is it?
Meanwhile, Sammi is owed a prank from the time she locked the boys out on the deck. So, as Sammi heads out in a tube skirt, prank war champions Vinny and Pauly get to work. Their plan, to move Ron and Sam’s bed downstairs to do God knows what, is thwarted by a puncture in the air mattress. Ronnie and Sammi arrive home, pissed from being on a date that the cameras didn’t follow, to discover what remains of their bed. Tension rises at unimaginable speeds, and a fight breaks out between Ron and Sammi. Some things... they just never change.
No time to deal with that mess, because it’s Mike’s birthday, and apparently Pauly’s birthday, and believe it or not, it’s 4th of July. Ronnie enters, giving Sammi the kiss-of-death stare. He’s waiting for an apology. What for? Hasn’t that always been the question. Fun fact we learn: Mike’s middle name is Paul, and Pauly’s middle name is Michael. Meant. To. Be. Happy belated birthday, boys!
Everyone heads up to the roof to watch the fireworks while Mike gushes about how f—in’ awesome it feels to be sober. We’ve said it before, he’s said it before, we’ll say it again, and undoubtedly he will too: Snark aside, it’s awesome to watch the big guy get clean. Guess who heads downstairs to continue last night’s fight? If you guessed Kim Kardashian and Reggie Bush, you’d be wrong. You know what, don’t even answer that. The Ron and Sam fight the roomies have been waiting for all season is finally here, just in time for the holidays — nay, the finale.
It’s a blast from the friggin’ past as Ronnie starts raising his voice, and he and Sam begin to question whether or not they should be together. Ronnie wants an apology for the mattress that Vinny and Pauly ruined, which, sarcastically, makes a lot of sense. Sammi ends the fight with an “I love you,” and Ronnie hunches over stoically like a muscley statue. Moments later, he’s back up in the bedroom. “I love you.” “I love you, too.” That was faster than usual. They’re getting better just in time for the last time they’ll appear on the show.
Final GTL is here to bring tears to your eyes. Some random at the tanning salon asks if they ate Paula’s birthday cake. As it turns out, Paula had some dude dip his balls in the crumb cake, the same crumb cake eaten by Mike and Pauly. Oh, and Deena, who claims to have had her one splurge for the summer. Lest we remind her that alcohol has calories. Eh, we’ll let her do her. So, Mike calls Paula up to right her wrong, she plays stupid, and Mike takes his anger out on the poor duck phone, which likely won’t survive. Sniff. (Update: This is affirmed during a post-show In Memoriam.)
It’s the last night on the deck to kick it. We flash back to clips of Season 1 briefly, as the roomies assess the journey of the Shore. Conclusion: Everyone’s grown up, but they’re still the same people. We flash back to Snooki getting punched in the face, which is no less shocking now. We flash back to Deena’s arrival. We flash back to Pauly and JWOWW’s infamous Season 1 hookup (his piercing!!!!!!!!), but are brought back to the reality that she’s now with Roger, and that one-time pairing will never be a thing. (Never say never at the Shore, right?)
The final moments have arrived. Everyone wakes up for the last time in Seaside Heights. Pauly grabs some pots and pans to wake everyone up. He even travels next door to wake up our Snooks. Family breakfast is here! Waffles and grits and bacon and everything that should be in our mouths right now. To reiterate: It’s the last breakfast. You probably knew that — so do they — but they reiterate it ad nauseum because they’re at the Shore, bitch. But you can’t blame them, because these strangers have become a family. They mention that a lot, too.
Pauly wants to say, “Yeah buddy,” and that he’ll never be the same after leaving this house. He says he never cries, he just laughs. It’s probably the most poignant exit a fan could ask for.
One last group hug and a ton of “I love you’s” as the cars drive off. One last peace-out in the confessional. We exit on a tour of the empty, no less trashed house, just as Danny puts up a “For Rent” sign.
And we’re out. Forever.