Credit: Photo courtesy of MTV © and TM MTV Networks Photo: Sammi Leaves on Jersey Shore, February 10, 2011

Jersey Shore is, at its best, a bleak and unnerving glimpse into the heart of darkness. At its worst, like in this most recent episode, it's an hour-long screaming match in which nobody wins, and everybody loses. They lose. We lose. Humanity loses. And while most other networks aired heart-warming Valentine's-themed episodes, MTV ran this. This monstrous, bitter, malignant tumor of an episode. This violent, bloody canker of an episode. This Blue Valentine-on-steroids of an episode.

The entire, headache-inducing fiasco began the morning after last week's Ron/Sam break up (which, predictably, wasn't actually a breakup at all), with decorated cognitive therapist Mike "The Scenario" Sorrentino offering pithy words of wisdom to Sammi Sweatpants. Mike told Sam that her marathon fighting with Ron was beyond unhealthy, and that the two should finally part ways. Yes, thank you for that groundbreaking analysis, Doctor Mike.

Ron, who happened to be crying in the next room, overheard The Scenario's words of advice for Sam — which, of course, only made Ron cry even harder. He cried, and cried, and cried — and when his puffy little eyes finally exhausted themselves of tears, Ron decided that it was time to stop being weepy, and time to get angry — bitterly angry. Mike had, of course, violated Section 12, paragraph 4, of the International Boy Code (which strictly forbids counseling with friends' wives, girlfriends, or other such romantic and/or sexual companions) — which, as far as Ron was concerned, was an act of high treason. And after allowing himself a few more good cries, Ron eventually confronted Mike about his misconduct. Citing doctrine from both the Boy Code and the Girl Code, and quoting tales of brotherly betrayal from Miami, Ron called Mike out on his meddlesome, two-timing ways; and, to everyone's surprise, Mike agreed. Or rather, he pretended to agree, as a means of shutting Ron up.

Credit: Photo courtesy of MTV © and TM MTV Networks Photo: Vinny Holds Sammi Back on Jersey Shore, February 10, 2011

Of course the mere mention of Miami brought up buckets of bad memories for Sammi Sweatpants — memories of her boyfriend's infidelities; of misguided notes from well-intentioned friends; and, most crushingly, memories of all the pathetically poor decisions she'd made since. With the flames of her contempt sufficiently stoked, Sam once again confronted Ron about all of the ways he'd humiliated her down in Florida.

And so began their most exhaustive, comprehensive confrontation to date. Words were said, insults were hurled, beds were thrown. Things quickly spiralled from bad, to worse, to hell-of-a-lot worse. The fight was...truly beyond comprehension, and beyond words.  After having almost all of her personal belongings (including her mattress!) thrown out onto the second-floor balcony, Sammi maniacally shrieked "I want nothing to do with you" — which would have sounded desperately sincere, had she not been chasing after Ron as she screamed it. And had the other housemates not intervened we believe, in all sincerity, that something truly violent and unforgivable would have transpired. Thankfully, though, the pair were forcibly separated; and, after several long cries, Ron tearfully agreed to accompany the boys out of the house for some fist-pumping therapy.

Shortly after the guys left, Sweatpants (who had been licking her wounds and chatting with the girls) became abruptly and irrationally convinced that Ron's main mission that evening was to bring home another woman as an ultimate, spiteful act of revenge. "Two can play at this game," she purred, her eyes giddy with excitement. Opting to fight fire with fire, Sammi ran upstairs and, from beneath the rubble of overturned beds and dismantled dreams, extracted her sexiest, most revealing pair of sweatpants. "Time ta make Rawn suffah," she hissed.

Credit: Photo courtesy of MTV © and TM MTV Networks Photo: Snooki and Deena Move Sammi's Bed on Jersey Shore, February 10, 2011

While Sam changed into her power sweats, Snooki and Deena desperately tried to move Sammi's bed frame downstairs, far from Ronnie's room. They managed to push the bed approximately three feet until, exhausted, the pair of hobbits huffily conceded defeat — with Snooki once again comparing a relatively massive object (this time, the bed) to Vinny's over-sized penis. Because, you know, we've never heard that old chestnut before.

At the club, Ron was downing shots of tequila and fighting back another flood of tears when, to his consternation, Sammi waltzed in wearing her slinkiest pair of sweatpants. "Her special sweats!" he gasped, his eyes welling with pools of salty pain. Her eyes fixed menacingly on Ron, Sam hoisted herself onto a nearby table and, at the top of her lungs, screamed, "AWL YOUS SINGLE GUYS, GET OVAH HERE NOW!"

And with that, Sammi Sweatpants jumped off of the table, and began furiously Jersey Turnpiking with an especially greasy-looking guido. She Jersey Turnpiked to the right, she Jersey Turnpiked to the left. At one point, she Jersey Turnpiked so hard, she nearly flung herself off of Exit 8A into Monroe Township. Steadying herself, she re-mounted the Turnpike, and Turnpiked some more — all of her raunchy, grinding, and calculated moves done with the express purpose of humiliating her boyfriend, who stood no more than 10 feet away.

Credit: Photo courtesy of MTV © and TM MTV Networks Photo: The Crew Group Hugs on Jersey Shore, February 10, 2011

Defeated, broken, and emasculated, Ron stormed out of the club and wept the entire 12-block walk home. He burst through the front door, stomped up the flight of stairs and, throwing open the bedroom door, picked up the bed that Deena and Snooki were barely able to budge, lifted it high above his head, and smashed it against the floor until it shattered, like his heart, into a thousand tiny pieces. So, too, did he smash every little personal affect belonging to Sammi: her makeup bags; her hair straighteners; her vast sweatpant collection: everything, destroyed. If Jersey Shore was like any other, remotely rational reality TV program, Ron would have been, at the very least, removed from the show — at the very most, institutionalized for homicidal rage.

Not long after, Sammi Sweatpants returned to the house and, surveying the wreckage of her room, and the wreckage of her life, bent down to the floor, singled out a solitary, broken item, and meekly picked it up. Deflated, she carried the object over to where Ron sat, weeping, on the roof deck. Holding up the item — a badly mangled pair of spectacles — she looked plainly at her boyfriend, and she knew. And he knew. In the past year, throughout all of the vile, odious, and vindictive things that they'd done to one another, nothing had come close — nowhere remotely close — to the horrors of this night. Irreparable damage had been done, and there was no turning back. Predictably, Ron spent the remainder of the evening locked inside the bathroom, gently sobbing.

That morning, Sammi quietly packed her belongings, discretely notified her housemates of her plans, and, without much fanfare, ordered a cab to take her far, far away from that broken house of horrors. Sure, her friends begged her to reconsider ("How can you walk away from all this?!" they implored — as if Sam were some celebrated cancer researcher who, on the verge of a major breakthrough, simply decided to walk away from years of groundbreaking work), but Sammi Sweatpants was resolved. Something was different. Changed. And as the credits began to roll, and as her suitcases were shoved into the back of a black cab, Sammi made her first smart move in a long time — perhaps her first smart move ever.

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