This week's Jersey Shore episode was our first without Vinny in the house, and while things moved on as normal for our beloved cast, nothing felt quite the same. His absence left a guido-sized hole in the hearts of his roommates and a palpable dark cloud over the shore house, one not even remedied by the stupidest of antics courtesy of the "Meatballs," a.k.a. Snooki and Deena. We can only hope Vinny's inevitable return happens soon, because things are getting a bit weird without him.

Written by Tanya Ghahremani (@tanyaghahremani)

The Meatballs Are Back

We start off immediately where last week left off, with Vinny peacing out of the shore house while his roommates, sans Pauly, are out clubbing. Pauly takes off to meet everyone at Karma to break the news, and apart from Deena, who cries a literal river, no one seems all that surprised. She drunkenly sobs her eyes out in the bathroom while Jenni, who has been perpetually sober so far this season, plays Mother Hen and ensures that Deena doesn't drown herself in her tears. The group heads back to the house where they discover that all of Vinny's stuff is gone. Realization hits. Vinny will really be gone for more than a day.

Not really, though, because the cameras follow Vin home and show him greeting his mother in Staten Island. Being a cast member on Jersey Shore is somewhat like staying at the Hotel California that The Eagles were talking about: You can check out any time you like, but you sure as hell can never leave.

The next day, to cheer themselves up (and because they've been sober for over three whole hours) Meatballs Snooki and Deena go out to the boardwalk to get wasted before noon. Yes, it's five o'clock somewhere, blah blah blah. They get, as Snooki desires, "wastey-pants," and meet some gay dude who helps Snooks walk straight so she's not arrested for public drunkenness again.

Because they have livers made of steel, the ladies continue their bender into the night and head over to Aztec. After tossing back more drinks, they start a dance-off with some guys who look suspiciously underage, engaging in some moves that look more like a tribal rain dance than fist-bumping choreography. Deena dances so hard that she messes up her hair, and when she gets home her extensions look similar to a ratty bird's nest that somehow made it on top of her head. Pauly and Jenni help her rip them out (with actual ripping, mind you) while she laments the loss of her identity. The most tragic thing we've heard all day.

In Honor of Vinny's Departure...

Everyone in the house basically does their own thing to honor Vinny's departure: Pauly smushes some tattooed older woman on Vinny's bed, Ronnie wears skinny jeans, and Snooki and Deena get mad drunk yet again. Their behavior, save for the skinny jeans, is pretty much the same as every other night, but somehow it's now justified it by saying it's "for Vinny." The only roommate who legitimately doesn't seem to care about Vinny's absence is Mike, who's more concerned with torturing Snooki alongside his friend with the stupid name, The Unit.

At this point, we have to seriously question whether or not Sitch is actually obsessed with Snooks. He keeps repeating that he and Unit have the whole summer to make her life miserable, and he just gets angrier every time she doesn't bite back and chooses to spend time with Jionni instead. A normal asshole would have given up and grown bored by now, but Snooki's behavior only seems to be fueling Sitch's rage. He can't stop bothering her despite the fact that he knows he's not going to win. It's borderline sadistic. Jersey Shore shouldn't be making us question life this much!

Sitch's efforts to be a thorn in Snooki's ever-shrinking side are stalled, however, when Unit is kicked out of the club for getting in a fight. They could have kicked him out under the grounds of having a really dumb nickname alone, but they were obviously being way too nice. Sitch vows not to give up, making us feel like we might have another dragged out, Ron/Sammie situation on our hands, only this time it's worse, because Snooki and Sitch are not actually a couple.

What If You Had A Party And No One Showed Up?

The next day, mostly everyone gathers around their weird duck phone to call Vinny. Apart from sounding tired, Vinny seems to be doing better at home and doesn't give any indication of whether or not he plans on returning. Pauly looks legitimately heartbroken, especially because it's his birthday weekend.

In addition to it being Pauly's birthday weekend, it's Sitch's, too; their birthdays happen to fall within a day of each other, so Mike is expecting that everyone is going to celebrate their born-days together. What he fails to remember is that he's been an asshole to everyone in the house, so no one actually cares that he's turning 29-years-old. Apart from some random girl from Bosnia who throws herself at him, and that girl Paula who he occasionally calls because she's always DTF, no one really shows Sitch any love. This depresses him, and he harps about being the villain for about the fiftieth time this season.

Pauly, on the other hand, gets all the attention. His family comes to see him with his barber from Rhode Island in tow so he can get a haircut exactly the way he likes it on his birthday, the roommates all bake him a cake, and everyone only acknowledges his birthday during a dinner out at a restaurant. Because he's apparently a five-year-old trapped in a grown man's body, Mike dozes off at the restaurant during dinner because he's so bored, only to wake up to whipped cream being sprayed on his face. Surprise!

The roommates are well aware of their snub; when Pauly is presented with the cake that everyone except Mike pitched in to bake, Snooki shrugs off camera that Sitch doesn't deserve one because he's a "fucking asshole." Amen to that, girl, but it seems a bit harsh to exclude him so obviously on his birthday.

Mike, so hurt by this (he's an "emotional dude," after all) dries his tears alone on the roof before walking off without another word.

A happy birthday indeed.

The Episode's Best Quotes

"You know it's bad when I'm the sober one." - Deena, actually making a good point

"It's like fingerprints, how are you going to tell a guidette apart without her extensions?" - Deena, posing a seriously philosophical question

"Really, you're DTF for Mike? That's absurd!" - Sammi knows honesty is the best policy

"At the end of the day, I wasn't going to leave Paula. She's like AAA, you call her and she's there." - Mike knows it too

"It's not rocket scientist." - Deena, we know

Written by Tanya Ghahremani (@tanyaghahremani)

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