It's finally that time: This week on MTV's Jersey Shore, Vinny is due to come back. He's only been M.I.A. for one episode, but, for the roommates, it has felt like like a lifetime. As a plot-line, though, it's been rather stupid for a few reasons, the top two of which being that there was never any true suspense thanks to the fact that gossip blogs had spoken of his return months before this season ever aired, and he's also locked into an airtight contract. The "drama" is over now, though, as the end of last night's episode, titled "Free Vinny," naturally, saw Vin's return to the shore, our TV sets, and thus, our lives.

Written by Tanya Ghahremani (@tanyaghahremani)

No, Vinny Isn't Back Yet

The episode starts off pretty much where we left off last week: Everyone is sad about Vinny's absence, and nobody cares about The Situation's. Their Shore Store boss, Danny, pays them a visit and asks where the two guys are, because these people have fake jobs and obviously neither of them are showing up. The roommates tell Danny the bad news, and he's visibly irritated; after all, if the cast doesn't fake-work at his shop, how will he ever get business? He whines about the lack of employees before realizing that none of them really work in the first place. "Mike's pretty much useless anyways," he admits, and no one disagrees. He tells them that they need to make room for more people to fill the void that Sitch and Vinny have left.

Sitch comes back and gets informed that his absence was annoying to everyone—not because he was gone, but because they need to get new roommates now. He explains that he left because he was too sensitive to their ignorance of his birthday, which is funny for someone who keeps pegging themselves as a "villain." Aren't villains supposed to have thicker skins? Snooki later divulges to the camera that they've actually planned a surprise party for him anyway, even though that doesn't seem likely considering the way everyone was acting last week. But apparently, this is happening.

The next day, Snooki, Pauly, and Deena go to work. Not much happens, save for them tirelessly trying to sell shirts so they don't have to get new roommates (as if this is an actual thing that could happen.) Afterwards, they head to a tattoo parlor on the boardwalk where the girls get some fake tats airbrushed on so they can look like proper gangsters. A good effort.

Once home, Deena gives Vinny a call to see if he's going to come back to the shore for Pauly and Mike's surprise party. Vinny acts coy, as if he's not still on the MTV payroll, and denies that he's returning to the beach, even after Deena tells him that they might be getting a new roommate. Could it be that he really no longer cares? Better career options on the horizon? Beause, bro, we saw you on 90210, and all we've got to say is that you really should not be quitting your day job.

... Like They'd Actually Hire Someone New

Snooki asks Pauly to teach her how to "walk hard," because she needs swag to go with her new airbrushed tattoos. He tells her this is something he can't teach her—she is but a young grasshopper—and after a few failed attempts she gives up. Is it possible to be a gangsta when you call yourself a meatball? We think not.

Later, Jenni shows up at work without anyone else. Danny, visibly annoyed by this turn of events, puts up a Help Wanted sign, trying to make us believe that wouldn't just go through MTV to hire someone new. Indeed, this is a stupid storyline. Even though Ronnie and Sitch do eventually show up, Danny doesn't take down the sign, and people actually start piling in to inquire about a job at the store. Someone named Alyssa shows up at the shop asking about the position, and, of coirse, Mike immediately tries to hit on her, and, what do you know, it works. Another hopeful then comes in wearing a fedora that looks like something Snooki would step on if she saw it. Ronnie compares it to a Michael Jackson hat. Interview failed.

In a huff, Jenni rips down the Help Wanted sign, because clearly she's the only person who knows how this show works. "If I eliminate the Help Wanted sign, there will be no more new interviews," she proclaims proudly, like it's rocket science that she's just figured out. Danny makes her create a new sign, though, and her efforts are proved futile in the end. It's OK, Jenni, at least you tried.

That night, everyone heads to Karma for the surprise party, even Roger, who apparently still exists. Mike and Pauly seem legitimately surprised when they walk in, and it seems that, for once, all the drama can be set aside. The only thing anyone can really get angry over is The Unit's hair, which looks about as stupid tonight as his name always is; unfortunately, this isn't a topic that comes up. Mike and Pauly are handcuffed to their chairs while two gigantic cakes are rolled out. Obviously hot girls are in them, and everyone but Sammi, though she was a part of the planning process, seems amused. Perhaps that's just her face.

The party goes on without a hitch, with Mike even taking a liking to one of the strippers. Part of the girl's job requires her to act like she's interested, and Mike should know better. Regardless, he takes her home, and instead of getting right down to the smushing, she asks to put socks on. Mike begrudgingly gives her socks that don't match, which causes her to complain. A lot. No smushing happens.

Elsewhere, Deena calls Vinny again but he doesn't answer. Since they're drunk and vulnerable, Ronnie and Deena cry about this, a moment that will probably be all over Tumblr by tomorrow morning. Because, really, it's Ronnie crying. Come on.

Let The Kidnapping Begin

The next day, Snooki dresses up in a bunny costume that she recently bought, nearly giving Jenni a heart attack. This is the highlight of their day. Really, just think about that for a second: This is what they get paid for. The moment this show starts making us feel self-deprecating is the moment we should change the channel, but Vinny still isn't home so obviously it's worth sticking around.

That night, everyone minus Snooki and Jionni go out, which annoys both Jenni and Sammi, who want Snooki and Jionni to come out with them because they clearly don't remember what has happened every time those two have joined them in the past. It's like they want drama.

Luckily, Sammi is there to fill the quota that Snooks and Jionni have left, as she gets into a legitimate catfight with some girl at the club who pulls her hair. Obviously, she gets kicked out, and after the bouncers drag her outside she proceeds to yell that it's "her against the world," as if she's Leonardo DiCaprio standing on the hull of the Titanic. Everything is OK, though, and the roommates head home.

Despite the fun night they had, the next day everyone seems pretty depressed, especially Pauly, who misses his soulmate. Though this should have been done way sooner, the roommates finally decide to go kidnap Vinny, because it's looking like that's the only way he's ever going to come back. Well, that and his contract. They promptly head over to Staten Island so they can crash his pity party, cheering pretty much the whole way. Their excitement dwindles upon arrival, though, because after knocking for a good five minutes, it looks like nobody's home. Hashtag, fail.

Someone does answer the door like a million years later, and the group quickly barges into the house to drag Vinny out to the car whether he likes it or not. Fortunately, he wants to, and the gang is together again.

Until next week, at least.

The Episode's Best Quotes

"I don't care if I'm small. I'll kick you." - Snooki

"What's a good name for Danny since he's being a douche?" "'Help Wanted'...see the old dude?" "They might think it's you." - Jenni and Sitch, respectively

"If we need freaking bunny suits to being life into this house, that's when you know we have problems." - Snooki

"You don't yank my new weave. I was always taught to like, self-defense myself." - Sammi, straight-up gangsta, saying what is probably the best line in Jersey Shore history

"I'm never drinking again." - Snooki is believable

Follow ComplexPopCult