Big Jerry is next to pick up Pauly. It's kind of surprising they didn't end with Pauly since he's getting the first spin-off to air, but it seems only right that Snooki is the last one out. In the most unexpected turn of events, she's the first one to start a real life. Lest I get too philosophical about it all, we're treated to a shot of Big Jerry pratfalling as he tries to fit all but one of Pauly's 75 suitcases into the Caddy (they simply abandon one of them), plus the vision of Pauly riding all the way back to Rhode Island with the Snooki-sized mini motorcycle on his lap. For all this show's failings, it never lets you get too serious. Thanks, show!
And so it ends as it began: Party's here! Snooki, left to her own devices, pours herself a drink and toasts to the house that legitimized her all those summers ago. She bids her goodbye to her bed, covering up a piss stain as she goes, then makes an empty promise to return to the duck phone so that she may have phone sex with boys on it. Mr. Polizzi arrives to pick up Snickers and Crocodilly. Even as he loads up her stuff, she claims she "could do this forever." I'm not so sure. The house is absolutely destroyed. The sink is piled with dishes, I already mentioned the horrors waiting for some poor P.A. in the kiddie pool, and there is a damn hammock in the living room. It's as if this prank was some universal omen, some Inception-like notion planted deep in the strata of Pauly and Vinny's heads to tell Snooki, and indeed all of them, "It is time."
A song about living life and not wasting time plays over shots of the whole gang (except Pauly, who is obstructed by a mini-bike) traveling in their respective cars back to their homes. Interestingly, Sammi and Ronnie get the parting shot. They have certainly been all along the most polarizing couple of the show, yet they've emerged the strongest and most changed in a way. And they've emerged MTV's strongest shot at a purebred Jersey Shore baby. Before I can really grasp the living nightmare that's only one squatty-midsection thrust away, the closing title card flashes, "IL FINE." Damn it, they got me!
I know there's still a reunion special to go, but we know that afterthought never counts for anything. This is really end, and from this humble recapper's perspective, it's a bittersweet moment. I've spent four seasons recapping this show -- 156 hours by my rough estimation -- and it's been a pleasure in a lot of ways. There have, of course, been highs scraping the top of Pauly's blowout and lows falling as far as Deena's face during a particularly enthusiastic Jersey Turnpiking, but I wouldn't trade it. That said, I'll see you folks next week when -- judging from the American Reunion + Jersey Shore reunion promos -- I will inevitably regret revealing my vulnerability right here and now. PRODUCT PLACEMENT, OH YEAH!