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During the most important sociological experiment of our time, the evil "Love Ballad of Sammi & Ronnie" played again. They're together, they're apart, they're together, they're apart. Ugh! And then The Situation got beat up.

Well, kinda. He kind of just hit a wall. But this dispatch was just like the time your neighbor blared What's Love Got to Do with It on his TV so loud it filled up your entire apartment with the sounds of yelling and slapping. But before we get to how Angela Bassett was robbed of the Oscar, let's go all Ike Turner on some of the guidos' favorite phrases so we know just what the hell they're talking about.

  • Che Cosa: According to the ever reliable Google Translate, this means, "what" in Italian. When an Italian man confronts DJ Paulie Dialect with this affront at a club, he isn't upset with DJPD for stealing his girlfriend and saying, "What?" like he's puffing out his chest and going to start a fight. No, he is saying "What?" as in "What the fuck is this orange, pointy headed, Koopa ParaTroopa doing in the club? Is this even a human?" He is just befuddled by the guido's very existence. Apparently this is his first interaction with the subspecies, and it does not go well.
  • Toice Club: All of the nightclubs in Florence have really interesting names, like Yab, Ótel, and Flo (named after your aunt from Red Bank, New Jersey), but the one with by far the best name is Toice. This actually acquired its name because this is how Italians think Americans say the ordinal word that comes after "once." Apparently the owner went to Red Bank (he also owns Flo) and didn't just hook up at this one club once, but twice, so he decided to name this "twice" after the occasion. Though Italians may not be guidos, they apparently have similar spelling skills.
  • Italian Look: A clothing style preferred by Deena that involves off the shoulder dresses with lots of rouching and ruffles. In fact, it is not Italian at all. She looks more like a version of Bizet's Carmen if the entire audience was on LSD.
  • 3000%: Just like guido physiology is different from ours, so is guido mathematics. Everything in guido math is much larger and more important than it is to the rest of us (you might say, it's on steroids) so the entirety of anything is ramped up to 3000%. All calculations should be tabulated using this as a base.

Now that we know just what the hell we're saying, let's get right into the fight between The Situation and Ronnie. OK, when we left off our subjects were fighting because Sammi told Ronnie that Situation repeated something Ronnie said at the club (that he was going to take home five girls in one night). Sammi told Ronnie that Sitch told her, and he wigged out, turning something Sammi should have been mad at Ronnie about into something that Ronnie was mad at The Situation and Sammi about and something Sammi was apologizing for. This is actually 3000% logical, but since I'm bad at math (and logic) I can't figure out how.

Anyway, Sitch and Ronnie are about to throw down and, in an attempt to intimidate evil Hulk-thing Ronnie, Sitch throws himself into the wall, nearly knocking himself out. We learn much later that this was a diversionary tactic that The Situation has used in the past. Though he is the alpha male, he is a really lousy fighter, but he has to hide that fact so that he can be the big wolf in the pack (yes, having Jersey Shore and the most important scientific artifact of our time, True Blood, on in the same night really confused me). In the past, Sitch threw his head through a wall to intimidate a larger opponent and have him back off and he figured he could use the same trick again. However, this isn't some shoddy American condo in Ronkonkoma, it is an old plaster building in Florence, with much stronger walls. The Sitch's head could not stand the impact, and he was thrown for a loop.

Then the fight started up again and Ronnie gets in one solid punch before they fall down onto the floor in a scrum and wrestle around a bit before being pulled apart by the supervising scientists tasked with maintaining our subjects' safety. All in all, it was a pretty wimpy fight. It was the Hurricane Irene equivalent of a fight, lots of blow and bluster, with no heavy damage. Other than the infamous Snooki Punch, most of the really deft blows on this show have been delivered by the girls (think JWOWW on The Situation in Atlantic City and Sammi on Ronnie in Seaside Heights). Without a girl involved, this fight was nothing.

Oh, there was a lot of blustering. Let's look at some more.

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What were the roommates doing during this epic battle for male supremacy? Well, Vinny and DJ Paulie Disruptor were trying to break it up, and the girls were standing around shouting and crying. Typical.

The hero in this whole affair turned out to be guido fertility goddess and maternal figure JWOWW. Not only did she tend to The Situation when she was injured, but she tried to calm the aftermath. Sammi insists that she is the one who can calm Ronnie down, even though she doesn't realize that she's only making things worse. JWOWW (who has has her own physical altercations with Sammi in the past) yells at her from the sidelines, telling her to knock it off and leave Ronnie alone.

The most telling moment comes when JWOWW yells, repeatedly, "This isn't fun anymore." That is a loaded existential question. Is she talking about this fight? Is she talking about Ron and Sam's relationship, which is like a Tilt-a-Whirl gone out of control, spinning and spinning ever faster on the same track in constant repetitions so that the stomach knows when to expect a shift and thereby makes itself even more nauseous? Or is she talking about this experiment as a whole? This little lark of their's where they would get a free summer of boozing and hooking up at the shore in exchange for some cameras following them around. That lark has soured, bringing them half way around the world to a strange land where they still have to face their familiar problems. Yes, it isn't fun anymore, but how can they stop? The carny at the controls of this particular Tilt-a-Whirl is sadistic and powerful, and he counts his countless thousands while sucking on his few remaining teeth.

But no one can get Sammi away from Ronnie, so he decides to push her away himself. Let's take a look.

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During this whole fight, I noticed for the first time that Sammi and Ronnie have this strange push and pull about them, like twirling two magnets next to each other, simultaneously attracting and repelling each other as their poles switch and switch and switch again. It's like you could say they were bi-polar, but Ronnie would tell you that he would never fuck a bear, so there's no way he could be bi-polar.

To get Sammi to stop talking to him, Ronnie confesses that the whole time they were in Italy he has been calling a girl on the phone. That shuts Sammi up right quick, and she goes away and Ronnie finally gets the peace that he wanted. Then JWOWW goes in to try to calm him down and talk to him about the situation (and The Situation) while Snooki is talking to The Situation about the situation with going to the hospital. This pisses Sammi off and she starts yelling and wants to talk to Ronnie again.

Ronnie retires to the Smush Room (since he made a mess of his room) and Sammi goes in to join him to talk again. But when Ronnie once again tells her that he has been calling a girl the whole time, she flips out and says, "I never literally ever want to have anything to do to you ever again in my lifetime 3000%. I'm d—-o—-n—-e." Well, she didn't say "Done," but as she was speechifying, I heard that word come out of her mouth in a premonition and she was moving at like one eighth the speed of a normal human being and it just came out of her mouth in a treacherous slo-mo that made the world stop revolving.

Now Ronnie is the one who wants to talk to Sammi and she retires to her bed (how I wish I could play the brilliant song "Bitch in the Bed" from the Jersey Shoresical for you right now). She's trying to recharge her power in her bed and she's refusing to talk to Ronnie, as he refused to talk to her earlier. Push and pull, push and pull, magnet, magnet, Tilt-a-Whirl, bi-polar magnet. I'm out of metaphors for how much these two fucking suck as a couple.

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Now, we can't forget that not only is the rest of the house sick of Ronnie and Sammi fighting (and they now regularly tell them as such to their faces), but there is another victim in this scenario: The Situation.

Snooki convinces him to go to the hospital and DJ Paulie Doctor goes along for the ride. While it was rather dramatic, taking Sitch out of the house on a stretcher like he just got thrown out the back of a Hummer limo after it tumbled off the LIE, he was essentially fine. He had a little concussion and some "neck sprain" from hurling himself into the wall, but no damage from the actual fight with Ronnie. Or so he claims. That seems so Situation though, like "The only person who could knock me out is me, because I'm the fucking greatest."

That's the way he convalesces too. When everyone goes out to lunch while Sitch sleeps it off, he's pissed that he's not getting more attention and sympathy for his injuries. Oh, the poor baby. Instead he just mopes around the house whining and moaning. He's lucky Ronnie felt badly enough to set The Situation's bed back up in their room. Since the bed is the guido's symbol for himself in the house, this was as good as an apology. By the end of the dispatch, the two are back to laughing and joking together. Oh, that's so like boys. Get all their aggression out and next thing you know they're going out to Toice together to beat the shit out of Italians.

The saddest thing about The Situation's recovery though was the little plate of food someone made for him and left by his bed. It was someone's way to say sorry or try to help and he just ignored it. He just slept and slept while it got cold and soggy on his nightstand. When he finally comes to, he nibbles off it, sitting there tasting someone's contrition and not being happy with it. He couldn't even eat more than a bit, criticizing the quality of the meal and then heading into the kitchen to make something of his own. Oh, that poor little plate of food. The housemates should have sacrificed it to their household god, the Duck Phone, instead. It would have done so much more good.

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Ronnie and Sammi are ostensibly broken up for the hundred millionth time. The girls decide to take Sammi out and eat lots of food and tell her what she should do with herself. The guys take out Ronnie and get him good and drunk and watch him almost hook up with some Italian skank. But then at the last minute, he decides that he's not going to create all the drama of bringing her home and cuts her loose. Wow, that is mature. It seems like Ronnie has actually learned something. He has actually changed. This, people, is progress.

Then, he dispels any progress he made and decides to buy Sammi flowers instead. See, earlier in the day, Sammi returned all of Ron's things to his room, including all the gifts she ever gave him and he ever gave her. This is her way of formally breaking up with him (again, it has to do with the bed and its esteem in the culture). Ronnie reacts by taking all of the stuff, and throwing it in the trash. Then Sammi yells at him for throwing it away and picks out the clothes and diamond earrings and sneakers and folds them up into a nice little pile. Later on Ronnie takes them back and puts them in his room.

The same damn things happens with the roses. Ronnie brings them for Sammi, she's like "What the fuck?" which she should be because he would never do that for her normally and immediately thinks "Who did you hook up with?" Then Ronnie gets all mad that she's mad and doesn't trust her, and takes the roses back and throws them out. Then Sammi decides they're sweet and takes them out of the trash and puts them in a vase.

Both of these incidents are their relationship distilled to small action. They both want to make statements about how much they hate each other, but when they do they still remember that little sliver of love. That moment when Sammi gave him the earrings and they sat in the car outside of her parents' house in New Jersey and made out, as she ran her fingers along his prodigious bacne as the stones glimmered in his ears. It's all those twinges of nostalgia that they can't get rid of, so the anger turns to longing, which turns to acceptance, which turns back to, what? Love? It can't be love. Ronnie says at one point, "You can't help who you love." But you can, Ronnie, you can. Or at least you can help how you react to the person you love or hate or love or hate or love or hate.

But no, Sammi can't help it. Neither can Ronnie. They're still fools holding onto hope when they both know it's all gone. It's done. It is so done, and if the constant behavioral patterns haven't taught they anything, it should have taught them that one of them has to change. Someone has to break the cycle. But they can't. Sammi certainly can't. Though she's the one that's always done, she takes those roses right out of the trash and puts them in water. Later, after Ronnie is in bed and everyone else is asleep, she'll be walking to her bed—her favorite place in the world—and she'll go out of her way to walk past those roses. She'll walk by them and put her finger out to touch them, like a child pawing the hedges as she runs along playing some imaginary game. And she'll remember. She'll remember all those times in Seaside when they prowled the boardwalk and Ronnie treated her nice. She'll remember all those times at Karma when they danced so close there wasn't another body in the club, not another sound. She'll remember him coming home from a night at the club in Miami stinking of booze and Mugler's Angel and let him into her bed, squeezing up against her body, his scent rubbing off on her, his breath rasping against her neck, his massive form collapsing her into his folds where she wants to just die. That's what she'll remember, and it's bringing about her doom.