"It's never good when Ronnie says things are good," says Pauly.
But poor Vinny wound up spraining his ankle before his month-long residency began, and he was terrified of what the show's producers might say. Luckily, the "Keto Guido" smiled and joked and charmed their socks off, convincing them he'd simply stay off the bad foot until the night of his first show. That meant he was bound to a scooter the whole time.
As expected, Pauly D had an absolute field day with that one. But Vinny's lovely-yet-overbearing mom, who was back in Jersey worrying, found no humor in it whatsoever. She called Vin multiple times to check in on him.
"Hi, Vin," Paula said solemnly when he answered the phone. "How you doin', honey? Oh my God, Vinny. I wanted to kill myself when I saw you on that scooter. Is it still swollen, Vin? Buy the bags of peas."
"Ma, they have ice packs. I don't need peas," Vinny replied.
"Well, the peas conform to the ankle, that's why. I swear to God," she maintained. Rolling his eyes, Vin said the usual son things and hung up the phone, only to have her call back moments later. "Buy the bags of the mixed vegetables, anything," Paula begged, again solemnly.
Once at their hotel -- aka Vin's home for the next month -- Vinny and Pauly got to talking about their concerns over Ronnie Ortiz-Magro's "erratic" behavior on social media. Both agreed they thought something was up.
"I haven't talked to Ronnie since his daughter's birthday, and I just assumed everything was good because when he's quiet on social media, there's nothing," Pauly said. "Then I know he was in Cabo right now. And then all of a sudden, he's posting erratically again. That's how I know something's wrong, I just don't know what's wrong. I hope he's okay."
"Me, too," Vinny replied. "But our instincts are usually right. I wanna sit here and be like, 'Oh, it's fine. He turned his life around.' But we always say that, and then it gets 10 times worse. And that shit is toxic."
In his confessional, Pauly explained, "I keep up with Ronnie on social media. That's how I know what he's up to. So I check in once in a while, and check that he's in Mexico. I'm like, 'Great, alright, he's with his friends, having a good time.' And then he posts a photo of the baby. I'm like, 'Alright, he wants to show that he's missing his baby. That's fine.' Then another baby photo, another baby photo. When he posts this, I know something's wrong."
Later, Pauly met up with Ronnie and asked him about all the "temptations" in Mexico. Ron, who got out of rehab a few months prior, said he had no problems. But he was being weird, like he had something to say but didn't quite know how.
"Me and Jen are good, bro," Ron said when Pauly asked how his relationship with Jen Harley was going. "Yeah, we're good. We haven't been fighting. Everything's been going good lately, you know? Today's a good day, and that's all I can worry about. I just -- I been good, bro. Just one day at a time, and that's really all I can do, bro."
But as Pauly pointed out, "It's never good when Ronnie says things are good."
When he finally asked Ron if Jen would be joining them in Vegas, Ron paused. "Ummm," he said, "she just doesn't really wanna see the roommates anymore. The two worlds just continue to collide. I have my life with her, and I have my life with you guys. I'm just kind of cleaning up my mess at this point from last year, if you wanna just call it that."
Pauly said he understood, but the whole conversation was so awkward. He later told the camera he wanted to give Ron "the benefit of the doubt because he's coming out of rehab. Maybe he's fine. Maybe they're good. I don't know. Listen, he's my brother at the end of the day. I wanna see his life flourish! I don't wanna see it turn into a mess. But the past is the past; he keeps reliving it."
After Ronnie left, Pauly FaceTimed Vin to let him know what Ron had said about Jen. "I can feel and sense a Ronpage about to happen," he said ominously, "but I hope I'm wrong."
We must admit, it was weird seeing them get along so well on their flight from Jersey to Nevada, but things went right back to the way we know them to be once Angelina and Vinny were in the same room. Vin gave Angelina the hardest time about staying in his massive suite, joked about making sure she didn't trash it -- you know, the adult version of a young boy pulling the hair of the girl he likes. And even though Angelina tried to act like she didn't like the attention, she couldn't help but smile. At one point, she even jokingly slapped him across the face after a rude remark! The sexual tension was palpable.
"They should just have sex and be done with it at this point," Deena told the camera.
After popping champagne and toasting to "positive vibes," a super quiet Ronnie got up from the table with his head buried in his phone. He went to his room. "We know who he's texting and usually what he's texting," Vin said to the camera, preparing himself for a "meltdown."
"I always wonder if Ron thinks that we don't notice him," Pauly said during a confessional. "I see everything! I'm like a ninja. Ronnie's acting weird, and I'm just like, tick-tock, tick-tock, it's only a matter of time before a Ronpage is coming."
Later, Ronnie, Pauly, Vinny, Deena and Angelina went out for dinner and drinks. They found themselves playing Jenga at a bar and decided that the loser would have to rub oil all over Vinny's naked body.
Guess who lost.
Angelina was trying to make it sound like she was upset by the whole thing, but it was honestly hard to tell. She went and asked Ron if she should tell her FIANCÉ about it before or after. Ronnie laughed in her face, wondering why she'd go to him of all people for relationship advice. She decided she'd tell Chris after.
As Angelina explained, she's a woman of her word and decided to take on the challenge like a good sport. Surrounded by bottles of baby oil and towels all over the floor, Angelina summoned "Vincenzo" to the living room, where the roommates gathered to witness the event.
Vinny dropped his robe, and based on Angelina's face, we're guessing he was completely commando.
"Jersey Shore: Family Vacation" airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. on MTV.
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