"How do you show your face after what happened on social media?" wondered Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi
Ladies and gentlemen, we’ve got a Hitchuation.
Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino’s wedding was just 24 hours away when Thursday’s back-to-back episodes of Jersey Shore: Family Vacation began — and Ronnie Ortiz-Magro‘s drama with his on-off girlfriend Jen Harley was all anyone could talk about.
In October, just a week before the wedding, Ronnie posted a photo of himself with a bruised face and black eye and blamed the injuries on Jen; she fired back with screenshots of their text exchanges and claimed he was “begging” her to take him back. (The two, who share 15-month-old daughter Ariana Sky, have a well-documented history of alleged abuse on both sides.)
Ronnie, sick of being “the butt of the joke” amongst the cast, finally confided in Pauly “DJ Pauly D” DelVecchio and Vinny Guadagnino about how he was feeling. But all they could do was urge him to end the relationship.
“She’s provoking you. You got punched in the face, you got dragged by the car, now your teeth are f—ed up,” Pauly said. “How much more can you take? You’re physically getting your ass kicked. I’m at a point where I don’t know how to help anymore.”
“Just stop making a joke about it,” Ronnie pleaded. “I put the s— out there, but it’s not so it can become a joke. In a way, maybe I’m asking for help.”
Eventually, the boys patched things up. “We love you,” Pauly said. “You’re our brother. I don’t ever want to see you hurt, ever. We love you and we’re here for you.”
No one was more understanding than Mike and his then-fiancée Lauren Pesce, who agreed that despite what had gone down between her and Ronnie, Jen was still invited to their Nov. 1 nuptials at the Legacy Castle in Pompton Plains, New Jersey.
“Although me and Ron used to hate each other, we have gotten closer the past couple of years and I really do care about him,” Mike said. “He’s my brother and I want to just make sure he’s okay.”
“It really makes me feel good that [Lauren] is very supportive,” he added. “We want Ron to be happy, and if he wants to bring Jen and the baby, bring Jen and the baby.”
And according to Ronnie, things between him and Jen were fine. “Everything is good, but we both feel embarrassed right now,” he admitted. “It’s not a proud moment for either one of us.”
That said, he wasn’t sure whether bringing her was the right thing to do.
“I definitely think Jen and the baby being at the wedding is a good thing in my relationship because I want both of my families to mesh together,” he said. “But I just feel like every time I bring Jen around, it just becomes a big joke of some sort. So I don’t know what to do.”
Wedding day arrived and Mike, now sober after battling a prescription painkiller addiction, was as emotional as ever, especially considering he had been sentenced to eight in months in prison for tax evasion just two weeks prior.
“The last five years have been tough. I was in rehab three times,” he said. “With my legal situation I’ve been dealing with, I lost all the money I’d earned. I had to build myself back up from practically nothing. But today makes all that hard work worthwhile.”
While the preparations for the day were chugging along smoothly, no one knew whether Jen would show up or not. Eventually, when pressed by the wedding planner, Ronnie confirmed she was coming with baby Ariana.
“The thought of Jen coming is stressing me out and making me feel sick,” Vinny said. “If this turns into any drama between Ron and Jen, I don’t know if I could ever forgive them. This is Mike’s day, it’s his wedding day — not today. Today would ruin all of our friendships.”
“Honestly, I didn’t think Jen was going to show up, because how do you show your face after what happened on social media?” said Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi. “But Jen, she doesn’t give two f—s.”
Added Pauly, “We just can’t believe it. We’re baffled. How the hell could Ronnie bring Jen to this wedding, and how could Jen even want to come? It’s only a matter of time before this falls apart.”
But Ronnie was still hopeful they would all get along.
“I want Jen to be at the wedding because I want her to interact with everyone,” he said. “I want her to be friends with everyone because everyone that’s going to be at the table tonight will be a part of my life forever, and the baby’s life.”
Jen finally arrived after the ceremony — and it was awkward, to say the least.
“What he’s asking us is to be okay with her by bringing her, but I care for him, he’s my brother,” Pauly said. “I don’t want him to get hurt anymore. He keeps getting hurt.”
“I don’t know if Ronnie is doing it on purpose or not, but he’s going to alienate himself if he’s with Jen,” Vinny added. “Because if he’s with Jen, we’re all so over it that we’re going to want nothing to do with it.”
Jersey Shore: Family Vacation airs Thursdays (8 p.m. ET) on MTV.