Let the madness begin!
Jersey Shore Family Vacation returned for a new season on Thursday, with everyone’s favorite guidos and guidettes heading to Las Vegas.
The episode kicks off with Ronnie Ortiz-Magro preparing for the birth of his daughter with on-off girlfriend Jen Harley.
“Me and Jen do want to be together and make it work,” he says. “I’m going to be the best father I can be, and knowing that is a good feeling.”
And just as Ortiz-Magro sets off on a press tour with the rest of the cast, he learns that Harley has gone into labor.
“Of course I find out that Jen is going into labor 40,000 feet in the sky,” he says, explaining that he immediately got on a plane back home.
The couple welcomed daughter Ariana Sky on April 3.
“I have a daughter now, I’m a father,” says Ortiz-Magro. “Jen and I are now proud parents. I’m happy we came together as a family and stuck it out.”
And with the birth of Ariana, the rest of the cast (minus Deena Cortese, who announced she’s pregnant) decides to head to Las Vegas to meet the newest “meatball” in the family.
But before everyone arrives and less than a month after their daughter’s birth, a bitter feud between Ortiz-Magro and Harley made headlines when it played out on their Instagram stories. The drama began when Ortiz-Magro, 32, alleged in a series of posts that his girlfriend was keeping “sex videos” with an ex.
“No one’s relationship is perfect,” says Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi. “but you never put it on social media, because now everyone in the world knows what the hell happened.”
“Right now we are good. We are working on s—,” he said after the boys cracked a few jokes at his expense. “Obviously every relationship has problems. I went looking for more problems, that’s what it was. Everything kind of blew up in my face and one thing led to another. It was a lot of bad decisions.”
But the rest of the group isn’t quite buying that Ortiz-Magro and Harley are truly happy. In fact, he even refuses to go out to a strip club.
RELATED VIDEO: Ronnie Ortiz-Magro Apologizes After Public Feud with Girlfriend — ‘I Acted on My Gut’
“I wonder how long that’s going to last,” says Sorrentino, as Guadagnino quips, “It’s like someone abducted him.”
While Ortiz-Magro wants his friends to believe his relationships is solid, he admits that their relationship is “very up and down.”
“A piece of me is just tired of sharing my relationship with people. Right now I’m doing everything possible to keep it personal and between us.”
“I am so nervous right now,” says Farley. “So after the drama on social media, I reached out to Jen to make sure the baby was okay, to make sure cooler heads prevail. I don’t know if Ron knows Jen and I are talking.”
Farley says she’s nervous that Harley will mention their conversation and it will set Ortiz-Magro off.
Luckily, Harley doesn’t say anything. But when they sneak off to chat, Harley tells Farley she’s “on edge” with her relationship.
“Jen is a wild one,” says Farley. “She’s not playing. We’ll have to wait and see how that s— goes down.”
Farley agrees to “keep an eye” on Ortiz-Margro when Harley isn’t around.
“It’s just that they fight, and they post it, and it’s bad. Tit for a tat is crazy with them,” DelVecchio says, adding in a confessional, “I’m scared of her. His baby mama is a gangster.”
But Polizzi says Harley is “perfect,” and Ortiz-Magro agrees, tells his friends, “I love her.”
Later, the group parties at Drai’s Beachclub & Nightclub, where DelVecchio has a DJ residency. When the rest of the guys leave their VIP area to “do a lap” and hit on women, Ortiz-Magro stays behind.
“I made some bad decisions in Miami, and I’m here in Vegas and I’m like, I will not do the same thing twice. So, yeah, I need to get away from the girls,” he says.
DelVecchio and Guadagnino manage to pick up two women visiting from Canada, heading back to their shared hotel room for side-by-side hookups. DelVecchio says it best: “I mean, I love Canada. I love Canadian bacon, I love Drake, I love Justin Bieber, and I love the Canadian women. O Canada!”
The next morning, Ortiz-Magro FaceTimes with Harley while she prepares to head on a trip with their daughter. She reveals that her flight got changed, so she hired a babysitter and wants to meet up with the gang again that night.
“This is not good,” he says in an interview. “My roommates, they’re just getting to Vegas. They don’t know everything that happened with me and Jen. She plays this nice, sweet girl role, but she’s going to come in and try to start some sort of trouble, and you know, I’m worried.”
“Our relationship isn’t perfect,” he adds. “We fight and we make up and we fight and we make up, but at the end of the day, what happens between me and Jen happens between me and Jen. I don’t want to involve the people that are closest to me.”
While day-drinking at a pool party, DelVecchio notices that Ortiz-Magro is acting “quiet” and “weird.”
“I don’t want to say anything bad about Jen because she’s the mother of my daughter,” he explains in a confessional. “But she’s got a lot of issues with me being in the [Jersey Shore] house right now. She told me. She’s like, I don’t trust you, I don’t want you in the house. I haven’t been straightforward with my roommates. Me and Jen fight all the time, and there’s nothing stable.”
On cue, Harley starts sending angry texts to her boyfriend. But Farley points out that she’s not the only volatile one.
“Yo, Ron goes from zero to 100 so quick, you blinked and you missed it,” Farley tells the camera. “He could literally be happy Ron and then he goes and checks his phone and he’s like going off on a f—ing ‘Ron-page.’ It’s mind-boggling, the ups and downs this guy has.”
Her words were prophetic: After drinking and laughing with his buddies, Ortiz-Magro heads to the restroom, where he explodes when he’s heckled by a man. Security intervenes, and the cast leaves.
“Ron has been on his best behavior, acting like a saint, and for some reason, as soon as Ronnie said, ‘Jen’s coming out with us tonight,’ Ron started spiralling,”Guadagnino says. “She knows how to push Ronnie’s buttons, and then all of a sudden he’s getting into a fight with some drunk guy in the bathroom. The real Ronnie’s starting to come out.”
Back at the hotel, he breaks down in tears. Sorrentino tries to offer some inspirational advice, but Ortiz-Magro retreats to the bathroom to cry in private — and call Harley.
“Where’s my daughter?” he asks, and she hangs up immediately.
His costars are baffled by his behavior — and wondering if Harley will end up accompanying them to the club.
“If you tell us what we’re going through, at least we could try to help you,” DelVecchio says.
So, he comes clean about the extent of his problems with Harley, admitting, “I’m scared of losing my f—ing daughter. Jen, she’s irrational. She’s capable of taking the baby and going away.”
He alleges that after arguments, Harley has kept Ariana away from him for as many as six days.
“I won’t even know where my daughter is,” he says. “It’s crazy.”
Everyone is stunned. DelVecchio calls Harley “manipulative” and “not a good person,” and Polizzi calls her actions “so f—ed up.”
Ortiz-Magro worries he’ll get “crucified” for opening up about their relationship.
“I’m going through hell with her,” he says.
But Farley — who’s been vocal about liking Harley — isn’t buying it.
“Hold on, really? So why the f— are you on Instagram trying to bait her as well?” she demands. “Do you want my honest opinion? Leave her and fight for your daughter, and then go get help. Go to the court. Go get a lawyer.”
Ortiz-Magro shuts her down, asking her to “let it go” and insisting she doesn’t understand what he’s going through.
“You gotta take responsibility. You f–ed a crazy bitch!” she yells. “You got a crazy b— pregnant!”
Jersey Shore: Family Vacation airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET on MTV.