For all of the teasing this season of Jersey Shore: Family Vacation has been doing about the internal struggle between "Old Mike" and "New Mike," the former Situation's relapse into bad behavior has felt mostly like an overly dramatic way to draw ratings for the show. Yes, Mike's relationship with food shows all the hallmarks of addictive behavior, including overindulging, sneaking around, and lying about it, but beyond that and his obsession with Angelina's love life (which is not a new development), Mike has mostly been the lovable, positive, twelve-steppin' Big Daddy Sitch. Not so, this episode, as viewers got their first real, undeniable look at the Old Mike during an argument with Angelina.
Greetings, comrades! It is I, your El Presidente, and as you know I only watch the finest television shows, which means if I'm not watching wrestling, I must be watching trashy reality TV. Jersey Shore: Family Vacation Season 5 Episode 19 "Mike vs. The World" lived up to its title, as in the wake of Angelina turning the Meatballs against him by filling them in on Mike's two-faced behavior, Mike headed to Angelina's house for a "sitdown." The sitdown took place mostly standing up in Angelina's kitchen, where Mike first tried to gaslight her into believing that he was only speaking to her ex-husband and side-pieces for her own good, letting them think he was helping them expose her when in reality he was just gathering the info on her behalf. When that didn't work, he went into full-on attack mode, insulting her "messy" life falling apart around her and blaming her for lying to the group to cover up her marital issues and affairs (even though that drama has been driving Jersey Shore: Family Vacation for several seasons). "You had multiple sidepieces. They became besties with your husband, and they all wanted to expose you. Do you see how messy this is? Your life is a ****ing dumpster fire."
The most "old Mike" moment came during that argument, when, after telling a particularly outrageous lie — "exposing someone's just not my brand right now" — Mike looks over at one of the crew members off camera and grins widely, a villainous look fans of the original series remember well. Eventually, Mike did apologize — sort of — saying it was a mistake to answer the phone call from Angelina's ex-husband, even though it was clear he knew what he was doing the whole time and in fact was seen for several seasons reveling in making drama out of her personal business.
That wasn't the end of Mike's troubles, either. After leaving the first sit-down, Mike went home and immediately texted J-Woww to tell her than Angelina was "playing the victim" and blaming her troubles on Mike… and Jenni! Meanwhile, the Meatballs filled Jenni in on how Mike had been playing Angelina's friend to her face while trash-talking her to the other roommates. Jenni revealed that Lauren has asked Jenni to block Lauren on Twitter… even though Lauren and Mike invited Angelina to Lauren's skincare line launch party days later.
After meeting Angelina for a second sit-down to apologize a little more legitimately, Mike headed to Jenni's house to find out why she was avoiding his texts. There, Jenni unleashed on Mike about his two-faced behavior, revealing she didn't believe or trust him, and setting Mike up for either a complete fall back into being the series villain… or a redemption story that ends with everyone binge-eating Italian food in the final episode of the season. It could go either way, comrades! Haw haw haw haw!
Other highlights of the episode included Vinny and Pauly blissfully ignoring the East Coast drama while riding tourist go-carts in Vegas and The Meatballs having a She-Shed delivered to Deena's backyard to become the set of their podcast, The Meatball Show. Also of note, during one of his secret food-binging episodes, Mike stopped at McDonalds, and the show did its best to hide the logo, since they seem to have some kind of sponsorship with Burger King. Mike also called what was obviously a Chicken McNugget a "chicken tendie," leading to further questions about where he even got the nugget in the first place, since he was seen ordering the "two-cheeseburger meal." Maybe he keeps a secret stash of them in his vehicle in case of emergency.
Next week on Jersey Shore: Family Vacation, comrades, things will get really crazy, with Jerry Springer guest-starring and the return of Ronnie! Until next time, my friends: socialism or death!