The gang is back in the U.S., but as exciting as that is for them (they can get haircuts! AND TANS!), some problems are harder to shake than bad jet lag. One particularly sticky problem is the alleged hook-up between Mike "The Situation" and Snooki. The more Snooki denies it, the more Mike wants to have every grisly detail tattooed on a bicep or shaved into his hairline. He knows THE TRUTH and even if she can't handle it, he had no compunction about sharing it with the rest of the cast while they were all in Italy -- and now that they're back home, there's one more person he's itching to enlighten: Snooki's boyfriend Jionni.

The question is, why? While he's told Snooki he would be a great boyfriend to her, The Situation doesn't seem overly concerned with wooing her. No, he's more invested in stirring up some drama, even if that means ruining Snooki's relationship. Maybe he thinks that Snooki and Jionni need a more honest, truthful relationship, but I doubt it. It doesn't even seem to be the case that he's jealous of the fact his friend spends more time thinking about her boyfriend than stroking his considerable ego. Really, it seems that Mike has cast himself as the villain of "Jersey Shore," and has taken that role deeply to heart -- even as it drives everyone else insane. 

It's a shame, really, given that the mere mention of the Situation's name seems to send his cast mates into a funk. Sammi and Ronnie are depressed at the prospect of rooming with him again, Jenni seems to be willing him to disappear into a puff of cheap cologne and, of course, Snooki would probably be relieved if he got hit by a car. Instead, he makes a point of inviting the witnesses to their alleged hook-up to a surprise welcome back party for the gang -- and makes sure Snooki is very aware The Unit could spill the beans at any moment.

Of course Snooki being Snooki, she has to pick a drunken fight with The Unit while Mike plays a wildly insincere mediator. Later, she'll lock herself away with Jionni to avoid both The Situation and The Unit (The Unit? Really?), but they can't hide forever. The next morning, a more sober Snooki takes Mike's advice and apologizes to The Unit for her drunken rage. Mike seems genuinely surprised (and also genuinely disappointed) that Snooki takes the high road. Whether she realizes it or not, her somewhat touchy apology does a better job of silencing Mike than any threat or promise she might deliver. To reveal Snooki's secret now would just make Mike and The Unit seem, well, mean. And even though The Situation seemingly has no problem acting like a jerk on national television, for him that's just too much.

That doesn't mean he'll be silent for long, though. Scenes from the rest of the season suggest that this secret will be dusted off and flogged in a later episode. Fortunately, we can also see there's plenty of other drama to make the house go round (Vinny leaving, Deena pining for Pauly D, etc.). Still, you almost have to wish Snooki would just shut up Mike for good by admitting the truth to Jionni (and given her efforts to pacify The Unit, it seems that Mike may actually be speaking the truth after all). The problem is, of course, it might be the transgression that shatters what already seems to be a pretty shaky relationship (despite the cuddly Jionni/Snooki reunion in this episode). Talk about a Situation.

Do you think Snooki should tell Jionni the truth? Why do you think Mike is so determined to reveal the secret? And were you surprised Snooki apologized to The Unit?