Ronnie and Sam are right back where they began the season -- at each other's throats, and this time over texts that Sam apparently sent gorilla pal, Arvin, telling him to meet her at Karma. Arvin confesses to getting them, and to much more, while The Situation sides with Ron, who is now in a blind rage. Meanwhile, Vinnie and Snooki seem to have growing feelings for each other, while JWoww still has Roger on the hook. Sitch also seems to have grown particularly close to JWoww's dogs, Lean Cuisine and Juice Box -- and they to him. Deena is still muddling along, but has yet to find love -- or much of an identity -- on the shore in her freshman year.

WHAT THURSDAY'S SHOW IS ABOUT Coupling and decoupling. That Ronnie-Sammi thing may reach a truce, or final break, while Vinnie and Snooks figure some things out, too. The summer comes to an end. Next stop: Italia.

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MY SAY A few weeks ago, Pauly D spoke for some 8 million viewers of the biggest hit in MTV history when he said, "If this relationship continues, I will kill myself." Ronnie and Sam have turned into the buzz killers from hell -- monumental bores who've decided that "Jersey Shore" apparently exists to chronicle their star-crossed entanglement.

When they're on the screen, it's as if the air is sucked out of the entire house. Faces fall; heads turn away; even Pauly's hair seems to wilt. But by season's end, the house and its inhabitants started to resemble gerbils in a cage; they were all so bored they were almost catatonic. Any diversion seemed welcome to the cast, even . . . Ron and Sam.

BOTTOM LINE The third season was a two-headed monster. One was Sam and Ron; the other was "Shore's" typically moronic, casually vulgar, breezily amusing self. Guess which one was unwatchable.