'Jersey Shore Family Vacation' recap: Sammi, Ronnie reunite on camera after 12 years

He didn't have her at hello.

"Hey, how are you," Ronnie Ortiz-Magro said to Sammi “Sweetheart” Giancola on Thursday's episode of "Jersey Shore Family Vacation." It's the first time the exes have appeared in front of the "Jersey Shore" cameras since 2012.

Sammi opted out of the "Jersey Shore Family Vacation" reboot in 2018 as she wanted to "avoid potentially toxic situations," according to one of her Instagram posts. She famously had an on-again, off-again relationship with cast member Ronnie.

On Thursday's episode, Ronnie had hugged the other female cast members but not Sammi, who didn't seem receptive to one from him. Silence and a few nervous giggles among the roomies followed in their Nashville rental.

"This is the most awkward moment of 'Jersey Shore' history," Vinny Guadagnino said.

Ronnie Ortiz-Magro and Sammi Giancola of "Jersey Shore" in happier times in a August 2013 snap.
Ronnie Ortiz-Magro and Sammi Giancola of "Jersey Shore" in happier times in a August 2013 snap.

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"Last time we talked it was kind of like we're done and that was just it," said Ronnie on Thursday. "I think we both have grown. I know I've grown and I've matured, and I'm hoping me and Sam can have a conversation but we'll see."

Sammi and Ronnie un-coupled in the summer of 2014.

The prospect of Sammi and Ronnie being in each other's presence again seems to heighten their emotions, if not their romantic feelings. Ronnie gets a sly little smile when Sammi's name is mentioned, and Sammi is so dismissive of Ronnie that it perhaps belies her true sentiments.

"I'm a ball of emotion," Sammi said before the meeting. "I'm not looking forward to spending time with this person who hasn't been a part of my life, like, forever now. I just want to kind of figure it out so everybody can have fun, co-exist and get along together."

Sammi recently became engaged to Justin May, an ex-bouncer at Karma in Seaside Heights.

Ronnie's life has been a roller coaster since his split with Sammi. He had a daughter, Ariana, 6, with ex Jenn Harley.

Ronnie stepped away from the reboot after he was arrested twice on domestic abuse cases, most recently for suspicion of intimate partner violence in April 2021 in Los Angeles. A judge determined that the time he spent in treatment was significant enough to forgo a sentence behind bars.

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"The last two years being away (from the show) has definitely been a double-edged sword," Ronnie said. "I was able to focus on myself, doing therapy, parenting classes, AA meetings. Honestly, just a lot of selfcare. But at the same time it was hard being away from my ('Jersey Shore') family. Now I am ready to show my roommates that I have become a better person."

He's ready to co-exist with Sammi. Much of Thursday’s episode was composed of flashbacks to their romantic times on the show.

"I co-exist with girls I (slept with) in this house, too," Vinny quipped.

A group dinner at Parry Fowl in Nashville seems to relax things until Vinny brings up the infamous "note," which will forever intertwine the misadventures of Sammi and Ronnie.

"You're not supposed to joke about the note when Ron and Sam are present at the same table for pretty much the first time (in years)," said Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino.

Sammi says she's going to explode.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: 'Jersey Shore: Family Vacation': Sammi Giancola, Ronnie Ortiz reunite