“buckwild” breakdown: hook-ups, bad boyfriends, and day-glo for days

After the “you banged in my bed”-lam of last week’s “Buckwild,” we didn’t know what to expect on Thursday night’s back-to-back episodes… though, we’re happy to report that Anna and Cara made their peace (in a tanning salon), Tyler was a total jerk and no one lost their pants in a fistfight. Oh, and Salwa got topless again.

Yes, it was a return to normalcy this week, though mixed in with all the death-defying stunts, creative uses of beer cozies and deep-fried Mountain Mysticisms of Shain, there was one interesting development: turns out “Spicy Southern Belle” Shae has terrible taste in men! But don’t try and tell her that. Let’s make with this week’s “Buckwild Breakdown.”

We open with Anna and Ashley in a car, pondering why Shae dates “losers.” They then arrive at the home of said loser, Jesse J who has a kid, a “Jumpman” tattoo on his forearm and a seemingly endless collection of basketball shorts. They pick up Shae and head to Shain’s for a “West Virginia Waterslide” party, followed by an evening of lighting things on fire and gunplay.

We learn that none of the guys doesn’t like Jesse J either, which makes things awkward when he shows up at the party, funnels a beer, then gets mad at everyone for laughing at him. Shain fires a gun into the air to signify the end of the evening’s festivities, only Jesse doesn’t want to stop partying, so he invites all the girls to crash at his place (which sort of pokes holes in Shae’s claim that he’s “a good dad”) then attempts to lure Salwa into the bathroom.

Of course, she denies his advances — she’s a classy lady, after all — then tells Anna and Co. about it the following morning, which leads to the girls bringing the matter to Shae’s attention at a dinner party, “Real Housewives”-style. Shae wonders if Jesse J is cheating on her (hint: he is), and she heads off to confront him, where he pleads guilty to all charges and then pulls a classic “lousy boyfriend” move by saying the accusations “aren’t fair to [him].”

There are sundry scenes sprinkled in-between — Shain and Joey try to turn Tyler into a man by forcing him to ride a motorbike and jump off a bridge — but the episode culminates in a confrontation during a girl’s night dinner at the Quaker Steak & Lube restaurant (try the Mozzarella Stick Shifters!) where Jesse J shows up to ruin everything while Salwa and Shae fight in the parking lot. The “Bengali in Boots” accuses Shae of acting “like a dumb bitch,” but, of course, Shae stands by her man. Good call, girl.

We then charge headlong into our second episode like Major Harris against Penn State, meeting up with Anna and Ashley at the tanning salon where they work. Cara, who has been largely M.I.A. since storming off amidst a hail of obscenities and “banging in my bed” accusations, shows up and apologizes to Anna for her indiscretions. She accepts said apology, and, truth be told, handles the whole issue better than any reality TV star ought to (note to producers: Get on this).

We learn that Cara has been given VIP passes to a “Hyperglow” party at Karma (not that one) and she wants the whole gang to go with her… her new BF Tyler in particular, since, “I want him to see me in my natural element.” Okay then. Shain doesn’t really want to go, since he’s never been to a club before — “I hit somebody with a club one time,” he deadpanned. (We love him) — and, of course, Shae won’t be there, since Jesse J has something “special” planned for the night.

The action then picks up in Morgantown, where Cara and crew are getting ready for the big night — and, surprise! She’s hired a bodypainter! This, of course, gives Salwa the opportunity to get topless, and she does so with reckless abandon (for those keeping score at home: she’s been in three episodes and has removed her top twice, for a .667 average). Everyone gets painted up and heads to Karma, but not before someone shouts “Cab’s are here,” the night’s second reference to “Jersey Shore.”

Things go about as well as you’d expect at the club: Tyler dances up on everyone (much to the consternation of Cara), Joey acts like a total goofball, Anna makes out with a guy and Shain wanders around the entire time like a kid in a candy store. Meanwhile, Shae finds out that her “special night” is a bowling session at the Family Fun Center, one that’s interrupted by Jesse J’s good pal Jesse B (that must be confusing). We’re shocked, for the record.

Things are wrapping up at Karma, where Anna attempts to take her conquest — an unquestioned liberal arts major named Patrick — back to Cara’s place and Tyler discovers that one of the girls he’s been skeeving on actually has a boyfriend. That doesn’t stop her from piling into the car with the T-man, which leads to her BF (who is wearing a road crew vest and is super drunk) attempting to block the vehicle while some random blonde girl punches him in the arm.

Back at Cara’s, Joey attempts to call some gal he met at the club (she doesn’t remember him), Patrick is now trying to hit on Katie (who makes her weekly appearance on the show) and Ashley solemnly eats a cheeseburger (no one loves her). Eventually, Cara tosses Patrick out for “causing drama,” which is ironic considering Tyler effectively ended a relationship tonight and is now attempting to make out with a girl in her living room. Shain passes out and Joey messes with him. Everyone wakes up the following morning and reminisces, Cara decides to end things with Tyler — good call! — and I crumple onto my couch, exhausted. Come to think of it, I feel exactly like Shain, who is wearing sunglasses because he is undoubtedly hung-over beyond belief. Never change, sweet child… never change.