During Thursday's all-new Jersey Shore Family Vacation, the reality star attempts to come to terms with his future after receiving an eight-month sentence for a tax evasion crime he and his brother, Marc Sorrentino, pleaded guilty to in January 2018. In footage filmed before Mike turned himself in to the Federal Correctional Institution, Otisville earlier this year, the New York native spends his last few weeks of freedom surrounded by his family and Jersey Shore co-stars, Jenni "JWoww" Farley, Vinny Guadagnino, Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi, Deena Cortese, Pauly "DJ Pauly D" DelVecchio, Ronnie Ortiz-Magro and Angelina Pivarnick.
At the end of last week's premiere, fans watched the cast emotionally react to the news of Mike's sentencing. This week, we saw more of the conversations that went down between the tight-knit crew just moments after their pal appeared in court.
"He got eight months, that's a lot. That's a long time," Pauly explains, as Deena adds, "That's almost a year."
"I cannot believe this. He's become such a better person," Deena continues. "He's done everything correctly, it just doesn't make sense."
Moments later, Vinny and Jenni (who were inside the courtroom with Mike) show up to the restaurant where the rest of their friends were watching the local news to give an update on what it was like witnessing it all go down in person. "Yo, it was like watching a friend in a boxing match," Vinny says. "Like, a fight."
To help cheer up Mike, Jenni plans a group dude ranch getaway to Stony Creek Ranch in Upstate New York. All seems like a good idea until Mike is a no-show the morning they're supposed to leave. After plenty of debate, the crew decides to roll up to Mike's house in a giant SUV with a "Free the Sitch!" banner on the front. There, Vinny and Pauly call Mike, and convince him to come on the trip.
"After my sentencing, I'll be honest with you guys, I did not expect this result or this outcome to be handed to me," Mike admits. "Maybe it's a good idea, to get some time with my friends up in the country, Upstate New York, one with nature. Could be a good situation."
"These guidos can make me laugh, even in the craziest of situations," he continues. "I'm so excited to have a chill, drama-free, peaceful getaway with my best friends after one of the biggest events of my life."
After what seemed like "the longest ride ever," they finally make it to Lake George with an itinerary that includes fishing, horseback riding and canoeing, taking the guidos and guidettes outside their comfort zones. Naturally, their time together was filled with laughter and jokes about helping Mike flee the country.
While stepping into a boat, Ronnie at one point suggests, "Let's smuggle Mike to Canada," a joke Mike later amplified as he hopped on the back of a horse for the first time. "Giddy up, horse, we're going to Canada," he says.