It may have been the most long-anticipated scene in the history of reality TV. Or at least in the second coming of Jersey Shore.
As you probably recall, Mike Sorrentino pled guilty to tax fraud back in January of 2018.
In October of that year, The Situation was sentenced to eight months behind bars.
Several months passed before he began his sentence, and to the surprise of many who had watched the case closely, Mike was denied early release and forced to serve his entire eight months.
So the triumphant moment we witnessed on Thursday night's episode of Jersey Shore -- Mike strolling through the prison gates to the tune of "Eye of Tiger," first raised to the sky in gratitude -- was actually several years in the making.
And we're sure it brought tears to the eyes of many, many viewers, just as it did for Mike and his patient wife, Lauren Pesce.
But before we could get to the joy of a newly-freed Situation, we had to contend with the ongoing nastiness of JWoww's "sticky" custody arrangement with Roger Mathews.
"I get a text from my ex and it's not good," Jenni explained in a confessional.
"I thought I worked everything out where he could take the kids this week when I'm with my roommates and I can have the weekend, but apparently now he wants to go back on the plan, now I'm f--ked, I gotta go home."
Yes, just days after celebrating the finalization of her divorce, Jenni was reminded in painful fashion that she'll never truly be rid of her ex.
"The situation with Roger is so sticky," she added.
"Yes, we have a contract and we have to follow it, but I really thought if we're great coparenting and working with each other we could switch off. Apparently, that's just not the situation right now."
Fortunately, Jenni didn't miss Mike's reunion with the rest of the guido gang -- at least not yet.
Sitch was understandably emotional after leaving the darkest chapter of his life behind, and he needed some time with his wife, his dog, and all the carbs on planet Earth.
"I've been dreaming about this day for 8 months and walking out of prison, I definitely feel like Rocky right now," he said in his first confessional.
"Seeing my wife right now for the first time as a free man, it's the sweetest victory that I ever had."
"Turn up, we free," he texted his former housemates.
He also sent out a few GIFs -- which he and Deena disturbingly pronounce as "jiffs" -- including one of Mel Gibson triumphantly shouting, "Freedom!" in Braveheart.
Gotta imagine the guy had been planning that one for eight months.
Of course, the main thing on Mike's mind these days is making up tor lost time and starting a family with Lauren(s).
"She's seen me at my worst and now she deserves me at my best," he told the camera last night.
"I missed out on two meatballs being born, Jenni got divorced, Jenni has a new boyfriend, Ronnie went to rehab, Pauly's traveling the world and Vinny is a stripper," Mike observed.
Before beginning his sentence, Sorrentino stated that he was "born to be a dad," and now, with any luck, he'll get that chance.
He concluded the episode by announcing that he and Lauren are eager to "make some babies."
We wish them all the best.
Welcome home, Mike.