Vanderpump Rules Recap: Terror Over Tampa

Remember in the beginning when the cast of Vanderpump Rules had actual goals? Future careers and the like into which they hoped to nestle once their debauched days at SUR (and their sex appeal) passed? Suddenly Jax Taylor is one of those people – those realists. Except now, instead of it being the right thing, it is oh-so very wrong. Because what of the future of bartending for life on reality TeeVee?

I personally think a spinoff in which Jax ventures out into the real world – getting up for work everyday, pulling his shit together, really working that reiki would be interesting. Apparently I am alone. Because friends before future, bro!

In the SURvile community of Vanderpumpian Forever Kids we are STILL celebrating Jax’s 308th birthday. The leprechaun of eternity has already danced his jig at Hooters, but now Brittany Cartwright, who is just so exasperating, has planned a group trip to Playa del Carmen. Play, play away forever young (at heart) in the Mexican sun. There’s two things wrong with this: 1) Jax doesn’t deserve it. He’s horrible to Brittany; 2) He doesn’t even want to go. Instead he wants to stay in LA and wallow in his midlife crisis. Especially in his reiki instructor’s arms.

Lisa Vanderpump

Lisa Vanderpump takes Brittany to her happy place, around the smell of manure and farm animal smells – someplace like home! – to lecture her about being so stupid about Jax. Brittany could catch flies with her mouth hanging open, but she has no answer to give Lisa about why she puts up with his nonsense. Lisa points out that it’s no coincidence that Jax loves his ‘therapy’ with an attractive woman…

Brittany comes home, ready to remember what’s so great about her man, but Jax kicks her – and their furry children – out so he can have a private reiki session with Kelsey. Brittany admits she’s jealous. She should be – but only of JAX’s bad intentions. Kelsey, it is clear, sees Jax strictly as a client. Jax gushes all over this unattainable woman; a professional with goals and boundaries, who has successfully transitioned into adulthood before needing retin-a and botox treatments. Jax is so eager to impress he cleans, lights incense, and buys croissants – which everyone in LA considers a charming decor element, but never eat. Kelsey smiles sweetly over this scene of ‘WeHo Home Life’ and acknowledges progress the way a mother acknowledges a needy for attention child.

Jax & Kelsey

It is to Kelsey, gently pressing her hand on his forehead reminding him of his mother checking his temperature, whom Jax first confesses his new job opportunity. It’s like something with social media and um like talking about hockey, but it’s in Tampa, FL. Apparently this is Jax’s dream career and life. And nobody puts this overgrown baby in a corner.

When Brittany returns, Kelsey is gone, but the croissants are still there. And the smell of Jax’s betrayal – his emotional affair – lingers in the air. Then he surprises Brittany with the news that HE is moving to Tampa for hockey – his one true love. And it seems his plans do not include her. Brittany is shocked. After all she gave up her meemaw’s beer cheese for this land of promise and opportunity and all she had to do was put up with Jax, now he wants to leave her for a HOCKEY TEAM in FLORIDA. She put aside her dreams to support him. Um, Brittany is a WAITRESS – she can’t go to college too?

Brittany Cartwright

They get in a fight because Kelsey instructed Jax to take care of himself first. He is selfless and caring “Jason,” who always puts others needs before his own, but Brittany makes “Jason” feel like the Jax he doesn’t want to be. Jax tells Britany she’s not allowed to talk unless she’s saying the words he wants to hear because he can’t handle her constant criticism. Uh… So Jax is having an existential crisis within his multiple personalities; which I kinda get: He moved to LA, young and impressionable and created this alter-ego that was ‘LA’ but now it’s clear that “Jax” hasn’t worked out and he kinda misses the boy he used to be, so why not go back in time and start all over in a different life?

If I were Brittany, I’d be rejoicing. Let Jax go – she can stay in LA, do the TV show, and start her own life over! It is abundantly clear that Jax checked out of caring about Brittany eons ago. She’s no less delusional than Scheana at this point. It’s like he built her to his specifications, then onto the next. She is quite literally a giant boob. And he’s an ass. But all the stuff in the middle, the important stuff like heart and head, are missing.

Tom 1‘s career is (finally) on the rise. It only took 20 years of mixing drinks at SUR! Lisa put him in charge of creating cocktails for Tom Tom, so he has been shaking shakers til his wrists need ice packs. Tom 1 and Tom 2 meet Lisa and Ken at the restaurant site where the designer Nick Allain is in town to review plans. It’s like a whole new world in there – one in which Lisa admits to having an itty-bitty crush on the charming and ingenious Nick. She better not Jax around with Ken’s heart! Ha.

Tom Tom

This time Tom and Tom come prepared. They are sober, have on actual shoes, and lunchboxes filled with cocktail fixings. Tom 1’s naive eagerness to impress is kind of charming. It’s clear he really is excited about this opportunity. So excited he whips out his cock…tail shaker to debut his newest creation: the scorpion margarita. Lisa loves it. She grins like a proud mother hen looking after her drunk chicks.

Other futures remain decidedly less certain. Those futures start with R and end with B. According to the Countdown App on her phone Scheana Marie is mere days away from her divorce being finalized. She gushes to Rob that next time she’s married it will be to him. Rob chokes on Chick-Fil-A as he ponders that smothering hell.

It does seem that we finally have a reason why Rob is with Scheana. Hint, hint: it has to do with promotional opportunities provided by television exposure. Rob seems to be using Scheana to promote The Divorce Closet. Which is an actual business he’s trying to create, not some of Scheana’s nonsense made up to impress. Scheana blissfully contemplates the blue of Rob’s eyes as Rob informs her that he’ll hold all the equity in the company while she can be ‘the face’. This is how old ladies wind up signing away their fortunes to the gardener… But anyway, this is fine with Scheana because the only thing that matters is R-O-B, plus they’ll be married….

So, when Rob dumps Scheana and gets a restraining order, will she be able to sell HIS stuff on Divorce Closet? Like all the plates and silverware he used at her apartment, which she saved, unwashed. All the hairs that fell out of his head onto her pillow? The tissue he blew his nose into?

Stassi Schroeder meets Lala Kent to discuss feminism. Stassi will no longer be put down by Ariana Madix, and she refuses to apologize for calling Jeremy “creepy.” Isn’t it funny that last year Stassi and Co. were calling Lala a whore at every opportunity, yet this year it’s all women should support each other! Yay for enlightenment of convenience!

Then Stassi goes to Kristen Doute‘s to help her pack for Mexico and complain that Kristen is an emotional terrorist because she will party too much on vacation, thus depriving Stassi of basic human right to sleep it off. Stassi is emotionally distraught that she has to share a hotel room with Kristen. It’s like yeah, duh, Kristen is insane and dealing with her should be a special form of torture at Guantanamo. Hey – maybe next time Stassi could vacation there and really see what deprivation of human rights is like!

Lala Kent spray tan

Seriously, in the lead-up to this trip absolutely nothing is going right. Even Lala’s spray tan goes wrong when she turns bright orange. Actually the only person who’s excited is James Kennedy. He’s overcome by emotion that he’s actually been invited for once, not forced upon everyone by Kristen or producers. He’s truly part of the group! The group that is rapidly disintegrating into fodder for The Divorce Closet: Friendship Edition.

Spirits are momentarily raised when everyone realizes Brittany arranged deluxe hotel accommodations. Jax has a suite with his own private wading pool where he and Brittany have a sweet moment as he fondles her. These are the moments when he loves her. However as soon as they’re out of the pool, they’re back to arguing about his potential move to Tampa. Jax is excited to share his good news with the Toms, but Brittany can’t believe he’s planning to just go ahead with this without actually, you know, planning anything with her. After all THEY SHARE A LEASE (and dogs). Why is Brittany surprised by this? Jax has given no indication that he is reliable, faithful, or trustworthy… It’s like Stassi acting put out that Kristen is annoying, self-absorbed, and a crazy drunk.

Scheana Marie

Over dinner Scheana rambles endlessly about Rob as Stassi contemplates how to kill a person using only a leftover lime wedge and a cloth napkin. Poor Stassi – she’s surrounded by emotional terrorists on all sides! Jax takes the Toms aside to reveal his news. They cry. It will be the end of an era; the Bromance for the Ages disbanding with a move to a suburban Florida city. Like a bad Will Ferrel movie. It’s sort of sweet how they’re all supportive and acting like this is a REAL thing Jax is going to pursue.

Meanwhile Scheana tells everyone how she set Brittany up with super-sexy Adam for a “confidence boost”. Everyone thinks this was a great idea, but only James gets that it’s a total insult. Like having some guy pretend to be interested in Brittany to make Jax jealous is not really showing kindness to Brittany – it’s a ploy to make Jax flip out. But it’s Scheana’s Robcentric World and we’re all forced to endure Robtopia, Capital City Robsphere, Population: 1 delusional woman with alien eyes.

Why does everyone act like Brittany is so naive and incapable of defending herself? She wants to help special needs children (which explains so much about her attraction to Jax), but she isn’t one. While Jax was off having a heart-to-heart with the Toms, Britany told everyone else in on his plans to defect to Tampa and start a new life. Stassi doesn’t believe the job even exists, that it’s another of Jax’s lies. She’s probably correct. If there is one thing Stassi excels at it’s Jax Bullshit Detector! In fact the apex of her life was when she was constantly on his trail and calling out his schemes. She’s definitely gone down hill since they broke up.

Jax returns to the table, right into the hurricane with the shutters flapping wildly.


Kristen screams at Jax for not caring about Brittany’s dreams. The ones she allegedly sidelined for him. Actually, Jax doesn’t even know what Brittany’s dreams are! Again, Brittany is a waitress in Los Angeles why can’t she go to college too? They have them institutes of higher learnin’ thar.


Lala shrieks at him for not behaving like a man in a serious, adult relationship. Like has Jax ever bought Brittany a Range Rover?!


Stassi bellows at Jax because she’s still mad that he broke her heart in 2007.

Tom Sandoval

And Tom 1 screams at the harridans for trying to destroy one third of his soul. Everyone turns on Tom, including Ariana – just as it should be.


Then Stassi, Kristen, and Lala storm off into the night to have an Shemotional Terrorist Convention.

Brittany Cartwright

Brittany says nothing, just covers her face, but underneath I swear I saw a small smile on her face. I also feel like only James is onto Brittany. He’s smarter than he looks, that one!

Um, nobody bothered to ask Tampa if they want Jax? I’m just looking out for the underdog!

Rob Valetta Blames Bravo & Vanderpump Rules Castmates For His Breakup With Scheana


[Photo Credits: Bravo]