After a long, protracted, repetitive, and drawn-out season, Vanderpump Rules ended where it always does – in the beginning, with a tale of woe of Jax Taylor and Stassi Schroeder; two ships crossing in the night during a tsunami. Jax and Stassi didn’t have drama together (although Jax was gobsmacked by seeing Patrick in the flesh), but the epicenter of this show has always been Jax and Stassi.
Honestly it should because they’re both tragicomic heroes. Two people so miscalculating in their own effects, yet squandering so much potential that it almost makes me feel bad for them. All the characters on this show are like that to a degree, but none so poignantly as Jax or Stassi, one, a star-crossed failure, and the other a star-crossed hater who idealizes murder because she can’t confront her own painful insecurities.
Jax dumped Brittany Cartwright believing it would pave the way to a new life. Actually he dumped her hoping it would turn back time to the days when Jax was a revered for being a lying, cheating, free-wheeling studmuffin roaming SUR scooping chicks into the cowl neck of his power sweater. Jax presumed all his happiness would return if he could just shed one Kentucky fried chicken, dragging him down like a carb binge.
Jax tried to justify his actions as a benevolent act because he can’t give Brittany what she wants, as if Jax is some neophyte in the world of dating never exposed to 80’s movies or Seinfeld. The real reason Jax dumped her, though, is because he wanted an easy way out. Lisa Vanderpump is absolutely correct that Jax is a self-absorbed a-hole who needs to grow up.
What actually happened, though, is that except for the Toms, whom no one cares about anyway, everyone dumped Jax. Suddenly he found himself
in a cheap hotel on an island with nothing but Tom 1‘s mezcal shaker and a too tight suit. Instead of becoming ‘The Man’ again, amid this over-the-hill coterie of washed-up bartenders and SURvers, he’s mocked openly by his own kind as the group rallied around Brittany – including (finally) Brittany herself – telling her how hot and awesome she is, and Lala Kent embracing the new feminism by offering to have My Man pay all Brittany’s bills so she can stay in LA in the double-decker apartment she once shared with Jax. Even Adam is pretending he’s not just hanging out with Brittany for TV time.
This time not even Lisa’s bleeding heart is in Jax’s corner. She considers firing him, and when she tries to discuss Jax’s fate with Ken, Ken is more interested in Jiggy’s bloomers. Literally. At the TomTom opening Jax attempts to apologize for his tantrum at SUR and do some damage control, which is what he thinks adulters do, but Lisa dismisses him, then impales his whiny guilt trip.
Later after the group traveled en masse from the future TomTom to the old hat PUMP, Jax and Brittany get in an argument over his plans to move down the hall from their apartment. She rightfully doesn’t want to see him every day if they’re supposed to be broken up, because wasn’t that the point of Jax dumping her? Also Jax only wants to stay in the building because he refuses to cede his turf – easy access to TomKatastrophe’s apartment and by-proxy Tom 1 as well – by allowing Brittany to usurp his spot in his group. He’s the No 1 guy after all!
Finally Lisa sits Jax down and announces that she won’t give him the easy way out by firing him – he has to ForceQuit, like the rainbow wheel on the Mac that is spinning and spinning when all you want to do is quickly buy an expensive dress as your husband’s back is turned so he can’t remind you about the mortgage payments.
So Jax quits, stumbling through the only adult thing he’s ever tried to do. Then, lost within himself, stumbles blindly from SUR into the mist of Uber headlights wondering, literally, where to turn. Well whatever to that interesting development because we all know Jax is back, and so are Jaxany. After all there is no Jaxation without representation!
And now, The Stassi Chronicles. It actually gives me pains to have to dissect how Patrick seemed to believe that SEXUALLY HARASSING (absolutely that needed all caps plus italics plus bolding to indicate its ridiculous notion) Lisa Vanderpump on national television was giving him the upper hand. Um, where was Lala to shoot down the patriarchy with her bad-ass bitch monologue? Oh, she was across the bar offering up her boyfriend to pay Brittany’s bills as proof of Brittany’s hotness, which is surely all she needs in the self-esteem boost department!
Thinking about Stassi makes me feel like the pits of the Peach Pit Afterdark. Like after it closes and Steve is left all alone, sweeping up empty cups and condom wrappers and the refuse of a life he never quite belongs to even though he’s right in the middle of all the action. Steve = Stassi, but also really Tom 2. Last night though, Stassi was that lone flip-flop left on an LA sidewalk ignored as a pair of rubber atheli-slides walked by in purple socks. By the way that woman, whomever she was, is Tom 2’s soulmate, clearly.
ANNNNEEEYWAY, Stassi begs Patrick to meet her at PUMP so he can celebrate her momentous accomplishment of completing another season of her reality show. Patrick arrives from work – his galvanizing radio show or something – and he’s wearing a castoff Jax Taylor statement sweater. It’s clear he came not to support Stassi, but to rip all the delusions from her life like a humanized version of Biore pore strip which you’ve gone into believing you have no black heads and are surprised to see that the entire contents of your outer nose was only blackheads.
As Patrick chugs beer while glowering, Stassi decides now is the time to stick to the pre-arranged script and introduce him to Lisa. Lisa, who also admits to having a few too many TomToms, is ready for him and starts off by reminding him that they’ve actually met before when she peeked in on him through the windows of the Sirius XM station. Patrick reacts by talking about Lisa’s ass right in front of Stassi, then making an attempted jab at her marriage. Clearly he was attempting to use all the shit-talking Stassi did about Lisa in an attempt to undermine her and also throw Stassi under the bus.
Maybe Lisa shouldn’t have done this (actually she should have and thankfully did), but instead of taking Patrick’s bait she turned to Stassi and essentially asked why she’s dating an asshole who doesn’t treat her right?
Patrick storms off, because he literally is male version of Season 1 Stassi, and Stassi follows him to “protect” her boyfriend. Later, after some reflection, Lisa decides to explain herself, but Patrick continually cuts her off by talking about her having a hot ass and referring to her as “girl” in the demeaning way of a Ryan Gosling meme from BuzzKill. It is not only supremely pathetic to insult women by mocking their age and appearance, but it’s just simply gross behavior. Lisa, always a class act, tries to reason with him, but it proves more impossible than reasoning with Jax. After Lisa leaves Stassi facing her bad decision, she actually begs Patrick not to break up with her tonight and cries because she loves him more than she loves her own limbs. Then she follows him out of PUMP, desperately trotting to keep up with him in her heels.
I had the realization that Patrick treats Stassi in the same belittling manner she treats most other women, by snarking them down into cowering sycophants who eventually excuse this as just Stassi’s sarcastic way. The other strange realization is that Stassi is just as pathetically obsessed with Patrick, as Scheana is with SUPERROB. At least Rob doesn’t have a man bun and can hang a TV in seven minutes (can he please send my husband an instructional YouTube?).
Also Patrick actually dumped Stassi when he simply failed to turn up for the anniversary vacation she planned for them. He literally NO CALLED, NO SHOWED a romantic vaycay. It was supposedly filmed, but for whatever reason we didn’t get to see the footage I have been salivating for all season. I mean, how did Stassi meet someone who treats people worse than she does?! It is a mystery and also a miracle, and let’s just all hope she’s learned some vital life lessons. We know Jax hasn’t but I’m gonna give Stassi an umpteenth chance.
So with Jax and Stassi down for the count, let’s check in with all the other SURvians. TomTom’s progress party is a huge hit. As a cultivator of the rare, unique, and supremely useless, Tom 1 managed to find the only super-mega-dry-ice frozen shot machine available in the US and is concocting insta-frozen daiquiris the color of puked up salad from the bar. He has a general obsession with dry ice like this is 1985.
I’m not sure what exactly Tom 2 is doing to bolster TomTom’s success. Essentially he’s just there to add a witty alliteration to the name. He’s never bartended, he’s never made a cocktail that isn’t Coors Light followed by whatever shot someone hands him, and he gets performance anxiety if he has to put on shoes with laces, but he is always there scuttling around behind Tom 1, gesturing to all his amazing fetes like a boozy mime. The bottom T in their conjoined lapel pin. Actually Tom 1 couldn’t do this without Tom 2 and he knows it. They, unlike any other couple, friends or otherwise on this show, are in a truly committed and mutually supportive relationship. Good for them!
The Progress Party and all Tom 1‘s innovations are a big hit (because at least some people in this group are making progress!). Lisa, Ken, Pandora, and Jason are all impressed and after Tom 1 and Tom 2 hand over $25,000 checks to Lisa they’re now are officially 1o% partners. Lisa is proud of them. Ariana Madix is suddenly no longer scared of her vagina existing and instead practically dry humps Tom publicly. Ergo it was a good day for the Toms.
It was also a good day for James Kennedy. Lisa awarded him his job back at SUR and Ken transferred all his patience for Jax onto James by handing him a fat wad of cash from all the money they’re earning from his C-U-Next-Tuesday gig. James is elated. And with this elation he returns to his routine of mocking Jax’s failures and age. Which is what got him fired, so maybe he’ll never learn, but I still love him.
Lisa also compliments Lala on finding her voice – literally – and learning to believe in herself. Apparently Lisa has been watching Hallmark movies while she walks on the treadmill perfecting her ass for walking away from Patrick. (Take note Stassi!)
Not having a good day is Scheana Marie. Oh boy, is she just a sad little weezil. Rob Valletta accompanies her to the Progress Party, which means Scheana morphs into a total attention-seeking trophy bot in her attempts to demonstrate how IN LOVE Rob is with her. She finds a pink hardhat and makes several comments to Rob about how she’ll wear this later (wink, wink) and Rob flat-out ignores her to continue talking to Tom about cocktails. That is exactly what I do to my kids when I’m attempting to have a conversation with another adult but they keep interrupting to whine about needing candy or something equally nonsensical. Except with Scheana it doesn’t work. #FreeRob
Later Rob admits to Jax, of all people, that he’s refusing to play into Scheana’s delusions that they’re getting married because, HELLO: she just got divorced! Plus she’s annoying. Rob also reveals that he knows it’s Scheana’s pattern to obsess over whatever guy she’s with. So, that’s just sad.
What’s even sadder is to recognize that Scheana scored the nicer version of Patrick, one who actually has manners and the self-awareness to distance himself before pushed to the brink of embarrassing himself on national television. Well, there’s some karma, I suppose.
Lisa really needs to start running Women’s Empowerment retreats by the dumpsters behind SUR, featuring classes on confidence, self-esteem, and not dating losers. Instead of getting Jax’d they could all Get Ken’d!
TELL US – DID JAX AND STASSI GET WHAT THEY DESERVE? IS SCHEANA OBSESSED WITH ROB OR JUST IN LOVE?
[Photo Credits: Bravo]