Last night’s Vanderpump Rules was all about redemption. In a Hollywood kinda way.
Stassi Schroeder is in peril. After years of having bad boyfriends and being able to blame, project and justify her own bad behavior as their fault for having worse behavior, she is now dating the man of her dreams and needs a bad girlfriend detox. Enter Beau Clark: someone who does everything Stassi demands of him, entertains her endlessly, cedes to her tantrums, and accepts that even when Stassi is wearing a mini skirt, she wears the pants. Basically she’s a queen dating the court jester.
But winter is coming and that winter is Stassi’s demand for unwavering sycophancy and the lashing of her evil tongue when Beau doesn’t capitulate. Last time it ended in eczema and tears, but what if someday Beau decides he can no longer take being a battered boyfriend, aka the future subject of a Lifetime Movie?
Stassi calls her outbursts “the dark passenger” and while a part of her mourns the days of dating Jax Taylor who was the black death to her devil, she doesn’t want to screw up things with Beau so she decides not to get counseling, but an exorcism. Katie Maloney agrees that Stassi’s lashing out is ruining her relationships. Which is hilariously obtuse considering Tequila Katie. Is Katie seeing a counselor for her own drunk passenger? Rhetorical question!
No, Katie isn’t, but Jax and Brittany Cartwright are. Yay y’all! Brittany confesses to the therapist that well, she sort of still doesn’t trust Jaaaaax after he cheated on her with Faaaaaith, and it like affects her faith in him. Now they are days away from their engagement party at the Mashed Potato Factory where you harvest your own potatoes, cook them, mash them, top them, and then plant new potato seeds. Just kidding – but that would be a pretty rad party! Like people in formal wear mashing potatoes? Yes, please! (Also please tell me James Kennedy is crashing this party after abducting their hired DJ then bursting into his Faith Rap!).
Jax is shocked that Brittany still isn’t over his cheating. I mean, Jax doesn’t want to give himself credit for changing, or talk about how he’s a changed man, but he is – just ask him. Proving that Jax has NOT changed at all from his gaslighting, sociopathic, manipulative tendencies he turns the whole thing around and tells Brittany how his cheating actually did her a service by turning her into a stronger person who stands up for herself more. “She came out good,” Jax smirks. Stassi please pass your Dark Passenger to Brittany when you’re done – she needs it desperately, and we know Jax fears it desperately. If one time Brittany deadpans Jax and says “I am the devil” I will cry hot tears of pure vodka and start passing it around as Tom 2‘s “half shots” (I believe those are called a softies).
Meanwhile at SUR, it’s Tuesday night and Lisa Vanderpump, Ken Todd, and Guillermo’s scarf are wondering – where are all the people?! When James was doing See You Next Tuesday it was a packed house, every Tuesday, line out the door, and the staff making plenty of tips. Tonight it is just Katie sulking while hearing the sounds of her own Whambulance.
Lisa confronts Katie about what happened with the plan for a weekly Girl’s Night, and Katie complains that it was just too much work plus she’s, like, not a promoter. You put an invite on Instagram, Katie, while sitting on your sofa (which has a permanent dent on it because you only leave it to go to work or the bar)! So basically Katie is lazy, and Lisa calls her out.. Lisa muses that JAMES tirelessly worked for SUR, promoting, and she is disappointed. In response Katie whines, but I don’t like the sound of her voice, so I, like Tom 2, tuned it out.
The next day is the anniversary of Ariana Madix‘s father’s passing. To avoid thinking about it Ariana has a full day planed of putting James in his place, giving Kristen Doute the chance to redeem herself, and then watching Lala Kent pretend she’s going to have a successful music career. First though Tom 1 plays a mournful hymn on the penis flute.
Tom and Ariana try to warn James that no matter what he does Lisa isn’t yielding on having him back at SUR. Not even to Billie Lee‘s brunch. Especially after Billie cussed Lisa out. James freaks out about the injustice, storms out, remembers his nu-self, comes back inside, and cries about how rejected he feels. That was the least annoying guest Tom 1 had to entertain because almost as soon as James left Kristen showed up to take Ariana out on a date. Tom is worried – he doesn’t trust Kristen, who harbors deep, uncanny revenge and might try to steal Ariana away because she still believes he cheated on her, ignoring all of her own transgressions. Some of the transgressions that took place right in that very room! “Incestuous” is the word that comes to mind.
Kristen probably senses James was in the apartment – her nose twitches something feral as Tom awkwardly shows her the upgrades. “Were you cooking something in here?” Kristen probably asked, “because it smells like dinner.” The smell of James’ cologne awakens a primal savagery inside of all these women that cannot be explained, but drives them to destroy.
Over wine, Ariana confesses to Kristen that not only is it the anniversary of her dad’s death, but also the day Kristen spread rumors that she was a home wrecking whore cheating with Tom. So Ariana came back from the funeral to that! Even Kristen has the decency to cringe remembering how awful and insensitive she used to be. Like this behavior is all in the past! Kristen is likely more embarrassed by Bravo replaying scenes of her “six-head in a flower crown,” grilling Ariana, than by her own hypocrisy. Tom 1 is amazed by how far Ariana and Kristen have come: from bitter enemies to friends with benefits. He realizes he needs to take action fast to reclaim Ariana’s heart.
Tom 2 also has to take action. He owes Lisa and Ken $50k so he hatches a diabolical plan. From his sofa. Before Tom Tom Tom 2’s sofa cushion was almost as dented as Katie’s, but now he is out there, doing stuff, having stuff happen, making stuff go on! He doesn’t want to go back to being a sofa dweller who scuttles out only when Katie demands he get her another drink or snack! So he calls his banker to request a $50k cash withdrawal from his savings, which he plans to personally deliver to Ken and Lisa in a suitcase. The whole operation makes him feel like James Bond, and after the drop he’ll go have sex with a strange Eastern European woman who is probably trying to assistant him. Or Katie – who’s just as dangerous!
Everyone meets at Lala’s performance, which is dedicated to her father and features Lala wearing a man’s pantsuit over a sports bra. Mandall is in the Bahamas … so she says… and Lala is fine with it! Err, OK. Afterwards, Stassi and Lala have a moment about how drinking negatively impacts their lives. It turns Stassi into her dark side, where all her fears and worst tendencies manifest. They have this conversation over drinks, of course.
The guys grill Adam Spott about his strange, undefined bizarro world relationship with Scheana Marie. They congratulate him on having the perfect situation: all sex, no commitment, and not having to be screamed at once the liquor sets in. Adam stands there, robotic and mute, afraid to say anything for fear that Scheana, upon hearing his voice, will find him in the crowd, and swoop over to hover. Adam hears Scheana’s machine gun laugh in his nightmares, but he can’t escape, because TV show!
Lastly, Tom and Ariana also have a moment where they reaffirm their love for each other, and share a tearful kissy embrace about how Tom knew even then, five years ago, that Ariana had his heart. He just didn’t realize he was in love with her. SO sweet.
The next day there are puppies to celebrate and photos to take! Also, Lala has a realization about her life!
Stassi shoots the cover of her unwritten book. Because when you’re getting a book deal for your image and to satisfy Bravo’s deal with Simon and Schuster, the cover is more important than the content and comes first for advertising purposes. Anyway, Katie and Beau are there because what else do these two having going on?
Katie lectures Beau on how to handle Stassi, schedules Stassi an exorcism appointment with The Oracle, then drives Tom 2 to the bank to handle his money matters. Katie’s like the house mom! Lisa will be so relieved to pass on these duties.
Hilariously Katie now drives a Range Rover. I wonder if her married boyfriend bought it for her? (I kid… cause remember how they harassed Lala for driving one in earlier seasons). On the ride to the bank Tom freaks out about withdrawing all his cash, also he didn’t even bring the suitcase, so he now has to stuff $50k in Katie’s tiny purse. Which is so loud and ugly it’s like a giant arrow pointing to it proclaiming “CASH! STEAL ME.” But Tom manages to make it from the bank to the car with his loot.
Over at James and Raquel Leviss‘s apartment, the puppy shower is in FULL swing. There is pin the tail on Graham (Raquel painted the portrait of Graham herself!), poo bag toss, and a cone of shame for the loser. And also Raquel’s mom sexually harassing Peter Madrigal. What else can be said: All the ladies love Peter! (Especially me!)
There is also sober James, shocked to see his apartment full of shiny, happy, well-dressed people. Tom 1 congratulates James on being sober and sane. Promoting James to admit that had he been drunk at Billie’s brunch when Lala screamed at him, things would’ve turned out totally differently. This is probably the a-ha moment Lisa has been waiting for. James calmly disregards Tom’s warnings about having a plan B if he can’t return to SUR, because James still believes there is a place for him there – and thanks to Katie’s own laziness, he’s probably right!
At SUR Lala pulls Scheana aside to share her own a-ha moment: she’s going to stop drinking. For her health and sanity. Scheana is supportive in the only way Scheana knows how to be – laughing uncomfortably. Why would you choose Scheana as your sober companion? She divorced her husband because he couldn’t party with her friends.
Tom 2 strolls into Tom Tom, wearing a leprechaun suit, and being handcuffed to his suitcase of cash. In one of the funniest moments on this show, he plops it down on the table in front of Ken and Lisa, opens it, and they both burst out laughing at the sight of $50k in small bills. Which Tom admits he did on purpose for impact. Then he transfers the suitcase to Lisa, drops it, and the $1’s and $5’s spill all over the floor. Ken laughs and laughs and laughs at these silly, poor people. Then Lisa goes off to put it in the safe.
Meanwhile Stassi and Katie venture to South-central LA to find The Oracle. The Oracle turns out to be a glamorous, stereotypically dressed white witch with long hair and copious jewelry, in a cute house decorated with tastefully artistic penis statues. Tom 1‘s mammoth tooth would fit right in!
The Oracle spiritually cleanses Stassi and Katie before they are allowed to enter, hears Stassi’s plight, then makes them sit in a circle to summon the bad spirits. Stassi cries, and then after The Oracle’s chant is ordered to release the negativity and move forward into the light. It’s basically high-intensity meditation, but hey I mega-believe in that shit! Afterward Stassi feels freer and more alive, like a Mario Brothers cloud floating above the meanie mushrooms of her former attitude.
Katie looks stupefied. Like who would want to exorcise their bad energy? How else would she control Tom 2? Katie spent the whole episode diagnosing Stassi’s anger as problematic, when duh – she has the same problem! (Worse!) Unfortunately, Katie did not appear to take this cleansing seriously and could’ve benefitted from her own exorcism. She couldn’t brought Tom 2’s penis, a bag of Cheetos, a photo of James, a dress from season 1 of Pump Rules, and her sofa cushion for the summoning. Stassi brought photos of Beau and a bottle of champagne, because drinking is her nemesis. But we all know Stassi won’t stop drinking. She’ll just try to stop drinking before she turns dark.
Well, I fully endorse Stassi’s spiritual journey to self. I look forward to her staring at Beau and saying with threatening eyes, “I am God and don’t you forget it.”
TELL US – DO YOU BELIEVE STASSI WILL CHANGE POST-EXORCISM? DID JAMES AND LALA HAVE EPIPHANIES? WAS KRISTEN’S APOLOGY TO ARIANA SINCERE?
[Photo Credits: Bravo]