Vanderpump Rules Reunion Part 2 Recap: Sympathy Cards

I’m having a visceral reaction to part 2 of the Vanderpump Rules reunion. It’s like Lord Of The FliesJames Kennedy is the pig they’re chasing across the island of the doomed until somebody, (probably Tom 2 if we’re being honest) winds up dismembered. Remember when this show was so fun?!

What I’ve come to realize is that these people – chiefly Katie Maloney, Jax Taylor, and Kristen Doute – live in an echo chamber of their own delusions. They can’t learn from experiences because they’ve blocked all the dissenting voices. Instead, they are deafened by the vortex of praise they offer each other. James isn’t even allowed to speak without Kristen cutting him off and screaming him down with some accusation or insult. Andy Cohen wonders why James so angry. Lisa Vanderpump decides it’s because James had a drink at lunch. Or maybe it’s as James said: so many people yelling at him constantly that he can’t breathe.

Katie actually believes getting James fired was a noble act signifying her strength as an empowered woman. She is enraged that Vanderpump Rules portrayed the side of James as a caring son and brother. Katie, Kristen and Stassi Schroeder don’t think it’s fair that James is the only person shown helping his family when they all do it. Then, they simultaneously accuse James of using his family’s struggle to make himself look good.

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Yet Jax is allowed to be highlighted helping Brittany Cartwright‘s family pay for IVF. He even described Brittany’s niece as “the baby I bought“? Didn’t Stassi have her drunk mother calling her a loser on TV?

Katie mocks James for being emotional over his parents’ divorce. Kristen says he was raised by cheap assholes. Stassi makes fun of his accent and his frustration. Brittany nearly had Jax assaulting James for calling her family with the wet-n-wild frosted rose lipstick “hillbillies.”

Brittany, girl, you are related to someone named “Melissha” which is what happens when two trailer park teens mate and peruse the baby books at Walmart.

Brittany is probably gonna walk down the aisle to “Redneck Woman” and name her firstborn Jaxina. I don’t need to hear any affronts about being called a hillbilly. Girl – you know someone in your family has a dixie horn on the four-wheeler. And before y’all start breath’in down my neck I’m from WV. Every other person in my family has a dixie horn or Christmas lights on something.

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Vanderpump Rules Reunion Part 2 Recap: Sympathy Cards

Katie is also furious that no one is giving her sympathy for her accident and the depression she battled. Really? Wasn’t all of last season devoted to trying to give Katie a redemption storyline? It’s not our faults she’s more irredeemable than an expired Hooters coupon! Lisa feebly tried to interject that it had gone too far, but Lisa’s intervention is too little, too late. She is the ultimate hypocrite who has fed this Three-Headed SheBeast, season after season, even giving it additional heads in the form of Lala Kent and Brittany. Lisa created this monster. They all mislabel James, and the real issue is that without James they have to re-turn on each other.

I don’t necessarily like James, but I can’t accept him being treated like a serial killer on national TV. Meanwhile, Jax is exalted as a changed man. This storyline wouldn’t even pass the 1980’s soap opera test.

Jax’s insistence that he’s changed is a Trojan horse when what he needs is a trojan condom! We’re supposed to believe that Jax now recognizes that he needs Brittany, and will do her right? No, he won’t. I’m not even gonna bother layering that in shade. That man will cheat. He will be awful in every way possible. Yet, Brittany will continue posting photos of their children on Facebook holding chalkboard signs about the first day of school like it’s all diamonds and rosé.

The reunion opened after the big almost fight between Jax and James, which was about defending the honor of Brittany and Raquel Leviss respectively. Raquel would probably reward James by inviting him to her Pawscream Social celebrating Graham Cracker Crust flavored dog treats. Brittany is going to reward Jax by marrying him. Bless her heart.

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There’s something wrong with Brittany’s head besides the awful hair and makeup. How can she be prideful about anyone saying Jax is lucky to have her? That’s basically like someone saying, “Brittany you are a used bathmat we keep around to throw in front of the backdoor when the dogs come in with wet feet.” Yet Brittany is grinning as LVP extols that Jax needs her. Why is LVP enabling that girl to ruin her life?! Tom Sandoval is literally the only person who holds anyone accountable for anything. He knows that when the novelty wears off and the cameras go down, Jax is still Jax.

Jax Taylor

So Jax threatens to kick Tom 1 out of his wedding. That sounds like a reward, not a consequence!

Brittany’s harsh, hollowed laugh echoed constantly throughout this reunion like Nails. On. A. Chalkboard. It perfectly represents the undercurrent of sleaze and anxiety running through this show as they ride sidecar to Katie driving them right off a cliff.

When Andy asks James whether or not Jax has changed, James actually says yes. However, everyone shouts that he’s not being sincere. Why exactly is James supposed to care about these people? Why are they annoyed that someone they do not like doesn’t care about them? How is this supposed proof that James is a shallow, insincere human? The real question is why do these people care about James so very, very much that it’s mounted into a frenzied obsession? Is James the choker around Kristen’s neck? 

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Somewhere in between talking about James, other things are discussed. Like Lala’s hookup with Ariana Madix in the backseat of Tom 1’s car, like he was their uber porn. How is this not cheating? How is that not illegal because they weren’t wearing seatbelts? Lala was so drunk that day she almost got in a bar fight, but the real story is that she was too drunk to notice what kind of car Tom 1 was driving! 

Stassi credits Scheana Marie for her friendship with Ariana, because when Scheana finally gave up on the idea of Stassi and Ariana getting along, Ariana capitulated. Scheana can annoy people into anything! Lady Gaga visited Tom Tom just to see Brittany’s boobs. Or so we’re told by Jax… Brittany wasn’t there so Jax FaceTimed her to flash Gaga. Literally the crowning achievement of a Hooter’s girl’s life! Brittany was probably actually flashing a Gaga impersonator from the midwest.

Kristen cries fake tears over being ostracized from The Daily Mail party (even though she’s had James banned from everything this season). Lisa says it’s because Kristen constantly starts trouble by getting involved in things that have nothing to do with her.

Andy Cohen & Tom Sandoval

Andy gets all excited to ride in Tom’s sidecar, which is parked out back just in case, then the bike’s starter won’t catch. My husband had a vintage Triumph for years, and so flashback! Andy leaves Tom 1, wearing a sweater in the blinding sun, to roll the bike back to safety. Stassi started the #OOTD holiday for self-empowerment, aka give me Instagram likes which are directly linked to my self-confidence.

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Then it’s back to talking about that one time at SUR that James fat-shamed Katie. Katie takes great affront to anyone suggesting that what James did to her is on parallel to the years she spent calling Lala a whore. Stassi argues that everyone else is permitted their shitty behavior because they’re trying to better themselves whereas James is not. Katie believes she is the first – and only – person holding James be accountable for his actions. Well, Tom 1 is the only person holding Katie accountable! And look how much she dislikes having her own hubris thrown in her face!

Katie goes on to rampage that “people like James” have made her feel ashamed to be inside her own body, and her ultimatum was about standing up for all women who do not meet society’s standards. Except if you’re a whore. Or dumb enough to date James…

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James knows exactly what shaming feels like, because people have been making fun of him for being too skinny (or accusing him of being secretly gay) for years — including Katie. Plus after Katie slut-shamed Lala, it took her two years to insincerely apology. Katie and Koven continue to make excuses for how their behavior is different, until Tom 1 loses it, “You’re all f–king hypocrites,” he bellows. “I’m not trying to get somebody f–king fired cause they tell me I’m dumb.” Lisa smirks in silent assent.

Anytime anyone gets accused of doing something everyone projects right back onto James and how he’s the bigger pile of pasta poop. Especially KristenKatie – newsflash: you can’t cry victim when someone puts up a firewall to your bombs. Also, why is Kristen sneaking Hope into SUR not being mentioned?!

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Billie Lee

Then Billie Lee comes on, and it starts out positively. She’s thrilled with her body, is accepting of the struggle to date as a trans woman, and is looking to adopt a child solo — after she gets promoted. At Sur or on Vanderpump Rules is the question? Is this another ultimatum? We also learn that Max and Billie Lee drunkenly hooked up. Well, that’s a revelation!

Billie is the worst because she’s cloying and desperate, and just not that fun. She should’ve focused more on promoting Billie’s Misfit Brunch and less on the has-been happy hour that is anything having to do with Katie, but Billie takes herself too seriously and is so narrowly focused she can’t see the forest for the laser hair removal’d bush.

Case in point: Billie is still upset that Girl’s Night at SUR didn’t revolve around HER. She wants Katie to pull her head out of her ass to recognize how this was indicative of the entire trans community being slighted. For once I agree with Katie – I do not think this was done with any other motive than to mock James and had absolutely nothing to do with Billie at all. So maybe Billie should pull her head – with its new Kim Zolciak wig – out of her own ass and think about how Katie’s actions are affecting James! People of the Vanderverse – stop trying to make Katie’s ego happen!

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Alas — that measly girls night had NOTHING on the 67 sold-out See You Next Tuesdays that James managed, and he will see Katie next Tuesday. Or maybe Katie will see her own next Tuesday when she looks in the mirror! But – does this mean James is back to DJing at SUR?!

Lala’s issue with Billie is that, “It’s really exhausting to school people on life. It’s just like a waste of my time.” She has no remorse for the way she threatened and verbally assaulted Billie, James, or Raquel that fateful brunch, and doesn’t consider it aggressive because blood wasn’t drawn. Furthermore, Lala would do the same thing all over again. Lisa looks surprised, or maybe that was the botox?

Ariana Madix

Is this what Lala considers schooling people on life? Or is it the instructions of BJ for PJ that she finds so tiresome? Ariana believes Lala should’ve taken time off to process her father’s death, and reminds everyone that when her dad passed people – aka Jax – told her to stop using the “dad card” and offered her no sympathy or excuses, so she knows what a toxic environment this show can be when you’re struggling emotionally.

Everyone except Stassi and Beau bought houses blocks from each other. The only positive thing I can say about Kristen is that her house is the cutest. Lisa is pleased to see all of her wayward children leave the commune. Let’s hope this also means they fully spread their wings and fly far, far away from my Vanderpump Rules and leave it to other hatchlings to beg Mama Pump for Pumptini in their thirsty beaks.

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Lala discusses her sobriety. After spending 4 days drunk on a family vacation to Disney World, Lala woke up one morning to realize this was a serious problem. She got help and never plans to drink again. Looking back most of her regrettable behaviors revolved around alcohol — yet she doesn’t seem to regret many behaviors, so…

James Kennedy

James admits he’s not sober. Or he tries to explain before the entire coven of assholes leaps down his throat like an ice cold beer. Andy finally tells Kristen to just stop. Why does Kristen care what James is doing? She needs to get help for her obsession. James is not completely off alcohol. But, he’s partying a lot less. Tom 1 interrupts that James’ problem is when he mixes alcohol with other … uppers. Allegedly high on cocaine, allegedly riding that train… Or Adderall – something everyone else on this cast has admitted to copious use of!

Kristen Doute & Lala Kent

James tells Tom to shut up. This prompts a rebuke from Lisa and a rampage from the rest of the cast about how James is such an asshole. He’s an asshole for helping his family. James is an asshole for the show showing how he’s not totally an asshole. He’s an asshole raised by assholes. James sits there, defeated, and sad. “I hate you guys,” he mumbles, which causes Stassi to freak out that she can’t sit next to someone talking about how he hates them and insulting her extensions. As Katie screams that she deserves sympathy for everything she’s gone through instead of James, he just walks off stage – hopefully onto a better life away from the real assholes.

Only sympathy for the devil on Vanderpump Rules, right?


[Photo Credits: Bravo & Nicole Weingart/Bravo]