Last night’s Vanderpump Rules was a doozy. I thought last week was bad, but well, I should’ve known better.
Why on earth does Jax Taylor think it’s a punishment to be kicked out of his trashy-ass wedding? He’s horrific so not being associated with that wad of human filth – a literal hairball pulled out of a 50 year old drain who isn’t even inviting his OWN MOTHER to his wedding – is the best thing that could possibly happen to a decent human being like Tom Sandoval.
Also Ariana Madix is the only person on Vanderpump Rules who truly understands with a toxic cesspool it is. It is the drain! The drain where a thousand strands of hair that wouldn’t pass a drug test and the dead skin of dead souls collects into an impenetrable mass that just traps a person there. Ariana is realizing that she’ll barely escape alive. That she is one scowl and a Hot Cheeto and tequila sundae away from turning into Katie Maloney, marrying a man she detests to prolong the only thing that pays her enough to buy a track home in the way-out Valley.
Ariana recognizes that in order to preserve whatever shreds of positivity and self-esteem she has left she needs to leave Vanderpump Rules, but unfortunately if she leaves she’ll take with her some of the only shreds of positivity and dignity that remain on this show.
The problem is that Tom 1, for all his internal yearning to swim away, isn’t really sure how to detach from that hairball. I mean, he’s been living in it for so long, collectivating (which sounds like what Brett Caprioni wants in a relationship), he probably doesn’t see any other way. That’s why Tom can look at a man like Jax. A man who slept with his live-in girlfriend on his sofa – TWICE! – and question his own ethics and morality. Tom is full-on suffering from Stockholm Syndrome. Thankfully he has Ariana to remind him that identifying with your brain captors is the fastest way to be subsumed in the brainless hive mind. A hive led by Stassi Schroeder that is all sting, sting, sting, but insists you’re not being stung.
RELATED – Vanderpump Rules Recap: Bi, Bi, Bye…
In watching last night I realize something that has eluded me for so long: Jax and Stassi kinda were perfect together. They were a dynamic, unstoppable villain duo that catapulted this show to the must-see echelon we all got sucked into. They are both so manipulative they can’t even discern when they’re manipulating. The only thing that matters to either of them is getting what they want, and in the process they will steamroll over any and everybody. Best friend today; kicked off the wedding guest list tomorrow! Convenient that this happened after Tom 1 paid for the Miami bachelor party! Mother of the year today; virtual stranger tomorrow. If you don’t roll with the threat of JaxAssi’s punches you’ll find yourself banned from SUR and spinning Goodwill records from a Costco toilet paper palette in the closet of Tom Tom while everyone calls you names.
So, Jax and Brittany Cartwright are in full victim mode and going around LA screaming that Tom 1 owes them an apology for daring to question how they could hire a pastor who made homophobic tweets, which they chose to ignore for six months. Jax is further incensed that Tom has gone 4 whole days without reaching out to beg forgiveness, so now he’s officially removed as co-best man.
Brittany’s mom has been married 4 times – FOUR! – one of them on a fucking Carnival Cruise Ship that was probably headed to Disney World and should have been detained for carrying Corona Virus. Also Sherri wears frosted pink lipstick like this is the year 1984 and she’s still Coal Mining Queen of the Poverty Kentucky County Fair. Yes, that is a real place, and yes, I know this because I am from West Virginia. Don’t fuck with me on Appalachian nonsense y’all (and pepperoni rolls beat beer cheese any old day). What I mean with this long spiel is that Sherri is hardly in any position to judge the sanctity of marriage or decide who has the right to marry, yet she sits there nodding along as Jax rants about Tom’s ‘misbehavior.’
There is also a Lemon, Kentucky. Which is where Brittany needs to take her sour-ass face and ‘shocked to the unholy hell’ eyebrows. Brittany thinks Ariana also owes her an apology because Ariana dared to defend Tom in questioning them 2 weeks before their weeeeeeeeeeeeedin’.
Brittany and Jax are behaving as if their wedding is the most important day of the 22st century, and all their other so-called friends are defending their nonsense! Jax has spun the argument with Tom into such a huge behemoth lie (like everything he does) that he’s now claiming Tom made Brittany cry (she was already crying) by accusing her of knowingly hiring a homophobic pastor, then ignoring his offensive tweets (she did). Brittany needs to get a life and grow the hell up. What is she gonna do when this wedding is over and she realizes she’s yoked to a verbally and emotionally abusive scumbag, who’s a pathological liar that can’t hold a job and will cheat on her constantly? Hopefully she’ll get divorced and get half his Bravo money in alimony, which she’ll use to fund a halfway house for LGBTQ youth. Pipe dreams can live, right?
Anyway, Jax decides he’ll go over to SUR to give Tom one last chance to apologize thus preserving a spot on the wedding guest list. Oh my stars – what a consolation prize! The confrontation does not go as planned. Despite heavy pressure from everyone else in his life to literally “roll over,” Tom doesn’t cave. He stands his ground because he’s defending Ariana’s sexuality. Nobody else in their so-called friend group, including Lala Kent, sees it that way though. Tom lets Jax berate him out by the dumpster of dream deaths, then he says, “hypocrites and people with bad credit are the only people that don’t like talking about the past!” Jax is both, so, Jax leaves declaring that Tom is uninvited.
Afterwards Tom 1 scuttles over to Tom Tom where he cries in Tom 2‘s arms and vows to support him as best man from afar. Tom 1 offers to tie all the bow ties in advance knowing that Tom 2’s hands sweat when he’s nervous. He offers to write the best man speech, knowing that when Tom 2 is stressed the only word he can think of is “fart”. Which is the perfect way to encapsulate Jax, anyway. Tom 2 is crushed that now, for the first time in his adult life, he’ll be a Tom without a Tom and forced to wrangle a particularly unstable Jax on his own, but no amount of begging Tom 1 to just apologize and suck it up can persuade him.
The next day, trying to save himself as much as Tom 1 (and Jax, who honestly needs Tom’s sobering influence) Tom 2 makes one last attempt to convince Jax to change his mind, but Jax is resolute. Plus he’s already replaced Tom by inviting Randall Emmett be a groomsman. That’s right — after knowing Randall for a few months and being wooed by his generosity (aka providing of private jets and luxury vacations) Jax and Rand are BFF. Lala acts as if this is something to be proud of. Getting along well with Jax is the opposite of an accomplishment. Although it is rather amusing to realize that Jax and Rand are close in age. Rand has a career, a huge house, and an almost-second wife, whereas Jax has… a tyrannical fascist wedding?
Jax and Brittany go out to dinner with Rand and Lala where Jax rants nonstop about how much shit he’s “put up with from Tom.” Then he has the nerve to claim that Tom needs to be focused on controlling Ariana, who doesn’t even know if she’s gay or straight. Lala, who has “chomped” Ariana’s cookie and vowed to defend her, sits there and says nothing to Jax’s tirade, then claps and cheers when Jax gets down on one knee to officially invite Rand to be in the wedding party. Yeah, I was so enraged at Jax I forgot to mock Rand finally appearing on Vanderpump Rules. Quite a far cry to the first season when Lala wasn’t even allowed to say his name and just ran around screaming My Man Range Rover at everyone. I do wonder what Lala’s ‘buddy’ Brad Pitt thinks of his acquaintance with Jax and his Kentucky Qweef?
With Tom uninvited Ariana is torn about whether or not she even wants to attend. Brittany has been sitting at home in her plastic inflatable throne, brushing her hair and asking the fun house mirror ‘who’s the fairest one of all?’, just waiting for Ariana to come groveling. Instead Ariana comes over baring hard truths that she might just skip the whole thing to stay home with Netflix and Postmates. Trust me — you should do this, A! Brittany cries because it’s not faaaaaaaaaa-aaaaaaaaaair that ever’onez ruinin’ her weeeeeeed-din.
Even Lisa Vanderpump is bailing last minute. Lisa has unexpectedly lost her mother and must fly to London for the funeral. She openly sobs as she tells Jax and Brittany to focus on what matters and have the wedding of their dreams. Jax misinterprets this to mean Lisa is condoning his decision to cut people who dare to question him out of his life. I think what Lisa was implying was not to sweat the small stuff… Poor Lisa. My heart breaks for her family.
Let’s do a brief interlude to discuss what happened with the new people. Dayna Kathan is upset that Max Boyens isn’t taking their exclusivity seriously enough. After Max asked her to go steady, he started ignoring her. Dayna wants to have a talk with him. This will do wonders to put Dayna in ‘Scheana Category,’ so let’s hope she didn’t buy him monogrammed AirPods to seal their love. Brett, who honestly has eyebrows as weird as Brittany’s, asks Charli Burrnett on a date, and she reluctantly attends because some Emmy producer told her to try anything once. He meant sleeping with him but Charli is actually as dumb as we think Raquel Leviss is.
Charli brags about being Latino, then says she’s never eaten an avocado. She also spends the date flicking her hands around and valley girl voicing all the things Brett is doing wrong. I think she thought he was a podcast about adulting, or something. Meanwhile Charli read the Scheana Marie primer of how to behave. Annoyed, Brett informs her that Scheana actually said he shouldn’t trust her. What Scheana really said, in her Scheana Does The Valley voice, is that Brett needs a more mature woman. Someone like her, perhaps. So that’s enough about them, back to the oldies but not goodies.
Ariana meets Stassi and Lala for drinks at Tom Tom, because they want to hear her decision on attending Jaxney wedding. They both think Tom and Ariana should of course just eat crow, apologize, and focus on how important this day is for Jax and Brittany. Um, Stassi was just defending Brittany’s right to scream at Tom and insisted she did absolutely nothing wrong in the handling of the ‘pasture.’ Stassi needs to STOP eating so much crow and try a truth serum instead.
Ariana is finally forced to explain that it’s not just about the wedding, it’s about her own mental health and how she won’t be able to handle it without Tom there. Also it’s about the way Jax and Brittany are treating her sexuality. You know principles! Something Stassi and Lala don’t have.
They don’t hear what Ariana is saying – meaning they don’t internalize just how depressed and fucked up she’s been. Instead they start talking about how they’ve both been there. Maybe they have been? I don’t know them, and if they have I am truly sorry, but the reality is Lala and Stassi still think Ariana is a “wet blanket,” as Lala just called her the previous night, and a “Debbie downer.” Which is what Ariana means when she tries to explain that there are no “safe spaces’ in this friend group to truly be open and vulnerable, which is why she keeps her distance. She is right not to trust them. Look what happened to Kristen Doute, after all!
After the conversion Ariana finds Tom, who has just finally caved; sending a groveling text to Jax (I blame Tom 2 for this!), and she bursts into tears. Ariana confesses that she just wants to get in her car and drive away from this life. To escape these people who are not the life preserver, but the undertow pulling her down into their drain of oblivion. Tom tells her he loves her, and that he’ll always support her, but that he admits he just reached out to Jax. Ariana is crushed, and disappointed, but she concedes that Tom is not ready to detach yet, so if she loves him she has to be the one there to pull him out of the hole. I truly think these two need to leave this show, side-car off into the sunset, and open The T&A Bar in NYC. They’re too good for Vanderpump Rules.
TELL US – SHOULD TOM APOLOGIZE TO JAX? DOES ARIANA NEED TO BE MORE TRUSTING?
[Photo Credits: Bravo]