Last night’s Vanderpump Rules finale truly felt like it was the end of an era. And I’m ready to send Jax Taylor off into the abyss, where surely he will go after yelling in Lisa Vanderpump‘s face that this is ‘his show’. Lisa has already endured that type of malarky with Real Housewives Of Beverly Hills so she’ll certainly not put up with it from underling upstarts living in Valley Village (ahem.. Brandi!)
Tom 1 and Tom 2, by compression, are now well on their way to being restaurant moguls after signing onto the expansion of Tom Tom. They are moving into adulthood (finally!), while Jax, don’t bother blessing his cold dead heart, isn’t moving at all. He’s trapped in a fishbowl of his own drool, constantly regurgitating his own nonsense.
Jax can pretend all he wants that he’s tired of Tom 1, but what Jax is really tired of is Tom 1 being successful. Tom and Jax came up together as bartenders at SUR. For most of Vanderpump Rules Jax’s drama has driven things; yet it is Tom who was given the nudge by Lisa.
It’s easier to dismiss clumsy Tom 2, with his haphazard life. Tom 2 was never Jax’s rival and co-worker, he was always the ‘awww shucks Coors Light can’ to Tom 1 and Jax’s bottled Heineken. Tom 2 was coaxed along by Tom 1, wooed into joining Lisa’s empire. Plus any success has always been offset by his toxic marriage to Katie Maloney where Tom is victim of a rage text control cult. Then there is Tom 1: doing his own thing, making his own decisions, partnered with an intelligent woman who’s disinterested in playing along with bromance dramas or the messy incestuous friend group.
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I actually was really impressed by both Katie and Ariana Madix last night. I was impressed by Dayna Kathan and Raquel Leviss. I was really impressed by almost all the girls! Well, not Scheana Marie or her weirdo doppelganger with the even worse makeup who looked like a Monster High version of Scheana, or Kristen Doute, but otherwise I felt the girls held their own. Also more Danica Dow, please.
So, Jax is having his 650839068q09w8509 fake existential crisis where he pretends everything that’s wrong with his life is the result of some strange thing lurking in the back of his mind, taking over his epicenter of positivity, and forcing him to do bad things. It’s like a 1960’s episode of the Twilight Zone. Except tit’s probably Roid-Rage. Following the duel over pools, Lala Kent has Katie, Brittany Cartwright, and Stassi Schroeder to show-off her Bel Air mansion and remind them that their BJ skills will never measure up.
Brittany is wearing a shirt from the Farmer On the Dell in Hell collection; half plaid, half denim. Also, it’s muumuu sized. Katie is her best self here. Meaning full stank face and rude beyond measure, but finally directing it at the right person: Jax, (via his equally-deserving messenger, Brittany).
I’m so over Brittany’s ‘stand by my man’ bullshit, while whining that she’s not responsible for Jax, yet everyone should put up with him because of her and accept him cause he’s promising to get help. Katie has no time for her drunken rage texts compared to Jax’s sober roid-texts. There was a method to her madness, a cruel mistress called Tequila, whereas Jax is just an asshole, and Katie has had her fill of assholes on an ego trip. She’s married to a bonafide restaurateur now and does not have to take the insubordination of a down on his luck, attention-addicted asshole bartender. Katie tells Brittany she’s had her fill of Jax and is blocking him. Lala and Stassi, look-on, shocked, while Brittany whined in this increasingly warbling whinny that I’m pretty sure only horses can understand. Yes, Katie! YES. Don’t worry — in the after-show on Bravo Katie is back to disappointing me, but for that one shining moment I cheered.
Over in a teeny apartment ,good things are also happening! James Kennedy is 45 days sober and his mom, his problematic mom, has also gotten sober and stayed that way for 6 moths. It’s all been a blessing in disguise. James’ mom was recently diagnosed with breast cancer and wound up with a double-mastectomy. Had it not been for being sober she never would’ve gotten employed with health insurance to get a mammogram. James cries his sweet little lost boy tears and I am so happy for him! I believe this is a new start for this family and I am really excited
How is James getting sober so endearing while Lala makes me stabby? Oh, it’s cause Lala gave up booze but booze was never her problem – ego was, and she sure as hell is still addicted to that! Hoopty hoebag Lauren from Mormon country needs to sit down, and stuff a fat wad of pasta or dick into her mouth and stop telling everyone how to live. I have choice words for her after she lied on Danica, getting her kicked out of Tom Tom while allowing that Karrah Klone to live another day by sucking the blood from famewhores. Ugh. That comes later.
First comes Lisa piling everyone into Tom Tom for a feature in Hollywood Reporter focusing on her meteoric successes merging restaurant domination with reality TV. Servers from all her restaurants – as far as Vegas! – are there, and low and behold, who is joining but Max Boyens‘ one-time hookup Karrah from Vanderpump Cocktail Garden, and Scheana’s erstwhile klone. It is a major fete to find a tackier version of Scheana out there, but Lisa has managed it. Thanks … said no one, literally, ever.
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Max is embarrassed to see her, which seems fake. He’s also fake having issues with Dayna fake dating Brett Caprioni. After Brett annihilated Dayna’s self-esteem by announcing to a table-full of her friends that he didn’t like her, Dayna is still interested in him(!?!) According to douchebag poet who is flexing his brain muscles with frosé prose, there’s a difference between having feelings and having an interest. Dayna goes along with this. Then they both try to gang up on Scheana who clicks her nails together 3 times, laughs like a dolphin, and is transported to the set of Solid Gold. Scheana is self-delusions are so fortified she’s unbothered. I don’t think Scheana’s 3 feet long eyelashes permit thoughts to permeate her brain so she really has no idea what Brett or Dayna’s issue is. Although Scheana pretending she doesn’t want to sleep with Brett is laughable.
This recap seems to be skipping around a lot, and for that I’m sorry. Lotta people to catch up with, at a million different locations – so many ailments, lifestyle concerns, generational gaps, income disparities, job positions… I really can’t keep up.
So anyway, now we’re back at the photoshoot where Jax is being a dick and getting it handed to him by Ariana and Lisa. First Ariana comes over to him, calmly sits down, and informs him that he really needs to stop talking about her and Tom, because he’s an idiot with no leg to stand on. It’s amazing to watch Jax flounder when a well-spoken, unthreatened, intelligent woman confronts him. He was basically speechless. Next Jax tried to throw a tantrum during the photoshoot by refusing to wear the SUR shirt. Jax was openly seething that Tom and Tom were front and center, bookending Lisa, while he was stuffed in a corner next to Ariana’s brother.
Lisa publicly chastised him and insisted Jax put on a black shirt. Afterwards, Lisa called Jax out for trying to be the center of attention by self-sabotaging and faking depression. Jax actually claims he has a handicap! Too bad his excuses no longer work on Lisa (or Tom 1).
After pretending he wasn’t gonna show up at the Tom Tom party, Jax and Brittany of course appeared.
This party is a mess of issues: Ariana is still irritated with Stassi for allegedly talking shit about her house. Ariana recognizes that she probably overreacted (like calling out Stassi for having bad credit and renting), and wants to try to hash it out as adults. When Stassi learns that the situation started with Scheana they immediately call her over to warble some nonsense. I couldn’t get past whatever Scheana was wearing. There are Stassi and Ariana, her peers, dressed hot yet age-appropriately while Scheana was wearing workout clothes from a 2000 Brittany Spears music video set? I mean Scheana… UGH.
Stassi is already in a bad mood because Ariana also warned her that Kristen would be attending, and that she’s back together with Carter. Officially. Then while Stassi’s trying to figure out the Scheana bullshit, Scheana’s hanger-on comes barging over to wipe her fake tanner on the shoulder of Stassi’s white blazer. Was this girl trying to translate dolphin?
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Stassi and Ariana dismissed Karrah as a nothing, but Danica cannot leave unwell enough alone. Maybe Danica believes her job as assistant manager doubles as security? Or she didn’t get the memo to ignore the upstarts? But she stomps over to tell Karrah to mind her own business. Karrah, though, wants a piece of the Bravo pie, and drunk as she is, she’s apparently not an idiot and instigates a huge fight with Danica, with Kristen actually trying to break things up! Then Lala gets involved, and in the melee of Danica screaming at Karrah to go away, someone gets pushed and a drink is spilled on Lala’s poodle in an invisibility cloak costume. When Lisa intervene Lala blames the entire thing on Danica who is thrown out. WHAT THE FUCK! No, hoodie-hoedown, do not fuck with Danica. NEWP.
Also, I love Charli Burnett — why does she not get enough attention? Why is she punished for having the standards to not sleep with Brett or Max? Why is Dayna rewarded? I really don’t care about Brett and Max mending their bromance by deciding Dayna’s the bad guy. Or Max telling Dayna she doesn’t mean anything. I did love that Dayna informed him that he’s a scumbag of his own making. Dayna also needs to give Brett this same lecture.
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Finally, the penultimate moment occurs where we are treated to dueling friendship explosions. Stassi and Katie vs. Kristen; Tom 1 vs. Jax. Poor Brittany – she will forever be an afterthought in Jax’s life. She will eventually lose all her friends to his assholery. Well, you lay down with douchebags, you wake up with hemorrhoids. I mean, right?
Tom is such a sweet man. We’re peers so I guess I should stop thinking of him as a boy, and last night he really grew up before my eyes. After watching Jax obfuscate and continue to take no accountability (or even give Tom any grace or credit), Tom realized this friendship was worthless. Literally. You could see it happening. This moment where he had the ephipany that for 20 years he’s given and given to Jax, who has done nothing but belittle and take in return. Tom has no more energy to give.
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Tom tells Jax he’s drawing some boundaries on their relationship and basically bowing out. Jax thinks they’re ‘taking a break,’ aka giving him more time to go around spewing about how horrible Tom and Ariana are for not blindly accepting his BS and parroting the narrative that this time he’s changing. Ariana pointblank told him he won’t change. This is who he is: a pathological liar and a diabolically selfish narcissitic asshole.
Jax will do all of these things again. Everyone can continue pretending he’s working on himself and that this time he’s truly becoming “Jason,” but he’s just Jax. A straight up Jaxass. Jax can also pretend that he’s made the decision to press pause on his friendship with Tom, but that’s not true. Tom walked away, literally and figurative. Tom walked away to tend HIS bar. The bar he made a success with his real best friend, Tom 2.
Jax tells Lisa that the Toms are his forever friends and his family, that this isn’t just a TV show plot, so Lisa tells him to go fix things then. – to apologize and be humble. Jax bristles that he made this show – his show – and he doesn’t have to bow down to anyone. That’s it for Lisa. She snaps that this is HER SHOW. Her name is on the masthead and the executive producer credits. Her name is on the restaurant walls. Well, hers and Tom. Jax is nothing but a hired hand and that hand can turn right around to push him out the door.
Meanwhile, Stassi tells Kristen that the Witches of WeHo, both in libation and in life, are “dunzo.” This friendship, whatever it’s been pretending to be, is no more. Katie and Stassi have no more patience for Kristen Jaxing them. She’s been saying they’re bad friends for not supporting her through the breakup from Carter, but the problem is and has always been that there is no breakup. More than that, there’s no honesty in their friendship. Katie and Stassi walk away together, leaving Kristen standing there, alone and deflated.
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When James is making progress and growth, while Kristen and Jax are the same old, same old – that should tell you something! James is on top of the world. He DJ’s the party with no incidents, and even manages to pull Randall aside to apologize for calling him a fat old man bankrolling Lala’s life.
That scene really amplified that Randall is a fat old man. He looked 25 years older than James, doughy and awkward, but he was very nice about Jame’s obsequious apology. Sober James is lovely and no one knows this more than Raquel. She leans over the DJ booth to tell him she’s never found him more sexy than he is in this moment: together, lucid, confident, relaxed, and unlike Brittany, Raquel knows she made the right choice to stand by her man. Who were they calling dumb again?
Oh, I liked Beau Clark again! Is he finally growing on me? I think of him as the new Tom 2. I do love an underdog, and now that James has got his shit together so I need a new one!
TELL US – DO YOU THINK TOM & JAX’S FRIENDSHIP IS REALLY OVER? ARE THE WITCHES OF WEHO DONZO? WHO SHOULD BE FIRED NEXT SEASON?
[Photo Credits: Bravo]