Vanderpump Rules Season 8 Episode 1 Recap

‘Vanderpump Rules’ Recap: Some New People, All New Faces

By Sara Levine | January 8, 2020

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Well, guys, I can’t believe it. I really can’t. I said all of last season that I would not be back for more recaps. My doctor advised against it. The page views weren’t anything to write home about. And yet, I beat on, boats against the current, borne ceaselessly into watching a show that makes my blood boil for no other reason than the fact that I can’t bear the thought of giving the recaps to anyone else. That, and I have on good authority that you all over at Bravo by Betches are positively rabid for Vanderpump content. Truth be told, these Vanderpump Rules recaps are my baby and a pet project to my own narcissism. I guess that makes me no better than any of the cast members on this show. And with that, let’s get to the show.

A few interesting developments happened since we last spoke. Jax and Brittany got married, surprising some. Stassi and Beau got engaged, surprising no one. And Bravo actually listened to us on Reddit and in the Facebook groups and on Twitter and mixed up this stale cast with some newbies who are thirsty for fame and eager to actually work a couple shifts at a restaurant, surprising most of us. Also, I found out that at least Brittany and Stassi read our articles (Brittany was mad, Stassi was thrilled), and Ariana got pissed the time we made fun of her skin care line, so no pressure on me over here!

Actual footage of me getting ready to talk my sh*t in this recap:

Now, I know what you’re thinking: couldn’t I just be nicer in these recaps? To which I say, get the f*ck out, you’re clearly lost. I am an artiste, not a transcription service!

Now. Onto my art. Someday they will print this out and hang it in the Met, and then you’ll rue the day you doubted me. Rue it, I say!

Season 8 begins with a retrospective montage with a slowed-down, dramatized version of the theme song playing. I love how Bravo is acting like this sh*tty pop song from 2013 is one of those opera songs they use in action movie trailers, but I’ll be damned if this sh*t doesn’t look like a good season. Then again, I’ve been wrong before (lookin’ at you, season 6).

Let’s get started.

We open on TomTom, where a bunch of aspiring actors are running around like chickens with their heads cut off in preparation for the arrival of… the Toms. My, how the turn tables… We’re immediately introduced to the newbies: Dayna, who’s “such a good worker, Lisa is poaching her for SUR”, and Max, a Sandoval lookalike who is the glue that “holds it all together,” which we later learn means that the glue is his semen and “it” is all the women who work in his vicinity.

At this moment we learn that Dayna and Max hooked up the night before. I’m glad to know the producers didn’t stop working hard in the off-season.

Over at SUR, Scheana is telling Brett, a Ken doll come to life who looks almost identical to Max (this is going to be difficult), the rules of SUR: all the girls are catty and will probably try to hook up with him (speaking for herself, of course), and she’s divorced, which is, despite popular belief, a rule of working at SUR. That’s because if you don’t go in already knowing that Scheana is divorced, she will tell you about her divorce approximately 600 times a day. Of course, I know she’s only overcompensating for the fact that her fairytale marriage to a pill-popping mute went down in flames. Ah, I feel like I know these people so well. It’s almost like we’re friends. Friends I would party with but never trust with any sort of sensitive information about myself—you know, those kinds of friends.

Raquel has been promoted to SUR waitress, and she’s already sped up her words-per-minute by at least double time. I’m proud of her for that, at least—it’s making listening to her far, far easier. Which is doubly good considering Raquel is getting a talking head now. Did she have one last season? I honestly don’t remember and will not subject myself to it once again. Don’t fact-check me!

Meanwhile, Katie, Lala, Ariana, and Brittany have all stopped pretending they work at SUR. I’m so glad we’ve given up that charade. Jax, I hate to say it, looks great. Men, see what staying faithful will do to your skin??

Scheana already hooked up with Brett (ok so I was half-wrong), and we learn that she’s a bad kisser. Ouch! As if life hasn’t handed poor Shee-Shu enough lemons. She also dated Max, the GM at TomTom (god, these people are so incestuous), and he ghosted her after she… wait for it because I am truly so sad typing this out… bought him an Apple Watch to show how much she cared about him. At least it’s not a penguin, but this fact makes me so deeply sad.

Scheana, my god. No wonder men keep ghosting her! The desperation must waft off of her like the B.O. of people who insist natural deodorant works. She needs therapy, and I do not mean that as an insult, but just an objective fact. I, unlike any of these crop top-clad clowns, actually want the best for her. And I don’t mean the fake TV therapy this show is a fan of, either!

Back at TomTom, Dayna brings up her hookup with Max in the shadiest way, asking him “what did you do last night?” He basically says, “You, the f*ck you mean?” I feel bad for Dayna because she’s clearly saltier than the Dead Sea over learning that Max is kind of a manwhore, and he’s telling her to keep it on the DL that they hooked up. Yea, what better way to keep something on the DL than to talk about it on national TV!

Also during the off-season, Sandoval was either ghosting Jax or just being flaky, so Jax (according to Jax) sent him a pretty nicely-worded text that he’s demoting Sandoval from co-best man to take the pressure off him. But according to Sandoval, he missed a pre-bachelor party (are we really f*cking doing this now? Is nothing enough for you Instagram thirst monsters?) because he had already booked a flight home for Mother’s Day, and Jax retaliated by demoting him to simple groomsman. Ah yes, that sounds more like the vindictive Jax I’ve come to know over these past 8 seasons.

That night (or however time elapses on this show), Stassi and Beau show up to TomTom. Beau’s first question to her is if she’s doing okay, because her grandmother passed away. That is genuinely sad news. Lisa comforts Stassi, because she’s contractually obligated to appear on camera at least once per episode to offer some sort of words of wisdom and/or stir the pot. Also, Stassi hates Kristen now because she thinks she’s still together with Carter but lying to her friends about them being together. 

In maybe the realest sh*t anyone’s said ever on this show, Stassi says “I don’t know that the person I’m growing into can be friends with the person who isn’t growing at all.” Damn. It be like that sometimes.

Beau also has a talking head this season, so brb let me edit our Best Celebrity Glowups article to include Beau.

At Jax and Brittany’s house, which is the exact same as Tom and Ariana’s house, and as Schwartz and Katie’s house, actually… that’s it. That’s the joke. Nothing is going on, but they all live in copycat HGTV-looking all-white houses like this is Levittown in 1948. What, too niche of a Long Island joke for you all? Look it up.

But back to other strained friendships, Jax and Tom’s friendship is strained, mostly because, from where I’m seeing, Sandoval has taken off the rose-colored Jax Taylor goggles and no longer worships the ground he walks on. In other words, he’s not doing what Jax is expecting and throwing him a f*cking parade for being a former philanderer who is getting married. Yea, Jax, you and almost every other man since the dawn of marriage.

Lala goes over to Lisa’s and I for one am thrilled to see that Lala’s blonde hair is back. And I don’t know if Lisa got a new dog or this dog has been here the entire time and I’ve just never noticed it because I’ve been too busy trying to figure out if Ken and Lisa are playing Weekend at Bernie’s with Giggy, but either way, Lisa is getting humped by this dog.

Lala lets us know that she’s seven months sober and, after a lackluster show of support from Lisa, Lala reveals she reached out to James to try to make amends. Lisa points out that James needs to get sober. Lala says that she can’t try to force her sobriety on anyone, and like, wow, sober Lala is making a whole lot of sense. I’m willing to let her back into my good graces. For now, it’s a probationary period. Don’t f*ck it up.

Stassi goes over to Kristen’s, and first of all, I’ve got to ask why every single f*cking one of them has that damn Friends frame thing around their peephole. Do you guys know that this show was on in the 90s? It didn’t just come out, but I guess the cast of VPR has only just discovered it and appropriated it in lieu of developing a personality. Somebody go check on them now that it’s off Netflix. 

Anyway, Stassi makes this remark about how Kristen has this insane ability to have her mental state match her physical appearance (first of all, ouch, just say she looks like sh*t), as if it’s some masterminded manipulation tactic and not just a very common thing for people to let themselves go when they are feeling depressed or whatever. I’m glad Stassi has the mental capacity to barrel curl her hair when she’s fresh off a breakup, but most people are not this way. It’s why God invented sweatpants and onesies.

So with that in mind, Kristen and Stassi are arguing over the semantics of what a breakup means, and Stassi feels as if Kristen is lying to her. Nah fam, she’s not lying to her friends, she’s lying to herself. Let her be.

Oh, in all my sh*t-talking, I forgot to mention the most important part: Katie and Schwartz are having a “house-chilling party”, which is exactly like a house-warming party, only it has a dress code of “comfy-casual” for no good reason. Housewarming parties already have an implied dress code that is both comfy and casual, let’s not reinvent the wheel here. This is like when people make up dress codes for their wedding like “beach chic” or “cocktail optional”.

Okay, so we are at the party. The Toms are in matching pajamas, as they are wont to do. Brittany is eager to take a shot, as she is wont to do. I’m glad that ulcer or whatever it was cleared up since last season. 

Wow, so Peter pulls Dayna aside. You might not remember who Peter is, because he never comes out or has any screen time, but he is the manager at… Pump? SUR? I can’t remember. But apparently Dayna was one of the “whores” from last season when all the guys were at a hotel partying at… was it a bachelor party? I feel like it was, I can’t remember. Anyway, she got invited upstairs to continue the party, Jax and Beau called Stassi and Brittany, they called the girls in questions whores… you remember. Anyway, now one of these aforementioned “whores” has got a spot as a full-time cast member! I’ve gotta say, just when they start to lose me, the Bravo producers pull me back in with this Kris Jenner-level f*ckery. Frank Abagnale could not play the long con like this. Bravo to Bravo.

Peter is under the impression that he and Dayna made out that night, while Dayna is under the impression that Peter tried to kiss her and she backed away and left. Yeah, sounds about right. I’m living for her calling him a pirate, though. This Dayna is one to watch.

Stassi and Beau are not coming to the house-warming (I will call it what it is) because they’re on the way to her grandma’s funeral. Beau keeps calling it a vigil and I wondered for a quick second who had gone missing, and if this were going to turn into a true crime show (so on brand for Stassi), but she quickly corrects him that she’s not giving the vigil, she’s giving the eugoogoly. 

Scheana walks into the party with Max (her even being invited is progress). Kristen clocks this and asks if they’re good. Scheana does what she always does and insists she’s “best friends” with whatever guy she’s letting smash who could not give a f*ck if she lived or died. Never change. 

Jax asks where Kristen’s significant other is, she says she doesn’t have one, and right at that moment Carter walks in the door. Literally who is producing this show, and can they start producing my love life as well?

Max and… Max’s lookalike, I can’t keep track, are both commiserating how Scheana wants to trap the both of them in her plexiglass box and keep them there forever. I paraphrase, but same gist.

Katie overhears this conversation and immediately tells Scheana. What the hell has happened that they have loyalty and common decency to each other now? 

Scheana immediately confronts Max and he tries to walk that sh*t back realllll quick to claim “boy crazy” is a compliment. And then she repeats what he said verbatim and he said “well I didn’t send it like that.” Yea you did, bro. You did. You can lie to Scheana, but you can’t lie to the cameras.

Max steals Dayna for a sec to basically tell her even though they’re coworkers, he’d still be down to smash. Ever the gentleman, he invites her to “grab a bite”. Who says chivalry isn’t dead, ladies?!

Dayna says that despite all the red flags she’s seeing, Max still makes her “twitterpated.” Okay, so I sounded that all out and it didn’t immediately underline in red on my little Word Doc over here. Which means… *heads to Google*… this is actually a word? 

I cannot f*cking believe a Vanderpump Rules castmember taught me a four-syllable word that I didn’t previously know. If you need me, I’ll be burning my Emory degree because apparently it ain’t worth sh*t.

Katie sics Lala on Carter, and her endorsement of Kristen begins, “Kristen is our friend. She cries often.” Same lol, that’s how my friends describe me too.

Lala basically accuses Carter of taking advantage of Kristen. She admits that she knows what it’s like to have a financial imbalance in her relationship (though Lala gets paid for this show and has a beauty line, so she’s not on Carter levels of scrubbery). I’ll just have to transcribe Lala’s words and my thought process here.

Lala: I contribute in other ways.
Me: You go, sis.
Lala: I run the household…
Me: Go on.
Lala: I give killer BJs…
Me: aaaaaand there she is. I’m actually surprised it took a whole 34 minutes for Lala to brag about how good she is with a dick, tbh.

Carter points out that actually, it’s a lot more of a gray area than it seems because Kristen’s relying on him to like, shoot her videos and ad campaigns and sh*t. (So he does have a job…?)

Honorable mention to Ariana’s twerking, the brightest spot of the episode so far. 

Sandoval and Jax talk and Sandoval is trying to express how Jax is trying to one-up him and Jax’s brain just cannot grasp this criticism. Basically what I’m seeing is that Jax is back on the gaslighting train, and if you are not talking about his wedding and how great he is for getting married, then don’t talk to him at all.

Peak dark Jax gaslighting—Jaxlighting? Jaxlighting!—moment is when Jax says Sandoval should have congratulated him about his wedding more, and Sandoval literally pulls out a text in which he did just that. So Jax claims amnesia or his phone broke or he died because he just didn’t get that text. What a strange coincidence! Apple is so weird sometimes.

Jax knows he’s lost this round so he concedes to have Sandoval still be his best man… until Sandoval refuses to build a literal golden shrine to Jax for his bravery over proposing to the woman he was dating. We’ll see if Sandoval makes it up at the altar with Jax.

Carter makes the big mistake. Huge. of kissing Kristen a few times on the cheek in full view of all her friends, which is going to blow up in Kristen’s face big time. But before that, a wholehearted yikes for Katie’s talking head look:

All I can say is, this reminds me of the makeup I would wear in the late 90s from Claire’s becuase I didn’t know any better and I thought makeup had to be go big or go home.

Kristen chokes back tears… because she is going through sh*t, or because she knows she just got busted? So she asks Lala what they talked about and it becomes a screaming match that I will try to distill. Lala accuses Kristen of lying about her and Carter’s relationship, and Lala expresses something to the effect of “yea ok I get why Katie and Stassi are pissed about this too.” And, you know what? Same!

“Katie and Stassi” were apparently the trigger words, because Kristen flies off the damn handle. She says Lala walked away “like a f*cking bitch” and even I audibly gasp because I know that Lala is about to go full… well, Lala. If there’s one thing I know, it’s that you do NOT call Lala a bitch unless you want to get popped (kill me). She’s yelling, her finger is in Kristen’s face, and she keeps repeating “do not call me out of my name” (?) Can someone explain what this means? Is this a new movie starring Lala and Timotheé Chalamet?

Katie literally screams in Kristen’s ear, which is not an exaggeration because Katie says “I will scream this in your ear until it gets through your head.” And honestly, f*cking kill me for saying this, but I’m… with Katie on this? Kristen doesn’t want support, she wants to be coddled. There are only so many times you can hear your friend whine and cry about the same problem that you refuse to do anything about before you snap.

I don’t know what’s happening to me. Just when I think I know what to think, these people switch the game up.

Images: Giphy (4); Bravo (2)