Well, fam, it’s been the best of times, it’s been the worst of times. And I mean that with respect to this past season of Vanderpump Rules, and not even the current state of the world. Jax and Brittany got married (worst). Stassi and Beau got engaged (fine). Max and Brett…existed (worst). Charli graced our screens (best). Scheana’s music video happened (worst and best). Sandoval decided to be a petty bitch (best). This must have been how Dickens felt. Yes I do consider myself a literary Great, thanks for asking.
We open with what better be the last I hear of this, Dayna and Brett continuing to force this showmance in our face. Brett clarifies that he’s definitely interested in Dayna though he doesn’t have feelings for her per se. Dayna, who is taking whatever scrap of affection she can get at this point, clarifies that “he was just being attacked and it didn’t come out right.” Really? Because to me it sounded like honesty. But sure, I guess it’s easier to band together against Scheana as a common enemy than admit the guy you’re making out with doesn’t like you.
Ok guys, so remember in the midst of the music video episode where Brett made a comment about Scheana offering to suck his d*ck? And me saying that it was probably one of Scheana’s “jokes” that’s not really a joke bcause it’s just a thinly veiled truth? So that’s coming back full circle, and here’s what really happened: Scheana “offered” to pay Brett for the music video with a blow job “as a joke.” Who needs sex when you can just be right all the time?
So again, still not really sure how I shake out on the whole Brett vs. Scheana fiasco, but I’ll just say that, again, if a male employer said this to a woman, this would be sooooo bad.
However, I will say Dayna is right that Max’s whole “woe is me” shtick is completely ludicrous considering he rejected Dayna straight-up and has banged a bunch of other girls since then. I’m sure he’ll find another girl to pretend to have feelings for, since I get the sense that women are disposable to him. Like, I get that you need to make up fake storylines to stay on this show, but pick another lane.
Speaking of Max, he is on another f*cking planet telling Lisa, “Dayna told me she has feelings for me, and the next day she’s making out with Brett.” Dude, you buried the fucking lede which is that after Dayna said she had feelings for you, you TOLD HER YOU DIDN’T HAVE FEELINGS BACK AND SENT HER ON HER MERRY WAY! And then you’ve f*cked like, five other girls. Why do men…
Honestly I get why Ariana is annoyed about people talking sh*t about her house, but also, if she wants people to “shut the f*ck up about things that have nothing to do with them” then she should really get off a reality show. That’s the entire point.
Apparently Kristen rage-texted Stassi to tell her they’re not friends, which feels a lot like when conservatives “boycotted” Hamilton. She also tells her to “thrive”, which feels very Kristen, and is probably the name of her newest line for James Mae. Or maybe she just joined an MLM… I could see either one happening. Or both, at the same time.
What f*cking universe am I in that I am siding with Katie and being like, “Yes girl, block Jax and tell it right to his wife’s face”?! This may be the most surprising twist of 2020 so far.
In other “what universe am I in” news, James’s mom is back, and she is sober but found out she had cancer and had a double mastectomy. Holy sh*t, this is dark. But, I will say, James’s mom looks a lot better and is not incoherently rambling about James taking his first steps at a Tiffany’s. Is this show, like, a covert PSA for sobriety? I may be onto something.
Stassi and Beau’s house hunting bit literally feels like an episode of House Hunters because one of them doesn’t seem to have a job but yet their budget is somehow $2 million.
I’m a fake casting director. And I wrote a book that actively made people dumber. Our budget is $2.5 million.
The Toms are meeting with Lisa and Ken in some half-abandoned building to talk about if they’re going to invest in this new restaurant. This is giving me the most annoying sense of déjà vu, and I really do not want to sit through another season of Lisa sh*t talking Tom and Tom and then simultaneously pretending to ask for their input. Please do not do this to me. I already suffered through the TomTom origin story. I won’t do it again!
So it’s the day of the Hollywood Reporter shoot and Max has to contend with Bootleg Scheana and Real Scheana. Oh wow, am I glad she’s back. I haven’t felt this excited about a surprise appearance since Miami Girl. I’ve gotta say, the guise for this photoshoot is a little shaky: “oh, we’re just going to invite a bunch of people from a few restaurants for this Hollywood Reporter photoshoot”. Just say you’re inviting the whole VPR cast, we all know what this is. It actually concerns me that there are people out there who just take the producers at their word. But also, please give me their names because I’ve got a bridge to sell them.
Ariana pulls Jax aside, and I’m honestly concerned that she is only just now realizing that Jax doesn’t make mistakes, this is just who he is. Girl, we’ve only been saying this for the past… which season are we on? 8 seasons.
However, I do stan a queen for being like “you don’t know what the f*ck you’re talking about so keep my name out your mouth.” Jax just rolls his coke eyes, and Ariana walks away. We don’t deserve her.
Okay, so Max pulls Brett aside to basically try to have it both ways. He is both over her and f*cking other girls and also not over it. Dude, grow up.
The poor girls at SUR were done really dirty for this shoot, having to wear their tacky 2009 shirt dresses while everyone else gets full wardrobe glam.
Jax is such a jackass, claiming he doesn’t have a SUR shirt, and not even owning a single black shirt for the photoshoot. This is f*cking Los Angeles!! I KNOW you own at least one black shirt. I’m glad that Sandoval is f*cking over him, because so am I.
Also LOL at Jax’s full coke glower during the shoot. My new hobby is dismissing all of Jax’s feelings and chalking them up to cocaine.
Poor Brittany tries to tell Jax he looks hot, and he goes, “You think I care? I don’t give a sh*t.” Oookay. Whether she walked into this marriage eyes wide open or not, I do feel bad for Brittany. This relationship is exhausting and I’m not even in it.
Lisa pulls Jax aside to be like, “what the hell is going on with you?” Surprisingly, Jax still isn’t happy despite having a wife and a house and his health. It’s almost like putting a ring on it can’t solve your deep-seated issues! Huh. Imagine that!
Anybody else notice how Jax manages to be smug even while asking for help? He goes from, “nothing’s wrong with my marriage, my marriage is great” to “I know something’s wrong and that’s why I’m trying to fix it” in the blink of an eye. But what is he actually doing to fix it besides running away from his marriage by going to the gym three times a day? I don’t really think this is what Elle Woods meant when she said endorphins make you happy.
It’s time for the TomTom party, and Kristen is bringing Carter, whom she’s exclusively dating again.
Meanwhile, Karrah found Max and is refusing to let him escape. Actual footage of her not letting him ghost her after their Vegas hookup:
Jesus, she and Scheana really are the same person. It would be funny if it weren’t so terrifying.
Ariana and Stassi bond for a second about boob tape before Ariana is like, “well this is awkward that we’re kind of getting along rn because you talked sh*t about my house to Scheana?” And Stassi pulls a total f*cking power move and calls Scheana over like she’s a misbehaving child getting called to the principal’s office. Oof, this is gonna be awkward when Scheana watches the tape back and realizes that she quoted the wrong person word for word. Can’t wait for the reunion!
Meanwhile, Karrah comes over to crash and everyone is like, “not now, Karrah!” This is SO SCHEANA. I’m cackling. Get this girl some chunky glasses and a pair of crutches, and we are set.
Danica, for no reason, decides to insert herself into the conversation to tell Karrah to chill. And Karrah I guess watched one too many bad movies right before she blacked out (or she just watched Bethenny and Kelly’s meeting at Brass Monkey) because she says to Danica, “I’m happy to know that you’re sitting down watching me, because that’s where you should be.”
Karrah then follows Danica to mumble some other incoherent fake-villain nonsense, and instead of being like “this bitch is drunk and not making sense,” Danica decides to go FULL Kristen circa “suck a d*ck.” Danica, this isn’t your Bad Girls Club audition. Tone it down, now you’re coming off looking like the crazy one. This behavior ends up getting Danica sent home from the party, with the implication that it may cost her her job.
White Kanye manages to do his whole set without drunkenly slurring anything, and I’m proud of him. He also goes up to Randall to apologize. Randall totally forgives James and provisionally invites him to the wedding. Why the f*ck am I crying in the club right now? Do I like Randall? He seems less-terrible than a lot of the other dudes on this show. Okay, maybe not a lot… just Jax. But still! Help.
Call Brian Moylan because the Toms kiss under their portrait of them kissing! The fanfic just writes itself.
Ugh, for the love of god, Dayna pulls Max aside to talk to him yet again. Literally, WHY?? What could possibly be said at this point that either of your pea-sized brains have not conceived of already?
And before you come at me for saying that their brains are pea-sized, here is a direct transcription of their conversation:
Dayna: You’re trying to make me the bad guy
Max: No you’re trying to make me the bad guy, you’re on your high horse
Dayna: Are you kidding me? You’re on the jankiest high horse of all time
Max: I’m good off you
Dayna: I’m good off you bro
Max: Bro, no what’s mine say?
Dayna: Sweet! Bro, what’s mine say?
Dayna says “between Max and Brett, I choose me”. What should be a feminist, self-empowering moment is just… not, because Dayna is still actively choosing Brett. You can’t say you’re choosing yourself when you’re still choosing some lame dude with poodle hair who doesn’t even like you enough to sleep with you. I just… can’t.
As his one last attempted shot, Max reminds Dayna that he hired her. I think it’s pretty clear that the casting directors hired her, but whatever you tell yourself to sleep at night, bro.
Lisa cheers to new beginnings, and that should be the end of the episode, except that what happens next is truly masterful. In one corner, we have Jax and Sandoval mutually agreeing that their friendship is basically a charade at this point. In the other corner, Kristen, Stassi, and Katie are rehashing their sh*t show of a summer and concluding that they are also no longer friends.
Jax tells Tom, “something’s wrong with me. I was in Home Depot buying flowers and I start breaking down crying in aisle 8.” Is it bad that I was not like “wow something’s wrong, he’s crying in public”, but rather, “wow, something’s wrong, he’s buying flowers at Home Depot”?
And in that same corner, Jax claims he feels like he’s handicapped by his mental health issues, when Sandoval says that’s basically a cop-out. What the f*ck is with these people and only thinking mental health issues are legitimate when they personally are affected by them? Then again, I too struggle to muster anything resembling sympathy towards Jax because of *gestures broadly to the past 8 seasons of this show, and his Twitter feed, and who he is as a person*
Over in Kristen’s corner, Stassi calls out Kristen’s victim mentality. Kristen fails to understand why Stassi and Katie don’t want to be her friend anymore, even though they spell it out in plain English for her right then, and also multiple times over the course of the whole season.
For all the sh*t we’ve talked about this season, this is excellent television. Two dynasties are falling concurrently. The Witches of Weho are no more. Sandoval and Jax are “on a break”. THIS is what we want to see. The real sh*t. The messiness. Not Dayna and her two racist fake-boyfriends.
And as a montage of Tom and Tom and Jax plays to the tune of a slowed-down version of the Vanderpump Rules theme song, and Jax, in full (you know what I’m about to say) COKE RAGE tells Lisa, “these are my real friends. This is what makes my show so successful”, I truly feel like we’ve done it. We’ve returned to the glory days. Jax has reached peak narcissism, and as those words slip out of his mouth, he knows he’s f*cked up—even before Lisa tells him to not get it twisted, this is her show.
This is precisely why Jax needs to be off the show. His narcissism has reached such a point that he truly believes he is the show, and that is why he acts like a petulant child whenever anyone does anything other than build shrines to his ego and kiss the ground he walks on. But in reality, at least the people I speak to (I can’t speak for the middle-America mom constituency) are tired of seeing the same sh*t from him, and we are over it. We are over Jax’s “woe is me” act and predictable pattern of self-sabotage. We are over him throwing fits when he is called out on his sh*t. Frankly, we are over watching a 40-year-old man continue to act incredulous that his toxic behaviors do not yield the same results as they did in his 30s. Truthfully, the only thing Jax is good for are his coke rages, and even that would wear thin after a while. And the fact that his and Brittany’s spin-off only lasted six episodes before getting the axe should be all the proof Bravo needs that viewers do not want him on our televisions.
So this is where the episode ends. The Witches of Weho are dead. Jax and Sandoval’s friendship is teetering on the edge of destruction. The friendships that brought us this show have buckled under the pressure of seven hit seasons and latent personality disorders. And honestly? If Vanderpump Rules can’t film season 9 because of the pandemic, then I think this was a perfect send-off.
Images: Bravo; Giphy