Vanderpump Rules Recap: Fa Lala Lala

Vanderpump Rules

The Sociopath Test
Season 5 Episode 7
Editor’s Rating *****
Katie Maloney and Scheana Shay. Photo: Bravo

If Jax Taylor is a sociopath because an internet quiz told him so, then I should be living in South America as the walking embodiment of “La Isla Bonita” whose name is Tommy Pickles, because those are the results of the “Where should you live?,” “Which Madonna song are you?,” and “What your favorite Rugrats character says about you?” quizzes that I have taken online. I mean, it’s not like Stassi sat Jax down with the DSM-5 and did an in-depth analysis of his psychological well-being when she interviewed him on her podcast. Instead, she used a scientific analysis known in the scholarly community as the BuzzFeed quiz. Sure, that’s going to hold up in court.

The funniest part of the segment where Stassi interviewed her ex about his former “douchebag behavior” is when she went around and diagnosed the problems of all of her castmates. Sandoval is a narcissist, Kristin has borderline personality disorder, Ariana has a superiority complex, Katie has anger management issues, Scheana is a hypochondriac, and Stassi herself is an alcoholic. This is a favorite game that fans of reality celebs like to play with both this cast and the Real Housewives. You know, trying to figure out what is wrong with them.

While some of Stassi’s diagnoses may be true, I have diagnosed what is wrong with all of these people. They have a chronic disease known as being bad people. That’s it. It’s not always pathological. There is not some mysterious illness or pattern than can explain their behavior and make it acceptable. They’re just bad people. They’re selfish, awful, inconsiderate, horrible, emotional, booze-fueled sewer creatures and you can make up any sort of rationalization for why they are doing what they are doing, but that doesn’t mean that they are good people. They are not. They are bad people. Period.

Just look what is going on between Katie, Stassi, Kristen, Scheana, and Lala. Basically, it boils down to Katie, Stassi, and Kristen deciding that they hate Lala. In retaliation, Lala said some mean things about Katie and how she wanted to sleep with her boyfriend after they break up. (I mean, if Katie hates Lala, how must she feel about me, a person who imagines her husband in sexual situations and broadcasts them to the public every week?) But suddenly, all of the awful things they did to Lala are moot because … Lala deserves it for being mean to Katie. Now that Scheana wants to just forget it and move on, she is a bad friend who won’t stand up for herself because she refuses to hold onto anger for Katie’s sake.

This situation is just utterly ridiculous, and my imaginary boyfriend Tom Schwartz is right. Stassi, Katie, and Kristen are like the mob. Lala won’t pay protection money to them, so they’re coming after her. If Scheana won’t get with them, then they’re going to murder her too. It’s a pack mentality and, I have to say, it’s kind of fascinating and disgusting at the same time.

It all started to go really badly when Ariana — the only real human creature who seems to be in the orbit of SUR — tries to broker peace between Lala and Katie in the back alley at SUR, which is basically the Hall of Mirrors of the reality-television world. If we could just get the Israelis and Palestinians, the Chinese and the Taiwanese, or Mariah Carey and Ariana Grande to sit down around that greasy table in a back alley, I think the world would be a much better place.

The problem is that a peace negotiation requires both sides to want peace. Neither of them do. At the first sign of a challenge, Lala refuses to apologize again, even if that’s what it takes to bring détente. “Do I have to finger you to make you remember?” she asks Katie about her first apology. Um, no. We’ve all seen your nasty, pointy, nude-toned talons. No one wants those near her genitals, thank you very much.

I have to commend Scheana for wanting to resolve this whole mess. She decides to “apologize for anything I said about you that is untrue.” Unfortunately, this is where everything goes wrong. This is what we at the Real Housewives Institute call a “semantic apology” or a “conditional apology.” It’s not apologizing for all of the wrongs, just some of them. Scheana isn’t apologizing for hurting Lala; she’s merely apologizing for spreading untruths. The problem with this type of apology is that no one takes into account the semantic conditions. What Katie hears is “I’m sorry, and I want to be friends.” That is not what Scheana meant, but that’s why she is in this fresh hell now.

I don’t understand Kristin, Katie, and Stassi’s problem with Scheana anyway. What is so wrong with Scheana wanting to be liked? What is wrong with being a nice person? What is wrong with wanting to work someplace that is full of people who get along? What is wrong with these girls that they can’t see any of that? Can’t they all just be like, “Okay, we’re not friends, but we’re going to stop openly warring over these petty slights and injustices and just mind our own business?”

Naturally, it intensifies when Katie texts Scheana in the middle of the night to say that she “repulses” her. “What happened between 6 p.m. and midnight?” Scheana asks. “Probably Stassi Schroeder and tequila.” I have a feeling that that is the answer to so many of life’s questions.

Just like Jax can’t figure out who Gandhi is, I can’t figure out why SKK Music Factory won’t let go of this feud with Lala — who, if you notice, was then completely absent from this episode while everyone else fought about her. Is it that their primacy can’t be threatened at all? Is it that they need everyone to move in lockstep with them or else they aren’t considered friends? Is it that they need to win and ruin this girl’s life? What is it? These are serious questions. Why do they feel like this? Oh, I answered that above. It’s because they’re bad people.

Of course, the fight did not stop at the surprise party for Shay and Carter. First, a few notes on this party. As Tom Sandoval pointed out, this was not actually a surprise party since they both knew they were going to a party; they just thought it was a surprise for the other person. When they walked in and everyone shouted, “Surprise!” they had to explain what the surprise actually meant. Secondly, if Shay has recently stopped drinking, maybe don’t have a party for him where there is a kiddie pool full of margaritas. That’s like taking someone to the all-you-can-eat night at Sizzler to celebrate his gastric bypass surgery.

While Scheana was trying to not talk about the Lala mess at her (soon-to-be-ex) husband’s birthday, the drunk mess of Kristen, Stassi, and Katie refused to let that happen. The issue kept coming up again and again and got Stassi so heated that she ended up crying on the bathroom floor like that drunk girl in 16 Candles who got her hair cut off after it was stuck in the door.

“Why are you asking people to let it go?” Stassi asks Scheana. Well, maybe because she is the one who has to work with Lala. Maybe because there is enough anger in the world and focusing on hating Lala is just not a good use of anyone’s time. Maybe because what Lala did to Katie initially isn’t nearly as bad as what the four of them have done to her since.

“You have not been hurt by her in a serious way,” Stassi says to Scheana. But neither has Stassi. It’s Katie who won’t let this go. Katie is the one forcing everyone to “have her back,” but issuing unrelenting venom at Lala. Seriously, give it up, girls. There are so many better things to do with your life. Here is a list: getting your wrist tattoos removed, standing in line at the DMV to get your motorcycle license in case you want to buy a Vespa someday, Pilates, organizing your bra drawer and folding them all up in nice little balls and arranging them by color, volunteering at your local polling place during the elections, adult coloring (ugh).

Finally, Scheana has a revelation: “I never thought I was better than them until that minute because they were acting like assholes.” Finally. Finally! Is this what it is going to take? Are we looking at the Emancipation of Scheana Shay: A Woman in Need of More Consonants? I sure hope we are.

Meanwhile, in the hot tub that is attached to the pool, Tom Schwartz was standing in the waist-deep water with Peter, the sexy SUR manager, trying to avoid Katie’s wrath and figure out how to have the cheapest wedding possible. He looked at Peter’s chest and noticed how swole he’s gotten recently. “Damn,” Tom said. “Look at those pecs.” Tom gave them a solid punch just as Peter flexed, deflecting the brunt of Tom’s blow.

“Yeah, I’ve been really blasting them in the gym,” he said. “Touch them again.” Peter grabbed Tom’s wrist and laid Tom’s open palm on his right breast and flexed it, providing a firm base for his tentative touch. Tom smoothed his hand over the damp, smooth surface, brushing over Peter’s nipple gently, causing stirrings everywhere in his body. Tom couldn’t pull his hand away. He reached his left hand up and brushed Peter’s well-developed bicep and gave it a squeeze. The two of them got closer, their faces almost touching as they both smiled, curious about what might happen, playing a game of sexual chicken, daring the other to make the first move. The warm water burbled from the jets, washing their swimming trunks in waves against their crotches as the fabric got tighter and tighter. Tom took a small step forward to get a better grasp and Peter flexed his arm, exploding the moment as it tipped, slowly, to the inevitable.

Vanderpump Rules Recap: Fa Lala Lala