Vanderpump Rules Recap: Life Is a Drag

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Vanderpump Rules

Vanderpump Rules

Man Tears and Braziers Season 5 Episode 16
Editor's Rating 5 stars

As the wobbling dervishes in the cast of Lisa’s Laws wake up in New Orleans wearing every article of clothing they wore out the night before and wipe the kamikaze-flavored crust from their eyes, they squint into the unrelenting sunlight and try to remember exactly what they fought about and what was the cause of all of those altercations. I will break it down for all of them because I know the root of every single argument that has ever happened on Ken Todd’s Wife’s Decrees: booze. Yes, every time they have come to blows or words were shouted at a volume loud enough that Helen Keller rose up momentarily in her grave, it was because of alcohol.

This should not be mysterious to them, yet they still insist that there are other triggers to these arguments. Tom Schwartz says the reason he fought with his fiancée, Katie, a Fruit Roll-Up that you can’t get all of the plastic off of, is because Katie felt unsafe and wanted to get in an Uber and started yelling at Tom for no reason. Oh, there is a reason and it rhymes with Hagermeister. Then Brittany and Jax are trying to figure out why they were so incensed about his apology to Stassi and I’m not sure what they came up with because Jax finished the conversation with Brittany the same way he does every conversation with Brittany: by showing her the palm of his fat hand and then collapsing onto his recently removed man boobs and pretending that she does not actually have a larynx.

But I’ll tell you the reason they fought: booze. The reason Katie fought with Tom Sandoval is booze. The reason Jax and Brittany fought is booze. The reason why Scheana Shay and Shay Shay fought is booze, unless it’s pills or maybe because he took all of her money, but even though he’s sober now, it probably has something to do with booze. It is always, always, always booze.

That’s why I was especially befuddled when Kristen and Scheana used the world’s oddest overreaction to shrimp étouffée to figure out that the reason that Katie and Tom fight is because Tom slept with a girl in Vegas and Katie won’t forgive him. Now, I’m not going to say that this is not true. However, it seems like Katie uses this hook-up with the Vegas girl (was it Trishelle?) not as a reason for a fight, but as ammunition against Tom to win a fight that is not related to it. It’s a trump card she can pull out at any time so that he has to relent and let her have her way. That’s what every fight they have is about. Tom won’t agree with Katie, usually when she’s drunk, and if she says, “Well, you cheated on me,” then she wins because Tom has to shut up.

As both Toms Schwartz and Sandoval point out, this has nothing to do with the four years of fights before the incident happened and really nothing to do with any of the fights we’ve witnessed this season. But to all the women on the show, of course this makes sense. This is the smoking gun, the one true ring to rule them all, and the last remaining Highlander all in a single incident. That’s because all these women ever do is cheat or get cheated on and fight about it, because they are all awful human beings. Of course they see cheating as the root of all evil. It’s like how people in AA think everyone is an alcoholic, people on Weight Watchers think you shouldn’t eat Bugles, or how porn stars think that a pizza delivery guy who won’t sleep with you absolutely is not doing his job.

Even if this was the source of all of their ills, Kristen and Scheana’s plan to bring it up at the bachelor-bachelorette party so that Tom and Katie can fight about it and get over it before the wedding is the stupidest thing I ever heard, and I watched the entire first season of Fuller House. If Kristen really wants to have a constructive conversation about Tom and Katie’s relationship, why not wait until everyone is sober and wearing gender-conforming clothing? Instead, she waits until Tom Schwartz is absolutely wasted and looks like a wax figure of Courtney Love that has been left too close to a radiator. What sort of reaction does she expect, other than Tom and Tom yelling about how stupid she is right there in the middle of the lobby?

Kristen’s strategy is so ill-conceived that even Katie thinks the “tact and execution was wrong.” All right, if Katie Maloney thinks that your tact and execution are off, then you are, as I like to say, totally busted. But also, Kristen, Scheana, and Carter (whom I used to like until he joined the Katie-Stassi-Kristen Borg) just need to get out of it and let Tom and Katie hash out their own problems. None of these people should be giving relationship advice, so just leave everyone alone.

There are only two real heroes in this fight. The first is the group of angry black girls who have to walk past this altercation on their way to the elevator so they can go up to their room and have a peaceful night away from all of these screeching white people. The other hero is Jax, who stays behind his door as the shouting rages and won’t let Brittany enter the fray. He tells her that it’s a ten-year war and she’s only been around for a year and getting involved in it would be absolutely stupid. This is the only sound decision that Jax has ever made in his entire life.

I will also give Stassi a Purple Heart for sitting on the floor of the hallway and poking her head out just enough that she could clearly see everything that was going on, but not have to deal with the fallout of actually joining in the shouting match. At that moment, Stassi was all of us.

It’s sad because this ridiculous fight mars what seems like an otherwise really fun bachelorette party, at least for the dudes and Ariana. As always, I’m with my girl Ariana, who said she would rather hang with the guys and go see a bunch of alligators in the swamp than sit around in a fancy restaurant and talk about all the drunk fights they’ve gotten in with their boyfriends. I was once again with Ariana when all the guys started crying after Carter told Schwartz that he needs to confront Katie about Vegas Girl (which is not a lesser-known Britney Spears perfume). She was like, “Dudes, if I wanted to be around all this crying, I would have gone to that stupid restaurant with the chicks!”

Poor Tom Schwartz, he looks miserable on their excursion, particularly because many of us know that overall general caca feeling that comes over you when you wake up drunk and your body slowly rolls from tipsy to hung-over while you are entirely conscious. It’s like trying to eat the piece of bread at the end of the loaf that has a bit of crust forming on it. Or it’s like eating oatmeal cooked in the microwave and getting that one bite of the freezing-cold center. Man, that is just the worst feeling.

To make it even worse, Jax, Sandoval, and Peter decide to torture Schwartz by putting fake snakes in the doughnut box, in the cooler, and just about everywhere else Schwartz might look. The kicker comes when he freaks the hell out and almost falls off their hovercraft when the tour guide pulls a baby gator out and shoves it in Tom’s face. I’ve seen nothing sadder than hunched-over, mostly drunk, petrified Schwartz wearing Sandoval’s naked ass as a hat. Not even sad Keanu can capture that level of inner anguish.

The guys dressing in drag is absolutely amazing too, especially because they do the right thing and hire some professionals to come in so get they done up correctly. As I said, Schwartz looked a bit like a melted Courtney Love, Sandoval looked like a PSA for resting bitch face, and Jax … well, Stassi said it better than I ever will: “He looked like your friend Tiffani with an i. The friend that needs a ride to the check-cashing place and then another ride to 7-Eleven for cigarettes.” Okay, I resign. This recap will now be written by Stassi Schroeder.

However, I will question their decision to go to a sports bar. I feel like they should have hit up a place with a bit more of a party atmosphere, and maybe somewhere a bit darker where they would might have passed as actual women rather than dudes in dresses. Peter — bless his hot, beefy, shirtless body — looks absolutely the worst, like the social-studies teacher who gives you too much homework. But he is also the best drag queen. All the other guys just complain about their junk and try to talk about their penises. The key to being a drag queen is not to talk about your biological gender, but rather to expose it for the construct and sham that it truly is. Then again, maybe someone in a dress showing off the flat bulge where his penis should be is doing just that.

But what made Schwartz even want to do drag in the first place? Maybe it was that night in Vegas, two years ago. He partied with Jax in a booth at Surrender, waving their bottles over their heads and looking to see just how far they could push the limits before being thrown out. At one point, we locked eyes across the room. He sloshed some vodka into a thick, plastic glass and then thrust it out toward me, beckoning. That night I was dressed as my alter ego, Amber Sand, and I sashayed over and took the drink. We chatted close, which was hard over the thumping techno music, but as the lights circled like a squad car caught in a tornado, we finally began to kiss as if nothing was happening around us.

Just as quickly his hand was up my skirt and it discovered something he wasn’t expecting, something he wasn’t used to. He pulled away, but I acted quickly, pulling his face back to mine and pulling him even closer. He pulled away again and shouted, “I’m not …” I looked at him with a look that said it didn’t matter, that I would offer him everything he could possibly imagine. Surrender, my eyes said. Surrender, my body said. He inched slowly closer to me. “Just don’t tell …” and I started kissing him again, pulling his hand back up my skirt, before he could even say her name.

Vanderpump Rules Recap: Life Is a Drag