Vanderpump Rules Recap, Reunion Part Two: From the Mouths of Babes

Vanderpump Rules

Reunion Part Two
Season 5 Episode 23
Editor’s Rating *****
Photo: Nicole Weingart/Bravo

I find Lala to be completely exasperating. She’s the kind of person who can in one moment attack all her reality-show castmates, screaming that they’re bullies who don’t deserve to know about her, and in the next breath apologize to them. She’s the kind of person who will tell everyone that it’s none of their business who she is dating, while at the same time fomenting speculation about the mystery that she’s trying to conceal. She’s the kind of person who wants the fame and adoration that comes from being on the boob tube without making any of the corresponding sacrifices.

It’s that final point that was really hammered home during this midway point of the Vanderpump Rules reunion extravaganza. We learned that Lala thinks she is so important that everyone around her needs to sign an NDA (for Brittany and anyone else who has never visited a tech company office or tried to watch advance screeners of a Marvel TV show, that is a non-disclosure agreement), but also doesn’t think the details of her life are all that important. It just makes no sense — and at the end of the day, it’s sort of sad.

Lala is someone who had a hard time in high school, as she herself told us, and is now so incredibly insecure that she needs the adoration of people she doesn’t know in order to feel better about herself. But she doesn’t want everything that comes along with that: sharing her personal life, being held up for scrutiny, having her words and actions judged. She’s a cautionary tale for the reality-television age, one with far too much makeup and nails that make her look like the book cover for Roald Dahl’s The Witches.

The real revelation during her segment of the reunion came from Stassi and Tom Sandoval. Stassi said she tried to keep her relationship with Patrick off camera, and that’s one reason it failed. Sandoval said you can’t be an open and authentic person in front of the camera and not disclose that part of your life to the public. (Well, he didn’t quite say that, because he has never been an American Studies major, but that’s what he was hinting at when he told Lala that she can’t have her cake and eat her married boyfriend too.)

I agree with them. When you sign up to be on this kind of show, you have to give up everything, including relationships with people who don’t want to be on TV. You can be like Tom and Katie, who bare every argument for the cameras, or it can be like Kristen and Carter, the latter of whom shows up at pool parties but mostly keeps his mouth shut and stays out of the fray. Holding things back and trying to be on television are never going to work.

That said, the previews of the next episode, featuring Scheana No Tea No Shay and her estranged husband, Shay Shay, make me want to cringe. Yes, I appreciate these people who give us a voyeuristic view into their lives for our entertainment, but there has to be a line somewhere, right? Crying and discussing your breakup in front of Andy Cohen seems a bridge too far. Then again, that’s why I’m sitting on my couch sniping at these people and not starring in the Real Boring Homosexuals of Do Nothing Village.

Speaking of disclosures on reality television, I need to apologize to Brittany’s mom, Sherry, for her appearance earlier this season. She asked Jax about the rumors of homosexuality in his past and I took it for homophobia. After what Brittany and Jax said at the reunion, I think I need to reassess. Sherry may not be a homophobe; as a woman from rural Kentucky, I can see how she would be concerned about her daughter’s relationship. Still, the fact that Jax made out with a guy, or even had a relationship with a guy or was openly bisexual, shouldn’t be a problem for Sherry if he proves that he can love and be faithful to her daughter.

But that is in an ideal world. We do not live in an ideal world. We live in a world where if Jax told people in Brittany’s hometown that he made out with a dude in the past, they would probably take him out to a barn and beat the shit out of him. We should all be angry that we still live in that world, and do everything we can to change it, but that change is not going to come about by shaming Sherry on social media and trying to hound her into changing her mind. That’s just going to make her retreat even more, which is the exact opposite of progress.

We’re really going to get a chance to see her rural life now that Jax and Brittany Take Kentucky is going to be a real show this summer on Bravo. The marketing geniuses that they are, Bravo used a solid two minutes of prime-time air space to force us all to watch the trailer for this upcoming show. I gotta say, I’m already kinda hooked.

I’m even more keen to tune in because really there is nothing wrong with Brittany. She seems nice and sweet and regular. Yes, she might be a little dim and sheltered, but it’s hard to be both an authentic person and not a complete monster and still make for good TV. Stassi’s brother Nicolai notices this, too, and Brittany is the only person of the whole bunch he doesn’t think needs any advice.

I don’t know how I feel about Nicolai. It’s kind of cute that he comes out and tells everyone how to live their lives, but also it seems a bit like we’re using this poor precocious tyke for our own needs. Also, his advice is really simple. He just tells Stassi not to be selfish, Katie not to drink so much, Schwartz to respect women, and Jax to get his life together. It’s the fact that these dolts, who spend more time picking their belly button lint than examining themselves, can’t figure that out that makes them so compelling to watch. We hate them all and want to fix them — but if they ever changed, we’d be the first to tell them to pack it in.

Vanderpump Rules Recap, Reunion Pt. 2: Pump Paradoxes Abound