This week’s episode of Vanderpump Rules, the world’s most effective abstinence-only sex-education video, is all about couples. Well that and Jax being old and needing to be rescued while swimming about 12 feet to a buoy. Jax is totally the butt of all of this episode’s jokes, the biggest of which is what he looks like with his shirt off now. He was once so young and pretty and now he’s a 39-year-old man with a high school education, a dead-end job, an expanding midsection, an apartment with a second floor that somehow seems to defy logic, and a Reiki therapist that he’s in love with but who is happily married to a graphic designer named Scott.
The festering realization that life has gotten away from Jax isn’t helped when he tries to exercise in the elevation of Big Bear and can’t even run around the block without getting winded. This is a real thing, but the producers try to play it off just like Jax was fat, which is kind of mean. After a failure at running and doing planks, Jax then decides that he’s going to swim out to a buoy for his exercise. He only makes it about halfway before he loses his breath and feels like he’s going to die. Instead of just chilling and floating for a bit until he can regain his breath and composure, Jax freaks out and makes the lifeguard, who looks like he is in Margaritaville in spirit if not in body, get out of his very comfortable beach chair and save Jax’s tired ass.
What really punctuates this rescue is Jax’s life flashing before his eyes with the editors cobbling together a video that basically consists of Jax getting cussed out by various and assorted girlfriends, getting wasted, fighting people, apologizing for being an asshole, and otherwise lacking any regret whatsoever for all of the oafish behavior that got him here in the first place. I think I need to play it every night before I go to sleep just to feel a little bit better about myself.
Of all the couples we look at this episode, the saddest is Scheana and Rob. Look at when they get up in the morning and Scheana says, “I love you” to Rob, and he just lies there. Then she goes with, “You’re my favorite,” and he replies by asking her a question about the dog. Then he gets out of bed in his underwear and she says, “You’re so sexy,” and he just snaps at the elastic band of his boxer briefs and pretends like he didn’t hear anything at all. It is a silent indictment of everything going on between them, but, I must admit, it made me kind of happy that Scheana was getting blown off after being so delusionally happy about this relationship and lording it over everyone.
It is even worse when Rob goes out on the boat with Jax and Tom Sandoval and tells them that he was dating a princess of Brunei (exclamation point) and that he broke it off with her (double exclamation point) because he just wasn’t ready for a real relationship (triple explanation point) and then he got into a relationship with Scheana right after (GIF of an atomic bomb explosion playing forever). Then Rob tells the guys that Scheana is saying that she loves him, but he doesn’t want to go throwing that word around. I mean, how messed up is it that this guy won’t dump Scheana but will say this in front of her closest friends? It’s sure to get back to her, but even if they don’t say anything, he said this on camera. There is no aggression more passive that I have ever witnessed in my entire life.
This dude clearly has no interest in being in a relationship. Meanwhile, Scheana is talking about how they’re going to get married and looking at houses together. She’s even named their daughter Madison Marie Parks Valetta. Of course Scheana wants a daughter named Madison. The only thing sadder and more predictable is how she goes off on Kristen about how much she and Rob are in love even though he won’t say it.
The other crazy couple is Lala and James. Now, I can’t really blame James for being in love with Lala because I saw her topless for about five seconds and even I’m trying to figure out a way how I could get up next to her and I haven’t been with a woman since before the Monica Lewinsky scandal. James obviously has it very bad for her and he flirts with her thirstily in public, even in front of his girlfriend. Plus, there is a really weird scene where all three of them are in the shower together in what appears to be their bathing costumes. What is that all about? Why are they filming this and why couldn’t they just shower on their own?
James talks about Lala getting a boyfriend and how that made him jealous. “I had to find somebody,” he says about his girlfriend Raquel, a YouTube makeup tutorial that somehow has a soul. If that isn’t a ringing endorsement, I don’t know what is. Raquel, a Coachella flower crown that grew limbs, talks to Lala about how James is always flirting with Lala and how it makes her uncomfortable. Lala tells her that she has nothing to worry about and that she would never disrespect another woman by sleeping with her man. She’s right, Lala is not the one she needs to worry about. She needs to worry about the fact that her man is not in love with her.
Lala decides to bring it up to James in the hot tub where he’s deploying his surreptitious but ever-present pursuit. Lala finally lays down the law and lets James know that if he makes her choose between him and her boyfriend, she’s going to choose her boyfriend every time. He doesn’t quite get the message, but at least Lala has entirely spelled it out for him. If only James would have the same courtesy with Raquel, a Snapchat filter that automatically gives you vocal fry.
Lisa actually has a really nice conversation with Stassi for her podcast and talks about her relationship with Ken. I loved the pictures of the two of them at their wedding when Lisa was 21 and Ken was 36 and they look like they just stepped off the set of a Dynasty wedding special. What Lisa’s message boils down to is that she isn’t the one who landed Ken, he is the one who landed her. They needed to approach each other as equals who were equally in love. That is what has made their relationship work for more than 30 years. It’s a lesson every woman on this show could stand to learn.
Oh, and Tom Sandoval and Ariana are having a stupid fight about how Tom is going to be in Vegas for his birthday on a business trip with Ken and Lisa. We all know this is ridiculous because of course the whole cast is going, because there is no way that Lisa Vanderpump is not going to get the optimum return on investment of this trip, which means filming for at least one of her two reality television programs.
Meanwhile, Katie and Tom go out on a date night and, I must say, it’s entirely lovely. (They both look fantastic, like they have both lost weight and that Katie is finally doing something to give her hair volume.) They’re getting along and it’s nice to watch a couple that actually seems to be doing well. Then Katie says, “Who knew that nine years ago when I took this job at SUR, it would lead me to you and it would lead you to TomTom.” Um, most people would see a job at SUR as a stopping point along the way to somewhere else, but Katie sees it as an endpoint. Well, at least we don’t have to worry about her being overly ambitious.
After the mariachi band played and Tom told Katie about his trip to Vegas with Lisa, Ken, and Tom Sandoval, Katie angled for an invitation. No, she invited herself, horning in on what was not only to be a business trip, but some time alone together. Schwartz knew that he would have to call off his plans, cancel the honeymoon suite. He had one more vision of Sandoval, walking across a window-lined room, his body embraced by the slanting desert sunshine. He was wearing only a pair of hot pink boxer briefs and his perky package moved, almost imperceptibly, from side to side as he walked toward Schwartz, who was sitting on a sofa.
Sandoval got low and pressed his mouth on Schwartz’s, their stubble gritting together as Sandoval pushed his body back onto the couch and laid on top of him, bare chest against bare chest. Schwartz slid his fingers under the waistband of Sandoval’s shorts; they both felt little bolts of electricity all through Schwartz’s fingers as they skidded over the fine hairs of Sandoval’s nether regions. Their kisses deepened as they rubbed their manhoods together and Schwartz thought about every place, every flat surface, where he could take Sandoval, every position in which they could defile the furniture with their unspeakable love as the sun worked its way toward the unclutchable reaches of the desert and the stars popped out into their window like tiny brilliant fish piercing the surface of a pond for the first time.