There is no better metaphor for Katie and Tom’s bachelor-bachelorette trip to New Orleans than when they are walking down Bourbon Street and Katie gets hit right in the face by a string of errant beads thrown off a balcony. Katie is doing something that is supposed to be fun and a token of that party atmosphere comes flying out of nowhere and causes her unexpected pain. That’s all this trip is: Katie getting ambushed and not really liking it.
First of all, I have to question the sanity of a joint bachelor and bachelorette party. Isn’t the idea of these parties that you get to go out with your boys/girls one more time and really live it up before you settle into couplehood and kids and building Ikea shelves and fighting about who has to do carpool and going to boring dance recitals and falling asleep on the couch on Sunday before Westworld is even over? When you have everyone together, it is no longer a bachelor-bachelorette party. It is then just a party. No one wants to watch his boyfriend or girlfriend go off to see strippers or whip himself in the face with a plastic dick on a spring. This is just a party before a wedding. And that’s lame.
The fact that this is a coed excursion is what spells the most trouble for Katie. She and Tom have been fighting, and it all comes to a head a few days before in beautiful Azusa, California, the home of noted commercial personality Joe Azusa. Tom has given up on the day, which we know because he is wearing a manmuu (that is a muumuu for a man). Katie is not really talking to him because, I don’t know, they had some sort of inexplicable fight the prior day. Apparently it had something to do with Tom and Ariana, and Katie decided the right thing to do was text both of them about how she and Tom Schwartz only fight about Ariana and Tom Sandoval so they have to do something about that. What are they supposed to do? They can’t stop the fighting, only Tom and Katie can do that, and they both aren’t really going to take the steps to do it.
I hate to say that Jax is right about anything, but his metaphor for Tom and Katie’s relationship is perfect. He likens it to a stinky room and, instead of finding the source of the stench, they just continue to mask it up by spraying Febreze everywhere. Even though they vow not to get all ragey in New Orleans, we all know that another fight is a brewing because that dead mouse/pile of doo-doo/moldy three-week-old container of General Tso’s chicken is still sitting there in the corner.
Katie all but makes this fight inevitable when she asks that Schwartz prioritize her feelings above everything else. I think this is actually sound advice for a typical relationship. The thing is, most human creatures have feelings that follow established patterns. Katie, on the other hand, does not. The problem with Schwartz trying to protect her feelings is that no one ever knows where those feelings might originate. Trying to make Katie’s feelings a top priority is like trying to take a piss on a rocking boat — both will inevitably end in a huge mess.
Of course, it comes up again when Tom Sandoval is talking to Katie and Tom Schwartz is talking to Ariana. Sandoval tells Katie that the two of them need to talk to someone about their problems. Ariana tells Schwartz that maybe they should drink a bit less and then they wouldn’t fight so much. They are both 100 percent correct. They are more right than three left turns. However, Katie is also right that they shouldn’t bring this up during a bachelor-bachelorette party. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is exactly why you don’t have a joint party.
Stassi is also having a bit of a difficult time in New Orleans, and not because she is wearing a white mullet sweater that looks like a business blazer in the front and something resembling a long party in the back. No, she’s sad because she’s the only one who isn’t in a couple. (Oh, don’t worry, Stassi. We all know Scheana Shay and her husband, Shay Shay, will be broken up in a matter of minutes anyway.) I find it a little difficult to really be sympathetic to Stassi because, well, she’s Stassi and she’s kind of the worst person ever. But still, there is something that I love about her and want to protect. At least she now knows that she is negative and abrasive. Sure, she doesn’t choose to do anything about it, but acceptance is the first step on the road to recovery, right?
Stassi takes Brittany over to complain about how she doesn’t like it that all the couples are acting like couples in front of her. She doesn’t want to watch Jax pass Brittany a Jell-O shot with his mouth because, well, it’s disgusting, and also because the most important things are Stassi’s feelings. Yes, Stassi only cares about Stassi so if people going about their everyday lives are making her feel bad, then they just need to cut it out altogether.
Luckily, Jax comes over and listens to what Stassi had to say and asked her what she wanted. At first he is a total dick because she was acting a bit inappropriately, but then she tells him she wants him to apologize. I don’t think asking for an apology from her ex who did all of those awful things to her, like cheating with one of her best friends, is a bad idea. Jax really delivers too. He finally says sorry. He tells her that he is a different person now, but that he did a lot of bad things back then and he was a total asshole. He tells her that she deserves better. He even cries a bit and she cries a bit and I hope that this will help the two of them move forward and be bigger people. I doubt it though.
The only person who reacts incorrectly is Brittany, who gets mad that Jax apologized to Stassi for torturing her for several years, but he still won’t apologize for making her look at his dick pic during an improv show. Seriously, Brittany, get over it. It’s like being at the doctor and listening to him apologize to someone for botching a lobotomy and then getting mad at the same doctor because he forgot to give you a lollipop. There are economies of scale at play here that Brittany is not taking into account.
Across the patio, Tom Schwartz and Tom Sandoval were getting closer and Sandoval took off his shirt to reveal a Tom No. 1 shirt underneath it. Then he took off his shirt again, and there was a Tom No. 2 shirt underneath that. “Oh my god, bro,” Schwartz shouted, knowing what that meant. Yes, he was going to be Tom No. 1, finally, after all these years, at his bachelor party he gets to ascend to the primary spot. Sandoval handed over the No. 1 shirt, and that is just what happened.
The two of them partied together, in their matching shirts, toasting and tottering all over town. Slowly their friends peeled off one at a time and only the Toms were left standing in the French Quarter. They walked around for a bit looking for a bar and stumbled around until they found a place called the Eagle, which looked appealing. It was dark and had a brooding vibe that made it seem like there was cocaine available and something crazy could happen at any moment. With their arms around each other for support, they walked into a sea of men.
Two guys approached them, one with only a leather vest over his hairy chest and a pair of leather chaps below. He had a leather jock as well, and the Toms could see the side of his furry ass from behind as he approached. The other had on a tight black T-shirt and jeans. His outfit really didn’t match the brown hankie in his back pocket. “It’s this guy’s bachelor party,” Sandoval said, pointing to Schwartz with the hand that wasn’t around his shoulder.
“Well, Tom No. 1, let me show you where you guys can get what you’re looking for,” said the one in the vest, grabbing Tom’s hand and leading him down a dark hallway to a restroom with no door. Inside there were two stalls, also without doors, and a long metal trough along the wall. The guy in the T-shirt followed behind them with Sandoval, pushing him down into one of the stalls and seating him on the toilet. Schwartz stood up to the trough and was about to undo his fly, when he felt a warm trickle down the leg of his jeans. He turned over and his new friend was relieving himself on Tom.
“Dude, what the fuck!” Tom shouted.
“Oh, sorry, man,” he responded. “We figured you guys were, you know, into ‘number one’ and number —” Before he could finish Sandoval was shouting from his stall.
“What. The. Fuck,” he shouted. “This is the best night of my life.”