First of all, did we ever find out exactly how Katie fell through a skylight? Seriously, guys: I’m still on that from last week’s episode of Vanderpump Rules, The Breakfast Club recast with sentient omelets. Yes, she gets a giant bouquet from porcelain-faced party planner Kevin Lee for calling her. (You can say a lot about Lisa Vanderpump, but you can’t say she doesn’t know how to make great TV.) Katie also gets an “apology” from him where he says, “I’m sorry,” in the tone that most people use to say “excuse me” when somebody is blocking the aisle in a supermarket. So, yes, that story line is over, but I still have not had an adequate explanation for why Katie fell through a skylight. Could she please write a 500-word essay describing the events leading up to this accident? Thank you.
Speaking of Katie, this episode is really all about women learning to love their bodies. Even Ariana finally goes to see a therapist to talk about how she really doesn’t like her own vagina. My traditional warning about how any therapist willing to go on reality television is not worth having withstanding, I’m glad that she’s finally going to talk to someone about this.
That is because Ariana is hot. She is hotter than the surface of Mercury during a solar flare. She is hotter than the inside of a McDonald’s apple pie when you first bite into it. She is hotter than an orgy video of every athlete in the Olympic Village having sex at the same exact time in a pool of sriracha. That is how hot she is, and if she is not using that puss of hers to bewitch and beguile someone else, then Tom Sandoval is going to start schtupping his business partner or something. And I don’t mean Lisa. (I mean Ken Todd.)
They actually have a very real moment on the couch together where Tom tells Ariana that they used to have sex multiple times a week and he needs to be getting a little bit more. She asks for patience and tells him that she is trying to fix it, but then she says something that really hits home. She says that feeling sexy is about confidence and confidence is mainly an act. It’s easy to have that act with a stranger, when you’re playing a version of yourself, one that twerks and pours Champagne down her bikini and uses vibrating cock rings. But it’s harder to perpetuate that lie with someone who knows you intimately, who knows that that multiorgasmic Barbarella is nothing more than a limp façade. Ariana’s inability to have sex is not about drifting away, but about getting too close. That is something profound.
Of course Tom and Ariana are also getting ready for her “Kings and Queens” birthday party, the theme of which seems to spring from the fact that Ariana’s twink friend has a dance single with the same name so, okay, fine. Ariana shows up looking like the Virgin Mary on top, with a metal halo and a long blonde wig, but the bottom half looks like a slutty American Apparel (RIP) model in a gold bathing suit. Does this really look like a girl who won’t show her bare skin unless it’s covered in makeup? No, it does not, but whatever.
Ariana, her brother Jeremy (who looked like the Third Earl Garcia, the leading monarch of a Grateful Dead concert), and the artist formerly known as Jax (dressed in a white tuxedo jacket and a Party City crown) are really the only other two who understood the theme. Lala and Scheana show up dressed for Halloween, in that they are just dressed slutty. They are literally wearing lingerie underneath fur coats. I get it, they’re hot and want to be slutty. That’s fine. But all they had to do was add a crown to that same ensemble and it would have been a queen. I would have even given them bonus points for She-Ra Princess of Power or something like that, but that seems like advanced-level costume planning and these two are more concerned about Snapchat filters than they are about actually getting the theme right.
Now we have to talk about Tom Sandoval, who looks amazing in a professional costume and black-out contact lenses with a black sequin headdress. He looks like a dark wizard or something, or maybe a male witch. We can call him Male-ificent. It is a great costume, but it’s not giving me “king” as much as it’s giving me, “I used to have a goth band in high school and now I know a professional costumer.”
Both Ariana’s party and Stassi’s competing party across town both seem like classic Real Housewives parties in that they are themed, incredibly elaborate, and mostly empty. Stassi’s looked like it was in a half-finished basement on a cul-de-sac somewhere in suburban Atlanta. It does not look like a classy venue at all, which is good for a death-themed birthday party. (The irony of that is lost on everyone.)
Oh also, Stassi, Kristen, and Katie, the three-headed Gorgon of bad birthdays, did their makeup together and Stassi was going for a corpse of a hot girl, but one who hasn’t been dead long. Kristen was going for a slut in a morgue. I don’t know what Katie was going for, but it looks like she just has a healing bruise on one cheek.
My favorite part of Stassi’s party is that everyone shows up in a theme-appropriate costume except for Peter, the SUR manager who only ever wears blandly tight sweaters. Of course that is what Peter would wear to this death party. You can see him sitting at home thinking, “Oh, I could bother to put a little zombie flesh on my face and take 20 minutes to get into the spirit of things … or I could just wear a tight sweater. Yeah, I’ll do that. Whatever.” That is the most Peter thing alive, to be kind of adjacent to everything, but not willing to put in the effort to be fully there.
The other person not in any costume at all is Stassi’s boyfriend, Patrick. For the first time, I understand why these two are together and they completely deserve each other. But I also see why they break up so much. They are both just the most self-involved people with overinflated senses of their own worth that I have ever seen on my television screen and I am currently waist-deep in the first season of Celebrity Big Brother. They’re like the positive poles of two magnets, pushing each other away where there should be attraction. He goes to Amsterdam without her, she tries to sext, he’s not into it, she starts a fight, and he blocks her on his phone. That is their relationship in a nutshell: Drawing each other in only to push them away.
But the really stupid fight happens because Stassi doesn’t want to take a shot out of a stripper’s butt at her own birthday party in front of her boyfriend and her family. I don’t blame her, but to run down the street, her mind racing on a potent concoction of tequila and Adderall, is not the right way for this to end. But it is for Stassi, really. We’ve seen so many of her birthdays, and what she loves about them is that it is the one day every year that she can completely impose her ridiculous will on everyone. She gets to explode and behave horribly and have everyone coddle her and call her back into the folds of their bosom to quell the aching fire of self-doubt that burns in her brain like a never-extinguished star that is galaxies away.
As Katie and Kristen chase after her down the street, Tom Schwartz was left a little bit alone at the bar. His best friend Tom Sandoval was in a ridiculous costume across town and he was three Jägerbombs deep at this point. His wife was nowhere to be found and the gorgeous cashmere-coated mounds of Peter’s form were standing right in front of him. “Hey Peter,” Tom said, reaching out to place his open palm on Peter’s round shoulder and then smooth it down the firm, rippling flank of his back before letting it firmly rest on the slow rise of his buttocks. “Want a piece of cake?” Peter’s smile matched Tom’s and in a room full of fake death, they turned to face one another with a sigh that could resuscitate even the deadest of hearts.