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Vanderpump Rules Recap: Jax Off

Vanderpump Rules

Reiki Breaky Heart
Season 6 Episode 19
Editor’s Rating *****

Vanderpump Rules

Reiki Breaky Heart
Season 6 Episode 19
Editor’s Rating *****
Photo: Bravo

Of all the awful things that Jax Taylor has done during his 38 years on this planet, breaking up with Brittany is perhaps the most awful. But maybe it’s the most humane? I don’t know. After a week away from his de facto therapist Kelsey the Reiki Lady while she’s in Africa, Jax is at a loss what to do about his girlfriend. He knows that he is profoundly unhappy and that something in his life has to change. He’s been talking of moving to Florida to pursue a career tweeting for a hockey team. But what he decides, after a night of stress eating and stabbing at a pint of ice cream like he’s doing an audition for the sequel to The People v. O.J. Simpson, is to break up with Brittany.

Let’s be generous for a moment and decide that he’s doing the right thing. As he tells Brittany, he thinks she needs someone who wants to get married and have children, someone who will “treat her like the princess she is.” Jax knows that he’s not that person. He’s operating under the old rubric of “If you love someone, let her go.” This is sort of like a relationship mercy killing. He tells her repeatedly that he’s unhappy, not because of her, but as a result of that unhappiness, he’s breaking up with her. The way he tells her that it’s not about her, though, belies that he hates her just a little bit and thinks that her caring about her own emotional well-being is an act of selfishness. As I’ve said many times before, the only person Jax hates more than himself is every single woman.

I have to say, though, I’m with Brittany on this one. As soon as he tells her that he wants to break up, she starts freaking out and tells him that she can’t even look at him anymore. “After everything I’ve been through! After all of this heartbreak!” she screams at him. And she’s right. She forgave Jax after he cheated on her, when everyone else told her to dump him. She stood by him and tried to work it out with him when she had every right to just break it off. For him to humiliate her like that and make her look like an idiot for going back to him, for him to dump her? That is the ultimate humiliation right there.

Kelsey got Jax to realize that he was treating Brittany badly and cheating on her so that she would leave him, and Jax decided to do the humane and mature thing, for a change, and actually end it. But is that what he should have done? Is Brittany mad she didn’t do it first?

The interesting thing about this episode, which follows one where Jax got wasted and made a scene at SUR, is that everyone sits Brittany down to talk about her relationship. Lisa Vanderpump asks her if she wants to be apologizing for Jax for the rest of her life. She also asks Brittany what she wants out of this relationship, which I think is a valid question. If she wants Jax to marry her and start a family, she needs to set a time table for that and start cracking. Old Man Taylor is not getting any younger. If he can’t give her that, then she needs to move on.

It speaks to what Stassi tells Brittany at the Pucker and Pump Party, which is an open house with an anal rejuvenation doctor. She asks Brittany if she’s wasting the best years of her life waiting for Jax. And she might be. The only way she’ll know for sure is if Jax can’t give her what she wants and she still waits around hoping he will change his mind. I get what Brittany is saying — that they’re best friends and he can be really sweet with her — but if he can’t meet her needs, then she needs to leave. Maybe Jax humiliating her one more time will get her there. (Of course, it won’t.)

Speaking of Stassi, man, her relationship is also a bummer. She’s in a huge fight with Patrick because she didn’t text him when she got to Mexico and he freaked out. He comes over to talk it out with her, and he is not what I thought at first. When we first saw him after years of him staying off-camera, he seemed like a good, mature adult. Now he seems like Carrot Top’s younger brother and just about as appealing. He treats Stassi like an idiot and “mansplains” to her constantly, as she points out. Then he launches into some kind of extended metaphor about how she is like the person who killed Ned Stark and that means she is destroying their relationship because all the Starks are dead and they’re waiting for winter. I don’t know. It doesn’t make any sense whatsoever. To use his metaphor, he just went all Red Wedding on the English language.

Stassi is a grade-A narcissist. She is a fame-sucking werewolf. She is unconcerned with any human being other than herself and will do horrible things to those who care about her in her efforts for self-preservation. And still. And still she deserves better than Patrick. She deserves a man who actually seems like he likes her. She deserves someone who isn’t going to condescend to her because he’s not on some reality show that he looks down on even though it’s probably a much more stable and lucrative career than his radio-show nonsense. There are all sorts of monsters who have found someone to love them on their own terms. Just look at Kim Zolciak Biermann and her husband Kroy. That is what I hope for Stassi: that she finds someone who will one day allow her to be the thick-lipped, Solo-cup-toting, human booger that she is on the inside and still love her for it.

What I wish for Stassi, and I can’t believe I’m saying this, is something like what Schwartz and Katie have. Now that they’ve gotten past the wedding and the horrendousness that Katie inflicted on everyone around her last season, they’ve settled into being a mature couple that tries to bring out the best in each other. It’s actually sweet to watch them support each other’s dreams, as modest as they may be. Katie even opens up about the PTSD and depression that followed after she fell through a skylight.

This whole story arc continues to mystify me. Katie Maloney, the world’s foremost butthole blogger (who actually sells lipstick), fell through a skylight and it has never been adequately explained on the show. Yes, I know from various podcasts and Watch What Happens Live appearances that we found out she was doing a photo shoot on a roof and laid down on the skylight and that’s how the accident happened. But if you were only watching on the show and didn’t bother to Google and do that other research, you would only know that Katie fell through a skylight and have no other context. I mean, I know what happened and I still have more questions than Friday the 13th has sequels. Please, can we just get a definitive telling of this story that is canon so we can all move one?

There was one other sweet couple’s moment on the show, and it was between Toms Schwartz and Sandoval. They were in the built-out husk of their bar Tom Tom and were wondering just where they could get “frozen ice” for the party they were going to throw to show all of their friends the progress they’ve been making. There, amid the unfinished walls and the plywood stacked up like a bar, Sandoval got down on one knee and asked Schwartz “to be my partner.” Schwartz laughed and touched his mouth with both hands, like a giddy schoolgirl or someone trying to keep down a whole mouthful of magic mushrooms mixed with peanut butter.

Schwartz said yes, and took the double-T pin from Sandoval. It was rose gold, the same color as his wedding ring, the same color that reminds him of the briefs that Sandoval wore the first time he stumbled to the bathroom in the middle of the night when they were roommates. Sandoval stood up and they embraced, their developed arms around each other’s torsos as they laughed and thought about their future together, all the projects they would create, the children they would have, the hours they would spend together working toward their dream and enjoying each other’s company. The future filled them both with surging blood, making their embrace erotic, like so many pistons about to explode. “I love you,” Schwartz said, as the camera moved away and their embraced lingered, turning into something that we will never quite know about, but will always surmise.

Vanderpump Rules Recap: Jax Off