Before we get into what happens this week on the world’s least funny workplace comedy, I really need to tip my hat to the invisible forces behind this episode of Vanderpump Rules, because they really went out of their way to make this episode entertaining.
First there’s the flashback of Stassi putting together Jax’s engagement party, presented like the end of a heist movie, where we get to see exactly how she put together such a crazy plan. Balloons, Lisa Vanderpump, and Hooters by Postmates — how did she ever do that and still escape getting caught by the police? Finally all is revealed. Then there’s the editor superimposing Jax’s face over James’s while he’s doing his devilish impersonation of Jax. And finally, the pièce de résistance: When Scheana No Tea No Shay suggests that the SUR staff, dressed up in electric neon ’80s fashion for their annual Gay Pride blowout, look like a retro sitcom, the editors create a fake show called OverSURved, complete with a credits sequence worthy of It’s a Living, Too Many Cooks, or at least the ’80s-sitcom episode of Mr. Robot. The aspect ratio is even reduced to a square format to match how Full House looks when you watch it on Netflix when you’re at home sick with the flu (which is the only time you’re allowed to watch it as an adult without children). This is sincere dedication to advancing the reality-television arts and sciences and I am here for all sorts of tomfoolery. That means fooling around with the Toms, right?
Alas, the Toms barely feature in this episode, which is really all about DJ James Kennedy. Well, there’s Jax’s engagement party too, but the only good part about that is discovering that Tom Schwartz’s penis is once again in working order and that Lisa Vanderpump deigned to go to a split-level West Hollywood apartment and then had her driver toss the shoes she wore on that filthy carpet out the window on Sunset as he brought her and Giggy back to Beverly Hills.
It seems like the #MeToo movement has revved up the women of SUR and they’re all after James like he’s some kind of Harvey Weinstein for the Thirsty SURsdays set. This all comes out at some costume shop where Sandoval, Ariana, Lala, and Scheana are all shopping for ’80s outfits to wear to work. They bring up how James was mean to Brittany and then Lala says, “Do you know what he said to me at Coachella?” Never has a more Lala thing been said, and I couldn’t be happier. She says James came up to “her man” Randall and was making fun of him. When she told him to knock it off he replied, “Come on, we all know each other inside and out, if you know what I mean.” Lala says she hasn’t talked to James since then.
Tom and Ariana bring it up when they go to dinner at the apartment James is living in with his girlfriend Raquel, a Hello Kitty PopSocket on the back of an iPhone with a cracked screen. He calls it a “two-room studio” and I can’t tell if James doesn’t know that is what we call a one-bedroom or if he thinks it’s a studio because he makes music there. It doesn’t look like a bad place, but there’s still a mattress on the floor like two college students live there. Sorry, James, no one is jealous of you and your Ikea coffee table that turns into a dining room table because you have no furniture.
It’s Kristen that James really has to worry about, though. As Stassi says, Kristen talks about her ex James “like a villain in a soft-core porn movie.” She talks about taking him down, holding him accountable, and making him pay. I’m all for #MeToo and #TimesUp and anything that has to do with toppling the patriarchy, but Kristen needs to know that James is not like Weinstein or Charlie Rose or Matt Lauer or any of the rest. He’s not abusing his power to prey on people, he’s just a scumbag. Ending him isn’t part of a movement; it’s just going to make her feel really good.
Her plot surrounds her friend Hope, who claims to have been sleeping with James for the past two years, including while he was with Raquel, a case of Mango Juul pods, and that she did it while the three of them were hanging out at Coachella while Raquel was in the next room. (Note to Producers: You need to get the production schedule to coincide with Coachella because obviously we need cameras there.)
Kristen takes Hope to the SUR Pride party to confront James and instead they corner his girlfriend Raquel, a targeted Instagram ad for Fabletics, in the bathroom. Kristen says, “I’m curious if you’re aware or you just don’t know?” She doesn’t say what she’s talking about in this very rehearsed opening line. Hope then says that she slept with James at Coachella.
The way Kristen talks about this, though, is really weird. She tells Stassi, “I want to speak up for everyone James has silenced.” She says that Hope is “really brave for speaking up, this is very hard for her.” I’m sorry but Kristen is no Dr. Christine Blasey Ford. She’s just getting a girl to go up to James’s current girlfriend and say, “Hey, I slept with your man,” to her face. That’s not cool. That’s not even remotely cool. Also, she’s not taking down a sexual predator. Yes, James is gross, but all of these women slept with him consensually. He might be cheating on his girlfriend, but he’s not abusing anyone.
Kristen, obviously, is the worst messenger for any of this because she has an ulterior motive for embarrassing both James and Raquel, an oat-milk matcha chai latte. Raquel goes and confronts James and his lies. “Why do I have to keep dealing with this?” she pleads. This is the third time on camera that the same exact thing has happened. I have a very simple answer for Raquel, a set of human-sized dog leggings: The reason you have to keep dealing with this is because James keeps cheating on you.
Poor Raquel, a loose vajazzle that came to life, everyone thinks she’s dumb. Both Kristen and Lala insult her intelligence when talking to her and, I gotta say, she seems pretty dumb. If she’s not dumb she’s in such denial that she thinks that James is faithful to her. I mean, if all of these accusations, many of which come with proof, keep popping up, then it has to be true. Even Jax, the ghost of DJ James Kennedy future, knows that it is true because he did the exact same thing. After all of this Raquel is very upset with James because she has to keep defending him about cheating on her, she has to defend his stupid raps at See You Next Tuesday, and she’s fed up. Then, he insists that she follow him outside and she yells, “But I still haven’t gone tinkle!” She actually said “pee” but we all know this girl really wanted to say “tinkle.”
Out back in the sacred SUR alley things get even worse when Lala tells Raquel she needs to wake up and put him in his place, Kristen tries to defend her actions with a Sailor Moon patch of glitter next to both of her eyes, and Katie somehow gets involved and James calls her fat. We haven’t seen the end of this and I am already exhausted by the truth of all of these awful people drowning in their own stupidity like the last three sprinkles bobbing in the melted ice cream at the bottom of a waffle cone.
Inside, things are just as hectic with all the people at SUR. Tom Sandoval can barely get from the bar to the men’s room. Finally, after sliding his body, slippery with sweat from jazzercising on the bar in his John Travolta from Perfect getup, he reaches the urinal. Just as Sandoval pulls himself out of his exercise shorts, he feels two strong arms wrap around his torso and a pair of lips nibble on his right earlobe. “Happy Pride,” Tom Schwartz whispers as he pulls Sandoval’s head back and around and kisses him passionately while grinding him from behind. “Not that this makes us gay or anything.”