I must start this recap with yet another plea to the production staff of Vanderpump Rules: When these people are really tying on one, please do not go to bed until the last remaining person has passed out. It is most likely going to be Tom Schwartz and he is most likely going to wake up on the floor right where he passed out. Camerapersons and producers were already up in Solvang with the girls when Kristen fell over an ottoman in a fit of drunken pique. That means those same camerapersons and producers should not go to bed until Kristen does.
Apparently Kristen was roving around the hotel knocking on random doors, asking for cigarettes, and threatening to go home in the middle of the night. It’s like she was those creepy twins from The Shining combined into one infinite maw of need and regret. Where is this footage?! This is exactly the same reason they missed Stassi’s birthday freakout. I know that the staff is tired and probably has union contracts. I get it. But we need you to sacrifice so that we can see Kristen behaving as such and not hear it from Katie the next day. You are our heroes on the front line and we salute all you do for this very worthy cause, but we need you to do just a little bit more. Please. The safety of the world (and by the safety of the world I mean literally nothing) depends on you.
Most of this episode, however, is about unhappy unions. Lala and her poltergeist of a boyfriend Randall are having issues, as is the triumvirate of Tom, Tom, and Lisa. But since we started with Kristen, let’s talk about her and Carter. When all the girls go to a winery the next morning, Stassi wants to talk to Kristen about how miserable she is with her boyfriend. Kristen says that her anger at her boyfriend and the way she was behaving the night before are two separate things, but even someone who failed Intro to Psychology at their local community college will know that isn’t true.
Kristen says she’s miserable because they fight all the time, Carter is always mean to her, and she is paying for everything. (Remember, Kristen ostensibly has no job other than running her line of despirational T-shirts.) Then she tells Stassi that she doesn’t want to say anything because, “It’s not always shitty.” Girl, that is the wrong attitude. No relationship is perfect, but if it’s more than 10 percent shitty it is time to dump that guy and find something better. A relationship should not be torture and strife, no matter what the relationships in your early life might lead you to believe. If you can’t get along on a daily basis, stop trying to make it work.
Even Stassi — yes, Stassi — agrees with me. She says, “You can be in a relationship where someone just loves you and wants to be around you and doesn’t demand that you pay for everything. There is a relationship out there you deserve.” Is this what happens after Jax cheats on you for years on end? Eventually the Blue Fairy comes and turns you from a turd puppet into a real person? I hope that is the case for Brittany’s sake. Watching Stassi and her boyfriend Beau together is so weird because they’re happy, functional, and lovely together. It’s great when people can learn and grow and become actual human beings, but I don’t know that I want that for my reality-TV stars. I don’t even understand who this Stassi is.
Kristen sits Carter down to talk to him at some party in Santa Monica that I still don’t understand why everyone attended. Kristen tells Carter that she doesn’t like when he barks and cusses at her. He tells her he does that because all she does is complain. She informs him that, as her boyfriend, listening to her complaints is part of his job. She is correct. Carter then tells her that they just disagree about things and that is just the way they are. I feel like a lot of couples feel this way and that is an incorrect assumption. Things shouldn’t be that way. A couple shouldn’t be sniping and picking at each other all the time. Eventually all of those little picks erode the relationship down to absolutely nothing, like tires running over a dead pigeon on the highway over and over until it slowly becomes nothing but a blood stain on the pavement.
The biggest issue here seems to be that Kristen wants things to change and Carter does not. Kristen wants them to go to couples therapy more than twice in four months and Carter just wants to play Call of Duty in his underwear while his girlfriend pays his bills. They want different things and, for that, Kristen should dump his ass and find someone new. Maybe Max, Lisa’s son, who is single. If Kristen wants to piss Lisa off, that is a good way to do it.
There is also trouble between Lala and her man “Rand.” At that weird Santa Monica party, Lala starts drinking again after being on the wagon the whole time they were on a wine-tasting trip. Stassi points out the ridiculousness of this to Lala and once again displays that she is becoming a real person and I both love it and loathe it at the same time. Lala says that she and Rand decided to stop drinking together and when she got home she found that he had been on a bender and didn’t respect his end of the bargain.
What is wrong with these people that they don’t realize that there is a vast middle ground between blacking out and waking up 12 hours later under a table and saying, “Hello, my name is Lala and I’m an alcoholic”? She can go on a wine-tasting trip and have a couple of glasses of wine and say, “I’m good,” before behaving like a fool. So could her boyfriend. So could Blackout Schwartz or Tequila Katie or Krazy Kristen or Beer Tears Stassi or Allergic to Tequila Brittany. Moderation seems like a completely foreign concept to all of these people.
Anyway, Rand tries to threaten Lala with the fact that he will take away her Gucci slides, her PJ, and her apartment he pays for if she leaves him. Lala basically tells him, “There are a lot of rich dicks out there who will give me a PJ and pay for my apartment.” That is why I love Lala. Even though she is letting this man foot the bill for her lifestyle she still sees herself as the prize. That is because she is, and she is so transparent in her wants and needs that she isn’t going to let anyone make her feel bad about her choices. If I had the money, I would fund Lala’s lifestyle and not even once make her touch me in my no-no spot.
The final relationship in trouble is the one between Lisa and the Toms. I barely want to talk about this storyline because it was so obviously overproduced that I didn’t even believe it was real. Lisa calls the boys down to Tom Tom and tells them she is bringing in Sly, a cocktail expert, to see what drinks should be on the cocktail menu. She basically tells them, “If your shit stinks, it’s off the menu.” This is what we call in screenwriting class “creating stakes.”
The thing is, Tom and Tom should be excited to have an expert come in. If Lisa said, “This lady is going to come in and teach us all a lot about how to make this the best bar possible,” I would have agreed with her. Part of being adults and good employees is knowing what you still have to learn and going out and learning it. But Lisa doesn’t frame the visit this way. The Toms are already insecure in their relationship to Lisa because she keeps telling them they need to be adults and work hard but then won’t let them do anything. She’s been bamboozling them since day one, and if their cocktails don’t make the menu, Tom Sandoval is threatening to quit. We’re then treated to Tom Schwartz trying to figure out what only one Tom in Tom Tom would look and sound like and it is the most delightful idiocy I’ve ever seen in my life.
After several scenes full of Sturm und Drang, the boys finally meet Sly and she is the butchest thing outside of the Dinah Shore Weekend. She looks like k.d. lang’s younger cousin. She is, in fact, the Fifth Non-Blonde. She teaches them about cocktails and says that ten of the Toms’s cocktails made the menu. They were worried about one getting on there because Lisa had groomed them to believe that they were going to lose everything and their work sucked, but Sly really likes it. This is such typical reality-show malarkey, where the viewer is manipulated into believing that a disaster is looming when the crisis is entirely manufactured. It’s like when the weatherman crows about a hurricane that never arrives. It doesn’t make us relish the suspense, it makes us reject the disappointment.
As the boys were leaving the bar sighing with relief that they were allowed to put cocktails on the menu at their own bar, Beau was across town sitting in his apartment wearing a pair of pajama bottoms and nothing else. Suddenly a swift breeze blew in from the open window and up his loose cotton bedwear. He felt a steady rising in his groin as the pants tented ever and every skyward. “Potato salad, potato salad, potato salad,” he thought to himself, trying to drive the airborne tumescence away.
Just then the phone rang and a picture of Tom Schwartz flashed on his screen. Beau thought for sure a phone conversation could distract him from this stirring. Tom asked Beau a question which made Beau look down at his still tented pajama bottoms. “Yeah, I’m, hehe, up for it. Come on over,” he said and then hung up the phone. Looks like potato salad was off the menu.