If the Real Housewives Institute issued awards, its first award would be for the editors of Vanderpump Rules, who have had an amazing season, starting with when they turned the ’80s-themed Pride celebration at SUR into a theme song appropriate for a sitcom of that era. It’s just been hit after hit all season since then, culminating in two stellar moments this episode, one unmissable and the other subtle but devastating.
The first is the fake commercial they made for FOMO, a.k.a. the “fear of missing out,” treating it like a disease that causes “insatiable longing to be everywhere with everyone having all the fun.” Tequila can help. “Tequila is a medication used to treat FOMO and can ease symptoms.” Tom Sandoval lists the various side effects of tequila, including “memory loss, broken cell phones, stumbling, crying, getting horrible tattoos, embarrassing dance moves, regrettable make outs, blacking out, and full blown meltdowns.” Each of these behaviors features flashback evidence of the clowns we’ve been following for seven years engaging in at least one of them. It’s the most scathing yet hilarious thing this show has ever done.
However, a small detail I love even more is one that anyone could have missed, but the very wise editors left in for us. At dinner Kristen takes her shoes off to sit down. When everyone gets a little grossed out she says, “I’ll even go barefoot in West Hollywood.” Tom Schwartz immediately replies, “Ew! Supermarket feet.”
“Supermarket feet” is the most withering own, because I’m not entirely sure what it is but I know that it is bad. I don’t know if he thinks she goes to the supermarket barefoot and he hates the thought of her tootsies on the cold linoleum of Ralph’s, or if her walking barefoot around the streets and sidewalks of WeHo makes her feet gross like a supermarket. I don’t know. This is not a phenomenon or metaphor that I have any previous knowledge of, but it is one that I will never forget. Kristen “Supermarket Feet” Doute will forever be lodged in my mind, and she should be entirely ashamed of herself, even more ashamed than she should be for that rambling, drunken speech she gave telling everyone not to get too wasted during this trip.
That isn’t the only thing that Kristen has to be embarrassed about. What about when all the girls go skinny dipping? (Mad props to Lala for being the only one brave enough to take off her panties knowing that shit would be blurred on Bravo.) Kristen can’t even take two steps in the ocean without going head over supermarket feet? She’s sort of trying to hold her boobs up but also being buffeted by the surf, like an empty Mountain Dew bottle someone forgot at a bonfire. Or what about later, when Kristen says she doesn’t forecast herself having any meltdowns on this trip? You mean she can see those coming and does nothing to prevent them?
But I do have Kristen’s back on one thing, and that’s that Jax needs to let “Pillowgate” go. At dinner Jax is reminded that last year in Mexico, Kristen and James were up late in his hot tub and when he woke up in the morning the pillows were positioned in a way that Jax thought meant they had sex in the hot tub. Both Kristen and James vigorously deny that. But, duh! Of course they would, especially if they were vigorously doing something the night before.
When it comes up again, Jax tells everyone he still believes that Kristen had sex with James. Kristen hears this and hauls Jax’s ass out on the patio while they’re at a club so that he misses all the girls dancing to Lala’s single on a box with a gyrating monkey that the locals call El Mono and who is an evil spirit that haunts the nightmares of children. Kristen tells Jax once again that she didn’t sleep with James. “I didn’t do that shit,” Kristen says. “I made some bad mistakes, but I didn’t do that.”
Jax still doesn’t believe her. What upsets Kristen is that she has been stuck with the label “Krazy Kristen,” and even though she’s made improvements to her life, no one will take them seriously. “When is the hard work, the change, going to be enough to just be Kristen?” she asks. That’s a good point. Though she regularly behaves badly (especially on trips), we haven’t seen her punch anyone, storm out of anywhere, or cheat on her man in years. Yes, she’ll fall over an ottoman after a day of wine tasting and she’ll kick her friends out of her house with a sage smudge, but is that really worse than what anyone else has done?
What makes this really aggravating is that Jax still doesn’t believe her and says, essentially, that based on everything she’s done in the past she has no defense. This is the same Jax that hasn’t cheated on his girlfriend — excuse me, fiancée — in like three weeks but thinks that he should be canonized as some saint of monogamy. What really galls is that Jax won’t give her the forgiveness that he asks for himself. And if we aren’t to ever forgive Kristen or start to think better of her, when can we really start to think better of anyone?
Jax does have a wonderfully redeeming moment with Stassi in the pool after they take ATVs to some wonderful waterfalls. (A shout-out to the production’s insurance premiums, which have to be higher than Miley Cyrus in the Denver airport after putting this cast on ATVs.) Jax first pretends like he still has feelings for his ex, but they both get to laugh about that. Then he tells her that he really likes Beau, but that she needs to ease up on him a little bit, because her trust issues are going to drive him away. My favorite part is when he mentions how she can freak out on guys and tells her that guys like him and her other ex Patrick, the guys that ruined her for everyone else, deserve that, but good guy Beau doesn’t.
Everyone is telling Stassi not to fuck it up with Beau but, lo and behold, because of guys like Jax she is totally fucking it up with Beau. She is living under some false impression that they need to do absolutely everything together, including leaving the party and going to bed at the same time. I used to feel the same way too. If I was at a party, I wanted my man to be there with me until I was ready to go. Eventually, after enough of these same exact fights, I learned that it’s totally fine for him to leave me there and I can just crawl into bed with him after. Life is so much better when everyone gets what they want and no one has to sacrifice. It seems like Stassi is constantly testing Beau to see if he’ll fail one of these tests, and when he does she treats him like every other torn Swingers poster of a man she’s dated in the past.
This episode leaves them in a very bad place, with Stassi saying that she sees the “warning signs” with Beau that she ignored with guys in the past, but this isn’t a warning sign. It’s just a silly little squabble every couple has being magnified by tequila (the cure for FOMO!) and all the horrific bullshit she’s experienced with dudes. Stassi, seriously, get yourself into some therapy. You pick bad guys for sure, but you’re never going to get anyone but those guys until you figure yourself out.
The girl I love the most this episode is Ariana, who gets so “ham sandwiched” at the club that she ends up lying on the floor of the hotel getting not only supermarket feet but supermarket ass, supermarket hands, supermarket back of the neck, supermarket everything. She had to have her vaginal area blurred repeatedly. You know your shit is messy when there is a roving crotch blur there to keep you company. She also gets so wasted at the club that she makes out with all of the girls, including Stassi, and touches Lala’s vag. Can’t Ariana just go full lez and move in with Kristen Stewart and become a really chic designer lesbian? That is the future I want for her.
We would all miss her on this show, though. Just look at what she does for Lala when she pulls her aside at the group dinner. Ariana says she’s worried about how angry Lala is getting lately and that Lala keeps using her dead father as an excuse. Ariana also lost her father while taping this show, but tells Lala she never used it as an excuse to behave badly. Lala tells her that she should have, that she should have stood up for herself more.
That’s what Lala — and her emotional Gemini DJ James Kennedy — don’t understand: There is a huge difference between sticking up for yourself and treating other people like shit. When Billie Lee accused Lala of using the “dad card,” she could have stood up for herself and told Billie that was a low blow and that she shouldn’t talk about her like that. Instead she tells Billie that she’s ugly and her mother dresses her funny. What people hate about Lala isn’t that she’s standing up for herself, it’s that she’s meeting what she sees as nasty with equal amounts of nasty. The way to get a shit stain out of a white dress isn’t to shit on it some more. I want to say that someone needs to teach these kids how to play nice, but then what would we all watch on Monday nights? Anderson Cooper 360? Reruns of The Big Bang Theory? PBS?!
Speaking of shit stains, while the girls were all in the ocean skinny dipping, the guys were upstairs where Tom Sandoval was ripping such loud, beefy farts, they could have been sold at a Ruth’s Chris steak house. He even delivered one right into Jax’s mouth that made him get up and immediately brush his teeth, like that could get the stench and memory of methane out of his mouth.
As Jax left, Toms Schwartz and Sandoval followed him into the bathroom for a drunken make-out session, as is their wont. Their kisses were sloppier than usual as the tequila raged through their livers. Schwartz grabbed Sandoval’s ass and gave it a tight squeeze, like palming a precious melon. Sandoval let another one rip, and they broke their embrace for a minute to laugh.
Sandoval lunged back at Schwartz’s mouth, but as he did, Schwartz let out his own fart. Schwartz slid his hands down Sandoval’s back, under the waist of his pants and underwear, and Sandoval tooted once again. Now they weren’t laughing, now they didn’t break as they took turns, one passing gas and then the other, echoing each other’s bodies in the cramped bathroom until the smell became too much.