I am happy to report, ladies and gentle gays, that our long national nightmare is over. No, most of you are still on lockdown and not allowed to leave your homes or return to work due to the coronavirus. But Jax and Brittany’s Never-Ending Wedding Extravaganza 2020 is officially finished. That doesn’t mean Brittany still isn’t trying to milk it for all it’s worth. She made Jax carry her over the threshold of the house she’s already been living in for a year. She also is swanning around the house in her “I Do” bathrobe from the night before the wedding telling Katie she “never wants the wedding to end.” I have a feeling that is because once she recognizes that the wedding is over she will wake up and realize she is married to Jax Taylor and the existential dread will start to sink in.
I have to admit, I am really over Jax this year. Yes, he’s always been awful. Yes, he’s always been a scumbag, but there was something charming about his egocentric innocence. He both thought he was better than everyone and knew that he was entirely stupid and was in on his own joke. Things have shifted, though, and we’re left with a smarmy, superior do-nothing who I just can’t stomach. He can’t be gracious when Lisa gives him a Tiffany tea set, even though he is never going to use it. And what’s up with all of his belly-aching about Tom Sandoval having a themed birthday party? He can’t bother to dress up for it, just like he couldn’t be bothered to dress up for Pride. And then he has the audacity to throw a themed birthday party of his own, which we will see in next week’s episode.
There’s plenty to love in this week’s episode, though, including Jax’s fake PowerPoint presentation of why he calls bullet points power points. Please, someone give the editors of this show the Presidential Medal of Freedom. They also do an excellent job roasting Katie when she tries to claim she has too much going on in her life — like failing at learning to knit and lying around with the dog — for her wine company. But the piece of resistance (as Jax would call it) is the In Memoriam for Schwartz’s lizard Daug, who died after only a few weeks. Not only do we get some teary speeches in sepia tones, the whole memorial has the sort of mockingly somber tenor I haven’t seen outside of an Asian art film. True genius.
Yes, Schwartz decided to have a “memorial pool party” for Daug at a hotel pool. Just as he’s tearing up about their few short weeks together and Daug’s fight with depression (yes, Tom is serious about this), the bowls of punch come out, carried by girls sloshing as much in their skimpy bikinis as the punch is in the bowls, puncturing the solemnity of the whole affair.
Now that Daug is dead and the wedding is over, we can focus on important things like the feud between Danica and Max, the reincarnation of Ashton Kutcher’s trucker hat collection. (Speaking of things I love about this show, hating on the new kids fills me with levels of glee usually reserved for Skee-Ball and watching people trip on the sidewalk.) What’s so odd about the travails of the new kids is how much happens off camera. Max wants to “eighty-six” Danica from Tom Tom because she was mean to Richardson, the Tom Tom bouncer and the only person of color who works in the Vanderpump Empire. This event, like Danica attacking her threeway-loving boyfriend, happened without a camera anywhere? The nerve!
Max first brings up this idea to Schwartz when he returns to Tom Tom after the wedding. Schwartz asks Max what happened while he was away. “Well, I broke up with Dayna and I’m mad at Danica,” Max says. “No, dude,” Schwartz should have said. “I mean with my actual business that you’re supposed to be running. Did anything happen with that?”
Eighty-sixing Danica from Tom Tom seems like a Max power trip, which is especially ironic because 86 is also Max’s IQ score. He’s mad that Danica is talking shit about him all over the place when he “did nothing” and he wants to exercise his power over the situation. While Max says that he “did nothing,” what he’s missing is that he established a pattern of behavior that allows people to believe that he would treat women badly. Even if he didn’t do the specific things that Dayna and Danica accuse him of, he did all the things that would make them believe that those things might be true. That is not “doing nothing.” That is being a sleazeball.
Danica approaches Max at Daug’s pool funeral and asks Max why she’s hearing that she has been banned from Tom Tom. He says he was waiting for her to show up so that she could be turned away, which is the kind of petty I would aspire to if it were not Max’s petty. “I’m 86-ed from my sister restaurant. My own sister restaurant,” she says, as if sister restaurants are a protected class of workplace. From there this fight fizzles, like a vodka soda left on the edge of a hot tub overnight.
There’s another fight that I don’t care about this episode, which also starts at Daug’s funeral. Scheana tells Katie and Stassi that she’s going to hang out with Kristen that night and asks if there’s anything they want to relay to her. Apparently, there is some conflict regarding the Witches of WeHo wine company that the three of them started. Kristen feels like she’s carrying all the weight for the trio but doesn’t have the bandwidth because of her T-shirt line Topher Grace or whatever the fuck it’s called. That’s when Katie tries to say that she’s way too busy “finding her next project” or whatever it is she’s doing all day other than killing lizards in their prime.
Scheana relays this news to Kristen off camera (why is so much happening off camera?) and the three of them have a fight at Tom’s Extra Extra birthday party. I feel like there’s something we’re missing about this fight. First of all, Kristen is actually right, if the three of them are in a triumvirate and she’s carrying all the weight, that is messed up. Stassi doesn’t seem that into it, however, and says that as soon as her contract is up she’s bailing, which really shows fans that they should buy her wine because it must be as delicious as drinking a whole bottle of La Dame by Karen Huger TM.
But it also feels like Katie and Stassi are mad about something they’re not saying. Stassi says that the fight isn’t about Carter, it’s about Kristen being someone who “worships failure and relishes in defeat.” That may be so, but that doesn’t mean that Stassi and Katie should be so abjectly cruel to their friend, who seems like she is about to careen off a cliff of her own making. Kristen tells them they are supposed to be sisters and they both tell her they haven’t been sisters in a long time. I get that friends grow apart. I get that besties need space. But if they once loved Kristen, where has all their empathy and compassion gone? What erased it? I don’t think we entirely know what’s up with this one.
There is a fight that I do care about this week, and it is between my goddess Lala and Raquel, the dried pulp stuck to the inside of an empty mimosa glass. When Lala hears that James has entered AA she invites Raquel, a bottle of kombucha someone left in the back of a Lyft, to lunch to overcome their differences. It is a meeting of a mind. Raquel, a TikTok challenge made flesh, shows up wearing the equivalent of 16 different cat toys stitched together to make a garment and tells Lala she needs to apologize for calling her stupid last summer. “It’s one thing to insult my character, but to put down my intelligence …,” she says. Yes, Raquel, a Mentos commercial that ends in tragedy, would rather you call her an awful person than call her stupid. Lala responds perfectly, “I wouldn’t waste my time on someone who is a true idiot,” to which Raquel says, “That means so much to me, Lala.” She is obviously not smart enough to appreciate a backhanded compliment.
They leave the lunch with their differences buried and James explains to Lisa that he’s going to AA, got his one-day chip, and is taking his recovery seriously. Lala questions that, however, at Tom Sandoval’s Extra party brought to you by Extra sugar-free gum and Extra!, not Access Hollywood since 1994. I get that his theme is to make everything extra, but everyone just kind of interprets that as wearing some sort of costume and not really caring about the theme. Sandoval interprets it by showing up on stilts, which is pretty extra, and then putting on a costume of either Mozart or Uncle Drosselmeyer from The Nutcracker. I mean, okay, I guess. The saddest part is that Max and Brett show up as Tom Sandoval costumes he wore in the past, proving that they want so badly to be in the cast that they are cosplaying the very reality program they have infested.
Anyway, Lala goes up to Raquel, a Japanese vending machine that only sells schoolgirls’ panties, and is like, “I thought James was sober, because Logan has a video of him getting wasted at a party the other night.” Raquel, a brand of rosé champagne for puppies, says she finds Lala’s relationship with Logan, James’s former Gay BFF (which is a protected class of citizen) strange. Lala tells her that Logan is a good friend, especially since he lied that he and James didn’t hook up on camera. First of all: bulging eyes emoji, eggplant emoji, peach emoji, what is supposed to be sweat emoji but it’s more like the “spray and pray” emoji that Brittany sends to Jax.
Secondly, this is all a little bit crazy. Lala is trying to be friends with James and his girlfriend but is also bringing up these old rumors and giving them more oxygen. Not only that, she’s saying that they’re true when James and Logan previously squashed them. These don’t seem like the actions of a person who is trying to mend a broken relationship. Raquel, a luridly pink Rabbit vibrator whose batteries have died, storms away from Lala while wearing a pink master’s hat and fluorescent sleeves bigger than the GDP of most African nations. It is the extra-est.
Speaking of Extra, as the party was winding down, Sandoval was in a booth by himself, wondering how much he should tip the flair bartenders. Schwartz walked up to him, grabbed him by his cheap white wig, and smashed Sandoval’s face into his bulging crotch. He yelled, “Schwartz, what are …”
“Shut the fuck up,” Schwartz yelled back. “You wanted extra. Give me extra.” Sandoval pulled his head back a little and gazed up, slightly scared, to see Schwartz wearing the toothy grin he only gets when the two of them role play. Sandoval pulled down the waistband of Schwartz’s white Adidas track pants and his manhood sprang out, slapping him in the face like someone trying to wake him up from a dream. But this was the dream. This was the fantasy. This was the extra that he was hoping for, and as Sandoval enveloped Schwartz’s fully functional pride, he let out a stifled moan of a frequency so low that only sex angels could hear it.