Previously this season on “Vanderpump Rules”, the gang at SUR has experienced many crossroads in their personal and professional lives. Stassi has come back to Los Angeles and has been attempting to mend the broken fences one at a time. Katie is reluctant to give Stassi another chance to be back in her life, but surprisingly, Kristen and Stassi have been the unlikely new duo, with Stassi living at Kristen’s apartment. It remains to be seen if these two can genuinely move beyond the past betrayals, but for now they seem to be living in harmony. Jax is still with Brittany, whom he gifted a pair of breast implants (he has always been a romantic). Remember the Stassi tattoo? We wonder if Brittany truly is the one who will finally tame Jax, but we have our doubts. James has been having difficulty moving on from his relationship with Kristen– but she has had no trouble moving on at all. He has lost his opportunity to be at Pump after showing up under the influence and creating a scene. Can Stassi continue her streak of atonement? Let’s find out.
Scheana and Katie arrive for payday and discuss a blowout fight between Katie and Tom over how Ariana admitted that she only pretends to have fun with them. Katie felt that Tom was taking Ariana’s side, and threatened to call off the wedding. She chalks it up to her being drunk and laughs it off just as Ariana shows up for her check. The tension is palpable. As soon as Ariana leaves they talk about how her attitude is why they don’t like to be around her. Lisa arrives and is shocked to hear that Scheana and Katie are planning on going to Palm Springs and see Stassi. Lisa is concerned that Stassi will manipulate Katie again, but Katie reassures her that those days are over. It’s nice to see Katie show more of herself and she seems much more confident than seasons past.
Jax and Schwartz are at Peter’s apartment to babysit Peter’s girlfriend’s son, and they toast the occasion with alcohol. Peter thinks they can be trusted and nothing could possibly go wrong, but we think there is potential trouble straight ahead. Booze before babies is never a good sign. Jax is having an existential crisis of sorts trying to figure out where he should be in life. Schwartz tells his side of the fight with Katie, and he is genuinely hurt by the mean-spirited texts Katie sent, in spite of knowing she was drunk and didn’t mean it. Words hurt. Peter’s girlfriend drops off her son, Liam, and as soon as she walks out the door they toss her rules out the window and let Liam do whatever he wants. I’m guessing Jax joking with a 4 year old boy about his mom’s boobs won’t win him any Babysitting Awards, but it was cute to see a softer side to the guys having a great time with Liam.
In Palm Springs, Kristen, Stassi and their friend Rachel arrive at her family’s vacation home. Stassi is hurt that Katie and Scheana decided not to join them, and realizes it’s because they specifically want to avoid her. The heat is getting to them, so they break out the booze while Kristen complains that James is hotline blinging her nonstop and Stassi tells her to block him. We know Kristen Doute loves the drama so we bet there will be no blocking him.
Meanwhile at SUR, Lala confronts James about the girl he brought to the beach party. She knows he’s trying to make both she and Kristen jealous, but instead she finds James to be a “little boy”. She suggests that he cut to the chase and take Kristen to dinner and tell her he still loves her. Given Kristen’s earlier annoyance over his texts, we think it may not go as James has planned.
Tom Sandoval and Jax are bartending together at SUR, and Jax asks Tom to tell him what is bothering him. Tom explains that he keeps hearing that Jax is talking negatively about his character, and he doesn’t understand why because he feels that way because he has always been a loyal friend – and we have to agree with Tom. He has had Jax’s back and even forgive him cheating with his live-in girlfriend. How long will Tom give Jax free passes? His demeanor seems to show that he is ready to stand his ground and we can’t wait to see how their dynamic changes now that Tom is pushing back.
Stassi is sad that she has missed so many of Katie’s big life moments, least of which being her engagement to Schwartz. Katie and Scheana surprise them in Palm Springs, and Stassi is speechless. She starts to break down crying and Katie calls her outside privately, inviting her to talk. Stassi tells her how she has not had anyone like Katie in her life and misses her. Katie listens, but then is unmoved. She talks about how everything revolved around Stassi and it was never a balanced friendship. She doesn’t feel she did anything wrong to receive the banishment from Stassi and she agrees saying she’s the kind of person who is so afraid of being hurt that she cuts people off so they can’t have a second opportunity. Katie understands, but she doesn’t seem to care which causes Stassi to sob.
Tom talks to Lisa about how Katie blew up on him and she gives him wise advice saying that sometimes, with women, you just have to listen… even if you don’t like what you’re hearing. Jax finds out the girls went to Palm Springs to see Stassi, and he doesn’t want the group to embrace Stassi because he feels she will turn them all against him and freeze him out.
Katie sees that Stassi is sincere in her apology, and she personally invites Stassi to her engagement party as an olive branch and seal it with a hug. They agree to move forward at a slow pace and rebuild trust, but Scheana is visibly annoyed at the reconciliation. As usual, Scheana is concerned with, well, Scheana. She is threatened by the rekindled friendship and likely sees herself on the outside looking in–very soon. We notice that Scheana has been increasingly self-absorbed this season, and we hope she has en epiphany at some point that not everything is about her. Conversely, Kristen is literally and figuratively drunk over the friends reunion. She always seems to get exactly what she wants. Say what you will about Kristen, but she is a go-getter. Kristen lets Scheana know that Ariana denied being her best friend and Scheana is hurt and she feels that Ariana should be there for her, knowing about her struggles with Shay, but she’s not.
Ariana tells Lisa she is enjoying the time at SUR away from Scheana and Katie. They each feel the other has changed and they’re not sure where this leaves their friendship. Katie relates to Scheana for having experienced this with Stassi, and reassures Scheana that she is her best friend now. Stassi thinks Scheana is being melodramatic. Katie is afraid to face Schwartz after the brutal things she said to him, and hopes that they are still on solid ground.
Stassi and Katie are at a really good, peaceful place. It looks like there is hope yet. Stassi is giving Katie her space, and letting her set the pace. They agree to each try 100% and start fresh.
James meets his mom and lets her know he has been fired from his DJ gig at Pump. She seems to want to blame Kristen for her son’s decisions, which explains a lot about his sense of entitlement. James compares his mom to Kristen, and she comes apart. We learn that she likes her wine like Kristen does, and James recognizes a pattern of choosing women like his mother – James can be pretty introspective at times. In the interest of keeping with his tradition, he tells her that he intends to invite Kristen to dinner. His mom encourages his dreams of susperstardom and a Calvin Klein gig. Seeing how she lit up when he discussed his plans we might have seen a tinge of longing and she seems to have a pretty big influence on James and his choices. Possibly he will get independence from her at some point in the near future, but he’s not there yet.
Schwartz and Katie discuss their fights and how dirty they get. He worries that she has doubts, and she feels unheard. He feels like she attacked him in every mean way she could think of repeatedly for four hours. His reaction is to shut down and turn cold and although they kiss and make up, we think there might be some more wine tossing and verbal text assaults in the future.
This episode was a really feel good episode in a season with a lot of drama and negativity. The theme of forgiveness made everyone seem lighter and we bet a storm will eventually brew, but maybe not for an episode or two. Episode grade: A
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