‘Vanderpump Rules’ season 4 reunion (part 2) review: Brittany reacts to Jax and Lala’s flirting; Stassi is confronted
Last week on part one of season 4 “Vanderpump Rules” reunion, the gang mostly called Kristen out. We also heard from Scheana and Shay about his addiction struggles, and we learned he has been doing very well with his sobriety and Scheana has a much better understanding of the disease and was much more supportive and subdued. Tonight Stassi joins the mix, and we expect fireworks. Let’s get a table at SUR for part two.
Andy goes straight for the scandal by bringing up James’ Freddy Krueger inspired battle wounds in the bedroom when he showed up to work at Gay Pride. James blames it on the uniform Lisa gave him to wear, while she believes he was intentional about it and courting controversy. Andy asks Lala why the scratches on James’ arms bothered her, because she is clearly a very free-spirited woman. She explains that she felt purposefully disrespected, and that will not fly in Lala land. Andy asks if he thought Lala wouldn’t know that he hooked up with Lauren, and he laughs and says he was sure she would. It was obviously one of those games James plays to make his women jealous and get attention for himself. Lala was embarrassed that he intentionally wanted her to know, and felt even worse that the girl she was venting to about the situation was the girl involved. We find out that things between James, Lala, and Lauren are okay now, but that Lauren’s relationship did not survive the scandal, and it almost got James a beatdown. We think it was pretty dumb to try to get away with cheating on national television, but people are funny like that. Andy asks Jax why he didn’t seal the deal with Lala after Gay Pride when they left together, and he says it was just fun to flirt, but it never went further. James denies to Andy that his beef with Jax stems from the Lala triangle, but Sandoval disagrees and says that it is when it all began. Kristen feels James wants to be Jax, and James strongly disagrees. Sandoval doesn’t think James necessarily wants to be Jax, but that he is like Jax by nature. James takes another dig at Jax for being old, and Jax says the age jabs don’t bother him, but he looks bothered as he says this.
Switching gears, Andy goes into the romance of the season: the engagement of Katie and Tom Schwartz. Andy and Lisa poke a little fun at Schwartz for his proposal idea, but Katie was perfectly happy with it and it was definitely representative of Schwartz. Katie admits she was just about ready to pull the plug on the relationship, so its a good thing Schwartz got it together and gave her that beautiful ring. We find out that Schwartz had some other bad ideas planned, such as proposing at SUR. He really should be grateful that he has friends like Tom and Ariana, who told him absolutely NOT at SUR. Scheana’s advice to Schwartz was to make sure it was at a time where she felt pretty. Andy asks how long after the engagement did they finally consummate the engagement and Schwartz wanted to that night, but he put some taquitos in the oven and we all know that that takes precedence over engagement sex. Andy is fixated on their sexual dynamic, or lack thereof, and wants to know how often they do it. Lisa is appalled. It’s a little bit awkward watching them squirm and try to defend their lack of bedroom time. They both look happy, so let’s just assume it’s enough. Andy wonders if seeing the difficult first year of marriage that Scheana and Shay experienced gave him doubts, but on the contrary he was inspired by them and how they handled it supporting each other. Schwartz feels the longer he is with Katie, the better their relationship gets. This makes Andy question Tom and Ariana on when their big day will come. Ariana claims she doesn’t really want to get married, but we notice her voice went higher and she didn’t seem very emphatic about it. We wonder if it’s more a defense mechanism than a true lack of desire to marry Tom. We feel this will be a storyline next season.
Brittany joins Andy and the gang in the hot seat and he compliments her boobs to start. She tells him that she had never watched the show before, but did know who Lisa was from Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. Andy wonders did she ever google Jax. She didn’t. He wants to know if it bothers her that Jax has been with so many, many, many women and she says that she was not thrilled to meet Kristen, but they clicked right away. She says that Jax treats her totally differently than all of the horror stories she has heard and that she left everything behind in Kentucky to move here to be with Jax. Andy wonders what it is about Jax that made him worth leaving it all? She doesn’t have a great answer, but says she never felt that way before. We feel badly for her when Andy repeatedly drills home the point about just how many women we have seen Jax with. Andy wonders why she was the girl who made his bachelor lifestyle worth giving up. He loves her looks, her smile, they have a great time together. Lisa thinks she’s too sweet, but she feels she is a good balance to Jax’s dark side. Scheana is grateful that she ignored all of the gossip about Jax, because they gained a great new friend. Brittany tells Lisa that she does actually get into it with Jax on occasion, and he listens when she does.
Talk moves to the boobs Jax ordered for Brittany in Peter’s Girlfriend size. Jax said they both liked her boobs equally, despite how it looked on the show. Brittany says very confidently that she got the boobs she wanted since middle school while we cried a little bit thinking about a middle school aged girl whose dream was big boobs. Sometimes we do see how she and Jax are a match. Jax says Brittany’s mother actually told them to go bigger. Moms always know best … or something. They have recently moved into a bigger apartment and Jax defends his pooping with the door open. Gross.
Tom Sandoval gets teased by Andy about his wanting to be Lisa’s brand ambassador along with Schwartz. Andy wonders if Schwartz really felt he could just collect a paycheck and not actually do anything to earn it. We get a flashback to Lisa chiding him for flaking out on responsibilities with one of my favorite lines of the seasons when she calls him a “big bloody wussy p***y”. Andy thinks Katie is tough on Tom but she explains that he doesn’t follow through on his commitments.
Ariana and Scheana’s friendship is on the table next. Andy wonders does Scheana feel Ariana values the friendship less than she does? She feels it’s equal, but that she felt a shift. Ariana seems uncomfortable with labels in general, and we think she feels the term “best friend” is a little bit ridiculous. We get a debate about how she isn’t her top number one best friends, but is and always will be one of her best friends. Follow all that? Ariana feels content with where their friendship is. Katie thinks Ariana is negative, but Ariana feels that she walks on eggshells around them. Andy asks Ariana if she can see how her attitude can be perceived as arrogant and she feels it’s just her gut reaction to knowing that she can’t do or say anything right around this group. Katie brings up her comment about having to “dumb herself down” around them to keep up. Ariana lists her friends in the group and asks everyone how they don’t see what a toxic collective dynamic there is in the group.
Andy asks everyone if they agree with Kristen’s assessment that therapy has helped her grow as a person. About half of them do, but Ariana thinks it’s changed how she behaves outwardly. We are on the fence on this one. Kristen has definitely gotten better than seasons past, but she will always be Kristen and have this sort of devious side to her that loves to create havoc. Honestly, we hope she never stops. She is TV gold more often than not. Kristen doesn’t feel that James should have been allowed on the Hawaii trip, which instantly sets him off. They all start yelling at the same time and we can’t distinguish words from noise. We finally make out that James says Jax didn’t want Kristen there. Scheana speaks up and says that Jax did invite Kristen. More yelling. Sandoval has a mini fit when nobody will let him speak. Andy gives Sandoval this pathetic look and he notices and tells him not to do that because it’ll set him off worse. Tom is upset that he felt repeatedly attacked for not wanting Kristen to be on the trip. Sandoval is annoyed that Jax had no problem with her not going, and then it suddenly became a big thing when he made his speech that some people who weren’t on the trip should have been. Tom feels like nobody ever cares how he feels.
Scheana’s texts to Ariana’s mom come up next, and we see Scheana squirm in her seat a little. Ariana was confused by the texts, because they seemed like insults disguised as compliments and not even true. Scheana gets defensive, and Ariana whips out her phone and offers to do a line by line role play. Wow. Ariana brought the hot sauce this time around. There is more screaming over each other, and Scheana asserts herself long enough to say that at the time the texts were true of how she felt, and that Tom was being a dick. Ariana is realy upset that her mom had to spend upwards of six months before the show aired to see if the things Scheana was saying were true or not. Andy brings up a tweet Ariana’s mom sent out essentially denying reaching out to Scheana for anything other than saying Merry Christmas. Scheana stands by her story that she was concerned, and Ariana yells back that she was not. This will not get resolved, as Scheana and Ariana both feel they are right. Andy continues anyway, and Scheana says she is sorry she said it but not sorry that she felt that way. Tom and Ariana don’t find that acceptable. Lisa tries to be the voice of reason as this spirals, and asks Scheana how she might feel if Ariana spoke negatively about Shay to Scheana’s mom. Lala finally comes out to play and uses Scheana as her scratching post. She says Scheana was completely wrong in this situation and she would flip out if someone tried to come between she and her mother.
Sensing that this is just going to keep going in circles, Andy takes control and moves back to Schwartz getting a look at Lala’s boobs. Andy wants to know what Katie’s problem is with Lala’s boobs and she snaps that she’s not offended by boobs, she’s just offended by Lala’s behavior. Lala wants her to know the feeling is mutual. Lala says she never had a chance with them, they were on her from the beginning. Katie said she didn’t like her when she realized that she can’t believe anything that comes out of her mouth. Lala thinks that Katie just used her being topless as her ready made excuse for why she didn’t like her. Schwartz defends Katie and tries to diffuse the situation by saying Katie is fine with nudity, but she felt Lala was being antagonizing about it. Lala hates that Katie feels indifferent about her, and would prefer that she call her terrible names than feel nothing. We agree with her that indifference is the worst thing anyone can feel about a person. Lala angrily declares her a** is way too small for a rap video. Brittany agrees with Katie that it seemed like a ploy for attention. Katie doesn’t understand why anyone would think being around a group of couples is a good time to take off your clothes. We love Lala, but we agree it was weird. Timing is everything. Lala tries to shut Katie up and this doesn’t go over well with Katie, who brings up that time Lala did the same thing to Kristen when she was giving her speech at Tom and Katie’s engagement party. Andy asks if they’re mad because Lala is hot, but Katie points out that they’re all hot. Lisa doesn’t think being topless is a big deal, since she grew up royalesque and that’s how they do over in Europe. Jax reminds her that we are in America.
Next we are reminded of the time Jax swore to Lala that Brittany was not coming to Los Angeles as she is literally driving across the country to be there with him. Brittany admits right away that she was pretty steamed when she saw it. Jax owns that he was over the line with Lala. Brittany says that Jax told her that Lala was flirting with him, but that was about all she knew of her. Jax admits that he lied and Lala says she was the one who warned Brittany what she would see. Lala just wanted Jax to own his actions and words like she did. People like Lala are offended by liars because they live so freely and openly. Brittany clearly gave Jax heck when she saw the truth, and we feel he had it coming. Lisa wants more explanation from Jax, but he blows it off as he often does when his actions are called into question. He and Lala agree nothing happened, and there still seems to be tension among the three of them about it all.
Andy makes Jax relive Sunglassesgate once again. Jax explains that he and Brittany went on a Booze Cruise, and later a bar and while at the bar he walked into a store and just decided he would take sunglasses, and left. He handed Brittany the sunglasses and said they were a gift for her. Apparently at one point he did buy the same pair of glasses for Scheana on her birthday, so Brittany didn’t think it was out of the ordinary. Jax was approached by security and admitted that he took them, assuming that he would give them back and be done with it. As we know, it didn’t end up that way. Andy asks Brittany if she felt she made a mistake leaving everything for him. She knows he has growing up to do, but she loves him. Jax tells Andy he has been to jail 5 times for various traffic violations and DUIs and Brittany found out his criminal history throughout the course of the sunglasses fiasco. Lisa didn’t fire him because she felt it would be kicking him when he was down, even though she was angry. James tries to shame Jax, and Jax brings up all of the times James has been drunk at work.
We look back at the existential crisis Jax faced when he came back from Hawaii dealing with the court case. Jax knows he is a work in progress and requires a lot of support. Sandoval wants him to try to remember how low he feels with guilt the next time he is tempted to screw up. Andy asks Jax if he has changed his mind about not wanting to get married. He says he has changed his mind and is coming around to the idea because he knows it is important to Brittany. Sandoval cannot resist the opportunity to say that maybe Jax can steal her a ring. It’s a funny moment. Lisa thinks Jax feels good about himself being with Brittany, because if someone as sweet and good as she is loves him then he can’t be so bad after all. Brittany and Jax agree that they bring out the best in each other.
Saving the best for last tonight, Stassi joins the group for some rehashing. Keeping with the boobs theme, Stassi lets us all know she had a breast lift and reduction. Andy wants to know what it was like rejoining the group after so much time passed. Stassi wants James to know she feels that he is a horrible man towards women and Andy wants to know if James feels he talks down to women. He doesn’t feel that he does and he blames his temper, says he’s working on being a gentleman. Andy runs down all of the degrading names he has called Kristen. Stassi thinks if he doesn’t acknowledge that he’s done anything wrong then he won’t change. James doesn’t care about proving himself to Stassi and Kristen, which bothers Kristen so much that she wants everyone to know her skin is crawling from sitting in a room with him. Andy brings up the last reunion where Stassi said she will absolutely not be around these people again, so she explains that she had a rock bottom moment she needed to go through. Jax feels Stassi chose Kristen to apologize to first because she would be easy to gain acceptance from. Sandoval gets really animated, as he does, and lets Stassi know he doesn’t hate her, but he feels really protective of Katie and was there for her when Stassi stopped being her friend. Stassi feels like Sandoval just hates her, and Lisa wants her to understand it’s because of how she treated him. She says she does, and that she’s owned it repeatedly. She seems to be frustrated that many of them refuse to let their guard down fully with her again. Jax thinks she came back because of problems in her personal life and Lisa says that if there was no show that none of them would have ever heard from Stassi. Ouch. Lisa felt at first that Stassi was genuine when she apologized, but now she feels it was fake – clearly there is still animosity between Stassi and Lisa. Stassi says she respects her, but she feels that Lisa holds good deeds over her head like she needs to be forever in her debt. Andy wants to know what good deeds, and she mentions the job opportunities. Lisa feels she gave her many opportunities and then felt awful to see her say on TV that Lisa never did anything for her. Stassi said she had no choice but to leave. Lisa doesn’t understand why she had to go the way she did, and why she continues to trash her every opportunity she gets.
We liked hearing some updates this time, and hearing from Brittany. We wish that Andy had gotten deeper into their talks when Brittany watched the episodes, though. Stassi brought some fireworks at the end, and we expect more from her next week. It was good tonight, but we still feel it was lacking a little. Grade: B+
Next week concludes the three part finale, where Tom and Katie and discuss their problems, Jax and James still go at it, Kristen and Ariana take shots at each other, Scheana discusses feeling left out when Stassi returns, Kristen talks about sleeping with James again and lots more delicious dessert from SUR.
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This review was written by Michelle Wilmot, and if you’re interested in following her on Twitter, you can do so at the link here. (Photo: Bravo.)