for whom the vander pumps

A Tale of Two Birthday Trips: Part Two

Stassi. Photo: Courtesy of Bravo

There was a time, reader, when a two-hour Vanderpump Rules special would have been a treat to savor; a time when I would eagerly slip into my comfiest imitation SUR waitress dress, make a personal pitcher of Pumptinis, and serenely let my brain absorb the sounds of drunk people screaming at each other. But halfway through season five, I am tired. I am tired of watching Katie, Kristen, and Stassi act like a trio of the meanest girls from your middle school. I am tired of Jax seemingly Googling “sexist talking points” before every day of filming. I am tired of hearing about Lala’s mysterious, possibly married boyfriend. But here we are.

This week’s two-hour-long episode is a continuation of last week’s birthday-trip episode, with a lengthy preview of Bravo’s upcoming new show, Summer House, tacked on at the end. So let’s begin where we began last time, at Ariana’s NASCAR birthday trip up in Sonoma. That group is still living out of close quarters in the camper, which is starting to grate on them a bit. Specifically, it offers everyone more of a glimpse into Jax and Brittany’s relationship, and nobody likes what they see.

Again, we’re five seasons in, so we know that Jax is a bad boyfriend. We know that he’s a misogynist, even if, as Brittany revealed, she does not exactly know what a misogynist is. But he goes above and beyond this episode. In the camper, he gives her a hard time while she’s trying to take a shower. At the NASCAR race, he volunteers that Brittany will show her boobs, because he paid for them. Over dinner, the rest of Ariana’s birthday crew calls him out on how he’s treating his girlfriend, but he keeps insisting that because he supposedly pays for everything, he should be able to expect her to make him sandwiches. Later on, while he and Brittany are discussing the situation in private, he doubles down on the sandwich argument. Jax is a 37-year-old man who has achieved a mild level of fame for mixing drinks and getting copious amounts of plastic surgery on TV and thinks that he’s a catch. Brittany, in the immortal words of a fellow Britney: Dump him.

Meanwhile in L.A., Lala tries to quit her job, but Lisa talks her out of it. Regardless, Lala’s not long for the show.

Now, to Montauk, where Stassi is still unsuccessfully on the hunt for a man (and, spoiler, she will remain unsuccessful). The Wirkus twins and the rest of the Summer House cast have invited her, Kristen, Katie, and Scheana to a clambake, though they have no idea what a clambake is. Kristen wonders if it will be like a luau. Somebody else (okay, also Kristen) wonders what “WASPy” means. Either way, Stassi tells them they’re going to go and have fun and be social, dammit, in a way that’s so cutting, I couldn’t help but wonder if she had ghostwritten the greatest sorority freak-out email of all time.

So they go, where we meet the Summer House cast and everyone gets tanked on rosé and Scheana repeatedly mentions how gross she finds shellfish. Upon seeing the weekend-in-the-Hamptons lifestyle of all the New Yorkers present, the Vanderpump Rules women take a bit of time to personally reflect on the differences in work culture between Los Angeles and New York. “Maybe we should’ve chosen to have like, real legit careers,” Stassi muses. “Kinds where you have to go to grad school or get PhDs.” Meanwhile, Katie shuts that idea down faster than you can say “leopard-print wrist tattoo.”

After the clambake, they head back to the summer house of Summer House, where they get even drunker and Stassi ends up alone in a hot tub with Kyle, who is described by Bravo as an “entrepreneur” and described by me as “extremely beige.” Stassi’s had her eye on Kyle, and vice versa, but Kyle is so drunk he can’t remember Stassi’s name. This angers Stassi. Kyle is also so drunk that he thinks it’s a good idea to tell her that her white turtlenecked bathing suit makes her look like Steve Jobs. So yeah, that’s not happening.

When the Vanderpump women leave the beach house, the episode segues into a 45-minute-long introduction to Summer House. I’m going to be perfectly honest and let you know that I can barely tell anyone apart, and not just because there are actual twins on the show (one of whom is pointedly always referred to as the “single twin”). But the premise is: Several blonde women and a handful of bro-y guys are sharing a house in Montauk for the summer, where there will be a lot of drinking, hookups, and, by default, drama. Dammit, Bravo, you’ve done it again.

Read past Vanderpump Rules recaps here.

A Tale of Two Vanderpump Rules Birthday Trips: Part Two