As this season of Vanderpump Rules crawls towards the inevitable — Katie and Tom’s wedding — I’ve been anxiously awaiting their bachelor and bachelorette parties. The road toward their nuptials has been peppered with speed bumps, but this particular celebration, down in New Orleans, has the most potential for drama. Travel (a reliable harbinger of disaster in the Vanderpump universe) combined with clashing personalities, copious booze, and an alarmingly incompatible betrothed couple is a recipe for excellent reality television. If you’re not convinced, the episode is titled “Beads, Beers, and Tears.” They’re spelling it out for us: This is not going to go well.
In fact, there are tears before anyone even gets close to New Orleans — Stassi cries about her breakup with Patrick while she’s packing. Meanwhile, over at Ariana and Tom’s apartment, Ariana’s mom, Tanya, is visiting, and she gets to hear all about how Katie is now texting the couple blaming them for her fights with Tom. In related news, Bravo should’ve launched a spinoff show with all the moms yesterday.
Lisa visits Pump to check in on preparations for the upcoming Daily Mail party, where she learns that they’ve asked James to DJ, because apparently terrible British things attract each other. She warns him that she’ll “personally” kick his ass if he acts up, and I thoroughly believe her.
Because the bachelor/bachelorette party is apparently not sufficient time for everyone to spend drunk and hating each other, Scheana is first hosting another pool party at her mom Erika’s house. Tom Schwartz shows up wearing a fabulous coral muumuu, while Katie shows up mad at Tom. After many drinks, Katie is left discussing the fight from last episode with Brittany and Stassi, while Tom Schwartz unloads on Kristen and Scheana. After much goading, he goes over to Katie to attempt an apology, but she’s not having it. At one point, Jax compares their relationship to a “stinky room — instead of finding the source of the stink, they just Febreze the situation and hope it goes away.” It’s actually a pretty apt analogy.
After a few packing montages, the group lands in New Orleans and checks into their hotel. Katie and Tom have a luxurious suite, complete with champagne, courtesy of Lisa, and when they call to thank her she’s in the midst of feeding her miniature horses. I have never yearned for wealth as strongly as I did during that scene.
The group hits up Bourbon Street — where we must witness the indignity of Jax mama-birding Brittany a shot — while Scheana and Shay go to a quiet dinner for their second anniversary. Scheana gives him a “boudoir book” filled with suggestive photos of herself, and if I may just offer one small suggestion, Scheana, I think you could’ve taken the book to the next level if it played an autotuned message from you when opened. Just a thought. Anyway, they proceed to have a sad conversation about how losing each other is the worst thing that could happen, and, well, we all know how this story ends.
After their dinner, they meet up with the rest of the crowd, where Stassi is cranky that Ariana is doing something “alternative,” a.k.a. hanging out with both men and women. Tom Sandoval and Katie are talking about her issues with Tom Schwartz over to the side, while Ariana and Tom Schwartz are having their own separate heart-to-heart. As if that wasn’t already going to anger Katie, Tom Sandoval tells her she should consider couples therapy. Katie says she didn’t come to New Orleans to have all these issues thrown in her face, which is understandable, but also … you’ve chosen to have every bit of your wedding filmed for a reality TV series that thrives on conflict.
As an interlude to all the terrible fighting, we get a check-in with James: He asks Lisa for his job back and reveals that he’s not working on Friday, Wednesday, Monday, Tuesday, and Sunday, and it’s not because he read that Tim Ferris book. Lisa turns him down, showing that you can be loving to your miniature horses but a swift arbiter of justice nonetheless.
Back in New Orleans, to top off the first part of the bachelor/bachelorette celebrations, Stassi is crying to Brittany about her breakup. Stassi’s spent half her screentime this season crying about her breakup and nobody seems to care. When Jax joins them, she demands that he say sorry for how he treated her, and, after refusing for a while, he finally breaks down crying and apologizing profusely. Stassi is miraculously cured by this — “it’s so vindicating” — and leaves. Jax is then left alone with Brittany, who is furious at him for never feeling even a fraction as remorseful any of the times he’s disrespected her. (Remember Sandwichgate?) Welcome to the light, Brittany.
Read past Vanderpump Rules recaps here.