You know when you’re on a bad vacation and there’s nothing you can do about it because you’re stuck there? Such is the premise of “Hotel California” and also, Katie and Tom’s combined bachelor and bachelorette parties. At least this week, we finally get to the root of what Katie’s really been angry about all this time, but that doesn’t make it go by any quicker. No choice but to down a novelty shot, grab some beads, and enjoy the show.
The episode opens with every couple waking up in their respective rooms, hungover. This is not surprising. Nor is it surprising when we learn that Katie got too drunk and started yelling at Tom because they were all walking home after four in the morning and she just wanted to take a car. Fortunately, the groomsmen and the bridesmaids will be spending the day apart, giving everyone some time to cool off; the former is going on a gator tour, while the latter is on their way to a fancy lunch at Galatoire’s. Stassi, a New Orleans native, says that it’s her favorite restaurant, which I think might be a bit like saying that you’re from New York City and your favorite restaurant is Junior’s Cheesecake.
At lunch, the bridesmaids each get Livestrong-esque bands that say things like “sexy and single,” and, I’m presuming, “really needs to mind her own business.” Stassi orders a copious amount of seafood, claiming that she “forgot” Scheana and Kristen can’t stand it … which gives them a convenient opening to walk off and stand awkwardly in the restaurant lobby while everyone eats, having a private conversation that introduces yet another plot point. Kristen reveals that she and Carter had a conversation with Katie the previous night in which she admitted that the thing that was bothering her the most was that Tom may have cheated on her in Vegas. Scheana and Kristen then decide that they must make Tom admit that he cheated before the wedding, which is a solid and sane plan that surely will not lead to a disastrous outcome.
Meanwhile, the groomsmen take a river tour and see a bunch of gators and Tom Schwartz is just so, so drunk the entire time. They’re all having a good ol’ time pranking him with snakes and baby gators and the like, but everything gets heavier when they sit down to a boiled crab lunch. Tom Schwartz is clearly bummed out about where things currently stand with Katie, and so Carter tentatively brings up that perhaps the real problem is that Tom maaaaaaybe had sex with another woman in Vegas. Here’s where Tom reveals his weak spot: He’s so certain that the situation has already been resolved and they’re past it as a couple. Of course they’re not! That’s not how things work in a relationship! Meanwhile, Tom Sandoval starts accusing Carter of spreading “Kristen propaganda,” and then he actually starts crying. This leads Tom Schwartz to start crying too, which makes sense, but why is the other Tom crying? Ariana, fix this mess.
Back in L.A., Lisa is at SUR talking to Chef Jose about adding three new dishes because she wants to keep the SUR menu “current,” as if those goat-cheese balls don’t just time travel to everyone’s plates from 1997 every night. And then the producers make the chefs say “I’d love to marry that lady” and ”she has a lot of money” to each other in Spanish.
After each day excursion is over, the respective groups are at the hotel getting ready. While the girls are doing their makeup, they get a knock on the door from someone who’s delivering a cake and surprise … she’s a stripper! Who, if I may say so myself, had great bangs. Meanwhile, the guys have enlisted three drag mothers to help them perfect their looks for their big night out. Everyone has elaborate makeup on, but I have to say that my favorite is an understated Peter, in simple caftan, as Petra Honeysuckle, your aunt who also works as an art teacher in Florida.
Ariana pops over to the women’s room for a second and says, “There’s so many gender stereotypes that are being broken right now. We are blurring the lines of what it means it to be a man or what does it mean to be a woman in today’s society.” I know we live in scary times right now. And Bravo — I would do many, many things for you to repay you for all the joy that you’ve brought into my life over the years — but I am not going to pretend that Vanderpump Rules is in any way a model of progressivism.
Here is where I am just going to ask a few questions that ran through my mind. Why is Ariana, dressed up as a douchey male Vine star, somehow infinitely more annoying than the character she’s supposed to be playing? Why does Jax pee with the door open? Why do I want to reenact the pottery scene from Ghost but with Peter a.k.a. Petra Honeysuckle? And is Shay definitely 100 percent lying about having “legit sun poisoning” just because he doesn’t want to hang out with these loons?
There’s a check-in back at SUR — where Lisa is reviewing the new menu items and making making Ken and Guillermo each hold a Pomeranian — when they all wonder why the hell Katie and Tom decided to do a combined bachelor and bachelorette party. Also an excellent question, made even all the more excellent, when Kristen pulls Schwartz aside to tell him that every time he and Katie fight it’s because he had sex with a girl in Vegas.
Schwartz, still in full drag regalia at this point, flips out on Kristen, calling her “the same basic bitch I always knew she was.” He also yells, “I’m not Tequila Tom, I’m a chill fucking person,” which explains so much about how he needs to be seen by the world. There’s a huge fight by the elevators, in an elevator, and then into the hallway upstairs. Tom Sandoval defends him the whole time all the while looking exactly like Sia (he then gets sad when Carter points out that he looks exactly like Sia). And both Toms are just railing on Kristen — who’s still downstairs — forcing Carter to defend her.
But then Tom Schwartz does something that happens constantly on Vanderpump Rules: When someone is accused of doing something, they insist over and over that they didn’t do it. Until, of course, they admit that they actually have no idea what happened because they were too drunk to remember it — like when Tom woke up in another girl’s room in Vegas.
Carter, Kristen, Stassi, and Brittany go to Katie’s room to talk to her about the whole cheating situation, while Scheana and Ariana are explaining this to the Toms — and Schwartz storms off claiming that he’s not marrying Katie. We all know it happens eventually, but it looks like it won’t be a smooth journey until all the way down the aisle.
Read past Vanderpump Rules recaps here.