I missed last week’s installment of For Whom the Vander Pumps because I was traveling, which means I missed the annual SUR photoshoot, Stassi on a blind date, and Lisa agreeing to officiate Tom and Katie’s wedding. But much like the SUR cast members’ recurring self-inflicted problems, I’m back, baby. And I’ve arrived just in time to find Tom and Katie insisting that they’re In a Very Good Place Right Now in their relationship — but there are plenty of people who are not in that mythical Good Place that’s mentioned at least once per reality-TV episode. Let’s review.
For starters, Jax shows up to Tom Sandoval’s house, where they’re meeting up to buy $1,500 plane tickets for Tom Schwartz’s triplet brothers — who live at home with their parents in Florida and share a flip phone — so they can make it out for the wedding and surprise Tom. What a beautiful collection of words.
With the wedding date growing ever closer, the bridesmaids are filmed showing off their dresses while the groomsmen are off picking out candy to put in the party favors. In the dress shop, Scheana says that she and Shay went to couples therapy once and learned to communicate … and the camera moves over to Stassi, who exaggeratedly mouths “what?!” precisely in sync with all the viewers at home. Yes, Scheana is not doing too well. At SUR, she tells Jax and Katie that she’s going to a fertility doctor because she’s ready to have a baby with Shay, even though she barely sees him because he’s always at the studio. And then, later, while they’re packing for the wedding, he seems even less enthused than usual — a feat — and tells her that he’s “over everybody.” Ah well, spoiler alert.
As for Stassi — after spending most of this season complaining about being single, she decides to do a sexy photo shoot as “a little pick-me-up.” Here’s the primary difference between me and Stassi: When I’m feeling bad about my life, I just eat something carby and look at the Facebook pages of people I didn’t like in high school.
This episode also saw the return of two old characters: James and Lala. James goes over to Raquel’s family’s for dinner, where he’s forced to admit to Raquel’s mother and very emotive sister that he’s been fired from his jobs at SUR and Pump. The whole experience is viscerally awkward, but Raquel’s mother claims that she really loves James — so, nobody let her see the several episodes this season in which James is accused of cheating on her daughter, with photo evidence to back it up.
Lala, meanwhile, has returned to SUR after a couple of months’ absence to explain herself to Lisa. She chalks up her disappearance to anxiety, and explains that “when I get into a mindset — and this is one of my biggest flaws — I completely shut down, I say basically eff you to everybody and I do what I want to do.” See, Lala thinks that by saying that she’s “owning it,” it’s like it never happened, which, uh, is not how stuff works. (Also, who gets to take a few months’ break from their lives just because they don’t feel like dealing?) Regardless, she and Lisa leave off on a good note, considering everything that happened. Lala’s officially no longer on the show, but should you want to keep up with her, I highly suggest you follow her on Instagram for her riveting thoughts about Blackfish, among other things.
Back to weddingland, everyone invited is making their way upstate — though Schwartz’s triplet brothers have all missed their flight. Tom and Katie are already there, going over the wedding costs with the venue owner, and here is how much Tom and Katie’s “Woodsy Elegance” wedding costs: $51,058. I am left with only one question: How many tree stumps could they possibly have purchased to drive the cost up that high?
Now, before we end this week, I would like to take a moment to recognize the front-desk guy at the hotel where Lisa and Ken are staying. Whoever you are: I can’t tell if you’re giddy with recognition because you’re a fan of Lisa, or just slightly nervous to be on TV, but you are by the far the nicest, most pleasant human being to appear on Bravo TV. I raise my Pumptini to you.
Read past Vanderpump Rules recaps here.