Like an 80’s revival that never ends, Vanderpump Rules brings us right back to Katie’s ultimatum. Not the one she gave her husband. That was resolved in season 5. This time around she’s demanding action with real-life consequences: fire James Kennedy or knowingly flout labor laws on national TV. It’s HR by Bravo, minus the cocaine and circuit boys (ALLEGEDLY). Lisa is torn. Her lawyers tell her she has to pay lip service to hostile workplace complaints but James is making her money. Real bakshish that goes in her pocket. What’s a
girl professional business owner to do? While she puzzles that out, awash in moody hues, a small smile plays at the corner of her mouth. This mess is sure to turn into an expanded storyline. Eat that, Rinna.
For the next half hour, the cast gets together to shit-talk James Kennedy LLC. I’m not sure what’s more crass, Scheana’s plot to friend-dump James because Stassi told her to or that she uses Billie’s final transition surgery as the backdrop to introduce it. Say what you will about Billie, that moment deserves better.
Jax is the epitome of a sore winner when he thinks he has the moral high ground. While Brittany turns into Forest Gump (cheddar cheese, sharp cheese, shredded cheese), Jax goes on a foam-at-the-mouth rant about how stupid Raquel is for staying with James. He’s so excited to have the upper hand he doesn’t realize every point he makes about Raquel equally applies to Brittany. She’s too occupied counting cheese (string cheese,
woda gouda cheese, cheese in a can) to care.
The drama comes to a crescendo at Brittany’s beer cheese tasting. When Katie tells her friends about the ultimatum, they gnash their teeth and tear at their clothes. Jax and Beau lift Katie onto their shoulders. Stassi and Brittany shower her with flowers. Only Schwartz sits alone, rationalizing another horrific action from another horrible men. “Say it. I want you to say it.” is dead. Long live, bro Schwartz.
Scheana has a hard time finding people to film with. She’s not connected to the main cast. She doesn’t have any good storylines. She’s annoying. So you’d think she’d value the friends that show up, especially to help her move. Instead, she plays on her phone while James does all the heavy lifting. She’s done zero preparation for her big showdown so when the time comes her attack is anemic. I just can’t with you. I’m not about the drama. Feminism. James seems more upset that Scheana doesn’t put on a better show than about losing her friendship. He reenacts how Stassi laid down the law with alarming accuracy. Sober James is funny.
The Kennedy family take us on a short detour through Chekov territory. The absent, playboy father. The newly sober mother. The brothers, both benefit and burden. Responsible for them all, a soon-to-be fired DJ living his best life on reality TV. It kind of puts the alcoholism in perspective.
Lala needs a new fake job. Seeing her go from the Gotti premiere to the podium at SUR stretches credulity. She works hard, just not at the restaurant. First, she registers her own complaint with Lisa. Attack James’ job. Then she pulls Raquel aside for “Wake up!” version 2.0. Attack James’ relationship. As much as I judge Raquel for dating James (she’s almost as bad as Brittany), it’s hard to watch Hip Hop Kitty go HAM. Her vitriol against Raquel feels personal. Then the truth comes out. This isn’t Lala vs Raquel. This is Logan vs Raquel. It seems James’ best besties have booed themselves up. Logan is even one of Lala’s bridesmaids. All the animus Raquel is getting can be distilled down to one crucial issue: a boy loves a boy. Wars have been fought for less.
Lisa channels Busby Berkeley and schedules a huge audience for her meeting with James. If she ever wants to leave that other sinking ship, she has to get a bigger role around here. James isn’t quite sure what he’s in trouble for (there are several options) but he’s not prepared for Lisa’s stoney glare. Or her decision. She can no longer be affiliated with the White Kanye. It’s not good for her brand. James cries and begs. He blames the alcohol. Lisa never wavers. She channels the power of White Snake and stays resolute. To flee, James must push his way through a crowd of circus performers. As he lurches down the sidewalk, eyes red from tears, Lisa gives a Shakespearean sigh. “All the world’s a stage / And all the men and women merely players.”
Next week January 7: Stassi and Ariana throw an epic winter-themed birthday party; Stassi’s new boyfriend gets his first taste of Stassi’s bad birthday behavior; Jax confronts Tom Sandoval for questioning his engagement; James finds himself cut off from everyone at SUR.