It’s been a long two weeks without Vanderpump Rules. Holiday family time? Peaceful tidings for a new year? Yes, I enjoyed them. But that didn’t stop me from wondering why Lisa Vanderpump hiked her Vander-cookies all the way to James Kennedy’s apartment. She’s a millennial Victor/Victoria. An enabler playing a woke boss bitch playing an enabler. Torn between pseudo-feminism and a lost boy, Lisa treads the boards like a professional. Anguish. Compassion. Reflection. No one dare steal her shine. Not here.
The entire cast reunites for the first time since Pride, all in the name of torture. LVP’s brilliant marketing plan pits Yulin vs Insta. Viral selfies will save the day. More importantly, it provides a backdrop for the continued alienation of James. After losing Scheana last week, Sandoval and Ariana are James’ only friends. But it’s time for Ariana to pick a side. Prove allegiance. Disinvite James from her birthday party. It’s clear she’s uncomfortable. She knows the you-can’t-sit-with-us mentality is pathetic. But James’ mouth is problematic, especially for the only actual feminist in the group. Unwilling to give up the perks of her current friendships (or risk any talk of her brother), Ariana negotiates amnesty for Raquel. Let the poor girl come to the party. She deserves a night off.
I didn’t think it was possible but Adam is less interested in Scheana than Rob, Rob, Rob was. Interesting.
Lisa seems genuinely worried about James. She trots out his famewhore mother to see if they can work together on his behalf. What follows is the saddest 3 minutes in Vanderpump Rules herstory. Jacqueline is 9 months sober, a huge achievement that should be celebrated. But she’s new to sobriety, still relying on old crutches to cover, divert, and dodge all responsibility. Before Lisa can finish her opening sentence, Mommy Dearest shouts conspiracy. What is James supposed to de when women attack him? Provoke him? It’s not his fault. He’s done no wrong. Lisa is gobsmacked. Her potential ally is a huge part of the problem. Lisa suggests therapy, anger management, and a strict mommy. Jacqueline is relieved. Yes, that’s exactly what James needs. Strict mommy Lisa. Jacqueline only jumps to James’ aid when she learns he’s been fired. She begs and pleads, sheds imaginary tears. James supports his entire family. Mean mommy isn’t giving up the VPR gig just yet.
James gets the shock of his life when he opens his door to Lisa Vanderpump. The queen has ascended. This. Is. Big. After meeting with Jacqueline, and getting a better sense of James’ sad childhood, she’s compelled to take his temperature. As the oldest boy, he’s been responsible for his family for much longer than is moral. He works his 15 minutes hard, providing not just for himself, but for four dependants too. Every success is shared. He even installed his father in his former WeHo party pad (behind the curtain in some weird man’s living room). Lisa praises sober James. She encourages him to carry on. He’s grateful for the support. And the chance at some positive airtime. Mommy will be pleased.
Stassi and Ariana throw a joint winter wonderland birthday party. They dress samesies. Samesies makeup. Samesies hair. The stars of the show have joined forces and the Scheana stands alone. Jax confronts Sandoval about not supporting him. They circle each other like idiots, barking and snarling. Sandoval wants to believe Jax. Isn’t that enough? Considering? When Raquel arrives, spark truly fly. Kristen tries to befriend her. The more time Raquel spends with them, the more time James is alone at home, wondering. Katie and Stassi go on a frontal attack. They volley her “but, alcoholism” with a “you’re stupid.” Haunted by the image of a portly teddy bear, Raquel reaches for the last defense in her bag of tricks. “He’s not always a piece of shit.” Touché.
Shortly before 2am, Stassi’s wheels fall off. She’s done, done in, well done. She wants her man but Beau parties on. For 14 minutes she furiously texts and calls. Beau parties on. As her phone ricochets off the bathroom floor, a surge of excitement creeps up my spine. It’s finally Stassi’s Fucking Birthday!
Next week: Stassi dick punches Beau’s heart, the girls visit an anger room, Stassi’s mom is a drunken mess, and SUR has a company meeting about James.