What you need to understand about “Vanderpump Rules” is that I had nothing to prepare me for it. There was no gateway drug. I never watched one episode of “Real Housewives.” Since my torrid love affair with the “Ashley Parker Angel” show, et al. back in ’05, the only reality show I’ve really watched since is “Survivor,” which IMO doesn’t count.
Naturally, I was like “Ugh, what is this nonsense?” upon seeing Kristen “pick up her mail” from Tom Sandoval’s house and get all dramatic. Not even sure why Bravo was on that day I fatefully turned on the television. But damn if I didn’t watch the rest of the marathon, then all the back eps I could find on demand.
This show is so strangely and powerfully addictive and it’s like, don’t think you can withstand the magic, because you barely get a second to look away from this abyss before it swallows you alive and next thing you know, you are sitting in ladybug PJ pants and a novelty sweatshirt on a sunny Saturday afternoon, writing about this shitshow. This wonderful, glorious shitshow. Please, Bravo. Sate us all and air Seasons One and Two this summer <3
For now, it’s all about the Season Three finale, which opens with “Previously this season, on ‘Vanderpump Rules’”:
They held a car wash, danced at clubs, kissed each other, and wore white in a photo shoot. Lisa said they were acting like trash. They danced on a boat, Scheana in a sailor hat, Sandoval in the outfit I wore to Adventureland in 1989, had I subbed out the shorts for a Speedo.
Fights break out! “Young and the Restless” Vail becomes a hostess! She and Jax flirt in the storyline that ended not with a literal or figurative bang, but a whimper! Scheana invites Katie to her wedding, and whilst wearing a turban, breaks the news to Stassi who is dressed like Hillary Clinton after raiding Cleopatra’s tomb! Katie wins hearts ‘round the world when she tells “betrayed” Stassi to Shut the *bleep* up! Scheana wears a crop-top wedding dress! Tom Schwartz is a cheater no he isn’t yes he is! He tries to skirt marriage for the time being by giving Katie a ring on a gold chain, and she proceeds to say “ring on a string” 70 billion times! Lisa counsels Katie! Tom Sandoval sobs into his cigarette as Kristen licks her lips in satisfaction! James can’t take any more of Kristen’s obsession, gets drunk at Scheana’s wedding, and Kristen punches him in the face! Scheana squeezes one last bit of “My Wedding” out of the situation, as her voice turns into a dog whistle, and Vail desperately clings for Vanderpump relevancy in the background!
Oooo, Lisa is tired of Kristen’s bullshit and she’s fired! A girl who went to my brother’s alma mater high school shows up in “Road Rules” Rachel’s lip gloss, insisting that yes she and Sandoval did so have sex in Miami, while Sandoval screams no they didn’t! People talking about the truth coming out! Sandoval like Schwartz makes his cheating Jax’s fault ‘cause he keeps *ratting them out*! Jax says in front of Scheana that yes 100%, Sandoval had sex with Miami girl. Kristen looks around in satisfaction like, “Now everyone will like me!” even though that crazy train departed a long time ago, but I hope it helps that WE love you on our televisions, Kristen!
Opening credits! What I love most about VP credits is that they’re like “Degrassi’s,” when they still had them. Jax, Sandoval, and Ariana are bartenders; Scheana, Katie, and Kristen are waitresses! Stassi and Schwartz don’t work! Lisa is a dragon goddess that you don’t want to cross and looks gorgeous at all times, this particular one in a purple satin dress! Group shot, and now we’re finally starting the finale!
Lisa talks to Tommy Garcia the photographer in the parking lot of a really cool pink motel, named thusly. She’s using it for her latest photo shoot, and I really do think Lisa puts on amazing displays, whether it’s a parade or a photo shoot. This time, she’s going for a ‘50s theme. I like that even though she’s done the bathing suit thing, even that was artistic, and she doesn’t just do the bathing suit thing.
Lisa describes her vision to Tommy while looking every bit as stunning in a plain white tee and jeans as she did in the purple dress. Oh and I just noticed the pink in the ends of her hair! I love Lisa so much, but will try to stop gushing because we have a photo shoot to get to!
There’s a pink convertible on set — not sure if that’s always there at the hotel or brought in just for the occasion, but it’s all really cool, visually. The gang arrives to get ready, and Jax says the hotel is like “Bates Motel meets Miami in the ‘50s.”
As they get made up, Katie informs Scheana that Stassi is still not talking to her, and confessionals that she and Stassi are moving apart — Stassi is learning to embrace her hatred, and Katie’s learning to let hers go. I freaking love Katie. Oh and whoa. To say that big necklaces are back would appear to be an understatement:
So to speak. Because apparently, “statement necklaces” are a thing. Much like bandage dresses, I have no idea when this happened. Why are they statement necklaces? This is what happens when I skip the gym and don’t read Cosmo on the elliptical.
Scheana and Katie discuss whether Schwartz will ever propose while looking amazing in no makeup. Scheana shuts Jax down when he poo poos marriage. Scheana and Jax’s friendship is one of my favorite parts of the show. The Jaxes of this world need female friends who don’t sleep with them and who call them on their shit.
Katie stuffs her shirt and apparently “Dani, SUR server” exists, because there she is, skateboarding in a bikini. As people…did in the ‘50s?
Jax shaves. Sandoval talks about his head shape and Clinique bronzer. Lisa calls the girls out of the motel/dressing room and while they all look beautiful, Katie looks SLAMMING. She correctly VOs that the ‘50s are a really good look for her.
And James is the VIP for the boys! They all look good as well, but James is knocking it out of the park with the James Dean thing. Photos are taken, and Jax self-admires his Botox.
They go for a break, and Scheana pulls Sandoval aside to tell him Jax told her Sandoval did indeed sleep with Miami girl. Scheana confessionals that she tries to bring all her friends together, and it causes her a lot of anxiety when they fight, so “thank you Kristen.” Sandoval confessionals that only two days ago, he’d asked Jax not to talk about him to Kristen because bitch be crazy. Somehow this translates into how Jax shouldn’t talk to Scheana either and Sandoval’s cheating magically becomes about Jax who may be a boor, but I personally think gets dumped on, personal-responsibility-wise. While he may lie a lot and be an opportunistic friend oftentimes, where you put your penises truly are your own individual responsibilities. IMHO!
OT: Are Jax and Sandoval in a Parisian cafe in this flashback?
Anyway, Sandoval sulks and says Jax is a liar. Scheana thinks Jax has actually been on “more of a truth kick” this year. Sandoval’s mad because this gives Kristen “ammo,” and I love how Kristen is this season’s Vanderpump Big Bad. Sandoval disagrees vehemently with Scheana on the truth kick, and can’t believe he has to do yet another awkward photo shoot where he’s mad at Jax. We flash back to a different photo shoot that I didn’t have the pleasure of witnessing yet. Scheana’s like, well he’s your BFF. Sandoval says he’s not and Scheana responds, “Whatevs.”
Lisa calls everyone back to the set and has donned cat’s-eye-but-not, pink-rimmed sunglasses. Of course she wants “just the two guys” for the next shot; i.e., Jax and Sandoval. I love this show.
Costume/set change! The whole SUR gang’s there, not just the main cast, and are working bathing suits into the equation via ‘50s beach movie.
They go to the dressing room for touchups, and complain that it’s hot. Scheana brings up her dinner with Jax, Rachel, and Kristen (wherein Jax said Tom slept with Miami girl). Ariana gets all pissy and says “I can not be talking to somebody while he’s *bleeping* somebody.” Which from what I hear about Paris Hilton’s sex tape, is incorrect. Then she says that FaceTime wouldn’t work in Sandoval’s (Miami) room.
Scheana reminds Ariana that Sandoval cheated with Ariana on Kristen and didn’t ‘fess up for years. She just doesn’t want Ariana to be naive. Ariana hilariously replies, “I am the least naive person on this planet.” Then even more awesomely goes on to say “I’m smarter than every *bleeping* person I’ve ever met in my life.” Then Scheana’s like, do you 100% believe with all your heart that he didn’t cheat? Ariana replies in the affirmative, and Scheana really sweetly says okay, that’s the last she’ll bring it up. Scheana’s my favorite; I just love her sassiness and even more, how she really does seem to put her friends’ happiness above her own. She says “I love you” and beams at Ariana, who replies “I love you too.”
Establishing shots show us we’re changing locations to Schwartz, who’s gone back to his and Katie’s couples therapist on his own. I really admire that. In my own way, I actually like all the guys on this show, but Schwartz seems like the kindest one. He sits on the couch wearing Mr. Rogers couture and Carol Seaver glasses, and admits he’s terrified to get married, that the idea of being with one person for the rest of his life sounds so bad to him. He confessionals that it scares him — “How do you know?” that you won’t be one of the 50% to get divorced?
Photo shoot. Lisa confessionals that the kids should “take a page out of that book,” as in the pre-sexual revolution ‘50s. Hee. They’re now doing a “Grease” thing with the whole group next to/on/in the pink convertible. This seriously despite the heat looks like so much fun.
They break so that Tom can pull Jax aside to confront him about “ratting.” Jax is predictably stammery, making that face little kids make when they’re trying to lie to you and practically go cross eyed furrowing their brow in faux confusion. Arianna wanders up looking like Lucille Ball in her underwear and wants to join the conversation of which she’s a subject. Jax walks away and we get scene 1, 082 about Miami girl and how Jax is a liar, and Tom and Arianna are the most In Love Couple of all time 4eva.
Vail flirts with Peter, which was already old three eps ago, and the gang goes back to work for the last shot. Lisa has changed into a strapless black lace dress for the occasion, and they pose in front of the Pink Motel sign. “That’s a wrap!”
Guess who’s back, back again! Stassi, the OG SUR Queen Bee! She’s dressed in a flowing white dress, and in a confessional talks about how she thought maybe she blew it with Lisa last time, seeing as how she talked about stealing Lisa’s liquor and drinking on the clock, then told Lisa off. Her boobs look HUGE in this confessional, by the way. She recently took off the post-SUR weight she’d gained, but I think she looks amazing with it on. Anyway, Lisa’s called Stassi down in order to 1) chide her for being mean to Katie, and 2) invite her to the party that night.
“James’ (sic) Apartment.” He and Kristen pick out clothes for the party that he literally begged Lisa to let Kristen attend, we see via flashback. As they have conversation 1,083 about Sandoval and Miami girl, James makes Kristen promise that tonight, no matter how it goes down, will be the last of this nonsense. YES PLZ FOR THE LOVE OF GOD! But keep Kristen on the show!
SUR’s 10th Anniversary Party. Everyone helpfully arrives in order, so that all is happiness and hugs until Kristen walks in, and it is gloriously Scarlett O’Hara arriving to the party despite everyone’s hating her, right down to her red dress. She looks amazing btw. Katie confessionals that it’s kind of sad, what a huge loser Kristen is, as Kristen asks a SUR bartender if he misses her. This is his face in response:
Ariana and Sandoval arrive, so Kristen ignores them and texts/Instagrams away, as Sandoval confessionals that it’s not a party without his number one stalker :-D
Lisa and her husband arrive with their dog, and she asks Shay if he’s knocked Scheana up yet. They’re wearing glo necklaces! Even Lisa Freaking Vanderpump enhances parties with glo jewelry! This is like one of the most validating moments of my life.
Kristina and Stassi show up. Stassi confessionals that she hopes Jax will be predictably late and she’ll miss him. She is dressed like one of the ladies in the “Addicted to Love” video, plus a cute skirt ruffle and (DRINK!) gigantic gold necklace. Stassi, Kristen, Kristina, and some randoms cheers with shots. Scheana confessionals that Stassi needed to come because she’s unemployed and the party’s open bar. Katie says from her corner that Stassi’s so fake, and Stassi loudly says it’s so weird to see Katie being friends with Scheana. I’m digging Scheana’s fish braid! Kristina says that if Katie really cared, she’d get up and try to talk to Stassi. Wtf, Kristina? Aren’t you supposed to be Katie’s friend too?
Stassi pulls Katie aside to talk to her, while we see Jax arriving :o Lisa offers to buy him a drink, which confuses me because open bar, but I think she’s joking.
Stassi and Katie bicker some more about Katie’s ostensible betrayal. Stassi’s so frustrating. She’s clearly a smart woman, and during arguments like these will appear to soften. But then she says things like “You switched sides!” to Katie. She confessionals that it’s like Katie’s a host body for the Scheana parasite, which is awesome, but also seems like jealous projection to me. She gets up to leave, because this is “too hurtful.” Poor Katie.
But Katie doesn’t need my stinkin’ sympathy, and confessionals in a lacy green dress that she feels bad for Stassi, because she thrives on the animosity that Katie’s learning to let go of.
Back to the party. SUR looks gorgeous. I’m not really into fancy “hot spots,” even back in my 20s when I was a 40-minute train ride to NYC, but SUR is amazing. I totally want to go when I visit California with Josh.
Anyhoo, Vail flirts with Jax while Peter watches. She saunters away, and Peter says to Jax, “No comment at this point,” and they poke their proverbial straws around the LITs that will never be Vail.
Lisa and Kristen talk and Lisa (DRINK!) looks beyond incredible, like an elegant, brunette Jessica Rabbit. Her cranberry dress is paired with a necklace that looks like I’d imagine a hummingbird trap, should such a thing exist. Lisa tells Kristen that if she was truly happy in herself, she wouldn’t care what Tom is doing — “let him go.” And that Kristen should make things right with Tom and Arianna.
Katie returns to Scheana and the gang, telling them what happened, and they call Stassi not only deluded, but also delusional.
Stassi tells Lisa that her talk with Katie didn’t go so well, just as Jax walks into the room. Stassi freaks at the sight of him and says it’s time for her to leave. Lisa admonishes her to not be a baby, but Stassi leaves anyway. Lisa confessionals that facing your problems is the only way to make them go away.
Stassi confessionals that “It’s not like SUR is the hotel in The Shining,” making this the second finale reference to evil hotels/motels. She says it’s the people who are evil. Kristina hugs her goodbye, and Stassi looks around at the place she used to rule and now can’t even be inside of, and walks home.
Back from commercial, the gang gives us a “So long, Stassi” montage, where they say so long to her and:
her jealousy of Scheana
her “It’s my birthday!” meltdowns
her corny statement necklaces
her trying to boss Scheana around
It ends with Jax waving bye-bye. Ouch. Personally, I hope to see Stassi again.
Back inside SUR, Kristen and Peter call Vail out on being a cocktease, as Sandoval and Jax go off to have convo 1,084 about Sandoval and the Miami girl. Jax says he never said Sandoval and Miami girl had sex, over clips of him saying exactly that. Then Kristen joins them, much to their obvious delight. Sandoval asks if Jax said he hooked up with Miami girl, and Kristen totally ups this show’s obsession with percents, as he did say that, “a million percent, multiple times.” Then we get flashbacks of Kristen’s denial of “banging Jax” when she was with Sandoval and Jax was with Stassi, before finally admitting to it. Jax yells at her that regardless of this outcome, nobody’s going to like her now! We like her, Jax. But his point is nonetheless valid. They awesomely gaze around at each other, fighting over who’s deflecting, and it’s pretty remarkable how minus Schwartz, it’s like the pool-stick scene in “The Dark Knight,” because it’s a pretty even match regarding everyone’s terribleness, at least in this particular moment.
Then Sandoval yells what might be the most quintessential line in a season full of amazing words:
“Kristen, you burn through friends like Jax burns through *bleeping* condoms!”
Kristen confessional. She finally claims to be done, and hands over the Sandoval Love Torch to Ariana. In real time, she walks away. I really want a red dress like hers. Princess Leia chain necklaces aside, I’m digging the classic yet fun and vibrant dresses this episode.
Sandoval yells at Jax some more, and says a couple of times that he doesn’t know where to go from here, but unfortunately does not burst into song like Buffy. They should SO do a musical ep of “Vanderpump Rules!”
Kristen goes up to Ariana’s table and says she’s said everything she could to both her and Sandoval, so “good luck,” and walks away as Ariana, Katie, and Lisa look mystified.
Sandoval apologizes to Ariana for all of the Kristen nonsense, and then proposes…that she move in with him. Her sweet reaction is the most open I’ve ever seen her look, and it makes me like her more. Sandoval confessionals that a year ago, his life was turned upside down by the two people he cared about most. That really does suck. He goes on to say he’s so thankful to trust someone again, and he’s never had a connection like he does with Ariana. They start to suck face and Lisa awesomely mutters, “This is awkward.” Katie confessionals that she totally (100% or a million, Katie?) is happy for Sandoval and Ariana and hopes they get married, just not before her! Then she and Lisa leave “before Ariana gets pregnant.” Sandoval and Ariana each look happier than I’ve ever seen and I’m happy for them, but thought they already lived together, so am confused.
Oooooo. Awesome pink couch with white lights going across the top. Katie joins Schwartz on it, and they have the same conversation they’ve had all season about marriage, only this time 1) Schwartz compares getting married to hiking Mount Everest, because he’s afraid of marriage just like Katie’s afraid of heights and 2) Katie gives him an ultimatum: six months to figure out what he wants. I feel for both of them; I really do. Katie confessionals that she needs to start looking at the next six months as either the beginning or the end of her and Schwartz’s relationship. In real time, Schwartz cries. In his confessional, he looks absolutely terrified at agreeing to the ultimatum.
Lisa pours shots from a “Vanderpump”-labeled bottle. Of what I don’t know, but it’s cool regardless. Lisa seems drunk but in a charming way, and gives a weird speech about how short Jax’s porno is going to be. Then she presents a slideshow of pics from the photo shoot, as she confessionals that she has a gorgeous staff, though sometimes she wishes they were more beautiful on the inside.
Scheana confessionals that she can’t believe she’s been working at SUR for four years now. She not only married the man of her dreams, but also “cut some bitches out of (her) life.”
Of course, we can’t assume the Big Bad’s completely down for the count! Kristen rolls her eyes and mock barfs when an actually pretty hot picture of Arianna and Sandoval is shown. Scheana says there’s no need for that, and Kristen says “I give up.” She and James leave, as her voiceover drops f-bombs on Scheana, Jax, and Sandoval. Kristen says she just wants to move on with James, and it’s ABOUT TIME, Kristen. James seems super awesome and he loves you. Let yourself be happy again!
Vail looks phenomenal in a cool cut-out little black dress, beautiful hair more lovely than ever, and seems to be looking for another sex invitation from Jax, but he walks out alone into the night. The editors get an A+ for cutting between a Jax confessional where he waxes philosophical about having no regrets, and his truck in the lot getting towed.
The gang toasts! Lisa talks about how much she loves her group of kids! And it is
~ THE END FOR NOW ~