Break Out The Rosé Magnum, It's A Super-Sized Vanderpump Rules
Stop! It's too much! We're going to be hung over tomorrow from this backdoor Summer House pilot.
The Morning After
It's the morning after the first day of vacation, and both groups of SURvers are surprisingly put together. Montauk has a significant edge, though, what with its plush robes, bathrooms larger than a coffin, and air circulation.
The other group's less than twenty-four hours into life on the road, and Ariana's already admitting they're "barely clinging" to their humanity, only half-kidding. Look no further than the Solo cup-filled sink and combination of garbage and clothes strewn about for confirmation.
Stassi and Katie talk about the former's love life and how she has to step outside her comfort zone if she wants to meet someone. ("What do I tell guys when I first meet them? I love to tan, I love a good blowout, my exercise is shopping online, and I'm really into murder.") Jax and Brittany are fighting over how to fold clothes and pack a suitcase. Later, he takes a shower and shuts the water off afterward, forcing Brittany to clean up using two open water bottles Sandoval randomly finds, all the while yelling at her from the other side of the door for being high-maintenance.
Shellfish, Shellfish, Selfish
At the pool, Kristen grapples with what Montauk is. She knows that it's WASPy. The problem is she doesn't know what "WASPy" means. "Bougie," perhaps, but it's confusing because wasps suck. Complicating things is an invitation to a clambake, because nobody knows what that is. They Google it, and Scheana starts up about an aversion to fish. Stassi replies that she's going to have to take one for the team and be social: "Be you. Just like, a little less of it, though."
At NASCAR, the group's in awe when they meet a driver, which Sandoval ruins by asking him to sign his flatiron. Worse is Schwartz, whose unfortunate sense of humor and timing -- he huddles everyone up to ensure the girls will go topless if it comes to it; they're in so deep -- paves the way for Jax to make gross comments about Brittany, and remind everyone he paid for her implants. Ariana's offended and stands up to him on behalf of women everywhere.
Dusty Pink Paint Samples & Simulated Sex
Stassi and Katie sit on the patio before the clambake. Katie calls Lisa to clarify what it is she needs to do when she gets back. (Find some dusty pink paint samples; get samples for the new SUR outfits, etc.) Lisa jokes about Stassi, knowing she's probably listening, and doesn't care when that is confirmed. The call ends, and Stassi's disappointed that Lisa didn't wish her a happy birthday.
On a ferris wheel, Tom and Ariana simulate the sex they aren't having. Nope!
Relieved to not have screwed up the dress code, the SURvers are greeted by hosts Lauren and Ashley Wirkus: identical twins from NY separated only by the fact that one's in a relationship and the other isn't. The SURvers are in awe of the setup, which Stassi compares to a fancy wedding.
There's a slight divide between the L.A. people and the New York people because everyone from New York has a "real" job, and has to haul ass back to the city for work tomorrow. But there's also a magnum of rosé, so at least there's common ground. Still, Kristen and Scheana's reactions to shellfish are just embarrassing enough for the New York crowd to be amused, if not completely skeptical.
Everyone's cheering and burning to a crisp as they watch the race from atop a hill. They head back to the RV and realize that the toilet's clogged. Probably by excessive toilet paper user Jax! They tease him about clogging the toilet before laying into him for how he treats Brittany.
On The Beach...
Opposite Stassi, new addition Carl takes the opportunity to flirt. His advances are short-lived, though, on account of Kristen asking if anyone's banged at the table. The conversation pings back to Stassi, who nearly cries because everyone wants to know about her relationship with Patrick. Katie and Stassi break off from the group to chat. Stassi wonders if they should have gotten a Master's or PhD and made careers for themselves. Katie rejects that idea in favor of getting Stassi laid. Stassi's into Carl, but Katie sends her in Kyle's direction.
Who are these people? I'm not quite sure either! The show blows past proper introductions and assumes we're all old friends.
They head back to the table for a quick toast and decide to head back to the Summer House. Yes, this is a backdoor pilot. Welcome.
Red In The Face
Vaguely drunk and incredibly sunburned, the Sonoma crew also goes out for dinner. Once again the spotlight falls on Jax and Brittany's relationship. Sandoval calls him out for being rude ("Favors and gifts aren't leverage") and constantly embarrassing her in front of them. Jax gets defensive, arguing that it's nobody's business if he supports his girlfriend and expects a sandwich every once in a while in return. He says he's concerned by the traits Brittany's developed since she met the L.A. girls, which probably means recognizing that women have rights, too.
Ariana has breaking news: Lala's unfollowed her across all platforms. [Wilhelm scream]
La La Land
Lala returns to SUR and wants to talk to Lisa. She apologizes for shutting everyone out ("That's what Lala does," she says, referring to herself in third person) and says she flaked on the trip because she felt uncomfortable around people who think she's a homewrecker; she's here to hand in her resignation. Lisa -- executive producer of the show -- talks her out of it, arguing that if she quits, she's going to give everyone the satisfaction of running her off. Moreover, she says it's going to be even harder for Lala outside of SUR if she doesn't toughen up first. Lala decides to stay, saying she's glad they talked; Lisa gets in a dig about how she should have had the same conversation years ago with someone else.
Over at the mansion everyone keeps calling a house, everyone's talking about the SURvers before they arrive. (Kyle thinks Stassi's hot too!) The SURvers show, grab a drink, and settle into their three-hour tour of the estate. Outside, we get an icky introduction to Kyle and Carl, who want to "keep the funmeter high."
Lessons In Quarantine
In Sonoma, the guys are in the lot while Ariana and Brittany chat inside about Jax. Ariana does most of the talking, saying, "It's rude and it's gender roles ingrained in his head of what a woman should be doing, what a man should be doing, and these misogynistic tendencies." Brittany doesn't know what "misogynistic" means. Ariana explains. Sad, but heartening.
Everyone makes sure to build Stassi up before entering the pool because she's feeling insecure. She's nervous (she knows Kyle likes her) so Ashley tells her to be confident with who she is -- rich coming from someone sneaking through the hatch of this Trojan Horse episode and into the Bravosphere.
Jax and Brittany have it out in the RV. Brittany tells him how she feels, but he isn't hearing her. And when it seems like he is, he reminds us he's a piece of shit by making her feel guilty and second-guess herself, topping it off by saying it's not too hard to make a turkey sandwich once in a while.
(S/O: Schwartz in leather shorts; Brittany speaking up for herself.)
In the hot tub, Stassi's insecure about her bathing suit, so Kyle announces that he's trying not to get a boner, which clears the room. (In the kitchen, Tequila Katie's arrived and is shoving cake into faces.) That's definitely a mistake, because without buffers, Stassi can get a better look at him. He's slurring words, he can't remember her name, and his attempt to bounce back lands with a thud after he says her one-piece reminds him of a turtleneck and Steve Jobs. Stassi has fun trolling and even gives him some sound advice on how to make a girl feel special. But just as things are course-correcting, he tells her he can see her nipple. Rule #4: don't tell a girl you can see her nipple when you can't even remember her name! She leaves.
Back in the pool, Stassi tells everyone she's never been more turned off in her life. Meanwhile, Kyle's posing like Patrick Bateman (Stephen of the New York crew describes it as a Ken doll doing Tai Chi underwater, which is pretty great) and fumbling around inside eating chips like an asshole. Kristen starts asking him what he said about Stassi's bathing suit, and she laughs because it's dumb. She tells him she's upset and he goes over and offers the drunkest, dullest, most backhanded apology for "the fashion comments."
(S/O to Tequila Katie and Kristen making the most out of background work!)
To quote Stassi: "That's not the point, you're just a douche." Then Kyle fucks up her name again, and the L.A. crew exits because it's late, not because they're mad. Dammit, Katie! Carl was cleaning the kitchen while the one you sent her after butchered her name and thought about tweaking her nipple!
The Summer House Backdoor Pilot
The New York crew being a haughty work hard/play set of thirty-somethings -- a publicist, an executive director for a non-profit, a sales manager, an entertainment reporter, an entrepreneurial finance guy, etc. -- it's a little too convenient that they all manage to sleep through their alarms after the clambake and are late getting back to the city. Which they have to do because they're not like those L.A. girls; they have to work to pay for their weekend, whatever that means.
I don't want to step on the toes of my esteemed colleague Eric Lillian's New Show Fact Sheet, so I'll play both sides of the fence and say I loved the backdoor pilot for all the wrong reasons. Then again, Vanderpump Rules started out as a guilty pleasure, too.
It's frustrating but fine. Next time maybe set your backdoor pilot up a little before throwing us right into the deep end.