Part 2 Of The Vanderpump Rules Reunion Suffers The Sophomore Slump
Stassi's brother Nikolai stops by to stop everything, and Lala exits stage left for good.
The second installment of the three-part Vanderpump Rules reunion suffers the sophomore slump. A lighter and more enjoyable affair than the season it represents, a considerable chunk of time is devoted to packages that slow things down and would make more sense in the final hour, such as the preview for Jax and Brittany's spinoff Vanderpump Rules: Jax & Brittany Take Kentucky and an appearance by Stassi's little brother Nikolai. The tangents are unfortunate given how strong things start off by having Lala finally address the use of NDAs and why she abruptly exited the series.
To the rankings!
In theory, having a child come out to wag his finger at a group of people whose ages range from early twenties to late thirties is great. That's not the case, though. This isn't because he's a child, or even because he's there at all. (Though he does overstay his welcome once he starts talking about Sex & The City and walking in on Stassi changing.) No, this is because the amateur life coach just doesn't belong in this particular episode. Especially when he's wedged between a conversation about Brittany's mom questioning Jax's sexuality, and another between Scheana and Katie about the difference between saying someone has a problem with drinking and saying someone's an alcoholic. Those things feel cut short so that this, something that makes more sense in next week's conclusion, has room to breathe.
The reactions to him are good (Scheana pleading her case, as if it matters; Sandoval casually saying "fuck" while explaining why Stassi and Patrick's relationship is more complex than he thinks) but overall the whole affair kills the momentum and things never really get back on track. Sorry, kid.
After a season of everyone saying "AF" ("As Fuck") without a hint of irony, it appears the cast (yes, even Lisa) has moved onto another acronym: BH, or Beverly Hills, as it was once known. Its use made me laugh once or twice, finally delivering on the lack of self-awareness we've come to expect from the show and that was sorely missing this season. More often than not, though, it was just obnoxious.
She handles herself well in her final showing. And, to her point, whether he's married or not, it's true that she can't force whomever she's dating to be a part of the series. Unfortunately, she's halfway out the door on her own terms when things go awry and she starts ranting about how making friends sign NDAs is a necessary evil in today's world. Hopefully now that she's left the show she's less anxious. I know I am!
It's not that Scheana isn't right. It's that her arguments devolve into unbearable whining. However, I appreciate her making the distinction between someone with a drinking problem and an alcoholic while talking to Katie. The subtle difference (as she argues) never really came across during the season, but at least she's picking up after herself now that we're here. Other than that, she doesn't have much to do since she's being saved for a grand finale.
It's not that he isn't keeping up the good behavior or entertaining, it's just a slight showing because of there are so many of them.
Another slight but effective showing because of how he gets to the root of the problem known as Lala. Could have gone without him seeing blowing up the inflatable Katie sex doll in some "unseen footage" (that, let's be real, was probably shot the day before the reunion to add some levity, because why else wouldn't it have been included in the season?) but whatever.
- The Coven
Katie and Kristen are pretty much sidelined this week. Stassi gets into it with Ariana and Lala to mixed results. Unfortunately, any goodwill established by those interactions is undercut by the fact that she's the reason Nikolai's there. And her argument to Lala that "we've all had to bleed for the show" is pretty lame considering she ran away from it screaming for a year and a half when she was in a relationship of her own. Let's call it a draw.
This week positions her to do what she does best and she follows through. More than just delivering in the form of light, no-nonsense chastising and demure giggling, her point that Lala doesn't need to use NDAs because it's not as if she's Cate Blanchett isn't just valid, it's unintentionally hilarious and low-key iconic. I can't wait to overuse the GIF over the next few months.
Good for him for taking the bush Andy doesn't want to beat around while talking to Lala, and ripping it right out of the ground and whacking everyone else with it instead.
- Jax and Brittany
I'm pretty sure we'll circle back to them in the final hour. That being said, I can't make heads or tails of why it was decided to show a trailer for their spinoff without really addressing it afterwards. Any follow-up is thrown to the wayside in favor of Nikolai telling Jax he's going to end up drinking alone in a lodge thinking about sex. It's not their fault; they make the most out of very little. On the bright side, their show looks great.
Color me surprised about her taking the top spot. She's grown on me a little more each week. While I don't completely buy into her argument that Stassi was manipulating her at Katie and Schwartz's wedding (pretty sure "getting you to crack" just translates into "showing some sort of human emotion in my presence," but who knows), she has the best showing once the screentime responses are averaged out. It's refreshing to hear her talk about not wanting to get married and, like Schwartz with Lala, I like that she's able to break Scheana's case against the WeHo witches down to its simplest form and without making us want to hang her out to dry instead.