Buoyed by the words of the same friend who outed him in the first place, Schwartz stumbles into the room to see Katie and promptly falls off the bed because the guy is so drunk he can’t even pee straight. Jax ushers Brittany and Kristen out of the room so Schwartz can maybe salvage his relationship in semi-private (Stassi is still in the bed with Katie) and he promises Brittany he’ll go down on her if she just gathers her stuff and leaves Katie’s room quickly. There’s so much romance abounding that I almost can’t take it. Schwartz’s apology doesn’t go all that well because he’s veered off into some kind of pre-verbal state, though he does manage to randomly insult Stassi’s dating history as he flails out of the room. And over in a place where some eating out’s supposed to be, um, going down, Jax is instead telling Brittany that Schwartz totally slept with that girl and the normal part of me cannot help wondering why he doesn’t think to finally tell her this nugget of truth when cameras aren’t pointed at their faces because I think that’s the wiser choice I’d make if I was truly trying to support one of my dearest friends.
The next morning, Schwartz has almost no recollection of what transpired the night before, but at least he’s still rocking his sash. As all the couples discuss what this particular couple needs to do to achieve joy – or, more accurately, to lessen their misery – Katie writes in her journal. I imagine today’s entry begins, “Dear Diary: my fiancé is a p*ssy who f*cked some other girl and I know it because Jax told me so and Kristen did also and there are no two people more filled with wisdom in this universe. Also, I’m considering not wearing my nose-ring to the wedding. Love, Katie.” As Katie scrawls down her deepest thoughts, Stassi comments that all the same issues Katie and Schwartz have been brawling over for years are the same ones they’re still fighting about and it’s hard to know quite what to do when you’re a bystander to all of it while trying to be supportive.
I guess the only thing to really do now is pretend none of this is actually happening and the best way to accomplish such a thing is grab a cabana and enjoy the customized tees Sandoval had made for everyone, but even that bit of hopeful joy is shot to absolute sh*t when Schwartz appears and mentions in the first few seconds of the day that he’s afraid of Katie, he dreams of running far far away, and he’s totally falling apart. As he considers whether or not to change his identity to that of a pageant girl so he never has to give up his sash, Katie and Kristen accompany Stassi as she visits her childhood home. This is the single longest scene these three have ever been in without clutching something filled with alcohol, but that’s probably because Stassi’s been puking all morning. In any case, watching Stassi chat with her cute grandmother is very sweet to see and whatever kindness is left inside of my soul sort of wishes the rest of this episode could be spent watching Stassi try on this woman’s Chanel instead of heading back into the bowels of a soon-to-be marriage that will one day be the subject of a Lifetime movie starring whoever used to be on Melrose Place in season three.
Back at the pool, Jax congratulates himself for stopping the rumor he actually started about his girlfriend licking Kristen’s vagina and then suggests that Schwartz apologize to Katie so they can just try to move on. In a happier but far more boring place, Lisa Vanderpump sits in SUR and allows some random girl to audition to be a server. If she’s willing to sleep with the recently-fired DJ and admit to it while wearing a microphone, maybe this chick will get herself a spot on this show, too. Dare to dream, honey.
And now it’s time for The Big Apology and Katie immediately pushes Schwartz away because he staunchly refuses to admit that he slept with a stranger. It probably doesn’t help matters when he tells the woman he’s trying to reconcile with that she was “a nightmare of a human being” for the first several years of their relationship. Then he squirts whipped cream into his mouth, suggests that they both take a shot of vodka, and basically behaves like a kid suffering from intense ADHD who has lost all his meds. I’ve always kind of thought that Schwartz was adorable, but he’s not being so adorable here. He’s behaving like a child and when you combine acting like a child with his palpable terror of marriage – a terror that’s so intense that we could get a strong whiff of it if this show were distributed in Smell-O-Vision – I can’t help but wish these two had either never gone on this show or never went ahead and got married.
On their last night in New Orleans, they all head out and start drinking because nothing ever goes wrong when this group is wasted. At a certain point, Schwartz decides it’s time to play spin the bottle and destiny f*cking takes over because that bottle goes whirring around in a circle and lands right on Sandoval. (Go back and watch the expression on Schwartz’s face when he sees who that bottle is pointing at and tell me it’s not the most blissed out the guy has ever looked in his life.) “No tongue,” requests Sandoval and they lock lips and soon everyone is making out and all would be wonderful if Sandoval didn’t head out of the bar to smoke a cigarette right after Kristen just did. Since she doesn’t believe in small talk, she instead mentions that his weave is showing (he corrects her; that terrifying mop atop his head is courtesy of extensions) and then she informs him that he is such a giant assh*le.
“I just came out here to smoke a cigarette,” Sandoval says with a sign.
“Well,” Kristen replies, “you just stepped into the swamp.”
Kristen’s current issue with Sandoval is that he revealed to Carter all the times she cheated on him during the toxic years the two dated before Sandoval moved on to someone who’s actually lucid. But Kristen would like for Sandoval to know that she and Carter have no secrets and yes, she did f*ck a ton of guys behind Sandoval’s back and she doesn’t feel guilty in the slightest. “I’m a different person,” she lies, and if this incident alone doesn’t make Sandoval quit smoking immediately, I don’t know what will.
Inside the bar, Schwartz gives Katie a lap dance and they finally appear to like each other for more than six consecutive seconds and everyone feels very optimistic all of a sudden because their previous record was only four consecutive seconds. I think I finally know what hope is, you guys. And I think that’ll be my newest motto.
Nell Kalter teaches Film and Media at a school in New York. She is the author of the books THAT YEAR and STUDENT, both available on amazon.com in paperback and for your Kindle. Also be sure to check out her website at nellkalter.com. Her twitter is @nell_kalter.