Back in dress central, Katie explains to her friends that she and Schwartz reformed their entire relationship overnight – you know, as people do – and Scheana then chimes in to say that she and Shay went to therapy once and it really helped them navigate through their toughest times. Man, these Bravo editors f*cking hate Scheana, huh? Anyway, as the girls nod in unison at the crazy sitting before them, Schwartz explains to his guy friends that Tequila Katie has been killed and eulogized. Um, not to bring my horror movie metaphor back, but Schwartz does know that monsters never die just once, right?
The next day at SUR, Scheana announces that since she’s been married for a whole two years, it’s time for her to visit a fertility clinic so she can definitely get herself knocked up sooner rather than later. This news causes Jax to sweat more than he normally does and for once I totally understand his perspiration. A few hours later, Lisa arrives at the restaurant on horseback – because of course she does – and she heads straight to the bar to let Jax know that SUR is not only home to a ceiling of klieg lights; it’s also known for having the largest drinks in town so he’d better fill those glasses to the f*cking rim. Once he’s done pouring the sangria, Jax immediately tell her how nuts it is for Scheana to be going to a fertility clinic because: 1) He doesn’t trust Shay and thinks he’s hiding something from Scheana and 2) Jax was a town crier in a former life and cannot help himself from spreading the gossipy gospel.
Five days now until the wedding and that means it’s absolutely the right time for Stassi to do a photoshoot! What these photos are being used for is never actually explained, but boys on OKCupid should look out for the ones where her thighs were contoured. Into this silliness walks Katie because while she’s getting married in less than a week, she can still make the time to support Stassi’s useless photographic endeavor. What I will say about Stassi and her growth is that she used her time away from Katie to recognize what the girl means to her and she appears to be acting far kinder now. What I’ll also say is that a belt over a lace catsuit will forever be a rather questionable look, though I’d laugh my ass off if she wore that down the aisle instead of the lilac number.
Okay, you know what? I’d rather watch a Sexy Stassi photoshoot for a hundred f*cking years during a drought after eating a barrel of extra-salty pretzels than go where Bravo takes us next. James is back, everyone, and he’s at Raquel’s mother’s house. The family somehow likes him even though they had to have at the very least taken a gander at this show over the last few years and heard the misogynistic dogsh*t that comes spewing from his mouth like the green stuff that shot out of Reagan in The Exorcist. (Need an example? The guy’s onscreen for fifteen seconds before he equates Kristen to a whore you f*ck on the hood of a car in a car park. Just for clarification, does James realize that Kristen didn’t bang herself on that car hood, that he in fact was the weenie doing the banging, and perhaps that makes him a scuzzy whore, too?) Anyway, his hair is combed to one side like he’s about to take his sixth-grade class picture and he tells Raquel’s family that he was too much of a pr*ck to keep a job at a restaurant but now he’s completely reformed and Raquel is his queen and these people make “aww” sounds after hearing all of that and I pray this family isn’t real and they are just a collection of actors who can’t find work on a soap and need something to stick on their IMDB pages.
While James lies to a table of women and Katie and Schwartz pack up the car so they can head to the wedding venue, a ghost makes an appearance at SUR. Lala is back. I imagine some private jet landed near the SUR alleyway and Lala climbed up to a standing position and wandered over to the door where she finds Ariana. Ariana just stares – she hasn’t seen the girl in two months – and she listens as Lala says that she’s just been spending all that time away hanging out with her mom. Also, Lala wants Ariana to know that she feels sort of badly about that time she didn’t show up to her birthday and she gets a little emotional and explains she went into a shutdown mode and Ariana didn’t deserve any of it. It’s a lovely apology. But you know what? It might have been an even lovelier apology had she made it off-camera.
Lala is also back so she can inform Lisa that she’s quitting, a declaration so ridiculously redundant after the chick hasn’t shown up for work for two months. It’s impossible not to question Lala’s real motives here. Can amends seriously not be made without wearing a microphone? As Lisa explains that “owning” her hellacious behavior doesn’t excuse that behavior, Lala poses and pouts and then says that nobody at SUR is worthy enough to hear the real stories of her life. Oh, and she also suffers massively from anxiety. I believe her about that and I recommend that she stay away from reality television and ever-present cameras and perhaps some of her anxiety will be abated. Under no circumstances am I saying it’ll all go away or that her ailment isn’t real, but sweetheart, if anxiety controls your life, maybe make different choices and don’t expose your life to the entire universe.
Also: the secret about Schwartz’s brothers coming to the wedding might be spoiled because Jax told Brittany and Brittany told Kristen and this is the start of the very worst game of telephone ever. It could only get worse if Lucifer – or James – answers next.
Once they arrive at the wedding venue, Katie and Schwartz are immediately presented with a bill for $51,000. Schwartz needs to be revived. Their friends show up next, but Stassi’s story about how she was almost murdered during the drive in the countryside is not nearly enough to quell the nausea he still feels about spending over ten thousand dollars on flowers for one day. As Schwartz sticks his head between his legs to take cleansing breaths, Katie announces that she loves her friends so much – the very same people she said were responsible for 90% of the battles she has with her fiancé – and I suppose I could look at this scene and laugh, but I’m choosing instead to believe in optimism and not pay attention to that sound I swear I can hear of a chainsaw revving in the distance.
Someone who’s not pretending to be even a little bit optimistic about anything having to do with this wedding is Shay. He and Scheana pack up for the trip and he looks sullen. His tone is gruff. There are bags under his eyes and suddenly Jax’s recommendation that Scheana not rush to a fertility clinic makes a lot of sense. Meanwhile, listening to Schwartz talk about all the members of his family who will not be showing up for his big day makes me kind of sad, so I’m excited for him that his brothers are coming as a surprise. Unfortunately, like Sandoval, the triplets missed their flight and it’s up to Jax – Jax! – to try to make things right.
And then Lisa, Ken, their dogs, and the rest of the family arrive by private plane to check in at the most rustic place she has laid her eyes on in over thirty years. She looks around in a slight state of horror – so do the dogs – and she fans herself with a flimsy brochure that was certainly printed on recycled paper as Ken jokes that there’s a whole twenty-four hours until the ceremony and Schwartz could still make a run for it.
Ten bucks says he trips and falls just like every slasher character during an attempted escape…
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.