When it comes to why The Cheating in Vegas hurt Katie so deeply, my dimestore assumption is that, yes, being cheated on is absolutely devastating, but I think having a friend like Kristen who can only view others through her own warped lens of existence confounded the matter massively. I mean, we have watched Kristen on television for several years investigating the actions of the men in her life with more energy than it takes to hold down a job, which might be why she doesn’t work. She still clearly believes Ariana stole her boyfriend away and that it was Sandoval cheating on her that ultimately destroyed their relationship, not the fact that it was a relationship so toxic that I could smell it from my couch several time zones away. I think Katie has the right to have felt wildly betrayed by Schwartz and I think Kristen genuinely loves Katie, but when one’s closest confidant is a person who is so psychologically myopic, that kind of damage will invariably spread like herpes and I think, despite her best intentions, that Kristen passed on to Katie quite the blistery flare-up.
As for who will be the next to get married, Andy thinks maybe it will be Kristen. Her reaction? “Maybe I’ll be able to trick him into it!” Carter? F*cking run. Run like the wind. Run like Forrest Gump ran to Jenny through the water of the Washington Memorial. Run like I run to Starbucks and like Jax runs to The Implant Man. Run however you’d f*cking like, just start running and don’t stop until you reach Jupiter – and then somehow make your way through the atmosphere until you land on Saturn.
Also: Sandoval admits he has all the feelings in all the land and every last one of them came crashing onto Ariana during Katie and Schwartz’s wedding because he loves her so deeply.
Also: in the moment Sandoval declared that love, Kristen’s head exploded.
And now it’s time to talk about DJ James and the night Kristen and Jax showed up to gleefully destroy whatever was left of his career. “Mission accomplished,” says Jax smugly – and I’d think Jax was the worst person in that semicircle for sure except James followed that comment up with, “You don’t come up to the one and only James Kennedy after a performance…” and that’s when I stopped listening because it turns out there is a threshold for viewing horsesh*t and my brain has finally reached capacity.
The only real event in this third part of the reunion is the meeting between Scheana and Shay. They haven’t spoken in four months and that their first interaction after all this time will occur on a Bravo soundstage makes me kind of sick. I get that they’re contractually obligated to fight while wearing microphones, but watching the whole thing go down just feels awkward. Scheana is not looking forward to any of it, a statement that proves there’s some lucidity swimming through her mind. She also proclaims that she’s way too sober to talk to Shay, an odd sentiment to express before an addict walks onto the stage. But I feel badly for Scheana. Relationships with men who are liars are draining and I’m happy for her that she gnawed her way out of there.
Shay shows up and the tension is palpable. Even Scheana’s eyelashes look nervous and her voice shakes as she confronts her almost-ex-husband about buying six hundred dollars worth of pills from some guy while he shakes his head and maintains she’s the one who’s crazy. Yes, he took out money – a thousand dollars here, a few hundred dollars there – but he claims it was to fuel his music career, not his pill addiction and fine, it was her money and that’s the kind of thing she always held over his head and so he dealt with that kind of annoyance by never getting a job that paid well because maybe that would show her.
Shay’s having a tough time expressing his thoughts and maybe it’s because he has an audience and maybe he’s just too emotional to think or speak clearly, but it’s Ariana who finally tells him that he starts sentences and never finishes them and he never really says or explains anything; all he does is ghost the woman who once stood before him in a crop top and married him. There’s maybe nothing more irritating or f*cking insulting than someone who refuses to discuss an issue in which he played a massive part, but Shay finally starts speaking. He says Scheana chose going out over staying home with him and helping him maintain his sobriety. She alleges the trust was broken only three months into the marriage because that’s when she found out he was addicted to pills – and the texts she saw about him wanting to be on top of some other girl didn’t help matters.
Also: Scheana whipping out a compact mid-conversation and obsessively checking her eye makeup would normally be the kind of thing I would totally make fun of, but I feel too badly for her to do that and I’m also hoping she’ll let me know the brand of adhesive glue that held those eyelashes in place after all those tears because whatever product that sucker is will be something I’m buying stock in tomorrow.
There is, though, something really disgusting about watching people say sentences to one another like, “You hurt me, I f*ck you over.” Scheana chose to reveal Shay’s addiction on camera – and that’s not really something to do cavalierly or out of revenge. There are long-lasting implications to such a public revelation (and I’ll agree that it’s entirely messed up for her to have told him she wanted a divorce on camera) but when Shay turns around and puts all of their problems squarely on her shoulders, it’s hard for me to imagine that anyone can totally be on this guy’s side. I don’t know if Shay’s currently an addict, but he’s evasive and willing to project to such a degree that I’d be surprised if he’s not. Still, it’s terrible watching Shay find out about Scheana’s new boyfriend and the emotions in that room are raw enough that everyone else just sits there quietly looking devastated until finally Shay is permitted to leave and he and Scheana hug one another goodbye in a way that looks very final.
Not willing to end on such a depressing note, Andy makes sure the last segment focuses on happy things like how James and Jax temporarily don’t want to murder one another and the way Lisa offered the two Toms the possibility of running her newest restaurant. Just revisiting the illustrious moment makes Sandoval cry (again) but there’s no time for his weeping because puppies and Pumptinis all of a sudden appear so the group can toast to their dysfunction and stroke animals dressed in silks and satins and when those drinks are finally empty, those puppies will leave that set and return home to a castle with the Queen and probably the finest selection of canned goods in the stratosphere.
And now we’ve reached the end and I would like to take this opportunity to truly thank all of you who have read these recaps. It’s been a bumpy journey and we should have been given some Dramamine – or at least a fistful of Katie’s bridal day edibles – to get through it. I’ll be back next season to chronicle the televised evolution and devolution of our trusty Vanderpumpers, but in the meantime, make sure to check in on my website periodically (nellkalter.com) because, you guys? I just started watching Southern Charm.
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.