After a vicious fight with Stassi and Katie, Scheana must decide whether she'll still go with them on Stassi's birthday trip to Montauk.
Credit: Bravo

It’s become painfully obvious that alcohol is the common denominator in almost every “issue” faced by the Vanderpump Rules clique. It’s been James Kennedy’s tragic flaw, costing him his dream job. It’s the reason Katie went haywire on Scheana and why the latter may be (gasp!) getting demoted from bridesmaid status. Heck, it’s probably even the reason Katie landed on those terrible invitations she’s so proud of.

But here we are: Two factions split between competing trips to Montauk and Sonoma. The line has been drawn in the sand by spilled tequila splashes. All we’re left with is Lisa Vanderpump offering a friendly ear to the kids’ daily drama — with rolled eyes to contrast — and Stassi’s brother, Nikolai, whose 11-year-old wisdom gets swept under the booze-drenched rug because ageism is real. Harrumph.

Here’s the rub on the latest breakdowns between the SUR kids.

Katie’s, um, invitations

I see what she was trying to do here. These invitations are clearly something ripped right out of a pile of her favorite Pinterest pages, and they’ve got that boho-chic visual quality, what with the grassy trimmings and cardboard aesthetic…but nope. Nope, nope, nope. A tea towel as a takeaway? C’mon. Even Lisa, whose own taste leaves something to be desired, cannot with these things. She musters her best compliment and calls them “unique.” Props for that, but that’s a hard pass for her, even if she is the chosen first recipient of these meticulously assembled invites.

Speaking of which, the prep party for these boxes is attended by the raddest grandma this side of the Mississippi — yeah, HI to that red pixie cut and blouse with the cut-out shoulders — Katie’s mom, along with Stassi and Kristen. This, of course, gives Stassi an ample platform for subsequent sass (“That’s so much money for a rag,” she rightly notes of their cost) and for the girls to spill a little goss about Lala and her married sugar daddy. The latest update? He’s leasing her a Range Rover — Lala’s tweet today about “lie, lie, lie, lie” seems timely on that note. Stassi’s takeaway is that maybe she should date a rich dude, too, so she can be fancy in helicopters and red-bottomed heels and such. Natch.

The gabby girls’ second order of business is discussing their upcoming trip to Montauk, which Kristen doesn’t quite understand but is super enthused about. “How many Hamptons are there?” she wonders. THESE ARE THE REAL QUESTIONS, SHEEPLE. Given the recent wedge between the gals, they’re left to speculate whether Gina Liano’s going to show or chill with Ariana and the NASCAR crowd instead. Ruh roh. Speaking of which…

Scheana’s status

Scheana’s still sour enough to be a living mixed-drink ingredient and Shay’s getting sick of seeing her bullied by her “friends.” Her latest run-in with Katie hasn’t yet resulted in a reconciliation, and as far as Shay is concerned, maybe it shouldn’t. To him, the cold-shoulder treatment seems like the best way to end this tequila-filled tiff with the “bullies” — he’s just sick of hearing about it at this point (probably).

NEXT: James’ comeback stops before it starts

Kristen’s not sold on the idea it’s all Scheana’s fault, either; when Jax tells her Scheana’s a fake eggshell-walker, Kristen defends her by saying that she’s merely “image-conscious” and a crowd-pleaser. That characterization certainly fits with what Lisa says to Katie: “All the roads lead to Miss Schroeder, trust me.” She’s basically pointing fingers in Stassi’s direction (after all, she was the one to blow up and go lock herself in a bathroom to cry it out). Think she’s got a grudge? Katie doesn’t believe she’s being manipulated into her spat with Scheana, but at least she’s got something to think about now…assuming there aren’t any shots involved, of course.

Meanwhile, Scheana just wants to make nice with Katie enough that she won’t be kicked out of the wedding. While she and her mom are out getting gel pedis, she notes she’ll be joining the Montauk crew since she’s officially persona non grata with Lala and the Sonoma squad. Her mom, like most of this episode’s family guests (maybe the next spin-off, A Lick of Sense, should be centered on them just dishing out advice to people), has some wise words to offer her daughter, advising her to be the peacemaker of the week, not to go to vacation bed angry, and generally steer clear of drunk-ragey arguments with Katie. Problem is, she’s getting a little sick of being the pushover pal everyone picks on… This won’t end well, guaranteed.

James’ “awakening”

Who knew being Sur’s DJ du jour was so important to James? His dramatic departure from the workplace has left him slugging sizzurp while claiming to be sober — as 1,000 sober coaches groan — in his big effort to make a comeback. Bolstered by the support of his beauty-pageant-hopeful girlfriend, Raquel, he decides to plea with Lisa to take him back. Sure, he’s gotten other gigs — on Sunset Boulevard, even — but Sur and PUMP are his homes away from home and he really wants to get back in Lisa’s good graces.

Coming at Lisa with an F-bomb while she’s busy doing the books in the VIP room probably isn’t the best way to prove he’s a changed man, but this is James we’re talking about. Mr. “You’ve Gotta Have a Hot Girlfriend to Live in L.A.” himself. Needless to say, he’s left dejected and sniffling after Lisa tells him, without mincing words, that she regards him as “an arrogant little punk” whose absence has made her life infinitely better. He tries to point to Jax as a fellow rebel-rouser who gets the job done, but she’s not impressed by his deflection, sending him on his way with a big “Thanks, but no thanks,” with a dash of “Maybe you should consider a new career altogether” on the side. OUCH. But it’s nothing a little sizzurp in Sonoma can’t handle, apparently.

Jax’s moobies

Again, we can blame it on the a-a-a-a-a-alcohol that Jax has grown a sizeable chunk of breast tissue he needs surgically removed. His terrible decision to imbibe supplements to gain his much-fussed-over “summer bod” along with the sauce has left him with man boobs, landing him right back in Dr. Layke’s office — where’s he’s quickly gaining esteem as a regular customer, thanks to his double nose jobs and Brittany’s own mammorial procedure. Not only are these man boobs painful during his workouts, but they’ve grown to the point of bothering him visibly. We can easily assume which of those two problems weighs more heavily on his mind.

The doc tells Jax he shouldn’t drink while on painkillers, which isn’t exactly music to his ears. “How do you go to wine country and not have a glass of wine? I mean, how do you go to a NASCAR race and not funnel a beer?” he wonders. Jax feels confident he’ll be on the up-and-up by the time their vacay rolls around, with or without the support bra-shirt system Tom and Schwartz have gifted him. We’ll just see about that, won’t we?

NEXT: Lala goes MIA

Lala’s sugar daddy

Lala knows what people are saying about her right now, and guess what? She DGAF. Lisa can spot a pair of Christian Louboutins from outer space, of course, but regardless of who can tell she’s wearing ritzy footwear, Lala’s digging the attention. “I don’t like questions, but I like people being jealous,” she says. Yeah, jealous. That’s the word to describe what’s happening right now.

Stassi’s bro-dad

Nikolai should probably be promoted to series regular at this point — this little man clearly knows what’s up. Amid her mom’s belly-aching about the lack of AC, Stassi asks him for advice, and he tells her in no uncertain terms that she’s causing her own issues with the group by butting her nose into everyone else’s quarrels. If Scheana wants to make it right with Katie, that’s on her; Stassi’s dramatic interference isn’t helping anyone, least of all Stassi. Slow clap for this kid.

Of course, his words go in one ear and out the other — Stassi doesn’t suffer the opinions of 11-year-olds, apparently — but kudos for him for laying down the law: “You’re not the boss… If you be bossy and it’s always your way, people are not going to like that.” Truer words, little man. Stassi just got owned by a fifth-grader and she knows it, too.

Sonoma sendoff

This week was all about preparing for the drama to come as Group A (Ariana, Tom, James, Jax, Brittany, and possibly Lala) celebrates Ariana’s birthday with beers and ‘Murica enthusiasts at NASCAR and the rest are off at Montauk wearing sailor gear and whatnot. So, Tom is furious when Lala is a “no show” (obligatory episode title nod!) to the airport, despite several texts and FaceTime efforts to find out why she’s MIA. Could Jax’s endless rants about Lala’s personality — including “You’re crazy” and “You’re a nobody,” no less — be the reason she’s recusing herself from the wine-country getaway? Or did she just sleep in after a long night with her sugar daddy? Who knows. In either case, San Francisco, here we come! This is about to get wild, y’all.

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