Ariana and Stassi have competing birthday parties, and one is just murder
Credit: Bravo

The line between Stassi and Ariana has always been pretty well drawn, but in this week’s festive new episode of Vanderpump Rules, it’s becoming clear which of the two blondes is experiencing actual personal growth and which one is stuck in a freakish time loop that even her best friends cannot abide anymore. Ariana might be a little sour every now and then, but the three years she’s got on Stassi are really showing in this birthday-themed episode of Sur squabbling. The immaturity is real. Real bad, that is.

Let’s take it from the top.

The episode begins with the ladies planning their respective parties. Stassi wants to ring in her 29th with a murder-themed party to sound the death knell of her 20s (also, she wants to look “shot-in-the-head chic,” which is code for “dead sexy”). Katie and Kristen are both along for the ride with very few complaints and are even willing to stomach her oh-so-vain funeral idea of hosting a taxidermy photo booth with her lifeless body. Hey, at least with this party idea they can come in their regular clothes and just lean hard into some zombie makeup.

Ariana, meanwhile, is having a “Kings and Queens” party to celebrate her 32nd, which means Sandoval gets to reach deeeeep into his costume closet to have some fun with this one like the drama queen king he is at heart. The trouble for Ari is that she’s starting to realize how much of a toll her insecurity is taking on her relationship with Tom and herself, so she’s got the business of a quick therapy session to attend to before anything else.

She opens up to her new doc, and by extension the whole VPR-watching world, about her struggles with body dysmorphia — which, combined with a naysaying ex-boyfriend, has given her a lack of confidence that has negatively affected her physical relationship with Sandoval. The fact that he’s been so tied up with the other Tom certainly hasn’t helped.

The conversations Ariana has with both her shrink and her special someone are revelatory, raw, and productive. Ariana’s never really come off as being shallow, per se, but she earns extra props for her effort at self-betterment. After she’s agreed to (1) work with her therapist to start catching herself in the act of hating on her own physique and (2) work with Tom to try to strengthen the intimacy of their relationship in more ways than one, then we can get to the business of her regal soiree.

Ariana and her girls — Scheana, Lala, and Billie Lee — all have a ball dressing up in their skimpiest gear and calling it queenly on account of their crowns. The fact that everyone’s dressed to impress at this thing only heightens the mood of the night, which seems to really lift Ariana’s spirits, despite Sandoval’s Maleficent headdress. By the end of it, this is a party that really does make the birthday girl feel like a monarch.

Good timing on that therapy sesh, Ariana!

Meanwhile, we also have Stassi’s party. If you can even call it that. (Recap continues on page 2)

Right off the rip, Stassi’s party is a disaster. The bar is decorated with her horrible Halloween props, the costumery is weak, and pretty much everyone’s uncomfortable with the way Stassi acts when she’s with Patrick.

For starters, there’s the fact that he’s basically sitting there admitting to everyone that he continues to have commitment issues with her by suggesting that she’s been allowed to sleep around (which roughly translates to saying he has been, according to Captain Obvious). Exactly zero people understand how he could flit off to another country while blocking his girlfriend on social media and get away with it, so this is pretty much the only explanation that fits.

Then, when Katie and the stripper from her bachelorette party, whom Stassi herself invited, decide to start some racy games with body shots, Stassi flips her lid and runs away from the bar in a bratty fit of rage. That means she’s left her whole family there, her friends, her boyfriend, and, perhaps worst of all, her $1,400 tab. That’s low, even for her.

Kristen and Katie might’ve played pushover in their younger years, but they’re not here for these games anymore.

Exhibit A: When Stassi tries to act innocent about the idea of drinking liquor from this girl’s butt cheeks, Katie calls her out and reminds her that, yes, she has done such a thing before. And recently.

Exhibit B: When Stassi starts pulling out the “well, it’s my birthday” card to excuse her for storming out and making a scene, Kristen calls her a bitch.

See? Literally everyone’s experiencing growth except Stassi. Well, except Jax, but you get it.

The next day, Ariana gets an opportunity to feel even better about herself while attending Lisa Vanderpump’s World Dog Day fundraiser because she gets to hear through the grapevine all about the spectacular disaster that was the other party last night.

“And she wonders why I don’t want to be her friend. That’s how she treats her two best friends,” Ariana smarts before offering up some of her own sageness: “Treat your friends like royalty, and they’ll think you’re a queen. Treat your friends like you’re a spoiled little baby princess, and they’ll think you’re an a–hole.” Touché, Ariana.

The only person who’s in a worse spot than Stassi right now is Jax, who’s ticked off LVP to the point that she won’t even accept an apology call. He was definitely not invited to World Dog Day. That means Brittany’s been left to collect an absolute earful of smack talk about her boyfriend — and what great timing for that, right? — and he has to miss out on his dog Monroe being crowned “Posh Puppy.” Too harsh.

For what it’s worth, though, Stassi’s friends are also not very interested in hearing her excuses for her bad behavior. Katie gets a texted apology from Stassi that declares that she was just too overwhelmed by the stress of the evening — because living it up with your nearest and dearest is the kind of stuff nightmares are made of, apparently — and all Katie can think is that she’s just gotten a ride from Doc Brown in the DeLorean and journeyed back to 2012.

Oh, and Tom-Tom got their permit to proceed with working on the space. Big surprise. ‘Til next time!

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