Early in the show we learn that Brett fulfilled his commitment to act in Scheana’s music video in Palm Springs. I’ve barely seen a video since Thriller debuted, so I don’t know if this is standard fare, but it came off like soft porn. I like Scheana, but I don’t need to see her butt jiggle in slow motion after being slapped. Brett’s talking about feeling violated…well join the friggin’ club, buddy, because I think many of the viewers feel the same. The number of times they played it surpassed eye roll inducing and went straight to a sudden need for Tums. I’m not sure that I believe his comment about Scheana offering a BJ. Not because I think she’s incapable, but because it’s obvious that he doesn’t get her sense of humor as he proves later in the show.
Brittany and Stassi meet up at the dog park, and Kingsley puts all of these folks to shame in the cool department. The rest of them dream of a look that’s as hip and effortless. Stassi shares yet again how chill of a bride she thought she would be and when even Brittany has no trouble picking up on what a lie it is, Stassi has to know she’s been kidding herself.
Jax and Sandoval’s trip to the sneaker cleaner was relatively uneventful except for two things: Jax’s credit card getting declined for the umpteenth time and him setting his sights on Ariana as a target. He continues his campaign against her as a miserable person in a talk with Scheana at SUR. I’m perfectly fine with people not understanding depression and how it all works. Even under quarantine there’s not enough time to research every disease and condition that doesn’t touch your life personally. That said, when you don’t know about something, it’s better to shut up. He looks like an idiot here. (Apparently Stassi’s flair for the obvious is contagious and I caught it.)
Max has organized a beach clean-up at one of the most pristine beaches I’ve ever seen. The group brought more crap with them than what existed in the sand. Watching them struggle to find anything to put in their brown paper bags was cringey and actually made Jax seem like he had a point by not going, which sucks. I don’t feel bad for Max though, because he’s got a bit of a “PC for show” air about him that I feel on occasion with Sandoval. In fact, I’m getting the impression that Sandoval is his Jedi master when it comes to how he’s behaving for the cameras.
Dayna gets the award for dumbest line of the episode (keeping in mind that there’s a whopper of one coming from Brittany in the next paragraph) with her description of Max as the emotionally unavailable hot guy. Lukewarm would be a stretch of the imagination. I know they want us to be invested in this love triangle, especially since they got Stassi to bring it up in those exact words, but it’s not interesting when I don’t like any of the players involved.
Jax goes on a rage text binge and somehow Brittany is in the role of explaining it or apologizing for it yet again. I can’t imagine signing up for a lifetime of that. I also am not sure I believe that Jax was the one who mistook Mercury in retrograde for Mercury in Gatorade. He’s been in California way too long for that. I do see Brittany goofing it up though, and think that Stassi covered for her to slow the pace of the jabs at Brittany’s intelligence on social media.
Ariana and Sandoval are having people over for dinner on rented tables and chairs. I’m seeing a lot of apologists for this online, but having a 2 million dollar house and no furniture does seem poser-ish. Although it’s probably infinitely better for your credit score to look like a poser than to have your cards declined left and right all over town. (*cough* Jax) I’m glad Ariana has found an outlet to help with her depression by hosting the meal. Doing something you enjoy helps immensely, which is why I’m blessed by all of you that read these.
Kristen is having a James Mae party and everyone is invited. The awkward congratulatory hug at Max’s event didn’t build any bridges with Stassi though, so neither she nor Katie show up. There’s another uncomfortable Scheana and Brett moment, this time with Dayna as a witness. That makes everything that comes out of Brett’s mouth less believable to me. When Scheana jokes that she can’t fire him since she isn’t paying him anyway, he totally misses it and acts like she’s trying to fire him. I’m instantly doubting the veracity of Dayna’s statements about what a deep thinker he is. Scheana winds up absolving him of his commitment and walking off. I’m sure there will be more of this to come.
Jax surprises me by apologizing to Max and Sandoval and re-inviting them to his party after disinviting them. Little does he know that Sandoval has already planned his own pool party at the same time to tank Jax’s soiree. I’m getting the sense that these organic friendships that this show began with have passed their expiration dates. Whether it’s ego, differing stages of life, or outgrowing each other…there’s little joy to be had in watching.
As if to prove my point, Jax then explodes on Kristen for lying to him about a sexual video she made with another guy she’s been seeing. I agree that it’s absolutely none of his business. He should have stayed out of it. I do understand a little why he popped off though. He’s being fed ammunition against her (likely by Stassi and Katie) as proof that Kristen is a liar. Her denial in his mind confirms that. He’s been supporting her this season despite everyone else cutting her out and now he’s afraid he’s going to look
stupid even more stupid. I’m not excusing it or saying it’s right, just pointing out that I can see how it happened.
We get a brief respite from the raging with a visit to Sur by James. He gets a table for one in Raquel’s section and Lisa comes in. He invites her to sit with him and after she sneaks a sip of his drink (which put my COVID hackles on end) they talk about how well Raquel is doing at SUR. James is melancholy and wishes that things had been different and they both could be working there together. Like the fairy godmother she is, Lisa decides that he’s shown enough change in his behavior to warrant another chance and tells him he can DJ that very night in the lounge. I’m happy to see the growth in him, and it’s moments like these that keep me watching.
The show ends with Brittany and Jax discussing him going off on Kristen. Brittany is concerned that it’s a sign of him going back to his old ways. I’m not sure if you can call them old ways necessarily, but more like normal ways that were on a brief hiatus. He lets us slip that he’s bouncing back and forth between smoking weed and taking Adderall to lose the weight after. Between the stunned silence and the panicked looks between each other, I’m not sure he meant to say this on camera. The cat’s out of the bag now though. Considering that some psychological side effects of the drug are: psychotic episodes, irritability, anger, and aggression, I think Scooby and Shaggy can declare the mystery solved.
Next week we get to see who really is the Number One Guy when the pool parties go head to head. Hope you’ll join me!