’Tis the most wonderful time of the year: Vanderpump Rules is back. Season 7 premiered on Monday night and curbed any fear of a tame new era: Jax and Brittany got engaged, obviously, and most of the cast is happily partnered up, but Kristen is still nuts, Scheana is allegedly dating, James Kennedy is still referring to himself as “the White Kanye,” and Lala’s man is officially divorced, so she can now call him by his name on TV: Randall. And if we can name him, perhaps we will finally learn if it was really about the pasta.
A lot went down in the hour-long episode, so here are some highlights.
- A lot of grief: Jax lost his father. The show’s matriarch Lisa Vanderpump lost her only sibling, her brother, to suicide. And Lala’s father died two months before filming. This show is brilliant mostly for its inability to connect with anything sincere, or to hyperbolize it into drunken nothingness, so it’ll be genuinely interesting to see how they portray mourning. Or if they do at all.
- Jax and Brittany are engaged! Reality TV’s best, broadest, and most dishonest villain has apparently gotten his shit together—or so it is told to you and I, the viewers—and proposed to his girlfriend at a fish stand in Malibu with a $70,000 ring he precariously hid near his balls. The spot wasn’t fancy, but it was where they had their first date so, you know, romantic. (Plus: have you taken an Uber from West Hollywood to Malibu? That’s like, $100, easy.)
- Also: Jax made a big deal to tell the Toms he bought the engagement ring with the money his deceased father left him, to which Sandoval, often the overly sensitive voice of reason, retorted something along the lines of, “I hope this isn’t because she was there for you with your dad.”
- Stassi’s got a new dorky boyfriend named Beau (you may remember him from the Season 7 trailer, where he exclaims, “It’s like you dick-punched my heart!”). He seems funny and great and anything is a step up from four-year Patrick.
- Katie and Kristen were able to predict Jax’s proposal much to the chagrin of Stassi—who almost immediately revealed the move to them and can definitely not keep a secret. Katie does make a comment that it’s “too soon,” so let’s see if that comes to haunt the show’s most toxic texter.
- Jax, who finally resigned from SUR after Lisa told him to do the right thing, waltzes in to confront James while he’s DJing. Kennedy apparently launched into a freestyle rap about Jax fucking Faith last season, at a party the week before, causing Brittany to cry. It doesn’t escalate, but the water’s boiling.
- The episode opens with Jax making Brittany a turkey sandwich with an obscene amount of mayo, a play on a past theme when he made Brit wait on him. (All he had to do was cheat on her with Faith last season to start treating her like a human! The tables, we are meant to believe, have turned!) But wait—as she sits down to do her makeup and hair and enjoy her lunch, already a messy multitask, she puts on MJ-style silky-white gloves. Because I’m a Vanderpump-head, I watched Watch What Happens Live a full hour after the premiere and learned it’s because Brittany has crazy bad eczema, which causes her hands to break out with cuts and thus, so she needs gloves. Still, looks weird!
- As a solution to his binge-drinking, Tom Schwartz has resolved to only taking “half-shots.” In his cut away, he attempts to explain the benefit of “taking six half-shots” to “taking three shots,” which is...unclear.
- Now that Stassi is happily boo’ed up (and lord help us all, even recovering narcissists deserve love), Lala will take over as head of the ladies’ friend group. She took Katie and Kristen to get matching orbital piercings without Stassi in the premiere episode, so it’s only a matter of time.
- DJ James Kennedy will fully take over Jax’s role as the bad boy of the bunch—unless, of course, Taylor decides to veer from his newfound path of righteousness and fuck shit up out of boredom. Only time, and tequila, can tell.
- TomTom will open... eventually.
- Max will be given a better role than SUR waiter, hopefully. It’s very strange that Lisa and Ken’s daughter Pandora gets to run companies and their adoptive son is a glorified bus boy.