I saw a quiz on Buzzfeed this week that allows you to, through a series of questions, determine which Vanderpump Rules character you happen to be. I didn’t take it. I mean, what if my answer to one of the questions veer to the sociopathic and I come back a Jax or – horror of fucking horrors – what if the questions reveal I’m a closeted lunatic and I subsequently get deemed a Kristen? But a quiz I probably would be brave enough to take would be about which Ben & Jerry’s ice cream flavor I’d be, and though I fully expect the answer would be Half Baked, I’m also fine hearing I’m a Karamel Sutra.
I bring up the concept of ice cream now for two reasons:
1. I think it wise that your mind embrace something sweet before watching this installment of Ex On the Beach because this is a straight hour of people behaving like the kind of hot garbage a cat with a bladder infection just pissed directly on.
2. Alicia yammers away at one point about flavors and I’ve already decided she is the walking manifestation of Ben & Jerry’s Fairly Nuts.
We’ll return to the ice cream analogy later, but first we have to see the aftermath of June’s exit. With June gone from the house, it’s time for Faith to completely rewrite history. Remember how the guy barely spoke to her and the way she continually complained because he gave her zero attention? Well, in her new retelling of a tale so compelling that I’ll forget it by the time I add punctuation to the end of this sentence, Faith is now claiming June was the right man for her and he adored her and it’s all Angela and Taylor’s fault he’s gone. Speaking of those girls, they have circled up (along with Victoria) because they have a new daily goal and that goal is to make sure Alicia knows Taylor has had enough. Angela implores Taylor to knock some sense into Alicia’s head — probably literally — but Victoria is the only one making any real sense. She says Cory has some very heavy baggage and he may not be worth this sort of struggle. She’s absolutely correct, but since Angela is made of baggage like the rest of us are made of blood and cells, her goal is not to get her friend away from a man whose life – even while they’re isolated on an island – is way too complicated, but instead get her to murder the other woman from the inside out. What is Alicia doing while those girls are plotting against her? I’d love to say she’s building her own kayak out of a combination of tinfoil and the droppings from Angela’s muskrat lashes and planning her exit, but instead she is confiding to a row of cameras that something really dark comes out of her when she gets super angry and whatever it is cannot be controlled. Regardless of that propensity for shooting uncontrollable darkness, she believes she is definitely the right one for Cory and anyone who might be worried about her being around a child with those kinds of terrifying qualities is just being silly. The thing is, Cory is not shutting her down in any real way and so on she babbles about how Cory is making a giant mistake by not being with her, as though this time she will vary her enunciation in just the right way and Cory will stand up and scream, “Alicia is the madwoman for me!”
Maybe Cory will come to a decision later, like when his newest girlfriend spits on his ex-girlfriend from the balcony. (Oh, my friends, we will arrive at the bodily fluids in due time.) But first it’s time for new people to arrive and some of our houseguests are a bit concerned. Taylor already feels like she’s got more than enough to deal with in the house and besides, her salivary glands do not create nearly enough spit for her to rain loogies down on everyone, so hopefully her face is hanging from a flag just as a way to briefly emotionally gut her. After all, that’s the kind of thing one must expect when your official occupation is Reality TV Participant. Then there’s Chase. I said it rather bluntly in my last recap: the guy is clearly only with Victoria because nobody else with a vagina has shown up. He’s now aware that if a new girl shows up, she will most likely pull his focus from what he actually calls “a default relationship.” His comments are made all the more sad when Victoria is heard calling this asshole “my man.” Every single bit of it feels icky to watch. Along with Chase and Taylor, Angela is also beckoned to the beach. It’s hard to imagine what any of this woman’s other exes could possibly be like, but maybe the Cash Me Outside girl has an older brother.
When Angela, Chase, and Taylor get down to the beach, Romeo is not there – at least not in person. My guess is he scored a few tickets to take a tour of an about-to-blow volcano and he wasn’t about to miss the majesty of nature just to let these idiots know someone is headed their way again. I do commend Romeo for delivering his recorded-on-an-iPad monologue with enough gravity that a casual viewer might think someone really important could be showing up, but the wise viewer is not at all surprised when former-Jehovah’s-Witness-and-now-a-farmer-of-medical-marijuana Joe appears. He’s Taylor’s ex, his tattoos are some of the worst I’ve ever seen, the two of them appeared on Are You the One together, and he hooked up with her the night before she left to do this show. Joe appears to be about 5’8” and he’s been blessed with a hefty dose of confidence that he and Taylor will be together for real now, even as Taylor’s first words upon seeing him are “Oh, no.” When he sits down besides her, she inches away like he’s got cooties – though it’s a pretty good chance they’ve all got cooties at this point – and Chase and Angela are dumbfounded that this man-bunned dude was ever involved with Taylor in the first place.
When he’s asked how long he and Taylor were together, Joe answers “A year and a half” just as Taylor responds “Three weeks.” So yeah, there seems to be a disconnect when it comes to one of these people’s understanding of reality. What I can’t quite understand is how Joe dropped this girl off at the airport, wished her good luck as she waved bon voyage to appear on yet another MTV dating show, and was then stunned when she appeared less than thrilled to see him. Thrilled she is not, and Chase scoots away from the two lest he be stabbed with one of the daggers spiking right out of Taylor’s furious corneas.
Back at the house, Lexi and Paulie are fucking in the bathroom while Chase lets Victoria know that no ex showed up for him so he’s still willing to settle for her. He basically says exactly that and Victoria’s reaction is to decide to jump into this “relationship” with both feet and do her damnedest to pull Chase under the water with her because, if he drowns, then he can never be with anyone else and if that’s the way she has to land her commitment, so fucking be it. Meanwhile, Joe enters the villa and Alicia takes one look at him and declares that they are in the same position because they both showed up expecting their exes to celebrate their arrivals. Alicia sees some differences between them, of course. According to her, Joe is being all “vanilla” about the situation – which I suppose means he’s not grabbing someone by the hair – and Alicia announces she is the opposite of vanilla, which now explains why I am torn between sending her a pint of Ben & Jerry’s Fairly Nuts or two pints of their Chocolate Therapy.
With insanity hitting her on all sides in the house, Taylor decides she should sit down with Alicia and squash whatever drama still exists between them. This is a lovely idea, but there’s no way in hell any of it will go smoothly, especially when Alicia begins by explaining she still loves Cory and she thinks that – though he is not saying it – he still has a lot of love for her, too. She also lets Taylor know that she will be a fleeting presence in Cory’s life, just a flavor of the week, and now I suppose I have to figure out what flavor of ice cream Taylor is. Are there any Ben and Jerry’s flavors made with flakes of coconut and chunks of spit? In any case, Taylor believes everything Cory has told her so she is positive Alicia is a delusional walking monster with a cleavage tattoo and, as she comes to that understanding, Cory is upstairs calmly combing his beard.
After their conversation yields nothing but even more animosity, Taylor tells Cory that Alicia informed her that he still checks up on her and gives her sweet looks all the time and that kind of thing is going to have to cease immediately if Cory wants to actually move forward in a new relationship. Cory’s response is to take Taylor’s face in his hands and promise her that she is who he wants to be with and he will go talk to Alicia right now. His very rational way of carrying this action out is to pack Alicia’s bag, drag it outside, burst into her interview with a producer I hope is wearing a shield, and tell her to stop fucking up his life. And while I agree with both Marco and his hair when they compellingly state that the problem here truly lies with Cory, I have to say – random packing aside – that Cory has a legitimate point and Alicia is legitimately crazy. Not for a second do I begrudge her for having these feelings, but every bit of me judges her for entering this psychotic island scenario, not once but twice, and babbling the same points she’s already made over and over again. If she believes the two are soul mates, can she not just fly home and wait until he’s back in the real world to try again? Why must she try to win him back while wearing a microphone?
Cory eventually stalks away from the still muttering Alicia and plants another kiss on Taylor, and it’s around that time when the Shack of Secrets comes calling. It’s Taylor and Friend-Zoned Joe whose presence is requested. Down in their own mini purgatory, they are asked to press play on an iPad and footage of Cory telling Alicia that he doesn’t see real depth between him and Taylor blares forever into her psyche. “I feel like we’re only together because we’re here,” Cory confides to both Alicia and a camera lens, and Taylor is blown away by this information while Joe reacts by softly saying, “What a pig.” Deciding she’s had enough of both the Shack and Joe’s commiserating about her lack of emotional backbone, Taylor heads back upstairs to go confront Cory while Joe lets everyone else know exactly what just went down. Secrets – much like dignity – have a very short shelf life that house. In about three seconds flat, Cory explains to Taylor that he did say those things, but he doesn’t feel that way anymore and suddenly the two of them are just fine again, which means Joe will have to toss the hand crafted rock he found on the shore of the Oregon coast and then had made into a necklace, one he expected would dangle forever from the neck of his beloved, straight into the ocean. Now, I’m not a wear-a-pebble-around-my-neck kind of girl, but – misguided though it was – Joe’s gesture was really sweet. Unfortunately, Taylor would prefer to continue to cozy up to a guy who has a deranged ex-girlfriend and who was recorded less than a week ago lamenting her lack of depth.
As for the less tumultuous – but just as pathetic – other stuff going on around the house, Victoria decides to promise Chase that if they have sex, she totally will not see things as more serious than he wants them to be. So if you’re keeping track and paying attention, Chase ignored this girl for the first portion of the show, hooked up with her eventually out of desperation and convenience, told her to her face that he wished someone new had shown up for him, and then nodded as she swore that, even if he bangs her, he will owe her exactly nothing. This announcement is a douchebag’s wet dream come true, and Chase is nothing if not a dripping douchebag. Case in point? When looking for another way to say the word “dick,” Chase chooses to say the phrase “every inch of the Chaser,” and boom – now I’m a lesbian.
Since one comment from Cory made everything okay, he and Taylor are currently reclining in a bathtub sipping champagne. Cameron is stunned by how easily Taylor forgave Cory, but his musings are upsetting Shanley. She figures the only reason he must have any sort of opinion on the matter is because he still has a thing for the girl upstairs who is submerged in bubbles and deception. Besides that, Shanley doesn’t much care for the way Cameron is talking about Taylor being easy. She sees it as slut shaming and she’s not okay with it. As people yell at Cameron in the kitchen, Lexi runs herself upstairs at the speed of light to let Taylor and Cory know what’s going on, and since these people run towards conflict the way I run towards fluffy Old English Sheepdogs on the street, things ignite spectacularly. Cory heads downstairs, threatens to beat up Cameron, and then goes back upstairs because that’s where the girl he’s currently lying to happens to be. Alicia – you didn’t expect her to stay quiet, did you? – sits in the kitchen and shouts nasty words upstairs. “Shut the fuck up, bitch!” bellows Taylor back at Alicia, and Alicia (who is very sane, you guys) jumps off the kitchen counter and screams that she’s going to break Taylor’s nose.
Quick aside here: Alicia should not break Taylor’s nose. That girl has a great nose. But she should hold Taylor down – and then hold Victoria and Angela down as well – and scrub that fucking black winged eyeliner from all of their faces because that style looks borderline insane on girls who are sitting around in swimsuits all day long.
Okay, back to the brawl. It’s escalating quickly.
“Come here!” Taylor screams from the balcony, clapping her hands together like that means something while the others respond thusly:
Cory holds Taylor back. She continues to break free to taunt Alicia to come punch her, a request I think is just fucking odd, but then again, I think I was maybe raised differently than some of these people and when I’m done writing this recap, I will call my mother to thank her for not mating with a wolf and then raising me in a forest lined with trees and madness.
Shanley shakes her head because she knows the monster Alicia was attempting to suppress has finally been unleashed.
Joe stares at Taylor with his mouth open because he has never seen this girl behave so sickeningly and he knows for sure that she does not deserve any of the rocks that he’s got.
Cameron screams out, “This is embarrassing, honestly!” with a smile painted across his face.
Victoria twirls her ponytail and wonders if she can get Chase to sleep with her that evening if she promises him that he can call her by another chick’s name while he’s banging her.
Chris shouts up to Cory that Alicia is disparaging his dick size. Evidently, Cory has way fewer inches going on down there than the Chaser.
Cory screams down that Alicia still wants his dick.
And Taylor? She gathers whatever phlegm is rolling around in her mouth and in the back of her throat, forms it into a huge chunky ball, and spits it directly on Alicia’s head.
What about any of this does not scream romance?
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. Her Twitter is @nell_kalter