I’ve been watching that show The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst on HBO. Have you seen it? It’s a six-part docu-series that follows Manhattan real estate scion Robert Durst’s life in order to retrace his past and to make sense of his present. See, Durst has been a suspect in three homicides since the eighties. First his wife disappeared off the planet, never to be seen or heard from again; then his best friend was shot in the head in her California home; and finally, there was the grumpy old neighbor in Texas Durst did admit to shooting, but he claims he did so in self-defense. The dismembering of the body that took place after he shot the guy? That was just strategic thinking to enable him to get a dead body out of a house without drawing too much attention to himself, and he couldn’t very well carry the thing in one piece since he’s a man of very short stature.
Besides, he had spent the last several months masquerading as a mute woman.
(That was not a typo, but the mute woman part of the story requires a lengthy explanation, so to save time, simply allow me to say that he wanted a disguise and felt he couldn’t speak convincingly as a woman, hence the mute factor. It’s actually a rather decent idea and I shall snag every single thing I want for myself in the future by impersonating a mute Kanye West, which is really the very best kind of Kanye West.)
The only murder Durst was tried for was the guy he dismembered. He told a long and convoluted story about how the murder transpired, taking the witness stand to the shock of most assembled in that courtroom. He weaved an awesomely bizarre story out of only split ends and gnarled pieces of rope and a commitment to making people believe him and he ended the story by saying, “I did not kill my best friend; I did dismember him,” and watching it all made me feel terribly cold inside and I thought that I should probably call that girl I cut out of my life back when I was a sophomore in high school to tell her that it’s fine that she was talking some shit about me at Nick’s house – at least she didn’t try to dismember me.
Durst got away with that murder. He claimed he had to shoot his best friend in the head in self-defense, but somehow – even though the other limbs and appendages were recovered – the head of his buddy has never been seen again and the jury found him not guilty of murder in a decision so stunning and weird that I can only assume that they were all afraid he would lob their heads off too while dressed as a Swedish woman named Svenhilda.
Last night, just hours before the final episode of the series aired, Durst was arrested for the second of the murders, that of his friend who died several decades ago when she was shot directly in the head in her Los Angeles home. He was apprehended in New Orleans where he was staying at a hotel under an alias and it looks very likely that some of what got him caught for a murder he has avoided charges of for a very long time is directly related to comments he made on The Jinxand to evidence unearthed by the participants of the show and by the filmmakers. Who knows what will eventually happen – I mean, the guy already got acquitted by one jury after fully admitting to dismembering someone – but he might get nailed now for this murder and that is probably a very good thing because this man, though old and rickety-looking, is clearly willing to do whatever it takes to achieve whatever he decides are his immediate goals.
I think that one of the things that I like so much about The Jinx is that I really appreciate watching programming that revolves around less sociopathic behavior than what is typically illustrated on Vanderpump Rules. That’s right: a hacksaw-wielding murder dressed like a mute woman who tossed a severed head into the floating abyss serves as a palate cleanser for having to watch Kristen and Jax and Stassi try to make sense instead of making amends for constantly behaving like toddlers on crack.
The last part of the Reunion begins with the focus centered squarely on Stassi, so that means that the seating plan of the first segment needed to be rearranged so that Stassi could be plunked down next to Katie, the friend she so gleefully passed judgment on before cutting her from the fabric of her life like Katie was one of those bullshit extra buttons that come hanging on the tag of a shirt that you will never use anyway. To make room for the most manipulative example of feng shui ever witnessed outside of an interrogation room (I’m sorry; I’ve got murderers on the mind today) James and Kristen had to be moved to the back row, where we got to see them hover behind Katie and Stassi in the most terrifying bit of framing I have ever seen on a reality show and now lets me know exactly I will visually portray the first sign of a haunting should I ever decide to make my very own possession film.
Incidentally, Kristen scares me even more than Robert Durst, and he’s got a body count.
But maybe nothing is more frightening in the first ten minutes of this Reunion than watching Stassi attempt to assuage her own sense of guilt or mask her alarming levels of cowardice about her inability to apologize to any person who somehow invaded her rarified airspace. She is the kind of girl who, when confronted about saying nasty things directly to a camera while a microphone was strapped to her dress, offers the most offensive kind of apology there is, which is to say, “I’m sorry you were hurt by what I said.” She cannot seem to make herself simply say, “I’m sorry I said some of those things,” because she’s not sorry and she’s too afraid that she will be assassinated if she says the far more accurate, “I’m sorry you can’t take a joke and that your insecurities and your secrets mean that my bold comment hit a nerve.”
The thing is, I’m not of the opinion that Stassi owes some of these people apologies. What she said might not have been particularly kind, but which of these people was signed to this show due to an overwhelming trait of compassion? I do think Stassi should have apologized to Katie, but Stassi doesn’t do apologies.
“Why did you just cut me off and deem me unworthy?” asked Katie, bolder than she’s ever been and I’m wondering if it’s her new curtain of artificial hair that’s giving her powers.
“I felt like it was both of us,” Stassi responded, which was a terrible response for a girl I normally give far more credit to for her verbal comebacks.
“No,” said Katie immediately, shutting that ridiculous response right down and then alluding to Stassi’s Problem, something she apparently went through that is being kept under wraps for now, which means – because she decided to appear on a reality show – that we can all take our guesses about what her problem might be. Here are my theories:
1. I think her parents are divorced, but maybe there’s another divorce on the horizon.
2. Someone close to her had to go to rehab.
3. Her boyfriend became racked with concern about dating someone who once disrobed in front of Jax.
4. Kristen tried to entice her to join her International League For Truth and Stassi wasn’t sure how to get out of an organization that would require a total loss of sanity and having to wear a unitard
Whatever it is – or was – the issue is just danced around, and when the subject once again turns to the horrible things that she has said, Stassi explodes for a second and all but screams, “None of you guys know me,” and the reactions they all give her when she says that can best be defined as expressions of blank laughter. Jax’s response is the best; he just looks confused because he used to live with this girl. He does know her, and I realized in that second that I might not mind Jax so much if he’d just embrace the art of not speaking. I mean, if Robert Durst went mute why can’t Jax?
Stassi is not off the hook yet. Andy Cohen asks if the entire breakdown of her friendship with Katie was due to Katie jetting off to Miami with a small congregation made up of some of Stassi’s enemies (the enormous other group of people who have wronged her had something else to do that weekend) and Stassi responded, “I would have totally gotten over the Miami thing. I just wanted her to acknowledge that, yeah, like, I know I did a total 180…” but she was cut off by Katie bursting in to insist, “I would have loved to have done that BUT YOU WEREN’T TALKING TO ME!”
“I do understand why she went to Miami,” Stassi begins to explain, “and I would have gotten over that so quickly. It just snowballed into so much more,” and that right there is why having Stassi as a friend strikes me as exhausting. What kind of adult (or pseudo-adult) has a friend she must spend so much time begging to understand her choices? This chick has clearly gotten away with this kind of behavior for way too long and her middle school friends should be ashamed of themselves for putting this whole bullshit behavior into motion all those years ago and then allowing it to continue out of fear that Stassi would call them out for having a bad gawky stage or thinking that blue braces were cool.
Turns out that one of the things that Stassi is mad at is that Katie made some comments about how Stassi has become a “kept woman” since meeting her boyfriend, and when Schwartz jumps in to tell Stassi how distraught Katie was after their friendship sputtered to a stop, Stassi responded by saying, “I don’t care when I hear that someone is talking about someone I really love…” and Schwartz cuts her off and mocks how she can only talk about herself, to which Stassi responds, “It’s my feelings!” The entire thing was starting to go in boring and backwards circles, so thank goodness it was around that time when Jax was asked about the tattoo he now has on his entire bicep that supposedly looks a great deal like Stassi.
The idea that this piece of shit is now walking around with her face on his arm clearly scares Stassi out of her mind. She almost starts hyperventilating, and that’s when Jax tells her that it’s not a picture of her and he takes off his jacket and unbuttons his entire shirt to show off a face that’s not Stassi’s (but could be an image of her possessed fraternal twin) and Stassi begins to scan the premises to make sure that there are no baskets filled with lotions or holes in the ground where Jax might want to keep her. Personally, I was far more horrified that Jax removed his clothing in a restaurant. Come on, Board of Health! Is nobody on call tonight? All I know is that after seeing that image, I would never eat another fried ball of goat cheese on the premises. I shall instead make Scheana serve them to me on the patio. Maybe Kristen can hand me a napkin from her special spot in the bushes where she hides so she can stare at Sandoval.
Speaking of Scheana, she spends a lot of time in the beginning of this Reunion smiling primly at how Stassi is being called out publicly. It’s not a real smile and she keeps doing it with her mouth closed and now we all know for sure that Scheana without teeth is the physical embodiment of a creepy, plastic Cabbage Patch Kid. Mine was named Dona Layla – and if she were not at the bottom of a landfill today, she would kick my ass for comparing her to Scheana.
It’s then brought up that Stassi believes that Lisa tried to push people on her she did not want to associate with, and I really think Stassi has a point here. The only one she should have stayed connected to is Katie; she had every right to hightail it the fuck out of SUR the moment Jax oozed his way into a room she was in, and his revoltingness is just made all the more clear when he says that if Stassi is in such a good place and so happy with her new boyfriend, why should his presence even impact her at all? It appears that Jax can only imagine a world where his presence to a woman is jarring because of that woman’s complicated feelings for him that he’ll try to help her resolve by tossing her ankles behind her head. He cannot fathom that his presence is sometimes just disturbing because of how truly awful he is as a human being and how damaging he has been so continually and that someone might simply value her own life more when he is no longer a part of it.
It was right about here when Andy Cohen decides to ask Jax about why he felt so compelled to help destroy the relationship between Katie and Schwartz. Who else briefly chanted to some deity that Jax would simply answer, “Because I’m an asshole” and then that expression would get caught in his throat and become the only sentence he was able to utter forevermore? Alas, my nonreligious nature might have caused my prayers to fail, as Jax admits that he made it his business to meddle in their relationship and then manages to look almost ashamed for his behavior. I’d take a moment to consider that perhaps he has changed, but I’m not a fucking moron.
Next in the hot seat is Schwartz, who is asked why he did not immediately confess both times he’d cheated on his girlfriend and he answers pretty honestly, saying that he was afraid she’d break up with him. It’s also reiterated that he only kissed both girls, an allegation James scoffs at by saying, “A thirty-two year old is not just going to kiss some girl,” and then every single person in the vicinity attempted to verbally maul Baby James and it was great fun to watch.
Asked if she has ever cheated on Schwartz, Katie said no, but there was a very long beat of silence before her denial that caused me to wonder if she is telling the truth. That said, I do believe her and I’m starting to wonder if maybe I was just hallucinating her extra moment of silence due to the fact that I got very little sleep this weekend and perhaps I just went momentarily narcoleptic. As I came out of my haze, I realized that Andy Cohen was commenting on how much Katie has grown, a sentiment shared by Lisa who expresses great affection for Katie and we see a flashback to the time Lisa softly told her, “Never settle for second best,” and there was something in those words that hit me hard too and it’s for reasons like that one – and because she looked around the room and said, “I love most of them” as her eyes swept passed the apparition that is Kristen – that continues my adoration streak for the glorious Ms. Vanderpump.
But let’s be serious: this season was not about Katie’s personal growth. This season was about Kristen losing her entire mind; Jax being the friend who should always be last picked in dodgeball – before everybody, including the people on his own team, heave a ball straight at his head; Stassi being above the fray; and finding out what the fuck is on Sandoval’s dick that makes it the most identifiable dick on ether coast. So again came the story of Miami Girl, and I’d wager my future firstborn on the hunch that she held herself a little viewing party for the Reunion because girlfriend strikes me as the kind of person who likes to pretend that she’s a star.
Sandoval has just about had it with this storyline, and he looks like he wants to punch a wall or fashion his bowtie into a noose when Andy Cohen says, “It seems like her smoking gun is the description of your genitalia.” And even after that line and a season’s buildup about a penis that I have imagined in the following ways – triangle shaped, pierced, covered in hairy moles, and tri-colored – we are never given clarification about the unique nature of his dick and nobody even asks him to whip it out like they did Jax’s tattoo and I call foul.
Sandoval explains that Miami Girl’s story made no sense since she claimed to have her period that night and every person in that room knows he hates fucking a girl when she’s on the rag. But when he begins to laugh at her story about how he went down on her twice, that’s when Lisa can’t take anymore, and really, if we have learned anything this season it’s that Lisa hates talk of going down on a girl who has her period, the word clit, and Kristen’s very existence on the planet.
Maybe sensing that Lisa just remembered how much she despises Kristen, Andy asks Kristen how it felt to get fired and she starts with some response about how she walked in the room and she saw her bosses and she sort of rolled her eyes and that’s when Lisa bluntly asks, “What did you expect? To get the best section in the restaurant? You told your manager to fuck off and to go suck a dick!” Kristen has the momentary ability to look chastened by Lisa’s words, and she tells Andy that it’s better that she’s not there anymore. Andy then brings up that there were celebrations that occurred – even amongst the chefs! – when Kristen left, and she just shrugs and says, “No sweat,” while she reminded herself to set a mental alarm clock so she can get up every hour on the hour to sew another voodoo doll of somebody who has wronged her before creating a nice little diorama in the corner of James’ apartment that shows everyone who hates her being run over by a truck.
Andy then turns his attention to Scheana and asks her about her wedding and why she went for a dress that had a crop top.
“It was me,” Scheana says proudly. “I don’t think anyone else here would wear anything like it,” and then she continues on to say that her gown has already appeared on Instagram and that other girls are wearing it and during the entire thing, the camera keeps cutting to a close-up of Stassi’s face and it appears that she is simultaneously biting her own tongue in half and thinking about how sad it is to be an orphan to stop herself from laughing. But when Andy asks Stassi if she feels badly for making fun of the crop top, things get nuts because Stassi all of a sudden asks if he wants to know the real reason she hates Scheana and out comes some story that’s been relatively hidden from public view until Stassi outs herself.
Seems some ex-boyfriend of Stassi’s – who is not Jax, which left me stunned – has some footage of them having sex and he walked into SUR and showed it to everyone and Scheana watched it. Scheana tries to explain that she did watch it and she apologized to Stassi for doing so but that she did it so she would know what was on it because this guy was making all kinds of claims. The whole thing feels icky to even listen to, though I can’t help but think that if a tape existed of someone else, Stassi would be the very first to sneer. I also can’t help but acknowledge that Scheana never said a single word about any of it on camera, so maybe she’s not the person Stassi should concentrate on hating the most.
Anyway, my guess is that perhaps it was the sex tape that was the root of Stassi’s Problem – an ABC Afterschool Special that is coming soon – and I can’t help but feel just the teensiest bit disappointed. I had my hopes pegged on the unitard thing.
It’s then that Andy declares that they’re taking a five-minute break. Sandoval lurches up to either run outside to smoke or to go apply more Clinique Bronzer For Men while the girls and Andy get their makeup reapplied. I was torn between which was my favorite of the interlude moments – Andy having an intern hold up his phone in front of his face while a makeup artist provided him with some contouring or Stassi turning to Katie and saying, “Katie, you’re really, like, I’m telling you you’re crossing a line,” and her eloquence was stated like a threat.
“I don’t care,” replies Katie. “We’re not friends anymore.”
“I will continue to be the bigger person,” Stassi states grandly, to which Katie rolls her eyes and said, “You do that because you’re so mature, Stassi. I was a really good friend to you.”
These two? They are done until they both stumble into their mid-thirties and start to feel nostalgic for how awesome it was when they both hated the same people.
Back on the air – and now contoured to perfection – Andy Cohen raises the Sex in Miami question one more time, and I swear that if I have to hear about something that might or might not have happened between two people – one of whom is not even on this show but might now snag herself a Tampax campaign – I am going to lose my shit. But at least this time Andy sets his focus on Jax’s involvement, raising the issue that Jax clearly told Kristen that the sex “one hundred percent” happened and then maintained to Sandoval the very next day that he had never said one single solitary word.
“Yeah,” was this barbarian’s response, and for another minute or so it was his only response. He eventually adds that he has no idea what happened; he wasn’t even there! He was at CVS buying beer and he’s basing his truth off what Miami Girl told him.
Sensing that someone else might appear to be more internally ravaged than she is on a minute-by-minute basis, Kristen jumps into the discussion.
“So maybe the root of all these problems isn’t necessarily me,” she says in her best haughty voice that she practices in the mirror sometimes while pretending that the reflection that she stares hard at is Sandoval.
Everybody else’s response to Kristen’s declaration? They laugh – at her. And when James kind of steps in to say something disparaging about Jax – get in fucking line, James – Jax responds by saying that he is going to “wreck” the kid after the Reunion and see, here I’m torn because I have never witnessed a fight where I have longed for both people to be pummeled beyond recognition, but I guess new experiences are growing experiences and I shall embrace the coming slaughter.
Clearly elbowing his way to a front row seat, Andy asks Jax why he can’t seem to get it up to have any remorse for being proven to be such a sexist-egotistical-lying-hypocritical bigot. (All hail the 1980’s classic 9 to 5! Who knew it would remain so very timely?) Jax responds that he does feel remorse, and to prove it he turns to Sandoval and Ariana and asks them how many times he has arrived at their apartment in the dead of the night sobbing his eyes out.
I’m just going to say that if that scenario has happened more than one time, Sandoval and Ariana need to move – to Guam.
But when pressed, Jax can’t hold on to total accountability, so he begins to once again act like his tendency and desire to destroy everything and everyone in his path is really not a big deal.
“Nobody died, nobody got pregnant, nobody got divorced,” he recites like a cult member chanting what he has convinced himself to believe and it was my very favorite moment of the entire Reunion when Andy Cohen reacted to Jax’s idiotic proclamation by gazing at him with a look of total and complete disgust.
I have found my new screensaver!
The last segment is about whether Schwartz is getting ready to propose to Katie, as his six-month ultimatum is quickly about to expire. Schwartz stammers that he’s getting closer and then he picks up Katie’s hand and makes it seem as though he is about to propose to her but instead he puts his own ring on her finger and I was very disappointed, but not because those two aren’t engaged; I’m just devastated Schwartz wears a pinky ring.
That’s it – I’m cutting all the hair off of my Schwartz Doll as a punishment. I hope he will learn from this tragic experience.
At the very end, Andy asks Stassi if she will ever see these people again and she responds, “I’m really excited to get up and walk out of this room.” I can’t fully root for Stassi – or at least the Stassi on this show because she is has tried so hard to be a Disney villain that it’s ridiculous, but I hope that when she sprints out of that room that she will never walk back in, not even for a glass of water or for a fried goat cheese ball.
And so, my friends, the Reunion and the season are over. There is a “Secrets Revealed” episode next week that I will not be recapping because we all know that it should really be titled “The Shit That Wasn’t Good Enough To Make The First Cut.” But I’d like to take a moment to thank you for joining me on this ride.
Please know that next time I will be providing the Dramamine.
As I was driving to work this morning, I thought about which Vanderpumper I hoped would return for next season, and I realized that I’m not sure that I long to see any of them again. Feeling confused, I decided instead to consider which SUR member I would most want to be trapped with on a desert island, and here was my thought process:
Stassi: Not a chance. She would whine about the heat and how the shrapnel from the enemy’s bullets hurt her skin. The only reason for keeping her would be to try to sell her to some pirates.
Scheana: I’d take Stassi before Scheana. At least Stassi can sometimes be funny. Plus, I’m worried that Scheana would want to wile away the hours in song.
Sandoval: No way this guy can build a fire and I fear I’ll get tired quickly of him asking me if his forehead looks shiny.
Kristen: I assume she’s already on that island in the form of a smoke monster.
James: On the plus side, it might be comforting to have something to project my anger and frustration upon. On the negative side, the island’s indigenous population would likely kill him in the first hour.
Jax: I actually considered Jax as my island companion for just a second because my feeling is that he would locate food. Then again, I think my hunch is more about Jax coming off to me as a caveman than as ever being a true asset, and let’s be honest: he doesn’t seem the type to share what he’s found. He’d tell me there was no food anywhere while a hunk of a banana hangs from his lower lip.
Katie: I might let her come if she brings either her dog or her boyfriend, who would have been my first choice but I simply cannot get over that pinky ring.
I guess it comes down to Ariana or Lisa, probably the two people on the show who caused me the least amount of concern for the future of humankind this season, but when it comes right down to it, I think I’d pick Lisa. I have no doubt that she would somehow contact a private jet and get us the fuck out of there and we would fly away from the island with scintillating suntans – and we would wave out the jet’s back window at Kristen, still simmering in the distance.