Katie Maloney and Tom Schwartz were finally united in tenuous televised matrimony Monday night...almost. The cliffhanger Bravo is hanging its hat on is whether or not either of them will finish their vows in time, which greatly overestimates how much anybody on this earth cares about what these two will say to each other at the altar. Still, we slogged through plenty of wedding festivities while we waited.
This episode, perhaps more than anything else, was another lesson in the power of the edit. Now that the season is basically over, the producers are happy to give Schwartz and Katie a friendly, happy couple edit so they can pitch us a Very Special Wedding Finale. For pretty much the entire time they’ve been on Vanderpmp Rules, Tom and Katie have been at each other’s throats—dicks don’t work, girls in Vegas were fucked, rings on string were given. A few episodes ago, Tom flat out called his fiancé a bitch. A bit before that, Katie stormed out of a restaurant like a toddler and now we’re supposed to believe they’re a loving, peaceful couple? Alright.
I mean, one might be able to argue that planning a wedding is stressful and now they’ve calmed down and are simply enjoying the fruits of Katie’s labor—though they really shouldn’t be too relaxed because they clearly cannot afford this wedding and I’m not convinced Bravo gave them the full, “we’ll pick up the tab” treatment. Mostly, I think the producers knew that they couldn’t deliver a two-part wedding finale without at least pretending like Tom and Katie like each other now that it’s all kisses and I love yous and “OH BUBBA!”
Another nice thing that happened was Lisa’s wedding sermon, which was much, much too generous to Tom and Katie and their relationship. We also watched Lisa go all Troop Beverly Hills and struggle to use an iron for the first time in 20 years.
In a curious decision of benevolence, Jax and Tom Sandoval flew in Tom Schwartz’s triplet brothers in from Florida to Schwartz’s rather touching amazement. On the day of the wedding, Sandoval rose to the occasion as everyone’s fashion fairy godmother, essentially outfitting 25 percent of the men in attendance with various accessories. No wonder he missed his fucking flight if he was out here packing enough accoutrement to style a soccer team.
On the other end of the spectrum were those who got the less flattering edit.
I know Bravo is angling for a Jax and Brittany spinoff that nobody wants, but setting it up in this way feels like a dubious choice. Brittany is all googly-eyed over the prospect—musing about how she’s going to have a winter wedding at a castle in Kentucky, which I’m going to need some fact-checking on. Meanwhile, Jax largely treats marriage like one big joke.
Jax also spent much of the episode treating Tom Schwartz’s 30-something triplet brothers like a pack of 3-year-olds. As Sandoval points out, Jax rudely demands to know whether they all had taken showers the morning of the wedding, which may sound extreme but actually makes more sense when we learn Tom Schwartz did not even shower before his own wedding. No, he got up that morning, took a dip in a fucking river and then didn’t bother to shower—leaving the rest to deodorant and a boyish smile.
And then, of course, there was Scheana and her own dead-on-arrival marriage. Shay isn’t even pretending to hide his complete disdain for her anymore and it might be more painful to watch if Scheana knew how to garner a shred of sympathy from an audience. Showing a bit of vulnerability and uncertainty during her chat with Lisa would have gone a long way in painting her in a more compassionate light. Instead, she throws down lie after lie and recites some trite, obviously untrue bullshit about how their “spark” is back.
Simply admitting marriage is hard and that Shay has been moody lately would be a normal human thing to do. Try it Scheana! On top of all that stupidity, Scheana cannot look at anything remotely related to a wedding without it taking her back to her own wedding day. She’s on television bragging about Katie joining her in “the wives club” (which sounds like a stupid fucking club, by the way) while TMZ publishes shots from a painfully staged photoshoot with some new boyfriend. Doesn’t look great!
For all the ugliness that led to it, Katie and Tom’s wedding is woodsy and looks rather cute with a few exceptions—namely her dress, her bouquet and the bridesmaids dresses.
On the morning of the big day, Katie’s mom tells her: “All your dreams are coming true today,” which I’d like to flag as a completely false narrative. If all your dreams can be met on single day with what is essentially just a big party, the vision for your life is much too small. And if all your dreams coming true are tied to a man who called you a bitch three weeks ago and who you verbally berate on the regular, well, girl, I don’t even know.