Vanderpump Rules has been a shockingly long journey this year. But, after 21 episodes of binge drinking and screaming — yes, really, 21 episodes! — the sixth season of Bravo’s most booze-soaked series has come to an end. If we were to take one fact away from the SURver’s latest West Hollywood misadventures, it’s that Vanderpump got surprisingly dark. Ariana Madix shared her bracingly honest history of emotional abuse and the body image issues that came from that. Jax Taylor and Brittany Cartwright’s entire fraught, infidelity-infected relationship was upsetting and nearly too real for reality TV. Even the fairly subdued pairing of newlyweds Tom Schwartz and Katie Maloney were plagued by the chaos created by Tom’s alcohol-induced blackouts.
So, it should be no surprise the reality show’s Monday night finale, “Welcome To TomTom” took viewers to even more grim depths. To cap off the season, Stassi Schroeder’s on-again, off-again boyfriend of four years, Patrick Meagher, shows up to sexually harass SUR grande dame Lisa Vanderpump. Repeatedly. From the way no one takes Patrick’s behavior seriously to the usually fiery Stassi’s wilted reaction, it is a truly disturbing sight on multiple levels.
Patrick’s appearance in “TomTom” is clearly blown up in Stassi’s mind, as he avoided hanging out with her loved ones for most of the season. As multiple people note in the finale, everyone started to think Stassi’s radio host boyfriend “wasn’t real.” If that is what the individuals closest to you believe about your supposed partner, there’s already a problem. Somehow, Patrick manages to make the entire thing worse.
“I liked watching you walk away, to be honest with you,” Patrick tells Lisa upon being reintroduced to her after a quick meeting in the NYC Sirius offices sometime earlier.
Anyone would be alarmed by such a direct sexual comment, but Lisa attempts to assure Patrick and Stassi she wasn’t insulted, going so far as to say, “I’m okay with that.” Yet, in a talking head interview, Lisa explains all the reasons that kind of conduct is unwanted and deeply inappropriate. Continued unwanted sexual advances are the definition of harassment. And Patrick certainly continues. While the radio personality should have recognized Lisa’s gracious free pass for aggressively sexualizing her and therefore end his disrespectful conduct, he presses on. “Oh no, I was definitely saying your ass,” he continues, smiling as though the comment was adorable.
Lisa is visibly taken aback by the uncalled for statement. During the two minutes she continues to spend with the couple, Patrick adds, “I still think you have a good ass,” “When I saw [your ass] it was up,” and “Still like to see you leave, girl.” Somehow, everyone focuses on making sure Patrick doesn’t feel attacked for his uncalled for, upsetting behavior. Lisa repeatedly assures the harasser she is not criticizing his relationship and attempts to play along with the Patrick’s leering comments just to avoid upsetting Stassi any further.
Stassi, clearly anxious about whether everyone — anyone? — will like Patrick, takes the goal of reassuring her boyfriend a step further. After the radio host practically wolf whistles at the woman who signs her paychecks, Stassi begs him not to end the relationship. “If you do decide to break up with me, can it not be over tonight? Please. Please?” she asks. Stassi’s talking head defense of her relationship is even sadder, as she explains losing Patrick, the man who repeatedly sexually objectified the venerated Lisa Vanderpump in front of her, “would be like if someone took one of my arms or a leg.” Yes, even after Patrick blocked Stassi on all forms of communication, repeatedly mansplains to her, and, again, would not stop talking about Lisa Vanderpump’s behind.
Put together, the moment speaks to how Patrick not only harassed Lisa, but also crushed a bit of Stassi’s spirit. Normally a firecracker of a woman, Stassi seems far more worried about keeping Patrick around throughout this entire ordeal than standing up for herself or her co-stars. That’s why Lisa points out how uncharacteristically quiet her sometimes-employee is, saying, “I never see you at a loss for words.” The restaurateur puts a further point on the issue in a talking head interview, surmising the entire problem at hand by explaining, “Stassi’s a very bright individual. But it almost seems like every relationship Stassi’s been involved in is [with] guys who want to put her down.”
While it’s truly unfortunate no one defends Lisa from Patrick’s advances or saves Stassi from a problematic relationship, there is a silver lining here, and that is everyone’s post-show reactions to the reality TV trainwreck. Lisa puts her encounter with Patrick succinctly, calling him “a dickhead.” Stassi actually explores her feelings, realizing the unnerving conversation “was awful.” The Bravolebrity adds, “I had such high hopes, and I watched everything crash and burn in slow motion.”
Thankfully, Stassi is no longer dating Patrick “Mixed Game Of Thrones Metaphors” Meagher. Earlier this year, she announced a relationship with Beau Clark, a non-celebrity Katie Maloney and Kristen Doute attempted to set their co-star up with two years ago, according to Stassi. While Patrick seemingly avoided spending major amount of time with Stassi like the plague, Beau Clarke doesn’t invite the same kinds of issues. Instead, the couple is currently traveling in Italy together and wearing matching soda-related apparel.
Now, the only test that remains is whether Stassi’s new guy can meet Lisa Vanderpump without mentioning a single one of her her body parts. Well, only time and a Vanderpump Rules season 7 renewal will tell.
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