Sofia Richie, girlfriend of Scott Disick, has been a specter in the Kardashian universe for two full years. She has appeared in the background of the rare Keeping Up With the Kardashians episode — remember the “Christmas Chaos” holiday party? — or is spoken about in hushed tones. However, the celebrity daughter has never gotten a full storyline on KUWTK.
That is until Sunday night’s “Three’s Company,” an episode named after the baffling dynamic between Sofia, Scott, and Scott’s ex Kourtney Kardashian. The result was our first long, hard look at what’s really going on between Sofia and Scott, one of pop culture’s most inscrutable couples.
At last we know for sure: This is a relationship living in the shadow of Scott and Kourtney’s turbulent love story.
A spring break trip to Finland puts Kourtney, Scott, and Sofia on an inescapable vacation together with the three Kardashian-Disick kids, Mason, Penelope, and Reign. This isn’t the first time the Kardashian-Disick “blended family,” as everyone keeps saying throughout “Three,” has traveled together. The unseen but much discussed D-plot in season 15's “Christmas Chaos” revolved around the sixsome’s trip to Mexico around the holidays. But this “Three’s Company” excursion to Finland is different — this one is actually being filmed for KUWTK.
The pressure of the cameras — of this footage existing forever and eventually being disseminated to millions of strangers around the globe — threatens to break Scott. As he eventually complains to pseudo sister-in-law Kim Kardashian, “I’ve been trying to be mindful and not make Sofe feel uncomfortable just because Kourt and I have known each other our whole lives.” Scott admits his anxiety over that tight rope of emotion has turned him into the kind of person who isn't fun for anyone to be around.
We see evidence of this panic throughout the episode. The major problem is, Scott acts differently in front Kourtney than he does around Sofia. At one point during an early vacation dinner, Sofia tells Scott, “You’re a lot more sophisticated with me when Kourtney’s around. You turn into a 5-year-old when it’s just us.” She has a point. The moment Kourtney steps away from the meal, Scott melts into a puddle of silly fun. He plays a distraction prank on Sofia, loudly barks when she tries to reverse the tables on him, and asks Sofia to pop a neck pimple for him. It’s gross, but a very real couple moment.
This is the moment we understand the real difference between Scott’s relationship with Sophia, 21 (and 20 in this scene), versus Kourtney, 40. With Sophia, 36-year-old Scott can be a full and unapologetic goofball. He can be the guy who picks up his girlfriend and swings her around to get her out of a complicated wetsuit, which is exactly what Scott does earlier in “Three’s Company.” Yet, with Kourtney, nothing is so simple. He has to be dad. He has to answer co-parenting questions. He has to remember the pasta is coming to the table rather than demand his girlfriend squeeze whiteheads on his body in a public setting.
While Scott seems to enjoy being the person he is with Sofia, that’s not the personality he feels most comfortable with on the vacation. With Sofia, he claims this tension is due to the fact Kourt is older than him. But, age is only a fraction of the issue. That’s why Scott complains in a talking head, “Sometimes, you have so many inside jokes or inside things with somebody you’ve known for so long. Even if you’re not romantically with them, you don’t really know how to act.” Essentially, if Kourtney is in a 10-yard radius of Scott, he’s going to adjust to her no matter what else is happening around him.
When Scott doesn't exist in response to Kourtney, it’s in a very obvious and awkward manner, like when he flees a Christmas-themed family trip in a desperate attempt to appease a sleepy Sofia.
By the end of “Three’s Company,” Scott claims he has fixed his anxiety around his blended family by talking to Kourtney. She reminds him every single moment of their trip doesn’t need to be perfect — he just has to try to enjoy experiences with the people he loves. As we see, it’s not like Sofia and Kourt have an issue with each other. Kourtney and Sofia hop in freezing cold water together. Kourtney tells Sofia how to fix her makeup. Kourtney, sometimes the most abrasive Kardashian sister, is at her most willfully warm and inviting.
Maybe three really isn't a crowd in Kardashiland.