Monday night didn’t mark the first time Katie Maloney-Schwartz was body-shamed on Vanderpump Rules — who can forget that cruel “summer bodies” jab — but when a guest at a party she was working criticized her weight, it stung … and brought back some dark memories.
The event was honoring Lisa Vanderpump‘s new job as editor-in-chief Beverly Hills Lifestyle magazine, planned by Stassi Schroeder. Despite Jax Taylor showing up late (more on that later) and Ariana Madix grumbling about bartending solo, the celebration is going on without a hitch — until Lisa’s infamous designer, Kevin Lee, makes cringe-worthy comments about her appearance.
“What happened? You were much thinner than this. You gained a little bit of weight. You have to work on it,” he tells her as she’s passing appetizers. “Seriously, I’m telling you as a friend. It’s out of control now. I can tell.”
He’s lucky he didn’t get a pitcher of Mr. Pinky thrown in his face. But Katie handles the nasty moment with grace before tearing up recounting the conversation to Lisa, who is furious.
“You are my most beautiful girl in the restaurant. I swear to you. Don’t ever let anyone tell you otherwise,” Lisa says.
In a confessional, Katie reveals that she’s struggled with her confidence for a while: Eight years ago, she fell 25 feet through a skylight, down a flight of stairs. In a video filmed after the incident, her jaw is wired shut, she’s missing teeth, and there’s a gash in her chin that fans will recognize as the source of her scar — which she’s declined to get removed by a plastic surgeon as a badge of honor after this life-changing accident.
“Everything’s been put in perspective,” she says in the video. “When you cheat death, you can’t help but look at thing differently.”
Later, she recounts Kevin’s comments to her friends: “I’ve worked really hard on positive body image and accepting myself and also trying to be healthy and trying to be more in shape and feel good. So it’s a bit of a slap in the face.”
Earlier, Stassi meets up with transgender advocate Billie Lee for her podcast, Straight Up with Stassi, but the hostess reveals that Ariana, Scheana Maria and Lala Kent warned her about participating in the project due to Stassi’s allegedly bigoted comments in a past episode about Black Lives Matter.
“I hope you school Stassi’s ass on her privilege, because this bitch actually takes pride in being ignorant,” Ariana had told Billie.
Stassi cries and removes her lashes, an action that will be repeated once more this episode. Billie lights some sage, though, and all is well. She doesn’t even confront the women at Lisa’s party later — a true sign that 2018 Stassi has come pretty far from fleeing SUR in tears in the middle of a shift.
“I have to say, I’m pretty f—ing proud of myself, because this is like the first time I’ve ever put work ahead of my feelings,” she tells the camera. “Is this what it’s like to grow up?”
Also in the episode, there’s a fire at SUR (but everyone is okay), and Tom Schwartz‘s triplet brothers leave swampy Florida for the big city, getting Hollywood makeovers by resident men’s fashion guru Tom Sandoval. Then, there’s Jax.
On the one hand, he’s making progress in his therapy and reiki sessions, even asking his coach to call him his real name: Jason. It’s a touching moment that suggests he, too, has grown, and he traces his seemingly compulsive need to lie back to his early modeling days, when he tried to dazzle the industry with stories.
Except … earlier in the episode, Jax is late for his shift at Lisa’s party because he’s getting a haircut, leaving Stassi, Ariana and Lisa herself in the lurch. She’s livid and sends her son Max to bartend instead, kicking him out of the event. But he isn’t fazed: “It’s a bunch of rich people coming for free drinks. I think it’ll be okay.”
Lisa, the patron saint of SURvers in need of second chances, has had enough.
RELATED VIDEO: Jax Taylor Admits He’s Seeing A Life Coach After Cheating On Girlfriend
“You need to leave right now … you’re an ungrateful asshole,” she says. “Go home. Get out of my face.”
“Okay, it’s fine,” Jax says.
I don’t know, Jason. Based on Lisa’s expression, it probably isn’t.
Vanderpump Rules airs Mondays at 9 p.m. ET on Bravo.