The Valley Recap Episode One: The Concrete Jungle

March 22, 2024

Move over Manhattan, according to Kristen Doute Los Angeles is the concrete jungle. The long awaited Vanderpump Rules spinoff is here. It’s not officially a spinoff, however let’s be honest, it is. With familiar faces such as Jax Taylor, Brittany Cartwright, and Kristen Doute, as well as some unfamiliar faces, The Valley is here. Let’s take a look at the new faces, before we deep dive into tonight's Valley recap episode.

Credit: Photographing Travis

Jesse & Michelle

Jesse is married to Michelle, and they share a kid together. It’s explained that Jesse met Jax when they were just 23 years old and working as models. He also has a touch of Jax season one VPR energy, which is…not great. It’s hard to take this couple seriously, as they already announced their separation ahead of the shows’ premiere. It’s not surprising though, as later in the episode Michelle explains to the girls that she had always done 98% of the parenting, even going as far as sleeping in a different room for the first year after giving birth so as not to disturb Jesse’s sleep. Jesse also tells Jax that he doesn't think he’s evolved as a father. Yeah, I can already tell Jesse will not be a fan favorite.

Danny & Nia

 

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A post shared by Nia Sanchez (@realniasanchez)

Danny is a self proclaimed working actor. He appeared decades ago on a couple Nickelodeon shows, and currently works out of his closet as a voice actor. He seems harmless enough so far, definitely nowhere near Jesse territory. Nia was Miss USA, so of course, she’s gorgeous. The couple share three children under two, as they say often. Time will tell with this couple. Overall they seem like the real deal, if not a bit too camera ready.

Janet & Jason

 

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A post shared by Jason P. Caperna (@jasonpcaperna)

So far my favorite couple is Janet and Jason. Janet may seem familiar to longtime VPR viewers, as she is good friends with much of the cast from that show as well. They also live down the street from Jax and Brittany. Not only is Jason the hottest guy on the show, he also seems the most mature and level headed. Janet, who was pregnant at the time of filming,  also seems down to earth, and you actually believe their relationship is full of love. This is only episode one though, so time will tell.

Then you have the two resident singles of the group. Zack & Jasmine

 

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A post shared by Jasmine Goode (@jasminegoode_)

 

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A post shared by Zack Wickham (@zackwickham)

Let’s see if I get this right. So Jasmine used to work at SUR, which brings her into the world of Kristen, Brittany and Jax. And Zack is Brittany’s best friend from Kentucky. Also,  Kristen claims in this episode to have stolen him away from Brittany as her best friend. Zack and Jasmine also live in the same apartment building….which Janet used to live in as well as one point. It seems everyone really is connected in some way.

Colorado Luke

Luke Broderick is another cast member. He is Kristen Doute’s current boyfriend and potential future baby daddy. Despite living full time in Colorado, he and Kristen are moving fast and planning a future together. Luke seems quiet so far. Either that makes him a great match to balance Kristen out, or it makes for future ex boyfriend material. Only time will tell on that one.

Let’s Get Into It

The opening scene of The Valley is Kristen talking to Luke about the best ways to knock her up. This seems to be a running theme of the episode, and I have a feeling it will be the whole season as well. Then we move over to catch up with Jax and Brittany. It seems that while Brittany’s face is currently bandaged up due to a “turkey gobbler liposuction”, she warns Jax that she won’t be giving any blow jobs any time soon. It’s also worth noting that in the preview for the upcoming season, Brittany is complaining that Jax doesn’t find her attractive and they don’t have sex. They also announced their separation ahead of the premiere. So is this lack of BJ talk foreshadowing, or simply a mere coincidence?

We then head over to Kristen’s apartment, which Luke is staying for the whole summer while he’s in LA from Colorado. Fun fact, it’s the same apartment building that none other than Katie Maloney lives in. I wonder if like Lala and Scheana this episode, we will get any Katie appearances.

So in Kristen’s, and I guess sometimes Luke’s apartment, they are unpacking and discussing the how and why of moving in there. At one point Kristen owned an adorable home in the valley. After a short time of living there she sold the home, hence living in the apartment currently. Kristen claims in this scene that she sold the house because her ex-boyfriend told her to, and had her move into his house. I’m sure it had nothing to do with her firing from VPR and subsequent loss of income. After only five months of living with her ex, she claims they broke up and he kicked her out. It was only two weeks after that breakup that she met Luke at a mutual friend’s wedding. Another fun fact, the mutual friend is Rachael O'Brien, who also made appearances on VPR. Kristen explains their meet-cute as “we met and then had sex behind a tent and the rest was history.” Ok then, cheers you two.

 

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A post shared by Jesse Lally (@jesselally)

Moving On..

Later on in the episode, Jesse is at home with Michelle, trying to get her to drink champagne with him at 9:50 am. He makes it known that they don’t live in the valley like everyone else, but in a place behind the Chateau Marmont . He makes that statement as if it’s supposed to mean something envious. It’s also stated here that Jesse and Michelle work together in real estate, and this just makes me feel even worse for Michelle. Knowing their separation is coming, it seems like it will be a messy break. 

In a later scene, Kristen is meeting up at a bar with Zack and Jasmine. This is Jasmine’s only scene this episode but I pray that we see more of her. As Kristen is talking about her and Luke’s plans for procreation, Jasmine speaks for viewers in her confessional by describing Luke as “sort of vanilla.” It seems we’re not the only ones who barely know who Luke is, the cast also doesn’t really seem to know. I just hope Kristen does. It’s said that Luke owns 70 acres of land in Colorado, where he lives full time. It’s only if and when Kristen gets pregnant that he will move out to Los Angeles. That seems like an interesting plan for the future.

 

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A post shared by Zack Wickham (@zackwickham)

Over at Nia and Danny’s apartment, Brittany and Michelle bring their kiddos over for some girl chatting. Nia, who is currently breastfeeding her twins as her barely two year old is running around, is giving Brittany baby fever. Funny, that has the opposite effect on me, but I digress. She also tells/brags to the girls that Danny wakes up constantly throughout the night to change diapers. Meanwhile, Michelle then tells the girls that she never has any help from Jesse when it comes to parenting. She also tells them that they slept apart for a year so Jesse didn’t have to be bothered waking up with the baby throughout the night. If it wasn’t evident yet, Jesse is the worst. 

Boys Will Be Boys

As the girls are chatting away, the boys are virtually golfing away. As if to prove that they are all really grown up now and doing grown up man things. During this scene, it is evident that Jax doesn’t like Luke, as Luke has to ask Jax to unblock him. To be fair Luke, Jax blocks everyone. While Jason describes Luke as quiet in his confession, Jesse describes him as a straight up rebound. While I can’t stand Jesse already, and hate to agree with him, their relationship does fit the definition of a rebound. As Jax puts it, “99% of his life is in Colorado and he’s trying to get Kristen pregnant.” I really hate that I have to agree with Jax and Jesse for these statements. And speaking of Luke getting Kristen pregnant, he explains it as they “pulled out the goalie.” Ok then. Jax is talking to Luke and the guys, and states that having a kid “out of wedlock” isn’t smart because things can happen. First, are we still saying out of wedlock? Second, your wife just left you and took your kid Jax, so it seems having a kid in or out of wedlock doesn’t really seem to matter.

Brittany decides to throw Janet a county fair themed birthday party at her and Jax’s house. While sitting down at Janet and Jason’s house going over party details, Jax once again brings up Luke and Kristen’s relationship. While he points out the obvious, yet again, Brittany is, as usual, diplomatic. Down to earth and nice guy Jason states that he thinks Kristen would make a great mom, as she is a great and loving friend. We also get some behind the scenes info that Kristen was the one who filmed his proposal to Janet. Self proclaimed “never wrong about these things” Jax claims that Kristen jumped into this relationship with Luke just two weeks after ending her last relationship, and that he predicts it won’t last. Jax states he’s just being protective but the more he constantly rambles to anyone and everyone about this topic, the more it seems he’s hoping their relationship ends just so he can gloat and say I told you so. That’s not tough love Jax, that’s being a dick.

 

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A post shared by Zack Wickham (@zackwickham)

The day of the party, Kristen, Luke and Zack all arrive. For some reason, Zack is wearing a long blonde wig. At the party we find out that:

  • Jax doesn’t know Luke’s last name
  • Jesse hates theme parties, and Jax & Britt have a storage unit dedicated to all their theme decorations
  • Much like on RHOBH and Annemarie talking about Sutton’s esophagus to everyone and anyone in ear shot, Jax is talking to anyone and everyone about Kristen and Luke’s relationship.
  • Jax, who declares 50 times a day that he is a “changed man”, also complains that Danny mentions his three kids too much.

The Terrible Twosome

During a scene where Jax and Jesse are off in a corner discussing relationships, Jesse confides to Jax that he and Michelle have been fighting a lot lately, and that he doesn’t think Michelle is happy. When Jax asks if he thinks they would ever separate, Jesse responds that Michelle has threatened it. It’s just really hard to feel bad for Jesse. Maybe if he changed a diaper or two and didn’t pinch his wife’s friend’s nipple things would be different. 

Familiar faces Lala, Scheana, and Brock all arrive at the party. While Jax is in the kitchen talking to the guys about…you guessed it…Kristen and Luke, Lala and Scheana overhear and send Kristen right over. Jax is very condescending to Kristen, saying things like “having a kid isn’t like having a dog,” and asking “are you mentally there to have a child?” Enter the voice of reason Jason, who asked if anyone is ever ready to have a child. Jax won’t stop though, and he brings up that he’s just trying to be a friend. When Kristen explains that with her ex she knew that she wanted to have a baby, just not with him, Jax quickly cuts her off to explain, in gross detail, how Kristen told everyone exactly how she wanted her ex to get her pregnant. Again, why Jax won’t just shut up about being a good friend and actually just be a good friend is beyond me. He’s masquerading belittling as tough love. Also Jax, those in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones and everyone knows your marriage was hanging on by a thread before you even walked down the aisle.

 

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A post shared by Jax (@mrjaxtaylor)

Also worth mentioning, this county fair themed birthday party also has tattoo artists. As Lala is getting her tattoo, Kristen and Jesse are waiting in line, arguing over who is going to go next. Kristen then twists Jesse’s nipple, which causes him to quickly react and twist hers. Then Kristen claims in her confession that how dare Jesse touch her nipple as she is great friends with his wife, Michelle. Which is true..but didn’t you also touch your great friend’s husband's nipple first? Not saying it’s ok because honestly, screw Jesse.

Coming To An End

As the episode comes to an end, the ever so mature and grown up Jax decides to pants Danny as he and Nia and he are about to take a picture. As it’s a pool party, Danny is wearing a bathing suit. I.E, no underwear. He is exposed, and Nia walks off crying. No, this is not Vanderpump Rules season one. Jax then apologizes, gets dunked in the water booth, and all is well. Until next week…

Some final thoughts on Episode One:

  • Jason and Janet are the best
  • Luke looks like a Christian missionary
  • Jesse is the worst. And with Jax on the show that says a lot
  • Zack has the voice of a dubbed and blurred out interviewee in a murder doc
  • Need more Jasmine

What did you think of The Valley Ep. 1?
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In addition to this post on The Valley recap, you can click here to read about Jax and Brittany’s house, and also about their separation here.

We hope you enjoyed the episode one recap of The Valley. Don't forget to leave your thoughts and comments below, and check out our front page for more articles like this one. We regularly share content on luxury, real estate, and celebrity homes across all our social media platforms, including Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, TikTok, and YouTube. Be sure to follow us on each of these for more captivating content.

Julie Bowes
Meet Julie, the creative Head of Content at Urban Splatter. Since her move from the East Coast to Los Angeles in 2017, she's been bringing the world of celebrity real estate to life through her engaging articles. Julie has honed her passion for storytelling into a thriving full-time career, producing innovative content ideas and contributing to multiple websites. With a self-published book and several novels to her name, she's continuously expanding her horizons in the freelance writing sphere.

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