Lisa Vanderpump is a master of reality television and, yet again this episode, she shows us how. She and the Toms are opening Tom Tom for the first time for the DailyMailTV party. Lisa tells the Toms that they can’t invite all of their friends. James has been contracted as the DJ, Lala will be working the door, Peter is running around as a manager, and the Toms are serving as the venue’s spirit animals. Katie and Ariana are invited, obviously, as the significant others of the Toms, and Stassi is there for some reason. However, Lisa puts her foot down and says that they can’t invite Kristen.
I love how Lisa pretends that this party is an actual thing and not an annual event held just so that the kids on this show can yell at each other about their “summer bodies” over cocktails in deceptively thick plastic cocktail tumblers. This isn’t an actual party, it is reality-television spon-con. They should have to call it the DailyMailTV Hashtag-Ad-Hashtag-Sponsored Party. Essentially the entire cast of the show is going to be there, regardless of if it’s their party or not, but not Kristen.
Why is this a masterstroke? Because Lisa knows that she is going to get way more good television out of Kristen sulking at home with her bearded boyfriend Carter than she ever would if Kristen actually showed up at the party. Those pouts are the most work that Kristen has done on this show in two seasons. She used to be so central and vital and now all she does is wear dresses with asymmetrical shoulders to events and blend into the background, only emerging when she has something awful to say about DJ James Kennedy.
Kristen, who got all dolled up to go to the party before being disinvited like she’s Kevin Hart at a PFLAG convention, then sits at home and wonders why Lisa is “obsessed” with her. I hate when people say that. It’s the same as when people say that their haters are “jealous.” No, they are neither of those things. They just don’t like you. They think that you are just a rainbow puddle of gray water, oil, and antifreeze in a Ralph’s parking lot and they would rather totally avoid you than get that particular stain all over their brand new dusty-rose Uggs.
Most of the episode is about the opening of Tom Tom, which we’ll get to in a minute, but first we have to talk about a fight that James has with Raquel, a Maroon 5 halftime show. She gets very upset at him that he wants to be friends with Lala again even after she called her a “twat,” something she wonderfully and half-heartedly apologized for last episode while wearing roller skates. Then she tells him that she wants to go to “Girls’ Night Out,” the party that Katie, Ariana, Brittany, Scheana, and Lala are throwing at SUR to replace James’s See You Next Tuesday. I know she hates it when people call her dumb, but, seriously, how did she think this was going to fly?
James then gets entirely unhinged about the whole thing and is weeping with snot coming out of his nose and tells Tom Schwartz that he is decidedly not freaking out. This is sort of like when your friend who just stumbled into a bodega knocking 16 cartons of instant ramen on the floor and slurring about how he loves everyone tells you that he certainly is not at all drunk.
This really just shows to me that these two are in a relationship of convenience. James needs a hot piece and Raquel, a lip kit with only one color repeated nine different times, needs a reason to be on a reality-television program. This is almost like Scheana trying to get everyone to talk about her and Adam. As soon as she sits down for coffee with Lala she’s like, “What has no one told you about me and Adam?” No, Scheana. No one cares about you and Adam. No one is talking about it. No one is even sure if Adam is a real person or sex doll that she made out of leftover lo mein noodles.
The rest of the episode is really just everyone worrying that Tom Tom will not be ready for the party and, clearly, it is not. The venue has no running water, no electricity, no kitchen, no mixers, nowhere for DJ James Kennedy to DJ, no ice machine, no uniforms, no toilet seats, and no weird chickpea juice to put in the vegan cocktails which, let’s be honest, no one really cares that much about anyway.
There are also no contracts. That is the shadiest part of the whole episode: Lisa gets all mad that the Toms wanted to have a “term sheet” with her about what is expected of them and how much of a payout of the bar they are going to get. She’s like, “I’d rather do this with a handshake because a business partnership comes down to trust.” Yeah, she’s not wrong, but I’m not going to trust anyone to do right by me in business unless that shit is in writing. Do you think Lisa makes a paid appearance at an opening of dog boutique without getting something in writing? Like hell she does! To try to make the Toms look bad because they’re doing their due diligence is not a cute look at all.
But the cutest looks I’ve ever seen are Tom and Tom in their matching navy blue suits with palm-tree–print shirts and matching Tom Tom necklaces, which were like a butch nod to Carrie Bradshaw’s famous nameplate necklace. We even get some half-naked Schwartzie action this episode and it’s all I could have possibly wanted out of life.
As for Tom Tom, it is fine. It’s just fine inside. (Contrary to what I reported in last week’s recap, the picture of them kissing is still up. My brother and sister-in-law, Andy and Kate, even sent me photographic evidence to rub my incorrect nose in it. Now I’m going to have to return my Pulitzers I won for Accuracy in Real Housewives Recappery.) It sort of just looks like every other bar in West Hollywood except it has the clockwork machinery of a Teddy Ruxpin’s belly on its wall. Lala says it is “chic AF.” Tom Tom is many things, but chic is not one of them. Those dowdy chandeliers are not chic. Turquoise as an accent color is not chic. A steampunk art installation is not chic. All of these things are the opposite of chic. They are le freak.
The party goes off without a hitch, and by without a hitch I mean that Katie gets to party downstairs while her nemesis James is upstairs DJing in a closet perched on a stack of Ultra Quilted Northern with an oscillating fan blowing on him. I feel like every one of James’s gigs should be performed as such.
Downstairs, Lisa gets a little bit drunker than we’ve ever seen her. She’s heavy-lidded with a crooked smile and is basically telling the Toms that she loves them and it’s like watching your Aunt Rose at every family wedding except she hasn’t fallen into the chocolate fountain and tried to wipe her face off with one of her opera gloves.
That was such a great moment that the Toms went back to where the kitchen was going to be and just hugged each other intensely. Tom Schwartz could feel his mate’s heart beating quickly under his firm, toned chest. He broke from their embrace slightly so he could stare into the blue pools of his eyes. Schwartz couldn’t believe what was happening. He was finally an adult and he had this beautiful, handsome man in front of him to thank for it all. It was overwhelming for both of them.
Most of all Schwartz wanted to calm him down. He ran his hand along Sandoval’s closely shaved forehead and then down his stubbly cheek. Sandoval turned into the caress, wanting the skin-on-skin contact with Schwartz, wanting to rip his clothes off and just have their naked, sweaty bodies heaving together in that boiling hole in their restaurant where a kitchen soon would be. Finally Schwartz put his forehead on Sandoval’s and said, “Do you want to do Oms?”
“Sure,” Sandoval said. “But that’s not really the hummer I’m thinking about right now.”