So, uh, have you read any good news stories lately?
But we’re not really here to talk about the #Scandoval of it all. No, we’re here to talk about this episode, which was filmed before we found out about Tom Sandoval and Raquel Leviss’s alleged affair. (The lawyers said I have to put in “alleged” before every instance of “affair.”) This is a recap, and we should talk about the episode, right? But after everything we’ve seen and heard the past week, that’s all you can think about when watching the episode.
One of the first scenes features Raquel and her new friend Ariana shopping for swimsuits for their Vegas/Lake Havasu trip. When Raquel tells Katie that she asked to make out with Schwartz again, Ariana asks, “Am I mad at Raquel for the first time?” Oh, sis, it may be the first time, but (pulls out crystal ball) it will not be the last! Then Raquel tells Ariana she was upset seeing how Katie reacted to the news that she asked Schwartz to swap spit. Um, she thinks that is bad. Just imagine how Ariana reacted when seeing dirty videos of her on Tom’s phone. (The lawyer called again. Add an “allegedly.”)
Katie and Charli go on a hike, and they hate it. Charli, who only had pasta for the first time in 2021, says, “We should have gone to McDonald’s.” This is literally how every single hike I have ever been on ends. Anyway, they start talking about who is invited to the girls’ trip to Vegas, and Scheana is not because she asked Schwartz and Raquel if they wanted to make out. So Raquel, who actually asked him to make out, is invited, but Scheana is not because … why? Oh, because she and Katie hate each other, that’s why.
But Charli and Katie are talking about Raquel’s invite, and Katie says, regarding her and Schwartz, “I really like Raquel, so I’m giving her the opportunity to show that this isn’t indicative of who she is.” Oh, you mean that she’s someone who will totally take your man while you’re at home dealing with a dying pet? Oh no, that’s not Raquel at all. She is so much different from that.
Then there is James’s mother, who says she’s glad that James and Ally met in an “organic way,” rather than someone’s family member bringing them in to meet the DJ like how he met Raquel. It’s insinuating that she was only dating James to get on the show, which, duh. But I think we all fell for Raquel’s sort of stupid, doe-eyed persona. She was playing the long game, and it was to get way more famous than she could handle. Mission accomplished, Rachel. But, to James’s mother’s point, he met Ally when her friend dragged her to one of James’s gigs, opening for Tom Sandoval. So what? Does that mean that Ally will sleep with the ghost of Jax Taylor or something next?
Speaking of falling for Raquel’s innocent act — I mean, I called her a Bonnie Bell Lip Smacker that got stuck in the bottom of your Badtz Maru pencil case for years! — Kristina Kelly isn’t buying it for even one second. “She acts like a baby, but that’s an insult to babies.” I mean, after last week, that hits so much harder.
Then there is Ariana’s storyline, where she has to return early from Vegas to say good-bye to her beloved dog, Charlotte. The news understandably devastates her, and Sandoval picks her up at the airport to take her right to the vet. “I just need to be there in any way I can,” he says. “She’s my girl.” Um, is she? Is she, though? Because, um, it sure looks like he’s been fancying Raquel since about this time right now.
Every one of the stories on this week’s episode has to be totally reimagined and recontextualized based on what we know was really happening behind the scenes back then. The only thing that seems to escape its touch is what is going on with Lisa and Ken getting back into business with Tom and Tom. Lisa and Ken are sitting around Villa Rosa, the tea section of Harrods if it came alive at night like the lady in Mannequin, playing with their adorable grandson and looking as cute as can be. They then start worrying about their other babies, the Toms, and how they can help them open their restaurant.
Lisa says they need $200,000 to $300,000 to buy out Greg and get Schwartz & Scandoval’s open, but then Lisa says she doesn’t want a 30 percent stake in a business with the two of them at the helm. Um, Lisa, you created this monster! You made them think they were business owners for the show and now they really are, and you have to deal with the demon manifestation you created. Anyway, they visit Schwartz and Sandy and tell them that if they need the $100,000 they put into TomTom back as a sort of bridge loan, they can repay them in a year. It’s a nice gesture, but I actually agree with Sandoval on this one; they put in way more sweat equity than just that investment. People are going there to see them and they made it a success. That has to be worth a few hundred Gs.
Suddenly, though, this story line looks a lot more, shall we say, “produced” than before. What else about this season is produced? Is the whole Raquel and Schwartz thing a ruse to misdirect us while something naughtier is going on? And what about the girls’ trip to Vegas? Very conveniently their waiter is Oliver, Garcelle Beauvais’s sexy son who Erika Jayne couldn’t stop lusting over on the last season of RHOBH. Oh, and look, Lala and Raquel are fighting over him. Oh look, an hour after they leave Pump á Paris, Oliver is at the club with a whole crew dressed for a night out. Did he know this was going to happen? Who knows? (I know. He did. This was all set up.)
We learn a few very sad facts about Lala in this episode. Like she has not had sex since 2020. Oh, Lala. You have awakened into a brand-new world. I don’t know if you listen to Nicki Minaj, but I think she said the Moderna shot gave every dude an extra two inches down there, so you are about to get that back broken so hard you will be in traction until Tom Sandoval releases his 20th apology. (That is about two days from now.) When they get to the club, she wants to bone Oliver, but then Raquel swoops in and is like, “He’s so hot. Can I go for it?” Lala gives her blessing but wants us all to know that she bowed out. If it were a competition, she would have won.
But then, what is Raquel’s motivation? Is she doing this for clout because she knew that making out with Oliver Beauvais would get her screen time? Is she doing this to cover up for her and Sandoval? Is she really just having a good time and wants to make out with a hot guy? Did she have to go for Lala’s because she likes taking other women’s men? It sure does seem like a pattern. And there were plenty of hot guys there. Even Katie Maloney Schwartz flirted with a sexy ex-Navy hipster covered in tattoos with a mustache and semi-ironic aviator sunglasses. Um, get with this dude, Katie! I want to see much, much, much, much, much, much more of him. Preferably in my bedroom. Okay, thanks!
While all the girls were in Vegas, Sandoval dropped Ariana back home after the vet and said he needed to go out for a bit. He drove by Schwartz’s apartment, knowing he wouldn’t be home. He let himself in with his key and avoided the half-unpacked boxes, cigarette butts, beer cans, and gaming controllers like he was on a Fraternity X video set. (Straights! Do not Google that!) He had a little plan. Schwartz would be home soon, and he wanted to give him a surprise.
Sandoval stripped off all of his clothes and put them in a pile on the floor, not that you would even notice considering the ample amount of mess around it. He sat down on the couch facing the door so that as soon as Tom arrived home, he would have a surprise. He manspread on that couch and took matters into his own hands, fluffing himself to attention with a hand motion that looked like he was rolling dice. He sat and stared at the door, the random $20 bills magnetized to the fridge, and the place on the wall where a Bubba painting used to be. Finally, he was at three-quarters mast, and he could hear the key turning in the lock. Schwartz burst through the door, and you could see a cloud of shock rumble along his face.
“Dude!” he shouted. “Raquel????!!!!!!!!!”