Vanderpump Rules is essentially Succession for stupid people. Well, stupider people. It’s a bunch of morons sitting around a table currying favor with an aging sovereign whom these talentless nobodies have clung to for years for fame, fortune, and excellent skincare regimens. However, Shiv Roy would never be caught dead with the parakeet talon manicures that Scheana No Tea No Shay sports on a regular basis. Also, on both shows, it’s just a bunch of horrible people doing horrible things to each other, and just as soon as you think you can root for someone, they go and do something so reprehensible it makes you want to rinse out your eyeholes with that organic Windex that Jessica Alba sells at Whole Foods.
In this episode, of course, the main offenders are Brock, Scheana, Lala, and Sandoval, but first, we need to talk about Raquel, a scrunchie-flavored La Croix. I have been on a real roller-coaster ride with her this season, and I would err on the side of saying that I (gulp) like her now. But then she goes and does things like her nose-job exercises in the mirror, which she has to do 14 times a day, and, well, she’s just begging for me to make fun of her. What does Lala always say? Don’t poke the bear? Raquel is not only poking the bear, she is also writing its jokes and giving it a treat before leading it back into hibernation.
Then I also love Raquel for trying to make DJ James Kennedy confront his anger issues even after he and Max made up after their “fight.” She suggests that he take a boxing class, which is very convenient because they’re meeting Robbie, the Irish boxing trainer, in the park the next day. (Um, and we can’t get Robbie’s last name or IG handle? Some of us want to go peep those shirtless pics, and by some of us, I mean me, Sandoval, and Schwartz.) She also suggests that maybe he should go to AA, and he says no because he still smokes pot because he’s such a “high-energy person” that he needs it to bring him down. Um, that is the exact definition of self-medication. Maybe go see a professional so that you can get on something that will even you out without leading to intoxication? I don’t know — just a healthy suggestion.
Next, we need a quick check-in on Charli, who is no longer a missing person. She did show up at Lala’s “girls’ night” party in her backyard, but all Charli did was eat her own food slathered in hot sauce and didn’t say anything. At this point, she’s like Shelly Miscavige, popping up her head just long enough so that we think she’s still alive. Charli, blink twice if you need me to call the Los Angeles County Department for Child and Reality-Star Welfare Services.
Now onto the Idiot Roys, who basically sat around arguing about whether we should be concerned with the fact that Scheana’s fiancé, Brock, has a history of spousal abuse, not paying child support, and running out on his children. He’s like the Olestra. Yeah, it may be good now, but you know that there is the possibility of anal leakage at any moment, so your sphincter is just tight all the time. In the last episode, we didn’t get Brock’s explanation, just Lala telling us what he told her in a private conversation off-camera and Scheana glaring at Lala uncomfortably across Lisa Vanderpump’s tea cozies.
In the fallout from that, Scheana goes over to Lala’s to sit by the hot tub, and Lala still wants, what, a Burger King crown or something for telling Scheana to be careful with this man? She and Katie, I think rightfully, are the ones who seem concerned that if Brock has done all of this in the past, he will do it again. I am definitely on team caution, but I see what the other ladies are thinking. Raquel thinks that Brock has been tried once and shouldn’t be tried again, and Ariana thinks her friend is in a good place and that she’s good until that good place changes. If it does change, then out come the pitchforks. Yes, I am with Ariana on that, but how do we know when the situation changes? It’s not as if Scheana is known for being honest about how awful the men she’s with really are.
Scheana thinks her friends shouldn’t question her judgment. She says, “I wouldn’t have had a baby with him if I thought he was an awful person.” Yeah, but how many women get into relationships with men who are abusive because they think that they’re like Stanley Kowalski in the middle of a ’roid rage? I mean, has she even seen Dirty John? I think, of all people, Scheana’s judgment should be questioned and that her friends should be worried. Those are good friends, especially because Scheana’s a fool. She is trying to change the perception of how Brock treats her. How? With a vlog. Oh yeah, a vlog. Because YouTube is known as a truth-telling and trustworthy medium. Like any of us believe the things that we see on social media. Brock can make all the pies he wants; it’s not going to delete the truth.
This is all a lead-up to the big dinner at Lisa’s, where they will try some new cocktails for the Tom Tom menu. As soon as Brock arrives, he says to Lisa, a woman he has never previously met, “Can I talk to you for a minute?” Yes, this is big Cousin Greg energy right here. He then gives a speech about how he’s learned from all his mistakes, as if hitting your former partner is like getting too many speeding tickets.
Brock takes Lisa aside and explains his side of the story, and it’s basically, “Yeah, I did it. But that was a long time ago, and I won’t do it again.” He tells us that, yes, he slapped his former partner when they were 19, but she didn’t press charges against him until he fought with her father, and they wanted to get rid of him. He says he appealed the charges and they were dropped. Okay, that’s good, but you still slapped her. I have had some barn-burning fights with my husband, but never has one of us thought about hitting the other. Even when I was a teen, I would never think of doing that. If Brett Kavanaugh can be held accountable for things he did at that age, then Brock should be too. Oh wait, maybe that’s … Yeah, scrap that.
Anyway, Brock ends up in tears talking about all this, and Lisa says, “It’s okay. Real men cry.” Yeah, but real men also don’t hit their partners, so dot dot dot.
When it comes up again at the group dinner, Lala is all bent out of shape that things are awkward between her and Scheana. Sandoval, who never met a shouty man he didn’t defend, says Lala is the aggressor but acts like she’s the victim. He’s not wrong. She is the one who continues to bring this up, and she was shocked that everyone wasn’t like, “Yeah, you’re right. Scheana should just leave this dude,” as soon as she started talking about it. She’s pissed that she’s being made to look like the bad guy when she’s doing the right thing. I think she is doing the right thing, but needing validation is not the motivation to do it. At some point, Scheana needs to be left to make her own mistakes, and Lala needs to recognize that.
Sandoval, who told both Lisa and Lala to shut the fuck up, isn’t entirely right, but Lala started screaming at him before he could even make his point. She was yelling at him for comparing Randall to Brock, but based on what he said to Tom earlier, that wasn’t even his intention. He was going to compare Brock lying to Scheana to Lala lying about Randall. Still not great, but not what she thought. If you’re going to shout at Sandoval, shout at him for being the asshole he is, not the asshole you think he’s going to be.
Maybe Lala should, I don’t know, listen to someone else for a change and not always be on the defensive. Even when she apologizes to Ariana, she is like, “Yeah, I blow up all the time. I’m over it.” That’s no way to treat humans in this world, even if you are right. Maybe, I don’t know, talk to someone about it. Take James with you. Maybe get a Groupon. I don’t know. I’m trying to sort through my own shit here, and it’s Daylight Savings Time. I can’t be expected to save all of you.
The dinner ends on a sour note, and not the sour notes of Schwartz’s watermelon margarita, which everyone loves. How is it possible that Sandoval, like Azealia Banks in a Twitter feud, never quite understands the assignment? Lisa wants to simplify the menu for the new reality where the bar does not have enough staff. Sandoval shows up with a cocktail that takes 95 ingredients to make, has smoke coming out of the top of it, and smells like a campfire, as if that is something that anyone would want in their mouth. Lisa says Schwartz’s cocktail is going on the menu and Sandoval’s is not. She doesn’t need to tell us why.
I firmly believe that life is better with editors, and Sandoval, more than anyone, needs an editor. I don’t know if the boys’ new partner, Greg, will be that editor. They meet with him at Schwartz and Sandy’s space, and Greg wants them to cook all of their ideas down to a nice, spicy reduction. Once Greg leaves them alone in their empty bar, Sandoval is ranting about all the lighting he wants to do, all the ideas he wants to impose, how he wants the space to be secluded and communal at the same time. As all of this is happening, Schwartz doesn’t know how to stop it, this never-ending cascade of bad ideas.
Eventually, he walks up to Sandoval and puts his mouth over his partner’s. Their arms instinctively latch around each others’ chests, muscle grating on muscle as their bodies and breaths and thoughts merge into one. Suddenly their hands are everywhere, their clothes becoming messy, their embrace more and more frantic. They only break long enough to kick off their shoes (easy because Schwartz is wearing sliders) and rip off their pants. There they are, both of them about a meter apart, naked from the waist down, at attention, breathing heavily, and staring into each other’s eyes. It’s hard to tell if they’re about to fuck or about to start some weird game of gay naked Mortal Kombat. “I’ll never say no to you,” Schwartz says as they once again lunge for each other, their heads filling with something much more impure than ideas.