The best part of this crusty porridge slog of an episode was that we learned Ariana and Sandoval have an ice maker in their kitchen. If there is anything I have learned in all of my summers in Fire Island (other than that the only way to calm down an unruly group of male homosexuals is to sing the Golden Girls theme song) is that every kitchen needs both an ice maker and two dishwashers. Yes, it seems ridiculous, but if you are ever going to have more than four guests at your house, both are essential. You think that you will never use them, that it is a waste of space and electricity, and you are more wrong than wearing stripes and plaid to Kyle Richards’ White Party.
The other great thing about this episode was that we got a little snippet of Charli waiting tables as she serves up a plate of SUR’s infamous goat cheese balls. (Warning: Anyone eating at SUR does so at their own risk and Dame Brian Moylan, the Real Housewives Institute, and its subsidiaries cannot be held liable for any choking, vomiting, leaky bowels, or other digestive distress that might be caused.) She doesn’t know that they come in Mango Sauce and has to go look on her phone for what the condiment is. This isn’t so crazy on its own, but it did make me realize that Charli is a waitress who, by her own admission, has never tried any foods. How does she recommend things? “OH, I don’t know if that rigatoni is any good, but I hear it’s delicious from people.” That’s sort of like having full-body alopecia and deciding to open a hair salon.
Other than that it was just another episode of people getting wasted at an antiseptic house in Valley Village at a party with a really lame theme. This one was Man of Mystery/Femme Fatale and it was at the Maloney-Schwartz residence, which I’m sure does not have an ice maker in the kitchen and seems like it is always a little bit messy even when the cleaner was just there. There were some apologies and some fights and some movement on Schwartz & Sandies, but much like Scheana’s baby Wheatgrass Shot, I would just prefer to sleep through the entire proceedings.
What are the other good parts? Oh, Brock doing Barre Method and saying that it’s, “a combination of ballet and torture,” which is a pretty funny line for an Australian block of American cheese carved into a man. I will say I loved Brock and his new mustache and his too-large ass in a pair of too-small workout pants. If I was Charli, that would be the first exotic food I tried, the deadliest cakes in all of Australia.
Since we’re getting all pervy and sexual, I completely support Charli’s idea of all of the women of the group selling pictures of their feet to earn money for Raquel’s nose. “Toes for nose” they’re calling it, and you can put me down for one foot picture from each of the ladies and most of the guys in this group. (You just know Sandoval has some weird, craggly, discolored toenails, which I want no part of.) Charli came up with this because she’s obsessed with her profile on Wikifeet and I don’t blame her. I sort of want to be a famous woman just so someone will talk about my insoles. I actually have very attractive feet, but they’re always kept covered. I’m ready to start my Only Fans. The proceeds will go to Raquel’s new nose.
Now that the fun is over, I guess we should talk about what really happens in this episode. James and Raquel, a gluten-free, sugar-free, dairy-free keto seaweed cupcake, are fighting over her nose as if it matters at all. Lala tells James when he goes to visit her that it’s Raquel’s face and she needs to feel beautiful and he just needs to shut up about any and all objections he might have to her and her continued plastic surgery. Yes, as her partner he should be advising her, but ultimately it is her body, her choice, and he just needs to support whatever decision it is that she makes. That is pretty much the end of that discussion.
There is still some residual drama between Lala and Scheana after Lala told the world about all of the reasons that Brock can’t see his kids. They sit down at the Man of Mystery party where they are both wearing only mascara and black blazers to have a little chat. Scheana basically tells Lala that she’s sick of Lala saying shit and then apologizing and her not feeling like Lala really cares about her. I would say that is not only a Scheana sentiment but really the way that all of the cast feels about Lala these days.
After Lala and Scheana hug it out, Lala goes outside to also apologize to Brock and he’s not accepting her apology as easily. He says that he doesn’t want her half-hearted apology where she says awful things, then apologizes, and then blames it on you for messing with her because you should know what you’re going to get. This is how Lala turns her offense (in both senses of the word) into her defense. This is how she allows herself to feel like the victim even when she’s the instigator. It doesn’t seem to be working for her. As Scheana points out, almost all of the women on the show have fallen out with her, but she still keeps coming around. Scheana says it’s because she has no friends. We all know it’s because she has something more powerful than friendship: a contract to stay on this here show.
Schwartz and Sandoval continue to struggle to make their bar happen and Schwartz struggles to keep his boner for Lisa when she puts on the most frightening dog mask I’ve ever seen, and I once took LSD and went to Clifford: Live and On Ice. He tells her how his family is struggling since the pandemmy and he’s trying to give them money but also trying to make this bar happen. Lisa says to put his money into the bar and take care of them later, which isn’t great advice if their lights are about to get shut off.
Lisa does give the pair some great advice when they stop by in their matching Celine (knock-off) sunglasses. They share their mission statement with her, which reads, “Schwartz & Sandy’s is a funkadelic dive lounge where you check your worries at the door and escape reality. We hope to bridge the familiarity with your best night out with the déjà vu of your future fantasy.” Um, yeah. That means nothing. That is just a bunch of adjectives and maybe the plot summary of The Matrix. I’m not sure. Lisa tells them that they need to be more articulate with Greg, their partner. She tells them to explain the color palette they want, the vibe they’re going for, what kind of food they want to serve.
They get to their pitch with Greg, who is wonderfully no-nonsense and doesn’t indulge Sandoval’s steaming cocktail whimsy, and he is unimpressed. That’s because they didn’t take Lisa’s advice. If they’re going to have her advise, then take the advice! Katie is also at the meeting, by her own insistence, and he tells her that she has a better idea of a mission statement than these guys do. Yes, Katie is right, she did not come up with the “word salad” the guys used to bore Greg, but isn’t she a bit out of place? If she is so competent, why isn’t she starting her own bar? It’s like she wants all of the glory but none of the nitty-gritty work. Also, it’s incredibly undermining to her husband to just be like, “All of your ideas are bad” in front of his business partner.
Greg and Katie left the bar, making fun of the boys the whole way to the parking lot, leaving them alone in the cavernous and half-finished space to think about their mission statement. Sandoval was clearly upset, rummaging around the room, slamming empty boxes and knocking cocktail jiggers to the floor. “God, Katie is the worst,” he finally said to Schwartz. “Why does she have to run everything? I’m so mad, I can’t even think about our mission statement.”
“Aw, come on baby, we can figure this out,” Schwartz said. He went behind Sandoval and put his arms around his broad shoulders and solid chest, but Sandoval shrugged him off, still pissed. “Uh oh. I know what you need.” Schwartz spun Sandoval around and started unbuttoning his shirt, even as Sandoval tried to stop him. “Thank you for being a friend,” Schwartz murmured as he got to the final button, pulling out his shirt tails with a flourish. “Travel down the road and back again,” he continued crooning, undoing the button to his pants and unzipping the fly. “Your heart is true”— Schwartz lowered himself to the floor, pulling Sandoval’s jeans and boxer briefs to unleash a monster, throbbing with rage. “You’re a pal and a mmmhhmmmhhmmmmmm.”