My heart goes out to Ms. Lala Kent, a vampire facial in a pair of overpriced high-heeled booties, for not making the New York Times best-sellers list. It’s a very difficult thing to get on and is dependent not only on sales but also on other factors that the Times won’t release. I mean, I made it onto the list at number 15 for one week only to be knocked off by Sinéad O’Connor, so I don’t exactly know what it feels like not to be a New York Times best-selling author, but you know, it must be hard. So, so hard. About as hard as liking Lala this season.
I don’t think that Lala has changed necessarily, but the context around her has shifted. When she was first cast, she was hazed by the Witches of WeHo, who all thought she didn’t belong on their show, and her “man” was just some amorphous rich guy who no one thought would stick around longer than a Land Rover lease. Now, most of those Witches have been fired, Lala is firmly ensconced in the show, and Randall is a real presence with real money and he’s not going anywhere. While her fighting tactics were never great, at least going up against people like Stassi and Katie ginned up some sympathy for her. That sympathy, at least from me, is gone.
Just as the Witches hazed her, she’s now doing the same exact thing to Charli. I’m not sure how the fight that erupted during the cast’s trip to Palm Springs even started. In fact, I have more questions about everything at the end of the episode than Jeff Bezos has cock rings in his bedside drawer. What exactly are Charli’s food issues? What exactly was her punishment for not eating certain things? What were the kind of foods she was supposed to be eating? What does this have to do with pasta or a PB&J, which is, objectively, the best meal on the planet? I’m not trying to pick on Charli, but for her to make such a big deal out of the food thing and then not give much of an explanation seems like how I feel every time the debt ceiling comes back into the news.
So, they’re at dinner in P.S., and James talks about his fight with Max, and everyone is supportive and tells him he can repair their relationship. Lala says everyone is holding him up like a jockstrap just out of the box, but when she was popping off on people, everyone told her to get a muzzle. She is not wrong about this point. She then somehow turns this on Ariana and says the way she behaved in the last episode was “disgusting” and then wonders why Charli says, “Oh, she’s just hurt.” I am now totally lost in this logical progression. It’s like trying to pick a lock with a wet pasta noodle.
Charli says she just has Ariana’s back based on what she’s seen, not on what has happened with the group in the past five years. “Then you have no skin in this game, baby,” she says, condescending to her so hard it’s like she’s the debt ceiling and Charli is the credit floor. (Did I do this right?) But Charli does have skin in the game. She points out that she is “at the table now,” so not only does her opinion count, but she gets an opinion about how Lala behaves if she’s a jerk to people. Lala is doing what Katie and Co. did to her when she first joined the show, trying to diminish her worth and participation so that they can pull focus.
She follows this up by calling Charli a bitch — which, thanks to a supercut of all the times she’s used the word, we see is some sort of strange vocal tic like the Aflac duck with curse words — and telling her, “Enough. Enough.” Charli is not Lala’s child. She is not her underling. She is not someone who works for her. She is a level-headed girl trying to explain herself, and Lala treats her like the indie-music press treated Lana Del Rey in 2012. (Sorry, I think the Coachella theme got to me.)
When Charli storms off and Lala goes to talk to her again, she relies on a defense that I really hate from the last episode. “If you state an opinion I don’t like, I’m going to come out of pocket at you.” First of all, what is she? An insurance deductible? Secondly, saying that she is quick to anger in advance is not a reason to treat people like shit. Cause then if Charli says something, anything that Lala doesn’t like, she’ll be like, “I told you not to fuck with me, that’s what you get.” How about listening to her opinion and then defending your position like an adult or having a sane and rational conversation? Yes, Lala may have created another life (and seems to be a good mom), but that does not make her mature.
The other big fight this week, egged on by Lisa and everyone else who wants to play producer, is what is going on with Sandoval and Schwartz and the name of their bar, Schwartz and Sandy’s, which, according to Sandoval on Watch What Happens Live is officially the name of the establishment. Everyone hates this name. Even Brock, a budgie smuggler in a satin suit, knows that this is a bad name. Lisa nearly passes out of embarrassment when they tell her the name. At least she was good enough not to say, “And you put up half of your house for a bar called Schwartz and Sandy’s? You’re gonna let the bank saw that Valley Village monstrosity in two and make Ariana live there with Wells Fargo like it’s War of the Roses Part 2?”
Sandoval is very upset that everyone thinks the name is uninspired. “Our last names are uninspired?” he asks. Um, yes. Naming a bar after yourselves is less inspired than a frat brother without Adderall during reading days. They are literally names given to you that you had no choice in. You gave zero thought in naming the bar after yourselves.
My problem with this whole fight is how mewling and non-confrontational Schwartz is. Sandoval gets upset at Katie for saying it was uninspired when Schwartz is the one who said it and thought it but won’t put his neck out there to say it. He gets Katie to play bad cop because he can’t be bothered to do anything other than feed his belly button lint to a new pet lizard he will kill in three months. Just have the guts to tell Sandy his name sucks.
We see this again later at the group dinner when Russell, Lala’s man, keeps joking about how they wouldn’t let him invest. He then asks Schwartz what the concept of the bar is, and Schwartz says, “It’s complicated.” Dude, it’s not the Fibonacci sequence, assembling an Ikea shelf, or the debt ceiling. It’s a bar. “We serve drinks, and here is kind of what it looks like.” If you can’t explain your bar in 10 words or less, it’s doomed to failure. Randall keeps riding Schwartz about how bad he would be in a meeting and how Sandoval must be the real decision-maker, and Lala asks Katie, “Should I tell him to back off?” And Katie is like, “No, he’s gotta learn.” Thankfully there is finally someone who will shove Schwartz’s nose in his pile of passivity when he shits it on the rug.
I will say, though, that there was something weird about seeing Randall with this group of kids, particularly sitting next to Ariana and Charli. It just makes him look so much older. At least when Jax was around, there was someone else his age to balance him out. Now it’s like he’s a single adult man having tea at the American Girl Doll Store. It’s sort of like what Sandoval was saying about Brock’s thighs. They’re so big that no matter how big his junk is, it’s going to look small. Everyone around Randall is so young and coiffed that his stubble in a bathrobe look amongst this crew makes him look like everyone’s favorite Steve Buscemi GIF.
Speaking of great GIFs, I loved when Schwartz was trying to work out the exact ratio that thighs need to be to make someone’s junk look adequately sizeable because it looked exactly like this. In fact, I love to think about Schwartz any time he is thinking about someone else’s endowment. It was most on display during the crazy fashion show where everyone was supposed to look like they were just off the runway, but they looked a lot more like they were going to a Burning Man-themed party at a local Chuck E. Cheese. For my money, Brock looked the best in an all-black outfit where he had a loud printed material inserted into his pants like he was a ‘90s candy raver with PLUR tattooed across his chest.
Sandoval walks the runway in a sheer black shirt with X’s over his nipples, a pair of bright orange harem pants, high-heeled shoes, and an umbrella that is somehow fashioned into a hat. He looks like Jack Skellington if he were trying to base jump off the top of a Spirit Halloween store that was just erected in one of Lisa Vanderpump’s now-vacant restaurants. Schwartz couldn’t pull off an outfit, so he just runs and jumps into the pool in his boxer briefs.
He runs into change and peels the soggy cotton off his freezing skin. Just as he turns around and faces the door, it opens, and Sandoval comes in, looming large in his high heels. “Well, you’re definitely a grower,” he says.
“Haven’t you seen Seinfeld? This is shrinkage!” he yells, pointing at his penis, a bit shriveled like a snail sutured to a windowpane.
“Let’s warm you up then.” Sandoval strips his sheer top over his head, careful not to smear his makeup. He folds his limbs around Schwartz, the contact of their bodies both cold and hot, like sucking on an ice cube that burns your mouth. And just like that ice cube, everything tells Sandoval to let go, to let him be, to let him and Katie have their own life and their well-named bar, and he can just go off on his own. But then he feels a slight movement, something tenting his harem pants, both from the inside and the outside.
Sandoval pulls away for a moment and looks down at the widening gap between them. He loves what he sees. “Are your thighs getting smaller?” Sandoval asks.
“No,” Schwartz says, leaning in for just the glancing of a kiss. “It’s definitely getting bigger.”