Press "Enter" to skip to content

Vanderpump Rules Recap: To the Max

Photo: Bravo

May this go down as the best episode so far of the post-Scandoval era. Why? One of the major reasons is the editors of this here reality television program. Not only do we get a Southwest plane flying overhead before zooming into James Kennedy’s house, but they unveil a masterstroke halfway through the episode. When Katie and Ariana are doing Sandwich Tasting 2: Still Not Open, Lala reminds everyone that they did this same exact tasting last season and suggests fast-forwarding through the rest of the scene. We then get a fake fast-forward bar at the bottom of the screen, like all of us impatient viewers at home zooming through the boring parts after we DVRed the episode. Chef’s kiss followed by Salt Bae. Delicious.

Then at the end of the episode we are treated to Lala talking about how everyone in the group is “moving just like, ugh,” and as she lists who is lying and we get a little black-and-white Wanted poster clip of them. It’s wonderful. Better than a Greek Goddess sandwich and definitely better than a Caprese, the boiled hot dog of Italian sandwiches.

But what makes that last editorial flourish, and this whole episode, good is that it’s about some new ****, not the same old Scandoval drama. Yes, the new drama is informed by the fallout of that old drama, but it isn’t the same old piling on Sandoval, him taking no accountability whatsoever, blaming everyone else for their own past behavior, and then berating his poor, suffering assistant Ann and making her wash his disgusting brick-red sheets that not even a freshman at a mid-tier state school would allow on their twin bed.

It all starts when Lala takes her talons over the WeHo to have smoothies with Schwartz. He is trying to get everyone to love Sandoval again and says, “Everyone in this group has done stuff.” Yes, that is true, but that’s like being at a high-school sleepover and everyone has made out with another person, but one slumber-partier has been to several ******. They’ve all done stuff, but one of them did a whole lot more stuff, and that makes them stand out. To illustrate his meager point, Schwartz says that he and Scheana once made out in Vegas like, a decade ago.

Later that night, Lala goes to Katie’s to pregame before Hotel Ziggy and tells Katie about the hookup. (If Schwartz and Scheana were a couple, would we call them Schwartz? Scheana? ***, they’re a romance tautology! They cannot be combined!) Lala tells Katie this happened “a few years ago,” which would land it squarely during her marriage. In actuality, it was in 2013, way back when Schwartz told Katie that he went to Vegas and hooked up with one of Scheana’s friends, but it was actually Scheana. It seems like a bad move on Lala’s part to go to Katie first, because now this old crime is going to be met with new rage from the entire group. Have you ever tried to microwave French fries? This reheated tea is going to be just as dreadful.

Everyone arrives at Hotel Ziggy and I am blinded for about five minutes because Brock Shay is wearing an open button-down shirt with a tight, white tank top underneath. Speaking of looking good, Lala is in a Mugler-esque dress with a woman’s body printed on it and it looks like something Law Roach would have put Zendaya in for her Dune 2 press tour.

After the old girls ice out Schwartz’s maybe-girlfriend Jo, who is like Teddi Mellencamp with none of the accountability or coaching, Lala and Katie tell Ariana that Schwartz and Scheana made out in Vegas, to which Ariana answers, “I made out with Scheana in Vegas.” This is what I don’t get about straight people. How come Ariana and Scheana, who were both in relationships at the time, can make out and it’s not a big deal, but if Scheana had a drunken fumble with Schwartz it’s like the aliens from 3 Body Problem just called all of us bugs?

Katie pulls Scheana aside to ask her about this Obama-era goss and Scheana tells her Schwartz was so ***** that he tried to make out with her and she was like, “Ew, no.” She also confirms that she did make out with Ariana and no one batted a false eyelash. Katie isn’t upset that it happened, per se, she’s just upset that Scheana didn’t tell her. As Scheana points out, this was “peak Tequila Katie hating Scheana” and, no matter how you feel about Katie now, we all have to recognize how awful she was to Scheana in those early years. Of course she didn’t tell her. Even if she thought to years later, so much time had passed she couldn’t bring it up without looking like a fool, and here we land, a decade later, still getting mad about an aborted kiss on a glitter-stained pool deck at a non-Maloof casino.

I wish that Scheana had said, “I’m sorry, I should have told you, and if we were in the place we are now back then I would have. It’s my fault,” which could have ended it right there. But luckily Katie seems way more ****** at Schwartz, as she should be, which is a refreshing take.

Speaking of awful interactions at Hotel Ziggy, Sandoval decides that he’s going to approach Ariana to ask if she got the email he sent about buying her out of their house. The moment he walks up to her it gets so cold I thought the Game of Thrones ice dragon just flew over the Sunset *****, but it’s just Ariana completely icing out her ex-boyfriend and answering fewer questions than Lindsay Lohan has Netflix movies. (There are two.)

I’m with Lala on this, though. Ariana continuing to stay in the house is just weird at this point, especially after we find out that Tom’s negligence led to her dog Mya getting sick and sticking Ariana with a $6,000 vet bill. I get that she doesn’t want to get ******* out of money she is owed, but can’t she leave her stuff there, keep it as her residence, and sublet a room or something? Just get away from that man.

It’s even worse when she runs into Tii, Billie Lee’s friend that Tom goes on a ’date with. There is an apostrophe in front of that because it was actually a mandate from the producers for Tom to go out with this rando friend of Billie’s. Ariana tells Tii the whole saga of Scandoval as if Tii doesn’t have TikTok and a brain. She also tells her that she is a prize but Sandoval is not. How does she know that? Tii could be rotten to the core, but she’s so eager to **** off her ex she doesn’t even get to know her. I think there’s something in Ariana that relishes torturing this man, and, know what, I’m fine with that. I just wish she would be a bit more transparent about her motives.

Anyway, the Tom and Katie tension boils over again when Schwartz brings drinks over to Katie, Ariana, Lisa, and the reanimated Mumm-Ra mortals call Ken Todd. After Katie lays into Tom for making out with Scheana and fumbling his relationship with her, he walks away into the consoling arms of Brock, whose shirt is open one button too many and for whom I would pay a trillion Earth dollars to bury my face in his ***** as he crushes my body with his thigh.

Schwartz finally has a moment of realization when talking about his past relationship. “[Katie] would get me very upset and I would have pent up resentment and I would handle it in a cowardly way,” he says. “I would retaliate by going and getting ****-faced and making out with a stranger like the biggest coward on the planet.” It’s glad he finally realized that if he lived in Oz he would be a lion and can freely admit that. Brock responds by telling Schwartz some blockbuster news, which I love, but I don’t really like his reasoning for doing so.

Brock tells Schwartz that the night before, after Hotel Ziggy, the group went to an after-party and Katie went home with Max, who is being sold as Schwartz’s best friend. Isn’t…Sandoval his best friend? Did that change too? Anyway, we all know Max. We see a tiny little clip of him at Tom Tom, as if he didn’t spend an entire season on this show. I feel like the show would like us to forget he got fired for racism reasons along with Kristen and Stassi, but we remember. We remember it all. Brock says that Scheana checked his location and saw he was at Katie’s last night and checked again this morning and he was still there. Man, where was Scheana when we were all searching for Kate Middleton and it turns out she just has cancer and we were all being ********? Only Scheana could have saved us.

Brock says he told Schwartz this because there’s a double standard in the group. Is he suggesting this invalidates Katie being mad at Schwartz for making out with Scheana? Because that seems really different. Or does he mean when Schwartz made out with Rachel last year and Katie got all mad about it? That is different too, because Katie explicitly asked him not to date anyone in “the group,” and he didn’t do as she asked. Max isn’t even in “the group” anymore because of, you know, racism reasons. Was it great of Katie to sleep with one of Schwartz’s besties? No. But it was definitely worse of Max to hit it with his bestie’s ex-wife. I’m sorry, the blame is all on the dude in this situation. Brock (and Sandoval in confessional) saying it’s a double standard is just the patriarchy trying to justify treating women like **** and, sorry, we don’t have that record in this jukebox.

Katie seems caught off guard when Brock announces this info in front of the whole group, and Scheana is ****** at him for spilling these particular beans because she’s finally in a good place with Katie and wanted to keep her secrets. But I’m glad we know. I’m glad there’s something new. I’m glad there’s more drama here than just raking Sandoval over the coals for the umpteenth week in a row.

Across town, Ann was sitting at her computer changing the font on her resumé. She played with the bolding, the placement of her headshot, the kerning between the letters. She updated all of her job duties. She even wrote a new objective at the top of the page, even though no one in history has ever read that on a resumé. She made that resumé perfect, attached it to a new email, and then typed in the address [email protected]. This was going to be the easiest interview of her life.

Meanwhile, In The Valley…

Jax has a boys’ night at an adult arcade and invites Kristen’s ex-boyfriend Alex even though her new boyfriend Luke, a freeze-dried Brawny paper towel man, is going to be there. When Luke says he wants no part of talking to this guy, Jax asks, “Did I **** up?” as if this is the first time he’s ever been on a reality show and didn’t learn how to be a producer from Lisa Vanderpump herself. Also, Zack refers to himself as a “platinum ***” because he’s never been in or out of a ****** (he was born via C-section), and it reeks of casual misogyny and he should return to wherever that regional accent is from. (Yes, I know it’s Tennessee.)

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply