Do you ever watch a Bravo show and wonder where the story is? Does presenting a series of events, edited in the order they occurred, qualify as a show? I only ask because tonight’s Vanderpump Rules felt like a forty minute paean to LVP’s jeans. Here’s the thing: I take Vanderpump Rules very seriously, so it offends me when Bravo thinks they can just do that. I’d be a little more understanding if the episode eased seamlessly into a TomTom spinoff (like they did with RHOBH) but they blew that opportunity. Instead, I have to write a funny recap of a boring episode. Thanks, Andy Cohen.
A Day In The Life of TomTom starts with Lisa Vanderpump at her wit’s end. Their paid party is nigh and the restaurant isn’t ready. Tom Sandoval stresses over the busy work Lisa gives him. Luckily, Ariana is babysitting. “Just get through this season, just get through this season.” I hope every dollar she makes from Sandoval’s association goes towards her Montana fund. Ariana might not realize it but I have her future mapped out. Once she dumps the zero, she can run off with her only-in-my-imagination true love, Kristen. They’ll ride horses and raise German Shepherds. It sure beats whatever she has going on right now.
Across town, James works on his apology letter to Lala’s ManRan. Or as James calls him, “big, fat, fucking Randall.” He’s an amazing TV villain but you get why he has no friends. Up to this point, Raquel has always encouraged James to reunite with his castmates. But between the bathroom ambush at Pride, girls’ night, Stassi and Ariana’s birthday, and Lala’s “I’m sorry for calling you a twat. You’re welcome,” Raquel is done. As she searches for the right words to explain her frustration, a familiar tune plays through the corners of her brain. “Tubby little cubby…” Her pulse starts racing. James stares at her with big eyes. “All stuffed with fluff…” Words are gone. All Raquel can do is squeak. James is confused. He sees his girlfriend melting down but doesn’t know why. With Raquel preverbal, James makes the bravest decision he can. He crumples the letter and swears to stay away from Lala. Raquel is his top priority and he’ll do whatever it takes to make her feel safe, even if he doesn’t understand it.
Schwartz stops by because
you need 2 fulltime cast members to make a scene worth shooting to work on music for the TomTom party. He laughs off the awkwardness of Katie’s James-icide. James pretends it’s all good. He’s glad SUR is thriving without him. He’s Zen James. At the mere suggestion of Raquel attending Girls’ Night In, his paper thin veneer cracks. He screams at Raquel. How dare she consider supporting Katie after he gave up Lala! When Schwartz tries to calm him down, his paranoia blows. He accuses Schwartz of spying for Jax and runs out of the apartment with the practiced ease of a true drama queen. Raquel and Schwartz take a beat. Neither have the emotional complexity the situation requires. A calmer James reenters. He admits that he’s not okay. With being fired. With Katie taking his night. With the crucification of DJ James Kennedy. It’s just not fair.
Lala treats Scheana to coffee and advice. She suggests, in the nicest way possible, that Scheana limit her conversation around Stassi and Katie. To, you know, limit the annoying. Scheana’s big eyes well with tears. She so desperately wants to be liked by the Witches. En Vogue says it better than I ever could.
Katie’s second Girls’ Night In is merely the backdrop for conversations that don’t earn their own scene. Just as James feared, Schwartz regales everyone with tales of his break down. Contract-averse LVP gives the Toms paperwork and a handshake. Schwartz likens it to joining the mafia. If Lisa doesn’t get you, Ken will knock you spark out. Lala tells the Witches Expanded Pack she’s taking them to Solvang in the PJ. Dumb, dumb, and dumber.
The night of the TomTom party is bonkers. Schwartz cleans toilets. Sandoval orders ice. Lisa Vanderpump runs roughshod, a lion tamer herding guinea pigs. Their guests primp and preen, excited to celebrate the Toms. It’s all happening, at least for two of them. Production waits until Kristen is almost ready to have Schwartz disinvite her. She’s devastated. Her night of drunken carbo loading is Lisa’s final revenge.
TomTom’s sky high DJ booth isn’t wired for sound so James’ triumphant return takes place in a tiny kitchen closet, sitting on toilet paper rolls. Every other song he runs to the DJ booth window so the party can vibe off his energy. The effort is wasted. No one notices him. As the party progresses, the Toms flex their pride. Their friends are impressed. Their paid guests are entertained. And their fearless leader is schnockered. All of their hard work was worth it. They are now moguls.
If Daily Mail TV is your drinking word, congratulations! You just won a trip to the emergency room.
Next time: For the TomTom crew, work never ends. The Witches take their first PJ. Jax is emotionally shut down in marriage counseling. Crazy Kristen enjoys Solvang. James is unable to manage his mother’s crazy.