Tonight we’re treated to a very special episode of Vanderpump Rules. Trouble in Lala-land has the titular SUR hostess on the defense. Last night, Lala Kent announced she’s an alcoholic. Her accountability to her process bodes well for her future. Her need to get ahead of tonight’s narrative promises drama at high decibels. Welcome to Lala-land, where a BJ gets you a PJ, and Gucci slides are currency.
James Kennedy is in the middle of a meltdown. The Toms, Schwartz and Sandoval, decided to disinvite him to Mexico in front of Lisa Vanderpump and he’s not handling it well. He yells at Tom Schwartz. He yells about Katie Maloney Schwartz. When LVP and Tom Sandoval drag him outside, he yells at Tom Sandoval. Lisa takes umbrage. James may have DJ’ed on toilet paper but he best not turn on his only ally. James seems genuinely distraught. Lisa Vanderpump slowly winds him into her web. Don’t let this affect your sobriety, sobriety, sobriety. James is too distracted to notice the silken ties tightening around his neck.
I don’t know how Stassi Schroeder did it but she has the cushiest job on Vanderpump Rules. She doesn’t have to fake work for Lisa Vanderpump. She gets to show her actual real life (OOTD Day, her book). But she’s primarily filmed sitting around her house with her cute dog and her cute boyfriend. Must be nice. While Beau Clark bedazzles a tequila bottle with an image of Scheana Shay and fake fur, Stassi calls her book editor to ask for an extension. I can’t help but compare her to the original writer girl, Carole Radziwill. Stassi has three (out of eighteen) chapters completed. She admits her inexperience but speaks with maturity and conviction. When Carole needed more time to craft a beautifully written 500 word piece on running the marathon, she was flippant and dismissive. In the battle of princesses, Stassi still has her job.
Scheana Shay lures her friends to Marina Del Rey on the promise of homemade enchiladas. She’ll send leftovers back to the boys because this is strictly girls’ night. Adam Spott is included because hypocrite besties! Everyone (and I mean everyone) is annoyed that Scheana pretends they’re not together. Stassi Schroeder calls it the most Scheana thing Scheana’s ever Scheana’d. I imagine Scheana will get that line tattooed across her ribcage in the coming months.
Kristen Doute stumbles in. Late, disheveled, toting a bag of Stassi Schroeder and Katie Maloney Schwartz’s belongings like an ex after a breakup. She hasn’t spoken to Katie since their reptilian brains erupted. For all she knows, the friendship could already be over. If this is the end, she doesn’t want them walking away, saying she didn’t return things. Katie pulls her outside for a showdown. Despite her twitchy, edgy energy, Kristen manages to deflate the situation. She takes responsibility and apologizes. She allows Katie to apologize without losing her Alpha status. With the crisis averted, Crazy Kristen joins the party. She’s decided to have it out with Lisa Vanderpump once and for all. The TomTom party is her Bunker Hill and we all know how that turned out.
Still smarting the sting of rejection, James Kennedy films with his biggest supporter, girlfriend Raquel Leviss. They both realize that reduced camera time affects their bottom line. With so many mouths to feed, James can’t afford to alienate anyone. On reflection, he regrets what he said at TomTom. He meant it, he just didn’t want Lisa Vanderpump involved. Raquel has done a bang-up job learning her lines. She points out how James’ exclusion hurts her too. James is almost able to calibrate his, “Does that upset you?” Raquel has ignored much worse. She’s not giving up over a tone. James lets his facade slip for a moment and we see the guy Raquel thinks he is. He acknowledges her feelings and apologizes. Anger management is paying off.
Kristen Doute Kisses The Ring
Lisa Vanderpump is sooo tired. She’s been working sooo hard. I certainly hope no one disturbs Dame VanderTodd in this, her hour of plum tuckered outedness. Enter, Kristen Doute. Channeling Alex McCord in all her Moroccan Herman Munster finery, Kristen swaggers in for a kiss. She’s been binging on cigarettes and mania all night. I suspect possible, maybe chemical assistance (maybe, possibly). Lisa is appalled and amused. She lets Kristen hang herself. There’s the obsequious flattery. The rebuffed compliment. By the time she begs for an invite to the much ballyhooed TomTom opening, LVP is ready to wrap things up. The Toms have a table at the party. They can fill it however they see fit. Kristen is euphoric. She did it. She slayed the dragon. “Maybe I’m winning Lisa over. Maybe Lisa likes me now.”
Lala’s Hired Friends Meet Her Other Hired Friends
Lala Kent is hard at work in the studio. She hopes the song she’s working on will release her demons. Ariana Madix admits the pain never goes away. To release some tension, they mock James and his studio sessions. The mere mention of his name is enough to turn Lala into Angry Spice. She considers her friendship a luxury. If a friend doesn’t treasure her, she can’t be expected to forgive, rinse, repeat. She’d be more convincing if she wasn’t frothing at the mouth. Ariana seems uncomfortable with her emotions. Editors explain the euphemism by running a montage of Lala screaming at Raquel Leviss and Billie Lee. She’s road raging through life. Buddha protect her fellow travelers.
The cast trickle into SUR, ready for the big shoot. Lala Kent is furious she has to work. Whose John Legend does she have to Brielle to get the Stassi treatment? James Kennedy is psyched to be back at SUR. Raquel Leviss is just happy he gets a chance to redeem himself, again. Tom Sandoval and Ariana Madix are scheduled as patrons. They clearly hate each other, they just don’t know we know. Lala decides staging a fight is preferable to cleaning menus. She calls Billie Lee into the garden, brunchers be damned. Lala seems stunned Billie thinks she was in the wrong at the Housewarming From Hell. Her elitist attitude is simply confidence. Get with the program. When Billie asks after a long list of abuses, Lala can’t take the heat. She pronounces Billie a snake ? and runs away. Much like we’ve seen Lisa Vanderpump do.
Unsatisfied with that encounter, Lala paces like a lion. When she overhears Raquel Leviss mention her father, it’s on. With her finger pointing in Raquel’s face, Lala unloads a deep well of human misery. She’s cruel, belittling. She accuses Raquel of not supporting women. Raquel is drowned out. Lala’s voice is the all we hear. She proclaims Raquel stupid ? and runs away. Much like we’ve seen Lisa Vanderpump do. Brittany Cartwright is pulled off service so it doesn’t look like Lala is ranting to herself. No amount of botox is able to hide the terror and disgust on Brittany’s face. Even she knows “I’m up here and you’re down there” is a bad look.
The Final Undoing of Lala Kent
James Kennedy wants to stay out of trouble. He wants to do his gig and go home. Maybe walk the dog. Or eat a Hot Pocket on that weird flippy uppy table. Unfortunately, Brunch With Billie isn’t as easy, breezy as advertised. So, once more into the fray. James accuses Lala Kent of running hot and cold. She denies ever offering an olive branch. Anger rewrites history. There was no coffee, no promise of studio time. She dubs James a bad fucking guy ? and runs away. Much like we’ve seen Lisa Vanderpump do.
Lala ends her rampage at the hostess stand. Billie Lee, the snake, gets a double dose of anti-venom. Lala screams. She swears. She evokes fond memories of Jax’s Season 6 SUR meltdown. Once again, Brittany Cartwright is given the heavy lifting. She escorts Lala out of the restaurant. Someone better suited to customer service can seat guests from now on. Will Lala get fired for her outburst? Tom Sandoval remarks that James Kennedy would.
It’s the day of the TomTom opening. Tom Schwartz teaches more experienced bartenders how to make craft cocktails. Sly Cosmopoulos, Corporate Mixologist, waits in the wings. Amateur hour is just for the cameras. Tom Sandoval pulls the signed term sheet out of his sweaty shirt back. Lisa Vanderpump is officially in the Tom business. To celebrate, she decides to cash their investment checks. James Kennedy arrives to plead his case in the People vs Brunch With Billie. He reports his complete decorum during Lala Kent’s trail of terror. Lisa is stern-faced. She’d like to believe him but he’s cried wolf too many times. James is gutted. Lisa’s disappointment is worse than her anger. He informs her he won’t attend the party. As much as he wants to be included, the drama isn’t worth it. LVP recognizes his sacrifice. It goes in the rehire column.
Next week: Welcome to TomTom! It’s the most hyped bar opening since Pump. Lala Kent is called to task for her hostess stand freak out. And the crew (minus James Kennedy) head to Mexico.