Tom Sandoval Defends Raquel Leviss in Juicy New ‘Vanderpump Rules’ Episode

Photo Illustration by Thomas Levinson/The Daily Beast/Bravo
Photo Illustration by Thomas Levinson/The Daily Beast/Bravo

All eyes are on Vanderpump Rules, as the explosive “Scandoval” looms over the ongoing tenth season on Bravo.

Last week’s episode saw a huge ratings spike, drawing 2.2 million viewers on all platforms—twice as many as the previous week. And on social media, fans are pulling out their magnifying glasses, searching for any and all clues to cast members Tom Sandoval and Raquel Leviss’ sordid love affair. (According to the alleged timeline, their romance started sometime during filming.)

Luckily for all you amateur detectives, Wednesday night’s episode features Sandoval going to bat for his soon-to-be-exposed lover against Lala Kent and Katie Maloney. In wake of the scandal, this exchange is damning, if not totally awkward.

This episode mostly captures the fallout between Raquel and Lala on Katie’s divorce trip in Arizona. After being attacked by all the girls for “stealing” Garcelle Beauvais’s son Oliver from Lala at a nightclub, Raquel flees Lake Havasu and crashes Tom Schwartz’s guys’ night back in L.A. It’s easy to forget (or care) that Raquel and Schwartz have their own romantic storyline this season, given the Sandoval news.

‘Vanderpump Rules’ Fans Boycott Tom Sandoval’s Restaurants Amid Cheating Scandal

Scwhartz calls Raquel “hot” in his confessional interview for standing up to Lala. But in this episode, the two keep things totally platonic. Sandoval, on the other hand, seems concerned about Raquel the way someone who’s secretly dating her would. (We get a lot of closeups on his furrowed brow!)

Meanwhile, DJ James Kennedy is furious that this ex-fiancée keeps coming around, even though they’re filming a television show together. When he’s not venting about Raquel—to Sandoval, funnily enough—James is still proving to the world that he’s actually in love with his new girlfriend Ally Lewber and that she isn’t just a rebound. Early in the episode, the two go to a tarot card reader to foresee if there are any corrupting forces on their relationship—that aren’t James himself. The pair also decides to refer to themselves as “twin flames,” a term Ally credits to perfectly fine and normal lovers Machine Gun Kelly and Megan Fox. Can this relationship get any more cursed??

We also get some business drama this week, because Vanderpump Rules is now partially a restaurant renovation show—and Lisa Vanderpump is a chill Jon Taffer. A couple episodes ago, we discovered that the Toms’ new business partner Greg was holding up the opening of Schwartz & Sandy’s while they pay thousands of dollars in rent to him because he owns the lease.

Lisa doesn’t trust Greg and told the guys she would give them back their investment on their first restaurant, TomTom, if they ran out of money, with the option to buy back into the business later. This week, though, the boys promise Lisa that they’re opening Schwartz & Sandy’s by the end of the month no matter what. (They don’t.)

Katie and Ariana Madix are still trying to move forward with their sandwich shop Something About Her, which still sounds like the name of a women's consignment store. Lisa encourages the girls to check out an ideal space on the same block as SUR that’s already renovated. Whether this is a sweet gesture or a part of Lisa’s plans to dominate all of West Hollywood, who really knows?

What else is going on with this dysfunctional crew? Lala is having sex for the first time since she left her ex-fiancé Randall Emmett and tells us that she hasn’t orgasmed since Trump was elected. So she’s hooking up with a tattooed guy she met in Arizona named Don, who speaks in sexual innuendos. It turns out they might be a match made in heaven because Lala can’t stop talking about her bodily fluids this entire hour.

And then there’s Scheana Shay, whose only job this season is pissing Katie off, apparently. The pair’s beef continues this week when Scheana asks Katie to give the hotel room she booked for her wedding—before she was disinvited—to one of her other bridesmaids.

The details of this fiasco are a bit fuzzy. (And we see why when Katie outs Scheana for lying later on.) But allegedly, the Mexican resort where Scheana’s getting married is entirely booked, according to this bridesmaid, who should’ve just booked on time. Scheana says she’ll have to pay an “off-property fee” if her guests stay outside the resort. Katie still wants to use the room for own separate trip. So Scheana and Brock decide to pay Katie to kick her out.

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The episode culminates the way all great episodes of reality TV should, with a big gathering where everyone can air out their beefs. So Tom and Ariana invite the entire cast to their house for a pool party for no other reason than to drunkenly scream at each other.

Lala says she’s officially done with Raquel after their fight. But Raquel has some delayed insults to get off her chest, including that Lala has “mistress bimbo vibes.” (I know, I know. The foreshadowing!) Before then, Katie says that Raquel needs to “get her head checked,” which triggers Sandoval. He then tells Lala that he’s witnessed her be a bully to Raquel to “flex her power.” Ariana walks out because she doesn’t want to watch Sandoval argue with the women, which is something he’s been called out for previously. Who knew that wasn’t the only problematic thing about this exchange?

Elsewhere at this messy gathering, James is needlessly upset that Raquel casually mentioned his name in a conversation. And Scheana tries to pressure Katie into giving up her hotel room. Only Katie reveals that she called the resort, and they actually do have several other rooms available. The fact that Scheana staged a phone call earlier in the episode without thinking Katie could check this fact for herself is why this show is so incredible.

Tom Sandoval Finally Apologizes to Ariana Madix for Cheating Disaster

And as if this episode couldn’t get any more classically Vanderpump Rules, we end with a tearful Katie fleeing the party after Schwartz starts defending Scheana. The last shot is the two of them awkwardly waiting for Katie’s Uber on a sidewalk in Valley Village.

All in all, this was another 10/10 episode, with more Sandoval and Raquel interactions to speculate about. I have zero notes!

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