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All the Red Flags in this Week's 'Vanderpump Rules'

By Chris Revelle | TV | April 20, 2023 |

By Chris Revelle | TV | April 20, 2023 |


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Has it only been a week since we last saw the watchable worsts of Vanderpump Rules making drunk spectacles of themselves in a Mexican resort? I know they’re a lot, so let’s review who we’re working with, this time with pictures!

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Tom Schwartz is 40 and recently divorced from Katie Maloney (36). They dated on and off throughout the first 9 seasons, culminating in a wedding that was maybe never official paperwork-wise and are now divorced about 7 months in show-time. This is important because Schwartz kissed Raquel and this violated Katie’s request for him to not fuck around in their friend group. Katie’s relationships with everyone except Lauryn from Utah are strained at best and openly hostile at worst due to drama that came out of the wedding/divorce. Schwartz more or less kept the friends in the divorce.

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Raquel Leviss (28) is a “model” and “actor” who was very previously engaged to an over-tanned engine that runs on rage called James. She is the lady that Schwartz made out with at Schaena’s wedding weekend and who Sandoval cheated on Ariana with. At this point inside the show, that latter scandal hasn’t broken yet. We know outside the show because of Scandoval breaking in the real world several weeks ago. Raquel’s real name is Rachel and when she was with James, she came across as fairly nice and normal. Her kissing Schwartz is arguably the beginning of her villain arc and also potentially a conscious smokescreen both she and Schwartz engaged in to cover for Raquel’s affair with Sandoval.

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James Kennedy (31) is a whole lot of macho-flavored toxicity packed into one slender frame. He’s a “DJ” but mostly he’s just full of piss and vinegar about everything/everyone. He’s not really over Raquel and he seems to feel threatened by Schwartz kissing her. He’s currently engaged in a seemingly toxic relationship with Ally Lewber (27) who reads like a precocious teen who’s been pulled into this friends group from Hell. Ally tries to stand up for herself when James runs his furious mouth, but he shuts her down and engages in a lot of territorial chest-beating.

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Tom Sandoval (39) is Schwartz’s BFF and business partner in Schwartz & Sandy’s, a restaurant that they’re opening with the support of Lisa Vanderpump, their boss at SUR. Tom was in a many-seasons-long relationship with Kristen Doute, an OG VPR cast member, whom he left for Ariana. Sandoval has a shitty band called Tom Sandoval and the Most Extras and he played a gig the night his affair with Raquel was discovered by Ariana. At this point in the show, he might already be with Raquel in secret. Ariana Madix (37) is Sandoval’s current partner on the show, but several weeks ago in our time, she discovered risque pictures of Raquel on Sandoval’s phone and broke the relationship off. She has good ties with the rest of the group and generally seems the closest to “normal human” as you’re likely to get on VPR.

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Lauryn Kent aka Lauryn from Utah (32) is a “singer” who loves to use a blaccent. She was a friend of James’ before they had a falling out over “pasta” (probably cocaine). LFU was first angry with Raquel because Raquel called her a “mistress.” LFU is one of Katie’s few supporters and so, in light of Schwartz making out with Raquel, Raquel is Nemesis #1. LFU committed to being a bridesmaid and then bailed on virtually every event in Scheana’s wedding because she cares more about shunning Raquel than she does about supporting Scheana.

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Scheana Shay (37) is a singer whose songs are so bananas that they kind of shoot the moon into being enjoyable. Scheana came into this show like a lion and picked all kinds of fights. She has a first marriage behind her to a long-time boyfriend who sadly struggled with addiction and substance dependency. Scheana has most recently married Brock Davies with whom she has a daughter. While Scheana has generally mellowed, she had some drama with LFU when LFU kept bailing on her wedding events.

I’m noting these ages only because while everyone is solidly into their adulthood, the drama this week was extremely grade school and with that, let’s get into the Red Flags these grown adults showed us!

Red Flag
Scheana commits to writing ALL THE THANK YOU NOTES for the wedding HERSELF. ALONE. I shuddered.

Red Flag
Katie visits Schwartz to check on their dogs and Schwartz immediately starts complaining at her about the woes of restaurateur-ship (more on that shortly). She snaps leashes on the two pooches with a quickness and is out the door in the middle of his sentence. Schwartz! Is! Huffy!

Red Flag
A friend tells Raquel to her face with brisk tartness that what she did at the wedding was wrong. Raquel shrugs off caring about other people’s relationships, especially one that’s been over. This is the first of several times we watch Raquel grapple with other people’s relationships and given what we know, it’s TENSE. Raquel asserts that she hasn’t done anything wrong because Katie and Schwartz are no longer together. On the one hand: fair; on the other: hmmmmm…

Red Flag
The Toms are reeling from the reality of doing no serious work on the restaurant that’s opening in a week. Oh, I’m sorry, Schwartz says they’ve been “speaking it into existence.” Manager Brett very honestly tells the boys that they’re wasting money on custom booths that have gone bust. He also informs them he let the chef go because he couldn’t make anything and kitchen staff followed. Sandoval cranks his mood all the way up and accuses Brett in person and in a talking head of “being a perfectionist.” They’ll sell potato chips if they have to! Who cares about “toasted raviolis,” Sandoval wants to know?! Brett snaps at them that they don’t have the staff to open and they need to nail that down. Suddenly they’re buddy-buddy again and do a shot together. Nothing but good looks for this new business!

Red Flag
Ariana is deep into sandwich shop planning with Katie. I forgot about that. Okay real quick: the concept is called Something About Her or SAH for short. It never hits the ear as a restaurant; always a movie title. Anywho, Sandoval smugs in a talking head that the girls “don’t even have a partner.” Glass houses, Sandy!

Sandoval goes to confront Katie about her icing out Schwartz. In the process of explaining that she’s done with Schwartz, Katie calls Raquel a “fucking whore.” Ariana mildly pushes back that she’s not paid to do anything and Katie said she should be because she’s acting like a whore. Cool cool cool. Katie spirals and talks about how Schwartz also basically shacked up with “crazy friend” Jo who texted Katie that she would always love and respect her. So much for that!

Red Flag
While at a typical evening at SUR, Lisa Vanderpump comes by and bends James’ ear about what happened in Mexico. He’s only too eager to talk up what a big slut Raquel is, saying “she would make out with anyone.” He’s so slimy. Lisa flits away to find the Toms and James presses play on a laptop.

Red Flag
Lisa’s meeting with the Toms is paused when Raquel comes to take drink orders. Schwartz and Raquel immediately flirt up a sweat and Lisa looks equal parts peeved and intrigued. Raquel fully sits down between the Toms (ostensibly to take their orders) and then Sandoval blurts that Katie called Raquel a whore. Raquel gets upset and storms off.

Red Flag
Katie has a new beau and his name is Satchel. “I came for the D, I stayed for the conversation,” she says. Okay! To my eye, Satchel looks to be a classmate of Ally’s at Make Better Choices Regional High and his hair feels like a pale reference to this high school crooner.

Red Flag
Lisa confronts the Toms in her parlor about their failure to launch… ahem, the restaurant. The boys almost immediately start sniping at each other over who’s to blame. Schwartz relays an anecdote about how they had to put off working on the restaurant so Sandoval could go to band practice and get his nails done. Sandoval hisses in a talking head that that practice was scheduled WEEKS in advance, how dare you. And do you expect him to walk around LA with grubby nails?!?! He throws a tantrum, claiming that Brett is holding them up. When Schwartz tries to point out that they really can’t open, Sandoval flounces from the room.

Red Flag
While Sandoval and Ariana are discussing Ariana’s frozen eggs and potentially fertilizing them, they discuss coping mechanisms with stress. “We all do things we shouldn’t do…” Sandoval says, looking shiftily camera left. Ariana urges him to find better ways to cope than with booze. Sandoval says that he feels like he can’t talk to her about serious things “these past few months.” Ahhh potentially staking out your exit, Tom?

Red Flag
Oliver is the gorgeous and charming son of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Garcelle and he’s an employee in the Vanderpump galaxy. While Raquel and the gals were at Vanderpump Vegas, Oliver was their server and he and Raquel really hit it off (they made out). In fact, Oliver and Raquel have “a little rendezvous” planned. He also mentions he’s been separated from his wife for months. REMEMBER THIS.

Red Flag
Ally saw Sandoval dancing with Raquel at James’ See You Next Tuesday dance night and Ariana was not present. James doesn’t think much of it, but Ally is worried she started a thing by mentioning this to Lauryn from Utah. Foreboding!

Red Flag
Raquel is seeing all over Instagram that Oliver isn’t separated from his wife Samantha all that much! And she’s out there naming the names of all the ladies he’s allegedly running around with. Raquel calls Samantha and apologizes, saying that she believed they were no longer together. Samantha says that Oliver had re-committed to their marriage. Yikes! Raquel is going to tell Oliver what-for at their date tonight.

Red Flag
Sigh. It’s LFU’s birthday. She’s talking with friend-of-the-cast Kristina Kelly about the Oliver revelations. They both massage this into accusing Raquel of being a “mistress.” LFU has a chip on her shoulder about Raquel calling her that while on their trip to Vegas. We know that Raquel is guilty of her part in Scandoval, so it’s tempting to agree, but… eh. If he’s telling everyone they’re separated then I struggle to hold much blame for Raquel kissing him. There’s also something quite middle school about equating making out with being a mistress.

LFU’s birthday venue is a bar washed in pink light with fluffy feather light fixtures. Katie introduces Satchel to everyone. Scheana thinks it’s weird to see Katie with a “shaggy-dog motherfucker” like Satchel. LFU pushes this whole Raquel-the-mistress angle because that axe won’t grind itself!

Red Flag
In his date with Raquel, Oliver describes Samantha’s Instagram episode as the mother of his children putting him on blast for “things I’ve done.” He insists that they’re getting a divorce, but that he and Amanda have had occasional sex when they’re lonely. Raquel isn’t buying it and says even that aside, she’s angry about getting dragged through the mud on social media as a homewrecker. Oh, Raquel, just wait. Anyway, she tells Oliver that she’s not into it anymore and bounces.

Red Flag
Raquel thinks it’s a great idea to swing by LFU’s birthday and pull her aside for just a second. Note that Katie is at this party too. Scheana meets Raquel outside and doesn’t tell her this is a terrible idea. LFU screams “HEY MISTRESS” at Raquel as she comes in and Katie starts shit-talking Raquel to Sandoval with a speed that’s positively reflexive. Raquel takes her outside to talk and she apologizes to LFU for calling her a mistress, saying she now gets how the world lets men off scot-free while women are called “whores.” LFU, though a broken clock, is right twice a day and she explains that women fighting like this when men aren’t asked to bear the brunt of their drama is unfair and this is a learning experience for them both. Neither of them are mistresses! Hooray! Agreeing with LFU aside, it’s once again a strange experience feeling that Raquel is not in the wrong here even as I know what she’s doing with Sandoval! Gah!!

Red Flag count: 16 (up from 9 last week)
Iconic Shot of the Episode: Mid-scene at LFU’s birthday, there’s a cut to Schwartz at home alone in the tub, flailing for a place to put his drink and lamenting the lack of cup holder. Excellent work, editors.

Chris Revelle is a chatterbox with a lot of thoughts about media and can be heard shrieking about them on the podcast Why Did We Watch This?