The moment we’ve all been waiting for, well, before the Scandoval blows up this whole season of Vanderpump Rules and left all previous storylines dead in its wake – has finally happened. In this week’s episode, Tom Schwartz and Raquel Leviss finally have their sad and gross makeup session. And it’s hard to tell if these two are truly wide-eyed for each other or if they’re part of a bigger project.
Ever since news of the Scandoval broke, Bravo fans have been wondering if Scwhartz and Leviss’ adventure this season is some kind of ruse. Specifically, viewers want to know if Schwartz was used as a pawn by Tom Sandoval to distract from his own affair with Leviss. There’s also the possibility that he volunteered to be a scapegoat. Andy Cohen teased that he would get to the bottom of this while filming the Season 10 reunion two weeks ago. But tonight’s episode gives fans a chance to make their own guesses.
We start this episode, titled “Forbidden Fruit,” where we left off last week, after James Kennedy and Ariana Madix went there over dinner because Kennedy thrashed one of Brock Davies’ drunken friends. This particular fight is boring and feels a bit overdone. But we get a pretty rich piece of advice from Sandoval to Kennedy that makes all their pointless shouting worthwhile: “Sometimes real power is having the power to do something and not do it. He is right. You can also apply this to not having sex with his partner’s close friend!
Either way, this episode is really just a series of close-ups of miserable-looking Katie Maloney. For some reason, she and Schwartz go on a date while the rest of the group is having dinner. These two, especially Maloney, are obsessed with rehashing their relationship, as if viewers couldn’t already tell what was wrong. Maloney also continues to anticipate the appearance of a new, improved version of her ex-spouse simply because she handed him divorce papers. But he still criticizes her at every turn and defends her lack of emotional support throughout their marriage. Despite Maloney’s best efforts to “consciously decouple,” it’s another initially cold discussion that ends with her exiting in tears.
To make matters worse, she receives a not-so-polite Raquel-gram from Scheana Shay as soon as she returns to her hotel room. Leviss informs Maloney and Kristina Kelly that they are not allowed to go out in the areas reserved for “preferred” guests because they have not reserved a “preferred” room through the hotel. The rules of this station, according to Shay, become more and more confusing with each episode. And apparently Shay was joking when she told Leviss to point it out. Rightly, Kelly and Maloney laugh about it.
Then the men and women separate for their bridesmaid/groomsman activities. The ladies (minus Maloney and Kelly) have a relaxing day boating while the boys get drunk and behave obnoxiously by a pool. Of course, Lala Kent has to sideline Ally Lewber for why she shouldn’t be in a relationship with Kennedy. His advice isn’t wrong, as Kennedy has been a historically terrible boyfriend. However, how many scenes are we going to get of Lewber savvy about this man, whose reputation is mostly for being a rabid alcoholic? I think Homegirl knows!
Back with the guys, Sandoval tries to be Schwartz’s winger to no avail. His definition of flirting is telling a woman she has “beautiful eyebrows”. There’s also a weird moment where the duo eye a pair of women’s buttocks in bikinis, and Schwartz tells Sandoval that one of them reminds him of Leviss. It’s then that Sandoval starts acting a bit suspicious and tricks his friend into admitting he likes her, which he claims to do. Then we get this damning line from Sandoval: “I get it.” Ouch!
Before the gang reunites for a big all-white rally, we check on Lisa Vanderpump and Ken Todd, who are still worried about the Schwartz & Sandy situation. This whole segment basically feels like those scenes in teen movies where parents are in bed wondering what their kids are up to while they get lost at a party. Vanderpump still wants to help the Toms open the restaurant but doesn’t want to overstep his bounds and piss off their partner Greg. It’s hard to tell if Todd cares or even knows what’s going on.
Finally, all of the wedding guests arrive on a beautiful patio for Shay and Davies’ “welcome party,” though it feels like we’ve been in Mexico for a week at this point. Everyone looks stunning in their ivories and creams, including Kent who dressed up just to hang out with Maloney and Kelly at a restaurant in the same neighborhood. Their table, in front of an open window, also happens to be visible to all the guests. Leviss pokes fun at the three of them by doing a cute impression of Stalter and Waldorf in his confessional.
To be fair, Maloney hasn’t had fun since landing in Mexico. And she’s clearly only there so as not to miss a check. Her night turns from boring to irritating when Kelly reveals she went to see Shay to apologize for comments she’s made about him in the past. Maloney instantly looks like he wants to flee the restaurant but manages to suck him in.
Meanwhile, everyone at Shay and Davies’ party is really having fun, drinking, dancing, and banging on a random set of bongos. In one of the scariest moments I’ve seen on TV, Kennedy tries to get Lewber to do his “spinny thing” in front of the other guests. Lewber has no idea what he’s talking about, and Kennedy keeps trying to remind him. It turns out that this special ritual is just two of them holding hands and spinning around, which doesn’t justify calling it a “thing.” At this point, Kennedy’s eyes pop out of his head as he pretends not to be totally embarrassed.
At a table, Shay, Davies, Sandoval, and Madix talk about Maloney’s clumsiness on that honeymoon. They bring Schwartz in, and Sandoval immediately starts bashing Maloney at him and tells him not to bring him to Schwartz & Sandy tastings anymore. He is partly right. There’s no point in involving your ex in your business, especially when their input is part of the reason they broke up. However, Sandoval always hated Maloney. And his disdain for her is a little too intense for my comfort. Relax!
Leviss also joins the conversation once she overhears Shay telling Schwartz he should date someone. Finally, we can wrap up this plot point!
Leviss and Schwartz eventually leave the group and sit down at a table not too far from the party. Schwartz admits he thinks Leviss is pretty. But it’s unclear how strong this crush actually is. He seems mostly driven by boredom and wanting to piss off his ex-spouse. Leviss also seems easier to flirt with than the beautiful-browed pool lady.
Obviously, the producers were tired of watching these two work around their attraction to each other and forced them to have this very unnatural conversation. Eventually, the two kiss. And we hear hoots and howls off camera. However, it doesn’t seem like the cast has noticed yet.
At the same time, Kent, Kelly and Maloney get up from their sad dinner and head for the patio. We’re guessing they’ll come out in time to spot Leviss and Schwartz’s locked lips, unless it’s just some editing magic. But we are struck by another kind of useless “To be continued…”
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