Vanderpump Rules Reunion Part 1 Recap: Ruffled Feathers

Last night was the Met Gala and also someone was thrown out of a PTA meeting at my kids’ school when things erupted into a full-on screaming match. Fittingly, it was also part 1 of Vanderpump Rules reunion – so yeah, busy night!

Also as if trying to straddle two events, like she straddles two worlds on Vanderpump Rules, Raquel Leviss‘s reunion dress was the very definition of the Met Gala theme “Camp,” boasting uber-exaggerated shoulders accented by a full duvet of ruffles. It was like a super amped up version of an Alice In Wonderland dress. I loved it. It was almost a perfect representation for the ridiculousness of this show. Raquel came to make a statement that she is here to stay. 

So, as it did all season, most of the drama centered around James Kennedy. He was seated on one side of the room, alongside the ‘neutral’ parties. Meanwhile, almost everyone one sat on the other side. James was wearing a super sharp mauve suit with what I presume were ‘the’ Gucci loafers. He looked great. Tom 1 went understated in a subtly bedazzled ‘Cosby’ sweater.  Ariana Madix wore strapless lemon yellow. It wasn’t her best look.

Scheana Marie wore icy blue which was perfect considering that she’s now a savior of the Arctic and a woman who men want to freeeeeeze out of their lives.

Stassi Schroeder must have really pissed someone off at Bravo,because she got trapped on the James side of the room. She wearing the same Kelly green boob-exploding dress she has worn in several confessional scenes. Not flattering, but her hair looked nice.

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Katie Maloney & Tom Schwartz

On the the No-James side was Katie Maloney — no comment. Lala Kent in full sequins and Botox. Kristen Doute wearing an entire Christmas tree tinsel strand around her neck and a ton of cleavage. And, finally, Jax Taylor and Brittany Cartwright.

Brittany took tacky to the next level. She was wearing her mom Sherri’s frosted pink lipstick with bad tanning bed tan, a fully sequined dress that um, was too tight in the waist area.  Her hair had strange bright yellow chunky highlights circa the early 2000’s and was curled prom-style. Um… Why? It was dreadful.

Finally, Lisa Vanderpump wore a sequined and lace suit which I’m pretty sure she bought from Prince’s Estate Sale.

So, the biggest drama: no one can understand why Raquel, with all these accusations of cheating, is still giving James eternal forgiveness. Who does Raquel think she is: Lisa? Lala even claims that she saw James sucking on some girls’ boob at a club in Canada. Brittany co-signs this. Andy Cohen wants more details and why he’s never heard this story. Yeah, same. But Raquel just merely shrugs it off, in the best way one can shrug while wearing ruffles up to your hairline.

RELATED: Vanderpump Rules Star Lala Kent Says She’s Seen James Kennedy “Suck On Boobies At Clubs”

Stassi Schroeder

Stassi is flabbergasted by Raquel’s denial. I find this hilarious considering that when Stassi was dating Jax everyone was telling her he cheating. Of course to Stassi’s credit, she did finally investigate. But, instead of trying to warn Raquel, given her own experiences, Stassi judged her. Raquel’s reason for not believing Lala and Hope though is that neither of them were at Coachella with her and James, so…

Kristen openly laughs and mocks at everything Raquel and James say. It’s like she’s The Joker from Batman. Clearly, she was doing this purposefully to unsettle James. Kristen knows him all too well. It totally worked!

Kristen claims her reason for bringing Hope to SUR was because James never learns. “Why do you care?” Raquel counters. Which is the question of the year.

Because Kristen’s job was on the rocks. And James is an easy target. Also for Kristen and Jax to be so outraged by James’ s0-called lack of morality, is, well, just insane.

I’m so confused why Lisa never mentioned anything about Kristen showing up at SUR with Hope and how uncalled for it was. It was totally a set-up to get James fired from SUR and likely removed from the show.

RELATED: Vanderpump Rules- Lisa Vanderpump Explains Why She Gives James So Many Chances

Ariana explains that Raquel has known for a long time that James has cheated in the past. or possibly that they had something of an open relationship while Raquel was in college. However, they decided moving in together it would be a “fresh start”. Raquel confirms this. Raquel, sweet Raquel who is like the Winnie The Pooh of this cast, admits that she can understand that people think she’s ” a beauty queen just looking for the limelight” by dating James. But, it’s not true. She really loves him.

Kristen and Jax cannot handle Raquel referring to herself, with no irony, as a beauty queen.

Jax comments that Raquel is “no beauty queen to him” which causes James’s first real explosion of the night. He retaliates by insulting Brittany’s looks. Yet both Tom and Ariana defend James, not Jax. They demand that he shut up so Raquel can talk. Maybe Tomiarna find the mellifluous monotone of Raquel’s voice soothing? Like a meditation exercise in which you intentionally try to overlook that what’s being said makes no sense, so you can center your own mind?

Truthfully, I find Raquel to be pretty well-spoken, and very, very firm in her own opinions, which she always manages to express without insulting anyone. As Andy mentions, everyone is always calling Raquel dumb. However, she’s one of the few people with a college degree and is currently getting her masters in Occupational Therapy. But is James Raquel’s live-in research project?

RELATED: Raquel Leviss Is Working At SUR Now; Will She Be Full-Time On Vanderpump Rules Next Season?

Lala Kent

For instance when Raquel and Lala get into it over “the dad card,” Raquel is very concise. She just doesn’t feel Lala’s grieving provides her an excuse to verbally assault people. Lala reveals that her real issue with Raquel stems from a night out in Vegas some months before in which James got drunk and called her the C-word in front of Randall Emmett and Lala’s father while Raquel sat there but didn’t say a word.

And yes, that is totally problematic to say the least. Raquel has no memory of this incident, but doesn’t feel it diminishes her argument. If Lala is all about women defending women she shouldn’t be calling Raquel a twat and screaming in HER face because she doesn’t approve of Raquel’s boyfriend.

Raquel disagrees that she never stands up to JamesJax is especially incensed that James gets passes on this show and from Lisa. But, he’s quickly reminded by Lisa and Andy of how many times he’s been given the redemption attempt – and that he’s more than 10 years older than James, yet still f–king up. Like cheating on Brittany the previous year, then proposing 8 months later claiming to be a changed man. Um, yeah. NOPE.

Honestly, it’s impossible to say what Raquel sees in James. But, it honestly doesn’t seem like she’s using him for TV?

RELATED: Vanderpump Rules Cast Member Raquel Leviss Wants To Attend Jax Taylor & Brittany Cartwright’s Wedding

Tom 1 agrees that Lala shouldn’t blame grief for her treatment of Raquel. Just as Lala starts to scream that he has no idea what it’s like to lose a parent, he counters with a shocking story about his dad being in a coma for 3 weeks and almost dying!

Finally, Lisa swoops in with the ultimate word on the matter that grieving does not give us the right to be horrid to the world of the living.

The reunion was filmed about the one-year mark of Lisa’s brother’s death, prompting Andy to ask how Lisa is handling her own grief. She leaves the stage in tears to collect herself. She explains that she’s been working with a grief counselor, but is still struggling. This gives the reunion a somber tone as Jax and Lala share that they are also still struggling after losing their fathers. Jax still has no relationship with his mother over the way she handled Jax’s father’s illness. neither does Jax’s sister. That’s just awful because now Jax is essentially mourning two parents!

But, of course, all moments of actual humanity must quickly be swept under the rug on Vanderpump Rules! Lala finds herself in the hot seat because Mandall refuses to be on the show. After Scheana has shown marriage, divorce, Robsession, and has now resorted to begging a “fuckboy” to be her forever plus 1 by dangling a penguin in his face, she thinks it’s time for Lala to be forced to have her relationship exposed also. I agree!

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Scheana Marie

Lala counters that maybe if Scheana dated someone with a “real career” and something to lose, she’d understand why Rand doesn’t want to be on the show. Stassi is aghast and argues that Beau Clark is just as important as Rand. Beau has an IMDB with some credits besides Vanderpump Rules. I guess he’s a casting agent? But is Fofty shaking him down on the internet and calling Stassi a “4th quarter hoe”? No, didn’t think so, so you know, Stothy shuddyup.

I do wholeheartedly think Rand should be on this show if Lala is going to keep her job. She talks about him constantly, including sharing lurid details of their sex life. And he hangs out with the cast in real life. The man definitely doesn’t have pride to protect so what’s up? Lisa agrees. Hmmm…

Tax Taylor & Brittany Cartwright

Part one of the reunion ends with a very strange fight about Jax reportedly starting a fake Twitter account in Raquel’s name and making homophobic tweets accusing James of being gay. Apparently, the account was traced back to Jax’s phone number. All of this is brought on by Andy mentioning a tweet where James said Lala and Jax needed to get it together after their father’s passings.

Echoing old school VPR, Jax and James get so heated they nearly come to blows and without Ken there waving a security Pom, Andy is forced to break up their fight. It was basically a “yo mama” argument. James called Brittany a hillbilly and mocked her “disco ball” look.

Jax screamed about Raquel being “a little bitch,” and then for real brought up James‘ mama. It was just trashy TV at it’s most incomprehensible finest.

RELATED: Vanderpump Rules Cast Member Raquel Leviss Believes Lala Kent’s Relationship With Randall Emmett Made Her “Materialistic”

James Kennedy & Jax Taylor

It’s clear to me that something big is going to have to change with the cast next year. It doesn’t appear that James is leaving. LVP confirmed that Raquel is now working at SUR full-time. Katie made a face like she had smelled one of Tom 2‘s Coors Light farts.

The cast has so much animus towards James that it would be completely unbelievable for them to come to a neutral space – for the 400th time – next season. That’s not sincere, nor honest. Lala claims James was one of the best friend’s she’s ever had. She still sincerely misses their friendship “tremendously.”

However, she doesn’t think she can ever forgive him. Which is her prerogative. Likewise, James isn’t buying Lala’s insincerity. He is furious with Lala for filming a “pity” scene with him at the behest of Lisa.

If James is going to stay, and after this season which he carried, he does deserve a bone, something has to be done. In truth, most of the original cast has reached a natural death with their storylines. They’re moving into a phase of marriage, babies, home buying. The facade of them being broke, working at SUR, partying and having drama is just as insincere as the idea of them having a friendship with James.

I was bored this season. I know I’m not alone. Either splinter the cast into two separate spinoffs – a Tom Tom one that focuses on the bar there and that OG friend group, and a new SUR full of what we once loved and adored about this off the rail show.


[Photo Credits: Bravo]