vanderpump rules season 11 episode 2 recap

Punkee Recaps Vanderpump Rules: That Was An Aggressive Bush Piss

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And we’re back! Like, properly back. 

It’s episode 2 and if you recall from last week’s cliffhanging final credits, we saw Sandoval arriving home late to the dark, empty house that he shares with his ex Ariana (aka America’s sweetheart). 

We kick things off back at the house, presumably the next day, watching Ariana get ready in her bedroom/wing and Sandoval coming into the kitchen to chat with his poor, sweet assistant Ann. He tells Ann that his time filming a competition reality show in NZ was “such a grueling experience” and explains in his interview that he wanted to punish himself through pain post Scandoval. I reckon he’s not the only one who wanted him to be punished through pain post Scandoval tbh. 

Ann asks him if things are ok between him and Schwartz, to which he answers “yeah I think so”, with an immediate cut to his interview where he declares “Things are very much not ok between Schwartz and I”. THIS IS WHY WOMEN HAVE TRUST ISSUES. Sandoval is salty that Schwartz went on former cast member/former friend Jax Taylor’s podcast and bitched about him. He feels betrayed. Yeah ok.

Sandoval tells Ann that tomorrow is his birthday and he’s planning on having a party, “Well obviously Ariana is invited if she wants to come.” Read the room you absolute dingus. Sandoval leaves, which is Ariana’s cue to come downstairs. Ann tells her about the party and that Sandoval is willing to get her a hotel room if she’s not comfortable (lol), and Ariana absolutely shuts it down. She says Sandoval can have a party somewhere else and if he has people over she will call the cops. I like this side of Ariana, and I hope Ann is on at least $450k per annum. 

Over to Villa Rosa, Lisa and husband Ken Todd’s palatial mansion. Lisa is getting her hair done, discussing her plans for the night. Pump, another of her famous West Hollywood bars, is closing after a decade. It’s bittersweet, she explains in her interview, but Ken is looking to retire. Naturally, she makes a gag about the fact that if they take the lease on for another ten years, Ken will still be working in his 80s and she will still be working in her 40s. Love her so much. She asks her hairdresser, “Should we absolutely get shit faced and get carried out?” and I would 100% watch a spinoff series of these two just talking chutney all day long.

 In a complete filler scene that essentially is setting up a storyline for later in the season (for those in the know…), we cut to James and Ally going for a walk and talking about how they want a dog. In his interview, James shares “I’ve never gotten over Graham Cracker” which is the dog he owned with ex Raquel. I wonder if he and Graham are going to be reunited in a few episodes time???????? Watch this space. He also explains that he will be absent at Pump’s closing tonight as he has a sold out show in Chicago. Get it girl.

vanderpump rules james

Image credit: Hayu

Back to Sandoval and Ariana’s shambolic abode. Jason arrives to see Sandoval. Who is this man? I ask myself. Sandoval clearly hears me, as in his interview, he explains that Jason is one of the friends of his that didn’t bail on him post Scandoval. He is also the manager of Sandoval’s truly terrible band, so I now realise they have a shared bond over being delusional. 

Jason asks Sandoval if he’s heard from Raquel, to which Sandoval responds “I haven’t heard from her in a few weeks, I just miss her you know?” In his interview, he confesses that he’s still very much in love with Raquel. Sandoval tells Jason about Ariana shutting down the party, to which Jason has the nerve to ask, “Is she allowed to tell you that?” and I KNEW I didn’t like this man. Poor Ann interjects, saying that it’s probably not the best idea to go ahead with it given Ariana’s threat to call the cops. Sandoval thinks a good compromise would be having people over until midnight. Ann messages Ariana relaying this message, and poor Ann.

Next up, Lala and Ariana are having roadside smoothies together. Lala asks Ariana how she feels still living with Sandoval, and questions why Ariana doesn’t just move out, stating that “He’s getting off on making you uncomfortable and you sticking around”. In her interview, Ariana elaborates on her reasons for staying. “The fact of the matter is, he broke the home, he fucked all of this up, he deson’t get to do this and I don’t know, get to keep it”. I agree. They discuss the Dan of it all (Ariana’s new guy), with Ariana sharing that he is looking forward to her getting her own space. Ariana also explains that dating Dan has opened her eyes and changed her perspective on starting a family, now that she’s with a partner she thinks would actually be 50/50 with her. Lala is clearly on board, proclaiming: “40, never married, has no kids… that made my nipples hard”. Poignant and important.

Nightfall, and we’re arriving at Pump. Lisa is wearing a silly little pink hat and looks unreal. Her and Ken saunter in and everyone applauds them, including me from my couch. She really is the queen. Lisa makes a speech, “Ten years ago we had a dream to create the most beautiful garden in West Hollywood” and how nice is that? There’s a montage of all the special moments that happened in Pump, before we cut back to Lisa who declares “Let’s fucking party!!!” Lisa makes me want to be rich and beautiful and create drama amongst my staff that I can leverage for more wealth. We see the various girlies arriving, looking hot as hell, and now we’re all sitting together with Lisa having a vino. Schwartz approaches and the girls yeet. Lisa words up Schwartz, essentially telling him to grow a pair and confront his frenemy Sandoval. About 10 years too late, but let’s hope he takes the matriarch’s advice. 

The next day, all my dreams come true as “Good As Gold” plays while Scheana and Brock walk into a recording studio. This song has been haunting me since 2013 in the best way possible, and now Scheana is teaming up with band The 27 for an emo, screamo remix. This song will be debuted tomorrow night at Emo Nite, hosted by Scheana, Katie and Ariana. It’s all a bit of fun. Brock and Scheana discuss getting a nanny to babysit Summer Moon, and how this will be progress for her on her postpartum OCD journey. “It took her almost a year to do anything alone with Summer”, she tells us, which is so rough. They discuss how Scheana’s long term friend Tori will be babysitting Summer Moon, and Brock is hopeful that this will be a positive experience and good for Scheana’s confidence. We love to see the support!

vanderpump rules emo nite

Image credit: Jasmine Denisse/@jasminedenisse

 Over at some bar, two bozos meet up for a drink (the Toms). Sandoval explains that he’s not drinking, elaborating in his interview, “One of the catalysts for getting sober was because Raquel was going away to a facility and I knew she couldn’t drink. The last thing I was gonna do was, be like, drinking and going out while she was there, I figured we could do it together once she got out.” Yeah ok, that’ll be great for her recovery and wellbeing. 

There is an awkward tension between the Toms, Schwartz telling Sandoval, “I feel like you’ve become almost like a mythological creature”. He does have creature vibes to me, yes. They briefly discuss NZ, and then get stuck into it. Sandoval attempts to apologise, and reaffirms his status as the “I’m sorry, but…” king. He blames Ariana about finances and I don’t see how any of this is relevant to him being a shitty guy and shitty business partner. Sandoval is hurt about the Jax podcast, Schwartz is hurt about feeling abandoned, I’m hurt having to watch this. There is no real resolution, just two kids sitting in the naughty corner. Schwartz tells Sandoval “I’m gonna do what’s best for me” when Sandoval asks if he’s attending his birthday tomorrow night, and take THAT. 

The next day, we’re over at Scheana and Brock’s place getting ready for Emo Nite. Scheana’s mother Erika comes downstairs with Summer Moon, and god damn she is so cute. Erika will be there to assist with the transition period, and we learn that the reason Erika can’t nanny properly is that she has an injury preventing her from lifting precious Summer Moon in and out of her crib. Tori comes over, and OK, we recognise her. If you watched the trailer for season 11, you’ll see Tori making out with not only Schwartz, but his ex wife Katie. Ok Tori, I see you. Scheana elaborates on her need for Tori, before her and Brock start to bicker, and suddenly Scheana is crying. In his interview, Brock explains, “I just miss my wife having a good day”, and suddenly we’re having a mental health moment. Scheana tearfully explains “I wanna be able to enjoy living in the moment and not think that this could be the last moment” and I am genuinely sad for her. Parenthood is rough enough, I can’t even imagine how hard it would be with this diagnosis in the mix. Scheana and Brock get on the same page, and we’re all laughing and we’re all glad we communicated properly. Team Summer Moon, I say.

Schwartz visits James and Ally’s newly purchased home, and feels like a loser given his recent renters status. Ally, a 20-something astrological queen, is going to read 40-something Schwartz’ birth chart, as in her words, “to put it nicely, I feel like he could use a little direction”. (This is the real reason Schwartz should be feeling like a loser.) His chart reveals him as a peacekeeper and people pleaser, which absolutely tracks. Suddenly, James gets a text from Sandoval, inviting him and Ally to his birthday. We’re SHAKING. James plays it cool, saying they might pop for an hour. It would be very adult had he not suggested he’ll egg Sandoval’s house if it goes badly.

We’re now over at Sandoval and Ariana’s place. “Ann, you did a great job on the balloons!” Sandoval tells Ann. Balloons?? I give up. Ariana and Katie are upstairs doing their grunge makeup for Emo Nite. We cut to James and Ally driving over to Sandovals. James explains that he isn’t trying to mend things, but he will require an apology if they’re to move forward cordially. Back to the house, Jason is there and there’s sad galaxy lights and chips and dips and I’m so bummed out. The crowd is my nightmare, and I don’t recognise a single person. Scratch that, Billie Lee has entered, which is a blast from the past. Sandoval proposes a toast, “I still DO have friends!!” and overall, I’m very upset by this “party”. 

Over to Emo Nite, the gals arrive and we’re chatting with the Emo Nite-co founders (I hope that’s on their LinkedIn profiles). Not much else happens. BACK TO SANDOVAL’S, everyone is having a terrible time by the looks of it. Schwartz arrives with a cake that says “Happy 40th Birthday, Again” lol. James and Ally are pulling up at the house and they’re anxious and I’m anxious. Ally is waiting in the car which is so funny to me.

James knocks on the door and Sandoval opens said door and I’m uncomfortableeeeeeee. There is so much tension between these two, I don’t know where to look. 

There’s an awkward hug, and in his interview, James explains that “Tom’s party is like a who’s who, like, who the fuck are you people?”. James and Sandoval sit down for a chat, James expressing his disappointment over Sandoval’s radio silence and lack of apology text. “I apologise for that, I should have. I was very overwhelmed” says Sandoval, and … was that an apology without deflection?? Surely not. James pushes further, “Are you sorry for like, betraying me?”. “Betraying you?!” Sandoval fires back. There’s the defensiveness we all know and love.

Sandoval brings up Kristen, with James immediately cutting him off, “You’re not gonna talk about ten years ago”. What’s this all about, you ask? Well, years ago, before Sandoval and Ariana, there was Sandoval and Kristen Doute – a relationship so toxic it should be studied by scientists. James started sleeping with and went on to date Kristen post Sandoval, which clearly still grinds Sandoval’s gears. Sandoval calls James narcissistic for not taking accountability, and wow. Pot, kettle. “You’ve got so much growing up to do still, Tom. It’s sad to me,” James scowls, before storming out and pissing in the front bushes, which is EXACTLY what I do after I’ve told someone to grow up. 

The episode ends with Ally’s wise reminder, “That’s Ariana’s bush too!”, before a dramatic fade to black with “TO BE CONTINUED” popping up like a PowerPoint clip-art.

No notes.

Written by Lil Friedmann, lover of all things Bravo and staunch defender of reality television. You can follow her at @lilfriedmann on socials.

Season 11 of Vanderpump Rules is available to stream on Hayu from 31 January, with episodes dropping the same day as the USA.

Image credit: Bravo, Hayu + Punkee