Punkee Recaps Vanderpump Rules: Sloppy Secrets Are Served

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Last week, Vanderpump Rules’ new spinoff The Valley premiered to a great reception. Fans of the series were thrilled to see OG ratbags Jax Taylor and Kristen Doute back on our screens, reminding us of the golden era of Pump (aka when everyone was bitchy, sloppy and chaotic). Well, the stars must have aligned, because this week’s episode of VPR felt like a nod to its trashy heritage. While some have said the first half of season 11 has been a little snoozy, Bravo overlord Andy Cohen recently promised fans that the second half will not disappoint. If episode 9 is anything to go by, we’re in for a massive messy treat. 

We open on James picking out outfits for his beautiful angel girlfriend, Ally. While I’m instantly a little icked out by this, Ally quickly informs us in her interview that she’s not a shopper so she enjoys this dynamic, and even wants James to learn how to curl her hair for her. This is what feminism looks like I reckon.  

Over at Sandoval and Ariana’s house, Bille Lee arrives to hang with Sandoval. “Every time I come or go from your house I get so fucking nervous because of Ariana,” they tell Sandoval, and I would be too if I was on the wrong side of history. Bille Lee tells Sandoval they’re bringing their friend Tii to Hotel Ziggy tonight, and we see another cursed flashback of Tii and Sandoval interacting last week at the pool party (my notes say “horrible banter”). “I mean I did just wash my sheets so…” Sandoval quips to Bille Lee. Fuck off. They discuss which is worse, living with your mum or living with an ex, and I zone out because I’m bored. In his interview, Sandoval explains about how two months ago he had his lawyers draw up a letter of intent for the house to Ariana, but it’s been crickets ever since. 

Across the hall, Ariana is in her room, FaceTiming with none other than Ann! Ann is getting ready for the TSwift concert, “Lavender Haze vibes, I love that!” Ariana laughs. The reason for the call is, aside from sussing Sandoval’s movements in the house, that Ariana is needing her own assistant and wonders whether Ann has anyone she’d like to recommend. “Ariana, can I be in the running?!” Ann asks earnestly. FREE ANN. “Ann is just so sweet and she deserves so much more than putting up with my ex-boyfriend. I don’t know if I could be the one to do it but someone needs to save Ann,”  Ariana tells us. THAT’S WHAT I’VE BEEN SAYING.

vanderpump rules recap

FREE ANN! Image credit: @hayusocial Instagram

Over at some juice bar, Lala and Schwartz are meeting up for some sober drinks. They do shots of an energy drink, and Lala jokes about Schwartz squirting on her. I reckon he has a massive crush on her tbh, but I could be projecting as I myself have a massive crush on Lala. She asks him if he’s ever had sober sex before, to which he says he loves sober sex in relationships. Schwartz then explains that he likes to go on the occasional bender, with both drugs/alcohol AND sobriety, “I like to fall apart every now and then, in a good way and a bad way”. I don’t think that’s how it works, sweetie!!

Schwartz references the night earlier at TomTom with Jax, and we see more footage (yes, it’s cursed – let’s just say from now on you can assume this) of Jax and Sandival hugging it out at the end of the night. “I think I have post-Scandoval brain fog,” Schwartz tells Lala, before casually dropping THE tea of the season (thus far). 

“I think everyone’s cheated in some way, right? Everyone’s done stupid shit. I’ve cheated, I was a makeout slut. I made out with Sceana like 12 years ago in Vegas!” 

At this stage, both Lala and I have looks of bewilderment on our faces (less so on mine given I saw this info in the trailer). Schwartz laughs at Lala’s shock, and in his interview explains that he wanted to put it out there given this is the “summer of forgiveness”. Buddy.

“Sometime like late last year, we were at a party around the holidays, and she was like, ‘Do you remember when we…’ and like, looked at me, we did make out, right? We kinda made out?” recalls Schwartz. “So Scheana has dabbled in the group a bit?” asks Lala, “Maybe microdosed…” responds Schwartz. Ahhhhhh, Scheana. You’ve got some explaining to do little miss thang.

“Scheana and I have gotten extremely close”, Lala explains in her interview, “and it just seems strange to me that at no point in time was she like, ‘Girl I’ve gotta tell you something’ Like what?!”. The scene ends with Lala asking Schwartz whether Katie knows, to which he isn’t sure. “I’m so fucking dead” exclaims Lala. 

Next, we see Katie coming over to Lala’s place to hang out, and we are launching straight in. 

“Oh my god, I have something to tell you!” Lala tells Katie, who immediately pours herself a big girl pour of wine. “You may care, you may not care,” Lala starts (yes Katie will of course care), “I had smoothies with Schwartzy… he drops on me that a few years ago, ‘Scheana and I made out in Vegas’”. Katie is floored, both to Lala and in her interview. “What the actual fuck? Are you kidding me? I just have so many questions. When was this and where exactly was this and was this the time Schwartz said he went to Vegas and made out with one of Scheana’s friends and was it in fact Scheana?” All excellent questions Ms Maloney. 

She asks Lala what Ariana said, and Lala explains that she went directly to Katie. “I went back and forth on whether I should talk to Scheana first or Katie first, and I decided that I needed to talk to Katie first. I don’t want to give Scheana time to figure out a way to make this a pretty picture,” she informs us. This is gonna get messy and my body is ready.

Hotel Ziggy time! The gang arrives (including Sandoval, Ariana, and of course our new main character, Jo) and the vibes are all over the place. Scheana is drinking for the first time in a while and letting everyone know, Jo is feeling awkward due to the hostility in the air and Ariana is wearing a dress that catches even Sandoval’s attention. Scheana grabs Jo’s hat (TomTom merch) and tells her she needs to stop hiding her braids given she’s a hairdresser. 

It all feels a little Mean Girls tbh, and while I hate to see our gals stooping to that behaviour, I do find myself going back and forth as to whether Jo should be welcomed or not. As Scheana reminds us in her interview, “Jo literally drove with Raquel to go meet the Toms in Big Bear, and then left Raquel and Sandoval in Big Bear. It was just a homie hang? Like, come on bitch, you knew”.

“I’ve gotten a lot of hate from the girls, it’s 100% bullying, it’s not fun. It’s horrible,” Jo shares in her interview, before more footage of Scheana, who is both feeling herself and the booze. Katie and Lala arrive, and I wonder what’s gonna go down tonight. 

Scheana, clueless as ever, greets Katie and tells her that she’s having a big one, which she doesn’t do often. “Oh Scheana, you don’t drink drink often?” Katie says in her interview, “Well maybe cos when you do, you make out with people like my boyfriend”. Touche. 

Sandoval is chatting to Billie Lee and Tii. “I like your dress,” he tells Tii, which is so fucking weird to me. Jo is also sitting with them, seemingly hiding from the women who are chatting by the pool (yes there’s a pool at this club). “She’s a rat girl,” Katie says about Jo. The jabs continue, and again, while I hate to see it (and love to see it), Ariana makes another valid point in her interview. “Before anybody starts boohooing over how Jo is treated by any one of us, know that Jo is a full on mean girl bully, who did not give a flying fuck about spending Thanksgiving with me in my home while knowing that our mutual friend was fucking my boyfriend in my house, and it is not bullying for me to point that out”. 

I think my current stance is: Jo is weird and shady but no one should be treated like shit.

Suddenly, Jo frantically rushes past the group and we see her heading to the bathroom in tears. Both Brock and Schwartz follow after her, with the latter asking, “Joseph? What’s up, what’s happened?”. The thought of a man I’ve been sleeping with who I have feelings for actively calling me a man’s name while I’m breaking down is bone-chilling. She tells Schwartz that she didn’t like being attacked, and just wants to go home (before bailing). When Brock approaches the girls, Scheana asks what happened. “Relax on the ‘Where’s Jo?’” he tells her, which I lowkey love. I don’t think he’s too pleased to see his missus cosplaying as Regina George.

Over on the couches, Lala and Katie spill the tea to Ariana and she is shook. “I mean, I made out with Scheana in Vegas,” she tells the girls, perhaps trying to downplay the scandal. Katie explains how she’s unsure how to handle it with Schena, “I don’t wanna be like ‘yo bitch,’ but it’s kinda like… yo, bitch”. They discuss how apparently Schwartz and Scheana had discussed it last year, and cringe at the thought of this being some sort of inside joke. 

vanderpump rules season 11 episode 9

Image credit: Bravo

Suddenly, Sandoval appears, and seeing him stand that close to Ariana makes me extremely uncomfortable. He calmly asks Ariana whether she received his email about the house, to which she responds, “My lawyer has it”. He awkwardly explains to the group that they want to get things moving forward on the house, then exits when he realises any sort of productive conversation isn’t going to happen with Ariana’s back turned to him. 

“It is taking Ariana a lot of time to rid herself of this house, it’s fucking weird! The brand deals are endless, trust me bitch you’re doing just fine, you can afford an apartment, ” says Lala in her interview. On that note, as of this week, Ariana is officially a new home owner! We love to see it, but we love even more to watch the mess of their shared living space playing out on the show.

Over in the misfits corner, Sandoval is chatting up Tii. He asks her if she likes bowling (Jesus) and subsequently invites her on a bowling date. More importantly, Katie grabs Scheana for a chat, and you can tell that Scheana is boozed up, which makes watching the conversation even more nervy. When Katie tells her she knows what’s up, you see the cogs turning and Scheana going into damage control mode. “What happened was, me and Ariana were there with my mum and my sister for her cheer competition, and Schwartz pulls me in the corner and kisses me”. Katie doesn’t look too convinced, but to be fair is handling it quite calmly. Scheana keeps insisting it wasn’t a makeout, which feels like semantics. 

“I wanted to pretend like this never happened. I never told [ex-husband] Shay, I never told my mum, I never told my best friends. Also I would never have told Katie, especially back then, cos like, the bitch was scary! This was peak Tequila Katie hates Scheana days,” Scheana explains to us. Katie brings up the recent comments last year, asking whether this is a personal joke. “I may have made a comment like, ‘oh well yeah, you’re a makeout whore, you tried with me once’,” Scheana claims. Katie tells her that she’s hurt she didn’t tell her, with Scheana explaining that she didn’t want to add to the pile of Schwartz’ indiscretions. “But you being somebody that was also part of that whole narrative, and a part of our wedding, like…” Katie says solemnly. The scene ends with Katie’s interview, “Scheana’s had literally years to tell me about this. I don’t like liars, especially lying by omission.

The next day, Lala, James and Schwartz grab a drink. They ask after Jo, with Schwartz explaining that she’d had an anxiety attack the night before. When Lala presses him about their dynamic, Schwartz doubles down that they’re just friends, and makes a joke about kissing Lala.

She simply responds, “Schwartz, I would break your dick in half”. God, I LOVE her. 

Sandoval arrives, which still gives me a jumpscare whenever I see him with the rest of the cast. “Your energy seems good, you happy?” Lala asks him. “Someone woke up on the sunny side of the bed today,” James adds. He shares the details of his morning, including the fact that due to accidentally leaving Ariana’s door open after popping into the main bedroom. Ariana’s dog Mya ate some of her leftovers and ended up at the vet. “I know Ariana’s very upset at me, but no matter what, it’s clearly an accident,” he tells us. With this guy, who knows.

vanderpump rules season 11 tom sandoval

Image credit: Bravo

Lala shares that she’s hosting a “water sommelier” event in a few days and that Sandoval is invited, which is possibly the most LA thing I’ve ever heard. They discuss Hotel Ziggy, and Lala tells him, “By the way, I get why Ariana gave you the cold shoulder. But Katie and I were like ‘damn, is it weird I feel a little bad for Tom?’”. The group discuss coping mechanisms for anxiety, leading to Sandoval inviting Lala to do a breathwork class with him. Lala isn’t sure if it’s fully appropriate, and asks to sleep on it. “I don’t want to make a mockery of the work you’re doing. I appreciate you inviting me,” she tells Sandoval. Watching this exchange is surreal.

The next day, Sandoval is doing the aforementioned breath work with Dr Vuu – a Lifestyle and Performance Specialist (ok that’s the most LA thing I’ve ever heard). Sandoval is wearing an eye mask and Dr Vuu may as well be Tony Robbins at this point because he’s shouting inspirational instructions to Sandoval, who looks as though he’s having an exorcism. Lala enters and is confused AF. “Exhale with a big ass scream!” Dr Vuu tells Sandoval, who sounds as if he’s in labour. “It feels like an emotional orgasm,” Sandoval tells us. YUCK. 

Sandoval removes his mask to learn Lala is watching him. “What’s up Lala?” he asks her. How dare he act normally after what just transpired??? They go outside for a chat. “I feel really good about this, I appreciate you coming over here,” he tells her. “We should reserve the right to evolve,” says Lala in her interview. “What happened last year was just the cherry on top, and I feel like for a really long time I have really, really tried,” she tells Sandoval, explaining how her past attempts at connecting with him fell flat. “When my life went south, not once did you ask me how I was going,” she tells him.

Sandoval apologises. “I didn’t feel appropriate doing it, because I felt sometimes a disconnect between us.” Lala explains that last year, in particular, she was extremely triggered, not just by Sandoval but by every straight male. “What happened in my life really really fucked me up, and I know that it’s not fair and I’m working on it and I’m trying to heal and trying to trust again, and I don’t want you paying for my experience with someone else.” Sandoval says that he just wants positivity for himself and for others, and that he feels like everything was supposed to happen the way it did. “I’ve been held prisoner to my experience for way too long, you and what you did, that is not my fight,” she tells Sandoval. “I appreciate your vulnerability,” he tells Lala. They both agree they’d like to become better friends and hell hath frozen over.

Next up, we’re at Something About Her for some sangas! Katie describes the space as a “beautiful, feminine, elegant sandwich shop” and I laughed. Both her and Ariana somewhat defensively explain in their interviews that they’re aware things are taking longer than expected, but that they’ve been working on perfecting their menu in the meantime. They’ve invited around their nearest and dearest for a sandwich tasting, and if you’re a Pumphead like myself, you’ll know we’ve already lived this reality last year in the second last episode of season 10. But I guess you can never have too many sandwich tastings amongst friends! The usual suspects arrive, and when Schwartz gives his two cents that they need a hangover sandwich, James excellently exclaims, “Schwartz loves a sloppy Jo!”. Everyone is lolling, including myself.



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The crew head approximately 100m down the down to SUR for drinks, Ariana and Katie bringing the sandwiches with them. When they all sit down, Lala tells Ariana, “I was at your house today”. It’s a little awkward, especially when Lala shares that she and Sandoval had the most productive conversation they’ve ever had. “Very cool Lala, very cool. Don’t know if I buy it, but cool,” Ariana vents in her interview. She explains to Lala and the group in detail what happened to Mya due to Sandoval’s incompetence, with the doofus accidentally locking the dog in the bedroom for hours and Mya’s subsequent emergency endoscopy costing Ariana $6k.

Lisa and Ken arrive and sit down, with Lala and Ariana rushing over to them with a tower of sandwiches. “I can’t believe that sandwich shop is still not open,” Lisa tells us in her interview, aghast at the idea of how much money the ladies are wasting with these delays. Katie is bursting to tell them about the Schwartz and Scheana make out, with Lisa shocked to hear. Right on cue, Schwartz arrives, bringing espresso martinis over to the table for the ladies and spilling them everywhere like the big clutz he is. “I can’t believe you made out with Scheana!” exclaims Lisa, and you can see Schwartz’s soul leaving his body. Katie and Ariana joke about it, but when “sloppy Jo” is referenced, Schwartz is over it and bails. “He orbits in my universe and it’s like, he just fails,” Katie tells the table. “Arrested development”, adds Ariana. Harsh, but fair.

Schwartz approaches Brock at the bar and they do a shot together. “They were roasting me,” he explains to Brock, “I’m roastable”. He talks about how when they were married, he had a lot of pent-up resentment towards Katie, and that his answer was to cheat. “I’d end up making out with a stranger, like the biggest coward on the planet”. Suddenly, we get a tone shift, with an interview from Brock. “Katie’s overreacting from a kiss that happened 10 years ago. Katie needs to get off her high horse cos I know for a fact there’s some double standards happening.” Ok, interesting… go on. It’s then that Brock reveals that Katie went home with someone “in the friend group” recently. “It’s your boy, bro”, he tells Schwartz. 

Schwartz looks dumbfounded, and after a moment of silence asks, “Max?!”. Brock confirms. Max was, of course, a former manager at TomTom, we met him in season 8 but by season 9 he’d gotten the boot. “He’s a very good buddy of mine,” Schwartz tells us in his interview, “Yeah, this has all the telltale signs of a revenge bang.” Brock explains that after Hotel Ziggy, the group ended up at his and Scheana’s place, and that when Scheana checked Max’s location to check he’d gotten home safely, she saw that he was at Katie’s (and still there the next morning). Scheana of all people should not be privy to this kind of technology.

Sandoval and Tii arrive at SUR and Sandoval looks ridiculous. They’ve just come from bowling, and we’re forced to see footage from the bowling date, where Tii is filming Sandoval dancing around like a maniac holding a bowling ball. I’d rather drop a bowling ball directly onto my foot than attend that charade with Sandoval. When they fill Sandoval in, he gets on his old Katie-hating BS. “There’s a total double standard when it comes to Katie, there always has been.” 


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Later, with just Brock and Tii at the bar, Scheana and Ariana approach. They both introduce themselves, although again it’s giving Mean Girls energy (slightly more from Scheana to be fair). They ask how old Tii is (25) and Ariana tells her, “Don’t waste your time with a 41-year-old narcissist”. When it’s just Brock and Katie, he reveals to her that he told Schwartz about the Max hook-up, and Scheana looks PISSED. They squabble about it, with Scheana insisting it wasn’t their place to say anything, especially due to the Vegas kiss bombshell timing.

Scheana and Brock head back to the group, and they ask why Scheana is mad. “ She’s upset that I spoke to Schwartz about last night’s interaction with you and Max,” he tells Katie, who also looks PIIIIIIIISSED. The group’s eyes collectively widen. “What are you talking about?” Katie calmly asks Brock. Deny deny deny, girlfriend. “I was just letting him know his ex-wife and best friend,” responds Brock. YIKES. 

“I do not recognise this version of Katie,” Lala shares in her interview. “Like the Katie I know doesn’t like, seek revenge.” Scheana explains the location tracker of it all, and that Brock saw her phone. “That’s kinda fucked up of Max!” Lala exclaims. Katie and Brock argue about boundaries and double standards and the episode wraps up with me practically salivating at this point for the rest of the season. Until next week!

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