'Vanderpump Rules' star Lala Kent exposes Tom Sandoval for lying to then-girlfriend Ariana Madix.
The episode opens with Sandoval, Ariana, Tom Schwartz, and Raquel en route to a glamping adventure to celebrate Raquel's birthday.
The episode goes into true-crime mode, with a rewind flashback voiced-over by Lala. As she narrates, viewers see Katie Maloney at Lisa Vanderpump and Ken Todd's house to work on sandwich recipes for her and Ariana's restaurant, alongside the chef who's helped curate menus for Lisa's other L.A. eateries. Ariana was MIA, seeing as she was back home in Florida to attend her grandmother's funeral. Ken walks up to Katie, Lisa and the chef to drop "the mother of all gossip bombs," per Lala.
"I can't believe that Tom Sandoval had Raquel over when Ariana's away," Ken mentions to Lisa. "In the jacuzzi, as well. And she stayed all night!"
Katie asks Ken if he's spreading rumors. Lisa says, no, Ken's only repeating what she told him earlier. Another flashback shows Raquel showing up to her shift at Sur more than an hour late, the day before the sandwich-making party at Villa Rose. A rattled Raquel explains her past 24 hours to Lisa, which included a drunken hot tub session with both Sandoval and Schwartz. Lisa asks her where she stayed the night, and Raquel says at Sandoval's before clarifying, "Nothing happened, though!" She admits she knows it looks bad.
Lala and James are talking and Lala calls Sandoval a "degenerate a**" and a "mess." She recalls a Labor Day party in Newport Beach that Sandoval attended, instead of being by Ariana's side as she mourned her grandmother. They roll self-shot footage from Scheana's vlog camera; Vanderpump Rules cameras were not rolling at this gathering.
Fast-forward, Lala's now at Sur with Katie, Kristina Kelly and Lisa. Lala recalls a "furious" Ariana calling Sandoval while he was at the Labor Day party. Lala claims Sandoval promised Ariana he'd head home immediately, but he didn't leave the party for another two hours. "And he was with Raquel, all day long," she adds.
"This leads me to only one logical conclusion," she announces in a voiceover before she finishes the thought back in the scene with James: "I think Sandoval has a thing for Raquel." James appears both surprised and not surprised by this revelation, muttering, "Oh my god, if Sandoval is banging Raquel, that is..." before his voice trails off. Lala points out that "the last time that Sandoval was talking about a woman the way he talks about Raquel was when he was talking about Ariana to the group when he was with Kristen." The episode flashes back to Tom's attempt to cover up cheating on Kristen with Ariana nearly a decade ago.
"Tom and Ariana don't like to focus on their relationship," Lala tells James, who says, "Maybe the distance they've got works for them." Lala calls his bluff and declares, "Something ain't right."
"I think something's going on and I'm just gonna call it like I see it," she adds.
Back at the glamping trip, Scheana asks Ariana how going back to Florida was; Ariana calls it strange. She usually goes home to see her grandma. Sandoval looks uninterested in the conversation. "I miss her," Ariana admits, tearing up. "I just kept thinking, like, I just wish I could, like, talk to her..." Scheana embraces Ariana, as Sandoval appears to wipe away nonexistent tears.
"It's been a really hard year for me," Ariana reflects in a confessional. "I'm not well. I'm really, barely hanging on to be honest."
Ariana asks if anything happened when she was away, and Raquel immediately brings up being late for her shift. Schwartz tells her, "I heard you looked like a bag of s**t" and she says, "I did!"
Sandoval gets to tell his version of events again, this time in a confessional. The sleepover happened the night of the disastrous beach day. Back at the picnic table, Raquel picks up recalling the night, and Ariana doesn't find the jacuzzi part of the story weird, calling it "something we always do." Raquel says she stayed the night on the couch, and Sandoval interjects to say he encouraged her to "go upstairs" and use the guest bed. Scheana calls out Sandoval and Schwartz for lying because they told Brock that Raquel did not stay the night. In unison they shout, "Because the optics!" There's a flashback to a guys' day at the basketball court, where Sandoval once again says Raquel "dipped out."
"On the heels of, you know, the open relationship rumor and obviously Schwartz and Raquel making out in Mexico, like we just thought, maybe it'd be better if everyone didn't know that little detail," Sandoval offers in a confessional.
Sandoval defends himself to Scheana, saying he wasn't lying. "She did dip out. She went and passed out."
In confessional, Sandoval promises he was "fully going to tell Ariana" and, in hindsight, he should've just told the truth from the start. "Like, stupid."
"Something don't smell right with this Raquel and Sandoval 'friendship,'" Lala remarks in a confessional. "I know better than anybody that when you have a dude who's your best friend, who's there during difficult times and then you add alcohol, you end up sitting on their face."
At an event for Kristina's brand, Heartspring, the cast arrives one by one, starting with Lala and her friend, Logan, then Katie and her mom. James and Ally follow. After a while Schwartz shows up and awkwardly approaches Katie, her mom and Lala; he offers to get them drinks. In confessional, he says he feels stuck in the doghouse. Lala asks Katie what it would take for her and Schwartz to move forward. Katie says Schwartz needs to apologize and mean it, and until that happens, it's a no-fly zone.
Raquel walks in with Sandoval and Ariana, who are linked arm-in-arm. In confessional, Lala calls "this whole dynamic strange."
"Maybe it's a throuple?" she muses. "I just, I feel like I've taken a hit of acid."
The night is wrapping up. Lala invites Ariana to build a goodie bag of Heartspring products with her before they leave. They go down the line of products and stock up. Ariana thanks Lala for checking in on her after the deaths of her dog and grandma. "This summer is really trying to do me in," she says. "How have I not faked my own death and disappeared? Like, honestly, I'm just like, I don't know how I keep going sometimes."
Lala brings up the Labor Day barbecue. She says Sandoval approached her at the party and told her that Ariana was mad at him. "Because he couldn't get a ride," Ariana explains. She claims his ride, someone named Jason, had already left the party. Ariana says Sandoval didn't realize Jason had left without him.
"No, he did know," Lala tells Ariana. "I was standing there," Ariana calls Sandoval over. She tells Lala, "I'm not gonna do this, where I sit here and defend somebody." It's a subtle fourth-wall break.
Sandoval joins them, and Ariana asks, "So Jason said he was leaving the party and you said, 'No, I'm actually going to stay?'" Sandoval denies this. He once again invokes the phrase "dipping out," saying that's all he heard from Jason.
"Right, and then you chose to stay longer?" Ariana asks.
"I guess, I don't know," a red-handed Sandoval mumbles.
"I found out that my grandma died, like, while you were there," Ariana notes to a nodding Sandoval. "You knew about that, and then Jason said, 'I'm gonna leave,' and then you said, 'I'm gonna stay?'" She gives him a big, s**t-eating grin.
"Well, yeah, I kinda figured you wanted to be alone," Sandoval replies, but Ariana isn't letting that slide. She recalls asking him to come home to her, but his excuse was, he had no ride.
"When my dad passed away 10 years ago, we weren't even together then, and he thought it was such a huge priority that he drop everything and be there for me," Ariana shares in a confessional. "We've been together now for eight and a half years and somehow, somewhere it feels like, maybe he just doesn't think I'm as important anymore. I don't know."
Back in the scene, Sandoval admits he "should've" gone home to Ariana. Ariana says Lala wants to know why Sandoval didn't just leave the party with Jason. Lala says she doesn't need to know, because she's not in a relationship with Sandoval.
"I was fine with how things transpired that day," Ariana starts to say, seemingly in an attempt to let this blow over; Lala cuts her off to tell her it's OK to tell Sandoval she wanted him there with her in her moment of grief. Ariana takes a long sip of wine, as Sandoval gets defensive. He tersely repeats, "I couldn't get a f**king car." Lala says she was standing right there when Sandoval could've left with Jason. Ariana asks for clarity once more, saying Sandoval told her he didn't realize Jason had left "because you were taking a s**t."
"Well..." Sandoval lets out, defeated.
"You realize, you put me in a position with this, where people will think that I'm a f**king idiot," Ariana tells Sandoval.
"I choose Tom over everyone," Ariana offers in a confessional. "Like, I ride or die for you. So, I look like an idiot being Tom's No. 1 stan, when he's not mine.”
Vanderpump Rules airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Bravo.