Vanderpump Rules Recap: James Cries as Lisa Reunites Him With Graham, & Shares Why He Stopped Drinking, Plus Lisa Advocates for Sandoval, Lala and Schwartz Make Amends, and Jo Wenberg Makes Her Debut

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Vanderpump Rules Recap: James Cries as Lisa Reunites Him With Graham, & Shares Why He Stopped Drinking, Plus Lisa Advocates for Sandoval, Lala and Schwartz Make Amends, and Jo Wenberg Makes Her Debut

After hearing that a depressed Sandoval reached a dark place, LVP is hell-bent on getting the group to lighten up on him. On this Vanderpump Rules episode, Scheana and Lala get advised by LVP on how to handle a clearly “suffering” Sandoval, but Ariana refuses to hear any of this discussion. Plus, James and Ally host their first pool party at their airport — I mean, house. James gets the shock of his life when he later gets reunited with one special pup.

While James is busy doing stuff to prep for his party, like dropping $2,000 on essentials such as a grill and pool towels, Ariana has Katie over to discuss the night before, particularly the Lyft ride home from See You Next Tuesday. In an interesting coincidence, it turns out that this driver was THE Lyft driver from THE infamous night on March 1. I know you know the importance of that date: the day Scandoval broke. This driver saw Ariana and Sandoval fight the whole ride home then… and now look at them — three months later, and they’re still cohabitating in the same house.

Ariana talks about how Schwartz really p*ssed her off with his whole Tahoe trip, and Katie claims she would rather “eat a jean jacket” (a phrase I will certainly use from here on out) than attend. Truthfully, she needs to get that sandwich shop up and running, and that serves as a great excuse.

Scheana and Lala pay a visit to LVP’s house before going to James’ pool party. LVP tells the girls that she spent time with Sandoval and explains that he is in a very dark place. Scheana is still holding that grudge because he blocked her (and Summer Moon!!). Scheana wants Sandoval to take accountability and humble himself; she feels like all he is doing is projecting and doubling down.

In fact, Sandoval called Lala a narcissist when Scheana said *he* was one. Typical Sandoval behavior. LVP reminds them that Sandoval is now a shadow of his former self, and she worries deeply about his depression. She lets them know that she doesn’t want any regrets and tells them that Sandoval is not the kind of person who has suicidal thoughts unless he means it. Lala realizes that she doesn’t want to be angry all the time, and Scheana tearfully explains that at one point, Sandoval was one of her best friends. However, forgiving Sandoval is not worth losing Ariana. LVP is hopeful that everyone just stops attacking Sandoval.

James is amped to be hosting and Schwartz comes bearing yet another plant. Schwartz feels like after the night with Katie, Ariana, and Lala, he’s been tarred and feathered, but everyone should realize that he’s not an accessory to Sandoval’s crime. The party seems fun until a montage of James jumping from his roof into the pool is shown. I feel like they needed a subtitle there reminding us common folk not to try this move at home!

In the meantime, Sandoval and his only friend, Billie Lee, arrive at a cold plunge facility. Sandoval is hoping this can be a healthier way for him to understand his depression, and as he sits in the freezing water, Billie Lee hovers. Sandoval states that “it feels especially really weird” for him because Billie Lee is watching him take a plunge because he is on the outs with everyone in the group. If this cold plunge is meant to be a symbolic rebirthing, it’s missed its mark. No amount of dramatic music can save this guy.

At the pool party, Ally looks Lala dead in the eyes while applying deodorant and shares that James hasn’t drank in three months. Lala doesn’t want to trigger James regarding his sobriety, but she also wants to know exactly every detail about his choice to become sober… California sober, that is.

Lala swims over to Schwartz and explains that she is getting tired of crying or fighting. She is hoping to find a middle ground, and Schwartz feels like Ariana has been “exalted to queen status” with “diva energy.” He makes it clear that the way Ariana spoke to him was triggering. Lala explains that instead of Schwartz abandoning Sandoval, he should find a happy medium to balance out all friendships and stay true to himself. They have a moment of apologies, and Schwartz lets Lala know he loves her in a platonic kinda way.

Post ice plunge, Billie Lee asks Sandoval if he’s thinking about dating. Sandoval responds by saying how much he misses Raquel/Rachel. Billie Lee looks disappointed to hear that Sandoval is still hooked on Raquel/Rachel, and in his confessional, Sandoval states that he is basically saving himself for Raquel/Rachel. Sandoval again shares how he got close to killing himself and just wants to be happy again.

While swimming at James’, Scheana lets the girls know that LVP was very emotional and concerned about Sandoval. LVP herself asked that everyone ease up, and while Scheana talks, Ariana just shakes her head. She doesn’t like LVP comparing her late brother to Sandoval, and Ariana believes that Sandoval is not genuine. Ariana doesn’t trust a word that comes out of his mouth and seemingly wants everyone to think that way too.

Later, James goes to Lala’s. He tells her that he has been sober for about three months, and ge explains that when Scandoval erupted, he spiraled. Things were bad between Ally and James, but James makes it clear that now he is getting sober to better himself. He was willing to do anything to get Ally back and this was the deal. James knows that this is a forever thing and “doesn’t want to be an alcoholic 40-year-old that loses everything” (a dig to Sandoval?).

Jo, Schwartz’s “friend,” makes an appearance. Schwartz calls her a “light” in his life and clears things up by saying she is not his girlfriend and they are just buds now. Jo gives Schwartz a quick haircut, and she handles him like a child (or like a dead person) when she picks him up under the arms to greet his pal, Sandoval, who came over for a visit.

Schwartz invites Sandoval to the lake cabin in Tahoe, and he suggests Sandoval leave his ego behind since some of the girls will be there. Of course, Sandoval doesn’t like this and states, “Lala and Scheana showed the entire nation how to treat” him on their podcasts. Schwartz wants Sandoval’s “they don’t know what they’ve done to me” tone to subside, and although he is worried, he thinks the trip may be a good thing. Delusional much? Besides, after his conversation with a “fully self-aware” Lala, maybe more people are ready to talk to Sandoval.

Scheana is a bit anxious to leave Summer with someone else besides her mom… so she’s hired a babysitter, Tori…… and also called her sister to watch Summer. Scheana and Brock head out to meet James and Ally. Scheana tells James about LVP seeing similarities with Sandoval and her brother who committed suicide. Scheana doesn’t want it to be too late with Sandoval. They are all a bit uneasy about being around Sandoval and wonder if he will be going to Tahoe with them. Via text, Schwartz shares that Sandoval will be in attendance.

Brock makes it clear that there is right and there is wrong, and what Sandoval did was very wrong. However, he feels like there are no teams and they are allowed to feel empathy toward Sandoval.

LVP called James the day before and asked to see him at Vanderpump Dogs. James shows up prepared to talk about the Sandoval situation, but LVP has him there for other reasons. *Note, remind LVP not to enter a scene downstairs ever again — why was she so out of breath?!

Down those same stairs that LVP used comes a familiar-looking dog… and James realizes it is Graham. THE Graham! He was rescued after being in a foster home for two months. Since Graham was biting, he was dropped at a shelter, and someone reached out to LVP to ask if she would take him. James is emotionally confused upon being reunited with Graham, considering he thought he was going there to discuss another dog (Sandoval). Without hesitation, James jumps and agrees to take Graham. Was there a microchip test that proves this is Graham? Either way, it’s nice to see James so genuinely happy again.