‘Vanderpump Rules’ recap: A strange sense of pride

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Vanderpump Rules has managed to become one of the most beloved—or reviled, depending where on the reality television spectrum you fall—shows in recent history. Once a mere spin-off of the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, today VPR stands on its own merits, those merits being tequila shots, screaming in alleyways, love triangles, Taco Bell, fluid friendships, and a very flexible definition of feminism. Now the cast is back for season 8, and we’ll be doing weekly Vanderpump Rules recaps.

Our recaps will give you the need-to-know details and rehash relevant backstories so you’ll leave with an intimate knowledge of our SURvers’ neverending saga. Oh, and there will be GIFs. See You Next Tuesday! (Er, Wednesdays to be exact.)

Vanderpump Rules recap, season 8, episode 6: “Your Pride’s Showing”

It’s Pride! It’s SUR’s holy holiday; it’s SUR Christmas. Er, Halloween. Or like a combination of Halloween and the Fourth of July, easily the sexiest holidays. Now I’ll later briefly discuss VPR’s treatment of Pride, but for now, let’s dive in: The Toms are preparing for their first year of celebrating Pride at TomTom and while they’ve invited the fired DJ James Kennedy to do a set, they are worried about James’ “sobriety,” or at least that he stay sober while he’s working at their bar. 

In preparation for Pride, a group of SURvers heads to Lisa Vanderpump’s home to… make posters. Make posters? It’s a little “I’m running for class president!” and not “I run a conglomerate of multimillion-dollar restaurants” but sure. Lisa corners Scheana about her mistreatment of Dayna, and Scheana breaks. You know that thing where someone has so deeply touched a nerve that even though you are just frustrated you suddenly start to cry? That’s what happens to Scheana. Her eyes well up, her voice cracks, and despite her protests that “it’s not a jealousy thing!” and it doesn’t have to do with Max, she squeaks out that Max and she are really good friends—and there we have it. Yes, there are likely some residual feelings, but it becomes clear that Scheana attaches herself to people—including men she’s interested in—and when they start seeming more attached to other people, other women, she feels abandoned. 

Here, let’s cut to last season footage when she and Adam, her “best friend” and pseudo-boyfriend, were best friend breaking up. 

vanderpump rules season 8 recap Bravo/YouTube

And instead of working through those feelings, she turns on whoever the new girl is. 

vanderpump rules season 8 recap Bravo/YouTube

The Pride prep continues at James’ and Raquel’s apartment, where he is working on his DJ set… and, finally, finally, finally we get to talk about 50 Cent versus Lala’s boyfriend (now fiance) Randall. As James explains in his confessional, if you were living under a rock, you may have missed the incredibly legendary beef that played out over the summer between the rapper and Randall. Like the rest of America, James very much enjoyed the Instagram drama, even posting his own recreation of the “money by Monday” order from 50. Lala, who he’s been attempting to patch things up with, did not find it so funny. And back on the outs James goes. 

vanderpump rules season 8 recap Bravo/YouTube

I truly believe James is genuine in wanting to be friends with these people and to make amends, but the smallest inconvenience they cause for him results in him spewing some of the most violent insults VPR has ever seen, and that’s saying something. Bottom line: James is great television and I have to admit that there’s been something missing without the antics of a man who wears a robe that says “White Kanye” without a whiff of self-awareness. 

More Pride prep: New manager Danica is stressed about handling the restaurant on such a demanding day but thankfully our old veteran Jax is there to offer support. Er, to be a brat. Clearly our anti-hero’s feathers are still ruffled by the fact that he works at SUR. No, he will not dress up, and no, he will not stay a whole shift, and no he definitely will not set up for said shift. Later, he complains about what a customer orders. My dude really needs to quit. 

vanderpump rules season 8 recap Bravo/YouTube

Ariana and Katie must be back on good terms following their mild fallout in Miami. The ladies bond over following their respective Toms around during Pride and discussing plans to become old ladies who knit. They haven’t found their footing post-SUR quite yet; Katie is attempting to knit and Ariana is… well, she’s actually returning to SUR to bartend a couple times a week. Just something to force her to get out of the house, she says. And wow: That’s relatable. A job you don’t really want anymore disappears, you have all the free time in the world in a new house and… it’s not as fulfilling as you thought, right? And the tradition and ritual around your job… maybe that wasn’t so bad, right? We hear you, girl. Earlier in the episode, Ariana talked about her depression, and it’s heartening to see someone who supposedly “has it all” being candid about something so many people go through.

Finally, Pride arrives. Pride has always been a very important event for VPR because… well, a lot of people in Los Angeles get very drunk and spend a lot of money at Lisa Vanderpump’s bars. Not to be cynical about it, but there’s a whole lot of chatter about visibility and rights for the LGBTQ communities during these episodes. While certainly some of the cast is genuinely invested in this cause, it feels like the overall attachment to the day is pretty shallow. It’s a day to dress up and drink too much. For example: Raquel is wearing swim goggles and DJ James Kennedy is dressed as a lifeguard. What that has to do with Pride, I do not know.

vanderpump rules season 8 recap Bravo/YouTube

In any case, this year, TomTom has become the epicenter of Pride. At TomTom, DJ James Kennedy is making his return, and it’s dividing the group. Lala is sympathetic, as is his girlfriend, Raquel (of course), but Brittany and Stassi, in particular, have no time for him, despite any insisting that he’s a reformed man. 

While James has a (self-professed) successful DJ set, it becomes obvious that he’s still not sober. He also melts down, screaming on the phone to Raquel for missing his set. Raquel skips her shift to hear James play and is admonished for this. Surely it will not be the last time that her relationship with James affects her work; at least, that’s how it appears her storyline is being set up. 

vanderpump rules season 8 Bravo/YouTube

vanderpump rules season 8 recap Bravo/YouTube

Of course, because it is Pride, Scheana is required to sing/screech her song “Good As Gold” while standing on top of a bar. I remember back when Scheana was actually trying to convince us/herself she could sing, and now that she’s just sort of rasping words out, I almost like her music better. After she jumps off the bar, she and Dayna go to talk about Scheana’s continuing cold shoulder toward the new SUR staffer. Dayna, ever the straight shooter, tells Scheana she seems threatened by her. Scheana says what, no way! It’s just that suddenly Dayna showed up and now all Scheana’s friends are friends with her. Which… means Dayna is exactly right. And also shows Scheana’s weakness: She’s always been desperate to have and keep her friends, and for people to just… to just think she’s cool, damnit! And want to hang out with her! Scheana’s never been the cool girl, and Dayna inherently is, and it breaks dear Scheana’s heart. But finally, in between drags of her inhaler, Scheana admits that she’s just going through a lot in her personal life, including freezing her eggs which has messed with her hormones, and maybe she hasn’t been so nice to Dayna. 

vanderpump rules season 8 recap Bravo/YouTube

vanderpump rules season 8 recap Bravo/YouTube

Progress! Finally! It’s wild that it took us six episodes to get here, but God bless. The two go off to take a shot together to celebrate their resolution and Scheana makes plans to glue her eyelash back on. 

And thus, anther VPR Pride come and gone. Personally, I’m excited about the potential return of DJ James Kennedy and a little intrigued of what will come now that we don’t have to sit and watch Scheana try to punish Dayna.

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Molly McHugh

Molly McHugh

Molly McHugh is the tech editor of the Daily Dot, focusing on technology, social media, sports, and streaming entertainment. Her work has also appeared in Wired and the Ringer.