‘Vanderpump Rules’ season 4 reunion (part 1) review: All eyes on Kristen

Vanderpump Rules -It’s time for our favorite part of the season, the reunion! After a drama filled season of ups and downs for the group individually, as a whole, we can’t wait to hear how things have gone since the season finished filming several months ago. Tonight is part 1 of 3 reunion shows and we will be right here covering them all for you. Let’s find out who is in and who is out in the latest round of “Vanderpump Rules” Reunion.

Andy is hanging out at Sur with Headmistress Lisa and the cast. He mentions all the celebrities who are fans of the show such as Jennifer Lawrence, John Legend and Chrissy Teigen. Andy greets each cast member individually, as is tradition. They all look pretty hot. Andy plays the clip from the infamous WWHL with Lala and James. Lala is sober for the reunion, and seems pretty nervous.

Andy starts it off by asking if anyone’s status has changed since filming ended. Lisa lets us know that James got drunk again at the place of business and is currently suspended from SUR. Talk moves quickly to the Jax and James rivalry. James insists he does not hate Jax, but concedes he has said some very hurtful things about Jax. Andy wants to know what it is about James that sets Jax off, and he says it’s his mouth. Jax says James is lucky he’s on probation and manages to turn a physical threat into a funny lighthearted joke in a way that only Jax can. The subject of Jax’s mom comes up and they go over the items he admitted to her on camera that he stole from Lisa. Jax defends himself by saying he’s not the only one who has ever done that. Lisa comes to his defense by saying that despite his flaws, he is a good worker who is always amazing to her.

Scheana’s Decades Party comes up and Andy asks if Kristen ever even considered not crashing it knowing she was not invited. She doesn’t. She admits she’s let nothing stand in her way and basically has no regrets about any of the numerous times she has done it. Everyone else looks uncomfortable. Tom Sandoval rolls his eyes and shakes his head at her lack of shame. Andy asks Lisa about knowing that James was drunk almost immediately upon her arrival to the party. She talks about the darker, different side of James who is present when he’s been drinking. Andy asks him why he did that knowing he was being watched. James said he thought it would be okay but realized in hindsight that it wasn’t. They show the clip of him chugging hard liquor and looking toasted, and he says he won’t be doing that anymore. Lisa mentions that he was actually double-fisting the booze at one point.

Andy segues into the morning after the party, when Kristen discovered an Uber receipt that led her to believe James had cheated on her. Andy asks how she found it, she says he left his laptop open and she did some private investigating and it paid off. Schwartz jokingly says to the camera “guys at home, are you listening?”. Always destroy the evidence is the takeaway. Good looking out. We see the footage where James lies while looking deeply into Kristen’s eyes when he claimed he never ever cheated on her even when they weren’t together, followed by his interview admission that yes, he was totally boning Scheana’s friend. Kristen is disgusted that he seemed so pleased with himself for getting away with it. Lisa hates the word boning, but Andy points out that what they were doing definitely was boning and not making love. Andy wants to know if James saw anything in his behavior that he would like to change. James says yes and he is bettering himself, Kristen says he is not.

They move on to the breakup between James and Kristen. Kristen says he left a note on her windshield calling her something offensive and she was done. James brings up that she cheated on him multiple times and would come home from nights out with her “face smelling awful”. Scheana’s look of disgust bordering on being violently ill matches our reaction, as well. Kristen starts to deny it, but Sandoval chimes in about how as time goes on he learns more and more just how many men Kristen slept with during their relationship, and tells James he probably will too. Kristen says if it were true she would admit it loudly.

Andy asks Lisa if James only applied for the job to get on the show. Kristen tries to interject and is promptly shut down by Lisa, who can speak for herself, thank you very much. Lisa mentions that James’ mom was the one to ask her if James could work there. She let him start as a busboy, and after hooking up with Kristen finally ended up in the cast. Andy wonders if he just used her to get on television, and Jax says yes. James says it wasn’t the case and that he and Sandoval were already really close friends by then and he didn’t need to use her. Kristen feels he’s lying and did pretend to love her for a storyline. Always one to play Devils Advocate, Sandoval brings up that he thinks Kristen did it solely to hurt him because James and he were about to be roommates and that would be the one person who would be taboo. Ariana looks very uncomfortable and brings up that it all happened while Kristen was essentially squatting at Tom’s apartment and wouldn’t leave. Andy asks Kristen how far her financial support for James went. She basically admits to being his Sugar Mama and James grins and says why else would he be dating a cougar. Eww, James. Not a good look.

Next we move to Lala, who looks really pretty except that the makeup in HD is a little bit extra. Lala, you don’t need all of that. You’re beautiful naturally. Lala says her friend Dani, also a server at SUR, convinced her to go apply to work there. Everyone seems shocked when she says it’s her first real job. Despite the fact that both she and Katie are from Utah, Andy points out that there was no real bonding going on between them. Katie said the very few times they spoke, she never felt like Lala cared to get to know her. The time that Lala lied to Lisa about a modeling job in Italy to get out of working comes up, and Lisa feels Scheana and Katie were just being protective of her. Lala doesn’t think it was a big deal. Katie tries to answer her, and Lala snaps at her that shes talking to Andy. Ohhhh snap! Katie looks stunned and irritated. We don’t think there is much of a chance at a future friendship for these two. Sometimes people just don’t mix. Andy asks Lala how many times rich men have flown her to exotic places, and she tells him straight faced that she has lost count. She claims that she has never slept with any of them, and they just go and have fun. Andy wonders if shes aware of how it looks to everyone. She is. She knows it looks bad. She insists she would be proud to admit it, but it just didn’t happen. Andy wants to know what it is about Lala that attracted him to her. He says it was just fun flirting and everyone else chimes in “boobs”. Lisa feels the fresh meat is a challenge for Jax and that is what does it for him. Lala says she is basically the same way as Jax is and enjoyed the flirtation they had. Andy wonders if Jax forgot that he has a girlfriend. Jax downplayed it at the time. Lisa calls him out. Lala told Andy that her impression was that he was single, because he led her to believe that was the case. Lala is asked how hard it was being the new girl in this tight group, and Katie cuts her off to complain that she has portrayed her as a bully, which Lala denies. Lisa did feel they were excluding Lala and Scheana claims it was just joking. More sparks fly between Katie and Lala. Meow.

Shay joins the group after a break. We review Shay’s struggles with addiction to pills, and how it has affected their relationship. Shay says a sports injury started his addiction. Lisa wonders how Scheana didn’t realize he was sick and Scheana has a pretty good understanding of how addiction works by explaining that your body eventually becomes almost immune to it and you need it just to function. She points out that had he stopped taking them she would have noticed he was different. Andy wonders why she waited so long before telling people about what was going on. Scheana felt it would be resolved quickly and nobody would ever need to know. Andy asks Katie what she knew about what Shay was going through, and Katie says she was shocked and nobody would have ever suspected. Lisa says she was disappointed when she found out, and felt he passed the blame on to Scheana. We find out that the reason so many people were over when Shay and Scheana discussed it was because Shay was intimidated by her and wanted other people there to step in if some mediation was necessary. Shay seemed more ashamed to face Scheana than scared. He wants Sandoval there to support him, and he was. They were really good friends in this situation, if you ask us. Jax, on the other hand, was not surprised they were having serious relationship troubles so soon after marriage. He claims not to have known Shay was dealing with an addiction to pills, but Scheana tells him he is wrong and doesn’t listen because she told him herself. Andy dumbfounds Jax by calling him a colander, meaning everything just goes right through him.

Lisa feels Jax was not a supportive friend during this time. Scheana was really hurt by the things Jax said. He does apologize. Andy turns the attention to how Scheana has chosen to deal with Shay’s addiction, which has often seemed dismissive or flippant. To her credit, she admits that she was ignorant to what addiction truly was like at the time. She seems much more mature now, and has a clearer understanding. Tom brings up that sometimes she uses it as a means to belittle Shay and James nods in agreement. Lisa steps in to defend her and says she tries to build him up, not tear him down. Scheana takes complete responsibility for how poorly she handled the situation, and we have never liked her more than in this moment. Nobody is perfect, and Scheana took the opportunity to reflect on her actions, own them, learn from them, and change them. We really respect that. Shay has been totally clean for three months. Lala apologizes for judging them and admits that nobody but Scheana and Shay know the whole truth. Shay tells Lisa that he felt judged by her, and how she reacted was the exact reaction that scared him about coming clean about his addiction. Lisa apologizes to him and tells him she wants them to stay together and always hopes the best. Shay talks about how dealing with addiction, and a first year of marriage on television was very difficult and credits Scheana directly for helping him face it.

Ariana is up next, and we see a recap of her 30th birthday party. She wanted to do something fun and unique and Scheana came up with a kids theme, and they went for it. Andy brings up how uncomfortable it was seeing Ariana pour her heart out about how birthdays make her miss her dad even more, and that still doesn’t stop Tom from leaving her to go to Vegas. Ariana says it was hard to experience and relive on television. She felt in that moment she needed to be honest about why she had been acting strangely in the days leading up to the party. Tom says she had issues with being excluded as a child and felt she would be overshadowed once again. Andy wants to know what Lisa thought about the guys leaving the girls to go to Vegas. She thought it was ridiculous, as none of them are single. It would not fly with her. We see a montage of the guys getting naked in front of each other, which Andy points out happens less frequently with himself and his gay friends. Andy asks Katie how Girls Night turned into girl on girl action. Schwartz says that Katie has been with a girl before, and Scheana admits that all of them have. Andy asks each girl individually and they all say yes. Andy seems very surprised and wants to know if any of the guys have been with other men. Schwartz has kissed Tom, Jax says kissed but Andy isn’t convinced that that is all, Sandoval says no. Lala felt she was making a breakthrough with the other women for being invited to Girls Night. Schwartz thinks the women should resolve every argument by making out with each other. Now we get another look at the horrible Bubba and A tattoos that the Toms each got in Vegas. Sandoval went to one removal session and it hurt too much, and he stands up to show us the current state of the A and it does look much less cheesy. It’s a scarlet letter that is there to stay.

Discussion turns to Kristen’s apology at SUR to Ariana for how she had been behaving. Andy asks James what he thought about it. He felt it was complete BS, and Ariana agrees. Kristen doesn’t understand how that could be when they’ve had a cordial last 6 months. Ariana says she can be cordial, but it doesn’t mean she likes her. Kristen says all she does is ignore her, and Ariana insists that that is being cordial. Ariana and Tom feel the only reason it even happened was because Kristen was angling for an invite to Hawaii. This really does sound like a very Kristen thing to do. Ariana is annoyed when Kristen uses the words “hooked up with my boyfriend” and feels it’s been played out. It was one kiss one time. Katie steps in and says that she was there when they all lied to Kristen’s face and made her feel crazy. Sandoval can’t believe he’s being put on the defensive for Kristen and brings up those two times she slept with Jax behind his back. Jax smirks every single time it comes up, which kind of makes our skin crawl. Andy is confused by Kristen losing her mind over one kiss when she had actually slept with multiple people while with Tom. She says it doesn’t make it not hurt. Kristen felt very threatened by this close relationship Tom and Ariana shared, and when she found out she had been right all along it was really hurtful to her. Lisa doesn’t believe Kristen was sincere either, and was looking for another way to get back in the group. She does admit that she was on an apology tour, but that it was sincere. She brings up that therapy is helping her learn and grow, and Tom Sandoval says he knows her well enough to know she is acting. Andy wonders what Kristen could do to make them at peace, he says that he is. They squabble and talk over each other about who knew which friends first. They will never settle this and should accept it. Andy doesn’t buy that Tom is over it, and Tom says so much damage happened that it still gets raw when he’s talking about it.

Lala confronts Kristen about badmouthing her behind her back. Andy asks Kristen how she feels about Lala presently, and she is uncharacteristically at a loss for words. Lala fills in the blank with “ratchet wh*re”, to which the group corrects her as actually having been “wh*rebag”. Lala feels Kristen was fake to her face, and Kristen says she is the least fake person she will ever meet. All jaws drop simultaneously. Ariana is fired up and launches into an f-bomb laden attack on Kristen and the consequences created for others by her actions. Sandoval speaks up to remind Kristen of how she tried to break up Schwartz and Katie, talked smack about Scheana. James tells Katie that one day Kristen will break her heart again, and it’s only a matter of time. Kristen and James have words and she gets the last word by calling Sandoval an angel in comparison to James.

We can’t believe how much drama was packed in to this first hour, and it doesn’t even seem to scratch the surface yet. Andy doesn’t even need to do much more than ask a few questions and they all just take it and run with it, which makes it fascinating from a fans point of view. For that reason, we give Part 1 a Grade A.

Up next week; James and Jax go head to head again, Stassi joins the group for some drama, Brittany shows up to discuss her relationship with Jax, and Scheana talks about feeling excluded.

If you want to take a look at some other “Vanderpump Rules” episode reviews, you can see them here. Also, sign up at this link to get some more updates on all we cover at CarterMatt, sent right over to you via our newsletter.

This review was written by Michelle Wilmot, and if you’re interested in following her on Twitter, you can do so at the link here. (Photo: Bravo.)

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