Vanderpump Rules – Season 7, Episode 2 – Hope and Pride

Vanderpump Rules Season 7 Episode 3
Photo Courtesy of NBC Universal / Bravo. The staff at SUR gets ready for Pride Day.

Welcome back to our review of Vanderpump Rules Season 7 Episode 2. In this week’s episode, we join the cast of Vanderpump Rules and the crew at SUR for the annual Pride parade. Watch as nearly every storyline intersects with James Kennedy in one way or another.

Episode Overview

Jax & Brittany’s Surprise Engagement Party

As the second episode of season seven kicks off, newly engaged Jax and Brittany arrive home from their engagement dinner. Little does the future Mrs. Jax know all their friends are waiting in their apartment to surprise them. Stassi put her event planning skills to work to coordinate with everyone, including special guest Lisa Vanderpump. However, the party doesn’t last long as Jax and Britt cut out early to consummate the engagement. Awkward…

James is “Pumped” about the engagement

Next, we jump over to SUR as James Kennedy delivers a stadium-sized DJ performance in a small restaurant. Billie stops by the DJ booth to tell James that Jax and Brittany just got engaged. James comes through with a nice quip, “I’m really happy for Brittany. I think Jax will be a great first husband for her.” Good one, WK.

In the next scene, Jax and Britt are on the balcony toasting their new engagement. We learn that Jax isn’t speaking to his mother. Also, Jax says he didn’t know how ill his father was. He didn’t even get to say goodbye to him before he died.

Kristen plots yet another James Kennedy takedown

The next scene has Kristen chatting with LaLa about James Kennedy, her favorite obsession. Apparently, James has earned the top spot on Kristen’s “shit list”, which is a place that nobody ever wants to be. Not because they fear her but because they know she has nothing better to do than to make their life miserable.

Shopping with pride. No, wait, shopping for pride.

Next up, Tom, Ariana, Scheana, and LaLa go shopping to find outfits for the Pride celebration, one of the biggest celebrations of the year for SUR. This year, there is an 80’s theme, and Sandoval decides to go with an 80’s aerobics costume. I give his costume a thumbs up, and his demonstration of pelvic thrusts a thumbs down. I wish I could unsee that.

During their try-on session, the conversation turns to Jax and Britt’s engagement. LaLa thinks that Jax has truly changed, based partly on the impact of his father’s death. However, Ariana and Tom seem a bit more skeptical, expecting the real Jax to return at any moment. Only time will tell whether Jax is truly a changed man.

Later in the ’80s shopping party, the crew talks about seeking the White Yeezus at Coachella. Apparently, James made an extremely off-color comment about LaLa, right in front of her man. He said something to the extent of, “Oh, come on, lighten up. We all know each other inside and out if you know what I mean.” LaLa swears not to be friends with him anymore.

Kristen and Stassi Chat and Plot

Meanwhile, back at Kristen’s apartment in West Hollywood, Stassi, and Kristen are chatting it up while Kristen’s dog, Gibson, pounded her stuffed animal. The two are having essentially the same conversation about the changes they’ve seen in Jax. But as with any conversation with Kristen, the topic quickly turned to…surprise…James Kennedy!

Kristen tells Stassi that her friend Hope went to Coachella with James, his girlfriend Raquel. Hope drops a bomb and tells Kristen that she had sex with James while Raquel was asleep. Apparently, Hope has been sleeping with James on and off over the years <insert image of Kristen drooling>. Listening to Hope talk about it makes one thing clear, James preys on the not-too-bright type.

As she leaves, Stassi affectionately calls Kristen a psycho. Note: If Stassi calls you a psycho, you’re a psycho.

Next, Jax pays Lisa a visit at her beautiful Beverly Hills Mansion, Villa Rosa, which is Italian for I’m super-rich. I think. Jax is there to ask for his job back, so he begins the conversation by laying it on thick with Lisa. Telling her that she is family, we really appreciate you being at the engagement celebration, blah, blah, blah.

Wait, I just threw up in my mouth. Ok, now I can go on.

Lisa pushes back, asking Jax what the upside is to having him back at SUR. Jax has been a confrontational asshole at SUR on numerous occasions. But, as she has done so many times before, she decides to give Jax a chance. She throws him a bone and asks him to run the garden bar during the Pride celebration the next day.

James & Raquel host their first dinner party

In the next segment, we get a peek at James and Raquel’s apartment in West Hollywood. The two are prepping for a dinner date with Tom and Ariana later that day. T&A shows up and James shows off his washer and dryer, drawing oohs and ahh’s, putting into perspective how expensive it is to live in an apartment in Los Angeles.

The two couples chat over finger food (which looked quite good, by the way) and the conversation leads to Kristen. Just kidding. The obsession is not reciprocal. The conversation led to James and how his inappropriate rap lyrics offended Brittany. Tom compares him to Kanye, especially in regarding saying things that he later must apologize for.

And in other news, I can’t stand Kanye.

Moving along. James expresses the desire to apologize to Jax. He also expresses his appreciation for Tom Sandoval. Despite James’ many mistakes, Tom has always been there for him, dishing out advice the way a big brother would, believing in him when no one else does. I have to give Tom credit for being so good about it. I’m sure he is as disgusted as we are with James and his actions, but he still manages to be there for him. You’re a good man Tom. A good man who shaves his forehead, but still a good man.

The two couples relax on the couch and have a couple of glasses of wine. James asks if Jax and Brittany’s engagement makes Tom and Ariana feel any pressure to get engaged. The look on their faces tells us everything we need to know. Yes, Tom wants to. No, Ariana does not.

Pride Day

The next day is Pride Day, and we catch up with the SUR crew as they arrive to start the day. The producers did a hilarious little segment here themed like an 80’s sitcom called “OverSURved”, complete with titles and a laugh track. It was quirky and different, but I like it when these shows don’t take themselves so seriously.

SUR opens and the place is immediately packed. Jax and Tom are behind the bar, together again. James is spinning a track with Scheana on the mic, which frees up James to pound drink after drink – shots, mixed drinks, and champagne. Everything a growing drunk needs.

Kristen and Hope corner Raquel

Little does he know, that Kristen and Hope are slithering in through the back fence. They quickly corner Raquel in the bathroom and let her know that Hope slept with James. As they are giving Raquel the details, Raquel’s mind wanders, back to the time when she won an award for, “Most Oblivious Person on the Planet.” As she comes to, Kristen is presenting Hope’s case on her behalf.

In my opinion, this backfires on Kristen. If Hope had come to Raquel on her own and said that she was sleeping with James behind her back, it would have had a far greater impact. But with Kristen doing the talking, it just looks like Kristen is trying to get back at James.

At this point, Raquel isn’t sure if she believes Hope or not, so she decides to go talk to a plastered James to get the truth. She confronts DJ Jazzy James with the “gossip”, and he blows up, which is where his downward spiral begins. We’ll get back to James later.

Lisa meets Stassi’s boyfriend, minus the ass comments

Now, we head over to Pump where Lisa and Ken are enjoying the festivities. Stassi shows up to introduce her new boyfriend, Beau. Let’s just say that Beau makes a MUCH better impression on Lisa than Patrick, Stassi’s former boyfriend/human douche. Beau didn’t comment on Lisa’s arse even once. Lisa gives him the thumbs up as she and the entire viewing audience notices that Stassi seems much happier. Happy is a good look on Stassi.

Raquel confronts James

In the next scene, there’s a brief lull in the action as James leaves the DJ booth to chat with Jax at the garden bar. In a moment of clarity, James apologizes to Jax and Brittany and gives the two an engagement gift, a nice tequila gift basket. Brittany accepts his apology but is smart enough to keep one eye open.

Just when it looks like James is in a good spot, Raquel appears and she’s not happy. Brittany lays it on him that Hope said she has sex with him at Coachella. He reacts like a little child, shouting obscenities about Kristen at Raquel and denies everything. He claims that everyone else is lying and they are just obsessed with him.

Raquel is clearly upset and hurt, but she is somehow still committed to the relationship. Something tells me that she doesn’t believe James, but she doesn’t want to break up with him either. You can really see the pain on her face. Unfortunately, James doesn’t see how much he’s hurting her, so he’s not likely to stop. James storms out of SUR, leaving Raquel behind. Now she can finally go pee.

Something funny about this scene was that Jax was watching their discussion from behind the bar. The look on his face is like, “I’ve been there a million times dude.” At the same, he realizes that he’s suffering from excessive pit sweat, so it’s time to keep his arms down.

In the next scene, Tom Schwartz shows up looking as gay as a football bat, with his pride shirt and headband. Oddly, he grabs a used beer off a random table and takes a drink. Proving once again, that he should be running his own bar.

Outside, behind SUR, where shit always seems to go down, LaLa and Scheana are trying to talk some sense into Raquel, who still thinks the world is flat. LaLa doesn’t understand why Raquel can’t see all of the bad things that James does. As if to prove her point, James walks up and calls LaLa a f*cking b*tch.

The quote of the episode comes when LaLa is wondering why Raquel doesn’t see all of the bad things that James is doing. She says:

“When you were in Sonoma getting a degree in Kinesiology, your boyfriend was getting his degree in shoving his dick in people that are not you.”


Tom pulls James aside for a chat. James is looking a hot ass mess as he straight-face denies his past indiscretions, even to his big brother Tom. In the interview segment, Tom admits that he thinks James has cheated on Raquel, given the sheer number of women who are accusing him.

Then, Kristen the bunny boiler walks up with Hope Floats and asks Tom, “Why is James here?” A completely bewildered Tom asks, “What the f*ck are you talking about? He works here!”

As James staggers away, LaLa tries to talk some sense into James. James plans to simply insult her and then walk away, but then he notices her ass and decides to hang around. As she’s telling him to get his shit together, he’s saying things like, “Remember us, Lala? Remember us?”

Katie feels left out and decides to insult Jame’s pants. Drawing a dismissive response from James, “Don’t even get me started on you darling.” This will later become more than just two people insulting one another. Katie will try to turn it into a body-shaming movement without any momentum.

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