Sandoval and Raquel Say ‘I Love You’

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We’ve all become privy to the pure darkness lurking beneath Tom Sandoval’s “nice guy” schtick and Raquel Leviss’ “sweet bimbo” act over the past two months. But Wednesday night’s Vanderpump Rules season finale, an addendum to the Scandoval, revealed a deeper level of ugliness between these cursed (and apparently, now former) lovebirds—even uglier than Sandoval’s crusty, Wite-Out manicure that he’s wore all season.

Before we get into this gripping finale, let’s start with an update on Sandoval and Leviss. After tons of questions about their relationship status since March, the two are supposedly dunzo, according to scoop today in The Messenger. Embarrassingly for Leviss, the breakup was seemingly at Sandoval’s behest. “His relationships with everyone right now are on the back burner, and he’s focusing on his music,” a source told the outlet. “He’s about to turn 40 and trying his best to move away from all of this, but he’s struggling at times.”

This piece of gossip seems about right, given that Sandoval belted out the lyrics “Raquel is not for me” during a weird rendition of “Jessie’s Girl” at his cover band’s concert last week. (Gross.) The timing of this announcement is also pretty convenient considering how cruel Sandoval and Leviss come off in their one brief yet staggering scene together. Presumably, they’ll both look even worse at the upcoming three-part reunion. At least no one can say they’re still banging, I guess!

But let’s get into this dramatic conclusion to Season 10, simply titled “#Scandoval.” The episode opens with a flashback to that fateful Watch What Happens Live episode on March 1 where Leviss curiously called Sandoval the hotter Tom between him and Tom Schwartz during a game. Back then, this remark seemed innocent, most likely an effort to distance herself from Schwartz after all the drama they caused this season. At the same time on the West Coast, however, Madix discovered a screen recording of Leviss on Sandoval’s phone while he was performing at his restaurant TomTom. And the rest is reality-TV history.

“I know what I did was really fucked up,” Sandoval says, holding back tears in a confessional. “And there’s no excuse for it.” Funnily enough, Sandoval makes about 1,001 excuses throughout this episode for why he had an affair with his longtime partner’s best friend. Obviously, every action has a motivation, whether or not it’s justifiable. Unfortunately, all of Sandoval’s explanations for sleeping with Leviss read “mid-life crisis” in giant, bold letters.

The majority of this episode features Sandoval going to different cast members’ houses to dramatically weep, explain his side of the story—mostly that Leviss made him feel good about himself—and get scolded. First, he goes to his and Madix’s Valley Village home after claiming to spend the night at Schwartz’s (but probably Leviss’) apartment. At this point, Madix looks more exhausted than angry but still manages to call out her ex-boyfriend on all his bullshit.

To no one’s surprises, Sandoval pulls out all the excuses he gave on Howie Mandel’s podcast for why he betrayed his partner. He and Madix weren’t having sex. He felt lonely. Madix threatened to harm herself when he tried to break up with her. (She aptly reminds that he was already sleeping with Leviss before he attempted to call their relationship off.) Overall, it appears like Sandoval mostly regrets extending the affair for several months, not having one in the first place.

But Madix is too smart to let any of Sandoval’s poor reasons fly. At one point, she calls out his and Leviss’s fling exactly for what it seems like to the rest of the world. “That girl is searching for her identity in men,” she says. “She has no identity of her own. [She’s] willing to stoop as to fuck one of her best friend’s partners. And that’s someone you think is a good person you should be around?”

But apparently, the answer is yes, as Sandoval makes a visit to Leviss’ place to check on her. If this scene wasn’t pathetic enough, Leviss has lit up her apartment with galaxy lights, as if to remind Sandoval that he’s essentially dating a tween now. The two snicker about being the most hated people on television and give each other a long hug. The most absurd (and saddest) part of all of this is when Sandoval mistakenly calls Leviss “Ariana,” which she laughs off. They both tell each other, “I love you.”

A statement shows that Leviss apparently disappeared after shooting this scene. Still, her few minutes of screen-time manage to evoke tons of rage.

The most shocking part is how giddy Leviss is, both in her confessional and chatting with Sandoval. We’ve seen how oddly unfazed she is by conflict throughout this season. In certain contexts, especially on reality TV, this trait can be admirable. But it turns out this woman may not have been born with any feelings—the main two being empathy and regret.

Likewise, one would assume Leviss would at least feign remorse in her scene with Sandoval for optics’ sake and not wanting to offend Madix any further. But she talks about sleeping with her best friend’s boyfriend like she accidentally stepped on Madix’s toe. “I was just so curious what it would be like to be physical with someone that you love,” she said, grinning ear-to-ear in her confessional.

She also complains to Sandoval about Scheana Shay allegedly punching her after she told her about the affair. “Is this my karma?” she asks him, still smiling. She also says it’s “eye-opening” that the people in her life don’t want to be around her at the moment.

Presumably, a producer told these two how bad they looked during this segment because Sandoval spends the next scene having a full panic attack in front of Lisa Vanderpump. Before then, he breaks down in front of Schwartz, who’s mostly concerned that he’s “canceled” now for being associated with him.

That said, Schwartz is on trial in this episode, too, as he spent the previous months keeping Sandoval’s dirty, little secret. Madix says that Schwartz told her that Sandoval and Leviss had sex in his car while they were parked outside their house right after their girls trip early on this season. In another scene, he tells Katie Maloney that Sandoval only told him a month ago before admitting that he knew in September. Maloney also mentions that Schwartz made a cryptic remark about Leviss and Sandoval’s relationship at last October’s BravoCon, suggesting that Leviss wasn’t hanging around TomTom for him.

Likewise, the episode ends with Madix telling Schwartz that she can’t be friends with him anymore. This is dovetailed by an equally devastating scene of Shay calling off her friendship with Sandoval—right after he tells her that he cheated on Madix with someone else that they know. I wasn’t expecting to mourn anyone’s relationship but Sandoval and Madix’s in this episode, but considering how long Shay and Sandoval have been friends—and how long this show has been on the air—their breakup was surprisingly emotional.

I’d be remiss not to mention the very brief Kristen Doute appearance, when she shows up to comfort Madix. The segment of them burning Sandoval’s and Madix’s keepsakes maybe could’ve been used for more soundbites from Leviss before she supposedly became a fugitive. Nevertheless, we love bonding over shitty men. See you next week!

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