It seems Tom Schwartz had the money, after all.
— Or did he?
On last week’s episode, Lisa Vanderpump attempted to cash the investment checks from Tom Schwartz and Tom Sandoval — $50,000 each — which they’d given her during the previous season. Sandoval’s went through, Schwartz’s did not. (This is the outcome one would have guessed, if forced to guess an outcome.) Schwartz told her he was good for the money and would have it to her at her earliest convenience.
On this week’s episode, the cliffhanger is fulfilled. In order to prove he was truly good for the money, Schwartz presented Lisa not with a check but, instead, with a small briefcase full of cash. He went to the bank, got a bag full of money — $50,000 worth, we are led to believe — put it in a little briefcase, handcuffed the briefcase to his wrist, and presented it to Lisa and Ken at Tom Tom. (Ken was delighted by the stunt; Lisa seemed a smaller amount of delighted.)
But was there really $50,000 in this briefcase? I’m not so sure. Lisa asked why it was all in such small denominations, and Schwartz told her he wanted the amount to have a nice visual effect. Lisa later commented, in a talking-head segment, that the small suitcase was full of $1 bills, however a freeze-frame done by me, Kelly Conaboy, showed that at least the bills at the top were $5 bills. However, they seemed to have a violet currency strap, which is the currency strap reserved for $20 bills by the American Bankers Association. (A stack of $5 bills gets a red strap.)
I’m not sure how to account for this, except to wonder if the prop staff of Vanderpump Rules got an amount of money in cash (maybe added some prop money?), purchased their own currency straps on Amazon, and put it into an aluminum briefcase. This would also account for the fact that the stacks — which would include a maximum of 100 bills if put together by a bank (every denomination larger than $1 comes in a 100-bill currency bundle) — seem about an inch thick. According to the internet, a stack of 100 bills is 0.43 inches thick. Are there 200 bills in the stack? This would mean each stack contained $1,000. (The bills seem somewhat crumpled, however, so this could account for the extra height, though of course it would still not account for the incorrect currency strap.) Would the small briefcase hold 50 of these stacks? Maybe. Would it hold 100, if they were indeed crumpled 100-bill stacks? I’m less sure. So was $50,000 really in there?
My friend, I wish I had an answer for you. It’s a Vanderpump mystery. I hope we find out in the forthcoming reunion episodes. And please, if you could, do me a favor and ask the Toms if you see them at Tom Tom.
What else? Stassi had the photo shoot for her book Next Level Basic (out April 16), and it seemed fun. Raquel and James Kennedy had their puppy party, and it seemed un-fun. (They played Pin the Tail on the Dog, which looked quite boring. Then they played Poop-Bag Toss, which — situated over about four feet of apartment space — seemed too easy for a game that was meant to entertain adults.) Lala had a concert where she performed two new songs, and she was basically great, at least in comparison to the sort of musical talent we’ve seen from other Vanderpump Rules cast members, by which I mean Tom Sandoval playing trumpet.
Lala dedicated a song she wrote for her father to Jax and Ariana, and it was genuinely touching in a way Vanderpump Rules used to never be but now is frequently, for better or worse. It was the fifth anniversary of Ariana’s father’s death, and she and Sandoval talked after Lala’s concert about what that day was like for them — how Sandoval loved her even then (as a friend, or so he says [Kristin, his girlfriend at the time, thought otherwise (but she and Ariana have since made peace about that)]) and wanted to be there for her. They cried hard and embraced.
The other thing is Stassi was exorcised by a witch. Stassi has come to realize that she has some abandonment issues, and this is why she is self-sabotaging in her relationship with Beau, who is, unlike every other boyfriend she has had, a nice man. She and Katie sought help from “The Oracle of Los Angeles,” who is a witch. The oracle told her that she invited this demon into her life to protect her, but no longer needs him — it’s time for her to tell the demon to leave. This seems like good enough advice to me, honestly. She told the demon to leave, the Oracle did some sort of move that seemed to physically push something away, and now Stassi is on the road to healing. (She admits that this was just the first step.) I really think she can do it, but maybe she can also see just a regular therapist? It’s just an unsolicited suggestion from a stranger.
Next week — Brittany’s family comes to town, and Jax is rude to them!