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'Vanderpump Rules' recap: Ariana stands up for Raquel in pre-Scandoval episode

The episode premiered weeks after news broke that Raquel Leviss had an affair with Ariana Madix's boyfriend of nine years, Tom Sandoval.

Just days ago, Bravo released a midseason trailer for "Vanderpump Rules" and gave viewers a preview of the cheating scandal involving Tom Sandoval, Ariana Madix and Raquel Leviss — which, more or less, broke the internet.

On Wednesday night, the show aired Episode Seven of Season 10 and set the stage for future drama.

Titled "Galaxy Gaslighting," the episode follows the cast through some tense moments.

The episode kicks off with a boys’ night featuring James Kennedy, Tom Schwartz and Tom Sandoval. Then, Raquel Leviss and Charli Burnett show up to crash the party.

James tenses up upon seeing his ex fiancée (Raquel). He leaves to go to the bathroom and Sandoval follows.

“I’m literally overwhelmed right now,” James says.

Tom replies, “No I know, it’s a lot.” 

In a confessional interview, James wonders how his new girlfriend, Ally Lewber, will react to Raquel's arrival.

“This just creates insecurities and (distrust), something I don’t want in my new relationship,” he says.

Raquel and James announced their engagement in May 2021 but broke things off a few months later.

The two friends return and find Raquel talking with Tom Schwartz (Katie Maloney's ex-husband). She explains that during her girls' trip, Katie's mother showed up and Raquel felt awkward.

"I had to explain in front of Teri (Maloney) the fact that I entertained the idea of making out with you," she says.

"Who cares?" Tom Schwartz says, nonchalantly.

Raquel elaborates on the situation, hinting at some drama between her and the female members of the cast.

"I was being young and fun and single living my life, and these girls literally set me up to make me seem like I'm only chasing after guys that they're interested in," she says.

The 28-year-old, who recently apologized for her involvement with Tom Sandoval, then calls out one of her castmates for insinuating she couldn't be "trusted" around other people's boyfriends.

"Lala (Kent) goes, 'Honestly Raquel, I'm really concerned about you right now. Honestly, I would never trust you around my man.' And I said, 'Well it's a good thing you don't have one,'" she says.

Charli interjects at this point and applauds Raquel.

“And you said something again which made it even better. ‘Lala, I shouldn’t trust you. You f----- my boyfriend and you were a mistress,'" she says.

In a confessional interview, Tom Schwartz marvels at Raquel’s gumption.

"Hearing that Raquel stood up to Lala, I don't know. I’m kind of impressed. She is kind of thriving, you know? It’s kind of hot," he says.

Soon, James leaves the party. His girlfriend Ally later says that she was annoyed that Raquel joined boys' night during a confessional interview.

"I'm not an expert on guys' night, but I do know that the main rule is no girlfriends allowed. No current ones, no past ones, no past ones with their best friend," she says.

James also expresses his frustration with his ex in a confessional interview.

“Raquel’s f------ up not only what I’ve got going on but she’s fucking up everyone’s relationships. She’s trying to make out with Schwartz left and right. Katie’s not happy about that. Her and Lala in (Las) Vegas (were) toxic as f---,” he says.

Later on, Tom Sandoval hosts a pool party and drama ensues between Kent and Raquel. Ariana, who shows no signs that she knows about Raquel and Tom Sandoval’s affair at this point, suggests that Lala clear the air with Raquel. Meanwhile, Lala says she can’t forgive Raquel for calling her a mistress.

In a confessional, Ariana defends Raquel.

“It’s very difficult for me to wrap my mind around the idea that Raquel is fighting people and being crazy. I would think that Katie, Lala and Kristina (Kelly) gave the mean girl treatment to Raquel like they’ve done to other people in the past,” she says.

At the party, Tom Sandoval also defends Raquel against Lala.

"Jesus, like dude, can you stop? I can't unsee the f------ bully that you were to her for no reason," he says.

Raquel brings up old drama, reminding everyone that Lala slept with James while she was dating him, something she says they kept from her for several years.

"You have moved on from that," Lala says.

"You have moved on from it!" Tom Sandoval exclaims. "She has not. She just got this information f------ two weeks ago."

James interjects this is about "something way deeper" and wants to be left out of their fight.

Lala and Raquel eventually agree that they will never be friends.