Forget “Tequila Katie.”
Tom Schwartz and Katie Maloney-Schwartz have an ugly marital spat on Tuesday’s episode of Vanderpump Rules. And this time, “Tequila Tom” is the aggressor as he berates his wife — in front of their closest friends — for failing to find humor in a high-stakes prank.
The shenanigans begin when Tom Sandoval decides to celebrate Jax Taylor‘s 40th birthday by “TP-ing” his home, flinging rolls of toilet papers all over the yard while he’s at lunch with wife Brittany Cartwright. Schwartz, acutely aware of the tenuous status of their friendship, refuses to participate, even after being peer-pressured into chugging from a beer bong. Sandoval covers his tracks well, TP-ing his own house, too.
Eventually, he cops to the practical joke, and Jax vows to get his revenge. Lala Kent‘s fiancé Randall Emmett lends a hand, arranging for actors dressed as police officers to burst into Jax’s afterparty at Sandoval’s house later that night and pretend to arrest him for “vandalism.”
The stunt goes off without a hitch — until, as everyone is laughing with relief that it’s just a joke, Katie and Ariana Madix voice their disapproval, given the privilege of all the players and ongoing debate over policy brutality in America.
“This s— is actually annoying to me,” Katie tells the group, adding in a confessional, “Like, turn on the news.”
Sandoval thinking it was “one of the best pranks” ever doesn’t sway his girlfriend.
“I understand where Katie is coming from. It’s tone-deaf,” Ariana says. “There are layers to it. I am glad that it wasn’t real, I am glad that it wasn’t real, but … ”
She elaborates in an interview with producers. “The mental relationship that some people have is very different from what other people’s mental relationship is with police,” she explains. “So to joke around about them is in poor taste, in my opinion.”
Eventually, Schwartz tells his wife to “shut up.” “You’re ruining a great moment. We’re laughing,” he rants. “Nobody gives a s— about your opinion.”
Sandoval and Beau Clark try to intervene, but Schwartz won’t back down. “I’ve never been more turned off in my life,” he says, pretending to vomit as Katie looks on incredulously. “That’s why I don’t have sex with her.”
Schwartz unleashes a flurry of further insults at his wife, calling her an “idiot, “moron” and “gross,” adding, “That’s another two months we’re not having sex.”
Upset by his “degrading words,” Katie tearfully tries to leave. Schwartz tries to follow her home.
“Stop!” she cries. “I’m not going with you.”
It’s far from the couple’s first on-screen argument. They had a spat last season on vacation in Mexico, and Schwartz threw water over Katie’s head during an early fight in the series. Perhaps the biggest blow-up occurred at their joint bachelor/bachelorette party in New Orleans during season 5, over lingering resentments from Schwartz’s infidelity.
In a 2017 interview with PEOPLE, Katie admitted that trip was their “rock bottom.”
“I just knew we either needed to turn things around and really recommit and change our attitudes or walk away from it all,” she said. “The one constant thing in our relationship has been our commitment and how much we’ve fought for our relationship because we believe in it and love each other so much. So we had this revelation and we said in New Orleans we had to burn our relationship down to the ground so it could grow back healthier.”
And since tying the knot in 2016, she said their romance has been healthier than ever.
“Nothing has changed our dynamic or we’re not different people, but overall our approach to our relationship is very different,” she said. “There’s not as much pressure or ultimatum, we’re just settling in to spending the rest of our lives together.”
Of course, it turns out that wedding wasn’t legally binding — so stay tuned to see the couple officially say “I do” this season, plus how they overcome tonight’s outburst.
Vanderpump Rules airs Tuesdays (9 p.m. ET) on Bravo.
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