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What Happened In Vanderpump Rules Season 9? Your Recap and Episode Guide
There were babies, engagements, fights, food issues, and so much more.
Can you believe Vanderpump Rules has been in our lives for over a decade? But honestly, after the whirlwind that was Season 10, even Season 9 — which premiered in September 2021 — seems like it landed a lifetime ago.
Back then, after nearly a year without SUR due to the coronavirus pandemic, filming for the show's ninth season picked up in May 2021... and the drama was certainly pent up and ready to be showcased.
Here's what happened to the VPR crew in 2021, whether you're revisiting your favorite moments in the series or need to catch up for the new year.
1. Scheana Shay and Brock Davies became parents and got engaged
"Brock and I have been together for almost two years now," shared Scheana in Episode 1. "I've never felt this secure and in love, and I know that he's the one."
The couple's daughter, Summer Moon Honey, was born in April 2021.
While Brock had his fair share of drama, the fitness expert easily won over most longtime fans — except for Lala Kent.
After Brock shared during Episode 3 that he had two children from a prior relationship that he hadn't seen for years, Lala became concerned about his parenting abilities — especially when related to Summer and Scheana.
"My concern is that Brock has a tendency to leave his kids as well as the women," she shared in an Episode 5 confessional.
However, Brock shut her concerns down — and explained the entire situation.
"She cut my whole family off and took my kids. I had to fly back to Australia to find her," he explained.
Season 9 also showed Brock planning his sweet proposal and popping the question to Scheana.
"I've been thinking of doing this for like six months now. But it wasn't until this summer I was thinking it could be a thing," he shared in Episode 12.
While they initially planned to have a shotgun wedding, they duo ultimately decided against it (and ultimately had a wedding during Season 10).
2. Lala Kent became a mom and a single woman
Lala's daughter Ocean was born in March 2021
After becoming a mother and published author, Lala realized she needed to change some things, including how she talked to other people.
During Episode 3, Ocean and Summer Moon had a playdate — and certainly got along better than their moms at points in their lives.
"When someone you watch grow up has a baby, it's almost like 'how can this happen?'" shared Lisa Vanderpump during Episode 5 while meeting tiny Summer and Ocean for the first time at a Villa Rosa tea party.
"I've been trying to make all these changes in my world, and I'm realizing how my words affect people," Lala told Scheana in Episode 8.
During the reunion, Lala also revealed she was single.
3. Tom Schwartz and Katie Maloney had marital issues
At the beginning of the season, Tom Schwartz and Katie Maloney were trying to have a baby. "When everyone around you is getting pregnant and you're not, that's added stress," said Katie in a confessional.
During Episode 5, the then-married couple visited a fertility clinic where Tom had to confront his drinking and drug habits.
"We definitely would want to cut down on the alcohol to about four drinks a week. And then no pot," the doctor said.
"The majority of my sperm have misshaped heads," he later confessed to his friends at an Episode 5 guys night. "Some have two heads."
Tom spent most of the rest of the season trying to get Schwartz & Sandy's off the ground with best buddy Tom Sandoval — much to the chagrin of Katie, who felt like the business (and her husband's business partner) were coming between them, rather than being something the couple did together.
"You said you wanted to have a baby. And then you put it on hold," Lisa told Katie during a sit-down with Katie in Episode 11. "And the way I looked at it, you wanted to be involved in this restaurant because, in one way, this was your baby."
"Absolutely," answered Katie.
"But now it's just going to be him and Sandoval's baby," Lisa noted. "You need to be more important. You're his wife. I would not let my husband have loyalty to another man over me."
The next season, the couple announced their divorce.
4. Tom Schwartz and Tom Sandoval worked on Schwartz & Sandy's
The Toms' second bar was a huge point of contention during Season 9. To his wife's chagrin, Schwartz conceded to Sandoval's idea to name the place "Schwartz & Sandy's." But there were still more issues to come with the "vibrant funky dive lounge."
While Schwartz was having trouble coming up with money to start the business, Sandoval revealed he'd taken out a home equity loan on the house he owned with girlfriend Ariana Madix as well as an investment from his mom to help pay for the new hotspot. During Episode 8, the men met up with their business partner, Greg, at the location to discuss their mission statement. While the businessman wasn't pleased with the Toms' word-salad answer, Katie gave them some good tips.
"You can switch places with him right now," the investor told Katie, alluding to the fact that he'd much rather work with her.
“I know what I’m doing, what I’m saying, and what I’m talking about," shared Katie in a confessional.
Even so, the business — and surrounding spousal arguments — drove a bit of a wedge between the men, who decided to take a friendship break in Episode 12. One episode later, they showed off the progress (or lack thereof) they'd made on the new business with a party in the space.
5. Charli Burnett opened up about her relationship with food
"I was forced to eat. If I didn't, there was punishment," she shared in Episode 2.
During Episode 7, she threw a culinary party at Ariana's house so she could try new foods. While she liked mussels, Scheana's enchiladas weren't her favorite.
6. James Kennedy celebrated his sobriety
During Season 9, James was celebrating two years alcohol free.
“I haven’t had a drop of alcohol for two years as of July 6," he shared in Episode 9 while meeting with a friend of his dad, Peter, to discuss his sobriety. “It’s changed my life.”
Nevertheless, he was still having some issues with anger — directing his mean-spirited energy to a number of friends including Max Vanderpump-Todd — and spent plenty of time trying to fix his problems.
“I’ve been trying to work on these things so I don’t call people that I love names anymore,” James told Lisa and Ken Todd in the same episode.
Later in the season, he decided he'd also take a break from smoking marijuana.
7. Ariana Madix froze her eggs and celebrated her 36th birthday
While Ariana Madix wasn't actively trying to get pregnant, she did reveal she had previously gone to freeze her eggs.
“Surprise! I froze my eggs,” she shared in an interview during Episode 8. “This does not mean that I’m jumping on the baby train. It’s about having agency over my own body and my own future. It’s also kind of a nice, fun f-ck you to anybody who questions my values or my choices.”
In Episode 11, Tom threw his longtime girlfriend a sweet surprise party to celebrate her 36th birthday.
Hosted at a funky motel-themed pop up, the party eventually moved to a bar where Tom had created signature cocktails for Ariana, including the Spicy Dumplin': a mezcal-infused drink that led to her falling flat on her back.
8. Ariana Madix and Katie Maloney announced their plans to open a sandwich shop
"Schwartz and I talked about doing a sandwich shop, but Ariana was like 'I'll f-cking do it with you,'" Katie told Lala when sharing the idea of what would someday become Something About Her.
During an Episode 14 pitch meeting, Ariana described the space as "unapologetically feminine."
9. James Kennedy and Rachel Leviss got engaged and broke up
During Episode 3, James Kennedy set up an entire "Rachella" party to propose to his longtime girlfriend, Rachel Leviss. He first announced his plan to propose during Episode 2, noting that he'd already asked her father for her hand in marriage.
"My angel, my beauty, since the day I laid eyes on you I knew you were the girl of my dreams. The last five years of my life have absolutely been the best five years I've ever had," he said while popping the question in Episode 3. "I love you more than absolutely anything and it would be my honor, my absolute honor, if you will marry me."
She said yes.
In an Episode 4 confessional, James explained that Tom Sandoval helped cover the cost of the event, which Sandoval later admitted cost $25,000 and was split between the two men.
At the end of the season, James and Rachel whisked the cast out of town for their engagement party in Santa Ynez.
"This engagement party is becoming really elaborate and expensive," shared Rachel in Episode 15.
However, the pair revealed they'd broken up during the Season 9 reunion, surprising many of their fellow cast members.
"We've decided to break off the engagement," shared Rachel in Part 1 of the reunion. "It's been something that I've been thinking about for a while and I think James has noticed that my heart hasn't been fully in it. I didn't want to give up on him because he's shown me how dedicated he is to me ... but I feel like it's something deep within. I've been having nightmares about our wedding day. And I think that's a telltale sign that something's wrong."