The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City
Whew, I don’t know if Bravo was just expecting everyone to be in holiday mode or what, but this week was a total snooze. It’s worth mentioning that there are different types of snoozes, though. I wouldn’t necessarily say this episode was the kind where you wake up all groggy and dry-mouthed and desperate for a shower. Rather, it was the kind where you’re not entirely sure what time it is, but you’re feeling maybe 12 percent more refreshed and could probably go for some pasta. Anyway, let’s trudge through it.
We kick things off with a quick whirl around town. Heather is checking in on the construction of the new Beauty Lab + Laser location, which looks great. Jen is bringing soup and cuddles to sick son Omar in the before times when being sick in bed didn’t involve ordering a pulse oximeter for overnight delivery. Whitney and Justin are on a date reminiscing about when they used to role play and she would surprise him with different characters (perhaps a peek into those unhinged confessional looks at last?!). Oh and Mary is FaceTiming Robert Jr. to scold him for buying his girlfriend a Prada purse with her money. I swear she’s already had this conversation. If the producers are going to give us 20 seconds of Mary content per episode, this is not gonna cut it. We either need some batshit little nuggets that move toward exposing whatever nefarious nonsense is going on at that church or let’s do our collective conscience a favor and demote Ms. Cosby to “friend of,” which is honestly generous considering she isn’t exactly teeming with qualities that would make her a good “friend of” any person on this Earth.
In Park City, Meredith’s working on a jewelry pull for a stylist who we can only assume is time traveling from the year 2012 to dress Adriana Lima for the red-carpet premiere of a Kia Optima commercial. Brooks calls and demands a restock of his sets posthaste. They’re absolutely FLYING off the shelves. Meredith is like yes, yes, of course, my precious sprog, I will continue to carry your budding influencer career on my back, and also your dad is here to go snowmobiling. Seth indeed pops right into frame, fresh off the plane from Canton, Ohio, complete with his backpack full of dirty underoos and toxic lines about how Meredith doesn’t bone him enough. Brooks starts going off again about missing the show, Seth says sorry but that he can’t guarantee it won’t happen again (lol), and then we get down to the main attraction.
It turns out Meredith ordered Seth home to try and repair the apparently catastrophic damage with Brooks. Oh, and also, I guess, they’ve decided to kiss and make up re: their marriage? Seth promises he’s “done his discovery, done his introspective, cleansed,” and now just wants a chance to catch up to where Meredith is emotionally because he can’t live without her. She’s like “Same,” and is excited to move past step one on this positive path. I have many questions about this positive path, especially since according to Seth, he’s ready and willing to put in all the work to “continue their journey in a 2.0 way,” which sounds a lot like they’re recruiting each other for an extra debt-ridden tier of an essential oils MLM instead of, I don’t know, maybe going to therapy together and practicing more-effective communication skills.
Speaking of communication skills, Lisa and John meet up at a restaurant so Lisa can give John his quarterly employee-performance review. Instead, things take a bit of a turn because John has begun organizing a one-man grassroots labor movement. His demands? A workday that ends at 11 p.m. and to maybe spend time with the kids. You’d think these would be reasonable and a quick agreement would be brokered with labor boss Lisa, but nope! She doubles down and instead suggests that they figure out a way to include the kids in their work. Crossing my fingers and toes that by the end of the season, John has moved from “We’re working so much; what’s it all for?” to “Seize the means of production and overthrow the bourgeoisie!” in terms of leftist ideology, but like, conservative white male privilege is a very cozy cocoon, so I’m not holding my breath.
Over on planet “apparently healthy relationship,” Whitney and Justin are driving to a mediation at Cold Creek to hopefully convince Whitney’s dad, Steve, to stay in sober living after sending an SOS text about getting a roommate. Justin gasses Whitney up while she game plans in the car, noting that the text messages expecting her to fix the problem are evidence enough that her dad is still not 100 percent accountable and responsible and that the main goal is for him to understand her perspective and stay in the program. What follows is a very solid session where Steve talks about being anxious and Whitney explains the immense amount of pressure and resentment she feels for being guilted into paying for her dad’s recovery and then expected to have a bottomless tab open for him to build a salon empire from scratch or whatever he’s currently scheming. Steve comes around and says that he too wants to be self-reliant and agrees to stay in the program. Whitney has put in the damn work in therapy and it shows! She’s making all of this look easy and, let me tell you, it is absolutely not. I have no notes.
A few days later, the entire gang plus sig-ohs hit Lofty Peaks for a snowmobile excursion. Mary is neither invited nor given space to complain about not being invited, thank the lort. Heather packed a grab bag of jaunty innuendos about being the only single rider, and everyone else is suited and booted with some light judgment about the Marks family. They all zoom around to the top of a hill so they can eat plastic-wrapped turkey sandwiches and listen to Sharrieff (a rare appearance!) tell the story of how he met Jen in college and fell in love with her sweetness. Everyone does a collective spit-take, and before they head out, Whitney dishes to Heather about the rumors she heard regarding Meredith’s side piece from Jen. Heather is basically like “Cool, thanks, I truly do not care if their marriage is open or closed or carry-out only, and unless it comes straight from a Marks’ mouth, you shouldn’t either. Oh, and also, that says more about Jen that it does about anyone else.” The emotional maturity on display here is unparalleled.
Après snowmobiling, Meredith & Seth and Lisa & John head to Shah Chalet. Seth uses this time to educate himself on the parallels between Islam and Mormonism by trying to get Sharrieff and John to have a restrictive rules showdown. It turns out no one is clear on the permissibility of polygamy in their own religions. Convenient. Sharrieff comes in with the hard-hitting questions, asking John if there’s a Mormon prescription on owning an alcohol company and if that practice is at odds from a religious standpoint. DAMN. Turns out this entire slog of an episode was maybe worth it to watch Lisa squirm around while she croaks on about not being a cultural Mormon and how LDS is all about choice and that she’s really just super-spiritual. As Seth is about to explain his master plan for starting a “very progressive Jewish church,” Jen cuts him off because it’s time for the girls to hit the hot tub while the boys do boy stuff upstairs.
Nothing happens in the hot tub. Jen talks about how she’s glad Sharrieff is home for 24 hours, but she’s afraid of what will happen when Omar’s in college and she’s completely alone more often. Lisa informs everyone that in her marriage, she expects John to take care of her, emotionally and in every single capacity — it’s his job. (John! Are you hearing this? Some really interesting fuel for that labor bargaining.) Meredith suggests that Jen and Sharrieff should come to some sort of agreement on the things that are important and express feelings before they explode. Lisa immediately turns it around on Meredith, asking, “Would you die if he was with somebody else?” Wow, okay. Let’s take it down a notch, Ms. Barlow. Exactly no one is dying without Seth’s presence. Meredith is like “Yeah, sure, I’d be upset, commitment to marriage, moving in posi direction, common goals, etc.” It’s all a big word salad composed entirely of overripe cantaloupe with freshly shaved platitudes and a bit of klonopin sprinkled on top.
Inside, the guys let loose and talk a bunch of shit about their wives. Sharrieff reports that Jen travels just as much as he does (not buying it, but okay), and that she’s super-reactionary and says stuff that really zings him when he’s trying to be a good father and husband. John dishes about how Lisa asks him to drive her to get a Diet Coke so that she can keep working under the guise of having time together. Wow, incredible. Is there Mormon doctrine against having a case of soda in the home? Is Lisa hooked on that sweet, sweet fountain Coke? Maybe there’s some kind of secret operation happening at the Sonic drive-through? Truly any explanation would make more sense than whatever’s already happening here.
Don’t worry too much about these men, though, because Seth Marks has a plan in the works. He’s still in the R&D phase, but it’s basically a new kind of relationship where “these alpha entrepreneurial wives” can be autonomous. The loose deal is that they’ll go a month or more without speaking to each other, then do a bunch of reunion coitus, and call it a healthy relationship. And they say women can’t have it all!
See ya next week to hear Brooks’s take on Seth’s relationship plans and watch Jen run up a bill at a Top Golf!