The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City
Well, well, well. Can you believe it? No, not yesterday’s new-president thing. The truly surprising news is that even with the late time slot and mediocre ratings and bizarro editing and a cast that isn’t quiteeee meshing, the ladies of Salt Lake City will be returning to grace our screens with a second season of haunted houses, cursed confessional looks, and general hearsay. Do we think they’ll do a recast? Will Brooks attempt to get his own snowflake? Do Rachel Parcell and her army of Mormon mommy bloggers have enough higher-power pull to pioneer their way onto the Bravo payroll? Only time will tell!
One thing we do know is that Mary Cosby barely got a first season. She finally escapes her bedroom closet this week (!!!!), but only to make a smoothie and eat yet another plastic-wrapped serving of food while having a 14-second conversation with her grandpa-husband about how she doesn’t want to sell their Florida house. It all just feels so ominous. Like in six months we’re going to find out that the Florida house is actually a wild cat breeding hub or a cult initiation ritual dungeon or a Russian psyop outpost. Mary’s entire storyline fills me with so much doom — part of me wants her to go away forever so I can give my conscience a good scrub, and the other part wants to see the kind of nefarious shit that will make Michael Darby look like a prince unfold before our very eyes.
Anyway, at Whitney’s house, siblings Will and Shay pop over for dinner with dear ol’ dad. Steve appears to be doing well and it’s the first time in ten years that the four of them are all together. With Rocky the dog acting as peacemaker, they sit down and hope to move forward in their relationship over Thai takeout and stilted conversation. Since most normies are incredibly awkward when it comes to asking questions about recovery, Will kicks things off with a classic, “Um, how’s that going?” Steve dives right in with some quotes from his sessions and how he’s reframed gratitude and the whole thing is nothing but a mountain of proof that my guy’s at least trying to work a solid program. Whitney moderates like a champ and everyone agrees to go do a process group together as a step to being back in each other’s lives. I’m not even going to make a joke about Whitney’s ugly dining room table or Steve’s hair situation because I simply cannot get enough of this storyline. Normalize these healthy conversations around addiction!
On a somehow more awkward note, the Shahs are on a mission to set Heather up with Sharrieff’s bestie Big Easy/Big Daddy/Keith and have scheduled a double date so they can mix and mingle. Jen tries to gas Heather up to talk about her med spa empire but Big Daddy mostly frets about a possible carrot in his drink and then spends 98 minutes (not an exaggeration! the footage is time-stamped!) giving a TED talk. Heather declines dessert because even though our self-deprecation queen just wants a man who’s alive, even she knows how to read a vibe. Someone teach her how to change the location on her Tinder account and we’ll be off to the races by the time season two starts taping.
Alas, it’s time to get that much-hyped Vegas trip in motion. Instead of making the ladies attempt shitty reenactments of FaceTimes that never actually happened, the producers hook us up with some texting fanfic. Meredith says “Vegas isn’t exactly my scene, but I can probably make it.” Jen agrees to go as long as she’s “CEO of Fun,” a phrase she’ll repeat on loop until she transforms into a sentient TikTok comments section. Mary’s obviously out because half the cast probably refuses to film with her … I MEAN because she totally has the power to make her own decisions and “Jen is going and she’d rather have a plane full of mice than go to Vegas with Jen.” Lisa says she needs to think about it, then calls Meredith and complains about how Whitney hasn’t yet apologized for the scene at Top Golf.
If anything, Meredith should be the one pissed about the hip-hop birthday party blowup, as she was in the double crosshairs re: being afraid of Jen AND potentially cheating on Sethie-baby. Yet instead of fanning the flames of lady-feud nonsense, she’s enabling Brooks, who is back on his bullshit, shaming sex workers and suggesting six-inch cork-sole stilettos as a cute and walkable option for spending a lot of time on your feet. Wait, okay. She is in fact fanning the flames of nonsense. But at least this specific flavor is contained to her Park City manse.
Without any word from Lisa, the other gals hit the airport and take a maskless 90-minute flight like it’s the most leisurely and enjoyable thing in the world. Can you even imagine? Truly a relic from a simpler time. After landing in Vegas, Whitney calls Lisa, who doesn’t answer but does call Meredith back instead to let “everyone” know she’ll be at the hotel soon. I for one was a bit confused, but luckily this episode contains more flashbacks than Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, so we get to see Lisa telling Jen she’s going to Vegas “just to hear how Whitney came to the conclusion that she’s afraid of Jen.” And also because: “business.”
Upon getting to the hotel, a brunette lady in a floral dress and a man in a bowtie read a Dr. Seuss poem off a tiny notecard to really set the scene while also getting a quick clip for their acting demo reels, which exclusively exist in The Good Place cinematic universe. Instead of swinging by the 40,000-square-foot Eataly nearby (they’re clearly very loyal to Valter — few can resist Eataly’s siren song), the wives retreat to their warring factions to plan for the day. Jen has a special Shah-mazing shopping surprise planned for Heather to make up for the Big Daddy debacle, leaving Whitney solo to deal with Meredith and Lisa, the latter of which is expecting a big ol’ apology.
After an Uber ride that can only be described as “stuck in a Prius with your boss, your boss’s boss, and a driver who farts without pause while simultaneously pitching you on his career-coaching business and the word of Jesus Christ,” Jen, Lisa, and Whitney arrive at the speedway. Lisa talks a lot of talk about how much experience she has driving high-performance cars then crawls around the track while Whitney has at least eight orgasms pushing 110 mph in a green Lamborghini. Apparently, the key to prepping for a confrontation is equal parts adrenaline, oxytocin, and sobriety because Whitney pulls off a pretty tight apology without much fanfare. She hears the doppelgängers out, takes accountability, says sorry, and promises to always go directly to the source in the future. Case closed? UNLIKELY.
Back in the Shah-mazing shopping den, Jen and Heather are trying on the gaudiest shit I’ve ever seen and I recently rewatched Rock of Love so the bar is high. Jen tells Heather that the reason she’s still hurt and angry is because Whitney doesn’t understand that you can’t bring something up and then not put closure on it and then goes on a tirade about Heather “covering for Whitney” and taking information all the way to the end. Ummm what? This seems like a whole lotta words to say “I was a bit toasted and did something kind of embarrassing and I’m still harboring a grudge on the person who inspired my violent outburst.” But alas, Jen Shah is still Jen Shah, which means she makes a lot of threats about slaughtering and eating people if they don’t bend to her will and tries to scare Heather into getting Whitney to “come correct” or the Gay reputation and legacy will be destroyed. Lol, okay. At least Heather got some fun and flirty struttin’ shoes for her postseason dating life? See ya next week to watch the ladies brawl in a wine cellar before swinging by some rando’s house to join an MLM “find their inner voice!”