The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City
Cue the Mormon ghost-choir hype music, because we made it! Alas, the season finale. This episode is extra long not because of any wall-to-wall drama but because Bravo was like, “Everyone’s memory is surely shot after almost a year of trying to survive a global pandemic, so let’s roll the tape to give context to every single moment.” That’s not how memory works! Sure, my brain is an empty husk that immediately blacks out upon joining Zoom and can’t tell the difference between left and right without making finger L’s, but that doesn’t mean I can’t rattle off every time Meredith used her blender or recount Mary’s top-five best grandma-hand-me-down Chanel looks. Just because some of these ladies don’t contain multitudes doesn’t mean we don’t! If the editors gave us even the tiniest bit of credit, they would have so much more latitude to go full VPR or RHOP on the footage and really yuk it up. Take off the training wheels. We’re ready, I promise. Anyway, let’s get groovin’ on this recap of a recap.
We kick things off with Heather at the new location of Beauty Lab + Laser, which is getting all dolled up with giant cotton balls and pink feathers for its grand-opening soiree. It’s gonna be a real gas of a time because, to no one’s surprise, Jen is still invited even after the Vegas debacle. Whitney swings by to gloat that she knows the lil’ poles that hold up velvet ropes are called “stanchions.” Excuse me? I’m team Heather on this one (and honestly all other ones, but don’t quote me on that in case some dark shit comes out). I would consider myself an above-average word knower, and I had never heard of this. Can’t forget to add “learned a new word courtesy of someone who uses #bossy #mommalife #goodvibesonly sans irony” to my daily gratitude journal.
Over at one of the three restaurants in Salt Lake City, Lisa and Jen belly up to the bar. It turns out as Lisa was leaving Vegas, Jen got in the elevator and did a makeup-free cry, which was enough to warrant a little post-pity-party chat back home. They have the same conversation as all of the other Jen conversations. This season has led us to believe that Jen has only three modes: (1) crying misunderstanding, (2) blind-rage death threats, and (3) serene makeup application. So, of course, Jen gives her mode-one monologue, and Lisa suggests that, at Heather’s opening, maybe it’s best to not say everything she thinks and perhaps consider meeting people halfway.
Meanwhile, Meredith is slicing up a banana in a dish for Seth at their haunted model home. Is this some rich-people shit? Bananas come suited and booted with the perfect delivery system for eating, so this preparation makes zero sense to me. Why dirty a bowl and a fork if you don’t have to? (Is this a metaphor? I’ll let you decide!) Meredith rehashes the volatile Vegas marriage speculation, and Seth does his best Glengarry Glen Ross about how they’ve worked their asses off to save their relationship. Against all odds, they seem really into each other, so good for them, I guess.
In more heartwarming news, Whitney’s dad, Steve, has completed his 90 days of sober living and is auditioning to be an instructor at the local hair school. Before y’all giggle at the hair irony here, my guy appears pretty natural in front of the class and remarkably competent at trimming Whitney’s bob. So while her confessional looks have been 14 different flavors of tragic, the bad stuff really began only when her glam squad started adding extensions. Fire them all, and let dear ol’ dad manage the do from now on. For the first time in my life, I am endorsing nepotism for the sake of our collective eyeballs.
After watching those fun little filler scenes, do you guys also get the spine tingles when we cut back to what will surely be another conversation about Jen? Like, yes, I know this is Housewives and the entire point is drama about drama about drama, but there’s something so joyless about this season’s prefight prep. Maybe it’s because we have no proof that these women were all even sort of friends to begin with — there’s no memory of silly pranks or mutual debauchery for us to look upon with nostalgia. Even a tiny crumb of past fun or camaraderie would be enough to get us rooting for these gals to make amends as a group. Give us a single night out! One silly trip to the nail salon! Anything! Alas, Meredith saunters her tailored behind to the OG Beauty Lab break room to plot with Heather about the apologies they’re hoping to get from Jen. It’s all-around a meeting that could have been an email.
Speaking of needless meetings, over at Vida Tequila, Lisa and her marketing coordinator (who is a replicant of Lisa if Lisa were 23 and a Madewell employee) are getting down to business. The Barlow spawn and their spawn guardian come in to deliver the Big Gulp Diet Coke life force and talk about Fresh Wolf, the “kids’” grooming line. Spawn 1 makes chaos noises while Spawn 2 practices his elevator pitch and negs his dad’s hairline as if he isn’t going to be plagued with the same issue in T-minus 15 years. Life comes at you fast, my man! Best not to bite the hand that doles out the allowance, or you’ll end up with just free rent and not free rein with the family AmEx for extracurricular expenses.
Something so jarring happens during this episode I don’t even know how to properly segue into it, but MARY LEAVES HER HOME. That’s right. She doesn’t just go from the closet to the hallway to the kitchen, either. We can safely posit that at some point, Mary Cosby stepped outside, got into a vehicle, and ended up at Faith Temple. While the fresh air is probably great for her general well-being, the scene that follows does exactly nothing to secure a season-two snowflake. Discussion question for the class: How much of Mary’s choir acting like they’re being graced with the presence of Harry Styles himself when she walks in is just an act for TV versus some level of brainwashing? The fear behind their eyes has the same energy as Jax Taylor’s dog. But these are adults who presumably have free will, so who am I to judge?
Oh yeah, Jen and Sharrieff go salsa dancing, and Sharrieff does his “I love you, my princess, forever. I love you” bit. It’s a solid attempt to endear them to us, but we’ve seen all the other Jen footage replayed 72 times, so it’s gonna take a bit more than some above-average dancing and Shari’s Berries to enter the Housewife pantheon. If this is Jen’s audition for Dancing With the Stars, however, I’m all for it. Is there a petition or something we can sign? Jen can wear a bunch of costumes and add four more members to her glam squad, and we can all get a season two that’s about truly anything beyond Jen! Everyone wins.
Finally, the thirsty-AF bottles have been laid out, the messy-AF napkins fanned, and it’s time for the Beauty Lab girls to get their shine on. Heather’s ex, Billy, shows up to take a family photo and give his stilted stamp of approval. I sincerely hope this was Bravo’s idea because Heather: You don’t need this sentient elbow skin’s blessing to be living your life! Mary makes another out-of-closet appearance to tell Whitney “I told you so,” but it’s quickly overshadowed by Meredith’s Yeezy x Margiela x Forever 21 mask, which, in hindsight, feels nothing if not ominous. After quickly reassuring Lisa that she’ll never dictate whom someone is friends with, Meredith pulls down her mask and gets right down to it with Jen. Long story short, Jen immediately apologizes, yet Meredith is basically like, Yeah, you fucked up, but I need actions over words. Jen is floored that someone would dare not to accept her apology, which is, um, interesting to say the least.
Jen also apologizes to Whitney, but it’s uneventful and I’m already pushing the limits of my word count here. Plus, the tour de forgiveness has one final stop. High off a lovely speech about spreading her wings and discovering her true self, Heather strolls on over to Jen. They go back and forth, in a stalemate about “owning it” and “showing up,” while Mary grins maniacally in the corner. Jen doesn’t know what she’s owning up to or showing up for but eventually is like, Nope, have been a bad friend, and yep, will be a better friend. A peace treaty is brokered and notarized in a public ceremony. And by “public ceremony,” I mean we all just watched these two doofuses share a lip gloss, so by Bravo standards, it’s official. Or at least official until everyone slathers on nine coats of self-tanner to start shit at the three-part (why? that is too many parts) reunion. Thanks for joining on this truly bizarre ride, and please continue putting Heather-finds-a-hunk energy into the universe so season two can be considerably more blessed!