The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City
Do Mormons observe advent? What about Mormons 2.0 or whatever Vida.0 Barlow’s on? Or how about the Pentecostal Church of Cosby & Closet? Because lately, I feel like this television program is an elaborate advent calendar. Not the 99-cent milk-chocolate Trader Joe’s situation, but like, the fancy bitch Bonne Maman one with all the weird flavor combos. Every episode, I go in thinking I know what’s on the menu, and every time, I emerge six hours later as a newly minted expert in Vail’s rental market or mandatory minimums or Gucci sweatsuit authenticity cues or — for the sake of this increasingly unsound metaphor — mirabelle plums. It’s the gift that keeps on giving even if it’s not necessarily what I wanted.
Which explains how in the middle of everyone back in Utah debriefing the Vail saga, I skimmed past Lisa’s Whitney impression, Mary asking her grandpa-husband if “it’s a brown girl thing?” and Jennie losing it over Meredith’s PI on retainer. All of it was thrown aside so I could spend the next 43 minutes researching Justin Rose’s T-shirt. And whew, was it a wild ride. I don’t have the space (or the time to properly fact check), so I encourage y’all to Google “Is LifeVantage …” and let autofill take the wheel from there.
Ring ring ring Lisa and Heather get phone calls from unknown numbers. Do they ask someone to turn off their mics and slink away? No, they act normal and not guilty of federal crimes, screening the call (Lisa) and asking who it is (Heather). To no one’s surprise (except maybe legal professionals who don’t dabble in Housewives), it is Jennifer Shah. I neeeeeeed to see the scenes where Jen is advised to pull the plug on her Bravo contract. You know there is a lawyer or five that explicitly told Ms. Shah that no, it doesn’t matter if you go to the D-List steakhouse or if the furs are borrowed or if you wear “four-inch little brown Bebe heels” or if you dry-eye cry until the ol’ optic nerves are dusty nubbins — filming right now is a bad idea! And yet! Heather is the only one who picks up the phone without questions (um, there should have been questions), so Jen runs on over to slurp down some artichoke dip and gab about her criminal charges.
Jen gives a detailed breakdown of the arrest that probably scores just slightly higher than Christine Quinn’s birth story on the reality television truth-o-meter. Bravo has the audacity to show that damn Omar footage again and ENOUGH. I don’t know who turned over the Ring-cam archives or who keeps editing it in but please stop — highlighting the fuckery of this country’s policing system through the perspective of Jen’s Black child is not the sympathy slam dunk you think it is! Absolutely sickening. Anyway, Jen insists Stu is not her business partner and expects to hear “a big fucking ‘I’m sorry, I’m a piece of shit’” from Lisa and Meredith when she is “proven innocent.” O. K.
Back at the Rose household, Whitney is on some princess and the pea shit, except instead of mattresses, it’s 78 layers of Iris + Beau swag. It all makes zero sense. If you just drained your savings and are prepping a million-dollar loan for even more rebrand stuff, you gotta get the brand architecture right. The time to sunset the old brand and start the Wild Rose reinvention was at least six episodes ago. Whitney says she’s really bad with money and Justin is afraid because “he’s gonna be gone” and doesn’t want them to be in trouble. Like death-gone or Ponzi-scheme-prison-gone? Either way, some real ominous stuff, and I’m hoping for the sake of their kids, Whitney doesn’t girl-boss too close to the sun here.
A quick break for a Nice & Neat Homes® infomercial! Mary decides to prove her innocence in the whole cult-leader thing by highlighting the scope of her Hoarders den. She says most people have a family to attach to, but for the last 20 years, she’s just bonded with the pretty things in her closet. Per Cosby logic, it’s not “mo’ money = mo’ problems” but “mo’ money = mo’ things = bigger heart.” I promised myself I would not cite any scripture out of context this week, so feel free to insert your preferred verse on selflessness or generosity here.
Over at horse-girl haven, Lisa and Meredith gallop around and somehow make us watch that Fresh Wolf photoshoot footage again. I want to believe it’s all part of an elaborate Barlow scheme, but as the gals try to assure us time and time again, Lisa doesn’t have the energy — or brains — to pull off that level of conniving. Somehow Meredith ends up going on a tangent about how there’s bad energy in their group dynamic and everyone is to blame, herself included. She’s not wrong! The energy is wildly off. Like yes, I could do without Mary’s live manipulation tactics and any flavor of policing content, but would anyone even watch this show if it wasn’t Bravo’s most bizarre train wreck? Lisa manages to bring this around to how all the other gals are sooooo obsessed with her. It turns out everyone in Utah has been able to quit their prescription sleep aid of choice in favor of counting Barlows leaping over the line for Diet Coke Big Gulps. Good for them!
Jennie takes Karlyn to sample the Vietnamese tasting menu she’s planning to squash the conflict among the ladies. My fingers remain crossed that Jennie’s gonna earn that paycheck moderating this meal because so far we’ve seen a lot of potential and considerably less shit-stirring than even Angie and her early-season catering drama nonsense. What a simpler time! Jen and Coach also sit down (with Popeye’s — have you tried the reformulated macaroni and cheese yet!?) and Jen does a big poor-me over her “friends” not showing up for her. Coach is lookin’ pained as he manages to not do a single eye-roll while also convincing Jen his faith will not falter and he will not leave. Jen says she “doesn’t understand why this is happening.” Is the “this” here getting caught or …
To really double (triple? quadruple? I’ve lost count this episode) down on the bleakness, we head to Whitney’s at-home product photo shoot. As the stand-in for audience befuddlement, Jennie does the math real quick and realizes (1) everything is still Iris + Beau, and Wild Rose does not appear anywhere, and (2) a bouquet of flowers, a white sheet, and some local IG influencers ≠ $20,000. Unless Hyram Yarbro and the ghost of Richard Avedon are hiding in Whitney’s pole room with some free services and a Sephora deal, I’d probably agree that this hyaluronic hydration situation is doomed to the same fate as Tru Renewal by Ramona Singer.
Business be damned, Whitney’s still bringing it as a general agent of chaos. She got Cameron’s phone number from Angie Harrington, and they talked for THREE HOURS. Is she going to tell us what he said? Of course not! Whitney decides to go right to Lisa about it because Mary is “bigger and badder than we ever realized,” and Lisa will … do what exactly? She claims it’s to get everyone in a Survivor-style alliance to take on Mary, but what is Whitney’s real endgame here? Lisa’s undying love and approval? General vindication? An experiment in recruiting some new huns for the Rose empire?
No idea, but I’ll see ya next week for Lisapalooza! It looks like Barlow has plans to grab wings with Jen, debunk the boogeyman with Whitney, and maybe even ruin her relationship with Meredith. Oh, also! Almost forgot: On Saturday, Jen tried to get her fraud case dismissed because of that Hulu documentary and failed. The clown show continues!