Bravo knows exactly what it’s doing. They’re all like, “Oh, you wanna see cRiMe$?! Here are some alleged criminals … doing … something …” And my dumb ass falls for it over and over and over. You put Jen, Stu, and a computer in the same room, and suddenly I’m smashing that pause button and noting every word like the Feds are going to subpoena my Google doc because surely a transcription of public information with 47 bonus links to Jack Barlow’s wardrobe items on Grailed is going to be the smoking gun in this federal fraud case. And every single time, they give us nothing. Stuart says, “Doing more than we thought, I’m adding more people, just have to get the second pass out.” Like, this man could easily be talking about dropping a bit of thirst to his IG Story and monitoring the Close Friends list reacts. It’s the definition of “nothing.” The stale, Diet Coke–flavored bread crumbs keep on falling before us, and like a bunch of bedraggled little birds, we snarf ’em on up.
Back to elder spawn Barlow, though. He “came to Lisa with an idea” and “curated a guest list” for a special event. It’s simultaneously a Fresh Wolf ad and a Utah Foster Care benefit because, according to Jack, his dad was bought off the shelf in Costco’s Foster Care department, which is just past the three-gallon drums of peanut-butter pretzels but before you get to the HVAC installation kiosk. Awful choices in eyewear and verbiage aside, it’s bizarrely sweet, and thanks to a ridiculously low bar, John Barlow is a solid contender for the best househusband on this franchise? Keep up the good work, baby! And by “good work,” I mean keeping your mouth shut and your personality the exact flavor of a low sodium Triscuit.
We’re at La Trattoria Di Francesco again this week, and at this point, I’m wondering if there is indeed some feud situation with Valter. Or maybe Trattoria is simply the only Italian restaurant in town that still puts up with the riffraff. Valter was like, “Honey, I don’t care about the free press. I cannot stand there idly while Mary tells everyone ceviche will reanimate in your stomach lining and start a whole-ass family in there. This is the hill I choose to die on.” Because dressed up like Filene’s Basement Esmeralda from the 1996 Disney adaptation of Hunchback of Notre Dame, that’s exactly what Mary does. After the salmon situation, she goes further off the handle, explaining to Heather and Whitney that Lisa asking questions triggers her. What does it trigger, you ask? Oh, just the exact feelings she had when her mom questioned her for TRYING TO MARRY SAID MOM’S (STEP?)FATHER BECAUSE “IT WAS GOD’S WILL.” Heather and Whitney put on an Oscar-worthy performance, asking whether Mary thinks she can get resolve with her mom (who is maybe now her stepdaughter?) or Lisa.
Over at the Fresh Wolf photo shoot, things are similarly unhinged as Lisa sits down with Jen to nosh on some grapes and pick at the scabs of her verbal-assault allegation. In case you forgot, wire fraud and money laundering are still the main course, but the appetizer was that one time someone leaked audio of Jen berating her dress designer. Instead of clarifying the situation, Jen scream-cries at Lisa about how it was all a setup. Lisa then dumps fuel on the fire and pontificates about Whitney sending “gifts” to said dress designer in the form of Iris+Beau PR packages. The jury is still out on whether Lisa is conniving enough to use this situation as an attempt to make her grooming line look better than Whitney’s grooming line. However, the jury is at least pretty sure that verbal assault is not a crime in the state of Utah unless there are threats of bodily injury, substantial property damage, or death. (The jury in both cases is me and the law degree I obtained from watching this Alexandra Cabot fancam.)
Quick earnest aside that Whitney hasn’t spoken to her dad in six months. She meets up with her brother Will and recounts how her dad was babysitting the kids, and there was an unfortunate incident with a delivery driver and a certain someone not being sober and trying to hide it. She asked him to leave and hasn’t seen or talked to him since. It was the first time she stood up to him, and she’s presently hurt that he’s still hanging out with Will when she was the only one who brokered peace and stayed by his side during years of active addiction. This sounds really hard for everyone involved, and I could write 2,500 words on how addiction story lines bring a level of verisimilitude to these silly little television programs, completely undermining the “reality” the producers think they’re creating … but we should probably get back to the penis ring toss or whatever.
Because indeed, Jen shows up at Heather’s sporting Joanne x Kmart Easter Bunny with a bunch of bachelorette-party games in tow. They gab about Heather’s dating life (give us more of this!), plans to go on a group trip to Vail (finally!!), and Lisa being a manipulator (ugh, whatever). Heather brings up a valid point that it’s interrrrrrresting Lisa tried to convince Jen that Whitney’s a bad friend while also inviting Whitney (but not Jen) to her beard-oil/foster-care gala. Upon realizing the cause being gala-d, Jen loses her shit.
I am putting the shit-losing in question here verbatim because it’s a wild ride. Jen: “Are you fucking kidding me? This is for foster care? My aunt adopted two kids from foster care? That’s super hurtful. She knows all of this. I am so tired of trusting people and being screwed over.” If not being invited to a 30-person daytime get-together where half the guests are wearing mirrored sunglasses indoors is a screwed-over breach of trust, I cannot wait to see how Jen feels about federal informants and plea bargains!
Back at the pomade-foster-barn event, honestly, who cares? Our new pal Cameron Williams is about to unload some Cosby family details. Thanks to a perfectly timed Barlow family photo, Meredith and Cameron have a bit of small talk that immediately turns into the most ominous shit I’ve ever seen. Cameron says that he used to attend Mary’s church, but “thankfully he’s out of that situation” because “Mary and her husband have done some things that have been very harmful.” Meredith is confused because she loves Mary and Cameron is like, “I did too; Mary and I were extremely close, just be careful.” Meredith presses further, explaining how great she felt at the church, as Cameron is like, “Because it was your first time. Stick around, and you’ll find out.” Then he goes into how he attended for seven years and the truth was revealed and he couldn’t stay with that truth, but anyway … gotta go, be careful, bye-bye!
The way he chooses his words? HAUNTED. The way the entire conversation is more or less a lift from that one scene in Pirates of the Caribbean? CURSED. The way Meredith’s face shows emotion for the first time in two years? I MAY NEVER SLEEP AGAIN. Someone, please find that guy who made The Jinx HBO documentary and get him on Mary’s tail posthaste. My gut says the Cosby family has done some shit that’s going to make Jen’s alleged wire-fraud scam look like that one time someone at the Whole Foods self-checkout rang in every organic produce item they were buying as bananas because they’re the cheapest item by weight. That someone is absolutely not me, and that produce code is absolutely not 4011.
Anyway, don’t forget to pack some Dramamine and your law degree, because next episode, we are finally getting this show on the road. There’s a bomb on the bus, and oh wait, it’s our new fave friend-of, the Federal Bureau of Investigation! Will she get a snowflake next season? How much titty is she gonna give in her confessional? And oooh, baby, will she bring receipts to the reunion that’ll put Monique’s binder to shame? See y’all next week to find out.
Join The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City star Meredith Marks and her son Brooks for a fun little chat at Vulture Festival on Sunday, November 14, 2021.