The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City
Join RHOSLC star Meredith Marks and son Brooks for a fun little chat at Vulture Festival in Los Angeles on November 14. Pick up tickets here.
Whew, this episode was an hour and five minutes (sans commercials) of revelation. Sure, we get to see more Jen-on-the-run bus footage. And yeah, of course, we find out Justin Rose is a solid B- pole dancer. But the real jaw-dropper is that Mary Cosby watches movie trailers. Here I was assuming she hasn’t dipped into pop culture since 1982, but y’all, the evidence is there. She not only watched the House of Gucci trailer but is now using it as the cornerstone of her personality. I’d go so far as to say at this point, Mary’s soul is entirely composed of the ghost of her grandmother, a word salad of scripture cherry-picked for maximum weaponization, and whatever sins were committed in the House of Gucci makeup/wardrobe/accent/wig departments. “(Grand)FATHER, SON, and HOUSE. OF. COSBY!”
Speaking of which, Mary’s back in the closet, sporting a denim Gucci beret and a scarf from Hudson News at the Indianapolis Regional Airport. It’s the perfect ensemble to invite the gals to a daytime cooking class where the dress code is “Italian Street Fashion,” which she describes as “simple and chic,” two words that have zero actual meaning in the Mary Cosby Logic Universe. Jennie is not invited to cooking class because Mary “does not care for her,” but Meredith has invited them both to Vail. As long as Duy doesn’t show his face or open his mouth, it’s a victory in my book.
I remain fascinated with the way Bravo is handling Heather’s arc this season. She continues to dip out of the game of spin-the-fake-feud-bottle, and is left to exist on the sidelines as comedic relief and Mormon defector backstory. She grabs lunch with her daughter, niece, and niece’s husband, who all enjoy their first wine outside of the house and teach us all about the four degrees of LDS heaven. They go around the table explaining their journeys in “losing their testimony.” Heather’s niece talks about realizing that when it came to her faith, she “wasn’t doing it for the right reasons,” and if nothing else, it’s a fun crossover moment and additional proof that Bachelor Nation continues to have a real chokehold on pretty, religious-y white ladies in this here country. In some ways, this entire scene is textbook filler content, but it’s interesting as shit and a reminder of what could happen if we pulled back on some of the fake fighting and let this cast show off a bit more of their individual weirdness. If you want me to care about Lisa’s rotating feuds, first you have to get me to care about Lisa, you know?
Anyway, Jen and Stu go snowshoeing because Jen’s therapist told her to “make new memories and spend quality time” with the people she loves, which doesn’t feel like advice you give someone before they’re about to go away for a while after a long and isolating trial or anything. Definitely not. Jen explains how she’s envious of Stu being with his kids every day, which makes no sense because he appears to be with her every day? There is no way this woman uses words like “loyal” and “been with me at my lowest points” while letting my dude work flex hours and have solid benefits/work-life balance. Oh, and also, buckle up for some grandiose martyrdom because apparently “families wouldn’t be eating right now” if Jen hadn’t made a world of sacrifice in starting “all these businesses and companies.” Wild times when Jen can give someone who literally preaches that they are God incarnate a run for their god-Complex money.
Over at the Lady Gaga School of Accents, Mary is laying out napkins with everyone’s name in Italian because they’re about to cook “a bolog-knee-sayhe sawce witha deh pahsta.” Whitney didn’t answer Mary’s original FaceTime invitation, and this slight is so extreme that Mary decides to send her a different invitation stating the dress code is “Mafia Girl Streetwear” instead of “Italian Streetwear.” It’s so maniacal I’m genuinely inspired. Mary proceeds to have a complete meltdown when Whitney doesn’t show up in a Party City x Bada Bing! look. Considerably less inspired. She then tells the ladies to “rise and shine for the light has come.” Remember — gotta use that scripture exclusively for personal benefit, like handing out Louis Vuitton gift bags with aprons from Am*zon and expecting people to kiss your feet in response.
Thirty minutes later, we’re still in the middle of this YouTube pasta-making tutorial, and everyone is slowly glitching. Mary’s mad Whitney didn’t answer her FaceTime. Mary’s mad Whitney didn’t submit a new name for herself because “Whitney” doesn’t translate cleanly to Italian. Jen’s mad she wasn’t invited to Lisa’s beard oil–foster care event. Jen’s also mad at Whitney for gifting her ex-designer some hyaluronic acid serum. Whitney explains that the designer only known as “bleeeeeep” purchased the product with his own Shah-earned dollars. Meredith explains that “sometimes people are invited and sometimes they’re not and that’s up to the host,” and is it time to finally move onto the Vail trip party bus?
Oh, absolutely not! Mary and Whitney yell at each other about “beautiful moments?” General condescending tones? Who is more sensitive? Who is a child and who is a very smart woman? The traffic laws around answering a FaceTime call? To try and ascribe reason to this is a fool’s errand, of which I have chosen not to participate. Whitney also seems to have no idea — at one point, she even says, “I don’t even know why it took this turn, it’s bizarre,” and still decides to just roll with it, scream-crying, “Mary, I love you. I love you,” then running away. Meredith chases after her and they debrief about Mary. There’s nothing that hasn’t already been rumored online, but it’s still a ride to hear them candidly discuss that Mary’s grandma was God and then Mary took her place and that Mary feels she can talk to Whitney however she wants because she knows that Whitney and everyone else knows she “holds the spirit of God.” Plus, a bonus rehashing of tons of wildly cruel texts about Whitney’s face. Wow. Bravo money must be fucking great because the ability to have this conversation and be presented with a mountain of evil evidence and still decide to sit back down at the table only to have Jen Shah pass out blotting papers and Mary Cosby declare she doesn’t care about you? Truly no words.
Per Luke 24:7, on the third-day post deliverance into the hands of the sinful, the child of God must rise again. And by that, I mean three days after pasta class, Mary Cosby has a “headache” and will be taking a private jet to Vail while everyone else boards the party bus outside of Beauty Lab + Laser. (If you haven’t actually watched this episode, this is what I’d tell you to watch because the footage is worth seeing. I could have written this entire recap on the last eight minutes alone.) From the road trip kits to the producers interfering to the way each woman handles the possibility that Coach Shah is dying followed immediately by the realization that Jen is probably about to be fucked by the long arm of the law? So far, this season has been a book you read in Myrtle Beach that you borrowed from a friend you don’t really like, and these eight minutes come in swinging on some Shakespeare-meets-Gwendolyn-Brooks shit. Exceptionally rich content, ripe for analysis. A gift to group texts everywhere!
First, we revisit some of that episode one footage. Jen answers her phone. Whitney turns off her mic. Jen informs everyone that Coach Shah had an appointment and is in the hospital with internal bleeding and may need surgery, so she’s GOTTA GO NOW BYE BYE all while her eyes are lurching back and forth like she took 200 milligrams of Adderall and then decided to watch the Wimbledon finals at 1.75x speed. I have so many questions just about this inciting event. Who was the “baby” on the other end of the phone? Why did she say she had to go to the house and then switch to the hospital? Did the person on the phone feed her the internal-bleeding line, or did Jen come up with it on the spot? Does Jen have a Rolodex of stories ready at a moment’s notice, or does she prefer to improvise?
Alas, we then see what appears to be some pretty raw footage of Whitney, Heather, Jennie, and Lisa debating whether to call the trip off or carry on. Just as they’ve more or less mutually agreed that in this pseudo–trolley problem, they’re staying on course to Vail, DING DONG, THE FEDS ARE HERE. Luckily, my classmate from the Early-Aughts Detective Procedural School of Law, Lisa Barlow, is on the case. She’s the first to realize that no, this is not a prank, and no, this has nothing to do with Sharrieff. In fact, she immediately picks up her phone to call Stu. Whitney asks if she should also call Jen to warn her the feds are looking for her, and Lisa says, “Um. I. Don’t. Think. You. Should.” Perhaps the only good advice Barlow’s ever given. Bravo!
See you next week to find out what’s behind that big ol’ TO BE CONTINUED.