How do y’all feel about teasers? Unless we’re talking about an order of curly fries for the table before the mains arrive, I’m team “none for me, thanks.” At least when it comes to Bravo. I’ll read Reality Steve as interpreted by Reddit samaritans until my brain falls out of my nostrils in futile hopes of telling apart Bachelor universe blonde white ladies. But Andy Cohen being a silly little goose and promising “jaw-dropping bombshells?” Don’t need ‘em! The bar is already too high. What could possibly be more jaw-dropping than watching someone get arrested for multiple federal crimes while someone else is confronted for possibly running a cult? And now I’m on red alert for this bombshell instead of just leisurely tuning into my second favorite, “the girlies might fight to the death” television program.
Speaking of which, we start right where we left off on the bus, with Lisa and Jen mauling at each other like two toddlers in a rusted McDonald’s PlayPlace fighting over the last lick of a dried-up container of sweet-and-sour sauce. Producer Shanae keeps everyone’s eyeballs from being clawed out of their sockets, and Jen attempts to pivot her outburst into another stop on the what-about-Omar’s-prom sympathy tour. It works. Jen and Lisa dry-eye cry directly into each other’s faces in hopes of producing a single tear by force of sheer will. Heather administers the fuel for proper tear-duct function (Smartfood White Cheddar Popcorn). They all agree Jen should get the best room at the villa. Ramona Singer, watch your back!
Upon arrival at the villa, everyone completes the “settling in ritual” of FaceTiming their husbands and speculating how much the other gals have had to drink. Heather, in an Old Navy x Margaret Atwood look, obviously skips the husband bit and tells Whitney she thinks Jen’s drunk and hurting. Goddamnit, Bravo. This better be some kind of red herring because I don’t know if I’ll survive a season three recovery redemption storyline. I’m already a Luann apologist. I’m pretty sure my soul will combust if I have to cheer on Jennifer Shah as she becomes that bitch who doesn’t really do her step work, who you can’t help but love because she always brings Spindrift and the ’spensive fresh-from-the-bakery cookies to every meeting.
Luckily, it looks like that’s not happening any time soon. At the pool, Jen rips out her extension and throws it at Lisa, who has enlightened us with two new nubbins of info. Maybe these are Andy’s “jaw-dropping bombshells.” (1) She used to work at Hooters (second only to Mary M. Cosby, this would have been my last guess for who has this specific service industry experience on the ol’ résumé), and (2) She has decided to “start being a lot meaner because being nice doesn’t work,” which implies she believes she’s nice to begin with. What a gas!
Knock, knock, knock on the door, and it’s a coupla shoulder pads well on their way to sentience by means of slowly eating away Mary and Meredith’s corporal forms. They better hurry, though, because sunlight is limited, and it’s imperative to don some white purity garments for Whitney’s Mormon sacrament meeting — I mean, “Red Earth Ceremony.” Spiritual healer Betina waits for no one, so Meredith is forced on the bus in her flared denim tuxedo. Mary stays behind because she still needs time to adjust the Thom Browne baseball hat that may or may not be glued to her head, Matilda style.
At the labyrinth, the ladies clutch their gratitude bundles and proclaim what they’ll be letting go of — an assignment no one understands because everyone’s answer is a different flavor of mental gymnastics landing on “I am practically perfect, and other people are the problem.” Thirty-four minutes later, just as everyone is struggling to figure out how many syllables are in “Meredith,” Mary shows up. She doesn’t want to be there. She hasn’t wanted to be there for a single moment of this season. She stands 20 feet away from the drum circle, occasionally looking over to eavesdrop with her eyes like this one time in New Orleans when I was the only other person in a restaurant besides Benjamin Linus from Lost and the red-haired lady from True Blood, and I tried/failed to play it cool and keep my eyes on my breakfast sandwich. Mary then proceeds to make fun of Whitney’s spiritual rituals as if her own spiritual rituals aren’t “possibly inflicting harm as a means to buy the ugliest shit Gucci has ever produced.” Alas, Heather’s clear-headed and ready to bond.
And bond in fact they do! Er, at least if we’re going by the textbook definition, which is “to establish a relationship with someone based on shared feelings, interests, or experiences.” Hint: the shared interest may or may not be keeping the Bravo paychecks coming. Jen changes into something more snake-y tittylicious, and Meredith puts on a caftan, and everything after that is an auditory hellscape. I’m still unsure if they lost the plot or my easily overstimulated brain did. In an attempt to make any sense of it, here’s a play-by-play:
• Meredith didn’t come on the bus because she had to drive Sethie to a doctor’s appointment, to which he could have driven himself if it were any other day.
• Mary didn’t come on the bus because — she refuses to give a reason. She also refuses to apologize for that or anything else.
• Lisa suggests Meredith didn’t come on the bus because of Jen. (No shit, Sherlock.)
• Meredith deflects and tells Jen that Jennie called her a criminal. (A real deflecting-projecting-lying “pot meets kettle” situation!)
• Jen screams a lot and then leaves. Meredith is disgusted.
• Everyone else bickers about Lisa & Jen’s friendship, Lisa & Meredith’s friendship, Meredith & Mary’s friendship, and Whitney & Mary’s friendship.
• Mary powders her nose at the table. This is not a euphemism.
• The gals debate who’s the meanest of them all while Jen’s still in the kitchen raw-dogging her mitts into a vat of what I can only guess is chicken salad.
• Jennie calls out Meredith for responding “¯\_(ツ)_/¯” to Mary’s racist bullshit. Meredith excuses herself because she is “not in the mental state for this level of dissension.”
• Meredith fully loses any ounce of the god-tier status she had remaining from those arrest-day bathtub antics.
• Heather gives Mary a steak in exchange for bringing Meredith back to the table.
• Jen returns with what appears to be a Spacemaker pencil box and a hot pretzel.
• Mary spends 92 minutes explaining to Whitney that she doesn’t have the mental capacity to tell her “we’re friends,” which surely takes more mental capacity than just saying “we’re friends.”
• The private investigator shit comes up, and Jen retargets her wrath toward Jennie because Meredith says the investigator was looking into everyone, not just Jen.
• Meredith is still traumatized … oh no … anything but this … please … I’m begging…
• MY PRAYERS WERE TOO LATE; IT IS ANOTHER REHASHING OF VAGINAGATE.
• Meredith’s yelling! Jen’s screaming! They’re gnashing their spittle directly into each other’s gaping maws!
• Jen tells Meredith she’s living fraudulent lives. Meredith keeps trying “baby” and “sweetie” as patronizing clapbacks to limited success. Jen says Meredith has “ten other motherfucking boyfriends.”
I mean, if Seth were my husband, I too would have ten motherfucking boyfriends, and probably eight motherfucking girlfriends too. So help me, god, if Andy’s jaw-dropping bombshell is that Meredith and Seth are two consenting adults in an open relationship.
Anyway, see y’all next week for a rousing hike and Heather eating some Sugar Babies in bed. In the meantime, please conjecture about the jaw-dropping bombshell — wrong answers only. I, for one, have my fingers crossed for a big reveal that Teddy was stolen from Vanderpump Dogs and planted in Utah by Randall Emmett in a long and failed con to get Lala graduated to Housewives status and his films better reviewed at Sundance (still workshopping the details, but it feels like Occam’s razor, no?).