Y’all have seen The Jinx, right? If not, stop reading right here. Trudge on over to the HBO Max UX/UI hellscape, and check out — spoiler alert if you’re someone who believes in spoilers for IRL events — Robert Durst confessing to multiple murders because he could not stop his mouth-breath muttering while fully mic’d. The reason I bring this up is not because shitbag Bobby died in prison a few weeks ago, but because few things bring me dopamine straight to the noggin like a high-caliber hot-mic moment. And no matter what level of Frankenediting happened on RHOSLC this week, we have ourselves an upper-echelon oopsie from Ms. Lisa. Like, maybe the wildest I’ve ever seen? I would love to spend the following 1,700 words analyzing our rare and lengthy glimpse into Barlow’s Burn Book like it’s The Scarlet Letter, and I’m about to trounce the AP Literature exam. But I should probably at least pretend to care about some horseback-riding-ATV-spa-day hullabaloo. Giddy. Up.
First, we’ve got Lisa and Heather (production wants you to think this is an unlikely duo, but it’s not). They stomp around on horses for a few minutes, then spend the rest of the time cosplaying the “I’m Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman” music video while shit-talking Meredith. Heather recognizes that Lisa’s ride-or-dies are doing exactly zero riding. Lisa apologizes for getting everyone “totally yelled at yesterday” after telling Meredith everyone thought she lied about her dad’s memorial. Both gals compare notes and realize the stories they were told don’t match up. The stories are also very vague and very thin, so I remain unconvinced that this is even worth discussing by us, them, or anyone else. Also, most memorials are not a quick li’l event, especially Jewish ones, so I ultimately think this is none of their business. Meredith has plenty of other shit they can dig their claws into. Plus, Lisa’s got ten years’ worth of Marks family secrets hiding in that waist-long mane. 😈
Up next, it’s Jen, who’s giving her Orange Is the New Black look a test run, and Whitney, who was blacked out on trifle-dish-Tito’s way too recently for comfort, hopping into an ATV. They zoom around enough to get their snouts coated in muck before sitting down with S&V chips and Haribo to also shit-talk Meredith. Jen has the gall to insinuate that someone who withholds the whole truth is probably lying about all sorts of other nefarious activities, presumably to give the Feds a fun little clip to trot out during her trial. Whitney’s still trying to Nancy Drew her way to what else Meredith has on Jen because she isn’t buying that their feud is fueled exclusively by Twitter. She’s similarly confused why Meredith has aligned herself with an alleged cult leader whose vibes can only be described as “terrifyingly off, and not even in a fun way.” Both Jen and Whitney pledge to bring up these issues later. Can’t wait.
Speaking of which, Ms. Marks is still riding high from the previous evening’s activities, most notably going one-for-one with Jen Shah and smooching Whitney on the lippies exactly how Tom Brady smooches his dad. It is the only logical explanation for why she would decide to go to the spa with noted nemeses Mary and Jennie. Before any of y’all in the comments start going on about hair and makeup or lack thereof, I’d like to remind you that there is PLENTY of internal ugliness ripe for the snarking. Just since last week, we’ve got Jennie’s pathetic racism justification, Bravo showing up a lifetime late to social justice (like, sure, great, but where was this swiftness for all the white women?), and then perhaps the most cringeworthy “meet my one Black friend” show-and-tell the internet has ever seen. Yikes all around. Anyway, Mary wears the same sunglasses as the fashion designer from The Incredibles and a bunch of tithing diamonds the duration of her massage, then leaves the second anyone asks about her man. I’m almost inspired.
Back at the villa, in honor of Mary calling Jen a Mexican thug, Jen is wearing a Selena costume and paying some lady named Rheanna to make “margarita tacos” for Cinco de Mayo, because nothing cures racist comments like cultural appropriation! After pouring her bosom into a Meredith Marks x Madame Alexander velvet getup, Ms. Marks dusts off her law degree. She explains to Whitney that Jen stipulated to the federal government that she has zero assets, which means if she’s paying for the dinner, it’s probably dirty money, and Meredith cannot attend. Whitney’s like, I dunno, Jen probably didn’t pay because “husbands.” Uh, yeah, ya think? My top three guesses as to who paid for this fiesta are (1) Bravo Media LLC (2) Rheanna’s Catering (3) VIDA Tequila.
Night falls, Jen whips out some maracas Murilo ordered from Amazon, and we’re off to yet another shitshow dining experience. I don’t love doing the “bulleted list of disaster” thing, but I’m up against a word count. I need to save space for a fully transcribed “bombshell,” and there is just TOO MUCH. For any other franchise, this meal is multiple seasons’ worth of drama — everyone goes scorched-earth:
• Jen passes out the diamond snowflake necklaces she and Stu had made two months ago. Meredith accepts the gift. Whitney feigns shock.
• Mary goes inside to get another layer and refuses to bring Whitney one. Jennie tells everyone about her tiff with Mary at spa day.
• Between last week’s “microaggression” misuse and this week’s “cycle of abuse” moment, Lisa highlights what happens when white ladies’ only form of anti-racism is reading half a sentence of a summary of a book written by some other white lady.
• Whitney is back on her Topgolf-era shit-stirring and immediately asks Mary if she likes Jennie.
• Mary just says “no,” then does a bunch of eye-rolling and sighing and burping anytime it’s her turn to talk.
• (Intermission to remind everyone that people can be both racist and the victim of racism at the same damn time.)
• Somehow, Mary turns it to husband-free Heather, who responds, “Fuck you, Mary Cosby, who’s your husband? It’s your step-granddaddy.” MUAHAHA.
• No one can comprehend that Mary does not like Jennie and does not give a single fuck about maintaining the “friend group” Bravo-contract decorum.
• Things go further off the rails. Lisa starts muttering to Meredith about kindness. Lisa snaps at Jen about triggering. Lisa says this isn’t about her and then makes it entirely about her. Lisa snaps, “WHO IS THERE FOR FUCKING ME BECAUSE NOBODY IS THERE FOR ME.” While Jen’s adjusting her areolas or something away from the table, Lisa continues her tirade. Mary, mouth full of taco bowl, mumbles that Lisa isn’t kind.
• Lisa screams at Mary for being fake. Mary says that Lisa lives in a bubble and wasn’t taught how to be real because she still eats candy, and she “goes to Taco Bell, who does that?”
• THIS IS WHERE I DRAW THE LINE. I cannot believe I’m going to bat for Lisa fucking Barlow, but as a proud adult candy-head and Taco Bell potato-product enthusiast, I will not tolerate this slander. If Lisa wants to eat Kit Kats for breakfast and Crunchwrap Supremes for lunch, that is her business! Lisa agrees, securing the Taco Bell spon for Barlow generations to come.
• Meredith keeps gulping but refuses to intervene. Lisa says Mary’s church is fake and also “Lisa Barlow is an amazing human. I am authentic. I am real; let’s look up your stuff.”
• I pass out at the mere thought of Lisa logging into her Reddit account at the table.
• I come to as Mary’s saying she doesn’t invite the devil to her church, and Heather’s still trying to make Jennie/Mary happen. They get back into it.
• Whitney quotes scripture via Rachel Hollis via a Canva template (presumably).
• Mary finally says what everyone involved has known for two years: that she is not real friends with any of them besides Meredith.
• Meredith starts apologizing for “screaming and yelling and acting like a complete lunatic …” before a quick return to screaming and yelling and acting like a complete lunatic.
I don’t care about anything else that happens at the table from this point forward because BARLOW GOES OFF-ROAD. There are clearly several clips stitched together, all of which appear to occur while Lisa is either storming off or behind a closed door. So without further adieu, the Barlow Burn Book entry for all of eternity:
“I’m leaving. I am fucking done. What Meredith did is so fucked up. Meredith can go fuck herself. I’m done with her ’cause I’m not a fucking whore, and I don’t cheat on my husband. Her and her dumb fucking family that poses. Why don’t you own a house? Wait, you can’t. ’Cause your husband changes jobs every five minutes. Fake Meredith is a piece of shit. ‘I’ll have your back.’ I’m offended by that. Fuck you, that fucking piece of shit garbage whore. I hate her. She’s a whore. She’s fucked half of New York! She can go fuck herself! Here, you can have my mic back.”
I do not use this word lightly, but — LEGENDARY. I have so many questions. Who was she talking to? Did a producer bring this tirade forth? There’s no way JB HUSBAND BOSS egged this on, right? Could it somehow be an accident? Coming from the same broad who’s been busted mouthing lines to her spawn all season? Was it all part of some unhinged plan, or does Barlow party way harder than I gave her credit for?
ANYWAY, I guess that was the “bombshell.” See ya next week for … ??? The finale? Crossing my fingers and toes because this season will not quit. We’ve already got 1.79 firings, at least 12 flavors of allegations/altercations/terrorizations, plus up to 50 years in federal prison. Oh, and that impeccable Barlow blowup. Like, at this point? WE’RE GOOD. No more darkness. Wrap it up so this time next week, we (I) can be watching Abbott Elementary in peace like the good lord intended.