This fucking show. Here I was thinking episode 20 was going to be a penultimate hunk of yelling and more yelling to set up Lisa’s finale bash to be an even bigger mess of yelling and more yelling. But no. Well, sort of no. We’ve got yelling and setting up for finale yelling, but we’ve also got, um, something else. I’m not even sure there’s a word in the English language that adequately conveys the terrifyingly captivating uh, stuff?
This episode is sort of like that one time I drove across the country with my cat. Because cats are too smart to wolf down a sedative in a piece of cheese, I had to make a little syringe parfait of tuna goo, this zoot juice called Gabapentin, and more tuna goo to try and trick Creature into taking his meds. This worked exactly one time before Creature was like, “absolutely not, no touches, no tuna goo, no potential vessels for zoot juice.” In this rapidly decaying metaphor, tuna goo is the Housewifery. The sneaky zoot juice is raw footage from Faith Temple Pentecostal. And Creature is me. Except Creature only fell for this once, and I’m over here slurping down my zooted tuna goo parfait week after week, wondering why I have low-grade nausea at all times. ANYWAY …
Guess what? We’re still in Zion. They play Lisa’s tirade again to refresh our memories. Mary is sent to check on Meredith, who keeps saying she’s “done” re: her father’s memorial, which means we will hear about it at least seven more times. Jennie, Heather, and Jen bop on over to massage Lisa’s weary tendons after such a long entry in Barlow’s Burn Book. But Lisa is not having it. She screams at everyone that they all had a choice [having Lisa’s back], and they all made the wrong one [not defending Taco Bell/Lisa with enough impassioned fervor].
Lisa arms herself with a blow dryer, and WAIT A SECOND, are those real tears?! To think this entire season, all Lisa needed to do to get those ducts flowing was take off her shirt and say “whore” three times in the mirror! A revelation! Lisa then says, “GUESS WHAT, I AM RICHER THAN FUCKING ALL OF YOU, I DON’T NEED TO FUCKING BE HERE, OKAY? I AM DONE. GET ME THE FUCK OUT OF HERE.” Imagine being rich enough to confidently say something like this and still mic back up to yell in circles with a bunch of blacked-out bozos with great tits? Maybe this is Mormon 3.0? The gals also hypothesize how Lisa’s friendship with Jen kept Meredith safe because “Jen has a lot of dirt on Meredith.” They’re really gunning for a 17-part reunion, eh?
In the kitchen, Meredith is perched at the counter in a sweatsuit from Memento while Mary sits there silently because she already used her breath allotment to mutter that Heather is “snobby” and “looks inbred.” The way this woman wields insults never fails to leave me gobsmacked. Whitney waltzes in to — oh no, not again. It’s more speculation about the damn memorial. Meredith turns it back on Whitney to see how she would feel if everyone said she was lying about her dad’s substance issues. It’s enough to break Whitney’s botox so she can show a whisper of facial movement for “let’s debate whether it’s better to have a dead father or an alive father who is not speaking to you.” I have a lot of addicts in my life, and I am still choosing “alive” 100 out of 100 times in this pissing contest of trauma. Alas, they scream at each other a bunch more because Whitney refuses to understand that a parent dying is not a happy hour event with a bulletproof run-of-show.
After asking Meredith if she should hire a private investigator to see when her father’s memorial was, Whitney scampers upstairs to brag about her one-liner. She takes a smelly tequila piss, and then Meredith enters the room to do a lil’ speculation inquisition. The whole thing is just a big excuse for Meredith to use the word “repugnant” a bunch more times and refuse to drop the date of the memorial to squash the nonsense. Lovely. Oh yeah, and everyone tries to find Mary because she’s not doing her proper job of “being there” for Meredith, likely because she’s too busy murmuring things like “ugh, women” under her breath to henchman Jesus. Mary does not join Kev and the gals on the sprinter van home.
The friend group dynamics may be entirely upside down, but cue the haunted Mormon angel choir because we are finally out of Zion! As much as I’d love a nice leisurely meal at Valter’s and a trip to the nail salon, it’s not happening. We skate right into Seth Marks talking about chakras with wide eyes like he’s going to make it a sex thing and Heather’s ex showing up at the “gender-reveal-but-for-college” party looking like he’s on his lunch break at Pac-Sun in 2003. Other clipsicles include Lisa considering adding “grills” to her spon-con lineup and Jen’s quick check-in with Clayton.
Yep, this season is such a tsunami of a shit show that Jen meeting with her criminal defense attorney is given the same amount of screen time as Meredith having a giggle with her trainer. My degree from Detective Procedural School of Law does not provide me the jurisdiction to evaluate the complete skillset of other attorneys, but bravo to Bravo for making Clayton, Esq. look like a complete buffoon. He explains to Jen that Stu has an attorney and “they’re still processing — we’re a team, we’re working. Together. We’re not a team working, but we’re not opposed to each other at this point.” Really earning that hourly rate! He also says that “if [Stu] decides to take a deal, he may testify against you” and “the only way to stop is to go to trial.” Sounds to me like Jen needs to stop doing whatever she’s doing to drain her mom’s 401k and start doing whatever Tom Wambsgans did behind the scenes to redirect his season-two story arc from “imminent prison” to “kiss from daddy.”
What does that look like here? It starts with using Jen as a pawn for audience rubbernecking in an attempt to trauma-bond us all. Because the time has come. Faith Temple Pentecostal hasn’t had service in over a year, and there is a whole lot of uh, spirit, on display. Mary comes strutting down the aisle like Little Baby Billy and hops right on the altar for everyone to worship her. I’m not even exaggerating here. In terms of pure facts, we have (1) someone manually fanning Mary the entire time while (2) various congregants approach and proclaim their love and/or devotion. I transcribed some of it (my screeners never have subtitles) because if this is Bravo’s pitch for someone to put some big network money behind a long-form Mary M. Cosby documentary a la The Jinx, we gotta take a hard look at the goods. Within mere minutes, we have various congregants telling Mary:
• “You are my perfect love. God’s love for his people reigns in you. God shines in all that you do.”
• “You are the perfect friend. You are a master of positivity. You are a perfect teacher.”
• “You are a perfect dresser.”
• “It’s a beauty that’s beyond divine.”
• “You’ve been the best friend! I could ever imagine!”
• “I’LL NEVER LEAVE YOU. I PROMISE. [speaking in tongues].”
• “You are the facsimile of God.”
If you haven’t taken the SAT in a while, facsimile is “an exact copy,” which is pretty damning in terms of the whole “Mary’s congregation worshipping her as God” situation. I’m no religious scholar, but watching Mary go from her exorbitant home/closet to the pulpit so regular folks (including literal children) can pledge undying allegiance in the form of crying praise and money takes me to another dimension of “ick.” Too much. Make it stop.
Oops, it looks like we overcorrected on the head-empty situation because Meredith has invited Heather and Whitney over to “workout with wine” and argue some more about the memorial nonsense. Someone, please call Maintenance Phase because I’m all out of brain cells to unpack whatever diet culture woo woo is happening with these “Sculpt-Flex” fat-blasting machines. The entire scene is exactly like that thing they do every three seasons of The Bachelorette, where all the bros have to be hooked up to electrodes so they can simulate childbirth while Jason Biggs looks on. Eventually, Meredith says the memorial was the 29th, and then Whitney asks Meredith, “how do you filllllll with Lisa’s event coming up?” Meredith filllllllllls all disgruntled because “a real friend of ten years wouldn’t do something like that,” and if it’s true, she’s “done.”
I don’t know if I’ve ever disagreed with the assessment of a petty situation more. First off, parental death (and potentially sitting Shiva) is NOT the equivalent of a dental cleaning as a clear-cut appointment event. Second, it’s not on other people to know your precise whereabouts, and frankly, with grief, it’s none of anyone’s business. And third, someone saying you’re busy at a memorial while you are, in fact, engaging in some form of memorializing so you can avoid being on a bus for eight hours is nothing but friend behavior. Friends help friends get out of shit they don’t want to do! Shoutout to my real ones!
ANYWAY, see you all next week for Whitney spending the last of the Rose family fortune on a bottle of Dom and a lace bodysuit, Murilo taping boxes, the VIDA sponcon event to end all VIDA sponcon events (JK — they’ll never end), Mer spilling on who “everybody dated who no one knows about,” and a final showdown of racist versus racist. 🥴