Jen Shah Real Housewives of Salt Lake City

Real Housewives Of Salt Lake City Recap: You Can’t Spell New Beginnings Without G-I-N

God bless Mary Cosby. That’s where we need to start this week. When she was brought back for Season 2, I truly wondered what the First Lady/possible cult leader would bring to the table once she left her closet. And she may not be bringing much to the central storylines so far on this season of The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City. But the entertainment factor she brings to the periphery of every episode is just truly bar none.

Thus far, we’ve seen hide nor hair of her step-grandpa/husband, but that hasn’t stopped Mary from talking to mannequin heads, starting a podcast, or fighting with eggs on a weekly basis. But this week, the woman delivered the greatest, most off-the-cuff story about a gruesome car accident in Bravo history (sorry, Erika Jayne), and surely managed to permanently traumatize Whitney Rose‘s poor children in the process. Send those therapy bills to Faith Temple Pentecostal Church, kids! Seriously, the exchange was so unbelievable that it’s worth presenting in full:

Mary: I would love to teach you a cooking lesson. Today, I’m so tired. One of the members in our church, like, one of — their daughter, like, had a crash.

Whitney: When? Recent??

Mary: Today! Like last night. And she was ejected from the sun roof. And fell down into a neighborhood. 30 feet. Drop off the freeway.

Whitney‘s wide-eyed school-aged daughter: Is she still alive??

Mary: (scoffs) No. (starts dancing) I’m excited to be here! Wear your seatbelt!

Like, I’m sorry. What just happened? This woman. I truly have no words. And yet also have so many questions. All joking aside, bless this driver’s poor family. But maybe think twice before partaking in whatever Mary put in those cookies? And yes, please do wear your seatbelts…

Mary aside, this week’s episode centers around two relationships: Jen Shah‘s apology tour ending with Brooks Marks and the fallout between Lisa Barlow and Whitney over catering-gate. Let’s start with the former, shall we? A week after Jen’s ice fishing apology to Meredith Marks, Brooks is finally ready to sit down with his mom’s frenemy. So naturally, they meet for a formal sit-down apology at 350 Main in Park City. Jen’s visibly nervous, and Brooks arrives with his mother in tow before promptly sending her to the bar to prove he doesn’t need back-up to put this feud to an end.

Jen starts out by apologizing to Brooks. And kinda, sorta, almost even taking accountability for essentially gay bashing and cyberbullying him for months on social media. It would almost seem genuine if it wasn’t so blatantly obvious that she’s on a mission this season to do damage control and make herself look better than how she came across during Season 1. And that she’s still blaming the team that runs her social media, which directly contradicts her admitting she’d liked and retweeted certain tweets just a few episodes ago. But OK, I’m dropping it. She’s also blaming her reactions on needing to deflect the conversation away from her vagina. Which apparently makes it OK to go after your friend’s kid’s sexuality on social media? Not exactly buying that one, but that’s her excuse.

Brooks is fairly gracious in accepting Jen‘s apology while still making clear how hurt he was by the entire ordeal. What’s most interesting to me though, is that he isn’t given a confessional like he was last season. So we don’t know what he’s really thinking underneath what he’s saying to Jen. But eventually Meredith is beckoned back to the table and everyone agrees to move forward in a positive direction. Well, until Jen’s surprise arrest, anyway…

Now on to Lisa vs. Whitney. At the start of the hour, Lisa is left reeling from the drama at Angie Harrington‘s fundraiser. Rehashing the drama with her husband the next morning, Lisa admits she felt totally blindsided and more than a little ambushed by the confrontation over the catering. (“What a waste of a Gucci outfit,” indeed!) Since last week, the caterers have come forward on Twitter vindicating Lisa and explaining that their pulling out of the event had to do with behind-the-scenes logistics about being credited on the show and filming in their restaurant, but for the purposes of the narrative that’s neither here nor there.

On the flip side, Whitney goes to Mary for advice on how to move forward with Lisa after the party. Hilariously, the first question out of Mary’s mouth is, “What did you do?” Whitney says flat-out that she’s not a fan of Lisa, but admits she still feels some sort of perverse need for validation from her fellow ‘Wife. In Mary’s eyes, it’s all a classic case of the younger ‘Wife wanting to be accepted by her cooler, older, well-connected cast mate. Sort of like a high school freshman wanting to hang with the popular senior girls. So Whitney can say she doesn’t like Lisa until she’s blue in the face, she wants to be friends with her.

Whitney also asks Jennie Nguyen out to lunch (at Cucina Toscana, natch) under the pretense of establishing her own connection with the newest Housewife. But after chatting about babies and business, the real topic of conversation is once again her fraught dynamic with Lisa. Jennie lays out what Lisa has been saying since the start of Season 1: that she deserves to be taken at face value instead of her cast mates always looking for some hidden ulterior motive. But Whitney doesn’t see the fun, good side to Lisa all her friends say is there. In fact, she’s not sure her nemesis has any redeeming qualities at all. But Jennie pushes that all the drama may simply boil down to miscommunication and getting off on the wrong foot. So it’s at least worth trying to fix, right?

Somewhat reluctantly, Lisa and Whitney agree to meet up at Alpine Pie Bar in Park City to attempt a fresh start. And also for some pie and gin. The two want to find some sort of middle ground, but when Lisa references them being friends, Whitney retorts that, from her perspective, they are most definitely not. Lisa feels like her fellow ‘Wife is always (purposely?) misinterpreting the motivations behind her every word and move. She also insists that, despite what Whitney may think, she’s never had any sort of problem with her that didn’t stem from the way Whitney treated her.

There’s some back and forth about Lisa‘s friendship with Angie (who’s nowhere to be seen this week). Lisa doesn’t understand why her friend of 20-plus years would seek out a bond with someone she’s very publicly having “discord” with. And Whitney‘s still offended by Lisa telling Angie not to claim her as her cousin. Lisa concedes that it was definitely a rude remark, and explains that she was feeling defensive after seeing Angie’s blossoming friendship with Whitney. Ultimately, the two ‘Wives agree to some sort of reset — if only for the sake of their husbands, who like hanging out together. They promise to move forward giving each other the benefit of the doubt, but judging from next week’s preview, that doesn’t seem to be all that realistic…

In other news, Heather Gay spends this week celebrating her daughter’s acceptance to UC Santa Barbara. And also trying to work through a potent shift in parenting strategy now that she’s left the Mormon Church. On a day of skiing and Irish coffee, she turns to Meredith for advice on how to have the sex talk before her daughter heads off to college. Meredith is aghast that Heather hasn’t already had this discussion. After all, Ashley is a senior in high school with a long-term boyfriend. But growing up Mormon, Heather truly never had the vocabulary for it. In Mormonism, premarital sex falls under a commandment called the Law of Chastity. And the conversation usually goes something like, “Don’t have sex before marriage, or else.”

If the expectation is total abstinence before marriage, then there’s never any need to talk about the birds and the bees, right? God will just punish you if you do anything outside the bonds of marriage. (And don’t even get me started on what the Church teaches about “acting on same-sex attraction.”) But now, Heather‘s ready to take back all the advice and rules she handed down to her kids as they grew up. Now, she can’t imagine not telling her daughters to live their lives and grow up armed with knowledge and support. But first, she has to learn how to talk about it. Because it’s going to be much, much more than handing out Capri Suns and condoms…


[Photo Credit: Bravo]