The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City are back in Utah, which means one thing: Jen Shah is back in the picture. But thankfully it’s not just The Jen Shah Show. While they’re indicted cast mate was taking last week off, the rest of the ladies had more than enough drama going on to keep the show moving forward without her. And surprise! All that religiously traumatized baggage allegedly inflicted by Mary Cosby came back with them from Vail.
But first, Jen has a grand re-entrance to make. It’s just a question of who’s going to let her come crawling back to the group. Armed with a brand-new phone number, she reaches out to her two closest allies: Lisa Barlow and Heather Gay. However, the two sworn enemies have markedly different reactions to Jen’s cry for help. A text to Lisa goes unanswered — the tequila queen doesn’t quite know what to think after the blindside of Jen’s arrest and is choosing to “tread lightly.” Far on the other end of the spectrum, Heather is more than happy to answer her friend’s desperate call.
Not only that, Heather‘s willing to show up for lunch with Jen, face to face, no questions asked. Which is a bit incongruous from her attitude of “I don’t want to be indicted, I don’t want to be involved” featured in the trailer, which was cut out of the post-arrest roundtable in Vail. But remains in line with her declaration from that same conversation that she would visit Jen in prison. So. Take from that what you will. But either way, Jen has a story to sell. The pair meet at Harbor Steak and Seafood in their flashiest faux furs. And suddenly I wonder if I’m watching an episode of Mob Wives. Or, more specifically, a piece of absurdly terrible Mormon cinema I grew up watching called Mobsters and Mormons. (If you know, you know.)
After ordering, because priorities, Jen makes a couple of interesting calculations in relaying the story of her arrest to Heather. First, she focuses the bulk of it on Homeland Security arriving at the Shah Chalet with guns drawn and the obvious trauma that inflicted on her son. Second, she very clearly tries to distance herself from Stuart Smith. One minute the man was her No. 1 assistant. And the next, they were just friends who didn’t have any business to tie them together. In fact, she even went as far as to say via confessional that they’re “not partners in any business.” (On the RHOSLC After Show, she doubles down that Stu Chainz was merely a “personal” assistant rather than a professional one.) Conveniently, Heather keeps quiet at the table, but has plenty of questions in her confessional.
Jen also wants to hear all the gossip from Vail. So Heather briefs her on how some of the women reacted to her arrest – namely Lisa and Meredith Marks. She makes a big show of Lisa calling all of her lawyers, and bluntly reminds Jen that she shouldn’t be surprised Meredith wants nothing to do with her. I mean, come on. But Jen jumps back into victim mode, choosing to see Lisa going dark on her as a betrayal. And makes it clear to Heather that she’s now expecting an apology from both Lisa and Meredith once her good name is cleared.
Meanwhile, Whitney Rose is focused on rebranding her fledgling skincare line from Iris + Beau to Wild Rose Beauty. And she’s got a few major bombs to drop on her husband, Justin Rose. Over the course of the rebrand, she’s run through the couple’s entire life savings. Oh and she’s also applied for a $1,000,000 line of credit. Without telling her husband. That she’ll need him to co-sign on. Oops. Obviously none of this is good news. But just wait until you hear how much she spent on a photoshoot inside her house!
We only get a single Mary scene this week. And it happens inside the cavernous depths of her hoarder’s closet. Gee, it feels like we’re back in the simple days of Season 1 again! Mary’s hired some girl who’s billed as a professional organizer to clean out her closet. And this poor girl has no idea what she’s in for. The scene also doubles as a way for Mary to publicly justify how she came about her materialistic, hyper-consumerist lifestyle filled with luxury goods. She’s still righteously indignant that the other ‘Wives would suggest she’s ripping off her congregation. Every part of her lavish life is just something she’s been blessed with by the Jesus she uses as a personal mercenary against anyone who crosses her. She’s just #blessed, got it?
Meanwhile, Lisa and Meredith meet up for an afternoon of horseback riding and bonding at Blue Sky Stables. Except Lisa’s horse, Blue, doesn’t feel much like being ridden. In fact, it’s kind of hilariously reminiscent of her Ferrari ride in Vegas last season. After trotting around the ring, however, the BFFs have some things to get off their chests. Lisa finds a sympathetic ear in Meredith as she lays out the conflicted feelings she’s having about her friendship with Jen. Looking back, she’s realizing the relationship was really kind of one-sided, and that maybe she was being manipulated all along. You can practically see Meredith biting her tongue from letting an “I told you so” slip out.
Meredith‘s also still frustrated that Mary wasn’t given the chance to say her full and complete piece in Vail. But Lisa‘s quick to point the finger at Heather and Whitney for storming away from the conversation. She’s also chomping at the bit to defend herself from the cousins’ latest attack on her character. Lisa feels Meredith’s not having her back when the latter suggests she might be part of the problem, too. And before you know it, the tension ratchets up so much that the brunette besties are starting to get a bit hostile with each other.
After another scene of Jen protesting her innocence to Coach Shah (she’s scared, no one is showing up for her after everything she’s done, etc.) that’s essentially a retread of some of what she told Heather, we cut to a photo shoot for Wild Rose Beauty at Whitney’s house in Daybreak. Except…there’s no product or updated branding anywhere to be seen. It’s just all of Whitney’s brand reps standing around in white dresses and playing with a dog against a white background. But she’s spent $20,000 on it and invited Heather and Jennie Nguyen to come along and watch.
Let’s be honest, the real reason the ‘Wives are there is to gossip. Heather fills the others in on her lunch with Jen. And after relaying the sob story, Jennie comes through with the obvious question: “But do you believe her?” All Heather can say is she “hopes and prays” Jen is innocent. Whitney then turns the subject to all the drama surrounding Mary. And she has her own tidbit of info to share.
She decided to go straight to the source and got Cameron Williams’ number from — of all people — Angie Harrington. Whitney then called up Lisa‘s friend and talked to him for three whole hours about his history with Mary. And apparently what she heard was pretty damning. While Whitney won’t spill any of it on camera, she says that if even a percentage of what she was told is true, Mary’s more dangerous than any of them could’ve possibly guessed… And it’s time for everyone to band together and take her down.
TELL US – WHAT DID YOU THINK OF JEN’S SIDE OF THE STORY ABOUT HER ARREST? WERE YOU SURPRISED HEATHER MET WITH HER SO READILY AND DIDN’T ASK QUESTIONS? ARE CRACKS STARTING TO SHOW IN LISA AND MEREDITH’S FRIENDSHIP? DO YOU THINK IT WAS APPROPRIATE FOR WHITNEY TO REACH OUT TO CAMERON?
[Photo Credit: Bravo]