Last week, The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City ended on a surprisingly feel-good note. But if you think the good vibes from Club Zion would last, you’re sadly fooling yourself. Because all it took was less than 24 hours for the group dynamic to spiral once again into chaos. Do these women, uh, despise each other? Because it’s sure starting to feel like it.
The wild night at Club Zion could’ve been the perfect note on which to end the Mother’s Day getaway. But we still have two more days in Zion, so the trip must go on. As someone who grew up just outside of the national park, I can tell you there’s much more to do there than sit in a villa screaming at each other about who turned Jen Shah into the feds. And so the women split up in classic Housewives style for a day of excursions. And also to rehash all the drama that’s gone down away from the group as a whole.
While Jen and Whitney Rose go ATV riding, the strange trio of Meredith Marks, Mary Cosby and Jennie Nguyen prefer a day at the spa. And then there’s the oddest couple of all, Lisa Barlow and Heather Gay, who show off their abilities to both canter and gallop by going horseback riding before living out their best Britney Spears fantasy like they’re on the set of “I’m Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman.” (For the record, that video was actually filmed at Antelope Canyon in Page, Arizona, which is another couple hours of driving from my hometown past Zion. There are the types of important details you come to these recaps for, right?)
It’s quite interesting seeing Heather and Lisa film alone together for what I’m *pretty* sure is the first time all season. And it seems after the terrible dinner the night before, Heather’s starting to see her sometime nemesis in a different light. All season long, Meredith has expected Lisa’s unwavering support in her feud with Jen. In fact, both women have very nearly demanded that Lisa pick a side, rather than attempt to play peacemaker or try to be a good friend to both. And now Heather is finally seeing that Lisa frankly isn’t getting the same type of support in return.
In all of their interactions with Lisa, it’s always about what either Meredith or Jen is going through. They’ve both screamed at her, discounted her feelings, and demanded more from her. Add in Meredith’s seemingly blind (and confusing) loyalty to Mary over her supposed best friend of 10-plus years, and it makes for a bizarre dynamic. Heather also has questions about the memorial for Meredith’s father. Meredith apparently told her the service was on Monday, the day before the trip to Vail. But Lisa was under the impression it was on Tuesday, the same day that Jen was arrested. She even called her on the phone in the middle of the memorial! Hmm..is it a miscommunication or could Meredith be lying to one of them?
Whitney and Jen, meanwhile, are asking the same questions. Is Meredith using her father’s memorial as a cover-up for something else? The convenient reason she didn’t ride in the van to Vail, perhaps? Whitney also tries to dig into her theory about Meredith and Jen sharing a secret boyfriend, but Jen claims there wasn’t anything more to the story last season about Meredith dating other people…
Meredith herself has no idea any of these conversations are even happening, of course. Because she’s busy getting a massage with mortal enemies Mary and Jennie. At Five Petals Spa, the trio try to make small talk, but even that basic level of interaction quickly gets awkward. Jennie apologizes to Meredith for spilling the tea to Jen about the private investigator. She claims she wasn’t trying to hurt Meredith, but given the weird fixation the now-fired newbie has had on the issue since Vail, I’d say that’s hard to believe.
Mary has no idea what Jennie‘s talking about when she relays the status of her marriage to Meredith over the whole sister wife drama. (Newsflash: Duy Nguyen refuses to go to therapy.) And when Meredith and Jennie ask the simple question of whether she’s talked to Robert Cosby Sr. during the trip, Mary is a closed vault. Claiming she refuses to talk about her family in front of Jennie, she excuses herself from the conversation entirely rather than make any attempt to open up or bond. Like I said…awkward.
That night, Jen throws a Mexican-themed dinner to celebrate Cinco de Mayo. Supposedly it’s in honor of Mary calling her a Mexican thug in Vail. Which is…a hilarious way to turn the racist insult on its head. The dinner, however, is no laughing matter to Meredith, who wonders to Whitney how the hostess is paying for the party, given that she’s publicly declared to the federal government that she has exactly “zero” assets in her name. If Jen’s financed the dinner with dirty money that’s been allegedly stolen from the pockets of hundreds of elderly victims, Meredith’s not interested in participating. And yet, she dons her boldest crushed orange velvet pantsuit and joins the other ‘Wives for dinner anyway…
To make things even more uncomfortable, Jen kicks the meal off by presenting each of the ladies with a diamond snowflake necklace. Remember, the gifts she was supposedly bringing for everyone in Aspen? Yeah, those. There’s an even bigger question mark in the air about whether Jen paid for this extravagant jewelry with fraudulent funds, but Meredith doesn’t turn her nose up at the gift immediately, either. Instead, she rather coolly thanks her for it!
Between the quesadillas and margaritas, the dinner starts on a sour note when Mary goes into the villa for a jacket but ungraciously refuses Whitney‘s request to bring blankets back for the rest of the group. Watch out, Mary’s clearly in one of her moods. While she’s away from the table, Jennie fills the women in on how the First Lady treated her at the spa. And surprise, surprise! Meredith rushes to Mary’s defense. So when Mary returns (with a jacket and no blankets), Whitney decides to ask her point blank: does she like Jennie? Without missing a beat, the answer is a curt “No.” And she’s not about to apologize for it.
The confrontation starts with all the reasons Mary and Jennie dislike each other, but Heather quickly gets dragged into the fray after pointing out how rude Mary was to Jennie even just that morning over breakfast. While the husbands gifted this trip to the group, Mary throws it in Heather’s face that she doesn’t have one. Which…yikes. Low blow, Mary. And Heather eschews Michelle Obama’s advice by going just as low to remind Mary that her husband is her step-granddaddy, thank you very much. (All Jen can do is sit back and watch the barbs fly across the table with a smile.)
At the other end of the table, Lisa jumps in to point out Mary‘s cruelty to Meredith. But her bestie remains unfazed as Mary then turns her ire on Lisa. Which leads to the queen of Sundance exploding and positively reading Mary for filth. She reads Mary up and down for everything from her verbal abuse and questionable character to the allegations about her church and her dwindling congregation. Hilariously, Mary’s only retort is that Lisa likes to eat Taco Bell. Which in Mary Land somehow equates to Lisa having “no depth.” Uh…ok, Mary. Nice try, Taco Bell is untouchable.
Caught (literally) in the middle, Meredith once again does absolutely nothing to stand up for her best friend. Because at this point it’s clear: for some unknown reason, her loyalty is to Mary above all else. Even when she’s calling Lisa “the devil” and a “chihuahua.” Not a peep. The other women start pointing out Mary’s glaring hypocrisy in claiming to be a woman of God while treating people the way she does. This season, she’s been unpredictably cruel, callous and condescending to just about every other Housewife. Besides Meredith, of course. But Mary doubles down — and basically breaks down the fourth wall in the process — by claiming that none of these women are actually friends. At best, they’re co-workers she’s being paid to be around. Again, other than Meredith. Of course.
At this, Whitney tries to force Meredith‘s feet to the fire. Does she condone the way Mary‘s been speaking to Lisa? Her best friend of 10 years? What about telling Jennie she doesn’t matter? Is that leading with love and kindness in Meredith’s view? But rather than take a stance, Meredith plays Switzerland, and tries to talk her way around making Mary’s verbal abuse of the others somehow OK. And seeing this leads Lisa to her breaking point. She retreats from the table in tears. Then, barricading herself in her room, we are treated to a hot mic moment that just might signal the end of Lisa and Meredith’s decade of sisterhood. It also holds the high (or low) honor of outdoing basically every other hot mic caught in the history of Bravo. To end the recap, I present it below in full:
“Meredith can go f–k herself. I’m done with her. ‘Cause I’m not a f–king whore, and I don’t cheat on my husband. Her and her dumb f–king 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 s–t. ‘I have your back,’ and I’m offended by that. F–k you! That f–king piece of s–t garbage whore. I f–king hate her! She’s a whore; she’s f–ked half of New York! She can go f–k herself [opens door and emerges from bathroom]. Here, you can have your mic back [tosses mic to producer off-camera].”
TELL US – DO YOU BELIEVE MEREDITH IS LYING ABOUT HER FATHER’S MEMORIAL? WHY DO YOU THINK SHE CAN DEFEND MARY’S VERBAL ABUSE OF THE OTHER WOMEN? IS THIS THE END OF MEREDITH AND LISA’S FRIENDSHIP? DID YOUR JAW DROP AT LISA’S HOT MIC MOMENT?
[Photo Credit: Bravo]