Real Housewives Of Salt Lake City Reunion Part 1 Recap: How To Be A Cool Mean Girl

Well, well, well, my darling Saints. Welcome to The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City Season 2 Reunion. Bravo has recreated an approximation of the Midway Ice Castles for this year’s set. There’s also an ice fishing hole right in the middle of the floor in front of Andy Cohen. And there are only six seats on the reunion couches. Because the (long-confirmed) rumors are true. Mary Cosby decided not to attend the reunion. And yet even without her presence, it feels like three parts to this reunion still won’t be enough to cover all the insanity that went down this season.

Interestingly, it seems all the other Housewives are just as blindsided as fans were to learn Mary was a no-show. She didn’t even tell her new bestie Meredith Marks, apparently. The women want answers, but all Andy can say is that Mary wasn’t too happy to see what her cast mates were saying behind her back all season. Particularly the allegations surrounding her church. And rather than show up to defend herself, she’d rather stay home. But don’t worry, even without her physically in attendance, Mary looms over almost the entirety of Part 1.

A Not-So-Shahmazing Apology Tour

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First, Andy gives Jen Shah the floor to address the federal charges she’s facing. Which, to be clear, include one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering. All together, Jen could potentially go to prison for up to 50 years. However, from behind the ostentatious purple feathers on her Cardi B knockoff gown, she maintains her innocence and reveals she chose to show up for the reunion against the advice of her legal team.

But rather than delve deeper into Jen‘s legal drama, Andy pivots to the apology tour the accused criminal started the season on. Whether it was calling Heather Gay “Shrek” and a “manatee” or bashing Brooks Marks on Twitter over last season’s drama, Jen had plenty to apologize for. Inexplicably, Heather manages to turn her making up with Jen into an attack on Lisa Barlow involving a LEGO figurine, Angie Harrington, and Baby Gorgeous’ infamous hot mic moment in Zion. But thankfully, Andy gets the conversation back on track before things can go too far into left field.

Shockingly, Meredith does the unthinkable and offers her own out-of-the-blue apology to Jen. She blames her hostility and animosity during the season on private family matters that were happening off screen. She’s verklempt! All of a sudden, the two enemies are now copacetic and forgiving. But Lisa‘s questioning the bizarre rewriting of history that’s taking place on the reunion stage. These two women hated each other — like, truly despised — one another throughout the season, and Lisa was the one caught in the crossfire over her loyalties to them both. But now they’re cool and she’s public enemy no. 1?

Jennie From the (Chopping) Block

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Next, Andy turns the focus to Jennie Nguyen. Which seems sort pointless knowing what we know now about her future on the show. (And side note: the reunion started off with a disclaimer that it was filmed before Jennie’s offensive social media posts blew up and she was fired from the show.) And yet even a segment about the one-and-done newbie gets turned back to Lisa after Heather and Whitney Rose accuse Jennie of being the OG’s “minion.” Quick, are we sensing a theme here yet? Admittedly, it is weird to hear almost the entire cast rave about how much they love Jennie knowing that in just a couple of weeks, none of them would want anything to do with her.

Jennie also gets the opportunity to fire back at all the horrible, offensive and flat-out racist things Mary said throughout the season. Which, again, is rich knowing how she really felt via Facebook. It’s hard to hear her talk about how minorities should support one another after seeing the anti-Black and White Lives Matter rhetoric spewed across her private social media. The thing is that Jennie and Mary can both be wrong. They’re not mutually exclusive of one another. Their statements and attitudes are both vile and discriminatory. And it’s just all the more disappointing that these problems are coming from two of the minorities within the cast. Do better, ladies.

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Meredith‘s feet are also held to the fire for the unending number of passes she seemingly gave Mary throughout the season in regards to her racist remarks about (and imitations of) Jennie. The jewelry designer attempts to lay the blame at Mary’s feet, but the reality is that she absolutely could have done better at calling Mary out and putting a stop to the prejudice. Period. However, Meredith also fails to see just how blindly she and Mary supported one another throughout the season. Which is just plain weird. How do you not see that you had Mary’s back all season long at the expense of literally everyone else on this show?

Somehow this leads to a new feud, after Meredith accuses Jennie of attacking her all season long. Apparently she took issue with the newbie from the very beginning f0r claiming the two had known one another “for a little while” on the way to ice fishing. Categorically, that wasn’t true. Despite having Lisa as a mutual friend, the ‘Wives had only known each other for a week at that point. That’s fair, even if it doesn’t sound like much of an “attack.” Personally, I’ve been waiting all season to watch Meredith take Jennie to task for her obsession with Mer hiring a private investigator. But they just didn’t quite get there during the conversation. At least, not yet. Here’s hoping that subject will properly be addressed in Part 2 or 3…

Jennie‘s also asked about her appropriation of a “blaccent” (which she denies), as well as throwing a glass at Mary in the finale (she claims she was throwing it at the floor, OK?). But the freshman ‘Wife doesn’t really see any need to take accountability for any of her words or actions this season. And now that she’s been axed, we know she’s not about to take accountability for those Facebook posts either. (Social media manager, who?) And speaking of not taking accountability, Andy puts a button on the segment by revealing that Mary claimed during their phone conversation that Black people aren’t capable of racism. So…take from that what you will.

Planting Seeds and Stirring Pots

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Lisa‘s put in the hot seat when Andy switches gears to ask point blank who in the group thinks she’s the biggest pot-stirrer. And everyone raises their hand except Jennie. Even Meredith! So much has happened since that I almost assumed we wouldn’t bother bringing up the catering drama from early in the season. But here we are, and Lisa’s come with receipts, even if Angie‘s since faded as a long-forgotten side character. The real story here is all about production. Angie asked the caterers to work her casino night after Lisa had already asked if she could film at the restaurant. So basically, the caterers would’ve filmed twice, which they weren’t sure Bravo would allow. But obviously, that can’t be addressed on the show.

Interestingly, Angie was the one who sent a text back telling the caterers, “Don’t tell Lisa.” Hmm…why would Angie, who was at one point in the running to be the new Housewife this season, want to keep something so simple a secret from her best friend of 20 years? Seems like the not-quite-Friend of the Housewives was the one being sneaky behind Lisa’s back. Not the other way around. However, Whitney‘s adamant that Lisa was out to destroy Angie’s event because she had become friends — and inbred polygamy cousins — with her. Lisa’s adamant that she didn’t do anything wrong beyond being, in her own words, a “snarky b–ch.” And in my expert opinion, if you can’t see that Whitney was the one really stirring the pot throughout the season, then I don’t know what to tell you.

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Things get ugly as Heather threatens that she’s holding plenty of dirt on Lisa in her proverbial vault. And Lisa fires back that Heather has a DUI. If Heather really does “love” Lisa as she is, this certainly isn’t the way to show it. There’s one other issue to address: Lisa bringing up Jen‘s former reunion dress designer Koa Johnson on camera. And somehow, no one calls Jen out for the truly horrifying audio that leaked. Nor do they condemn the way Jen attacked Lisa after filming the scene off camera. Instead, the focus is all on why Lisa asked a question about Whitney sending Koa skincare. But either way, it seems there’s no love lost between Lisa and Jen these days…


[Photo Credit: Bravo]