We ended Part 1 of The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City reunion with Lisa Barlow in the hot seat, and that’s right where we find Baby Gorgeous at the start of Part 2. (Buckle up, Barlegend fans, she’ll be there for much of the hour.) From the Fresh Wolf event guest list (she added Whitney Rose last minute as an “olive branch”) to whether she’s the master manipulator of the group, the other women want to question Lisa about every last issue, no matter how large, small or infinitesimal.
A Massive Memorial Misunderstanding
However, one of my biggest pet peeves is when a reunion gets bogged down in minutiae, so I for one was more than happy when Andy Cohen changed the subject to something much more important: the date of the memorial for Meredith Marks‘ father. And yet even this hottest of topics somehow gets blamed on Lisa. Never mind that Whitney and Heather Gay were the two ‘Wives who not-so-subtly planted the seeds questioning the date of the memorial — or whether it even happened at all. Roll footage if you don’t believe me.
But instead, Lisa gets blamed for thinking she interrupted Meredith‘s memorial on the bus ride to Vail. Lisa maintains that Meredith actually told her she was at the memorial before she put the phone on speaker. Unfortunately, we never heard that part of the conversation. However, my bigger question is, if Meredith was, in fact, in the hotel bathtub in Vail like she says, why was she whispering on the phone? And why didn’t she clarify when Lisa said, “I know you’re with your family right now”? Even Andy jumps in to point out that the entire, tragic miscommunication could’ve been avoided if Meredith had simply explained the date of the memorial rather than take things to DEFCON 1. But Heather‘s still quick to point the finger back at Lisa.
As the ‘Wives break for lunch, Lisa‘s still feeling lambasted from every side. An attempt at pulling Meredith aside for a private chat isn’t well-received. And by the time she retreats to her trailer, she’s in tears, accusing producers of giving all the other women the ammunition they’ve been craving for two seasons by airing her hot mic moment in Zion. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves, Baby Gorgeous. Because we haven’t even begun to address that epic moment yet…
There’s (Still) Something About Mary
Let’s move on to something equally toxic: Mary M. Cosby and her mean texts. Turns out every single one of the other ‘Wives have been on the receiving end of Mary’s digital vitriol. (Except Jennie Nguyen, who she couldn’t care less about.) Even Meredith, who admits Mary was rightfully upset when she didn’t check in after Jennie threw the glass at the finale party. The pastor’s list of terrible comments throughout the season is seemingly endless. She fat-shamed Heather and said she looked “inbred.” She inferred multiple times that Whitney had an alcohol problem. She called Lisa two-faced. And all of that’s not even counting the racist comments aimed at Jennie and Jen Shah that have already been discussed. Add these all to the list of things Mary doesn’t have to answer for by not showing up on reunion day.
Andy also brings up the rumors swirling around Utah that Mary‘s church is a cult. And asks the ‘Wives who’ve attended services in the past — namely Meredith, Whitney and Jen — what they think. They give three wildly different answers, but Jen’s experience towards the end of the season seems to arguably validate the allegations most. I mean, it’s hard to argue that the church members don’t treat Mary like some sort of supreme being when they’re calling her “the facsimile of God.” Whitney also doubles down on her assertion that Mary uses the fear of God to control her followers.
Lisa‘s friend Cameron Williams also gets dragged into the conversation by Heather. The other women take Lisa to task over various details of Cameron’s story. Like whether he was on the board of Utah Foster Care or if he actually gave Mary $300,000 after mortgaging his house. (Meredith, in particular, claims her estranged BFF told her off camera that the latter wasn’t true. And that Mary also refuted the amount.) Lisa admits she may have gotten the exact number wrong. But by the time Whitney claims Cameron told her he had an affair with Mary, the entire subject is feeling especially gross, considering several of the ‘Wives are now dragging through the mud the name of someone who has passed on and is no longer here to speak for himself.
Hot Mics and Shattered Friendships
OK, Saints. It’s time to talk about Lisa‘s hot mic moment. (Yes, we’re skipping past the segment about the kids because it’s cute but ultimately pointless.) But first, Meredith finally reveals the root of her animosity towards Lisa. And it has to do with the death of her father. Meredith made it clear as the season began that she was still floundering in deep grief. And she didn’t take kindly to Lisa heading into filming insisting that they talk about her feud with Jen. She claims Lisa didn’t properly show up as a friend and support her, despite a heavily-worded text begging for compassion. Heather can’t resist piling on that Lisa didn’t even know when her father died, either, and suddenly Lisa’s on the defensive with her back against a wall.
Andy switches gears to finally address the hot mic. And to lend the moment its proper gravitas, he decides to read Lisa‘s diatribe out loud, word for word. To her credit, Lisa doesn’t try to deny any of it. Instead, she apologizes profusely to Meredith, explaining that none of it reflects how she really feels and that it all came out in a moment of blind rage after feeling abandoned and let down by her best friend. However, the diatribe is still fresh in Meredith’s mind — she had just seen it for the first time the day before shooting the reunion. So she’s not about to forgive and forget quite so easily.
And surprise, surprise! Neither are the ‘Wives on the opposite couch. Heather relishes the moment, likening it to the reveal of a Scooby-Doo villain and calling her nemesis “the real villain” of the group. Bizarrely, in the next breath she also claims she came into the reunion ready to back Lisa and defend her point of view. But have we seen any evidence of that attitude during the first two hours of the reunion? Like…anywhere? Within thirty seconds of addressing Mary‘s absence, Heather couldn’t wait to throw Lisa under the bus and call her fake. So I’m confused.
Jen and Whitney each take turns trying to coach Lisa on how they think she should act — Apologize better! Sit there and listen! — but Lisa can’t ever help but be anything but herself. Lisa once again apologizes to Meredith, but the latter refuses to say where she stands with her one-time BFF. And just before Part 2 ends, Andy once again moves the focus, this time asking Meredith what she meant in the finale by claiming she had dirt on the other ‘Wives’ extramarital affairs. The jewelry designer plays coy, but eventually admits that, yes, the rest of the women could take what she said as a threat. Next week, we finally get to dive into the Jen Shah of it all!
TELL US – WHO WAS REALLY TO BLAME FOR THE CONFUSION ABOUT MEREDITH’S MEMORIAL? DO YOU THINK THE OTHER WOMEN WANT TO BREAK LISA? ARE YOU TEAM LISA OR TEAM MEREDITH? IS THERE ANY HOPE FOR THEIR FRIENDSHIP?
[Photo Credit: Bravo]