Welcome back to another week of Below Deck, maties. It turns out, this week is the episode we’ve all been waiting for. That’s right, the one where Captain Lee Rosbach gets mad. Last week’s episode ended with James Hough and Elizabeth Frankini finally getting down and dirty in the hot tub. And this week picks up the following morning, which is a full turnaround day for the next charter.
And would you be surprised to learn that Liz has trouble keeping her fling with James to herself? The stew immediately spills the beans to Ashling Lorger and Rob Phillips. We’re talking the moment she arrives on deck. Like, before poor James is even awake or has had time to put clothes on. So by the time he shows up for work, the rumor mill is already in full swing about his escapades the night before. (Naturally, none of this stops Francesca Rubi from finding reasons to criticize Elizabeth’s work first thing in the morning. This despite claiming she doesn’t want “any animosity” in her department, but alas…)
What do you get when you combine snowmobiling, hot tubbing and no Mary Cosby? The final episode of 2020 of The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City! But seriously, Mary factored into about 30 seconds of this entire week. And it was just a short pick-up scene at the top of the hour. Which basically just involved her showing off her jealousy over her son’s girlfriend…which is yet another slightly cringe-y and deeply uncomfortable dynamic in the Cosby family tree. But alas…
For everyone wondering about Mary‘s glaring absence from the last two episodes, you’ll have to get used to it. Here’s the tea: Back when the show’s original production company was in charge of filming, Mary was only ever expected to be a Friend of the Housewives. However, once Bravo fired that production company and Shed Media took over, Mary was given a snowflake and a full-time role. (Most likely because her feud with Jen Shah became one of the primary storylines of the first half of the season.) However, Mary didn’t film much during the back half of the season as a result. Therefore, you won’t see her at many group events or parties from here on out. So expect lots more random solo Mary scenes like the one we got tonight.
Tonight on The Real Housewives of Orange County, we finally met the real Elizabeth Lyn Vargas. No more half-truths. No more gag orders. And no more hiding behind claims of being the “richest bitch in Newport.” No, this week, the newbie laid bare her past and a lifetime of hidden trauma for the Bravo cameras. And if I do say so myself, the whole thing was pretty dang riveting. (But maybe that’s just because I have a deep, deep fascination with cults?)
That’s right, Elizabeth grew up in a cult. Which she revealed to Braunwyn Windham-Burke last week on a walking path in Lake Arrowhead. All before promptly breaking down into a full-blown panic attack on said walking path. Which, can you blame her? Surely, sharing such a deep and painful secret was not exactly what she had in mind when joining a show about, well, being one of the richest bitches in Newport.
What do you do when you hate your second stew? There’s no denying the tension in the interior has been building for several charters now. And this week, all of that drama finally starts coming to a head. So if you’re Francesca Rubi, that means making a blatant power play to reassert your control over Elizabeth Frankini. Because if there’s one thing we’ve learned over the last eight seasons of Below Deck, it’s that the chief stew always demands respect and deference. And she’ll get it by laying down an iron fist. (Miss you, Kate Chastain!)
Last week’s episode ended with Francesca complaining once again to Captain Lee Rosbach about her underling. Because at this point, there’s nothing Elizabeth could do that Chess won’t find some issue with. I say that recognizing that Elizabeth has certainly made mistakes this season. But I can’t help but root for the underdog in this feud, and Francesca hasn’t exactly been a supportive boss. Last week, Captain Lee warned her that finding a new stew could bring a whole other rash of problems. So instead, she decides she’d rather keep Elizabeth on the boat and punish her another way.
Welcome back to the inaugural Park City Fashion Week — bringing high fashion for the very first time to Utah! After seeing the set-up in last week’s episode, I’m starting to wonder if this fashion show was specifically put on for The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City. I mean, Whitney Rose is walking in the show. Meredith Marks is showcasing her jewelry line. And the runway is so short that the front row is essentially just Heather Gay, Jen Shah, Mary Cosby and a few other people. Not to mention the entire thing seems to culminate in Brooks Marks debuting his eponymous “fashion line” of name-branded athleisure wear. (And after seeing the show, I’m using that term loosely.)
The best part of the fashion show is that many elements are giving me vintage RHONY vibes. Watching Jen‘s icy stare as Mary tries to small talk her way through being seated directly next to her nemesis is the purest recreation of Bethenny Frankel and Kelly Bensimon doing the exact same thing more than a decade ago at New York Fashion Week. (And if you don’t know who’s who in this comparison, go back and watch Season 3 in the Big Apple STAT.)
The Real Housewives of Orange County sure are squeezing as much out of this Lake Arrowhead trip as they can, huh? In no year other than 2020 would a non-international cast trip featuring only four of the ‘Wives get stretched out for three episodes. Just imagine the quick Season 6 jaunt to San Antonio lasting that long. Because Lake Arrowhead is basically the equivalent of that, just with fewer Gretchen Christine Beaute handbags.
This trip has thrown Braunwyn Windham-Burke for a loop. She calls her BFF Shari from her hotel room to vent about the “anti-Braunwyn campaign” the other ‘Wives seem to be on. And sure, you can argue that Braunwyn is being paranoid. Except that at that very moment, plenty of anti-Braunwyn gossip is being thrown around the house by her cast mates. Kelly Dodd calls her a “Debbie downer.” Gina Kirschenheiter says she came in “nervous and aggressive.” So is she really that wrong that an anti-Braunwyn campaign is happening?
What’s the most dire way to kick off a charter? Oh, I’d say without a deckhand. Or better yet, without a chef! And that’s exactly the predicament the Below Deck gang finds themselves in following Shane Coopersmith‘s firing and Rachel Hargrove walking off the boat. One of those exits was entirely expected. The other was absolutely not. But either way, they both leave Captain Lee Rosbach down two crew members and scrambling just hours before the season’s fourth charter.
For obvious reasons, this is a terrible position to be stuck in. Because, sure, you may be able to get through a single charter with one less deckhand. But there’s no way any yacht survives without a chef. Who’s going to make the food? Unlike other seasons in the Below Deck universe, there’s no stew-turned-secret chef to miraculously step up and save the day. And the morning of the charter, Lee can’t even seem to get the yacht staffing agency on the line for help.
Once a year, something exciting happens in Utah. As January wraps its icy hand around the state, celebrities descend on Park City for the Sundance Film Festival. For two weeks, the state most known for religion becomes the epicenter of the entertainment industry, with A-list stars and indie up-and-comers converging for an endless parade of premieres, parties and Park City moments. And this week, we get to experience it all through the fabulous lens of The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City.
As a native Utahn, Sundance truly was the most fun I had all year. Every year of college, my friends and I would make a staycation out of it, renting a hotel suite in Park City and spending the weekend strolling Main Street and meeting celebs and Bravolebrities alike. In fact, Sundance was the very first time I ever encountered a Housewife in real life. Over the years, my BFFs and I met everyone from Gretchen Rossi and Slade Smiley to the Shahs of Sunset and the Vanderpump Rules gang. In fact, my most epic Sundance stories involve both Harry Styles and one particular A-list actor who shall remain nameless. But those are stories for another day. Let’s get into the recap, shall we?