Welcome back! On last week’s episode of Real Housewives of Salt Lake City, we learned just how much Jen Shah and Mary Cosby despise each other, and that Meredith Marks’ marriage is hanging on the edge of a cliff. Whitney Rose took her dad to a sober living facility, and we left off with Heather Gay’s unsuccessful attempt at brokering a peace deal between Mary and Jen.
Before we get to this episode’s action, can we talk about Lisa Barlow for a minute? I’ve been anxiously awaiting her big Sundance moment because so far…I have no idea who this woman is. Her entire storyline up until now has been composed of Diet Coke, small interactions with Meredith, and hanging out with her kids, and while all of that is fine (I guess), we seriously need more substance from Lisa’s camp. Otherwise, what’s the point of her being on the show?
Maybe it’s the way she overenunciates her words, or maybe it’s my suspicion that Lisa thought she’d just waltz onto RHOSLC and immediately be anointed HBIC. Whatever it is, I don’t think we’re watching Lisa show her authentic self on the show, which is not making me like her very much. Plus, I find her to be a tad bit hypocritical for being so “pro-LDS” while she sells and heavily promotes liquor to make a living. If she really thinks the church is so special, maybe she should consider living by its standards? I don’t know, friends. I just don’t know.
ANYWAY, I’ll get off my high horse so we can get to the recap, but thank you for letting me vent, Blurbers! Now that we’re finally here, on Queen Sundance’s very special episode, I’m curious to see what Lisa is like in her element. We start out at her house with Lisa frantically texting on her phone while her husband John pretends to be asleep in bed. Lisa prods John about meeting up with party planners, and he lazily mutters, “Yeahsureokay.”
Next, we’re at Meredith’s house while she tries on bell-bottoms in dress form. Kim, a fashion show coordinator, tells Meredith and Brooks that he’ll be the youngest fashion designer who will be showing his work AND that he will be walking in the show. Brooks lays down on the bed to process this information, and then asks, “Mom, why didn’t you tell me I’d be walking? I would have started a juice cleanse like last week.” Oh, the youths.
Down in Salt Lake City, Jen is roller-skating down the hallway at her office while wearing a tiara, and her trusty first assistant Stuart is trying to grab her attention to go through the Sundance calendar. Jen falls on her ass, and then Stuart casually fans her while she hula-hoops her cares away. Jen is going to throw another huge party, but this time it’s for her cousin Tony, who’s debuting his documentary at Sundance this year.
Tony wants 300 people to attend the party, but Jen declares this will be a VIP ONLY event, and random schmucks off the street aren’t gonna crash the Shah Chalet, no siree. She then reminisces about Sundance two years ago, when Stuart got super drunk and thought he was a rapper named ‘Stu Chains.’ I’m liking the dynamic between these two. Stu Chains gives off such an easy-going vibe, which tamps down Jen’s overall extraness.
Back up in Park City, Lisa is at Riverhorse on Main and is in HIGH DELEGATION MODE. She’s setting up a big event and tells us this is her busiest time of year, she’s a consummate professional, and it’s hard damn work, but she loves it. “Some people call me the Queen of Sundance, but I just think I’m really good at what I do.” Hey, did you guys know that Lisa is busy and she works hard? [smacks own face in shocked disbelief]
Lisa bounces from one event setup to the next, and everything is go, go, go, BUSY, BUSY, BUSY. Lisa tells us she’s one of six children, and one thing she loves about the LDS is the constant pursuit of being your best self. I’m getting pretty bored of her and Heather always droning on about the prosperity gospel, but whatevs. There’s a whole culture revolving around MLM-style financial spirituality, and while I’m not here for any of it, plenty of Utahns are.
John rolls up to help Lisa move furniture, and then he gives us a hilariously stiff talking head about how Lisa is the boss every day that ends in “Y” and that they work great together. A producer asks John if Lisa prepped him for his interview, and he sheepishly responds with, “I can neither confirm nor deny.” LOL!
Over in BFE, Whitney tells her husband Justin that she and Jen are going to have a little hot tub party. Jen arrives in head-to-toe snake print, and Readers, I laughed. Whitney mixes together some tequila drinks, and Jen walks out in…how do I describe this…a netted mesh black swimsuit that highlights her bazungas, replete with a fur coat, fluffy boots, and jewelry all over the place. SUCH a vision of regal elegance, that Jen.
The girls hop into the jacuzzi, and Whitney tells Jen about the birthday party she’s throwing for Justin. His birthday always falls around the same time as Sundance, so every year, Whitney goes ALL OUT to show how grateful she is for him. She tells us Justin sacrificed everything to be with her…his marriage, relationship with his kids, church…pretty much the whole shebang. Whitney’s voice is so cloyingly sweet as she waxes on about her life with Justin that I almost forgot their romance started as an affair.
Mary is apparently coming to Justin’s birthday party, and while Jen isn’t as ticked off as she has been in the past, she brings up how shocked she was at last week’s luncheon when Mary called her a hoodlum. Whitney is resolute on not taking sides, but she understands where Jen is coming from and would rather have her blow off steam now than at the party. I love how the women’s boobs are just bobbing along in the hot tub, nary a care in the world as their owners get drunk off tequila.
The next day, Whitney is at the salon getting gussied up for Justin’s party, and in a totally spontaneous and not-staged-at-all FaceTime call, Meredith asks Whitney to walk in the fashion show with Brooks. Whitney is all, “Hmmm, I don’t know…” but she is obviously bouncing and jiggling in her mind about being a MODEL. Meredith tells her this is Park City’s first Fashion Week (no wonder I’ve never heard of it), and Whitney’s strut down the runway will be history in the making.
We cut to a picturesque view of the Salt Lake Valley, and now it’s time for a quick science break. Bravo has done a swell job of filming clear shots of the Wasatch Range that really showcase the majestic scenery surrounding my fair city. However, come mid-January (right around the time that Sundance starts), the entire Salt Lake Valley gets covered in an ugly blanket of pollution, otherwise known as ‘inversion.’
During these couple of weeks, Salt Lakers can’t even see the mountains, and all we can hope for is a large storm to come along and clear out the muck. What’s happening during this period is that the warmer air up in the atmosphere sinks down and acts as a cap over the cooler air in the valley, trapping every bit of car exhaust along the way.
It’s the worst time of year to go outside because the air quality is so bad, some locals go to the hospital for respiratory problems. I can only imagine the looks on celebrities’ faces when they arrive at the SLC airport for a film premiere! The good news is that you can escape the inversion by heading up to the mountains, and that’s exactly where the ski resorts and the Sundance Film Festival are located. As you drive up I-80 on your way to Park City, you can see the smog soup you left behind in the rearview mirror.
Now that I’ve 100% sold you on visiting SLC in January, science break is over. Back at Meredith’s house, she FaceTimes Lisa to check in on how she’s doing. Lisa, of course, says, “Everything’s so crazy, I have so many things going on, and oh, did I tell you I’m busy?”
Back in Salt Lake, Mary is in her closet, showing off some shoes to her housekeeper Charlinda, and even though they’re related, Mary makes it clear that she doesn’t know Charlinda well AT ALL. (I just can’t with Mary at this point.) Heather FaceTimes Mary and asks if she’s going to Justin’s birthday party. Through a series of nervous tics, talking in circles, and popping of eyeballs, Mary confirms that she will be attending.
It’s the night of the party, and LOL, Justin is doing body shots off of Whitney’s body on the kitchen counter. Then everyone hops on a party bus, and Whitney grinds all over Justin in front of the whole group. Damn, these girls are getting rowdy! They end up at Whitney’s friend Kathryn’s house in Deer Valley, and holy f*ck, this place is HUGE. Why isn’t Kathryn a cast member?!
Everyone looks like they’re having a gay old time, and then, duh duh duhn, in walks Mary, who is…how do I describe this…wearing yet another pair of Chanel mini-gloves with a black netted, fringed THING covering her body that probably cost seven parishioners’ yearly salaries. Jen is hanging with her cute Polynesian friend Unga, and for the moment, she and Mary do their best to avoid each other. Whitney toasts to Justin being the “sexiest motherf***er at the party,” which, excuse me, but did you see Unga?
After Mary busts out some hot dance moves all by herself, she walks up to Jen for a little chat. They flesh out the same stupid sh*t we’ve heard before, and the only thing that catches my attention is when Mary confronts Jen about her grandpa f***er comment at the ‘20s party, Jen lies and flaps, “I never said ANYTHING.” Well, not anything directly to Mary’s face that night, but c’mon, Jen. They somewhat makeup and go their separate ways, and I never want to speak of this fight again.
The next day in Park City, Meredith rummages through her jewelry line to select pieces for the fashion show as Brooks organizes his fine collection of tracksuits. We see a few pics of Brooks modeling fashions as a kid, and then he asks if his dad is going to attend the show. Meredith says Seth can’t make it, and Brooks pouts in his best serial killer voice, “Well, I really wanted him to like support my first fashion show.” YOUTHS, amirite?
Just up the street in the Egyptian Theatre, Lisa orders her minions around and then shows off a game piece wall that attendants can peel off for prizes. What fun! In the meantime, her kids are eating Chinese takeout in a sterile dining room back home. Not fun. They try calling Lisa to check-in, and she declines the call. HOW RUDE. Lisa explains, “When Sundance comes up, Mommy is M.I.A.” She’s got the adrenaline pumping, and sorry kids, but she ain’t got time for ya.
Heather meets Whitney at a bar called Punch Bowl Social, which is permanently closed now. THANKS, PANDEMIC. They are greeted by a sweet blue-haired, beat-to-the-Hot-Topic-gods cocktail server, and then they find a couch to park on. The ladies complain about how weak their drinks are, and what Heather says about our state’s liquor laws is absolutely true, and I hate that our state legislators feel like they need to babysit us from ourselves.
Heather congratulates Whitney on Justin’s birthday party and asks her if she’s happy being married. Whitney nods yes, and Heather goes off on how she wasted 15 years of her life over a loveless marriage. Whitney encourages Heather to go out and meet men, but Heather is frustrated with the dating scene in SLC, and she has given up on love. This is a pretty depressing scene, and my guess is Heather might not be meeting the right men because she’s keeping one foot in the church and one foot out the door. People in Utah are kind of one way or the other, so it’s possible Heather’s difficult relationship with religion is playing out in her dating life. Just a hunch.
Back at the Shah Chalet, the guests start arriving at Jen’s big Sundance soiree in honor of her cousin Tony Vainuku and his documentary about local rap group 4TERNITY. (No, I have not heard of the group, but will seek them out on Spotify and report back.) Heather arrives, horny as ever, and Jen looks like she’s in very good spirits! Everyone drinks and schmoozes, and then Heather tells us, “I’m always looking for sex, but am not looking for love.” Her facial expression is priceless when she realizes how vulgar that statement sounded.
Oh god. Whitney walks in with Katie Maloney and Lala Kent from Vanderpump Rules, and this is one Bizarro World Jetsons-Flintstones crossover that no one asked for. Good thing it’s brief. Everyone gathers around for the documentary about Jen’s cousin’s rap group, and Jen is very proud to show her peers something that is not completely white-oriented.
In a totally spontaneous and not-staged-at-all scene, Katie and Lala ask Heather about her dating life. Katie is coming off fine, but Lala is doing that thing where she pretends to be a real, mature adult, and I’d rather grate the side of my head with a mandoline slicer than listen to one more word she says.
Next, Heather flirts with a cute guy at the party named Curtis, and wowie wow wow, girl is coming in HOT. She bats off another would-be flirter and then sneaks off with Curtis to go bang in a truck. GET IT, HEATHER. Whitney sees them leave, and she says something dumb about remembering who you are, and where you came from, and okay, Whitney. Did you remember who you are and where you came from while you were shagging your married boss? (Sorry, that was MEAN.)
Now we’re at Meredith’s house on the day of the fashion show. Meredith asks Brooks if he’s ready, and he emerges from his ennui with two beauty masks on his face to say he’s going to be late. Meredith yells she’s leaving in 10 minutes, and Brooks whines, “I need a lint roller!” Then the fire alarm goes off, the dog poops on the carpet, the toilet floods all over the house, and Brooks is all, “I can’t do this right now, uh!” Meredith is pretty nonchalant about the chaos while Brooks yells at the smoke alarm to shut the f*ck up, and he keels over with an anxiety attack. How about them youths?
We’re finally at Park City Fashion Week! Whitney is already in hair and makeup as Brooks and Meredith arrive 45 minutes late. Brooks makes a spectacle of his foul-mooded spoiled brattery, but at least he’s humble enough to acknowledge he got this designing opportunity through his mom. Meredith lets out one of the weirdest nervous laughs in the universe and Whitney winces in her makeup chair.
Seth sent a sweet (and possibly drunk?) phone message to Brooks, but Brooks is Pouty McGee today, and he finds it disheartening that his dad isn’t here. Just to make Meredith feel more guilty, Brooks tells her, “It’s fine, my feelings aren’t important.” Meredith cries in her talking head about the impact her and Seth’s separation is having on her kids, and she is disappointed in herself for not protecting him enough.
Ah damn! We don’t get to see the fashion show until next week’s episode of RHOSLC. BOO! Also, Whitney checks in with her dad again, Lisa and her husband get into an argument, and the girls gossip that Meredith MIGHT be seeing other people. Stay tuned and stay safe out there, Blurbers! See you in the comments section. =)
TELL US – WHAT DID YOU THINK OF THE EPISODE? HOW HORNY IS HEATHER? WHO ELSE WANTED TO THROTTLE BROOKS?