Real Housewives Recap: ‘In Hot Water’

Raise a tequila shot (or Diet Coke can) in honor of a new episode of The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City. After a whole season’s worth of gossip exploded all at once during Sharrieff’s party last week, the Housewives have a lot of relationships to mend and hangovers to cure. Let’s get into it.

Just to ensure everyone understands that Meredith and Seth are DOING GREAT ACTUALLY, the episode begins with Seth doting on his wife with a mug of coffee and a single, sad-ass rose. “I want you to look at that when I leave to remind you that we’ve fully blossomed,” Seth says. This is gross! Straight people are gross! Brooks Marks is not pleased and neither am I! Also of note: Meredith is still in bed with a sleep mask on at 10 a.m. Somewhere in Draper, Lisa, who has been up since 5 a.m. texting every overpriced restaurant in Park City while aggressively hanging her rise-and-grind wall decor, is absolutely sick with rage.

In her cold, lonely chalet, nobody is giving Jen roses while making clumsy metaphors. A visibly upset Jen regrets that Sharrieff’s party went so dramatically off the rails. Sharrieff clearly feels the same way, because he isn’t speaking to Jen. Yikes.

Over at Beauty Lab, Whitney and Heather are also second-guessing their behavior at the Top Golf Massacre. Toggling between mortified, pissed off and confused, both women agree that Whitney did nothing wrong. (Hmm.) Whitney is still bothered that Heather jumped in and bluntly told Jen about Meredith and Lisa. In Heather’s defense, Whitney was talking in drunken circles, and without her cousin’s intervention, Whitney would still be at Top Golf as we speak, restarting her explanation for the 500th time with “call me Ishmael.” Both women know that their quest to restore honesty and defeat the mean girls or whatever was not successful, but they disagree on the actual problem. Heather thinks there was no way to avoid a “blowup,” and she’s mostly miffed that Jen still appears loyal to Meredith and Lisa. She wonders why Jen is “so thirsty for their love,” and suspects that Jen is trying to protect her spot on the social ladder. (By now, both Whitney and Heather seem to have forgotten Jen’s not-so-subtle hints about Meredith’s marriage trouble, which I still think is way nastier. Anyway.) Whitney wants Heather to share all of these explanations with Jen, but Heather, like every other cast member apparently, is scared.

While at this point you, the viewer, may be tired of rehashing the same messy fight, the Housewives still have a lot to unpack! Meredith discusses it with Seth. Jen discusses it with one of her many numbered assistants. Mary discusses it, while stuck in a pink belt, with Whitney, who has not learned her lesson. Mary unconvincingly acts surprised to learn that Jen reacted badly, and even she knows that it was a bad idea to bring the mess up at Sharrieff’s birthday party. Whitney and Heather: when even Ms. Mary Cosby has more social awareness than you, it is time to reevaluate some choices. Mary doubles down on her initial accusations; the receipts are still nowhere to be found; we are at a standstill. 

Also surveying the wreckage are Meredith and Lisa, who meet for dinner at Toscana with their husbands. Meredith and Lisa show up in near identical jackets, which do look good, but certainly won’t help the fans who already can’t tell them apart. Lisa continues to alarm me by joking that with her home’s new security system, she can replay footage to see who said what during arguments with her husband. “I don’t know if that’s a very healthy idea,” Meredith replies, and therapists everywhere are nodding with relief. 

Then, Meredith and Seth have an announcement to make. “Are you pregnant?” Lisa guesses. “That would have been the immaculate conception,” Seth replies. Despite this odd joke, what Meredith and Seth actually want to announce is that they are officially back together and planning on living in the same home again. “I love it!” Lisa repeatedly coos. Lisa has been emotionally supporting Meredith through the separation, and seeing such close friends go through marriage trouble apparently stoked Lisa’s own insecurities. This specific issue may be resolved, but previous episodes show that Lisa and John still have conflicts that may or may not (read: definitely will) come up later in the series.

The conversation then turns, of course, to last episode’s fight. The two women are trying their best to appear above it all, and at this point both Lisa and Meredith are aggravated at everyone: at Mary for starting this drama in the first place, at Heather and Whitney for bringing it to the party and at Jen for spreading rumors about Meredith’s marriage. For now, they are uninterested in their friendships with any of the other Housewives, at least until the Bravo producers force some bonding time. To prove their unofficial secession, only Meredith is invited to Lisa’s Strong BusinesswomenTM  networking dinner at The Lodge at Blue Sky. This “very special VIP guest list” may as well be the anti-Housewives—Lisa pointedly notes that these women “don’t throw glasses or punches”—and, appropriately, this scene is very boring. The food looks delicious, though!

Speaking of uninteresting subplots, Heather visits the new Beauty Lab and explains that after divorcing Billy, she feels free to focus on her career without pushback. Sensing a slight shift in the air, Lisa nods tearfully like that one Oprah gif as another girlboss gains her wings. 

It’s time to get to the real meat of the episode: the dramatic reunion of Heather, Whitney and Jen. To make the conversation easier, Heather and Whitney decide to drive to the middle of nowhere for a spa day. (It appears to be Mystic Hot Springs in Monroe.) Between the Grateful Dead van, random shacks and a kitschy gift shop, this is the kind of rural Utah post-hippie representation I like to see on screen. It’s not all Mormons and Sundance, people! The Housewives’ reactions are delightful. Walking into the shop, Heather greets the animal by the front door with, “Hi doggie in a homemade … quilted … outfit,” failing to hide her confusion. (Aubrey, the spa employee, also carries her small dog Penny Pants with her in a sling at all times, because of course she does. “Oh my goodness, another little animal!” says Heather, trying her best.) Jen is less amused, especially because she was hoping for 24K gold face masks. “I feel like you guys are going to kill me at Ted Bundy’s cabin,” she says, which is honestly pretty rude to Aubrey! Aubrey just wants to sell you a topaz trinket at the Hot Rock Cafe and play with her dogs; she doesn’t need your bullshit. Later, while walking up to the actual hot springs, Heather asks, “Is this a real tumbleweed?” (Yes. Yes it is.) You won’t see this shit on the Real Housewives of New York City

Now, Heather and Whitney can finally begin damage control—after coaxing Jen into the mineral bath. (“Shah, get your ass in the tub and your fur on the shrub,” Heather says. Come on Mother Goose!) As Whitney begins to broach the subject, Heather tries to take the blame, but Jen won’t have it. Jen is still upset that her plan to do something nice for Sharrieff actually made their marriage worse. Whitney defends herself, saying she wanted to prove her loyalty, and claims, “it’s not my fault that it went wrong.” Let us now pause to question exactly what Whitney’s motivations are, because I still am unsure. Is she sticking up for Mary? Jen? Meredith? She wants to please everyone, but as the divisions in the group deepen, that seems increasingly unlikely. We will have to see exactly what friends are important to her as the series continues. Or maybe she’s just a shit-stirrer. Who knows.

Jen still places all of the blame on Whitney, but Whitney points out, not unfairly, that Jen was the one who escalated the situation to an 11. Jen responds, unsurprisingly, by escalating the situation to an 11. She refuses to back down, tells Whitney, “If you roll your motherfucking eyes and look over there one more time, I will drown you, bitch,” and then splashes the camera in anger. After Jen storms off, Heather tries to mediate, telling Whitney to ease up and convincing Jen to get back in the tub. Whitney does concede that she was in the “wrong place at the wrong time,” and Jen cools down. Heather then brings up her old feud with Lisa—which has been forgotten by the show for a long time—and is worried that she will be replaced anytime she speaks her mind. The three women form an uneasy truce, but Jen is still worried about her relationship with Sharrieff. 

In the episode’s final scene, Sharrieff finally does come home. He waited to discuss the party until his anger had subsided, and now he is mostly concerned about Jen’s out-of-control emotions while drinking. Jen tearfully admits that she drinks to numb the pain from her dad’s death, which Sharrieff wasn’t present for. Sharrieff says that he has his own history with alcohol abuse, and now that the couple is communicating again, both seem to have hope in working through their issues. 

So we leave the Housewives with tenuous alliances and new rifts. Next week, the women are going on a girls’ trip to Las Vegas, which will definitely be a relaxing, drama-free weekend of fun for all involved. 

Random observations: 

  • I refuse to discuss the scene where Meredith and Seth talk about having sex in ski goggles. As a wise woman once said while leaving a hip-hop themed Top Golf party, “I am not engaging anymore.”
  • Were Lisa and John drinking tequila on their double date? No judgment, though I’m admittedly curious about exactly what the boundaries of “Mormon 2.0” are.
  • I’m surprised that Sharrieff’s coaching job is this intense. A special teams coordinator can’t take time off to attend a funeral?
  • Line of the night: After the producers ask Jen why she splashed the camera, she yells, “That’s what happens when you fucking film me in the fucking bathtub.” True!

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Josh Petersen
Josh Petersen
Josh Petersen is the former Digital Editor of Salt Lake magazine, where he covered local art, food, culture and, most importantly, the Real Housewives of Salt Lake City. He previously worked at Utah Style & Design and is a graduate of the University of Utah.

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