Here’s a thought I never expected to have during an episode of The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City: “Did I just watch an infomercial for Utah’s national parks?” In the middle of yet another disastrous girls’ trip, Zions’ red rock slot canyons have an almost mystical power to heal seemingly unhealable wounds. After a day of hiking, repelling and four-wheeling that felt suspiciously similar to a girls’ camp team building activity, the Housewives recover from one of their most bruising, personal fights ever in record time. (To be fair, a pep talk from Heather and a lot of alcohol also helped.) If I were in tourism marketing, I’d be planning the campaign now: “Zions National Park: So Spectacular You’ll Bond With a Woman Who Accused You of Staging Your Father’s Funeral.”
Before getting to these truly unexpected kumbayas, the episode continues the nasty confrontation between Meredith and Jen from last week. By this point in the night, Meredith has disengaged for the second time, but she immediately undermines her own dramatic exit by standing in the door and theatrically laughing whenever Jen speaks. She just can’t help herself, and who can blame her—Jen’s denials are pretty ridiculous! Back at the table, Meredith claims that Jen has done “a lot more” to her family than liking some mean tweets about Brooks, but she is “a kind enough soul not to bring it up.”
Whitney, bless her, is more than happy to bring it up, though! In the confessional, Whitney shares this previously unseen revelation from Vail: “Meredith thinks that Jen may have hooked up with a man that Meredith was seeing when she was separated from Seth.”
Wait, what? Yes, apparently these mortal enemies may have slept with the same man—while Jen was very much not separated from her husband—and Meredith believes that Jen has somehow used this information against her. This potentially explosive detail, though, is brushed over quickly. Whitney doesn’t bring it up to the group, and Meredith keeps it vague, whether it’s to protect Jen or herself. Instead, the women spend a lot of time dredging up nonsensical allegations that get stupider by the minute. Whitney directly asks Meredith the question that has been circling for several episodes: Did she have anything to do with Jen’s arrest? Meredith unleashes a drunken angry laugh that is truly a sight (sound?) to behold, and once again storms inside. (For those keeping score, that is Dramatic Exit #3 for Meredith.)
FWIW, I’m completely on Meredith’s side here. The others’ most compelling evidence for this crackpot theory is that Meredith and Mary have never joined the group on the sprinter van. Um…these two actively dislike most of the group and have the budget to fly private. If I had Mary’s cult money you would never catch me on I-15 again. It’s not that deep sweetie! In the confessional, Meredith says, “I’m so flattered that these women think I’m more powerful than the FBI, but I think they could find Jennifer Shah without my help.” Period!
Heather and Whitney speculating about Meredith amongst themselves was idiotic but not terribly concerning—Heather planting the seed with Jen, though, was genuinely irresponsible, and now Jen seems convinced that Meredith led a grand conspiracy against her. Meredith spends the night fuming—besides a weird detour where she and Jen hug it out—and comes out swinging in pink pajamas the next morning before anyone’s even had the chance to eat their huevos rancheros. In an unfilmed late-night conversation, Lisa told Meredith that the others had questioned Meredith’s story that she traveled to Vail separately from the group to attend her dad’s memorial service. She rants and raves around the house while Heather, Whitney and Jen literally hide in bed (while Heather eats a box of Sugar Babies for some reason.)
The others have some plausible deniability—nobody has explicitly said “I think Meredith gave evidence to the feds and lied about her dead father’s memorial service.” But even raising pointed questions—behind Meredith’s back, with cameras filming your every move—is pretty out of pocket, especially with how scant the evidence is. Meredith threatens to leave early, and trust among the group is at an all-time low.
But then, miracle of miracles, this trip takes a complete 180. I’m still not exactly sure how this turnaround happened. Heather, after several episodes of silently absorbing the chaos, tries to rally the troops: “Your husbands sent me out here to make sure that you bitches have fun, so let’s go do this.” She is a much better group unifier than Lisa, and by the time they load the ATVs, the women are already in better spirits. For the first time this season, the group genuinely seems to be having fun—even Mary participates in the activities. By the time they return home, everyone’s high on the camaraderie, so much so that Mary gives a rare apology to Jennie, who accepts, and Lisa invites everyone (yes, everyone) to her upcoming Vida Tequila event. Our country is ready to heal!
After some wholesome national park fun, Whitney and Jen turn the basement into “Club Zion” for a night of debauchery. Jen forgets that she’s pretending to be poor and brings a (pared-down) glam squad to help her get ready—I know her lawyers are tired. Heather is just disappointed that there’s no men around. A stripper pole is involved—this is a Whitney Rose party after all—and Lisa injures herself trying to do the splits. By 3:15, the girls are still in the hot tub, Whitney has taken her top off and they’ve found enormous trifle dishes to use as wine glasses.
In the light of morning, phones and cups are scattered by the pool, what appears to be a hair extension is inexplicably tied to the stripper pole and Meredith, Lisa, Jen and Whitney don’t remember how they ended up sharing beds. This trip is only half over (!) but after waking up with strange bedfellows, the Housewives seem ready to put their best foot forward. Something tells me (and by something I mean next week’s preview) that the good vibes won’t last long.
- Bravo really needs to ban each and every cast member from social media. A Reddit user collected many of Jennie Nguyen’s former Facebook posts, which shared racist and far-right messages. Both Jennie and the other cast members responded with (pretty milquetoast) apology statements.
- More Jennie problems: She casually shares that she went to anger management after throwing something at Duy and breaking his ribs. This is straight up abusive behavior, but it’s glossed over pretty quickly in the episode.
- In the middle of Meredith’s 32nd disengagement, Whitney tries to convince Heather and Lisa that they are on the same team, saying, “We’re women; we’re mothers; we’re ambassadors of our own life.” Sure!
- This week in fashion: Heather’s sunglasses look like she’s about to watch Minions in 3D. Mary shows off her allegiances with a Brooks Marks tracksuit. Jen’s fake eyelashes are unable to withstand a long night of drinking.
- In the morning, Lisa walks in the kitchen armed with a Smartwater, full wine glass and a large Diet Coke before grabbing a KitKat for breakfast. Simply iconic behavior.
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