Real Housewives Of Salt Lake City Episode 2
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You can catch up on last week here.
At the start of episode two, we pick up right where we left off: at a poorly attended party,
with the host pouting in the bathroom because her friend told her she smells “like hospital.” Not a hospital. Just hospital.
Jen finds support in the blonde women who have come to check on her/get on camera, including Heather,
who isn’t totally sure what all the fuss is about but jumps to Jen’s defense anyway.
Of Mary, Jen says, “She’s in my g**damn mother******* house looking like a **** Christmas tree.”
“No, a loofa,” Heather corrects her.
Neither of them are wrong.
Then Mary walks in and if looks could kill, Mary’s husband would have to find another relative to wed.
“I didn’t say ‘she’ smells like hospital, I said ‘IT’ smells like hospital,” Mary explains, thinking that’s going to help.
“But why?” Heather asks.
“Because it did.” Mary says.
“I’m sorry, but Jen and her entire crew smelled like hospital,” Mary says in her confessional. She seems to think everyone assumes she’s lying about Jen smelling “like hospital.” It’s not that they don’t believe you Mary, it’s that they don’t think you should have told Jen she smelled weird after she spent the day comforting her aunt post-double-amputation.
Mary follows Jen out of the bathroom and tries to explain herself.
The odor gland removal surgery landed her in the hospital for thirty days and it was a very trying time for her, so now she can’t handle the smell of hospitals, she explains. Which, again, makes sense, but isn’t really the point.
There’s another five or so minutes of this:
until eventually Mary apologizes and the two hug it out.
Jen, however, isn’t totally ready to move on.
Elsewhere at the soirée, Meredith, Whitney, and First Assistant Stuart, who I guess just came from Home Teaching, chat on the couch:
until Whitney sees Lisa and decides to approach her because she has a small bone to pick.
Whitney thanks Lisa for the VIDA TEQUILA and bartenders Lisa donated for Whitney’s vow renewal, and then shifts gears and narcs on the bartenders for some bad behavior:
We get a flashback to the tended bar in question the night of the vow renewal:
Whitney tells Lisa that because the bartenders were so reckless, there was broken glass everywhere, whiskey from Ireland was opened, and that some top-shelf tequila (not VIDA) was taken.
Using the term "top-shelf" to refer to any other kind of tequila with Lisa is A MISTAKE. Lisa is on this show for one reason and one reason only: to promote her brand VIDA TEQUILA. So to insinuate VIDA TEQUILA is anything other than top-shelf is the quickest way to upset her.
Lisa is not super appreciative of the feedback Whitney is offering. “If I give you a Chanel necklace and you choke on it, that’s your problem, not mine,” Lisa says in her confessional.
Lisa ends her conversation with Whitney, finds Meredith, and rehashes the interaction.
This guy is all of us listening to some of the creative liberties Lisa takes in her retelling:
“Lisa’s mad at me for telling her she’s not perfect. And that her brand isn’t perfect,” Whitney tells the producers.
“I don’t even drink VIDA TEQUILA. I keep my Casa Amigas in the back,” she says. I assume this is a sick burn. But I don’t drink so I have no idea.
Lisa’s had enough for the night and leaves.
After the rest of the guests depart, Jen and her assistants get to work destroying the evidence of the party they just threw before Coach Shah gets home.
They finish just in time.
On the complete opposite side of the valley, Whitney is hopefully setting aside some savings for her daughter’s future therapy bills.
“Hey, can you swing on the pole for me,” asks Whitney’s daughter.
“I know some might think wow! Born and raised Mormon girl has a stripper pole,” Whitney says. Then adds:
This is, unfortunately, only the first of many galaxy-brained things Whitney says about Mormonism this episode. We’ll get to the others.
But first, a quick check on Heather:
She’s pulling out her ski stuff for the season. It probably has that smell ski gear gets over the years — a mix of dried sweat and dried snow and hot chocolate and I truly love it.
Meredith calls, I’m sure totally on her own volition and not at a producer’s insistence,
and the two plan a ski day while being sure to mention a couple of the local resorts, as is stipulated in their contracts.
Down in Draper, Lisa is telling her husband about the confrontation she had with Whitney.
“I don’t want to lose our liquor license over somebody’s wedding in their basement with a stripper pole,” she laments to John, whose face remains unmoved for what I assume is the full hour Lisa is talking at him about how ungrateful Whitney is:
“Do you want listening or feedback?” John asks, and damn if my husband hasn’t learned to ask the same question after listening to my diatribes. “I just want to talk,” Lisa says, which my husband has learned means I’m not interested in hearing why I might be wrong.
Lisa tells the producers that after the party Whitney called her.
“I gave her some friendly advice,” she says. Is there a more ominous or menacing term than “friendly advice”?
At a ski shop in Holladay,
Whitney and Heather are getting their gear tuned up.
“If you live here and don’t ski, it’s really a tragedy,” Heather says,
which is a little tone-deaf given the price of lift tickets.
While Whitney’s board is waxed (not a euphemism, but maybe it should be?) and Heather’s boots are fitted, the cousins have a little chat:
Heather mentions Lisa’s dismissiveness at Jen’s party for the thousandth time and we get another discolored flashback:
Whitney asks Heather why she invited Lisa skiing even after the snub. “We have history and she’s part of our group,” Heather responds. By “part of our group” I assume Heather means, “cast of this TV show we’re on.”
Whitney shares her own issues with Lisa,
and reveals that in that “friendly advice” conversation, Lisa threatened to use rumors that she’s heard about Whitney against her. “Lisa accused me of being a swinger,” Whitney says. Notably, she does not deny being a swinger.
“Utah has a history of plural marriage and there’s a huge swinger community here,” Whitney says.
I’m sorry, what?!
Equating being a modern day swinger to a practice in early Mormonism that was outlawed one hundred and thirty years ago is an awe-inspiring mental gymnastics routine, but I’m not sure Whitney quite sticks the landing.
Whitney shares that polygamy is part of her family history, saying that the sister wives had a system of tin cans on a string so they knew when to hide if the sheriffs arrived or something. Again, Whitney, GET IN LINE. Polygamy is in my family tree too but you don’t see me bragging about it on TV.
“Growing up, I was the perfect Mormon girl,” Whitney starts and a deep sense of dread fills my body as I quickly detect where this story is headed.
She says that in her youth she had the opportunity to go to Maui with some friends or take a three-week-long church history tour. She chose the church history tour like a dumb dumb. Then, when she got home, she messed around with her boyfriend and had some beer and didn’t feel bad about it, and that’s when she started to wonder if she really believed the teachings of the church or if she was just trying to fit a mold. And I think that’s a really important question to ask, and that no one should do anything that feels inauthentic. Especially stay in a religion just to fit in.
I just truly do not understand this story? Was half of it left on the cutting room floor? What happened between Nauvoo and the flight home that transformed you from perfect Mormon girl to a loose beer drinker? WHY WOULD YOU NOT GO TO MAUI? I have so many questions and I’m afraid I’ll never get answers.
“When I stepped out of the guidelines [of the church] I was cut off,” Whitney says. And then adds, “because I was married.”
I could be wrong, but I have a hard time believing there are a ton of communities in the world that would be immediately enthusiastic about two people who cheat on their spouses and end up together. I feel like anyone anywhere would recognize that as shady behavior at least on some level.
“People don’t see it as a love story, they see it as you being a home-wrecker,” Heather says sympathetically.
Then Heather asks Whitney, “Do you think you’re a home-wrecker?”
“Absolutely not,” Whitney says. Would love to talk to Whitney’s ex and Justin’s ex and get their opinions on the matter.
Heather and Whitney somehow manage to steer their conversation back to Lisa and how judgmental they think she is and how much they think she sucks in general. I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t impressive.
Later, Whitney’s dad and his hair stop by her house.
Whitney explains that her parents’ marriage started to fall apart when she was 16.
She says her mom chose to divorce her dad, which is a pretty blame-y way to phrase it, and then says that her dad started turning to painkillers for comfort. He’s been addicted for the last ten years.
But now he’s pulling his life together and wants to open a salon.
Cut to a bustling holiday scene at City Creek in the before times:
where Meredith and Seth are having dinner together.
Things start out pretty bad when Seth says to Meredith, “I appreciate the eye contact,” and accuses her of looking at her phone too much
“I’ve barely touched my phone today,” Meredith tells him. To which he says:
Meredith shares their history. They married young,
had three kids, got busy with their separate businesses, and then things started to fall apart. So now they’re separated.
“I would prefer that you don’t discuss [the separation],” Meredith tells her husband and a camera crew.
Seth and Meredith explain to the producers that while they’re separated, they’re working on their relationship.
Seth says he’s not dating anyone else and says to Meredith, “And I sure as hell hope you’re not.”
Then we meet the gang at Snowbird for their group ski day:
There is nothing funnier to me than the outfits rich people wear skiing:
I try not to judge, but it only takes a few rides up the lift to learn that the flashier someone dresses for the slopes, the worse they are at making it down the mountain.
Mary is late because she was waiting for Fedex to deliver her Chanel coat. “I like to wear the brands that don’t give you wedgies,” she explains. And isn’t that why we all buy Chanel?
“Excuse me! I’m here!” Jen declares as she steps outside looking like an Animorph:
“They’re going to think I’m on the black diamond because I look black diamond,” Jen says. I assure you. They are not.
Those in less ornate gear take the tram to the top of an actual mountain,
While Lisa, Mary, and Jen meet their instructors on the bunny hill:
I bet instructor Hugo never thought helping a housewife with her oversized fur gloves would be among his occupational duties.
Life is full of surprises.
Jen tells Hugo that she had a ski lesson the night prior, and by that she means she rollerbladed through her living room,
While her assistants cheered.
“I thought we would be competing today and I wanted to win,” Jen says.
“Jen, the thing about skiing is it’s supposed to be fun,” Hugo says. “It’s fun to win,” she responds.
Gosh I love this woman.
At the top of the lift, Meredith, Heather, and Whitney fall deep into conversation,
and I can only imagine the annoyance of the other skiers trying to get around them. Don’t bottleneck the top of the runs, ladies.
Whitney tells the group that she struggles to communicate with Lisa, and we get yet another sepia-toned remembrance of the time when Lisa told Whitney her style was “A little Utah.”
It’s harsh, but Whitney does have blocks that spell BAR in her bar, so it might be accurate.
Once the sun sets, the ladies head indoors to prep for dinner.
Three and a half hours later, they arrive at the restaurant.
And from here it’s a rapid spiral into banana land.
“Why do we judge each other?” Whitney asks.
“I’ve felt judged many times. I feel judged by you, Lisa,” she says.
“I’m trying to figure out how I made you feel judged,” Lisa responds. Whitney tells her she makes her feel threatened,
And then Whitney reminds Lisa that she threatened to use the swinging rumors against her.
“I know if I use the word ‘swinger,’ the conversation is going to turn to whether I’m a swinger or not. And that’s not what this conversation is about,” Whitney explains. Again. Very much not a denial.
Lisa describes this as a shoot the messenger situation,
then says “I don’t judge you. I don’t care enough to judge you.” Which, let’s be honest, is a baller move.
“We haven’t had love and kindness between us at all,” Heather tells Lisa, alluding to the dismissiveness at Jen’s party. Again.
“My intent is always good,” Lisa says. And then Heather reminds Lisa that Lisa accused her of being a good-time-boob-flashing girl at BYU.
“You can’t graduate from BYU and have flashed someone,” Heather says.
You know, I’ve never looked into it, but I really don’t think that’s true.
“Thumbs up. **** you.” Lisa says, and then, as if things couldn’t get more unhinged, she explains that Heather sent her a thumbs up text prior to Jen’s party and Lisa interpreted the gesture as an act of hostility.
Heather denies any ill intent, but when she’s asked,
She says, “Absolutely.” So.
Lisa offers some snippy “I’m sorry IF” apologies.
Then concludes with, “I said I’m sorry and I mean it,” to close that matter for good.
And so ends another week in the lives of The Real Housewives Of Salt Lake City. See you back here same time next Friday
(Design: Joshua Fowlke) (Editor: Rachel Swan)