By Jodi Walker
February 18, 2021 at 01:13 AM EST

There's always going to be a certain level of confusion that comes with watching a Housewives reunion show. It's mostly because of the screaming over one another, sometimes because of the distracting number of sequined gowns, and occasionally because of references to "the blogs" that no one actually keeps up with except these women; all told, it becomes more or less impossible to follow any chain of logic beyond Andy Cohen's eyeballs ping-ponging between screams.   

And you better believe every single one of those distraction devices is dialed up to 100 any time Heather or Lisa unhinges their jaw to pterodactyl shriek at one another about who has been lying to who about what during this second Real Housewives of Salt Lake City reunion installment.

I have watched this entire season (professionally! taking notes and everything!) and I have no idea what Lisa and Heather are so mad at each other about. I mean I get why they would clash with one another, and I can even reach back into my quarantine-addled brain to recall the very first few episodes of this season where Heather was annoyed with Lisa for pretending like she didn't know anything about her, and branding her a "good time girl" in college…

But other than that, I can only assume there's a lot happening here that we're not hearing about. Because Lisa and Heather seem to be painting the same picture of one another — as friend-stealing liars — and yet, we're not privy to either one of them being either of those things! Sure, Lisa seems full of herself and like she has no interest in people who can't advance her social status, but we never saw her, like, spit on Heather or anything. And yes, Heather is seeming more and more like a bold, bawdy personality who accidentally still identifies as an underdog, but we haven't experienced her outright attacking Lisa…

I mean, until this reunion where it seems like nothing would make Lisa or Heather happier than to personally sign the other one's pink slip. So, I really do hope that part 3 of this reunion holds some answers for how to move forward, because personally, I'm of the opinion that every single one of these women needs to come back for a season 2. But after witnessing the pure rage running through Lisa and Heather in tonight's episode, I'm not sure it's going to be an option.

So, for now, let's kick things off with the part of this reunion that somehow makes the most sense, if only because it was always the part we know would make the least sense: Mary Cosby.


Throughout the episode, Mary remarks upon the large stack of notecards sitting next to Andy that they have to get through a number of times. And as anyone except Mary could have told you — at least 90 percent of all those RHOSLC-related questions are most definitely going to be intended for her, a.k.a., the woman who married her step-grandfather and keeps a hoarder mansion full of designer goods as a Pentecostal pastor…

But in a much more surprising twist, Mary's responses to those notecards prove her to be something of an "Ashley Darby" of the RHOSLC franchise. And by that, I mean: you simply cannot force this woman to recognize how absurd and/or dire her circumstances are, no matter how shadily you phrase a question. If you ask Mary about the clip floating around on the internet of her allegedly admonishing her congregation for being "poor" and not giving her gifts on her birthday… she'll just confirm that it was her, say it was "taken out of content," and then kind of use the Bible to say God blesses good people with wealth, so again yes, she was calling her congregation bad and poor.

And if you ask Mary if she understands that anyone from her congregation might be alarmed to find her sitting in actual piles of designer goods like the Beowulf dragon every time they tuned into RHOSLC, she says yes — but her congregants understand that her grandmother was super-rich from owning a bunch of soul food restaurants called "Southern Plantation" (!!!), so they'll be perfectly understanding of her absurd wealth.

Mary doesn't censor herself because she simply doesn't know any better. There isn't a single thing about this woman that is relatable or humble, or even comprehensible, but certainly, the most endearing thing about Mary is that she seems to have no concept of how absolutely bizarre she is. When Andy searches for a little more clarity on Charlinda, Mary's second cousin whom she insists she knows nothing about, Mary clarifies that Charlinda and her mother work for her, so that makes it normal. After all, they have a tiny apartment, so why wouldn't they want to clean her giant house in exchange for rent, Mary explains, adding, "I'd rather have my family cleaning my house than any other" with a look on her face that says: "DUH."

The one place that Mary pushes back is on the matter of Jen saying that she once told her she wouldn't go into a 7-Eleven if there were Black guys hanging around outside. Mary insists that she never said anything about race, she simply has a completely rational fear of convenience stores. It has nothing to do with race, and everything to do with the "sketchy people" who hang around outside, which might lead one to ask: who exactly does Mary Cosby deem sketchy?

It is, at the very least, classist and elitist, and each thing Mary says about the things she told Jen in private is yikes-ier than the next. But nothing will make you want to bite down on a throw pillow more than when Mary voluntarily offers up that she told Jen, "My taste for Black guys… that's not my taste." Andy points out that Mary is married to a Black guy, to which she responds instantaneously, "Well, he's white." Everyone blinks their inch-long lashes at her. "I mean he's… lighter," she clarifies.

Jen then claims that Mary said "there are different types of Black people" in this same conversation, which Mary adamantly denies, briefly claiming that Jen's husband is racist, and wrapping it all up by saying that "all colors of Black are beautiful, and … I love all Black men." I assure you that Mary will walk away from this reunion feeling like she nailed it.


But somehow, this is all kind of just the episode's warm-up round.

Throughout this entire season, it's seemed like Mary and Jen would be the two "queen bee" Housewives who wouldn't possibly be able to move past their issues and continue filming together. But by the end of this hour, they're both claiming that they can move forward if the other one can. Because, in contrast to Lisa and Heather, Jen and Mary are actually very similar. No, Mary doesn't start throwing everything in arm's reach when she gets angry like Jen does, and Jen doesn't just completely stop using verbs when she becomes overwhelmed like Mary does…

But they both have a very hard time taking accountability for their own actions, and pepper all of their apologies with the understanding that they were hurt, and that was why they said something even more hurtful in response. Both seem mostly willing to accept apologies from the other one that they don't really mean, but are exhausted enough with litigating the details of who smelled like hospital that they're ready to just let it go.

And that's a relief because there simply is not enough room in this small-town franchise for two earth-shattering feuds…


While I remain perplexed by just how emotional the dynamic between Lisa and Heather has become during this reunion, I'm not exactly clueless about Lisa's point-of-view. She considers herself the sassy protagonist of any given situation, so she's mad that Heather unexpectedly ran away with the fan-favorite position of this franchise. This becomes especially clear when we find out that Lisa was the one that recommended Heather as a cast member, which Heather thinks is more proof in her odd quest to prove how long they've known each other, but much more than that, it puts a whole new perspective on Lisa's blatant jealousy…

Well, that and the fact that Lisa looks like she's sucked down an entire orchard of lemons each time Andy mentions that Rihanna DM'd Heather to say she was a fan.

What I can't quite understand is why Heather is so intent on bringing Lisa down. I mean, the woman got the Rihanna DM! Why does she need to dramatically cry out to Lisa, "You're the liar, and we're gonna prove it here today!" I know that Heather can't be the savvy manipulator that Lisa is trying to paint her as, simply because if Heather had such a handle on things, she'd know that all she has to do is sit back and let Lisa dig her own grave. Like when Heather says how much she appreciates other marginalized Mormons reaching out to her, and Lisa just can't help but chime in that it's sOoooO crrrAaazy because the same people reach out to her to say how much they love the way she's chosen to do Mormonism…

It's clear to us that Lisa can't let Heather shine, but it's such a raw nerve for Heather that she needs to hear Lisa admit that she looks down on her…

But who would ever admit that? No one is going budge here! And I mean that quite literally: when Andy calls for a break, Heather and Lisa keep their asses planted in their seats and just keep arguing. And without the benefit of Andy moderating, or the cameras cutting to the person we're supposed to be focusing on, it is simply impossible to tell what's happening. But I think the gist of it is that Heather is annoyed that Lisa claims to be such an undramatic person, yet is now clinging to the most dramatic person in their group: Jen. Additionally, she thinks that Lisa getting closer to Jen makes her a bad friend to Meredith…

That's Meredith, who looks utterly perplexed by what's happening around her, and who has otherwise only spoken once during this episode to say that talking about her marriage is off-limits, further proving that she simply has no idea what show she is on.

Suddenly, Lisa is on her feet just roaming around the stage, pointing in random directions to demand that some unknown entity "roll the footage!" to prove that Heather was purposefully trying to take her down so she could keep Jen all to herself. Whitney is literally begging for permission to go backstage so she can take a shot, to which Meredith says that's a plan she can get behind, grabbing Whitney's hand and leading her away from the madness.

Eventually, Lisa gets so mad at Heather telling her she's in "last place" (Heather clarifies that she means "last place in life" but we all know she means "last place in the cast," which is somehow more insulting) that she storms offstage demanding to see her husband. She weeps to the "SVP of Current RHOSLC Production" that Heather is "obsessed with my best friend" (Meredith, I think) and wants her to "abandon someone who's broken" (Jen, I think)…

And I simply do not understand how this started or where it's headed. But I do know that I'm damn ready for the final installment of this reunion — if not for some closure, then at least to see Seth's head get wheeled out a giant iPad. That is going to be great.

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