The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City recap: Love ya baby, bye!
Nearing the end of season 2, RHOSLC has become a runaway freight train that happens to have also been drenched in gasoline, lit on fire, shot with a bazooka — and, oh, what's this now?! — Homeland Security only just discovered that the train has been full of nuclear waste the whole time. And, reader, there's one more thing I have to tell you upfront about this RHOSLC train we've been riding together all season long: your recap conductor (recap engineer? this analogy is really falling apart) is jumping ship (oh look, it's nautical now!).
After seven years, countless words, many rants, and a number of Change.org petitions launched to remove Paul "PK" Kemsley from my screen, I'm moving into a writing position elsewhere, and must finally set my recapping pen down with this episode of RHOSLC. I started recapping the Housewives as an intern at EW, and it only feels right that I go out on an episode where Jen Shah — a woman I was blessed enough to see flee a party bus moments ahead of the FBI raiding it — scream at Meredith Marks (a woman who somehow reinvents the definition of the word "shirt" with each new testimonial look) that she's a fraud who's had 10 different affairs, to which Meredith slurs back to Jen (a woman recently indicted by the federal government for fraud), "Who's calling whooo a fraud? Love ya, baby — bye!"
Indeed, this episode picks right back up in the middle of the knock-down, drag-out, wine-swirling fight we departed last week on. So what I never could have predicted is that — after a night spend screaming at one another, followed by a brief compassion summit, followed mere hours later by a morning spent screaming at one another — these women could turn this trip around. This Hot Mess Express may be on fire, it may be spitting venom — it may be imploding so hard it's creating a black hole that sucks in all the happiness and reason within a 50-mile radius of it — but the RHOSLC train also seems to have self-healing properties that can surely only be attributed to the red earth of Zion.
The fight at dinner originally starts because Jen heard from Jennie that Meredith hired a private investigator to investigate her — which Meredith did, but she says it didn't have anything to do with Jen's ultimate arrest. The fight continues because Jen has also been told at various times by Whitney and Heather that Meredith's absence on the bus trip to Vail almost definitely means that she not only knew Jen's arrest was coming, but that she played a part in it. Meredith does not help make this look less likely by repeatedly insinuating that she knows things about Jen, she's simply too "kind" to say those mysterious things out loud.
Now, to be ever so slightly fair to Jen — who, for the record, has spent the entire first day of this trip screaming like a banshee and lashing out at everyone she rests her eyes upon — she is being fed a lot of information from a lot of parties, all attempting to seem like the most innocent, most gracious party at the goon assembly. Jen gets it right when she says, "Everyone is trying to cover their own asses because I feel like everyone said horrible, mean things about me, and then when Jen Shah shows up, everyone's backtracking, like, Oh shit, Jen's still here—I thought she was at Rikers Island!" And if Jen could stay calm for just long enough to address all the conflicting intel she's receiving with the appropriate parties without somehow having to blame her entire arrest on anyone who has ever so much as confused her …
Then maybe she could spend a little less time screaming, and a little more time enjoying the glam squad she paid to come on this trip, presumably knocking her down from the three-bedroom price bracket to the two-bedroom price bracket for that new, downsized apartment she's supposed to be hunting.
But being reasonable simply isn't an option for Jen. It never has been So, she screams at Jennie, and she screams at Lisa, and she screams at Meredith and screams at Meredith some more … and then, suddenly, she's hugging Meredith when they're finally able to have a brief moment alone together. Jen explains that she just needs to know that Meredith didn't back out of the bus ride to Vail because she knew the Feds were coming for Jen, and Meredith swears that she did not.
But in the morning, that moment of peace is lost, and it's Meredith's turn to scream! And I mean, really scream. As the early risers float down to get Perriers from the fridge in their satin pajamas, a different satin-clad woman comes flying around a corner, and prompted by absolutely no one, she is raging. Apparently, circa 3 a.m. that morning, Lisa went into Meredith's room to chat. Per Meredith's recollection, Lisa told her that the other women thought she "faked" her father's memorial to avoid being on the Vail bus when Jen was arrested; per Lisa's recollection, she was consoling Meredith, and when Meredith asked if people had been talking about her on the Zion bus, Lisa simply told her they'd talked about her missing the Vail bus ride because of her father's memorial.
I imagine that the truth is somewhere in between given that Meredith will find almost any reason to yell about her family, and Lisa must choose to keep having these inflammatory private conversations in the camera-less dead of night for a reason…
Either way, Meredith has awoken with her mind set on striking fear into the heart of anyone who dare mention her family again. From what we can tell, Meredith seems to wake up, put on a pair of giant sunglasses, and begin storming through the house screaming, "You can spew lies about me all day and night … but my family is OFF LIMITS, is that clear?!" She is saying this to no one in particular, and also, to everyone. Eventually, the other women cautiously emerge from their hidey holes and head to the kitchen for breakfast while Lisa tries to calm Meredith down and prevent her from packing her bags for the sixth time in as many hours.
So, when Meredith finally stops storming and comes downstairs to find the group she's been blindly screaming at all morning — color me shocked to see her just agree to move on when no one openly admits to speculating about the authenticity of her father's memorial service. (For the record, it was Jennie — Jennie outright said Meredith may have been making up the memorial service, and everyone else was like, Hmm, much to think about!) Subsequently, after a bus ride (and a dinner!) spent screaming, and then a morning spent screaming, the rest of the episode just … moves on. The women head out into the Zion valleys to ride ATVs, take a surprisingly rigorous hike, and rappel down narrow canyons …
Well, most of them rappel — Mary just sort of ping-pongs between the sides while hanging from a harness, which is a much-needed bit of comic relief. After the hike, Jen and Whitney go room-to-room telling everyone to "dress to impress" because they're going to Club Zion tonight. Club Zion is, of course, just the basement floor of their house with a stripper pole set up because there's still a pandemic raging outside, and getting your friends to put on their shiniest sequins and shake a little ass with you is about as wild as pandemic-partying gets. Housewives — they're just like us!
As the liquor kept flowing, and the timestamps kept stamping from one drunken location to another, I felt sure another blowup was coming…
But nothing ever came. The train had run its course, just like mine has here. I can only hope that, like Meredith, I'll wake up with Lisa Barlow inexplicably holding a single rose next to me (or whatever the non-Housewife equivalent of that is). My eternal gratitude to the Housewives and Housewives-readers for the memories: the good, the bad, and more recently, the criminal! If you'd like to keep up with my writing, please feel free to follow me on Twitter, where it's Club Zion all year-round, which is to say: mostly empty, but with more than enough sequins to make up for it).
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