Half of “The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City” stay on the bunny hill when the group heads up to Snowbird — recently ranked in the top five ski resorts in North America — in Episode 2. But everyone finds their way into black diamond drama.
OdorGate, Part 2
Episode 2 picks up right where Episode 1 left off — Jen Shah is having a meltdown about Mary Cosby’s lack of compassion in telling Jen she smelled like a hospital after Jen had just visited her aunt — who had to have both legs amputated — in, yes, a hospital.
“That’s like looking at a baby with cancer and saying, ‘Oh, you smell like cancer,’” says Jen — who clearly wants to fight over this.
“I don’t argue,” Mary says. “I don’t do this.”
“Because you don’t want to talk about it when it’s your fault,” Jen retorts.
Meredith Marks tries to intervene, correctly pointing out, “You’re in the middle of throwing a party [supposedly for HER birthday] and it’s just not the time.”
For reasons that are unclear, Mary has a sudden change of heart. “I’m sorry if I hurt you. I would never want to hurt you,” she says, hugging Jen — who accepts the apology … sort of.
“I’m going to find my zen Jen, and do everything I can to accept Mary’s apology,” Jen says, “even though I kind of think it’s bull---t.”
Truth be told, it didn’t seem like the most sincere of apologies.
[Listen to The Tribune’s Real Housewives podcast: ‘The Weekly Housewives Watch’: A Snow Mountain of Trouble]
Whitney vs. Lisa: ‘Choke on it’
Remember the vow-renewal ceremony we saw last week? Turns out Lisa Barlow gave pain Rose enough Vida Tequila (she owns the company) for 500 people and two bartenders to serve it. Whitney expresses her gratitude, but tells Lisa both bartenders got drunk and it was “kind of a mess.”
(And, indeed, we’re shown flashback video of the bartenders imbibing and Lisa cleaning up broken glass.)
Whitney tells Lisa, rather reasonably, “I just want you to know because I know you run, like, a tight ship.”
Lisa takes great offense. “I generously give to someone, and it’s s--t on,” she says, adding, “What Whitney does with the gift I gave her is up to her. If I give you a Chanel necklace and you choke on it, that’s your problem, not mine.”
She storms out of the party, seemingly missing the part where Whitney told her the bartenders got drunk. “Lisa’s mad at me for telling her that she’s not perfect,” Whitney says. “That her brand isn’t perfect.
“By the way, I don’t even drink Vida Tequila. I keep my Casamigos in the back.”
That’s not the end of this. According to Whitney, Lisa called her the following day and “threatened” to go public with rumors she’d heard alleging that Whitney is a swinger.
Whitney insists she is not. But she somehow manages to tie swinging to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ polygamous past.
“Utah has a history of plural marriage,” Whitney says, adding, “There’s a huge swinger community here.”
In another hangover from last week, Heather Gay is still mad about Lisa telling Jen that (a) she didn’t really remember Heather from when they were students at Brigham Young University, and (b) that Heather was a “party girl” at BYU.
“Lisa thinks she’s better than both of us,” Heather says. “Because she feels superior to us, she feels entitled to call out anything that she thinks is, like, morally deficient.”
Whitney is back on the stripper pole she has in her house, and she acknowledges that “some might think” that’s odd for a “born-and-raised Mormon girl.”
“Well, exactly!” she says. “I was raised in suppression my whole life. What do you expect?”
Not quite ‘Real’
Jen’s husband, Utah assistant football coach Sharrieff Shah, returns home from a recruiting trip as the aftermath of the massive Meredith birthday party is still being cleaned up.
Sharrieff asks who was there, and Jen lies, telling him it was just “the girls.”
Planning a ski trip
Even though various Housewives are mad at various other Housewives, Heather puts together an afternoon of skiing at Snowbird for the six women and a couple of their friends.
Heather says she “grew up on the slopes. … If you live here and don’t ski, it’s really a tragedy.”
We see Heather shopping for new ski boots at Powder House Ski Shop in Holladay, and Whitney comes in to get her snowboard waxed. And we know this is not going to be a Day of Fun when we hear Lisa say, “The last person I want to hang out with on a ski mountain is Whitney.”
A dad’s story
Whitney says she was “the definition of a daddy’s girl” growing up, but that her relationship with her father, Steve, is “so different now” because he “has been addicted to painkillers for the last 10 years.”
Steve, we’re told, was a self-made millionaire, but he lost it all because of his addiction and now he’s starting over at the age of 63. But she stuck by him.
“Most Mormons view addiction as a consequence of your choices,” Whitney says. “I used to actually believe that until I watched my dad go through the program when I really learned — this is a disease.”
Whitney’s dad is considering going back to the LDS Church; Whitney invites him to join her when she visits Mary’s Faith Temple Pentecostal Church.
After a quick glimpse of City Creek Center, we see Meredith and her husband, Seth, sit down for dinner at Handle — more than 30 miles away in Park City. (That’s the way they’re editing the show.) And we suddenly get a clue about what’s happening in that marriage.
“It’s kind of the elephant in the room,” Seth says. “Who have you told that we are separated?”
Wait — what? That wasn’t spelled out in Episode 1.
“It’s not like I’m running around talking about this to everyone,” Meredith says. “I prefer that you don’t discuss it.”
Seth asks Meredith if she thinks their marriage “was made to last.”
“I hope so,” she says, but “over the years,” the marriage “just broke down” as “hostility built and built and built.”
Seth insinuates that Meredith isn’t working to save the marriage. He offers to let Meredith read all the messages on his phone, and she declines. Seth then says that she would “never hand me your phone … because you’re hiding something.”
“I’m done with this conversation,” Meredith says.
Seth says he hates being separated; that he’s “not dating anyone else”; and he “sure as hell” hopes Meredith isn’t, either. She does not reply.
Wait for it
Mary is running late for the ski outing because she waited for a package to be delivered. In the package — her new ski coat.
“I can’t go skiing without a beautiful outfit,” Mary says. “Ski clothes can be very — I mean, you’ll get a wedgie. And you can’t get to the wedgie. … So for me, I like to wear the brands that don’t give you wedgies. And Chanel is one of them. And I was willing to wait for it.”
But clothes don’t make the skier, or the snowboarder. Once they’re on the slopes, we learn that Heather, Whitney and Meredith have some skills, while Jen, Mary and Lisa do not.
“I assumed by the outfits they were wearing that they were going to be able to perform,” Heather says, “which they were not.”
She also observes: “If you’ve ever wondered how long it takes for eight women to recover from skiing and get ready for a dinner — three-and-a-half hours.
“By the time we get there, the restaurant (Snowbird Seventy One) is empty. We completely missed our reservation. Luckily, they still agreed to seat us.”
Lisa gets ‘Real’
In a flashback to four months earlier, Lisa says, “I feel we need to style Whitney out a little bit.”
“What’s wrong with my style?” Whitney asks.
“It’s a little Utah,” Lisa says, insulting Whitney and the state in just four words.
Meredith tells Whitney that she’s overreacting to perceived criticism from Lisa — that perhaps Lisa “sees her role as being more like [a] big sister.” That she’s not trying to be “condescending,” she’s trying to be “caring.”
Meredith advises Whitney to talk to Lisa about it. But she’s surprised when Whitney does so in the restaurant after the day of skiing.
“I feel judged by you, Lisa,” Whitney says.
Lisa strongly disputes both that and Whitney’s assertion that she threatened her.
“I don’t threaten people,” she says. And later: “I don’t judge you. I don’t care enough to judge you.”
After others launch side battles, Lisa defends herself.
“My intent is always good,” she says. “I cannot help how you guys perceive me. And I’m OK with how you perceive me.”
“You’re comfortable with me perceiving you as dismissive and arrogant and also a little bit crazy?” Heather shoots back.
“Can we just start over?” Mary asks.
Nope. Too deep into it now.
“I think there’s real issues that are unresolved with each other,” says Mary, and no truer statement was made in Episode 2.
Then Lisa exposes EmojiGate.
Before Jen’s big party, Lisa had texted Heather, “Can’t wait to see you tonight!” and Heather replied with a thumbs-up emoji. Lisa believes that’s code for “f--k you.”
“She knows what it meant, and she meant what she sent,” Lisa insists.
This is definitely weird. And weirder still when Heather is asked by an off-camera producer if she intended the thumbs-up emoji to mean “F--k you.”
“Absolutely,” she says.
Lisa eventually apologizes to both Heather and Whitney, saying, “If I made you feel bad, I’m sorry.” She follows that with a forceful statement that she is “done with this right now.” And a wish/demand that everyone gets a “clean slate” moving forward.
Yeah, that’s not gonna happen.
Episode 3 of “Real Housewives of Salt Lake City” will preview Thursday at 6 p.m. on Twitter. It will air in its regular time slot Wednesday, Nov. 25 on Bravo — 8 p.m. on DirecTV and Dish; 11 p.m. on Comcast.