In Episode 3, viewers look into the hearts of “Real Housewives of Salt Lake City” — from Mary Cosby’s take on her marriage to her step-grandfather, to Heather Gay’s sorrow over her divorce, to Jen Shah’s declaration that other Housewives “just stuck a knife” in hers.
Mary: ‘My marriage was arranged’
After trying to make her marriage seem normal in earlier episodes, Mary comes across as more likable and relatable by admitting it isn’t.
“The reality is,” Mary says, “that I am married to my grandmother’s second husband.”
Evangelist Rosemary “Mama” Cosby, founder of Faith Temple Pentecostal Church in Salt Lake City, died from a heart attack in January 1997 and left behind a multimillion-dollar financial empire. Before she died, Mary says, “she made it very clear that she wanted me to be the one to take her place in the church and inherit everything. That came with homes, money, our church — and also marrying her husband.”
“Don’t think it wasn’t weird,” Mary says, “‘cause it was.”
Robert Cosby Sr. was 22 when he married Mama Cosby, who was then 42. Oddly enough, when Mary wed Robert Sr. 20 years ago, she was 22 and he was 42.
Mary and Robert Sr.’s marriage split the family and their church, which Mama Cosby founded in 1968.
“My mom had a fit, because she wanted the church. She wanted my grandmother’s place,” Mary says. “My mom felt like she was the one that should’ve been marrying Robert Sr.”
Her wedding night was also “weird.” It was some time before they consummated the marriage. “Thank goodness, I was on my period,” Mary says. “And the period lasted for at least two weeks, until it got awkward. … I, like, stretched it out.”
Whoa. Too much consummation information!
Mary said she prayed about her marriage after the ceremony, and, eventually, “It worked out so good. Like, it couldn’t have been better.”
At least for a while. While dining with Meredith Marks at Table X, Mary says that after the birth of her son, Robert Jr., now 17, “I think we became partners, as opposed to a marriage.”
But she would never consider separation or divorce, she says. “My marriage was arranged. We have to make it work.”
Heather: ‘I chose him … because he was Mormon’
While planning a party for five of her employees (who are all pregnant for the first time) Heather opens up about her divorce. She feels like a failure because she thinks she didn’t live up to her religious ideals.
“I chose him, not because he was the love of my life,” she says, “but because he was Mormon.”
And she “really resented him for leaving me, because I felt like my entire life I had curtailed my natural instincts in order to achieve this family, and this marriage in the temple and these children. And I had given up a lot. And now he was saying he was giving up on me.”
When Jen asks Heather if you should stay married even if the marriage is “terrible,” Heather replies, “A hundred million percent.”
For all her brash exterior, Heather is carrying a lot of pain.
Brooks: ‘I’m beyond shocked’
In the wake of the Episode 2 revelation that Meredith and her husband, Seth, are separated, we learn that the reason their 21-year-old son, Brooks, has taken a semester off from college is “to support my mom in whatever she’s dealing with with my dad. And to work on my clothing line.”
We have yet to see anything of the clothing line.
Brooks and his 18-year-sister, Chloe, are hanging out with their mom when a lonely Jen drops by for a visit. And Brooks gets “really uncomfortable” when Jen starts demonstrating high kicks. “I’m beyond shocked that my mom is around someone doing that in front of her children,” he says.
And, later, Brooks tells Meredith, “She can act however she wants to act, just don’t act that way in your house. It was just very uncalled for. … Chloe and I saw parts of that woman that we never need to see again.”
Brooks talks his mother into canceling a planned sleepover with Jen; Jen is not pleased, although she doesn’t know yet that the cancellation was Brooks’ idea.
More mom moments
Lisa Barlow takes her 16-year-old son, Jack, who recently acquired a learner’s permit, out driving. And she won’t shut up as she harangues him with endless advice.
“Are you stressed?” Lisa asks. “No!” Jack snaps, clearly demonstrating that he is.
What’s never explained — why would you have your 7-year-old son in the back seat when you take your 16-year-old son for a driving lesson?
Meanwhile, Mary is not happy that her teenage son has a girlfriend. “He’s still the love of my life, I’m just not the love of his no more,” Mary tells Meredith.
Her solution? Send Robert Jr. to boarding school in Los Angeles. Robert Sr. is not on board with that idea, and neither is Robert Jr., “because I can’t be without my girlfriend.”
“Forget the girlfriend,” Mary says. “Please. He’s going to boarding school if that’s what I say. He doesn’t know that yet, though.”
Jen sees ‘a personal dig’
Heather and her business partner throw their elaborate baby shower for the five pregnant employees. Nothing particularly interesting happens … until Jen finds out that Whitney Rose has invited both her and Mary to the same party.
Jen rolls her eyes and says, “Oh, Lord have mercy. Why?”
“I like Mary!” Whitney says.
Jen rolls her eyes some more when Whitney says she and her father had a great experience attending services at Mary’s church. And when Jen learns Meredith went to the services, too, she calls that “a personal dig at me.”
“You cannot f---ing go be friends with her and be friends with me. I’m not saying choose,” Jen says. “I’m just saying — tell me.”
She’s clearly saying “choose.”
For reasons that are not explained, Whitney is throwing a 1920s-themed party at Prohibition in Murray. For reasons that are not explained, Whitney thinks strippers are appropriate for a 1920s-themed party.
“There’s a theme with Whitney. She definitely loves the stripper pole. How is this the 1920s?” Lisa asks. “I was bringing the decadence, and they were bringing the Depression.”
That’s a great line. And Lisa is right about Whitney — we’ve seen her with stripper poles in each of the first three episodes. And, yes, it’s tacky.
Jen, still smarting from the canceled sleepover, says Meredith is “being really shady.” When she walks into Whitney’s party, the first thing she sees is Meredith and Mary engaged in conversation — and it’s “like somebody just stuck a knife in my heart.”
And, if the previews for Episode 4 are any indication, Jen is about to have her biggest blow-up yet.
Episode 4 of “Real Housewives of Salt Lake City” will air Wednesday, Dec. 2 on Bravo — 8 p.m. on DirecTV and Dish; 11 p.m. on Comcast.