Old feuds resurface in the 11th episode of “The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City,” once five of the six women travel to Las Vegas. But before they make the trip …
Whitney’s family plan
“My family is not your typical Mormon family,” Whitney Rose says. “Our family dynamic is very complicated.”
As we’ve seen before, there are multiple marriages, multiple divorces, and multiple siblings and half siblings in the family. And Whitney’s father, Steve, is addicted to painkillers, which has alienated him from the rest of the family.
Whitney tries to do some fence-mending, inviting her father; her brother, Will; and her sister, Shaylee — who “wanted nothing to do with” their father — over for dinner. She’s hoping her siblings will see “that it’s safe now to come back into his life.”
Steve is all in. He wants Will and Shay to join him in his therapy, and they look less than thrilled. And Will points out, “We have a little bit of a track record with you, Dad, of talk and then kind of things fizzle out.”
But he and Shaylene agree to try it, and Whitney is “really hopeful that this can be the first step forward for a chance for us to come back together.”
Sharrieff and Jen play matchmaker
Jen Shah and her husband, Sharrieff, meet Heather Gay at Cucina Toscano in Salt Lake City — they’re trying to set her up with Sharrieff’s best friend, Keith, aka Big Daddy aka Big Easy.
Heather’s first impression of Keith is positive. “He’s hitting a lot of boxes. He’s tall. He’s dark. He’s handsome. He’s alive,” she says.
But things quickly go south when Keith orders cranberry and orange juice, and then a Sprite. “Big Daddy seems to be drinking like a big baby,” Heather says. “I’ll get drunk enough for both of us.”
Keith is distracted by a carrot in his drink, and doesn’t listen while Jen is telling him about Heather. And then he talks about himself — for more than an hour.
“I’m not looking for anything long term,” Heather says. “But I’m starting to think that that’s not going to be a problem with Big Daddy.”
It’s clear there’s no spark there, but Heather is still grateful to Jen. “She did a really nice thing inviting me to this sober TED talk,” she says.
Whitney wants to go to Las Vegas
Whitney’s latest Big Idea is a weekend in Las Vegas with the other five Housewives, now that some time has passed since she ruined Jen’s birthday party for Sharrieff.
“I know I’m not a fan favorite right now, and I’m taking a risk by inviting everyone,” she says. “But I think it’s time for us to go have some fun.”
She texts the other five women. Heather and Jen are in; Meredith Marks says she’ll probably go; Lisa Barlow doesn’t reply; and Mary Cosby says no once she learns Jen will be there.
“I do love Vegas and I do have a beautiful home in Vegas. It’s one of my favorite homes,” she says. “Put it this way — I’d rather have a plane full of mice than to be in Vegas with Jen. Ew! And I don’t like rodents, but I’d take the mice.”
Meredith and Lisa are both still ticked off at Whitney because she hasn’t apologized to either one of them. (Whitney chose the birthday party Jen threw for her husband to pass along Mary’s unconfirmed allegations that Lisa and Meredith said they’re afraid of Jen and, thus, won’t confront her about how badly Mary believes Jen treats her.)
Meredith and Lisa repeatedly and adamantly deny Mary’s story.
“I’ll go, but I don’t have it in me for any more drama,” says Meredith, apparently forgetting that’s the point of the show.
What happens in Vegas
• Whitney is mad that Lisa didn’t call her to tell her she’d join them in Vegas. She’s madder still that Lisa didn’t fly with them; Lisa was already in Vegas on business. “It’s her way of stepping on me and putting me down and raising herself above me,” Whitney says. “It’s not a good look, Lisa.”
• Lisa isn’t feeling bad about that. “I don’t feel like I owe anyone an explanation, especially Whitney, on how I’m getting to Vegas or when I’m coming to Vegas,” she says. “I mean, it’s not like she’s flying me to Italy. It’s Vegas.”
• Heather is excited about the trip. “It feels so good to be a bad Mormon in Vegas,” she says. “It’s everything Mormons are not supposed to do — gamble to bring debauchery. It’s the opposite of Mormonism, and it’s just a Mormon girl’s taste of the dark side.
• Everybody has an excessive amount of luggage, but Jen has so much they have to have a second limo to take them to their hotel.
• Whitney calls Lisa, who doesn’t answer. Seconds later, Lisa calls Meredith. “Lisa is absolutely trying to make a statement. It’s rude and it’s selfish,” says Whitney, who tries to make a face imitating Lisa. “I can’t even do it, ‘cause I can’t look like I’m taking a [expletive] and being sexy at the same time.”
• The Housewives are met at Nomad Las Vegas by an employee who reads them a truly lame welcome poem. But Heather says she’s “touched. This guy has spent more time crafting a poem for me to arrive at a hotel in Vegas than [her ex-husband] Billy did crafting his entire marriage proposal.”
• Whitney has made plans for all the women to go drive race cars … but Jen has made special arrangements for Heather. Whitney is not pleased. “Do you know what that means? I’m going race car driving with Lisa and Meredith,” she says.
• Jen’s surprise for Heather? A personal shopping experience. “What’s better than setting her up with a man? Finding her a new outfit.”
• Meredith remains iffy on Jen, because of Whitney passing along the gossip that Jen insinuated that Meredith was seeing someone other than her husband. “I don’t quite get [that] Jen claims to be my friend and then she’s saying negative things about me behind my back,” Meredith says.
• Jen, who’s wearing a low cut top, climbs up on a bar. “You can’t buy the [breasts] because my plastic surgeon retired,” she says. Jen stands up on the bar and falls off — either because of her shoes, the alcohol she’s consumed, or both.
• The ride to the Las Vegas Motor Speedway is “awkward as [expletive],” Whitney says. “I’d rather be at church right now” than with Meredith and Lisa.
• Lisa says that race cars are her “jam.” She’s quick to tell the guys at the racing experience that she drives a Porsche “in real life.” And, she adds, “Despite the fact that Whitney’s the last person I want to be with today, I’m into this. … Who doesn’t love driving high-performance cars?”
And then she’s … comically slower than Meredith and Whitney. “After all the talk about how great of a driver Lisa is, she gets out on that track and drives slower than my grandmother,” Whitney says. “For someone who talks extremely fast, she drives very slow.”
Whitney vs. Lisa and Meredith
Whitney apologizes to Meredith and Lisa for what happened at the birthday party — eventually taking responsibility for what she did, after first blaming Heather. And, she says, she wanted to talk to Jen because she was “surprised” by what she learned “when I talked to Mary.”
“Well, grain of salt there,” Lisa says. “Love Mary, but …”
Whitney says she felt some obligation to believe Mary because they’re friends; Meredith and Lisa say (again) that what Mary said was not true. But they say they accept Whitney’s apology.
Jen vs. Heather and Whitney
Heather is under the impression that all is good between Jen and Whitney, because Jen said she accepted Whitney’s apology in the last episode. Heather apparently missed that Jen wouldn’t look Whitney in the eye. And, no, she hasn’t really forgiven her.
“I’m confused as to why she is just trying to cover for Whitney and not understanding the pain that I’m feeling,” Jen says in a confessional. And she tells Heather, “I’m your [expletive] friend. [Expletive], you stand up for me with Whitney.”
Heather isn’t having it. “Jen’s version of a good friend is Just. Like. A henchman. Someone that just, like, whatever mood she’s in, whatever she feels is important, you jump on and you just, like, pile on that person. There’s no opportunity to be objective or to be helpful. … You’re on my team or you’re dead to me.”
“The only reason I haven’t b---- slapped her is because she’s your friend, Heather,” Jen says.
Mary’s mostly missing
Once again, Mary is barely in the episode. We see her arguing with her husband, Robert Sr., because he wants to sell their house in Florida because it’s “too much trouble.”
“You just want to get rid of the problem,” Mary says. “So if I’m a problem, that’s what you’re going to do to me?”
“Why would you say something like that?” Robert replies in exasperation.
Between that scene and the one in which Mary declines Whitney’s invitation to join the group in Las Vegas, Mary’s in the episode for not quite a minute.
Meredith and her 21-year-old son, Brooks, go shopping at Riverhouse Provisions in Park City. Brooks is interested in chicken and salmon jerky when it suddenly dawns on him: “Oh, is this for dogs?” It is. “I thought it sounded really good.”
Brooks also offers his wisdom before his mother travels to Nevada: “All I know is that Vegas is, like, the prostitution capital of the world.
Episode 12 debuts Wednesday on Bravo — 8 p.m. on Dish and DirecTV; 11 p.m. on Comcast.