Mary Cosby once again proved that she’s the most socially awkward of “The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City” — but she also came up with a moment of insight and clarity that explained one of the ongoing battles on the Bravo series.
Mary sees Whitney for who she is
Mary, the “first lady” of Faith Temple Church, visits Whitney Rose at her home, and she comes bearing gifts. Mary baked cookies, and Whitney is shocked.
“I had no idea that Mary knew how to bake,” Whitney says. “This woman is full of surprises.”
Two points — first, they appear to be simple, chocolate chip cookies. And, second, we’ve already seen Mary drop a whole egg — shell and all — into the mixing bowl.
Unaware of this, Whitney suggests to her 11-year-old daughter, Bobbi, that Mary could give them “cooking” lessons. (Or maybe baking lessons.) Bobbi is enthusiastic, but Mary demurs because she’s “so tired.” And then she proceeds to tell Whitney, Bobbi and 8-year-old Brooks about the death of the daughter of one of her church members in a horrific car accident.
Whitney and her children are stunned into silence. Mary dances around and says, “I’m excited to be here. Wear your seatbelt!”
It’s beyond weird.
Whitney tells Mary about her latest dust-up with Lisa Barlow at Angie Harrington’s fundraiser. “I have genuinely tried very hard” to be friends with Lisa, Whitney says. If that’s true, we haven’t seen it. We have seen Whitney insult and belittle Lisa behind her back.
And she appears taken aback when Mary asks, “What did you do to offend her?”
“I don’t think Lisa will ever be in my interpersonal space,” Whitney says. (Interpersonal space?) When Mary asks why she’s so upset at Lisa, Whitney replies, “Because it’s just who I am. I can’t help it.”
In a confessional, Mary says she thinks “Whitney feels validated through Lisa. Otherwise, she wouldn’t care. Lisa kind of has a cool factor. And I think Whitney sees that. And her insecurity and her youth makes her not know how to get to that friendship side. When all she has to do is just shut up.”
Whitney sort of agrees with that. Although, she says, “I don’t like Lisa. She’s not my vibe. But I also have this sense of, like, needing some sort of respect or acceptance from her.
“That tells me you want to be her friend,” Mary says. “You want her in your life.”
That’s very perceptive. And, coming from Mary, that’s astonishing.
A Chuck-a-Rama moment
The Housewives regularly patronize Utah’s more elegant restaurants, but it’s pretty clear Heather Gay, at least, is familiar with the places regular folks go, too.
Her daughter, Ashley, gets accepted to her “dream school” — the University of California, Santa Barbara. Heather is thrilled. “It feels like a big payday as a parent,” she says, particularly pleased that Ashley will be going out of state.
“She’s never left the bubble of Salt Lake City. She’s never even left our home,” Heather says. “It’s like she’s been eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches her whole life, and she’s going to go to the Chuck-a-Rama buffet. And I can’t wait for her to see all the options.”
Jen meets Brooks
Brooks Marks agrees to meet Jen Shah at the 350 Main Brasserie in Park City so that Jen can apologize for things that were retweeted or liked on her Twitter account that hurt his feelings.
She told Meredith she wanted to make the apology, but she seems a bit annoyed by the whole thing. “Brooks has finally agreed to fit me into his schedule to meet. I hope that he listens to me and doesn’t pull a Meredith Marks, and this turns into, like, a 10-month apology tour again,” Jen says, clearly exasperated.
Brooks shows up — with mom. Meredith lets him sit with Jen at a table and retreats, but not out of earshot.
Jen tells Brooks her heart was broken to learn he was upset; that she had no idea he was hurt; that she doesn’t handle her own social media accounts; and that she’s “talked to my entire team” about their actions. “I have to take responsibility. It’s my team. So I just wanted to say, I’m sorry for that, too.”
Brooks said he had no idea Jen wasn’t retweeting or liking tweets herself — even though his own mother has people who handle her social media accounts for her. And, he adds, “”I don’t even know how to articulate the pain that I went through because of everything. I don’t want to get emotional again. But it was really difficult.”
He was triggered by references to him being gay, because things like that were used “like a weapon,” he said, when he was growing up. He’s been on a “journey of self-exploration.” And, he believes, because Jen’s Twitter account made him feel “like I didn’t have a voice any more and that it was being taken away from me.”
Again, do a quick internet search and you’ll find umpteen stories and internet posts that assume Brooks is gay. Almost all of them have nothing to do with Jen.
“I would never want you to know I somehow outed you,” Jen says. “The only reason I made any kind of comments is when somebody would ask me about my vagina.” (Because, in Season 1, Brooks said he saw Jen’s private parts when she high kicked while not wearing underwear.)
“I didn’t want to talk about it,” Jen said. “I was deflecting it and making a joke and moving on. Now, knowing what you’re going through, I can see how that would hurt you.”
The two of them hug it out.
“At the end of all of this, the only thing I want is peace for my child,” Meredith says.
Again, Brooks is an adult — he’s 21 — and he made the choice to be on “RHOSLC.” Meredith has two other children, one of whom has been on the show only briefly and one who has not been on at all.
As far as we know, nobody forced Brooks to be on the show.
Guys’ night out
Four of the Housewives’ husbands — Seth Marks, John Barlow, Justin Rose and Sharrieff Shah — meet at Bodega in Salt Lake City to “hang out,” as Sharrieff puts it.
They celebrate the fact that each of them is still married. “From the outside looking in, your [marriage] is the best,” Seth says to Justin, pointing to the fact that there’s a stripper pole in his house that Whitney uses.
As the talk turns to sex, Justin says, “Our sex life has been amazing, but it literally has taken a pause” because Whitney’s “schedule has just gone crazy.” But they’ve been talking about getting back on track. “I do not want to lose our dynamic in our relationship.”
Seth, never one to miss the chance to be inappropriate, says, “My deal with Meredith is I can have sex with her any time I want, as long as I don’t wake her up.” All the guys think that’s hilarious.
The husbands want their wives to quit fighting with each other so they can continue to hang out. “Our sweet wives got to recognize that, look, can we not find an opportunity to really have a good time?” Sharrieff says. “Again, our wives, I thought, started out beautifully and then things just deteriorated. And, man, I would like it to be better because if they’re happy, we’re happy.”
The guys look pensive as the producers roll out clips of the wives fighting.
“I just realized that we are the four most optimistic sons of bitches in the world,” Justin says.
Heather and Meredith go skiing and talk sex
Meredith meets Heather at Solitude and they go skiing. “When it comes to skiing, Meredith has better form, but I have more balls,” Heather says. “I’m braver and she’s more refined. It’s quite on-brand, really.”
Afterward, they sit outside Last Chance Lodge drinking Irish coffee, eating charcuterie and talking about talking about sex with their children. “My kids were very open with me about everything that went on, more or less, sexually,” Meredith says. But it’s a new thing for Heather, “because in my mind I was so Mormon that it wasn’t even a possibility or a concern, because she was just going to be a virgin on the day she gets married.”
Heather has never had a frank talk about sex with any of her daughters. “I can’t even barely say those words to you,” she tells Meredith. A year earlier, Heather would’ve been “horrified” if Ashley was considering sex before marriage. “And now I am horrified at the thought of her not having sex before she gets married. My whole life, I thought everything that wasn’t Mormon was off the rails. And so I don’t even know how to, like, build a bridge to the other world.”
Meredith advises Heather to get her daughters to talk to her: “The last thing you want is for them to be afraid to talk to you. And condoms always.”
Lisa and Whitney do lunch
Lisa takes her husband’s advice and invites Whitney to meet her at Alpine Distilling in Park City. Lisa is determined to find some “middle ground”; Whitney is determined to be belligerent.
Lisa says she’s hoping to “jumpstart” a “new beginning” with Whitney; Whitney stares back silently.
Lisa says her husband came home from the guys’ night joking about her becoming friends with Whitney. “And I’m like, ‘Well, I didn’t think we weren’t.’”
“My perspective is that we’re not friends,” Whitney replies. “I think we just tolerate each other.”
Lisa repeatedly tries to smooth things over, pointing to “misinterpretations” of her “intentions … And if we could get to a place where you and I could understand each other, I think we could actually, like, be great.”
Whitney isn’t having it. “Do you have a problem with me?” she asks. “Is there something about me that bothers you?” Lisa says, “No. Not at all.” But, given how rude and combative Whitney has been — and how rude Lisa has been in return — that’s hard to believe.
Whitney pushes Lisa to explain things she’s said and done. “When you say very rude things, how am I misunderstanding your intentions?” Whitney asks. She presses the point, asserting that Lisa dissuading Angie from being friends with her was “rude and demeaning.”
“I’ve been friends with Angie for 25 years,” Lisa says. “If I saw her having discord with somebody else, I would never seek out that person. And I felt like she was seeking you out. And I think that that’s where, like, you’re sensing my defense of energy.”
Whitney claims that Lisa was mean to her first, but there’s no denying Whitney has also been mean to Lisa, both to her face and behind her back. Nevertheless, Lisa tries to find common ground with Whitney.
“You have drove me crazy at times,” Whitney says, struggling with grammar. Lisa apologizes. Again.
And then, perhaps drawing on Mary’s surprisingly perceptive observation, Whitney says, “I keep finding myself being bothered by you and irritated by you. So I’m really trying to dive into what does that mean? Because that tells me — maybe I do want to be your friend.”
This after another episode of sniping at Lisa.
Whitney does say she “can forget” her past hurts. “I just think we need to spend time so that we can move past that. … I’m really hopeful that we can do this. Do you know how rare it is to find husbands that get along?”