The most interesting developments in this week’s episode of “The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City” weren’t actually in this week’s episode — they were in the previews at the end of the hour.
In one, Housewife “friend” Danna Bui-Negrete tells Whitney Rose, “Someone close to me was working for Jen, and now he’s an informant.” (At this point on the show, Jen Shah is facing federal fraud charges and loudly proclaiming her innocence. She has since pleaded guilty.)
And in another, surveillance video shows Heather Gay opening a door for someone who has been trying to get in. In the next scene, Heather has a black eye — and we’re clearly supposed to wonder who gave it to her.
For all we know, it was an accident. But if somebody slugged her, there are plenty of suspects. Heather is fighting with three of the other four Housewives and, in a preview, Angie Katsanevas goes after Heather, too. (To be clear, these are scenes “still to come this season,” and we don’t know when.)
Three Housewives ski
Whitney (who’s a good snowboarder) meets Lisa and Jen (who are not great skiers) at Snowbasin, and sort of drags them up the mountain. “The slopes are right in our backyard,” Whitney says in a confessional. “So it is time that Jen and Lisa really step up their game and stop [expletive] around on the bunny hill.” And amusing skiing ensues.
In a confessional, Jen says that her “skiing skills have vastly improved” in recent years. “I attribute that to hard work, dedication and taking my anti-anxiety pills,” she said.
Later, the conversation turns to how they’re all peeved with Heather. Whitney is surprised that Heather called and asked her to join her choir because “the last time I saw her, she physically escorted me from her house” for asking if she has “even considered Lisa’s side” of her dispute with Heather.
“I’m surprised Whitney defended Lisa to Heather,” Jen says in a confessional, “but I find [Heather’s] reaction completely out of character for her. This does not sound like the Heather I know.”
Lisa is not in a forgiving mood after Heather lied about her in the Season 2 reunion. (Heather said Lisa texted her good wishes for her father after he had already died. That was not true, and Lisa tweeted proof of that — including Heather’s father’s obituary — which infuriated Heather. Lisa has apologized for handling the situation poorly; Heather has yet to acknowledge her responsibility for what happened.)
“All of her stuff is a house of cards built on lies,” Lisa says. “And if one of those cards moves, it’s all going to crumble.”
Jen says that she told Heather that Angie Harrington’s husband, Chris, created a fake Instagram profile to troll both Jen and Lisa, adding that Heather seemed “genuinely upset by it.” And yet at the choir auditions, she didn’t seem upset at all. “I feel like whenever we’re in a group setting, Heather just kind of steps back,” Jen says.
And Whitney says Heather has not acknowledged her efforts to deal with her (still unspecified) childhood abuse. She says she’s tried to explain “that in the past, when I have stirred the pot or been messy, it’s because … that’s how I learned how to behave, right? That’s where I got attention. And I’m, like, trying to tell her I’m trying to break that pattern. Like, I don’t want to be that person.”
Well, at least Whitney has acknowledged her pot-stirring past.
Jen vs. Danna
On the way to Heather’s choir rehearsal, Jen tells Angie K. she’s still mad at Heather. “You cannot say you’re my ride-or-die but then not stick up for me when it’s not about choosing sides or friendships, it’s about right or wrong,” she says.
Angie K. throws more fuel on this fire, telling Jen that Danna accused her of bullying Angie H. In a flashback, we hear Danna say, “Honestly, I felt like [Jen] was almost bullying. Like, I feel like no one stands up to her and no one puts her ass in check when she’s stepping out of line.”
While Danna wouldn’t be wrong about Jen in most situations, in this one Jen was reacting to the fact that Angie H.’s husband (and maybe Angie H. herself?) had been bullying her. “Danna, what you’re not going to do is go around and all of a sudden label me without having a one-on-one conversation with me,” Jen says. “Bitch, you don’t even know me.”
Later in the episode, Danna visits Meredith. In a confessional, Meredith says, “I like Danna. And now that I have shed the toxic friendships, it’s nice to have some time to be able to explore some new friendships with people who seem to be very kind and caring.”
Meanwhile, Jen and Angie K. are in the pool on the roof of the Hardware West building in Salt Lake City, planning a trip to San Diego. (There’s a flashback to a day earlier, when Jen says, “Obviously I can’t go out of the country right now” — because of her impending trial.) Jen calls Meredith to invite her, and she isn’t happy when she sees that Danna is there. Meredith asks who’s going, and Angie K. says herself and Jen, along with Heather, Whitney and Lisa.
“And, Danna, I would invite you,” Jen interjects, “except I heard you were talking [expletive], girl.” Meredith suggests there must have been “miscommunications going on here.” But there weren’t. Danna really did talk [expletive] about Jen behind her back. And she made the mistake of doing it with Angie K., who told Jen what happened.
And Jen isn’t having it. She says, “Don’t call me a bully, because that is not what happened.” Danna replies, “I don’t like the way that you talk to people, I don’t tolerate stuff like that.” Jen tells Meredith she’ll call her back and hangs up.
The battle at the choir practice
Heather and the members of her choir gather for their first rehearsal. “I really want to create a safe space — just a feeling of renewal and spiritual centeredness through music,” Heather says. “And I’m glad that my friends will be a part of it. And I hope they don’t mess it up.”
Fat chance, right?
Whitney arrives, and Heather is “thrilled.” In a confessional, Heather says, “I don’t know what’s going on between us. There’s so much conflict with us. But I know that if we can have a positive experience … that’ll be a little deposit in our emotional bank account.”
In her own confessional, Whitney says, “If I want to repair my relationship with Heather, I’m going to have to show up and support her, even though it’s uncomfortable [to be] singing Mormon hymns.” Whitney has resigned from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints after experiencing “trauma” related to “he Mormon Church.” So if singing LDS hymns “does not show my commitment to friendship, then I don’t know what does.”
Lisa arrives, and Heather thanks her for coming and hugs her. In a confessional, Lisa says, “In true Heather-and-Lisa fashion, there’s a Band-Aid on our situation. But there’s no sutures, [so] it can, like, easily rip off. And then we go back to the same problems over and over again.” Which they do. Lisa points to the commandment “Thou shalt not lie,” adding, “Maybe singing hymns will remind Heather.”
As choir practice is about to begin, Lisa puts her arms around Heather and says, “We have to talk.” In a confessional, Heather says, “Uck, I hate her.”
Lisa says she wants to be positive, adding, “I’m working on a friendship with you. I’m putting in the effort.” Heather says, “I don’t want to be in a space of contention and anger.” And then she gets contentious and angry.
“Why would you take, like, something that’s, like, very sensitive, such as my dad’s obituary and death and the text messages that I exchanged with you while my dad was dying, OK, and tweet that if he didn’t want to go backwards with me?” Heather asks. Lisa replies, “You have to see it from my side, too. My character was denigrated because you told a lie. ... I have to clear my name.”
Lisa says she second-guessed the timing of her texts to Heather. “I was, like, am I that sh---- a person.” Heather quickly interjects, “Yes.”
Sigh. Heather still cannot accept that her false accusation set all this in motion, nor can she acknowledge that she caused Lisa pain because she’s entirely focused on her own pain. In a confessional, Heather says, “Let’s put the facts aside and focus on the feelings. My feelings are hurt.”
Lisa asks Heather a simple question: “Do you like me?” After a long pause, Heather doesn’t answer the question. ”I want, and have never wanted anything more than, to just be good with you. But you created the space where we weren’t good and you’ve never owned that.”
“I don’t feel like that’s the truth,” Lisa says. And she’s right. Heather created this conflict with her false accusation.
“Oh my God, are you for real?” Heather asks, exasperated. She rolls her eyes and turns away when Lisa says, “Stop for a second. Let’s talk through this.”
Lisa and Whitney vs. Heather
Lisa says that the lies about her being unfaithful “are hurtful to me, my husband and my kids.” Heather says she “never heard those lies nor corroborated those lies. I think they’re ridiculous.”
Lisa is basing her belief that Heather was involved in the lies on the word of Whitney, who “has been very consistent in saying you guys were all a part of that.” Heather calls that “crazy,” and Lisa pulls Whitney into their conversation.
Whitney has not alleged that Heather spread rumors that Lisa traded sex for business opportunities and Utah Jazz tickets, but she insists that Heather heard Angie H. start that rumor at a Jazz game. (Why Lisa would be mad at Heather for hearing rumors is unclear.) Heather has consistently maintained she did not hear Angie H. make those unpleasant accusations.
“I just think Heather conveniently forgets or she really has forgotten,” Whitney says. “Because clearly you don’t remember, so it’s either you’re purposely not remembering or it’s convenient.”
It’s worth pointing out that Whitney has admitted she was drinking the night this supposedly happened, and no one — including Angie H. — has corroborated her story.
Lisa, however, still chooses to believe Whitney’s uncorroborated story. “The fact that Heather can’t remember things that she does to hurt me makes me feel like that’s a Heather problem,” Lisa says in a confessional, adding, “That’s something she needs to work on.”
A couple of clips in which Heather says she can’t remember what she said or did with Lisa and Whitney are inserted, and Whitney asks if Heather is mad at her because she has befriended Lisa. Heather denies that.
“This is the first time that I haven’t gone along to get along. I’m just telling you how I feel,” Whitney says. Heather replies, “Don’t go along to get along, and the awkward space is gone” — and she turns and walks away from them.
In a confessional, Whitney says, “At this point, I’m starting to feel like — all right, [expletive] you, Heather. If she doesn’t want to be the same level of friend with me, that’s fine. I now know where to put her. I’m realizing now, like, after being shut down for the hundredth time … done.”
The women gather to sing “God Be with You Till We Meet Again,” and Angie H. says, “This will heal.” But Angie K. interjects, “Not really. But let’s just do our best here.”
Jen vs. Angie H.
Meanwhile, Angie H. tries to make nice with Jen. She pulls her aside and says, “You were a casualty in this. And I’m so sorry. And he is so sorry,” Angie H. says, apologizing for her husband. Jen replies, “There’s just all these rumors that affect my credibility, and I’m going to trial to fight for my freedom.” (There ended up being no trial after her guilty plea.)
Jen says that Sharrieff wants Chris to make a public apology. “Yeah, sure,” Angie says. “Absolutely.”
Jen says, in a confessional, “If Chris can do this, then I can move on from this situation. And so can Coach.”
Jen’s husband, University of Utah assistant football coach Sharrieff Shah, hosts a barbecue, and the guest list includes Seth (Meredith’s husband), Justin (Whitney’s husband), Ernesto (Danna’s husband), Shawn (Angie K.’s husband) and John (Lisa’s husband). In a confessional, Sharrieff says, “When our wives are crazy, we need to remember that, listen, not everything has to bleed into our relationship.”
Seth and John step outside for an awkward chat, and Seth immediately brings up Lisa’s Season 2 rant about Meredith. “I’ve never had a situation like this where I have a friend whose wife went crazy on my wife,” he says, asking, “How would you feel if Meredith said Lisa Barlow’s a garbage whore?”
John quickly points out that Meredith also has things to answer for. “Your wife brought up rumors that Lisa cheated on me just out of the blue,” he says. “I mean, I don’t think anybody can walk around and say that they have never done anything dumb and that they regret it and ask for forgiveness.”
They go back and forth on this for a bit without any real resolution, but they tell each other they value their friendship and hug awkwardly. They go back in the house and tell Sharrieff they’re better with each other than they were before they talked.
Seth asks Sharrieff how he’s doing, what with Jen about to go on trial.
“I believe that God never makes mistakes. Never,” Sharrieff says. “And so I am exactly where I’m supposed to be. And some days that is painful. … And I cry … because I can’t control the outcome.”
The guys tell Sharrieff they’re there to support him.
Meeting Meredith’s family
Meredith is hosting her sister, Myra; her niece, Lily; and her nephew, Alex. He’s the nephew who, Meredith said at the Season 2 reunion, was dealing with “mental health issues.”
In a confessional, Meredith says, “With Alex, it’s been a long journey,” and he has been “struggling in different ways. He went to multiple facilities for mental health, for drug addiction. Um, and it just didn’t seem to be getting much better. And, um, last winter, he drank a bottle of bleach.”
Myra says an upcoming charity event that Meredith is hosting to raise money for mental health issues is “almost like this is a celebration of where [Alex] is in his life. And, she adds, it should be a “positive event” and questions which of the other Housewives Meredith intends to invite.
“That’s a wildcard with a lot of the women here,” Meredith says, pointing to both Lisa and Jen. And Whitney “has apparently continued to insist to Lisa that I’m the one who started these rumors” about Lisa’s alleged infidelity “to the point where John said something to Seth about it.”
In a flashback to an earlier conversation between Meredith and Seth, Meredith continues to insist she “did not accuse” Lisa, but “Whitney did.”
Meredith is still playing that game — she told multiple people that she heard rumors about Lisa, but because she was simply repeating what she’d heard, she holds herself blameless.
Religion at the Barlow house
Lisa’s 8-year-old son, Henry, has a new set of scriptures with his name embossed on the cover. That should come in handy because Lisa says she wants “to get back to ... where we’re doing ... scripture study, Bible study together at least once a week.”
In a confessional, Lisa says she’s “not super proud of … the example I set for [her 17-year-old son] Jack and Henry.” She says she’s “spiritual, but I think it’s important that my kids see me make the effort to get up and go to church with them on Sunday.” She’s planning to do that as a “course correction” and a “way of acknowledging that … I messed up.”
She tells her sons that “if your core is focused on God, your life will be a little easier.” And John tells their sons to think about “meditation as a way of praying.”
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