Most of “The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City” freak out in the Sept. 26 episode — hurling insults and spite at one another — but Lisa Barlow’s freakout over makeup is the most epic. And, by the way, she thinks that members of the middle class own $60,000 rings.
Midway through the episode, with the Housewives still on a “girls’ trip” to Palm Springs, California, Whitney Rose announces that everyone must participate in a drag makeup competition. Lisa is not at all happy about this. “The one thing I love control over is the way I look,” she says. “And I have none of that.”
Not only did she fly her makeup artist to Palm Springs — paying her $2,500 on top of airfare — but she hates “theme stuff. … This is [expletive] torture.” In a confessional, Lisa says:
• She spends, on average, “$60,000 a year on glam.”
• She gets her makeup done “daily” by a makeup artist, who is “on retainer.”
• She doesn’t just get her makeup done for big events, but when she goes to the grocery store.
Lisa tells one of the producers, “I am so over this,” and refuses to participate in the drag makeup contest. That producer calls a second producer to Lisa’s room. “It’s not about looking ugly,” Lisa insists. “I don’t give a[n expletive] about that. It’s about my face.”
Next door, Monica Garcia can hear Lisa “losing her [expletive],” and she calls Lisa “privileged AF.”
In a confessional, Lisa says, “I have glam in Monaco. I have glam in St. Tropez. I have glam everywhere I go. I like to look a certain way when I’m out in public. It’s my face.”
Later in the episode, Monica accuses Lisa of being “materialistic” because, among other things, Lisa keeps talking about the $60,000 ring she lost in the Palm Springs airport. Lisa says, “You think I can’t relate to the middle class America. I do 100%.” Monica shoots back, “Middle class people don’t have $60,000 rings.”
“Yes, they do,” Lisa says, seemingly unaware that she has destroyed her argument that she can relate to middle-class Americans.
The T-shirt battle
In the previous episode, Meredith gave the five women she invited to join her in Palm Springs — Lisa, Heather, Monica, Whitney and Mary — T-shirts emblazoned, “No trix, all trust.” Meredith did not have a T-shirt for Angie, who was not invited. (Whitney brought her along). So Angie takes a white T-shirt to the motel office and asks for a Sharpie — which she uses to write, “No trust, all trix.” The motel employee, who doesn’t know the full context, says, “Oh, that’s so sad. You’re making your own shirt.”
Meredith tells the other women that today’s activity involves working with someone named Cliff, “who is going to lead us through these trust exercises.” And she is visibly unhappy when Angie barges in, wearing her hand-lettered shirt.
In a confessional, Angie says, “Look, Meredith wants to be petty. I can be petty, too. It was either make this t-shirt or call a hit out on her family.”
Whitney is wildly irritated by Meredith’s behavior the previous night. She correctly points out that Meredith has a habit of shutting down anyone who contradicts her by “saying, ‘I can’t talk about this right now. Do you know what I’m going through?’” Whitney says. “It’s, like, wait, you can say whatever you want to someone, but the minute that they try to defend themselves or respond, you’re going to bring in and reach for anything?” (Like some still unspecified problems a friend’s 3-year-old grandchild is experiencing.)
Lisa agrees. She’s “working towards moving forward with Meredith, but it doesn’t mean I’m oblivious to the fact that everything gets weaponized.” She doesn’t want to be caught in the middle of Meredith’s fight with Angie, but she’s not happy that Meredith threatened to reveal gossip about Angie’s marriage and family — as she did to Lisa in previous seasons. “And I’m like, ‘Not this again!’”
A new show-mance
Meredith thanks Monica for being “very kind to me” when “not everybody was, to say the least.” Although Monica is friends with Angie, she says Angie’s behavior toward Meredith was “completely uncalled for,” “really tacky” and “embarrassing.” Monica tells Meredith she wants to be her friend “and it means a lot that you … invited me to come on this trip.”
In a confessional, Monica says, “I don’t understand the beef between Meredith and Angie.” (She’s not alone.) There’s a flashback to the previous evening, with Angie asking Monica, “Whose side are you on here? I’m hurt.”
Monica, however, stood up to Angie: “I was shocked at some of the stuff you said” to Meredith. In a confessional, Monica says she’s “seeing so much weird unexplainable behavior from [Angie] this trip that I haven’t seen before.”
Is she joking?
In a confessional, Heather blames the fact that she drank so much the previous evening, got sick and barfed on the shuttle bus on the other women. “Every time I ordered Espresso Martini, it was a test … of my friends to see if I can trust them to keep me on track,” she says. “And they obviously failed me.”
(This seems like a joke, but there isn’t even a hint of a smile on Heather’s face.)
She apologizes to Whitney “for vomiting on your leg.” In a confessional of her own, Whitney says, “That was one of the grossest moments of my life.”
Misanthropic Mary, Part 1
The women arrive at a Palm Springs park for the trust-building activity, and Mary refuses to get out of the bus. “I can’t be standing in the park in the rain, because I’m no longer a soccer mom. I’m a hard no.”
And besides, she says she doesn’t need a trust-building exercise. “I know exactly who not to trust out of this entire group.” In a confessional, she says, “I don’t need somebody to tell me how to build a stronger bond with people. I already have my relationship built … with my higher help,” she says, pointing to heaven.
(For the umpteenth time, viewers can only wonder about the inconsistency between Mary’s profession of religious faith and her decidedly un-Christian-like behavior.)
Is anyone building trust?
The trust-building activity is called “the minefield,” and it’s sort of obstacle course. The women pair off — Heather and Angie, Monica and Lisa, Meredith and Whitney. One wears a blindfold; the other tells the what to do to get out of the minefield.
Monica wants to know if there’s a prize for the winner. Cliff, the activity leader, says it’s “that trust that you’re building.”
In a confessional, Heather says, “I’m not sure Cliff knows exactly what he’s dealing with. This isn’t your normal, like, corporate slights and offenses at the printer that you’re going to have to overcome. We have destroyed marriages, careers. We’ve sent one of our friends to prison.”
There is a decided difference of opinion about whether the exercise is building any trust. In a confessional, Monica says, “this is not going to fix anything” between her and Lisa. “Not a damn thing.”
Heather, however, says she and Angie are “actually having a great time.” Angie agrees, which doesn’t make Meredith happy: “Of course the crasher is the one that gets the most out of the exercise,” she says in a confessional. “I’m glad she got her money’s worth on her free trip.”
Back on the bus, Mary says — seemingly to herself — “That is strange. That sign says ‘humps.’ It usually says ‘bumps.’ Why would they put ‘humps?’”
Later, still talking to herself, she wonders why Meredith scheduled this event at a park. “Why couldn’t she take us somewhere a little more luxurious?”
Misanthropic Mary, Part 2
Meredith tells Mary, “I wish you had just participated. Because today was about building trust and being there for each other.” Mary tries to justify her non-participation, and rudely cuts Lisa off when she enters the conversation: “Don’t interrupt. This is not between you and me. … Don’t do that.”
Mary continues talking, and she’s wearing dark glasses so it’s impossible to know who she’s addressing. When Lisa starts to reply, Mary says, “I’m not talking to you. Like, do you have the mute button?”
“No, I don’t,” Lisa says. Mary rudely replies, “Well, you need to get one.” Lisa says, “I’m on ‘play’ all the time.”
The other women all look uncomfortable. In a confessional, Whitney says, “Why even get on the Sprinter van if you don’t want to participate? You don’t like us. You don’t want anything to do with this.” (Because Mary craved the attention that goes with being on the show?)
Mary says she has “no remorse” for skipping the activity. Whitney says, “But the point is, we wanted you there.” Mary replies, “Oh, I get the point, missy. … Move on. Next.” Cut to Mary in a confessional, childishly mocking Whitney.
Back in the van, Whitney asks Mary, “Why would you come on a girls’ trip with people you don’t want to be with?” Mary does not answer.
Whitney takes over
During lunch back at the motel, Whitney declares, “I’m going to take over. We’re going to have some fun tonight.” Trixie Mattel, at whose motel the Housewives are staying, is going to help them as they compete to see who can be the best faux drag queen.
Hostess Meredith is not happy. “Whitney and I just did a trust exercise. It was all about communication,” she says in a confessional. “Seriously, Whitney? Maybe I had something else planned today. Like, it’s not your trip.”
In her own confessional, Whitney says she’s “[expletive] bored. And I just honestly don’t think Meredith even realizes, like, what we have at our fingertips right now. We have the opportunity to get in drag with Trixie. Like, are you kidding me? This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”
The contest doesn’t go well. Whitney, Monica, Angie and Heather play along, with drag queen wigs, makeup and clothes. Surprisingly, Mary plays along — sort of — but without a wig and with makeup that doesn’t make her look more like a drag queen than she usually does.
But Meredith and Lisa don’t even try. In a confessional, Whitney says, “as the host of this trip. I at least expected Meredith to try. This is not giving me drag. She’s being a drag.”
In a confessional of her own, Lisa says, “For me, I’m winning. Because I get to look like me.”
Trixie declares Monica the winner of the contest. When the women go inside to eat, things are awkward. Monica makes things more awkward when she calls Meredith, Lisa and Mary a bunch of wet noodles.
Misanthropic Mary, Part 3
Sounding entirely friendly, Lisa asks Mary to walk outside with her. Mary nastily refuses: “No. Don’t change it and make it fake.”
In a confessional, Lisa says, “Mary has an issue with everything from the food to the way we talk to the activities we’re doing. I mean, Mary is never going to get the participation trophy. Like, never.”
On the bus to the bar, Lisa asks, “What was the ‘wet noodle’ conversation I walked into?” Monica says, “I’m shocked you didn’t dress up.” After a long pause, Lisa says, “I am dressed up. I’m in head-to-toe couture. I’ve got Valentino shoes on, a Fendi bag and beautiful eyeshadow.”
Monica tears up as she once again complains about Lisa bemoaning the loss of her $60,000 ring at the Palm Springs airport. (At this point, Monica seems more obsessed with it than Lisa is.) She says, “It’s hard for me, only because I’m going through my own [expletive]” and “there’s so much that you have to be thankful for. … It’s just so tone-deaf to hear you talk about money and your successes. ... And maybe because you’ve lived this lifestyle for so long, you’re outside or removed from most of America. Like, the 1% of people in the world live like you.”
Lisa is highly offended by this: “My life isn’t [expletive] perfect. I work my ass off. And I’m not going to apologize for one bit of me. I like myself.” Monica exclaims, “That’s what’s rude!”
“I’m a good person,” Lisa replies. “I’m thoughtful. I’m considerate. I think of others nonstop. You don’t [expletive] know me so don’t [expletive] judge me.”
Lisa tells Monica she’s “so sorry for what you’re going through” — getting divorced from her husband for the second time and raising four children — and Monica explodes. There’s a lot of screaming, which is hard to decipher, but Monica does call Lisa “shallow,” and curses at her repeatedly.
Lisa tells Monica her behavior is hypocritical — pointing to the $5,000 bag she bought — and Angie agrees. Monica then tears into Angie: “You live up her [expletive], so stay there.” She turns to Lisa and says, “no one can hear you ‘cause your dog [Angie] is barking for you.” It’s an unpleasant outburst from Monica, who isn’t doing herself any favors.
In a confessional, Whitney says, “I mean, I’m just getting to know Monica. I haven’t seen this side of her. I think it’s nasty. And I’m stunned. Is this how you treat all of your friends?”
Misanthropic Mary, Part 4
The women arrive at StreetBar, and — surprise! — Mary refuses to go in and says she’ll stay in the van. When the other women exit, Mary — who has mocked Lisa’s love of fast food and demanded “luxurious” settings — asks the driver to take her to McDonald’s.
The oh-so-elegant Mary orders a Filet-O-Fish sandwich, a six-piece Chicken McNuggets, and large fries. Because she’s “starving.”
Whitney vs. Meredith
Whitney goes after Meredith for ducking the drag makeup, the same way she ducks arguments by asserting that something much more serious is going on in her life, or in the world. “I was hopeful that you would get in drag with us tonight,” Whitney says. Meredith replies, “We’re two different people, Whitney. I don’t have to mimic you.”
Whitney says that if she had planned the trip, “we would really lean into, like, the drag and all of that.” Meredith reminds her, “you didn’t plan the trip.” And, she adds, she’s “had a shooting headache for two days.” Whitney implies that Meredith insulted Trixie by not playing along — something we did not hear from Trixie — and Meredith tells her that’s baloney.
And then Whitney takes things too far. “So it’s someone’s sister-in-law’s grandson’s 3-year-old and it’s a headache and it’s this and that, when it is really about …” A furious Meredith interrupts: “Don’t you [expletive] go there. You’re a monster. Get out of my face. … You are disgusting. You take a sick child who will suffer for the rest of his life to weaponize against me. Don’t you dare!”
We still don’t know exactly what this is about, but Meredith is absolutely furious. She stalks off angrily. Whitney follows, sitting next to Meredith at the bar. “Hi, it’s me again,” Whitney says. Meredith replies, “Not really interested.” And Whitney says, “Well, you should be.”
Meredith vs. Angie
Whitney continues to go after Meredith. Meredith makes the excuse that she’s had a tough time because, “I had an animal, like a pitbull, going after me.” She’s talking about Angie, who overhears this conversation. “Did you just call me a pitbull, Meredith?” Angie asks.
Meredith turns her back on Angie, who keeps haranguing her about the “pitbull” comment. Angie calls Meredith “inappropriate, rude” and “classless” (acting like a pitbull who won’t let go); Meredith says Angie is “disgusting.”
Angie tells Meredith, “You look like a trampoline with eyes.” (What?) Meredith laughs.
(We don’t know how much any of them have had to drink. But it seems like a lot.)
Monica vs. Angie
Monica asks Heather and Meredith to confirm that Angie is indeed Lisa’s “little bitch.” They do so. Angie overhears, and tells Monica she’s “not being my friend,” and takes great offense at the earlier “lap dog” comment.
“Don’t put your fingers in my face, like Jen Shah,” Monica says. (Yes, there is a great similarity to the disgraced, imprisoned ex-Housewife.) And then they argue about who was closer to Jen. “You were her assistant,” Angie says. Monica replies, “honey, you can’t be someone’s assistant when you don’t pay them.”
Angie is not buying it. “I know she got paid,” she says in a confessional. “She’s trying to pretend there’s no history with Jen. It feels shady. It feels fake. And it feels like Monica is trying to pretend that she’s someone that she’s not.”
In a confessional of her own, a highly animated Monica insists, “There’s nothing wrong with being an assistant. And second of all, all of these bitches were Jen Shah’s assistant.” They all “did favors for Jen. And none of us got paid for doing it.”
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