A screaming match in a shuttle bus turns into something physical, and Meredith Marks once again stands accused of having an affair in the latest episode of “The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City.”
Push comes to shove
Late in the episode, there’s a definite feeling of done that, hope that doesn’t happen again. The Housewives are getting on the same shuttle bus with the same driver as the day they were all supposed to head to Vail, Colorado — until Jen Shah got a call, got off the bus, and police and Homeland Security showed up looking to arrest her.
“This is like PTSD. ... I just hope here’s no FBI coming to raid the bus this time,” Jennie Nguyen says, as they’re gathering in a parking lot at Sugar House Park. And they’re headed for Zion National Park.
There are a lot of hugs, air kisses and raucous laughter. And, once again, Jennie, Jen, Heather Gay, Whitney Rose and Lisa Barlow are on the bus — and Meredith and Mary Cosby are not.
“I don’t think it’s coincidence,” Whitney says in a confessional. “Like, is it because Jen’s here? Is it because I’m here? Do we smell? Do they not like our snack choices?”
Meredith told them she missed the bus ride to Vail because of a memorial for her late father — but now, the women on the bus express doubts about whether that was true.
Jen brings up the fact that Meredith hired a private investigator to look into her, and she is not happy. “Who hires a private investigator on somebody unless you don’t have [expletive] to hide yourself,” she says in a confessional, struggling a bit with grammar. On the bus, Jen says, “I think we can all agree, if you’re going to hire a private investigator, your intention is to do harm.”
Jen doesn’t have Meredith there to rip into, so she turns on Lisa. She repeatedly — and increasingly aggressively — goes after Lisa for not reining in “your best friend of 10 years,” Meredith.
“Don’t take it out on me,” Lisa says, again and again.
Jen complains that “everyone believes” what Meredith says, but, “if Jen Shah says it, holy [expletive], we need 10 years, 10 judges, three priests and a bunch of nuns.”
Lisa points out that it’s not like she and Meredith have been the best of friends of late. “We were not OK” at Jennie’s luncheon or at Whitney’s event in recent weeks. “I call out what I think is right and wrong,” Lisa says.
“Do you think what Meredith did all last year was wrong?” Jen asks, becoming increasingly agitated, “by targeting me when it wasn’t just my fault. … It’s not my fault because she [expletive] had an affair!”
In Season 1, Jen alluded to the possibility that Meredith had an affair while she and her husband, Seth, were separated. This time, she’s making a clear accusation. And she’s clearly claiming that Meredith’s antipathy toward her is the result of her knowledge of that affair.
But Meredith isn’t there. So Jen is screaming at Lisa, who tries to remain calm. “I don’t want to be held accountable for what anybody else says and does,” Lisa says. Jen shoots back: “But that’s your best friend.”
Lisa says, calmly, that she thinks she’s in “a hard situation because I care about both of you.” But Jen is screaming at Lisa to choose between her and Meredith. She’s arguing that the other women should be friends with her, and not with Meredith.
It’s almost funny when Lisa tells Jen she doesn’t want tension between them and Jen shouts, “There is no tension!”
“You treat Meredith differently than you treat me and everyone else,” Jen tells Lisa. “That’s the [expletive] truth.”
“You guys have to understand, Lisa says, “I’ve been friends with her ... “
Jen interrupts and loudly says, “Good. She’s a piece of [expletive]. So sign up for her.”
In a confessional, Lisa says, “It’s kind of ironic that Jen’s asking me to choose sides right now. I have chosen sides. I have had Jen’s back more than anybody else. And, like, putting my friendship with Meredith almost on the line. I’m at the point where I’m done. It’s never enough.”
Back on the bus, Lisa accuses Meredith of a “double standard ... I don’t know how she can say, ‘I love kindness. I want to be kind,’ and defend the person that’s the [expletive] meanest in the whole [expletive] group” — a clear shot at Mary.
Jen continues with her “I wish I could be treated the same” as Meredith and Lisa has had it. “I have treated you the same! I had your [expletive] back!” she exclaims. Jen replies that Lisa didn’t defend her online when she was arrested on federal fraud and money laundering charges. (Jen continues to maintain her innocence.)
Jen keeps up with the demands that she be treated the same as Meredith. Lisa says she will. Jen calls her a liar. Heather tries to calm the situation by stating that all of them, including Lisa, will do that “going forward.” Lisa agrees.
But Jen escalates, screeching at Lisa and making incoherent demands. Jen stands up, moves toward Lisa and shouts, “Shut the [expletive] up!” She keeps it up until Lisa snaps, yelling back at Jen. Lisa is incredibly upset, and it’s difficult to understand exactly what she’s saying.
Lisa gets up and tries to move to the front of the bus, apparently to put as much distance between herself and Jen as possible. Jen moves in and blocks her path, leaning in aggressively and screaming in her face. “Get out of my way!” Lisa says, putting her hand on Jen’s shoulder and trying to get past her. " A member of the TV crew tries to grab Jen from behind to pull her away from Lisa. “Push me one more [expletive] time,” Jen threatens Lisa.
And that’s the end of the episode … to be continued next week.
Heather and Jen
Earlier in the episode, Heather is at the Cliff Lodge spa with Jen “to show … that I care.” She cares so much that she reveals that Meredith is throwing a party, and Jen is not invited. “B----,” Jen says, referring to Meredith. And, in a confessional, she calls Meredith “an evil ass b----.”
Jen tells Heather she thinks Meredith is treating her “different” because of the charges against her. And she’s amazed that Meredith is now best friends with Mary, who “has said so many hurtful things, but people don’t call her out for it,” Jen says.
Heather agrees, adding that it’s strange to see Meredith be loyal to Mary and not Lisa. “She is absolutely Mary’s number one. And Meredith is Mary’s number one. And who saw that ever happening?”
Jen calls Meredith a hypocrite. “Meredith is about, supposedly, what’s right and wrong. Come on! You know Mary M. Cosby is wrong. [Mary] can dish it out, but the second you tell her that she said something very racially insensitive, inappropriate, she’ll just, like, ‘I’m not talking’ and leave.”
Heather says that’s what happened in Vail, when Mary refused to talk about allegations against her and her church. “And Mary said to Lisa, ‘Look what happens when you mess with my church. You go to jail.”
(That’s paraphrasing what Mary said. It’s probably also worth pointing that Mary’s tagline at the top of the show is her saying, “If you come for me, I will send Jesus after you.”)
Heather asks if Jen thinks Mary had anything to do with her arrest. Jen says she “wouldn’t put anything past” Mary. And she questions whether Mary or Meredith might have tipped off the authorities where to find her the day she was arrested.
Heather agrees. “It seems like Mary and Meredith know more than any of us.”
John Barlow, Justin Rose, Seth Marks and Duy Tran (Jennie’s husband) meet at Mulligan’s in South Jordan for a round of golf. The discussion turns to Mother’s Day, and Justin suggests that “maybe we send the women away together to some type of excursion or retreat.” And the two of them who lose the golf match will pay. The other men agree.
Asked by a producer why he wants to send the wives on a trip, Justin says, “Let’s be honest. If the women can go on a trip and start to get along better, that just means more time for me and the guys.”
When the other husbands ask what he wants them to bring to his birthday party, Seth says, “Cleavage encouraged. Just make sure that message gets heard in your house.”
It’s party time
Meredith arranges a 49th birthday party for Seth, around the rooftop pool at Goldener Hirsch hotel in Deer Valley. She hires a dancer to dance in the hot tub. Which is weird.
Seth makes multiple off-color comments on the way to his party, including suggesting sex with Meredith on the way up in the elevator. Tactful as always, Seth tells a party guest that he and his brother “came out of the same mom’s vejayjay.”
The guest list includes two of the Marks children, 21-year-old Brooks and 19-year-old Chloe, along with the family dog, Teddy. “I, for sure, do not want to be the one to tell Jen that Teddy the dog made the guest list and she didn’t,” Heather says.
The gift bags include a shirtless selfie Seth took in a bathroom mirror. “No one understands that this is what you look like when you get separated and you’re going back into the playing field,” he says. (Seth and Meredith reconciled in Season 1.)
“If midlife crisis could be in a photo, that’s what it would be,” Chloe says.
Where is Jen?
Whitney wonders why Jen wasn’t invited. “Is there something else we don’t know? What if there’s a bigger picture that we don’t know about?”
Heather asks Meredith if she considered inviting Jen. Meredith says no. “I’m scared that this is going to really hurt Jen’s feelings,” Heather says. “I think Coach [Sharrieff Shah] and Seth seem to have, like, a bro-ship.”
But, Meredith says, there was not a “super compelling reason” to invite Jen. Whitney asks, “Is there more to the story … Is there more that we don’t know about?”
Meredith puts on her sunglasses and gets sort of a sour look on her face. After a long pause, she says, “Of course there is.” But she won’t specify. “I’ve said a lot already. And she is a person who is in a lot of pain, and I don’t know that I want to, like, do anything that’s going to inflict any more.”
She doesn’t answer the question.
Lisa tells a couple of party guests that John dated her older sister before he started dating her. “But they didn’t have sex.” They just kissed “a couple times.”
“Allegedly,” one of the guests says.
In a confessional, Lisa says, “When my sister first found out I was engaged to John — let’s just say she said a few things that probably weren’t that nice.”
Whitney brings Seth a cake in the shape of a pair of ample breasts, purportedly modeled on her own. “I know you have an appreciation for my cleavage,” Whitney says — and the producers helpfully insert three clips of Seth making tacky comments about Whitney’s breasts, her “augmentation” and his desire for Meredith to get the same breast augmentation.
“I thought I’d give you a mouthful [so] that we never have to hear it again,” Whitney says, giving Seth the breast cake. And Justin licks the cake. It’s beyond tacky.
Mary, not surprisingly, doesn’t understand what’s happening. “If you’re going to bring a rack, bring Meredith’s rack. Don’t bring your own,” she says. “She doesn’t think Meredith’s rack is better looking? I do.”
Earlier in the episode, Mary asserts that she has a lot of “class.”
Mary is still Mary
Mary, who has made racist comments to Jennie twice that we know of, remains convinced that she’s in the right. And she thinks she’s punishing Jennie at the party.
“I’m ignoring Jennie because Jennie deserves to be ignored today,” Mary says. And she’s decidedly rude to Duy when he tries to be polite to her.
Mary continues to play the victim when Meredith asks how she was after she was called out for her racism. “It’s a struggle,” Mary says.
“It felt to me like it was an attack rather than someone trying to have a discussion with you so that you have growth,” says Meredith, who has refused to call out Mary for her racism. “We don’t all know everything.”
Meredith is suggesting that Mary, a 49-year-old woman, is unaware that “slanted eyes” and mocking Asian accents is wrong. And if she’s not condoning, she’s certainly excusing the fact that when Mary was told it was insulting and insensitive, she doubled down on it.
Mary confirms that she told Lisa the “gift” shoes that Jennie returned to her in the previous episode were originally meant for Jen. “Why would Lisa tell her that?” Meredith asks. And Mary uses this to try to further drive a wedge between Meredith and Lisa.
“Baby, Lisa is jealous of me and you,” Mary says. In a confessional, she adds, “I think Lisa’s jealous of my friendship with Meredith because she can’t deliver the honesty that Meredith and I have.”
That’s almost funny, given that we’ve seen Mary lie time and time again.
“Lisa has this vindictive way of pretending to care about you,” Mary says. “She’s all about Lisa.” Again … almost funny.
Mary says Lisa is coming after her because of Meredith. Meredith’s mouth hangs open.
Duy announces that he and John — who lost the golf game — are paying for the women to travel to Zion over Mother’s Day. Meredith does not look happy.
Jennie asks if Jen is invited. Turns out Sharrieff was part of the husbands group, although he wasn’t at the golf game, and Jen is invited.
“Usually for Mother’s Day, I love breakfast in bed. Maybe some spa time, I don’t know,” Meredith says. “But the last thing I was thinking was celebrating Mother’s Day with Mama Shah.”
Seth jumps in the pool. Whitney jumps/is pushed in. Meredith is pulled in. They get out of the pool and get into the hot tub, where they’re joined by Heather, Justin and Lisa.
But not Mary.
“I am not jumping in this water because I have on an Alexander McQueen outfit that was not made for a pool. I like my outfit,” she says with a shrug.
Jen and Sharrieff
The Shahs sit down to do “couples therapy homework” — they paint pictures, sort of, to express their feelings. Mostly, they paint words. Sharrieff doesn’t look thrilled, but he participates. He and Jen share some very sweet moments. She is a different woman when he is around.
Sharrieff asks Jen how the search for a smaller house is going, and we see clips of her in a house that she deems unacceptable — because its big closet isn’t big enough.
Sharrieff tells Jen all the “girls” are going on a trip to Zion, and that she’s one of the “girls.”
“But are you sure that I’m invited? Jen asks “Because Seth had a birthday party and we weren’t invited.” Sharrieff points out that Jen and Meredith have been feuding, which Jen denies. (Does she not know that Meredith has a grudge against her? How could she have missed it?)