Photo: Eagle. Photo: Bravo
The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City in crisis. The wheels fall off the sprinter truck as it goes full speed and no one is in the driver’s seat. The plotlines don’t make sense, the arguments lack any coherence, and Jin Shah skips the reunion (an even more unforgivable offense than her true offenses to Bravo fans). Sure, there’s still fun in the mess or when Lisa Barlow says anything. However, the season has become increasingly unencumbered by the sensible rules of engagement we’ve grown accustomed to.
It’s our third day in San Diego, but it feels like an eternity. I’m already starting to forget what snow looks like and Angie H. Jane wakes up surrounded by her scattered clothes and half-baked pizza with a full face of makeup still on from the night before. She is able to pull herself together in time to get an urgent text from Heather in her office: “I have a problem, can you come to my room. I’m serious.”
She frantically turns up to find Heather in her now-famous black sunglasses, which hide the mysterious black eye that’s been haunting viewers since the trailer dropped. But now, we’re finally here at the moment. Jane is shocked to see Heather’s battle wounds (or is she?) and gets Ice to tuck behind her sunglasses. She asks what happened, but Heather says she doesn’t know. “I don’t want to get anyone in trouble, Jane,” Heather tells her ominously. “That’s why I want you to help me figure out if someone wants to talk about what really happened last night. We need a cover story.”
What in the name of God do we watch? Why are we talking in code? If a cover story is being created, shouldn’t it happen off camera? Instead, this dramatic thriller spirals into complete farce as Lucy and Ethel begin brainstorming a good cover: spider bite? Peanut allergy? Tinder date gone bad? battle bar? “We need a good cover story for this eye because I don’t want any of the ladies to get in any trouble,” Heather repeats before they decide she’s going to say she doesn’t know what happened.
Our first test subject to see if this cover story is Meredith, whom they call into the room to find out the damage. She is especially shocked that they were with her until 4am last night, which we see through the room’s security camera. It turns out that the doorknob jiggle we’ve seen for weeks at upcoming attractions has Jen, Meredith, and Angie coming – but we see them all leave while Heather is still in one piece. When Jane gets out, Meredith continues to question her. “I don’t want to talk about it,” Heather whispers. “You know what happened,” Meredith says.
We see them craft this cover story, but we don’t exactly fill in what they’re covering — although the suggestion is that one of the women is to blame. Hypothetically…it was obviously Gene, right? There is a big storm coming in the prison yard.
When all the women are gathered, and ready to start their day, Whitney asks about the topless excitement they had the night before. “I think we all know what happened; women are shocked,” Heather says, revealing her eyes. “Take a shot every time Heather takes off her sunglasses dramatically and she’ll wake up with a black eye, too. But when they all ask what happened, Heather says she doesn’t know,” he points out. To him Lisa contradicts what she said Just He said about them all know.
When Lisa says it looks like someone taped it, Heather says, “Somebody probably did, and they don’t want to talk about it.” Well, Heather, this dramatic thriller is only fun if you finally tell us what happened. whodunit only works when we eventually discover their identity. Imagine if Miss Marple said, “I don’t want to talk about it,” or Sherlock Holmes kept the suspect’s identity to himself because he wanted to protect Jin Shah.
Whitney is horrified that Heather is trying to sweep this under the rug while implying that someone hit her, but even so, sweeping it under the rug is exactly what’s going on. Soon after, we’re in go-karts. Heather teams up with Lisa because she knows she’ll be too busy talking about herself to ask about her eye, and she’s quickly proven right. Meanwhile, the other women all speculate about infection in their private vans as they cruise the streets of San Diego. This is by far the funniest place imaginable to have such serious conversations about if and how their colleague was assaulted.
The whimsy continues as Whitney, Dana and Lisa go roller skating on the boardwalk, ice cream in hand as if in the opening credits of Three company. Meanwhile, the other women followed their noses, floating on air like Pepé Le Pew to the nearest charcuterie board (which Heather fed up with, people finally sounded). Both of their conversations naturally come back in the eye of Heather, who Whitney suspects Jane is responsible for. But Heather is adamant about not wanting to talk about it, even telling us in a confession that she won’t toss her “theories” until everyone else does — calling it all a game of Texas Hold’em where no one shows the cards. No, Heather, this is Rock’em Sock’em Robots.
Fortunately, there are other dramas to discuss. We also return to a conflict you almost forgot amid all the fanfare: Meredith seeks revenge for Lisa’s hot moment. After testing the waters with some rumors of infidelity and doing favors for Vida, it appears she has landed her file with the SEC. Well, technically it was Jen who raised him this time, but Meredith has planted the seed and is ready to harvest. “They have to disclose her debt, and they have a loan from [BLEEP] Well below market value,” Meredith tells us. Is BLEEP the same as BLEEP from Utah Jazz tickets?
Dana, the season’s homing pigeon, tells Lisa at the same time about Meredith who is on the same SEC file. Very well timed thank you producers. Understandably, Lisa begins to rage at this act of revenge, denying it all while getting angry that Meredith is doing the same thing that Lisa got herself into trouble for. As you rant, the booming score plays as if we’re in The Avengers Movie, but Thanos is on roller skates. “I don’t pop pills, bitch. You do,” she concludes beautifully.
The women all discuss the SEC filing and Lisa’s finances, as they do when she’s in The Real Housewives. But all I can think of is how much you must hate someone for reading a multi-page financial document and willingly deciphering corporate terminology. Could anything be worth it?
Back at home, Angie K. A Greek-themed dinner, and Heather is shown wearing a bedazzled eye patch that Jane happens to be traveling with. Even if I have to visit this prison myself to ask through a glass wall, I simply have to know why Jin Shah brought an eye patch on this trip.
Lisa is nervous after Angie told her all about the SEC conversation, and she and Whitney waste no time in confronting the issue head-on. “Who talked about the SEC filing on Lisa?” Whitney asks the table, which is just as calm as Heather’s question with her eyes. Meredith denies talking about her with a “passing disagreement,” but luckily Angie is here to set the record straight, which she has to do when Lisa reveals that she has upset the other ladies.
According to Lisa, this is all about “dementia”. We sit in the shit, making the rounds in it, rather than marching through it. But Meredith insists it wasn’t just a rant and Lisa did a lot of little things that added up. Like talking about her behind her back, not calling when her dad was sick, and “my makeup artist canceled at the eleventh hour in the height of a global pandemic when I couldn’t infect someone else.” Honestly, it looks like Meredith might be more crazy about it than her “trash whore,” which is fair. When we eventually get into a semantic battle over whether it’s Rant or Tirade, Heather has to jump in.
“I think my eyes might be a metaphor for our friendships,” she says, and she’s right because neither of them make any sense. But this prompts Whitney to ask again what happened, but all she gets is a warning: “If you receive a secret knock on your door, do not answer.” This show does not know the genre. Heather’s confession producer doesn’t have much luck trying to get a straight answer, either. “First rule of fight club,” Heather said before saying that the person you’re trying to protect… is himself.
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