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The Real Housewives Of Salt Lake City Episode 13
At the start of the season 1 finale, the Real Housewives Of Salt Lake City producers set up their thesis for the episode — that Salt Lake City is synonymous with Mormonism — with a series of temple shots shown while a heavenly choir makes churchy noises.
It is rough for those of us who still feel a tad uncomfy with our religion being discussed on the same network that airs Married To Medicine.
Cut to Whitney meditating with a crystal:
and remembering the Vegas trip trauma, presented in the Willow filter and reverb:
Lisa is busy at work:
but also plagued by unwelcome flashbacks:
Based on the intensity of the Vegas footage, you would think these women had murdered a man, buried him in some back country woods, and are praying the police don’t discover the shovels they left in an abandoned car.
Some editor went hog wild with the fades and tilts and mischievous bass line:
It reminds me very much of when I made my first powerpoint presentation on crocodiles in fifth grade and I used every available slide transition:
Even Mary, who didn’t go to Vegas, gets a flashback of a phone call:
After we all recover from the nausea/minor seizure, we find Heather and Dre prepping their new Beauty Lab Laser location for it’s opening reception:
Heather commits some light sexual harassment:
and blames the construction and party-planning delays on her weekend vacation:
Just when Heather has finished lecturing her team about their time crunch, Whitney pops by,
and the two gossip in the corner about Jen.
Downtown, Lisa walks into Lake Effect:
Then Jen arrives,
and orders a vodka:
Turns out Lisa ran into Jen on their way out of the Vegas hotel. She could tell Jen had been crying. In fact, Jen burst into tears when she saw Lisa, and that broke Lisa’s heart, so they made a plan to meet back in Utah and talk.
So they talk.
And Jen explains that she is the way she is because she feels like she has to be.
And this is another moment when I realize just how massive my blind spot is when it comes to the experience of minorities living in Utah.
Last week a reader kindly reached out and offered her own perspective as a brown woman raised in Utah. “We don’t have the luxury of blending in, every day is survival,” she told me. “Being dismissed as aggressive and angry by women who don’t have the capacity to understand [our] culture is maddening.”
Not that I think Jen’s behavior is entirely excusable. She has done some things that she should probably apologize for. But that insight has helped me better understand why Jen sometimes reads as aggressive, and is made to look more aggressive with creative editing.
In the end, Jen acknowledges she needs to meet her friends halfway, and be aware when she starts feeling defensive:
Next we find Meredith in her naturally lit kitchen, slicing bananas:
Meredith slices a banana for Seth.
Meredith tells Seth that the other women have been spreading rumors about their marriage:
Seth advises Meredith to be honest about their relationship.
And Meredith claims that the other women are focusing on her marriage to distract from the problems they have in their own marriages:
Meanwhile, Whitney’s dad trims Whitney’s hair for a captive audience at his audition to teach at a hair school.
Steve has completed his sobriety program and is ready to jump back into his career as a hair stylist, much to Whitney’s relief:
Back at the old Beauty Lab Laser, Meredith and Heather, a very odd pair, sit down over champagne and have a midday chat about Jen.
Heather wants to forgive Jen, but says Jen needs to cop to the damage she’s done.
Because, you guys, you won’t believe this, but Heather’s relationship with Jen reminds her of her marriage.
Heather claims she no longer wants to just put up and shut up. We’ll see.
Over at Vida headquarters, the Barlow boys — big gulps in hand — walk into a meeting with Lisa and her marketing coordinator.
Jack and Henry are there to talk Fresh Wolf marketing strategy. Henry struggles to focus.
Likely because he’s nine and has no interest in marketing or strategy. But Lisa feels differently:
Jack does the best a fifteen-year-old can do in pitching his product,
and is met with rave reviews.
Lisa encourages Jack to continue working on his presentation so he can meet with investors and take Fesh Wolf to the next level. And she encourages Henry to stop playing with the dry erase markers.
Then there’s this:
A portrait of Mary’s grandmother who was married to Mary’s husband (who may have had her murdered?), shaking hands with Jesus. It hangs in the church where Mary’s grandmother used to preach, and where Mary has now replaced her, not only as a preacher, but as a wife to Robert Senior. I find myself unable to process this both emotionally and mentally. Like the giant bowl of lemons, this has broken me.
We’re at Mary’s church to watch her berate some choir members.
In her ITM, Mary says church is a place of rescue where love should always flow.
All the way down in freaking Orem, Sharrieff has prepared a surprise ballroom date night for Jen:
Jen arrives and is immediately in it to win it:
Jen and Sharrieff take to salsa dancing with astonishing speed and precision:
And the process seems to ignite some passions between the couple:
Once the dancing is done, the Jen Shah apology tour begins:
Sharrieff tells Jen that she needs to acknowledge her shortcomings and apologize to her friends, but that he knows her intentions are only ever good.
And then, the time has come for the women to get dressed for the final party of the season and at our current vaccination rates, possibly their life times.
Meredith models for Brooks:
And then decides she prefers the look without the pants.
Looks like the Beauty Lab Laser team pulled off their Victoria Secret dupe just in time
for their guests to arrive.
Among the guests is Billy, the man Heather spends ninety percent of her camera time accusing of ruining her life:
and the man she now insists she be photographed with?
Heather even gives him a private tour of the new facility?
Maybe because he helped pay for it? I don’t know. I’m very confused. And kind of mad at her. Even more so when she asks Billy for his approval:
YOU DON’T NEED HIS APPROVAL, HEATHER. PLEASE STOP ASKING FOR IT.
Also, I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a more uncomfortable person on camera than Billy. Please don’t make him do this anymore:
But Billy does manage to eek out the validation Heather needs:
Mary arrives and has some questions about the branded napkins:
And Meredith arrives in the mask of a trypophobe’s nightmares:
Either Meredith was an early covid-fashion adopter or she doesn’t understand how babies are made:
It’s at this point in the episode that I get very distracted. Because I spot my childhood friend Sara Jane:
Sara Jane taught me how to ride a horse and told me the truth about Santa Clause. Her house was the first house I ever visited that had a drinking fountain in the kitchen. It was a foundational friendship.
I run into her every few years around town, and it’s always a delightful encounter. She is genuine and one of the nicest people alive and while I dreaded the day I would see someone I know personally on this show, I’m glad it’s Sara Jane.
Whitney isn’t so supportive of Meredith’s choice in accessories:
And neither is Mary:
But Lisa at least pretends to love it:
Probably because she needs to flatter Meredith to soften the blow when she tells her she’s on Team Jen now:
Lisa tells Meredith that after talking with Jen, she feels like it’s time to accept Jen again. But Meredith isn’t so ready to forgive and forget. In fact, she’s now upset with Lisa for reconciling with Jen. Which is funny because the reason Jen was upset with Meredith is because Meredith reconciled with Whitney.
Things get a little tense between the two women who have been the closest of allies up until this point:
Then the main character arrives:
Whitney is the first to approach:
Jen, whose strategy is to “Michelle Obama her way through the evening,” apologizes for reacting the way she did to Whitney in Vegas.
Then Lisa and Jen laugh it up because they’re tight now:
while Meredith watches:
Heather gives a speech that starts the same way all of her speeches start:
and concludes by her saying she’s no longer just a divorced mom. So please, PLEASE, let us move on and see Heather thrive. I cannot watch this woman be sad for one more second.
Jen finds Meredith,
and says she’s sorry.
Meredith tells Jen that she appreciates the apology, but it will take time to repair their relationship:
Then Heather appears,
and it’s time for the final show down:
Heather tells Jen how it hurt her when Jen said she didn’t trust her. And from there things escalate and voices raise, so Lisa approaches and asks for inside voices.
Heather eventually demands an apology, and we’re back to yelling.
Then, Jen breaks.
She not only apologizes to Heather, but to everyone at the table:
But that’s not enough? The women need more specificity?
Cause they need to drag out the episode? I don’t get it and I’m bored.
Jen apologizes again,
And then, finally, Heather accepts her apology and borrows some lip gloss and they’re good.
Then, Heather brings it on home, saying Mormonism taught her she needed to act a certain way, but her friends taught her she could be whoever she wants to be.
THERE IT IS.
We get some deranged end-of-the-teen-movie-where-are-they-nows:
And so it ends.
I’m going to miss these women over the next few months. And I’m not sure what to do with my Wednesday nights until we get season 2. I know the reunion is my last chance to spend some time with them for a while, but it’s not the same as being in their homes, in their offices, and in every trendy restaurant in the valley.
I won’t be recapping the reunion, but Emily and I will be discussing it on The Green Room, and I will be writing the occasional housewife update during filming, so subscribe to our newsletter and never miss any breaking news. Also, support our content by becoming a Hive Mind patron.