‘Real Housewives of Salt Lake City’ Season Two, Episode 14

I believe this TV show completely destroyed my dopamine receptors. Sure, it could be the collective doom we’re all wading through, but I’d rather blame Andy Cohen for turning my brain into a shriveled little lump barely capable of feeling joy. I hunt the kite, always looking for the climax of those early-season bus moments. Even some Mormon defector talk, more allegations from cult leaders, and a wild lunch by the standards of most other franchises feels flat. And that’s before I even think about Jen Shah (who I feel kind of numb to at this point?). It always amazes me how quickly the human brain adapts to the stimuli of a new environment!

In other recent news, we’re opening up to Meredith’s house, where Brooks is preparing to stay up all night pulling a piece of BROOKSMARKS tape onto a blazer. Meredith has a nice, casual girls’ night, where the dress code is “blazer”. The entire Marks household is becoming less human and more sensitive with each passing hour. Lisa walks in and is relieved that Meredith has “food so we don’t get anorexic” and I know I graduated from Detective Procedural University, but I’m still pretty sure that eating disorders don’t work that way. Jennie is also coming so they can rehash the situation of the sister woman who I am increasingly convinced is completely wrong. If only because the girls react to Duy as a sloppy bastard by sipping some cucumber juice and dressing up in Meredith’s sex closet. We all have our means to deal with it, I think.

Two days later, Jen drives herself to meet Lisa for lunch. (PS – where is Stu on this timeline? I need more info on how he handled Shahhrest’s immediate fallout before joining the FBI.) You may have missed it if you also saw Jens Totally Hair’s Barbie confession were distracted, but she explains that she and Lisa talked an average of 3.2 hours a day on the phone before they were arrested. That is the same term as Schindler’s List. EVERY. DAY. How do these women find the time in between doing real and / or fraudulent business?

You order crispy chicken skin to start a toss of Bravo’s best-seeded dry-eyed screechers. Lisa tells Jen that she thinks she is innocent. Jen tells Lisa that her feelings are hurt because Lisa didn’t show up for her. Lisa tells Jen that her feelings were hurt over this Fresh Wolf thing (yes, that conversation was elaborate product placement, and yes, I fall for it again because it takes a lot to warm up again). Jen tells Lisa that she doesn’t care about anything and is just trying to fight for her freedom and her life. Absolutely not. If Ms. Shah was only about “fighting for her freedom” she would have listened to some legal advice during this investigation and quit her Bravo contract instead of starting a false feud because she wanted Lisa to be her best instead of Heather Girlfriend is.

Speaking of Heather, we’re continuing our TLC miniseries tucked away in a cute little pocket in the cinematic universe of Bravo. Her brother Tyler is visiting from Switzerland, where he has been raising his children for 15 years. In an ultimate step in power, he sent Heather a letter “for gravitas” to let her know that he was inspired by her Googling or whatever, and that he had also decided to leave Mormonism, even though he had previously worked three hours a day Zoom Church was in German. I guess the Gravitas didn’t give a shit because Heather left him reading. She says it was because she felt bad, influenced other people’s beliefs, which is her greatest fear. This is an incredible “greatest fear”, at least for me, an unbeliever whose greatest fears are open water, vomiting, and vomiting underwater. Also like death and spiritual decay or whatever.

I swear I haven’t tailored my greatest fears to flow neatly into Lisa’s and Whitney’s deep spring yoga adventure. All indications are that Lisa and Whitney both know serious shit about Cosby & Cronies. They are both reserved and measured against Mary in a way they are not about any other gossip. All the signs also suggest that Lisa is, in fact, someone who never works out. I used to be a naysayer, but showing up to yoga in a frilly top and denim shorts that instantly turned into a hot, heavy denim diaper is all the evidence we need. Case closed.

Jen continues her sympathy tour by explaining how grateful she is for having had the most difficult time of her entire life during Ramadan. She also tells Coach that she’s worried about downgrading to a smaller chalet since her home is a hub and she also employs the vast majority of her family, over $ 50,000 a month. Before judging this, please keep in mind that nepotism runs through the veins of almost every Housewives franchise. How we speak! With pleasure!

It’s finally time for the international Peace Garden lunch. Meredith is immediately upset when Jen shows up because “did. weather. NOT. have this. TALK not. to. invite me when you’ve invited. You ?! “I mean, say whatever you want, baby, but you’re all doing a TV show where people come down to the shoot and want to pick up the check. The girls are all doing their best until the clueless cosplayer Whitney does one Can of worms open. Make a can of snakes, pepper spray and whatever pheromones my cat got the bad zoomies on. Everyone’s screaming. Mainly who was talking the most shit behind Jen’s back.

Mary uses this opportunity to conduct her own investigations into Jen’s protégés because “she cares” and “does not judge”, then she lays down on Lisa because she is not aware of her behavior. Really wild allegations from someone showing up too late only to tell Jennie that she loves her slanted eyes and yellowish skin! The boldness surprises me again and again.

Then it’s music chairs until everyone but Heather, Whitney, and Jennie has a chance to perform a dramatic storm. At one point my brain turned to congealed goo as Jen and Lisa fought over who had more PTSD since the day of the arrest, but I snapped back when Meredith with the message “MY FAMILY TRAUMATIZED FOR TWO YEARS I AM NOT INTERESTED GOING BACK” came in. Was it because she had something new to say here? Absolutely not! Rather, it’s because I finally placed her vocal flair as an eerie match with Gene Wilder in the 1971 adaptation of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory – especially the “You lose! Good day sir! “Scene. I’ll sleep carefree tonight.

Eventually everyone sits down again to listen to Jen plead her innocence and Heather claim that if someone is there for Jen, it is the women at this table. I’m just having fun!! According to my detective work, there appears to be a continuity flaw – the waiters set down fresh bowls of Pho while the ladies make up, while there are empty bowls of Pho while everyone stomps off the table. So unless everyone has ordered seconds, it looks like lunch most likely didn’t end with some kind of decent kumbaya. 😈

See you next week to see Jen beg her mom to liquidate those 401k in pursuit of freedom! In the meantime, a discussion question for the class: What activity would you rather do for 3.2 hours each day? 1. Look at Schindler’s list, 2. Call Lisa Barlow, 3. Visit the German Zoom Church in temple clothing? Much to think about.


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