The name on everybody’s lips has been Angie Harrington — what she said, when she said it, and who she said it to — and now she’s finally here to set the record straight. Terrorizing Lisa Barlow is nothing new for Angie H., who you’ll recall popped up briefly last season to do just that over some catering drama. But now she’s back as an official Friend Of, and our favorite Sarah Paulson lookalike is ready to spill with Heather over some dirty martinis.
Heather tells Angie all about the drama in Arizona, before asking her outright if she ever said that Lisa performed sexual favors for Utah Jazz tickets. “Never,” Angie firmly says, adding that even if it was true she never would have said it because courtside at a Jazz game is a business environment. At least for Vida Tequila it is.
“I don’t know Whitney to be a liar,” Angie tells us in a confessional, an environment where she instantly comes alive. “I know Whitney to be a pot-stirrer and I know Whitney to be paranoid. I hope it’s not true, but if it’s true, whoever Lisa’s hooking up with must be a submissive because that’s a lot to deal with.”
Now that that’s all sorted (it’s certainly not), Heather invites Angie to a ski day she’s throwing for all the ladies, some friends, and some of her cousins — the latter of whom she’s inviting because she’s nervous about her upcoming book Bad Mormon splintering their relationship. While she’s excited to share the book with those who might relate to her experience, she’s struggling to balance those true feelings about the church with her loyalties to her family who are still members.
Speaking of family, Meredith and Seth meet up for lunch with Brooks, now a senior at NYU, who came to town to visit his mother, father, and beloved camera crew. There must be some kind of program at Tisch where you can earn credits by shooting your mom’s reality show, and if there isn’t there should be. Every professor should have it written into the syllabus that an absence is acceptable if there’s a death in the family, severe illness, or if you were asked to bartend on Watch What Happens Live.
Seth uses the lunch to ask if Brooks is seeing anyone, to which he responds, “I’ve actually had a boyfriend for the past two years” — dryly enough for Seth to believe him before Brooks clarifies that it was a joke. When asked to describe his perfect boyfriend, Brooks flips the script on his father, asking Seth to describe his perfect boyfriend. “Brett Favre,” Seth says much too quickly, launching into a soliloquy singing Brett Favre’s praises as Meredith and Brooks watch on.
Meanwhile, Jen is back from New York and we find out that her trial date, initially just weeks away, has been pushed back to July. Her anger over this makes me realize that she was far more optimistic about the outcome of the trial than I was. She was looking forward to proving her innocence and moving on as soon as possible, whereas I thought she’d just be happy to have a few more months of freedom before jail. To me it sounds like getting a surprise extension on an assignment you’re dreading, and the assignment is 14 years in prison.
Over at Lisa’s house, she’s FaceTiming her brother Brian, who (correctly) thinks it would be funny to mess with his sister when she asks what he’s up to. “Just got back from my probation officer,” he says, and it’s like Lisa can physically feel the cameras as she awkwardly laughs to ensure the world knows he’s joking. “Oh my gosh. Kidding! Where — like for real, where were you?” It’s the most Valerie Cherish-esque exchange I’d ever seen, until just seconds later when Lisa recounts a childhood story that’s fully a spiritual sequel to Valerie’s iconic field hockey monologue.
“Growing up, Brian was constantly playing pranks on me and messing with me. Freshman year of high school my brother and his friends thought it would be funny to duct tape me to the post in the middle of our school foyer and literally, like, no one would help me.” This Lisa Barlow origin story explains so much, and it’s probably giving Meredith new ideas for how to punish her for the hot mic rant.
The call turns emotional, with Lisa crying over the divorces her sisters are going through, and she later tells John that she’s feeling overwhelmed having to worry about both her family and the drama with her friends — who are trying to tear down her only lifeline, her husband and kids.
Our last stop on this little tour of Salt Lake City is Whitney’s house. Remember in the first episode of the season, when she went to QuitMormon.com and printed out a letter to resign from the church? Well, it turns out that Whitney didn’t realize that the letter actually had to be notarized, so we’re running it back on that plotpoint and Whitney’s gonna give it another go with a notary present. She tells us that the fine print is just another example of how hard the church makes it for someone to leave — a task that she says she’s attempted to do five different times now.
It’s clear that Whitney and Heather are in the battle of their lives to be Mormonism’s Leah Remini. Whitney saw Heather’s exposé book deal, and raised her a notarized ticket to hell. Could this power struggle over who hates LDS more be the real underlying tension in their feud? She asks Justin to film the big moment on his phone, forgetting there’s an entire professional camera crew there, which makes me understand how she might have missed the fine print.
The women finally come together for Heather’s big ski day, which appears to double as an open casting call for wealthy women in the Salt Lake City area. It officially introduces into the fold our three new official friends-of — the two Angies (K and H, respectively), who we’ve already met, as well as newbie Danna. Danna’s only connection to the group seems to be that she goes to Beauty Lab, which isn’t promising. “You know how there’s Jenny from the Block? I’m Danna from the Park,” she says. No. Absolutely not.
The cast dynamics this year are very reminiscent of early seasons of the Real Housewives of New Jersey — which is the highest compliment that one can give to a Bravo program. Much like early Jerz, this season boasts a small, five-person cast with deep ties, family dissolution, prison on the horizon, and a small community with a fleshed-out secondary cast. Angie H. and Angie K. are Salt Lake’s answer to the infamous Kim D. and Kim G. This formula doesn’t work in every city, but it’s a perfect fit for RHOSLC.
In addition to rounding out our JV squad, the event also brings our Varsity snowflake holders all together for the first time since their explosive Scottsdale trip. But before they all get into it, the women hit the slopes, with Meredith, Heather, and Whitney shredding the black diamonds, while Jen and Lisa barely survive the bunny hill. “I’m not really an outdoor, mountain girl,” Lisa tells us. “My version of outdoors is like sitting on a beach with a cabana, with service, food service, beverage service, maybe someone that would like, bring me new towels every hour.”
Lisa gets her wish at a nice little post-skiing lunch reception, which ends up being like a speed-dating event for storylines and conflict resolution, so let’s just run through them:
Jen’s Trial Update:
Jen tells the women that whenever the trial happens is when God wants it to happen, and I’m a believer of any religion in which the supreme deity makes sure legal proceedings don’t interfere with my reality television programming. Jen tells them that it’ll be in July, to which Lisa, always looking on the bright side, chimes in with, “Oh! Hamptons! Jen I’ll get the house.” But Whitney makes the great point that with this extra time, the prosecution could be strengthening their case. Yes, but the prosecution won’t be enjoying Sag Harbor.
Angie H. and Whitney:
These Jazz gossipers talk about the blowup in Scottsdale over what was or wasn’t said at the basketball game, the details of which Angie, of course, claims to not remember. But Whitney says she’s not upset about Angie’s denial because she not only expected it, but also because the stakes aren’t as high as they were with Heather, who means more to her.
Heather and Lisa:
Lisa was obviously instantly perturbed by the presence of Angie, whom she’s been avoiding all day. But we all know that Heather’s hands were tied. She’s on a reality show, she’s practically contractually obligated to invite the shit-stirrer. But nonetheless she tries to cover her ass, and apologizes to Lisa for not considering her feelings when she invited Angie H.
Angie H. vs. Lisa:
Angie awkwardly corners Lisa so they can talk, which is something Lisa has absolutely no interest in doing. The power dynamic at play here is interesting: Angie desperately wants to have this one-on-one to secure her place on the show, whereas Lisa wants nothing more than to hinder both Angie and this plot point all together. So she outright refuses to give Angie a platform.
“It doesn’t matter that we knew each other for 20 years, it’s like, stab you in the back, kiss you on the cheek. The damage has been done,” Lisa says. And it’s a little bit ironic to hear Lisa say this after weeks of admonishing Meredith for having the exact same stance with her.
Heather and Whitney:
We finally have a productive conversation about this stupid fight. They acknowledge it was just over inconsequential details, and Whitney says she wasn’t asking Heather to corroborate, she just wanted her to have her back (in the form of corroborating). Nonetheless, they agree to disagree over their respective recollections.
The problem is, that stupid fight leads to a more serious fight — over Heather saying Whitney made the trip about her by bringing up her childhood trauma. Heather apologizes for how she made Whitney feel, but she doesn’t think it’s really sincere. While their conversation seems to end on a decent enough note, their confessionals tell a different story, spelling more Bad Weather ahead.
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