The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City Recap: Tricksy Motel

After a tumultuous journey, the rest of the cast finally arrives at the pink gates of the Trixie Motel in Palm Springs. Mary is deeply confused as to who or what a Trixie is, but if you’re reading a Real Housewives recap, you probably don’t need me to explain. Though I will say, if you’re intrigued by the Drag Race winner’s motel and the story behind it, her series Trixie Motel follows its renovation from a dilapidated travesty to a Housewives destination.

Trixie greets the women as they enter the gates, like a gay St. Peter, and lets them know that the other women, plural, are already there. On queue, Whitney and Angie strut out in what was surely a choreographed entrance meant to solicit a reaction that Meredith refuses to give them. Instead, she maintains a poker face, but in a confessional calls it incredibly ill-mannered and rude. Mary, for one, just wants to know, “Who is Angie?”

While everybody gets settled in, Lisa joins Whitney and Angie outside by the pool, and a silent Meredith walks by without a word on her way to Heather’s room. While the three outside don’t understand why Angie wasn’t invited in the first place, Meredith doesn’t understand why she’d ever expect to be invited at all, telling Heather that she’s been a nasty mean girl to her in their recent interactions.

Mary, who operates within this cast like Hercule Poirot amongst a house full of potential suspects, gets right down to business, asking Whitney why she arrived early. She says it was to see her friend Trixie, but Mary doesn’t buy it, calling the stunt childish.

With everyone outside, Meredith hands out gift bags, skipping right over Angie before explaining that day’s trust-building activity. The group will split into pairs and go shopping to pick out an outfit the other will like. “Maybe a new ring,” Mary chuckles to herself. Since she didn’t know Angie would be there, Meredith says, she’s on her own. “Thank you for acknowledging that you didn’t invite me,” Angie says, finally getting the attention she wanted, and Monica is audibly grossed out by her sassy remark to the hostess.

“[Monica’s] coming into this group as my friend,” Angie reminds the group, annoyed that Monica isn’t being loyal to her. This is classic Housewives: an unspoken debt owed for bringing someone onto the show, even though that’s typically an arbitrary construct created by the producers. She’s complaining to Lisa and Whitney about it when Monica crashes the conversation to stand her ground, telling her that she was rude and she has no problem calling it out. Angie flounders when confronted and changes the subject. “I deserve to be here as much as everyone else,” she says, which sounds like a mantra she repeats to herself in the mirror before stepping in front of the cameras.

They hit the stores for their shopping spree, pulling together outfits so insanely eclectic that even the And Just Like That … costume department would be jealous. Whitney is wearing a translucent lab coat, Heather a bedazzled cap that says “Cat Mom,” and, best of all, Meredith dresses Lisa in a sheer top and dangly coin skirt, which she completely hates. Things just get worse when she looks up where dinner is and realizes that she’s essentially wearing a bathing suit to a five-star restaurant. This could do more damage to Lisa and Meredith’s relationship than a hot mic ever could.

When they arrive at dinner, Meredith toasts to new beginnings and fun times, and Whitney suggests that they play a sharing game to get to know each other better. Whitney says she writes poetry, Heather admits that she’s gotten into birds lately, and Mary shockingly reveals that she’s a loner — queueing the compilation of Mary constantly refusing to sit with her castmates. But Monica is entirely bored by these fun facts and decides to spice things up, announcing to the table: “I fucked my brother-in-law for 18 months!”

Incredibly, the only real question the table has is which side the in-law was on, and once Monica clarifies, they’re all satisfied. “Okay, cheers to that,” Mary says, no stranger to fucking family members herself.

But Whitney has one more game in her: “Warm and fuzzy, cold and prickly,” the premise of which is looking to the person to your right and saying something you like about them and something you don’t. The Real Housewives’ concept of what a “game” is never fails to amaze.

This “game” results in Heather telling Angie that she doesn’t trust her after seeing her routinely buddy up to whoever the biggest player in the room is, even though they’ve known each other the longest. What’s being left unsaid here, I’d venture to guess, is that Heather sees this buddying up as a shameless attempt to get onto the show.

Meredith then critiques Whitney’s communication skills, but Mary, the asset to this show that she is, chimes in to say that her real problem is how she brought Angie uninvited.

For Monica’s turn, she tells Lisa that it was hard to hear her complain about losing her $60,000 ring all day, over and over again, particularly as someone in a different tax bracket. “I didn’t say it over and over, but noted,” an instantly bristling Lisa says, and the editing bay leaps into action, delivering a compilation of the seven-ring mentions from Lisa that day. “When you can afford to buy a $58,000 ring, you’ll care about it too,” Lisa says in the confessional, though humbly knocking off a couple of Gs. That’ll come back to bite her at the reunion.

Perhaps unhappy with not getting enough attention during the games, Angie takes it upon herself to make a toast, and she wants to share a vocabulary word with the table: the Greek word for “fake,” throwing gasoline onto the flames like an evil Nia Vardalos. “You publicly said that you will never be friends with me; why would I invite you?” Meredith asks. Angie wonders when she ever made this statement, but no receipt nor flashback comes. Uninterested in whatever Angie says, Meredith tells her that she can leave. “You were not invited by me; you can go,” and Angie pounces, going after her “cobweb” covered jewelry and fake, rented life — an attack Monica calls disgusting.

As the conflict bubbles over, a booming Meredith shouts, “YOU CAN LEAVE.” The volume surely made nearby birds fly away (sorry, Heather), glass shatter, and the ground quake. Angie refuses to leave, and Meredith calls for security. Now, let’s remember that this is a restaurant. If I knew you could summon security to your table to eject your dining companion at will, I’d pull that stunt anytime someone takes one of my fries without asking. A belligerent Meredith stands up and fetches their waiter, Chad, whose lower-third chyron clarifies isn’t security. “Excuse me, she needs to leave. I’m the hostess of the dinner, and her behavior is not acceptable. I’d like for her to leave,” Meredith instructs him. What is poor Chad to do in this situation? “I … I’ll do whatever I can,” he offers, shrugging, an encounter that an equally intoxicated Heather finds completely hysterical. I hope production tipped Chad 500 percent.

When Chad fails to kick out Angie, Meredith begins to unravel. “There are things that are going on that are a lot fucking deeper than this nonsense. There are children who are going to be disabled for the rest of their lives,” she says, unprompted and waving her finger with the voraciousness of Shannon Beador. Even Mary is confused by this. As Meredith storms out in tears, Lisa follows her, consoling her in the parking lot as she sobs about Angie’s disgusting energy. Despite the truly inexplicable circumstances and coin skirt, it’s actually nice to see the two of them together again, like old times.

Meredith tells Lisa that if Angie wants to go there with “the rumors and nastiness,” she’ll do just that, threatening to “go there with the husband.” It’s a scene we’ve seen in the trailer and promos, and her abstract enunciation, though always something to behold, is really on a new level here. She speaks like Moira Rose on Ambien.

With their dinner concluded, the group loads back into the sprinter van. Meredith is sobbing into Monica’s shoulder, Heather is too wasted to spell wasted, and my cheeks hurt from laughing this entire episode.

Meredith says she’s tabling this argument and alludes to the fact that she’s going through something bigger than any of this. Whitney bravely calls her out on this, saying it’s always something that she finds convenient. It’s a card that Meredith is known to pull to immediately shut down anyone going against her.

Having arrived back at the motel, Meredith storms out, and Mary takes the opportunity to rail against Whitney — “Little Girl”–style. She tells her she needs to grow up, her life is a façade, and when Whitney accuses her of talking about her, she says, “I never talked about you; I got told about you.” But that’s not all: “You called me a pornography,” Mary exclaims, and as the van struggles to decipher what she means, she calls upon a catatonic Heather, with her head between her knees, to translate. “What did she call me, Heather?” Heather comes to, briefly, to say “Predator” before returning to her spins.

When Mary exits the sprinter, only Whitney and Heather remain, but Heather is too sick to make it out. They close the door to give her privacy, but as soon as we begin to hear heaving noises, Whitney starts pounding on the locked door, trapped inside. They free her, and she emerges on the brink of sympathy, vomiting herself. And we get a shot of Heather throwing up into a bag, vomit dripping between her legs. God bless her. We are so back.

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