Exploring Faith and Controversy: An Episode Recap of Real Housewives of SLC
Although the conflict between Meredith Marks and Angie Katsanevas persists, the Oct. 10 episode of “The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City” offers more than just that. It includes numerous events related to the Mormon faith: Lisa Barlow discusses her visit to the temple, while Heather Gay expresses her anger towards the church.
An Upcoming Mission
Lisa and her eighteen-year-old son, Jack, decide to go for pedicures. Their conversation quickly shifts to Jack's upcoming mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints — and nonmember viewers will gain interesting insights about the church from Lisa.
• In a confessional, Lisa remarks, "In Utah, many people here incentivize their children to go on missions. Some even resort to blackmail or threatening their children, saying, 'Go or you'll bring shame to the family.' There are societal pressures. But Jack was raised with a non-conventional approach."
• Lisa reveals that all her friends were "surprised" to learn about Jack's mission. She is also disappointed with Heather's lack of enthusiasm. "It's not like he's doing something wrong," Lisa states. "I mean, he chose to serve a mission instead of pursuing academics or engaging in teenage pregnancies."
• Jack is presently reading the Book of Mormon. His impression: "It's filled with action... It can be made into a successful movie."
• Despite being a member for over twenty years, Lisa has not read the Book of Mormon. "However, considering what people are saying about the book, I'm tempted to read it. I'm shocked that Jack is reading it before me. I am an avid reader."
(Photography by Charles Sykes | Bravo) Lisa and John Barlow on the Season 3 reunion of "Real Housewives of Salt Lake City."
• The conversation then becomes confusing as Lisa discusses whether she and her husband, John, will accompany Jack during his temple experience. She implies that the decision is still pending. John will definitely join Jack, but Lisa contemplates the commitment required. "You'll have to wear temple garments. I respect them [garments], but I don't wear them."
In a confessional, Lisa explains, "To go to the temple, you need to be considered worthy. I might not feel worthy because I consume too much Diet Coke. Others might not feel worthy due to excessive alcohol consumption" or "inappropriate relationships with their neighbors."
(Diet Coke won't disqualify you, but alcohol and adultery will. Refusing to wear temple garments might also be a factor. It's worth noting that Lisa never mentions the requirement for interviews with the bishop and stake president to obtain a temple recommend. Perhaps that part was edited out.)
Lisa admits to Jack that she doesn't feel like she's doing anything wrong but believes there is room for improvement. She confesses that she constantly worries about not being a good enough mother, even though "it's evident that I'm a wonderful mom, considering the decision you've made.
Heather deeply dislikes the LDS ChurchHeather and Whitney enjoy a day of skiing at Woodward Park City—while Whitney opts for snowboarding—and have a conversation afterwards. Heather is upset that she was the last one to find out that Jack Barlow is embarking on a mission. She expresses extremely negative emotions about her own mission, which further adds to her dissatisfaction when Whitney casually remarks, "I don't really care. Honestly, good for him."
In a confessional, Heather finds it "absurd! How can the church simultaneously be this terrible, traumatizing thing that has ruined your life" and inspired Whitney to resign her membership "but also be beneficial for him to go out there and convert more people to live it?"
(Randy Shropshire | Bravo) Heather Gay on "The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City."
Directly addressing Whitney, Heather questions, "Don't you feel conflicted about it when he's actually going to knock on doors and persuade people to join the Mormon church?" Whitney shrugs nonchalantly, prompting Heather to voice her opinion that they shouldn't "pretend to be supportive and excited about a guy who is about to sell a church that we know can be very damaging."
Heather served a mission in southern France and still feels "conflicted" about it. "Of course, I had positive experiences... but I also had to convince individuals... to join the Mormon church. And I feel ashamed of that" because she believes she "ruined many people's lives."
And she doesn't stop there. "I feel like we're not being truthful about the church's history—that it's homophobic, that it disregards transgender individuals—it simply denies their existence." In a confessional, Heather voices that her sentiments align with what Whitney has previously shared.
Returning to the present, both women agree that the church is "sexist," and Heather goes on to describe it as "misogynistic, bigoted, and possessing a terrible, problematic racist past."
Angie challenges MeredithIn the previous episode, Monica and Whitney informed Angie that Meredith is spreading rumors about Angie's husband, Shawn, being unfaithful with other men. Armed with this information, Angie marches across the room at the start of this week's episode, pulls Meredith aside, and accuses her of spreading false rumors.
Meredith claims to have no idea what Angie is referring to. While she admits to hearing "rumors" about Angie and Shawn, she asserts, "I haven't been the one spreading them." Angie retorts, "You've mentioned it to multiple women in the group."
(That cannot be independently verified. Viewers have witnessed Meredith telling Lisa that she has information about Angie. Whitney claims that Meredith told her the same thing, though that was not shown in an episode. Only Monica asserts that Meredith told her the rumor about Shawn, and viewers only have her word for it.)
(Presley Ann | Bravo) Monica Garcia, Angie Katsanevas and Heather Gay in the September 19 episode of "The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City."
Angie confronts Meredith, stating, "You've targeted every marriage in the group, meanwhile, you're the only one engaging in extramarital affairs." (She provides no specifics or evidence of Meredith cheating on her husband.) Meredith declares, "We're done," gets up, walks away, and vows not to speak to Angie until Angie approaches her "with respect.
Meredith goes and takes a seat with Lisa. Angie follows her and continues to berate her. When Lisa asks what's going on, Angie says, "did you enjoy it when she [expletive] spread gossip about you trading [oral sex] for Jazz tickets?" (That's incorrect. The debunked rumor falsely accused Lisa of exchanging sex for business opportunities with a man who gave her Jazz tickets.)
Meredith stands up again to leave. Angie obstructs her departure and once again hurls the accusation of "spreading your legs." Meredith says, "deal with your own marriage. Leave mine alone. ... I didn't spread anything, Angie." (At the very least, we know that Meredith spread the rumor that there are rumors about Angie and her husband.)
In a private interview, Lisa says she "simply cannot believe" that Meredith is "doing the same thing again." Meredith tells Lisa, "there's something wrong" with Angie. "She has an odd issue with me. I don't know what it is. And it's not my problem, and I'm not interested."
In a private interview, Lisa says she needs "to take a moment and consider how we can continue being friends. ... I can't believe that Meredith is playing the victim right now," because "the real victim in this situation is Angie. And me. It's my party." Which has been largely ruined by Monica, Whitney, Angie, and Meredith.
Are there really rumors?Lisa, Whitney, and Angie all say they've never heard the rumors about Shawn. In a private interview, Monica says that "all of these women have heard about this, have discussed this, or have shared this. So fake [expletive]. That's some Utah [expletive]."
Heather also says that this is a Utah thing: "You haven't heard that in Salt Lake? People always say that about male hairstylists." In a private interview, she adds, "This is Utah. I've been to family reunions — if a guy wears a cardigan, they think he's gay. And as soon as [Angie] married a guy that had well-fitted pants and tailor-made suits, the rumors started flying."
(Fred Hayes | Bravo) Shawn Trujillo, Elektra Katsanevas, and Angie Katsanevas on "The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City."
Husband in tearsThe morning after Lisa's party, Angie tells her husband, Shawn, about what happened.
"I was a little taken aback by some things that Meredith was saying," Angie says. "She started insinuating that she could ruin our family and that you actually prefer men. Or, you know, you are involved with men on the side." Shawn says, "What a[n expletive] fool."
"You're a hairstylist, so you're automatically homosexual," Angie says. Shawn replies, "The bottom line is — whether gay, straight, or anything else — it's the infidelity part that's wrong. ... It's crazy. It's absurd. It's a campaign to tarnish our reputation. And how far is this woman willing to go? What did we do?"
Angie says Meredith is "a miserable woman. Don't let her affect you." But Shawn becomes emotional and starts to cry as he contemplates this information reaching their 12-year-old daughter, Elektra. "It devastates me to think," he says, "that she would ever believe that I would engage in something like this. I've been working tirelessly to be her hero." Angie reassures him that he is.
Lisa and Whitney support Angie
Lisa and Whitney pay a visit to Angie's residence to express their backing following the altercation with Meredith. In a private interview, Lisa admits her concerns for Angie. She shares, "I am definitely anxious for Angie. I understand what she's going through. I mean, I wish someone had checked up on me last year. Instead, I had to go to bed eating a burrito."
Angie recounts her conversation with Shawn about the incident and reveals, "He cried because now there's a little one involved. It pained me to see him like that."
She narrates the remainder of their discussion, and Lisa reassures her, "I was in your position once, and nobody believes this crap." She adds, "I'm in a complicated situation because I'm trying to rebuild a friendship with Meredith. But, in my mind, I'm thinking, 'No, no, no, no, no.' How can I stay silent when she's doing the exact same thing to you that she did to me."
(Presley Ann | Bravo) Angie Katsanevas, Monica Garcia and Whitney Rose in the Sept. 19 episode of "The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City."
Whitney advises Angie, saying, "Do not engage with Meredith. She's not deserving of your attention."
Lisa questions Monica's intentions in all of this, but Whitney defends Monica, stating, "It's important to remember that she had the courage to inform you about the rumor because she was being a good friend to you."
Lisa's eyes reveal her annoyance when Angie mentions that she's starting to see "a different side of Heather." Angie shares that Heather invited her to her home a week prior and apologized for not supporting her during the conflict with Meredith in Palm Springs.
"I was actually honored that she invited me over, considering I've known her since I was 15," Angie comments. "And I don't like the tension."
Lisa visibly and audibly displays her upset feelings in response to this. She tells Angie, "You're fortunate that she did that for you. She's never done that with me. I'm literally getting triggered by this because I'm like, 'Where was this friendship last year?'"
In a private interview, Lisa further expresses her thoughts, stating, "It is incredibly distressing to me. Where are my acknowledgments for enduring people gossiping about my family, my business, and me behind my back? Angie, you had a rough weekend in Palm Springs. I had to go through it for three damn years."
Whitney and Angie appear uncomfortable as Lisa emphasizes that she endured what Angie experienced, but on a much larger scale. Lisa reveals that her son, Henry, called her in a distraught state, crying when one of his fifth-grade classmates falsely claimed that there were explicit photos of Lisa online.
It does seem like Lisa has forgotten that her purpose there is to support Angie. "Lisa's reaction is extremely surprising to me," Whitney remarks. "I had no clue that she was harboring so many emotions from last year.
But, similar to, Lisa, comprehend the situation. The timing isn't appropriate. Similar to, we came over here to uplift Angie's mood.
Later in the episode, Whitney informs Heather about Lisa's immense distress upon learning that Angie had received a substantial apology from Heather: "I believe she was, like, envious. It was as if she had been hurt."
During a personal interview, Heather expresses her utter confusion regarding Lisa. "I am genuinely perplexed about what she expects from me. If she truly desired a compassionate friendship, one would assume that she would inform me about Jack's mission and include me in all of it. However, she did not. Yet, she seems upset that I extended myself to Angie."
BRAVOCON -- "BravoCon 2022 from the Javits Center in New York City on Friday, October 14, 2022" -- Depicted: (from left to right) Meredith Marks, Brooks Marks -- (Photo by: Evan Angelastro/Bravo)
Meredith reveals her son's truthDo you recall in Season 2 when Meredith became extremely distraught when Jen Shah implied that her son, Brooks, is homosexual? Even though numerous individuals (including myself) had previously stated that Brooks was openly gay? (I believed he was. I made an error. He was ... not openly gay.)
Yet, indeed, Brooks is gay. Openly so, now. He doesn't explicitly announce it in the most recent episode, but he casually discusses his sexuality with his mother. In fact, she inadvertently reveals it.
While Brooks, 23, drives himself and his mother for a snowshoeing excursion (oddly enough, wearing ski goggles), Meredith asks him, "so what's happening in your dating life?" Brooks informs her that there is "nothing serious" because he recently "got out of, like, a serious relationship."
Meredith offers her opinion that it was "a fantastic first relationship. He was enjoyable." (This officially marks the first time that anyone on the show has confirmed Brooks' homosexuality.)
During a personal interview, Meredith states, "Brooks has grown more confident in his own identity. It's incredible to witness his comfort and openness." When she tells him that she appreciates when Seth, his father, brings her coffee in the morning, Brooks responds, "I don't need my boyfriend to do that."
Meredith encourages Brooks to bring a date to an upcoming event, and he considers her the "most supportive mother I know."
Meredith's brush with deathWhen Meredith and her friend departed from Lisa's party, their chauffeur "lost control of the vehicle" amidst a "severe, severe snowstorm."
"To one side of the road was the cliff, while the other side was a snowbank," she recounts, "and it seemed like we were about to plunge off the cliff. But somehow, he managed to regain control and steer us into the snowbank."
Meredith describes the experience as "terrifying," adding, "I genuinely believed I was approaching death." Furthermore, she was distraught because she felt that her previous significant interactions were the unpleasant and malicious ones at Lisa's party. Consequently, she made the decision to prioritize spending her time with the individuals she cares about the most, as we never know when it will all come to an end."
Tears well up in her eyes — although it is difficult to discern if they actually fell on screen — and she requests that the producer no longer discuss the incident.
(h2) Mary is entitled, impolite, and cruel
• According to Mary, the dispute between Meredith and Angie is solely about Mary: "I can't believe I wasted another outfit on this occasion," she states in a private conversation. "Like, where is the food? Like, what are we consuming?"
• Mary inquires about the whereabouts of the food from Lisa and then requests if she can take it "to go."
• Lisa asks one of the caterers to prepare a flatbread pizza for Mary. Monica sarcastically remarks, "a fresh pizza is exactly what we need right now." Mary, oblivious to the sarcasm, rudely responds, "you can order your own."
• Impatiently, Mary asks, "where's my container? How much longer will it take this guy?"
• She then says to the catering staff, "you couldn't have put it in the container yourself for customer service?" When he explains that he didn't want to touch it with his hands, Mary retorts, "no, you're lazy."
(You can discern a lot about people based on how they treat service personnel.)
(h2) Mother raising four children on her own
Angie is attempting to wake up her four daughters, ranging in age from 5 to 17, and get them prepared for school. As any parent, regardless of marital status, can attest, it's not an easy task.
Monica reflects on her own childhood, which was vastly dissimilar from her kids' upbringing. "During my upbringing, we frequently relocated because my mother, Linda, was always seeking something bigger and better. Often, my well-being was sacrificed," she admits. There is a certain amount of resentment stemming from that. I have constantly longed for stability because I never had it. The only thing I can count on when it comes to my mom is that there is nothing to count on."
(Fred Hayes/Bravo) Monica Garcia has joined the ensemble of "The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City."
Monica and Linda accompany Nana, Monica's grandmother, to the Central Davis Senior Activity Center, where Monica competes in card games with Nana and her pals. Monica tells Linda, "you might find a partner here" — to which Linda recounts a recent date she went on. The man invited her to spend the weekend together and then "disappeared without a trace."
"You must have done something," Monica suggests. "What did you do?" Linda responds, "I informed him that despite no longer being a Mormon, I still practice celibacy. I don't believe in premarital sex."
Monica expresses confusion in a private conversation, stating that she finds it perplexing that her mother "still adheres to the principles but has left the church." Linda asks if Monica still considers herself "Mormon." Monica admits, "I struggle with it."
Linda inquires if Monica intends to raise her daughters in the church, stating, "because I firmly believe that those girls need Jesus...scriptures [and] prayer."
Monica interrupts, "because when you left the church, you came to me and apologized for raising me in the church." Linda denies this happened, but Monica insists it did.
"We attended church every Sunday," Linda insists, while Monica interjects, "and your daughter still got pregnant at 19.
You are literally declaring, ‘If you fail to attend church every Sunday, I am raising my children improperly.’ I engage in more activities with my children than you have ever done with me. And that is an undeniable truth.”
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