I have a hypothesis that there are two types of Housewives fans: (1) Those who relish every second of a four-part reunion and (2) those who would prefer just to check out the fashionz and watch a 30-second sizzle reel of any major developments. As someone who was raised on a steady diet of Joan Rivers red-carpet content and who also suffers from chronic migraines, my fandom will always rest firmly in the second camp. Because let’s be honest. This episode is nothing but a mid-season reunion, except with none of the glam and no moderator to keep it moving. We don’t need Andy or some tidy pomp and circumstance for episodes like this. But please, Bravo, I’m begging y’all — for the sake of the collective sanity of fandom subtype two, maybe next time consider checking to see if Hypnotist Kimberly is available. Or at least throw us a bone with a glam/prop budget. Ugh, anyway, let’s get into it.
We’re still in Vail, and it’s still 1:30 a.m., and everyone is still wearing sexy Ricola looks. Lisa just dropped “Cameron mortgaged his house and gave Mary $300 grand.” Rewind to one month earlier — Lisa and Cameron are at lunch, where he tells her, “When Mary and Robert want money, they call church meetings and beat you down until they get what they want,” among other things. The entire conversation is haunting, especially in the context of Cameron’s passing earlier this year. Back in Yodelayheehoo, Heather asks if the tithes were used inappropriately. I’m not entirely sure what the Bible bylaws have to say on proper tithe use, but I have a hunch that odor-gland surgery and the original furniture from the set of The Big Comfy Couch are not Lord-approved.
Meredith decides none of this is factual enough (even with Lisa revealing she’s a member of r/BravoRealHousewives) and won’t stand for these “very questionable digs.” I’m fascinated by how Meredith responds to vindication. Instead of trying to apply “oh, remember how I felt this way about Jen and had tons of facts and look what happened …” to Mary’s situation, she goes big ol’ tit for tat and says since no one believed her about Jen, she refuses to believe anyone about Mary. Apparently people losing their houses is “minutiae” compared to Brooks being cyberbullied. Wild stuff.
Despite Lisa insisting she cried with Cameron and believes every word he said, she trots down to Mary’s room to seek “an honest friendship.” Lisa asks her if people think she’s God, then throws Whitney and Jen under the bus. I take Jen’s word with an entire mine of salt, but we find out she previously alleged that Mary is a cult leader who has her congregation terrorized and on food stamps, and also that there was a related suicide. Mary insists none of this would matter if Lisa were loyal, then says a bunch of vaguely threatening stuff about how Jen “messed with the wrong one” and “that’s where she is and why I’m sitting where I am today.” I don’t know; it could also be because nefarious activity at religious institutions gets real hairy from a legal standpoint.
The next morning, Jennie (she’s still here, remember?) has Mary sit in her makeup chair so she can talk to her without interruption. This is a genius maneuver and Jennie should not be underestimated. Mary attempts to buy Jennie’s loyalty with Christian Louboutin sequin booties she pulled out of her donate pile. Whitney confronts Heather about a ruckus she heard coming from her room overnight. It turns out it was nothing but a visit from the Cosby-Grinch and her dog Lisa-Max attempting to trade a Louis Vuitton bag for Heather’s acquiescence. These two gals have been battle-hardened by defecting from the Mormon church and spending six hours on a bus with Lisa’s dry tear ducts; crossing my fingers and toes they don’t fall for this nonsense.
Ding dong! It’s the doorbell, and Heather runs off for a quick family reunion with her sister, Nancy. They’ve seen each other less than a dozen times in two decades, and with their father’s passing, they compare notes to discover the life-path grass is always greener, even if it’s absolutely splattered in shit. Nancy roasts Heather for her loyalty to Tito’s and water, and I actually think this strong-willed normie would do a helluva job moderating the circus that’s about to unfold.
I have an important correction to make for the record. Previously, I mentioned that Lisa has John saved in her phone as JB HUSBAND when it’s, in fact, JB HUSBAND BOSS. I regret this error and it will not happen again. Lisa tells JB HUSBAND BOSS that Meredith booked a jet for the ride home, then tells Meredith and Jennie that Mary answered all her questions last night and everything’s great. Meredith regrets telling Whitney about Cameron, especially because Mary was the only one not talking about her marriage last year behind her back. She fails to realize that this is only true because Mary spent last year talking exclusively to God and inanimate objects in her closet. They all decide Mary should have a chance to speak her truth.
What is that truth, you ask? Since I’m running out of space, here is an abridged list of every “truth” Mary speaks as the gals all sit down around coasters and coffee tables and croissants:
- On said truth: “I don’t know why I owe any of you an explanation and why it would be a conversation.”
- On Whitney: “You’re exhausting. Ugh. Ehh.”
- On being unfairly cruel: “I don’t care.”
- On gifts: “I haven’t given it to her yet and it’s none of your business.”
- On any question, whatsoever: “No one questioned Jen. I didn’t ask for my life, my inheritance, to compare me with what’s going on with her, that’s evil.”
- On Heather: “I could have manipulated you.”
- On Meredith’s apologies: “Truth of the matter, if you were a good friend this would not be happening.”
- On I don’t even know anymore: “BECAUSE I BELIEVE IN WHAT I DO, BUT I WAS GIVEN IT AND I TOOK IT ON! LIKE A WOMAN!! AND I WAS A CHILD, I BELIEVE IN GOD. I BELIEVE IN RESCUE. I BELIEVE IN DELIVERANCE. I BELIEVE IN IT ALL.”
- On attempts for clarification: “I was born in money, okay? I didn’t ask for it. It was given to me. Now that I know that all you guys go from Jen to me, Heather doing all her yelling, her chubby self …”
- On strife: “I’ve been through this my whole life, people hating me for my lifestyle.”
- On God complexes: “I’m not God — I worship the god in me. AND HE’S IN ME!”
- On race: “When I think about Jen, I see a heartless thug, like you know, those Mexican people.”
Whew, that seems like a lot out of context. But I honestly think it’s even more damning in context? Mary’s performance here has me reaching for a bottle of Pepto, a cold shower, and an investigation into my life choices for engaging with this content. Alas, the show goes on. Heather and Whitney huddle on the stoop to book a Delta flight while everyone else boards the party bus to the private plane. Somehow, Mary Cosby remains “blessed.”
See ya next week to delve into the back half of the season! As homework, please brush up on trial by public opinion historical precedents, and be sure to pay respects to this essential frontline worker spilling a mountain of goss.
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