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The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City Recap: Reality Reckoning
The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City Recap: Reality Reckoning,We knew it was you, Monica. You broke our hearts. Read more in Vulture’s episode-16 recap of Bravo’s ‘The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City.’

The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City Recap: Reality Reckoning

Season 4 Episode 16 Editor’s Rating5 stars *****

Photo: Bravo

Finally, it’s the episode we’ve all been waiting for. But before we get to our main course, we have to tie up some of the other loose ends that became unraveled on this cast trip, the first of which is the Whitney-versus-Heather blowup that the last episode ended on. They meet in Heather’s room to talk it out in the light of day, but Heather is still confused about her problem with the book, given that she read Whitney every single mention of her and even took out a part that she didn’t like. Because of that, Whitney’s complaint doesn’t really hold any water, but nonetheless this conflict does result in Heather saying the sentence, “I didn’t ever use the term butthole … I wouldn’t ever write that word.” So it’s all worth it.

Despite the fact that Meredith can’t remember the last time she drove a car, she hops on a moped with the other women through the streets of Bermuda, testing the limits of Bravo’s insurance policy. They all go shopping, and since Heather and Angie forgot their credit cards, Monica offers to foot the bill, and after a brief hiccup, her card is charged $725. Based on how the rest of the episode goes, I don’t think Heather is paying Monica back any time soon.

Speaking of that, this is where things start to get good. Back at the house, we hear a phone ring and see footage from a camera that’s been placed on the floor. “What did you find out? Are you kidding me right now? Shut the fuck up. I’m trembling,” Heather says via hot mic, and production springs into action, rushing into her room.

This mysterious information, which Heather describes as devastating, comes just in time for their Bermuda Triangle–themed dinner, where the tables are set up in a triangular arrangement on the beach, and which begins with Heather explaining that the Bermuda Triangle is all about unsolved mysteries. In that spirit, they play a game using their pioneer dolls, in which the women all get to ask each other about their own “unsolved mysteries.”

The game itself, which was surely the initial plan before the phone call heard ’round the world, is just a ruse at this point, biding time until Heather is ready to lay it all out. Whitney confronts Lisa for calling her dramatic; Meredith is upset that Heather didn’t have her back more, blah, blah, blah, let’s get to the real show.

When it’s time for Heather’s turn, she says she doesn’t have any questions for Meredith but instead has a question for Monica. “An unsolved mystery, if you will,” she dramatically says before asking, “Who is the real Monica?” Heather goes on to say that she considered Monica to be an open book and a truth-teller when they first met, but that’s no longer the case. “The real Monica is someone who doesn’t really wanna be our friend but wants to profit from our lives and our pain. I know who you really are, and who you really are is —”

Before Heather can finish her sentence, we flash back to two hours earlier, right after she received the phone call. She stands alone on the breezy beach, pensively waiting for the other women to arrive. She’s summoned Whitney, Meredith, and Lisa there for a meeting of the O.G.s. “There’s something I need to tell you guys … and it’s not good,” she says, and the women become visibly distressed. It’s a scene right out of Big Little Lies. “Monica is not who she says she is,” Heather tells them. “She’s someone that’s schemed and worked to infiltrate our friend group, and the name you all know her as … is Reality Von Tease.”

In her confessional, Heather explains that Reality Von Tease was/is an Instagram account that was created over three years ago to take down Jen Shah, but over time, she began going after the entire RHOSLC cast as well. Given that all the women instantly knew the name, they were familiar with this mysterious account. But how exactly did Heather unshroud said mystery? She walks us through her investigation like Benoit Blanc at the end of Knives Out, and her case is airtight.

Much like Maria von Trapp, Heather starts at the very beginning, when she first met Monica. Before that, she knew of Monica through their mutual friend Tenesha, who is Heather’s hairstylist. When they finally did meet, Heather said that she took notice of the way Monica would handle sensitive information, both pertaining to herself and others, saying that she’d use it as a weapon and would relish in the scandal.

Then, right before they left for Bermuda, Heather made a discovery. While attempting to get Monica a gift card to Beauty Lab, she discovered that there were three Monicas already in their system, all with different last names but all with the same birthday. “One of those Monicas had never paid her bills and owed Beauty Lab a lot of money,” she said.

Now, cut to the DM scandal this trip. As the group began litigating the messages sent to Monica and Meredith over dinner, everything started to unravel. Monica claimed that she received yet another DM just 40 minutes before dinner, which didn’t feel right to Heather, and she kept coming back to what Monica told her on the beach — that she was the only one in the group who would pull a stunt like that. So maybe she did?

With all of this piling up, Heather decided to call Tenesha, who came clean to her on the phone. Tenesha told her that Monica was Reality Von Tease, and Tenesha was witness to it all. “Within minutes, my phone was flooded with screenshots, text messages, audio recordings, videos, photos, DMs … volumes of evidence exposing Monica.” But, she tells us, she still needed to make sure she had an ironclad case before bringing it to the group, so she sent everything she had to a mysterious friend, who works somewhere that had to be bleeped. I take it that whoever it is is at least one step up from Lisa’s cybersecurity team. In any case, that’s who Heather was on the phone with during her hot-mic call, and they confirmed her suspicions.

Back at the beach and hearing all of this for the first time, the other women are completely shocked. “That account has annihilated all of us,” Whitney says. They’re all beside themselves to discover that this content, tearing them down and stoking the flames of conflict within their group for years, was posted by the woman whose birthday they were just celebrating the other day. Heather tells them her plan to confront her at dinner and asks the other women to back her up.

These are the awards Heather Gay should receive not only for her meticulous investigation but for crafting an iconic reveal: an Honorary Primetime Emmy Award, a Peabody, the J.D. Power & Associates Award, the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, a CFDA Award, Elle’s Women in Hollywood Icon Award, and the Nobel Peace Prize.

With all of the backstory now explained (thanks to what may be one of the most masterfully nonlinear episodes in Housewives history), we cut back to the big confrontation at dinner, where Heather accuses Monica of being “the cyberbully, internet-troll Reality Von Tease.” (Which is kind of a perfect drag name when you think about it.)

At first, Monica doesn’t react. She sits there, blinking, before calmly saying, “No.” But as Heather touts that she’s sitting on a plethora of proof, Monica seems to realize that she’s been cornered and ominously says, “That’s not true … entirely.” She concedes that Heather’s claim is partly true, and at that, Whitney gets up and moves her chair away so that it’s the entire cast versus Monica.

The table erupts. Lisa calls her disgusting. Heather screams that she infiltrated the show by seeking out Jen Shah and worked for her “as a blonde named Monica Fowler.” Then, Heather says, she got caught on security footage in Meredith’s store when Jen’s other employee famously shoplifted a clutch. This is when Meredith hops in and bellows, “You were in my store, Monica; it is on my security footage!” We cut to said security footage and see a blonde Monica at the scene of the crime, and while she herself didn’t steal anything, we flash back to earlier in the season when Monica claimed that she had never been in Meredith’s store before.

Lisa also accuses Monica of doing drive-bys past Jen Shah’s house, but Monica says she wouldn’t have to do drive-bys since she was with her all the time, calling Lisa a “dumb bitch.” This naturally makes Lisa explode, and they start having a “dumb bitch”-off, screaming the insult back and forth to each other across the table.

In Monica’s confessional, we hear her perspective at a lower volume. “Von Tease was never just one person,” she tells us. “It wasn’t just me. There were several other humans involved. But bottom line, our mission was to take down Jen … the other women were just collateral damage,” she eerily says before shrugging.

Somewhere along the lines, Angie tuned in, apparently hearing all of this for the first time, and takes it upon herself to jump in, too. “You wanna talk about how you’re involved with Reality Von Tease?” Monica asks her, a threat that makes Heather’s jaw drop. “How was I involved? Laughing at your stories?” Angie asks, and we see screenshots from Angie’s DMs of her positively engaging with the account, sending hearts, emojis, and supportive messages. Angie starts performing the role of an angry Real Housewife and picks up a flower centerpiece, threatening to throw it.

Among this chaos, Monica claims that it was really Tenesha’s account, which is no consolation to the women — who ask her what exactly her involvement was with the account. Monica admits that she secretly recorded the videos of Jen berating her team and posted them but maintains that Jen was the only person she went after with the account, saying, “because that little whore is one of the worst humans I have ever met in my life.” But the group takes no comfort in this claim, saying that Monica deceived them for months.

“I don’t think you understand something about this group,” Heather tells her, channeling Caroline Manzo speaking about her “fambily.” She stands up and explains that they’ve all had to put up with Jen Shah’s bullshit for years, living in constant fear that she’d snap and attack, but played the role of ride-or-dies nevertheless. They spent years suppressing their doubts and ignoring things that didn’t add up in order to blindly support their friend. “I felt like I had to lie to protect her. I took shit for the fact that … [dun dun dun!] … she gave me a black eye,” Heather said, stopping the dinner in its tracks. The other women are shocked. After over a year, a mystery that has plagued the Bravoverse is finally revealed. And Heather couldn’t have chosen a better moment to finally expose the truth.

“I had to ride hard for her, and I had to lie for her. We’re not gonna do it again for you. Pack your bags and go,” Heather tells her, her powers so strong that she’s somehow able to effectively kick another Housewife off of a cast trip. And with those marching orders from our Mormon Padma Lakshmi, Monica leaves. In her confessional, Monica tells us that she knew this secret would one day come out. “Even Gossip Girl couldn’t stay Gossip Girl forever.” XOXO.


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