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The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City Reunion Recap: Mean Girls

Real Housewives reunions always save the best for last. So now, as we embark on the third and final part of the RHOSLC reunion, it’s finally time to talk about the elephant in the room. But before we get to the main course, we have a few other highlights from the season left to cover as our amuse-bouche.

We get to see a video of Meredith asking a server to plate her hand-churned butter. Lisa explains that she gets glam done every single day no matter what she’s doing. Mary says her comments on WWHL about Heather’s corset weren’t intended to body shame her. Somewhere along the lines, the whole room also gets a chance to show off their impressions of one another. Then, finally, we’re on to the reason for the season: Bermuda.

After a supercut of the finale that should be submitted to short film competitions, we finally get to hear Monica’s side of the story. “Are you Reality Von Tease?” Andy asks, and Monica confirms that she is, in fact, part of the page but clarifies that she didn’t create the account. She began posting on the account in 2021 in an effort to expose how Jen Shah was treating her employees, and she maintains that the page didn’t come for any of the other Housewives. Heather chimes in to list its attacks on her, but all of the screenshots we see confirm Monica’s claim that those attacks were actually quotes from Jen. “We were trying to expose how abusive she was to you,” Monica explains.

In his attempt to figure out exactly how this all works, Andy finds more direct attacks on Heather from the account (which Monica says weren’t from her) and takes Heather’s phone to see just how often the account would tag her in posts. “This is like hundreds of tags,” he says, scrolling through their DMs.

Clearly a proponent of physical media, Monica reaches behind the couch and pulls out her very own Burn Book. “It’s full of receipts,” she says, handing off the free Mean Girls promo to Andy, who flips through. There’s a playful page for Andy, one for Lisa (“That’s like the worst picture of me”), and one of Monica herself that reads, “This girl is the nastiest ***** ***** I’ve ever met. Do not trust her! She is a fugly ****,” quoting the movie. Positioning herself as Regina George, who created the Burn Book and then made herself out to be a victim of it, doesn’t seem like the smartest move for Monica right now.

But in addition to these cutesy pages, which obviously don’t land with the group, the book also includes printouts of Reality Von Tease’s posts, many of which repeat negative things originally said by Jen. “We were trying to get it out how awful she was; I’m sorry that that ended up hurting you,” Monica says, somehow surprised that the cast is so upset by the page.

“Based on the things she wrote, she did not like any of us, so why do you wanna be our friend?” Lisa wonders. Did she have any interest in actually being friends, or did she just want to be on the show? “I think both can be true,” Monica admits. Andy clarifies that wanting to get on the show isn’t a crime — if it was, prisons would be filled with even more Real Housewives than there already are — and the other women agree. Nobody is upset at Monica for being a fan or vying to land on the show — her foul here was the deception.

So why didn’t she come clean about the account before she got caught? After all, she had no issue airing out all of her other ***** laundry the second cameras went up. “I knew from the jump that this was gonna come out, and I told production that,” she said, dropping a bomb that we’ll circle back to later.

But first, let’s talk about Snoop Dogg. Remember when Monica accused Lisa of bragging about flying with Snoop, which confused her because she’d never told her that? Well, Lisa explains that Monica knew about it because she overheard it on Jen’s security cameras. We find out that Monica set up Jen’s security system and thus had the ability to watch and listen to Jen in her home, but she denies that she used it to eavesdrop on that conversation. She also denies Lisa’s claim that she stalked Jen. “Driving by her house two or three times is not stalking,” Monica says, which doesn’t help her case.

They quickly get into a screaming match over what stalking is and isn’t before Lisa pulls out proof: upwards of 20 videos of Monica driving by Jen’s house. “Stakeout, ayy! We got our binoculars, *****!” she exclaims in one. “I’m in disguise driving by Jen’s house,” she says in another. It is so deeply funny to deny stalking after taking videos of yourself talking about how you’re stalking. But on the spot, she attempts to spin this by claiming that the FBI asked her to drive by Jen’s house to catch her drinking and driving, which makes the rest of the women erupt in laughter.

Andy then asks the rest of the women why they care and how this affects them. Heather explains that seeing how Monica strategically infiltrated Jen’s life, collecting information she then used to take her down, doesn’t make her want to be her friend. Even though Jen was the villain here, the saga demonstrated what Monica could do. Plus, Heather adds, it has ruined their experience as Housewives. “Every Housewife on every franchise would say, the only hard part about this job is the trolls on social media that are relentless about ourselves, and about our families, about our businesses,” she explains, so you can imagine how jarring it must be to find out the call is coming from inside the house.

She’s also upset at the idea that Bravo knew, as Monica claimed earlier, and Andy circles back to deny that. Monica claims that she brought it up with production during her very first interview, and Andy outright doesn’t believe her. “We wouldn’t have cast you,” he tells her. Monica’s lying is becoming borderline pathologic during this reunion, or perhaps our guard is just up to recognize it more quickly.

After a brief digression in which we scratch the surface of the mysterious Greek Mafia DMs (the blame gets put onto Monica for bringing it up on camera first), the conversation then turns to the infamous black eye.

Heather explains that after she woke up with the black eye last season, she didn’t know how she’d gotten it but was certain that Jen was to blame. She says that when Jen came to her room, she asked, “Did I give that to you?” Heather told her not to worry and that she’d cover for her. Now, Heather says that she was scared of Jen and had already been covering for her for three years anyway. Then, Andy throws to security footage from that San Diego trip, which Heather now admits shows them discussing the black eye that morning. Though there’s no intelligible audio, Heather talks us through what’s being said before apologizing to everybody involved for lying about what happened for so long.

Andy gives her a slap on the wrist for spewing theories about what could have happened, some of which included production. But when it comes to punishment, I think Heather should be sentenced to time served. This black eye story became bigger than any of them, and Heather was dragged to filth by fans, losing all of her goodwill for hedging and never delivering a satisfying explanation. That seems like punishment enough, but it also demonstrates the chokehold Jen had over her. She subjected herself to a massive and embarrassing fall from grace rather than tell the truth about what Jen did out of fear of retaliation.

Sitting there in Bermuda, Heather said that Monica’s deflection and toxicity felt familiar, reminding her of the kind of behavior she put up with and even defended for three years with Jen — but she was determined not to let the pattern continue. “The person who would eat that **** then is not gonna do it now,” she says.

But Monica says that hearing this story actually makes her feel a kinship to Heather, being that they both suffered physical abuse from Jen, but each handled it in different ways. “She kept it all in; I blurted it all out,” she says, but she completely understands why she made the decisions she did. All of the other women similarly support Heather and understand why she kept quiet for so long.

Andy notes how remarkable it is that all this time later, they’re still cleaning up the wreckage of Jen Shah’s presence. He wonders what each of the women would say to her if she’s watching in prison (probably alongside Elizabeth Holmes). Heather lists off her regrets and says, “I’m glad that you’re in prison because I might not have the guts to do it otherwise.” That’s great, but Heather is going to have to enter witness protection when Jen’s eventually released. Andy calls her message powerful and says there’s nothing else to say about it. Translation: he’s sick and tired of hearing about Jen Shah.

He also notes that a recurring theme seems to be Jen’s ability to make people do things that aren’t true to who they really are — so in that vein, is there any grace to be extended to Monica? It’s a great question that flirts with the idea of peace, but the women don’t take the bait. They still can’t trust her.

The same way Jen Shah was Monica’s ticket onto the show, her connection to Jen is also what’s going to determine her future with RHOSLC. The other women on the couch are using her act of deception to group her with Jen, which would be the nail in her coffin. Instead, Monica tried to position that deception as being an effort against Jen Shah, but it was ignored. Connecting with the women as a fellow victim of Jen’s wrath was likely her only hope, but her theatrics overshadowed that explanation for her involvement with Reality Von Tease. Basically, her messaging needs work. And when Andy asks if she has anything else to say, rather than taking advantage of getting the final word with a concise, explanatory thesis statement, she just says, “No.”

As Salt Lake City’s very own Icarus, Monica Garcia flew too close to the sun. Her presence facilitated one of the greatest Real Housewives seasons of all time, but is that presence sustainable? It’s been reported that she won’t be returning next season, but maybe there’s an in-between where we can at least see her sit down with Tenesha or hang out at Mary’s before she rides off into the sunset (The Traitors season three). Maybe, against all odds, the women will agree to shoot with her for the good of the show. But either way, the show will go on. They’ve survived losing an inflammatory grifter before and can do it again if they have to.

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