Hi Trashies! We are back for the Sister Wives Tell All(ish)! I have to be honest, I never really watched these kinds of episodes before now. I always found that they would try to sucker viewers in by promising a huge reveal and then the payoff was pretty low. TLC decided that this year’s episode deserved not just one, but two full hours of “tell all.” I have struggled a lot with the format of this recap, so I hope you guys enjoy what little entertainment I was able to cobble together.
We open with Kody, the wives, and host Tamron Hall sitting in some couches at what I am assuming is one of the wives’ houses. They banter a bit about the season, and Tamron presents the first flashback.
Flashback 1 – Kody wants to just go and get the marriage licenses done very clinically, with no pomp and circumstance. He and Robyn sneak off to sign the license without anybody else from the family.
Kody says he didn’t want to make it another wedding day. Meri suggested bringing everybody and their dog, but he said no. For Robyn, the marriage was about changing what the world perceives. Tamron asks since when do you care about the world’s opinion. In the end, Kody made the decision. He didn’t answer the question. Tamron asks what people tell the Browns and where they interact with haters the most. Kody replies that he encounters them every day on the street. Even people from their own church think that being so public is inappropriate. I would be very surprised to hear that 1) Kody and the wives go out on the “street” and 2) that anybody would recognized them out there.
Tamron wants to know how much social media they read. Kody says that they don’t really read any since Meri’s issue (he doesn’t say this, but that’s what he means). Tamron asks how it works when you legitimize one wife over the others. Janelle doesn’t seem to understand the question, since Meri was already legitimized before. Facebook asks whether Kody will divorce Robyn and re-marry Meri. Kody doesn’t understand why though? Tamron asks if there is a difference with Robyn now. Robyn avoids answer the question, saying she forgets to do her taxes (unsaid: and Kody is at my beck and call).
Flashback 2 – Kody and Robyn reach out to Robyn’s ex to force him to terminate his parental rights. Robyn hyperventilates.
Robyn says that it was a miracle that Preston signed the papers. A really dumb miracle, I guess.
Flashback 3 – The kids’ adoption is approved by the judge.
Kody cries after watching the clip, and Tamron says she’s never seen him cry. I wish I hadn’t. Kody says that there’s a sense that everything is right after that experience. It was magical, surreal. Tamron notes that Meri was very detached throughout the more emotional scenes. She asks her why. Meri says she was dealing with “external issues” during the filming of the season, which is such a non-answer.
Flashback 4 – Meri announces Robyn’s pregnancy.
Tamron asks why Meri made the announcement. Robyn thought people would guess what was going on if they did it at her house. Janelle thought Meri was going to announce that she had cancer. Whoa, Janelle, way to be super negative. For this pregnancy, the kids are a lot more excited than with Solomon. The older girls are asking what it’s like to be pregnant. I really don’t believe they do, Robyn. No college student or teenager is interested in being pregnant. Tamron asks Kody how he balances his time with the kids. Kody says he doesn’t golf. He doesn’t really have any hobbies that take him away from the kids (Except making more mini-Kodys with Robyn). Janelle thinks that somehow the kids see Kody as a superhero dad.
Flashback 5 – Christine and Kody take an anniversary trip to Galveston, Texas with their marriage counselor.
Tamron asks, “Who takes a therapist on an anniversary trip?” From your mouth to Krampus’s ears, Tamron. Kody and Christine had been going to therapy forever with no progress, so they thought bringing Nancy with them would help them get a breakthrough. I am so depressed for Christine, y’all.
Flashback 6 – Kody takes over their rock building counseling project.
All the wives pretend that they had Christine’s back and were furious with Kody. Tamron tells her that she kept waiting for her to turn into the Hulk and knock down the whole rock tower. She also points out that in all of the conversations about the rock building project, Kody never apologized (surprising exactly no one). Kody says he just railroaded it, and asks to talk about this in private? Tamron channels the audience in response. Janelle defends Kody by saying he always thinks about the family first. Kody adds something to the effect of “Hur dur a bunch of guys out there probably think I’m a jackwagon” (WTF is a jackwagon?). Tamron replies, “Not just guys. Ladies, too.” Tamron is on fire! Kody says he doesn’t want to hear about the ladies. He never does!
Facebook asks Kody why he married four women if he didn’t want to deal with their emotions. Kody “apologizes,” and then blames Christine because she once questioned being in a polygamist relationship. No explanation as to why Meri gets a pass on a fucking affair, but Christine is to blame for Kody’s trust and woman issues for wanting out one time.
Flashback 7: MOAR therapy!
Christine reveals that she hates being faced with successful relationships while hers is struggling (I wonder where she sees successful relationships?). Tamron wants to know where her jealousy comes from and asks for specific examples. Christine is clearly flustered by being put on the spot like this and waffles about not being confident in herself. Tamron expands the question to the other wives, but still asks for examples about Christine. Can we turn this inquisition on Robyn? That would make me feel a lot better. Robyn refuses to come up with one because girl code or something (like she gives a shit about the other wives). Christine finally relents and says she get jealous of Kody’s time with the other wives. Kody basically says that he’s totally detached when he’s at Christine’s because she has so many feelings. Christine’s happy pills must be on their second wind, because she’s so serene as she talks about the “dark period” in her life “before she got pregnant with Truely” (aka when Kody traded her in for a younger, more fertile model).
In case you haven’t fallen asleep at this point of the episode, you’re in for a nice nap. We get to live through an interview with the older Brown kids, except Hunter. Garrison and Paydon are there but do not make up for Hunter’s absence. First up is talk about the significant others. Maddie is excited about Caleb. She says she wasn’t worried about bringing him to her Dad, just that she’s really young to be in such a serious relationship. Logan chimes in that he approves of Caleb. Moving on, Maddie was rejected from joining the real Mormon Church because they think her family is too controversial and public. She’s very upset that they would consider her parents in her bid for membership. I’m upset that you are cool with the Mormon Church, Maddie. After all of the Brown older kids basically say there’s no way in hell they’d be polygamists, Tamron asks Logan about Michelle and how they met. Apparently, instead of asking her on a date, he just grabbed her and kissed her. Uh Logan? That’s not how you ask someone out, it’s sexual assault.
Flashback 8: Last season, two anthropology students come to the show and tell Kody that based on their observations of the family, he doesn’t relate to the girls as well as the boys.
Tamron wants to know how the fuck he doesn’t relate to girls when he is surrounded by girls and women of all ages all the time every day. Janelle defends Kody (again—did Janelle dip into Christine’s happy pills?). It’s totally okay that he doesn’t spend individualized time with the girls because they totally still have the same relationship (bullshit). When Ysabel’s birthday came around, she asked to spend time with her sisters and their dad (why though). Kody says that his daughters don’t have the same jealousy among themselves as the wives do. Uh duh. They all know you are their father and love them (sort of) equally. The wives don’t have any indication of that.
Now it’s time to take another nap! The younger Brown kids show up to be interviewed.
Flashback 9: Robyn’s ex Preston signs away his parental rights and Robyn announces it to her kids on Aurora’s birthday.
Aurora cries while watching the clip. She says it was super important to get confirmation and security as a member of the Brown family. I feel so bad for her. She’s so insecure that even this shitty family makes her emotional.
Flashback 10: Gabriel, Gwendolyn, and Janelle try to build a cardboard boat, and fight the entire time.
Gwendolyn notices that she sounded like Kody when she tried to take control of the building process. Gabriel says it was hard because he and his mom fight a lot. He constantly challenges his mom. At least he’s easier to swallow than fucking Garrison. I am starting to think Gabriel is gay. He is looking DAPPER today. Savanah is chatty and adorable tonight. She says she was jealous when Truely was born. She thinks Solomon will be jealous of the new baby. Yeah, it’ll probably be hard to be unseated as Royal Prince. At least he’s a boy, so Kody will still be his bro when the baby starts having “feelings” and “emotions.”
Flashback 11: Janelle reaches out to Meri to make up with her. Meri initially shuts her down.
Janelle says it’s hard to be in this situation because she and Meri were friends for years before they married Kody. The more I hear about their lives before the show the more awkward and WTF this arrangement is. Then, after Janelle joined the family, Meri was super controlling, determining what time the dishes would be done. Janelle says she’s made a lot of personal changes recently that made her decide to make up with Meri. Despite her apologist ways, Janelle is the only real adult in this whole family. Meri doesn’t think she and Janelle will ever be besties, and that it would be a pleasant surprise if it happened. She says there’s too much scorched earth to repair it now. Man, Meri is a huge bitch. She’s the reason for their problems and then can’t even begin to try to make things better. I guess now that the catfishing is out, there’s even more “scorched earth.”
Flashback 12: Meri reveals her affair and threatens to leave the family.
Kody says he didn’t know what to think when she told the family. At that time, it seemed so vague. He didn’t want to push her, because she hadn’t seemed herself for over 6 months. Now, he’s afraid to push too hard. He’s been asking lots questions, but she can’t seem to talk about it.
The catfishing story broke 3 days before they sat down to film the episode, which explains why Kody seems ready to blow. Tamron asks Meri what happened. Meri says that the last time they did a tell-all, it was around the time the divorce was made public and throughout that month, they got bombarded with questions on social media. Lots of comments online cheered her on for having finally left him. One person reached out to her and they started talking online first, then on the phone. She says she really enjoyed the friendship and the laughter. He started saying all the right things, very flattering comments expressing affection and love to Meri, and she fell for it. Meri doesn’t understand how the internet works.
Tamron asked if that was missing in Meri’s relationship with Kody. Meri responds that she was just open to the friendship and the laughter (aka YES). Apparently, he told her to leave him specifically worded voicemails and letters that expressed how much she loved him. She says she started to see cracks in the story early on (which is total bullshit, because she basically told the family she was leaving when they were in Alaska). He started making threats, saying that she didn’t want to cross his hacker friend. She met the friend in person (but not the dude), she would place her phone on Meri’s phone and say that she could get everything off of it. Meri started distancing herself from her friends and family. She was scared of what they could do, because they were showing it. This story seems much rehearsed. I bet they got a publicist to help come up with a cover.
Tamron asks how Meri managed to conceal all of this. Meri says she had to. She started pushing everyone away because she was “scared.” Uh no, you weren’t. You were getting ready to leave. Kody didn’t find out about the whole thing until 3 weeks before filming this episode. Meri thought her house was bugged. She says she was in a lonely, vulnerable spot. When Kody tried to talk to her, she just burst into tears. Kody says he thought it was just phone and online conversations. Meri very quickly retorts that it was just that. Defensive.
Meri didn’t know what she was missing in the relationship, but the online conversations made her laugh (WTF). Tamron asks if Meri slept with him. Meri says she never met the person (I believe this). The pictures he sent her were of an actor. Sometimes she would talk to him and he would throw a tantrum and hang up on her. She felt like she had to do whatever he told her to. I don’t know, man. I feel like if he was that emotionally abusive, Meri wouldn’t have been so dead set on leaving.
Tamron asks how Meri found the courage to tell the family (she really didn’t). Robyn says she made her. Meri told Robyn in Colorado when they were visiting Hunter. Meri says she believed the catfisher’s goal was to break up the family. That is a noble goal for what was probably a troll. Kody says he forgives Meri, because he sees it as just a flirt. Kody says this, but he looks like he’s seething underneath. Also, it’s kind of bullshit that he says this, when he’s a continuous dick to Christine for not being super into Robyn more than 5 years ago.
Tamron asks Meri if she’s told them everything. Meri says yes. Tamron asks, “What about the children?” Meri told the older kids that she was never going to leave them no matter what they heard. That seems… incomplete? Meri did tell the guy she wanted to leave, but he supposedly forced her. That sounds like the story you came up with now that you won’t be leaving anymore. She says she always knew there wasn’t someone to leave to (bullshit). She ends with, “I believe this person targeted us and wanted to tear this family apart, and that’s not happening on my watch.”
For the final nap of this loooong episode, they bring out Truely and Solomon. Solomon doesn’t recognize any of the parents and refuses to come out until Kody carries him to Robyn. Maybe he spends too much time with the babysitter. Truely is camera shy. Christine jokes about they will be able to pull clips from the show for Truely’s dates. Tamron asks, “Are you proud of the show?” Christine says yes. The way she asks makes it seem like it’s the final episode of the entire show.
And there you have it, Trashies? Was this tell all worth 2 hours and the remainder of my sanity? I don’t think so. Now I’m wondering if the show will be coming back. I hope so. If not, thanks for joining me in this wild ride!
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