We rejoin the Brown clan in Alaska, where the mountains are beautiful, and the Browns are having the time of their lives. We learn that the kids are all getting along, as Christine brightly notes that the wives don’t hate each other’s guts for a change. We are reminded about the two plus-ones who came along for the ride, and Janelle is ready to skip the wedding and move on to grandkids.
Uncle Caleb is excited to spend time with Kody, and formally invite him to shove Maddie into his arms. Logan and Maddie are taking their loves on a double date, to exchange polygamist horror stories. Madison shares that Caleb doesn’t understand her plural upbringing, which forces us to flash back to her early days in the cult, so Caleb can understand why multiplying anything bugs the junk out of her. Logan explains that dating is hard, because every girl is horrified at the idea of marrying anyone like that icky, shaggy-haired guy on TLC. The foursome arrives at the restaurant, and Logan crosses his fingers, and asks what the newcomers think of their father. Michelle labels him a big kid who makes her nervous, and Uncle Caleb just shakes his head at the idea of that little weenie intimidating anyone.
Logan and Maddie agree that polygamy is the worst, and Maddie has a telling and sad look in her eyes. She shares an eye-opener about an ex-boyfriend who figured that she would be cool with him multiplying his love around campus. Michelle is naive, and rambles about how wonderfully diverse the wives are, and Caleb agrees that they’re all swell, especially while they are gushing over him. Janelle assures us that we should just ignore her daughter’s wistfully sad demeanor, because adult polygamy depression doesn’t necessarily mean that her childhood wasn’t perfect.
Maddie is thankful that her other mothers have more personality than her own, and feels sorry that her kids are getting stuck with just one genetic dud of a mom. The brainwashed young adults worry about not giving their kids the wonder of plurality, and Logan solves the dilemma by advising lots of babysitting gigs for the four grandmas. Robyn reminds the others not to shove Maddie and Caleb into matrimony, but they all giggle, and agree that it’s too late.
The next day the group splits, to go fishing and go dog-running. Christine chooses the dogs because you can screech like a loon, and no one cares. The scenery is gorgeous, as is Maddie and Caleb’s peaceful and connected love. The fishing crew keeps hauling in the halibut, as we jump to the dog-sledding excursion. The dogs drag the group around on a training vehicle, and it looks fun. Back on the boat, Caleb finally catches the whopper, proving his sheer fisherman magnificence. Mare continues to laugh, and seems to be loving life.
Caleb approaches Kody, for “the talk,” and Kody practically clicks his heels together in glee. Caleb tells Kody that his daughter is amazing and the other half of his soul, as Kody grins like a moron. Caleb asks permission to propose, and Kody almost leaps into his arms with joy. Kody gushes over Caleb’s marvelous manly essence, like he has an actual legitimate personal frame of reference. A family dinner is planned, and is a perfect time to gawk over Caleb’s genius culinary skills. We get a few good body shots of the fish…and TLC’s little shout-out to Jackie isn’t lost on me. Caleb, the fish-whisperer, performs amazingly, but Robyn reacts by gagging and running out of the room to barf…..always the attention whore. The family unglues themselves from Caleb, and are all devastated that their new family hero is leaving.
Kody and the wives go out to dinner to squeal about Maddie’s impending engagement, and the glorious answer to prayer that Caleb has turned out to be. Mare decides it’s now or never, and vaguely explains that she has been struggling with “stuff.” Mare blames Mariah leaving, empty nest, and choosing aloneness for putting her in a weird place. Mare tells the others that because of feeling in limbo, she needs to do “something,” and as soon as she checks her phone, she will let them know what. She basically tells the others that she is going to disappear from the face of the earth, and they better not follow her. Robyn perks up, and vows her endless support for her eternal absence.
Christine comments that Meri has been detached, glued to her phone, and seemed lost for long while. Christine is a rock during this convo, and seems sincere, even strangely wise. Janelle doesn’t think that their issues are serious enough to run away over, and Robyn thinks Mare glows her most orange when she’s safe on their cult-de-sac. Mare thinks that lots of school, a week of lonely camping, or leaving forever may fix her life.
Janelle says that she can vamoose, as long as she comes back in time to cook everyone’s Thanksgiving dinner. Robyn assures us that if Mare wants out, they would support her, and help her pack. TLC presents the story by jumping us back and forth between two time frames…allegedly before and after Mare’s discovery that “Sam” is indeed Jackie Overton. TLC meshes the two timeframes in their classic misleading fashion, but at least throws us more than a two minute sound bite.
Mare has felt alone and isolated, and even her beloved wet bar isn’t doing it for her these days. She shares the devastating sadness that invites listening to music before noon, like such a pathetic habit should explain the whole story. It is quiet and lonely all the time…and her needy state basically turned her into a nugget of white-stitched, catfish bait. Mare describes talking online to someone who said all of the right things, and she was drawn to trust him. He was kind, understanding, and compassionate. She found joy in laughter again…and she and her dreamy lover laughed the hours away. The relationship started out as a friendship, and when “Sam” expressed love and attraction for her, Mare began to reciprocate.
It was a confusing time, and Mare claims to have not acted on any love relationship, except for her proclamations of desperate love on 194 voicemails. She contradicts herself again, and comments that she DID want to meet up with him, but he never came through. She sobs, as she admits that cracks the size of bat-craters began to show through his story…and through hers, I might add. She claims to have pulled away from the family in order to protect them.
To clarify, this would may have occurred POST discovery, but not likely during her happy-go-lucky Alaska vacation. Mare claims that she saw red flags in the FIRST WEEK…but ignored the warning signs for SIX MONTHS? Mare continues to blubber about how major the mess is, then drops the bomb that her “bay-bee” would become verbally abusive, whenever she questioned him about his crazy vegan identity. He would make comments about a “friend” (JackieLindsay) who was tech-savvy, and could “do damage.” Mare admits that her lover was a female poser, who had been watching her online.
Mare feels that they were targeted, and that she needed to protect the family. She backtracks, and acts like she was in protective mode in Alaska, which appears to be a flat-out lie. She expresses worry about her future with the family, and comments that she doesn’t know how to get rid of the lesbian biotch. Kody acts clueless, and doesn’t connect that his endless and ongoing Robyn worship could have played a part in Mare dreaming of a better life in a bat cave. Stay tuned, as this story is far from over!