It’s a new week on Sister Wives, and as I resist the natural urge to “disengage,” we join Caleb, Maddie, Janelle and Kody, discussing Maddie’s future wedding dress.
Kody wants to act as fashion consultant, but Janelle thinks that it is imperative that Kody be brought to tears at the wedding, preferably by his daughter’s beauty, not by khaki-snazzy Caleb. The women all jam into the bridal salon, likely terrifying the employees. Wife-in-training, Mindy is present, getting a jump on acclimating to public embarrassment. Mindy scores the high seat, in a moment of scary foreshadowing. Maddie models the first dress, to a shell-shocked and unimpressed crowd. Mare dabs away the tears, overwhelmed that Maddie is beating her to the altar, and with a real man. Maddie decides on a dress, and the sparkles predictably choke up Christine. Maddie assures us that a wedding conflicting with a sibling’s birth is normal for her
We learn of Meri’s new painting hobby, which has proven far healthier than reciting needy love ballads on her phone. The paintings are hideous, but she loves to create trees, to symbolize being rooted in misery. Meri babbles on about her life being all about the kids — even though none of them seem to like her. Mare and Natalie, the painting instructor, are working to create a dream painting for Kody.
Meri rambles on about her empty, wet-barring existence, and how she was helplessly Fish-whipped into a million professions of passionate love. Mare cites her decision to call her catfish lover a “he,” because what’s the harm in keeping the dream going a little longer? Meri FINALLY weakly admits to handling things “poorly,” for the first time. Meri needs to heal relationships, build trust, and capture her messed-up life, in paint-by-number glory. Janelle’s personality is assigned a motionless pine tree, Robyn is captured in bossy curlicue whimsy, and Christine in far-out grooviness. Robyn loves palm trees — probably relating to a big weed that refuses to be pulled.
Next we catch up with Robyn and unborn Eri-May, who are visiting the midwife with Kody. Eri-May wants out, and Kody hopes to score another pretty-pretty tax deduction. Kody thinks it is super fun to score tons of tax breaks with his numerous concubines.
Speaking of the last little dollar sign, Mare is hoping to take Solomon along to visit Mariah — probably to act as a buffer between her and Mariah’s wrath. Meri notes that she needs to tread lightly with Mariah, because she is mighty pissed off by the summer of the Fish. Meri asks to borrow the tot, and Robyn answers
HELL NO “no,” because Sol is a skittish bundle of nerves with an allergy to strange men. Robyn and Kody feel badly about Mare’s rejected mug and stomping exit, so Robyn dedicates her whole next talking head to gushing over Meri’s indescribably wondrous presence in the harem. Kody and Robyn go to Meri to smooth things over, but Mare senses that they don’t trust her with a cellphone, let alone a child. Solomon is declared a nervous wreck, who always wants his mommy. Kody scratches his head like a moron, wondering why Sol wants to be close to his mom, before he is tossed onto the pile, and forgotten.
Mare reminds us that it has been a super doubtful year, with “so many people,” as if everyone around her is wearing half a face. Robyn wishes that Mare wouldn’t be so damn stupid — as do we all. Mare admits to insecurities and being haunted by lots of hook-shaped question marks. Robyn offers Breanna as a booby prize, and Meri reluctantly takes the consolation offer.
Breanna awkwardly approaches Meri for the dud level invitation, and is happy to score a day out of school. Meri reiterates that she loves the kids, and that the kids love her — about a dozen times. Breanna is a solid travel companion, because she didn’t hang around with Mare last summer. The gals hit the road, to go see a grumpy Mariah. Meri thinks that she misses Mariah — even though this trip will surely be terrible.
The gals stop to pick up some flowers, hoping to buy Mariah’s forgiveness. Mare’s orange fingers are crossed, that Mariah will listen, and understand her terrified victim-hood. They pull into Meri’s mom’s place, as Mare hopes that the weekend isn’t a complete nightmare. Mariah is instantly peeved that Mare greets the dog before her, but then receives the duo warmly. Mariah’s shirt symbolizes Meri’s catfish-torn heart, as she accepts the flowers. Meri’s Utah based family has gathered, and none of the children appear interested in their
dumb Auntie Mare. Mariah shares that she is not on good terms with her mother, and that it is taking a lot of emotional work just to stand the sight of her. The mother-daughter duo chat awkwardly, as they discuss their weekend plans.
Maddie is trying to nail down a wedding venue, and Janelle and Kody drive to Montana to give their input. They meet their first contact, and Maddie assures her that her own mother is barely conscious, but hyper Christine may cause a ruckus. The first venue has a river, a meadow, a bridge, and a dance floor, perfect for Kody’s signature chicken seizure dance moves. TLC gives us a horrifying montage of the Brown’s boogey history, while we look at a few beautiful tree houses. The next place has an intriguing barn, a big house, and a ton of land. Caleb shows for the third venue, which makes Kody giddy. Marcy shows them around an odd mini town, and the family banters about their final decision. Maddie picks the treehouse venue, because it’s super bohemian and cool.
We enjoy a blast from seasons past, as Meri cooks breakfast in the old Lehi house, which Meri’s sister, now calls home. We flash back to the good ol’ Utah days, where Mare evidently began her undetectable “self-improvement journey.” Meri realized that she was a big biotch, and that she needed to change. Meri and Mariah were tight she was twelve, but things went downhill, when Mariah didn’t need her to do her laundry anymore. TLC editors pull out a funny, as Mariah giggles over reminiscing how her mother helped her to accomplish her first adult feat — selecting the best bananas. Mariah notes that once she mastered such challenging tasks, Meri smothered her in her needy love.
Mariah believes that she provides her mother’s whole purpose in the family, blowing Meri’s earlier assertion that her life is about all of the children. Mariah peeks into her old room, and tells us that she wanted to go back to Utah for college, in order to be a part of her church. Mariah used to desire polygamy, but explains how her college served as a deprogrammer, breaking her away from the cult. YAY Mariah!! Mariah doesn’t trust her mother, and she is finding it hard to want anything to do with her. Mariah ups her snarky game, and snipes at her mom about her magic marker eyebrows, forgetting to ask about her curious orange tint. Meri takes the nasty cue, and drags Mariah out on a walk. Meri reminds us that she handled a “very dangerous situation” unwisely, likely revealing one of the main reasons that Mariah can barely stand to look at her. Meri and Mariah sit down to talk, the awkwardness is palpable. Meri tiptoes into the fishy subject, in vague, runaround language.
Mariah tells us that she knows that she’s selfish —but that she just doesn’t care about her mother’s lying ass. Mariah has no sympathy, and obviously feels disrespected and dismissed. Mariah doesn’t want to talk—and exposes that she warned her mother against canoodling with Sam — from the beginning. Mariah speaks TRUTH, and notes that no shady details change the fact that her mother HAD a relationship—against her wise advice and her wishes. Mariah says that she will agree to talk to Nancy the therapist, but not her shady trollop of a mother. Meri proves her point when she insists that we all believe that the phone love giggles were about fear, not any plans to run off with Sam.
Mariah heard what America heard, and she has proven herself not a brainwashed dummy. Meri continues to drone on, making the ordeal all about her, but Mariah saves the episode with desperately needed dose of honesty — a splash of water in a dried up sea of lies.
Eri-May makes her dramatic entrance next week, as the Brown clan grows by one.