Sister Wives begins on a bouncy note — in Meri’s kitchen, where she’s busily prepping a jolly St. Patty’s day dinner for the family. Mariah is continuing her coming-out tour — making yet another appearance with her new lady love. Meri sells the match-made-in-heaven relationship through slightly unclenched teeth, and Janelle agrees, because social media accounts reveal the couple happily entrenched in the honeymoon phase.
Mariah is “glowing,” but the mother/daughter vibe is clearly still strained. Mariah continues to offer rinse-and-repeat romantic commentary, and Robyn notes that Mariah has dumped weight since she scored a girlfriend. Meri coaches Audrey through cranking open their canned dinner, excitedly sharing that her relationship with her daughter is on the upswing. Audrey is a keeper, because she disappears into the blurry crowd seamlessly. The family begins to flood in, and Christine becomes emotional over the half-sibling joy. The kids are so in synch that specific moms don’t even matter — unless you’re Meri.
TLC has evidently skipped a few months, because Maddie has ballooned gigantic with child. Caleb steps in to bless the wet bar spread, and Kody and the gals are impressed by his faith in action. Kody admits that he finds Caleb’s faith hilarious, albeit sincere and genuine. Kody admits to “teasing” Caleb about his beliefs — exposing what a judgmental hypocrite he really is. Christine admits that Caleb’s faith is the real deal — the clan evidently determining that whatever religion is cool — as long no one cracks any plyggie jokes. The family gushes over Audrey’s cooking skills — and Meri takes her acceptance over the top with a lucky rainbow cake. The women fall all over themselves with lesbian love — in fact, Meri wants to learn more — so she’s been asking lots of questions. Robyn brags that she has already informed her 5 year old, but isn’t sure if her one-year-old quite gets it yet. Vegas is super cool, so all the Brown kids are hip to the gay scene — no eyebrows raised.
Christine next reminds viewers about Ysabel’s scoliosis diagnosis, sharing her latest x-rays with the crew. Her spine is only curving worse, but Janelle appears to be just catching on to what scoliosis means. The progression is upsetting, and Ysabel’s full-time brace has fallen short. Surgery might be on the horizon, but the family is horrified by the prospect of resorting to an implanted metal rod. Christine reminds us that polygamists shun medical care, so they’ve signed up for a chiropractic boot camp, hoping that intense exercises will correct the teen’s spine. “A doctor” was consulted, and gave the green light, so they will soon be off.
Things next take a melancholy turn — because Meri and Kody are headed to therapist Nancy’s office to hash out their messy marriage. Meri hopes that she can learn to stand the sight of him, and driving to the appointment together is proclaimed a groundbreaking first step. Kody and Meri reveal that they had actually shared a meal, and managed to pull off less intense dinner hatred. Meri is still amped to buy her Utah bachelorette pad, but Kody’s wallet still votes no.
Meri’s eyes are twinkling with the idea of scoring the house — but Kody reminds her that she better find her own cash, because her eye-twinkles are inappropriate. Meri shades Kody’s analysis as a hint to get lost, but adds that the plan might not be such a bad idea. Meri believes that their lives are parallel at best, and Kody continues to rant and rave about the plural haters in Utah. Kody agrees to cross state lines to throw his #4 a bone, crossing his fingers that Mare will be inspired to go solo. Meri doesn’t want to do things alone, and hopes to drag Kody back into her lonely bed. Kody isn’t up for it, but is willing to fake a friendship and play nice in Utah. Kody admits that the catfish saga pushed him to the edge of a split, and busts Meri for being halfway out the door. Meri snaps back, and busts Kody for being a no-show, before she hunted for millionaire banana-love, via her keyboard. Kody hopes that the Utah trip will heal their relationship, but prays that Meri doesn’t get frisky. Kody is repelled by the idea of touchy-feely romance, so Nancy prods them to explore in a different kinda way — no hands allowed.
TLC repeats Ysabel’s shared thoughts about her rough brace experience — the sweet girl encouraging other girls in her position to “embrace the brace.” Christine hopes that the brace has been helping — but Ysabel’s real-life orthopedic surgeon confirms that there has been no improvement. The doc shoots down physical therapy effectiveness, but does not oppose the Browns giving the alternative treatment a shot. Christine is worried sick over the prospect of surgery, but frees Ysabel from the brace, to give “scoliosis bootcamp” a shot.
Madison’s baby shower is up next, and the theme is camo-babe. The celebration is a special one, because Kody is actually invited. Janelle clarifies that Maddie is feeling “very pregnant” — always offering crack analysis. Kody can’t wait to be a grandpa, and is thrilled to be blindfolded with Caleb, to diaper an unsuspecting dolly. Everyone is ready for the kick-off of the next generation.
Ysabel, Kody and Christine arrive at the Michigan treatment facility, hopeful that muscle memory training will help Ysabel’s rapidly curving spine. Ysabel shares that she’s so discouraged, she almost wants to go under the knife. The chiropractor walks the teen through the exercises, and gives her an alternative to the brace.
Janelle remarks that perhaps Ysabel’s stubborn nature will straighten her out, and Kody reminds us all that the Browns always tirelessly search for solutions that don’t involve real doctors. Ysabel meets a fellow patient, and the girls bond over their shared struggle. The treatment is raising Ysabel’s spirits, so Kody and Christine escape for some alone time. Kody shares that Robyn’s entry wrecked the couple’s fun-fun-fun chemistry, but Christine adds that Robyn’s friendship is what ultimately glued the threesome into eternity.
Back in the present, Kody, Christine and Ysabel are all encouraged by the glimmer of therapeutic hope, and Kody obnoxiously compares his messy family to his sweet daughter’s twisty-turny spine.
Maddie and Caleb enjoy a 3D ultrasound, and Maddie reveals that she’s stupidly planning to carry on a Brown tradition, with a horrifying home birth.
Next week, the horrifying home birth goes down.