Sunday’s episode of Sister Wives begins with Kody Brown still trying to figure out social distancing and everyone is still struggling with their relationships. And it looks like Kody is going to have a really awkward anniversary with Meri Brown.
Over at Janelle Brown’s – she’s struggling to manage her children and their outside exposure to Covid-19 with the needs of the larger family. It’s a turning point for Garrison Brown to have masks for work and Gabriel Brown to have online classes. Janelle wants Kody to come over to watch Hunter Brown’s air force graduation online. Kody is struggling with Gabriel’s cavalier attitude about exposing the family. Kody feels like he has a duty to the family as well as greater society. Has anyone wondered why Kody doesn’t just come by each home, talk to them through the glass or at a distance? Kody didn’t go to Meri’s to see Mariah Brown or Audrey Kriss for their quarantine. Can’t they figure out a porch party or something? Savanah Brown is the one suffering the most from not seeing her other siblings because Gabriel and Garrison won’t stop doing what they are doing. Janelle thinks it’s easier to keep growing apart with Covid-19, and she’s worried about that.
It’s Truely Brown’s birthday. Truely is beating a pinata with a tennis racket and missing her siblings. Robyn Brown and her kids went to wish Truely a happy birthday. Robyn wishes they were all in one house. Janelle thinks it would be hard to figure out what to do in one house, to find a consensus on behavior. Christine never wants to live in one house again. And then Meri, the victim, says, “I go through these times where I am pretty sure that everyone is happy with the fact that we have Covid. And we have this excuse of not having to see each other and not having to interact with each other.” I wonder if Meri stops by to see Truely on her birthday. There wasn’t footage of it, but maybe she did.
Kody Brown wants to go to Janelle’s, but he has to negotiate with Christine to be able to see Hunter’s graduation. This visit with Janelle will be on Christine’s birthday. Christine seems understanding. But Kody thinks that Christine will likely bring it up later, “Remember that time you missed my birthday because of Hunter’s graduation?”
Kody is finally heading over to Janelle’s house after almost five weeks. Kody is talking to himself in the car. He says, “I know I picked this lifestyle, but I am angry about what it’s doing sometimes.” Janelle is so happy. And Kody is happy. The two of them are so happy that they have each other. Kody and Janelle just always seem to be lighthearted and no drama. Kody’s probably missed that toggling back and forth between Robyn’s and Christine’s. Gabriel gives Kody a big hug, but then the cold shoulder. Savanah curls up next to her dad.
Kody and Meri are hanging out for their anniversary. I’m not sure why. Meri made her 30 Rice Krispies treats for their 30 years of marriage. He can’t remember that it was 30 years. He keeps saying 31 years. I wonder if he gets bonus pay to film this outing. Meri starts right in on celebrating a non-anniversary because they are not a couple. Sigh. Kody says, “I’m trying to help Meri determine if she has a spark or if she is just lonely for anything.” Kody says that he and Meri had problems like this before Janelle even came into the family. But the catfishing time period really solidified that Kody doesn’t have a spark for her. Kody says to Meri, “I think we miss the idea of us, but we don’t miss each other.” And Meri says, “Speak for yourself.” Meri says she’s waiting for him. He says she hasn’t made an effort. It’s so uncomfortable. He must want to get out of the car. She keeps blaming him. Kody has moved out of anger and bitterness, but she is drawing him back to that. Kody says, “Meri says, you are going to have to love me, and I’m like, well, be loveable.”
Meri and Kody decide to sit out in a park to eat, but this might qualify for most awkward picnic ever. Meri is trying to flirt with Kody. But he’s not having it. Kody brings up the conversations the wives had in the car driving back from the Dargers’ house. Kody says, “When wives tell me that their life sort of sucked in plural marriage, what can I do?” Kody is really struggling to let the women be free enough to leave if they aren’t happy. Robyn calls this “going dark.” Kody seems to be more in tune with the deep pain that can accompany plural marriage, but the women seem to translate that as abandonment, not freedom. Kody says, “I got hopeless about our family arrangement and organization and started to see the lack of real desire to be together.”
Meri asks him a very important question. “What do you want for your family?” And he says that he wants wives who get along with each other and who like each other and don’t say snotty little things to each other that break their hearts.” Kody is being purposely vague about which wife is saying things and nitpicking about other wives. Then Meri jumps right back in to make it about her. Kody says that the one-house-thing was a huge wakeup call for him about how much they don’t want to be together. Kody says that he sometimes has no interest in satisfying the never-ending emotional needs of a wife. Meri is talking about not walking away. Kody is talking about saving it. Kody is being open and honest. Meri is being defensive. Remember when Robyn talked last year about Kody’s dance with Meri? This picnic: Exhibit A.
When Kody says that he thinks one or some of his wives might just be better off married to another man, Meri is upset to think that Kody is just deciding “to pick and choose who to keep.” Kody doesn’t want a big breakup. He wants a big commitment that everyone will do their part. Kody wants to tell everyone to rise up and do better or we aren’t going to do this anymore.
This episode felt like one big marriage counseling session. Next time, everyone is still struggling with Covid and their deteriorating relationships. Kody and Christine spend time together. And Robyn is thinking about having another baby.
Kelli Bergheimer is an opinionated redhead, reality tv junkie, and freelance writer for All About the Tea.