This week on Sister Wives, as Janelle Brown and Kody Brown’s sons continue to take issue with his Covid rules, the family attempts once more to navigate the holiday gatherings. Kody asks Janelle to choose between her children and him, and she is so frustrated, she tells him off. It’s too bad this family has deteriorated. Most of us probably tuned in years ago because we were curious how it worked. How much longer will we hang in to watch all the ways that it does not? It’s sad that their initial goal of public acceptance has turned into this.
As Janelle and her kids are raking leaves and clearing up fallen branches, Kody shows up to do chores. Janelle thinks that just seeing their dad—outdoor and distanced—has changed the relationships the kids have with him. Janelle pulls Kody aside to apologize for how she reacted to his list of Covid rules. Janelle is going to try to embrace “the list” to be together at Christmas. Rather than take Janelle’s apology at face value, Kody turns the conversation to Robyn Brown’s compliance. He says, “It’s what I see fitting, and Robyn’s compliant, too. I think it’s easy for her simply because she sees the value in protecting our family.”
In her production interview, Janelle is heated and frustrated that Robyn is compliant, but it’s easier for Robyn given that her kids are all at home and Robyn doesn’t have to make tough choices. Janelle is at a different parenting stage. Kody wants everyone in the family to make the same level of sacrifice as he is. Do you wonder if they did all live in one house how this would play out? Would he kick out the non-compliant?
As they try to figure out how to manage Garrison Brown and Gabriel Brown’s social lives, Janelle suggests that Gabriel’s girlfriend move in for a few weeks, and then Kody can come over. Kody doesn’t want to choose between violating his religious rules or violating his Covid rules. In his production interview, Kody says, “Blah blah blah blah blah, vomit more bullsh*t, vomit more bullsh*t.” Anyone going back to watch these production interviews would have damage to their relationship. Maybe more than Covid and rules and head wife, the problem is no one is honestly saying what they think (except the adult children).
Kody thinks it’s a polygamy double standard. No one has to answer to him, but he has to answer to everyone. Kody wants the adult boys to leave her home. Janelle is frustrated that nothing is ever resolved, and it’s stupid to keep going in circles.
Kody left Janelle’s house, and so she tries to talk to Gabriel, Garrison, and Savanah Brown about the list of rules so that they can all be together at Christmas and so that Kody can come back into her house. Gabriel says that he will cooperate with his mom, but not his dad, and calls his dad’s rules, “stupid.” Garrison suggests just not telling Kody, but Janelle doesn’t want them to be deceptive. Gabriel wants to talk to his dad about it and yell at his dad about it. Savanah is the voice of reason and tells her brothers that their mom is suffering, too. They have had nine months without their dad.
Then Gabriel says what everyone is thinking, “How about the fact that he’s been at Robyn’s for 9 months?” In Christine Brown’s production interview, she validates that her family has only seen Kody a handful of times in nine months. When Janelle suggests that Christine is traveling for Thanksgiving, Gabriel says, “Why don’t we just do Thanksgiving with Christine and dad can do his bullsh*t and we’ll do ours?”
Meanwhile, Janelle shows up at Robyn’s house with a birthday gift. Janelle may not wrap presents, but she gives thoughtful gifts. Janelle and Robyn sit down to talk. Robyn is worried about all the relationships including her own. Both women bond over their love of polygamy and the independent time where they don’t see Kody. Robyn is struggling with too much Kody. She didn’t sign up for monogamy (and had some options to go that route), but she chose to live in a plural family.
Robyn says it’s been hard to have Kody there all the time, and especially “unhappy Kody.” Janelle wants to see him a day or two. Christine wants the same (but with affection). Robyn wants to see him less. And Meri Brown will take anything she can get. No one, including Kody, is getting what they signed up for.
As November arrives, the moms and Kody gather to figure out what is happening for Thanksgiving. Janelle starts by telling the group that they are leaning towards traveling with Christine for Thanksgiving and gathering all together for Christmas. Christine says that her adult children—Aspyn Thompson and Mitch Thompson, Mykelti Padron and Tony Padron, and Paedon Brown—are not willing to follow all the rules to come for Christmas. But Christine does agree to stay in Flagstaff for Christmas.
Kody takes this as a personal attack, that Christine and Janelle would rather do Thanksgiving without him. Kody tries to guilt trip everyone into compliance and seeing the larger picture that he sees, but also tells them that they can choose what they want. What Kody doesn’t seem to realize is that if the wives have to choose between him and their children, they will choose their children.
When Kody is finished with his guilt trip, Janelle is the first to walk away, but she doesn’t leave. Christine says she has a clear conscience about her decision. Kody chastises Christine to go back to tell her kids the weight of their choices. Janelle comes back in hot and calls him out on his guilt trip. Kody says, “I think you understand where I’m at and the big picture that I have and I want you to just respect that, ok?” Janelle turns around to leave and tells him to “F— off.”
Christine tries to explain to Kody how Janelle is in the middle and getting it from all sides. Kody says that if someone dies because of Covid, he’s going to be angry and never get over it. Then Kody says something very telling in his production interview that Christine hates him “partly because Truely [Brown] almost died, and she thought that I had been negligent.” There is a flashback to Truely’s kidney failure illness and the toll it took on them. Does anyone wonder how this might be Kody’s fault? Maybe that they didn’t have insurance?
Janelle’s car cam records her frustration. She doesn’t want to spend Thanksgiving alone. Next time, Meri and Robyn talk about their frustrations. Janelle celebrates with Garrison, Gabriel, and Savanah. Christine celebrates in Utah. And Kody, Meri, and Robyn celebrate with Robyn’s children. As smaller family groups gather for Thanksgiving, Kody is seeing it as a loyalty test.
Kelli Bergheimer is an opinionated redhead, reality tv junkie, and freelance writer for All About the Tea.