To you who are about to read this recap: I salute you! For those of you who actually tuned in last night for Part 2 of Little Women: LA Matt and Briana, Ride or Die…can we go in on a group therapy rate together? Because I may need some deep work on my residual anger issues after witnessing this unnatural disaster. It only took me an entire week’s worth of hot showers to clean the stank off after witnessing last week’s sh*t show, but I fear it will take Briana Renee a lifetime to live with herself after broadcasting this hot mess to the world. Sigh.
We pick up after Briana told Matt Ericson he couldn’t come home yet, just after taping the LWLA Season 4 Reunion. Upon hearing that news, Matt threw himself a wittle hissy fit
then slept in his car, but he’s suddenly back! And just in time to take Briana’s poor, sweet, innocent daughter, Leiana, to a “Daddy Daughter Dance.” Erm. No. WHY IS BRIANA ALLOWING THIS!? And where is Leiana’s actual father, Leif Manson!?
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As Briana helps the adorable Leiana get ready for the dance, she reflects on the fight she had the night before with Matt. She’s nervous about seeing him today, but had promised him he could take Leiana to the dance beforehand. So she’s stuck. Matt Daddy <dry heave> arrives, and Leiana is excited to see him, saying she missed him while he was “on his trip.” This obviously gets to Briana, who is still claiming to be on the fence about what to do. “Matt is a really good stepfather to Leiana, and I can only imagine how great of a father he’ll be to our son!” gushes Briana about her cheating, lying, blaming, smarmy husband. “It’s times like these when I don’t think about divorce,” she delusionally adds.
Matt apologizes to Briana while Leiana runs upstairs for a minute. Claiming he’ll do whatever it takes to win her back, he says he’s sorry for reacting badly to Briana asking him to stay away for another night, but then excuses his behavior as “only human” and basically a giant reaction to the reunion stress.
Here we go with THE MANY FACES OF MATT again! Remorse, irritation, blaming, defensiveness, then anger. Is that the cycle? I’m sure there are a few more stops on the manipulation train, but it’s all just too much to parse out right now. Briana says she still felt it was the right decision for him to stay away. As if their only issue is Matt
squatting in the bushes renting a hotel for one night, this couple sure knows how to dance around an issue. As of now, they’re not getting anywhere, so Matt takes Leiana to the dance, promising to have her home by 9.
Enter: Leif! YESSSSSS!!!! Just the man we’ve been crying out for! Finally. Briana’s ex-husband (and Leiana’s father) stops by to drop off Leiana’s backpack, and to sit down for a little heart to heart with Briana about the pond scum she’s shacked up with. Briana is not happy to see him, telling him flat out that Matt is at the “Daddy Daughter Dance” with Leiana. This does not sit well with Leif, for obvious reasons. He’d like Briana to tell HIM about these events in the future, as HE is Leiana’s actual father. Ahem.
Leif asks about Matt: “Does he abuse you?” Briana, shocked, squeals “No!” She also claims Leiana is not in harm’s way either. Matt “adores her to no end.” Quickly turning the conversation to other topics, Briana says she needs to find another house that will accommodate her growing family. Whether Matt stays or goes, she wants to move. Leif is concerned about Leiana switching schools, and about her general welfare. He doesn’t want Briana just up and moving somewhere without offering him some proof “in writing” that things (I assume he means custody/visitation) will stay the same.
Briana has already put in her application for the new house, though, and argues that “everything else will stay exactly the same.” Sighing the heavy sigh of a man who’s been dealing with Briana for years now, Leif just shakes his head and says, “You obviously don’t listen.” Why does he seem so powerless in this scenario? If I were him, I would be at the Daddy Daughter Dance right this minute, tapping Matt on his pleather-jacketed shoulder.
After the dance, Briana has a chat with Matt. She tells him Leif wasn’t too happy to hear about Matt and Leiana at the dance together. “Awww,” snarks Matt, “Did I hurt his feelings?” Briana lets his gross comment slide, broaching the topic of their wretched relationship again. She brings up the hotel, to which Matt again snarks, “Oh, the hotel, where I got like 2 hours of sleep?” No, he did not like it there, he says. He wants to come home. Briana has been thinking a lot; she doesn’t know how to trust him again. She’s still not ready for him to come home yet. The barely contained rage rises to the surface of Matt’s maroon face as he snipes that it’s “horesh*t!”
Now she’s poked the angry bear. Matt argues that him staying at a hotel doesn’t get them anywhere. Briana wants to move forward, she says. But a vengeful Matt claims he’ll never move forward like this! He’ll pack his sh*t up and walk out! Briana’s response should be: SOUNDS LIKE A PLAN, THEN! BUH-BYE! But instead, she infuriatingly just rolls her eyes, then goes to check on Leiana.
The next day, Briana goes to see a therapist about her issues. What’s with the impromptu, single therapy appointments that these two think qualify as “healing”? (Lifetime: you really need to pay for years of professional help for Briana, at the very least, to make reparations for airing this garbage!) She confesses the sexting to the therapist, saying she’s had nightmares for weeks since. She felt Matt was the first person she’s ever trusted, and now that trust is shattered. She’s not sure how to repair that. But she hints that she’s leaning toward staying with Matt when she says “if he ever does this again” she’s definitely out! Really? AGAIN!?
Also haunting Briana are feelings about her birth mother, who had “her own demons” and abandoned Briana at an early age. Matt’s despicable behavior has caused these feelings to resurface. She also doesn’t want her kids to ever feel abandoned like she felt. Ahh. Is that what this Ride or Die crap is all about? Briana is willing to be treated like a doormat because she doesn’t want her kids to be abandoned (in her mind)? In any case, she’s going to see her birth mother soon – for the first time in 11 years – to work through these issues.
Before that, Briana is meeting up with LWLA costar Jasmine Sorge, who was the only “friend” who repeatedly gave Matt the benefit of the doubt, only to be duped by him in the end. They haven’t seen each other since the reunion. Briana says Matt is in therapy and is “reflecting” about the error of his ways. She also tells Jasmine about Matt blaming her for his behavior, which Jasmine is horrified to hear. Jasmine also isn’t buying this therapy business, astutely pointing out that there’s a vast difference between someone claiming they have an “addiction” and someone “talking sh*t about their wife” on social media. Briana robotically responds that she knows there’s no excuse for his behavior, yadda yadda yadda, but they’re having a baby together.
Jasmine isn’t convinced. She’s also concerned about Leiana, but Briana defends Matt as a “f*ck up, but a great father!” Just like we all describe our loving husbands. She says he’s messed up when it comes to adult relationships, but would never hurt a kid! Why would he stop at hurting anyone? wonders Jasmine. He’s hurt Briana repeatedly, after all, who he claims to love. Their toxic relationship is just gross, and Jasmine feels straight up murdery (don’t we all!?) about Matt. She wants to strangle him! Get in line, girl. Get. In. Line.
Next on Briana’s #SearchForTheAnswer is a stop at the airport, where she’s meeting up with her birth mother, Fabienne. They awkwardly sit together for a beat, then discuss how surreal it is to see one another. Fabienne has bipolar disorder and battled an alcohol and drug addiction, eventually abandoning Briana at the age of 10. She apologizes for missing so many years in her daughter’s life. She wonders if Briana’s issues stem from her abandonment, and if that’s why Briana stubbornly pushes so many people away? Briana basically agrees.
Fabienne knows what’s been going on with Matt, but doesn’t say much in the way of advice. Briana says she has moments of anger, but still doesn’t know what to do. In the mean time, she’s willing to work on her relationship with Fabienne, although she’s not ready for Leiana to meet her. “I just hope the day will come when you will call me mom again,” Fabienne adds wistfully.
Well, that day may not be here yet. But Fabienne will be treated to meeting the man, the myth, the dirtbag himself: Matt! But why? And, pray tell, where are Briana’s parents and step sister? You know, the ones that stuck by her side after Fabienne split? The ones that Briana lived with after her divorce from Leif? The ones Matt demands “will NEVER see his baby!!” Interesting that Briana is all about her birth mother right now, given the fact that she hasn’t seen the woman in 11 years. Yet the actual family who knows her and loves her is stonewalled. Hmmm.
Ahhhh. Now it’s becoming clear! As Fabienne, Matt, and Briana sit down for dinner, Fabienne says she “has great compassion for Matt’s illness” because she’s slayed her own dragon of addiction. Matt’s all, “Well I’m gonna slay my dragon too!” (Right after he Snapchats a pic of his dragon to @bustyhooters141.) He blathers on about the therapy, the therapy, the therapy…and all the ways in which he’s going to “move forward.” He hugs it out with Fabienne afterward
slipping her a $20 for her help in aiding and abetting his game.
The next day, Fabienne tells Briana in private that she’s actually pretty concerned about her though. Matt’s behavior is a pattern, and it’s too soon to tell whether this pattern can be broken. As for their mother-daughter relationship, Briana says she’s willing to work on things. They hug, with Fabienne telling Briana she loves her.
Oh lord, no! I regret to inform you that a trust exercise/ropes course is in our viewing future. #HaveWeNotSufferedEnough!?!?
Super Morman-looking-man-boy and “marriage coach” David Hilton has Briana and Matt out on some god forsaken obstacle course, where he instructs them to blindfold each other, leading their partner to safety. Briana admits it’s tough to cough up any words of encouragement for the blindfolded Matt. She’d rather push him over the cliff? Go for it, mama! She cries that he doesn’t make her feel safe. Mormon Marriage Coach tells Matt he needs to make Briana feel safe by “fulfilling his role” as a good husband. Briana’s not sure he’s capable of that.
Then Mormon Marriage Coach demands an answer from Briana regarding when she’ll be making a decision to take Matt back or not. “Is this time of indecision helping your relationship?” he prods. Um, who is this jackass? Is he being paid off by Matt’s henchmen too? Doubtful, as henchmen cost actual money. But still – what the hell?
Pushed into a corner, Briana answers, “Um, no,” and admits that she knows a decision needs to be made soon for the good of her marriage. Okay, Morman Marriage Coach: it’s over the cliff with you too, dude. You are voted off the island immediately! And, ladies and gentlemen of the jury: WHY IS NO ONE CALLING MATT OUT? What is up with this constant pressure on Briana, the victim? I’m sorry. This sh*t is sick.
On their drive home, Matt piles on. He keeps pressuring Briana to give him an answer. “So I’m just supposed to hang out in California, like, I’m just gonna kick it here? Or I’m gonna go back to Seattle? Like how much SPACE do you need?” Briana whines, “Why do you sound so frustrated?” Matt argues that kicking him to the curb isn’t any way to work on their marriage.
Briana surprisingly musters the strength to fight back though. Matt doesn’t have the right to be this upset, considering he’s the one who strayed in their marriage. “So, we’re back to that now!” Matt angrily pouts. “That just feels like bullsh*t to me.” He’s not willing to even take one percent, let alone one hundred percent (which is the exact percent owed him) of the blame here. But Briana stands somewhat firm. It’s her decision to make, and she’ll take her time doing it. So he can just sit there and sweat in his Things Just Got Weird t-shirt, and like it.
The next day, Briana meets her friend Lisa out for lunch. Because why not get yet another person to weigh in again on whether they think the Titanic will really, truly, absolutely sink? Spoiler alert: it does. Briana tells Lisa about their weird counseling session, and how she had an epiphany today. What is this epiphany, you ask? Well, it’s the fact that marriage is hard work, and the only thing a person can change is themselves. #DeepThoughtsByJackHandy
Briana doesn’t want the pain to last forever, so she needs to make a decision – no matter what that decision is. She touts a bunch of empty words like “letting go” and “moving forward.” But is she ready to be a single mom? asks Lisa. That role doesn’t scare her, says Briana. But she’s not sure she’s ready to take it.
Later on, Briana finds out her new rental has been approved, so she’ll be moving into the new house soon. As she scrolls through photos of her
tragic wedding day to Matt, the hot pink folder of all of Matt’s disgusting text messages sits beside her on the couch. Briana laments she “can’t move forward in life if she’s still holding on to the past.”
Matt strolls in, all smiles. He knows what’s coming. Briana tells him the new house news, then moves on to the real news. The past few weeks have been hard, but she doesn’t want to hold on to the hurt any longer. “It’s not the easiest decision,” she says, but she wants to…”move in to the house together!” Ugggggggggghhhhhhhhhh. You know, we all knew this was coming, but it’s just another level of depressing to see this pathetic mess play out in living color, isn’t it?
Matt is, of course, thrilled that his master plan worked. He’s back on the payroll, ya’ll! No more standing on the freeway with his cardboard sign “Will text schlong for food.” As he wipes away a crocodile tear, Matt speechifies that they will “surpass anything in their relationship” (huh?) as long as they work together. As a toast to their future of mutual delusion together, Briana and Matt light the hot pink folder of shame on fire.
“New life, new start,” says Matt. While Briana muses that they’ve always said “Ride or Die,” and they haven’t died yet. So she’s ready for the ride!
Well then, go for it Briana. I, for one, am getting off. I feel pukey.
TELL US: ARE YOU SURPRISED BY BRIANA’S DECISION? IS MATT TAKING ANY RESPONSIBILITY FOR HIS ACTIONS? WILL THEIR RELATIONSHIP SURVIVE?
Photo Credit: Lifetime