Much like all of us have been doing for several seasons, anthropologist students have decided to research why four women have decided to spend their spare time braiding Kody Brown’s hair. On last night’s Sister Wives, social scientists moved into the cul-de-sac compound to study the true dynamic among Meri, Janelle, Christine, Robyn and their brood of children. I want to know the time line of when these episodes were filmed. Was it before or after the great wife swap of 2014? Perhaps that will be addressed in the SECOND HOUR…or not (really, TLC?) of last night’s Sister Wives, which is aptly titled “All About Robyn.”
Christine is thrilled to have her mom Annie moved into her home, although the kids are taking some time to adjust to another adult in the house. That evening, Kody makes the announcement that four anthropology graduate students will be coming to visit and study the family. Kody believes these grad students have hit the jackpot with his family. The students’ professor coaches the students on what to watch for…who is the sex wife? Who is the love wife? Will there be another wife? Potentially the young student who is now fearful she needs to fake a relationship to thwart Kody’s advances? The wives and Kody go to meet with the students to set some ground rules. The students don’t want to be treated like guests.
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The following morning, the students arrive and Kody welcomes them to the compound. Nah, he’s kidding, it’s not really a compound, it’s just a cul-de-sac. Kody is taking the students around, giving them tours of the homes and introducing them to his children. Right off the bat, the grad students believe Kody to be “a showboat.” He loves having the long hair, the hip clothes, acting cook and having four wives. Can we have these graduate students on every episode? I hope that they don’t all of a sudden drink the Kool-Aid and think that Kody hung the moon. Thankfully, empty nester Meri has some extra guest rooms (and a wet bar!) for the students.
The first morning, the female graduate (Antoinette) student jumps in to help in the kitchen. The male student (Richard) tends to hang back and observe. Both are a hit with all the Brown kids across the board. Kody is questioning the students as to whether history is more polygamous or monogamous. Richard believes that monogamy may not be the norm, but polygamy may not be either. Kody and his wives admit they are looking for validation from the study, although the idea makes Kody upset with himself. It’s just like any other day…the family is enjoying a friendly game of tag. An inadvertent tackle causes Kody to break Richard’s sunglasses. After all the family fun, it’s time to celebrate with a cook-out. Kody lords over the grill while pounding on his chest. The wives and Kody have planned a prank, and it’s actually pretty funny. Over dinner, each wife takes turns feeding Kody from their plate. I am giggling right along with Robyn and Meri. What is wrong with me? The kids get into the offerings as well as Antoinette and Richard watch wearily. Over s’mores, all four wives try to force feed Kody at once. When Christine admits their joke, Richard reveals that he thought the whole ordeal was pretty weird, but Antoinette enjoyed seeing the wives comfortable enough to joke around together.
Richard is asking the questions that we want to know. Why get married? Are they getting a better tax bracket? Richard shares some of his past with his ex-wife, and neither her nor Antoinette see the need for a legal marriage. Robyn doesn’t want to judge their lifestyle, but why would a couple choose to live together indefinitely when they could have a legal marriage? Interesting…so, does she realize that Kody is just living with three of his four wives without any legal binding? Also, is she already his legal wife at this point or is she one of the wives who is essentially doing the same thing she is judging in the grad students? Robyn doesn’t want this discussed in front of her children. She hopes they will never know that living together outside of wedlock is an option. Um…
The grad students join the Browns for their family church, and Richard thinks that it seems just like a real church except for the fact that it’s taking place in the living room. Many of the older children are missing from the service. Logan is rock-climbing, Hunter has too much homework, and Maddie wants to joint the Mormon church and has been asked to disassociate herself from her parents’ religion. Well, that’s a reason to miss family church if there ever was one! After service, the family wants to speak with Madison about her decision. Hunter, Logan, and Mykelti are proud of their sister for finding her way. Logan admits that he isn’t very religious these days. Kody and the moms corner Maddie and start with the twenty questions. Madison wants her moms to know that she’s not joining the church for a boy. Then why? WHY? Madison shares that she had been upset and started going to church with a friend. It was as if she found a piece of herself that had been missing. That statement makes Janelle feel more secure in her decision, but Madison’s mother is still concerned that Maddie will begin distancing herself from the family.
The Brown clan is going to the movies because they just love, love, love to go to the movies! Richard and Antoinette join the chaos. They go to the movies so often, in fact, that Kody didn’t know that adult and child tickets had different prices. It’s close to $200 for all the tickets with $50 a pop for concessions for each of the four families. Janelle admits that they really only go to the movies four times a year. In the parking lot after the movie, two of the older sons get into a fight over where they will sit in the car. It’s so bad, a cop on bike has to intervene. Kody and Janelle are screaming at their sons to get their acts together, and Janelle is embarrassed that the grad students have seen her children horrible behavior. Back at the house, Kody and Janelle referee their sons who have two totally conflicting stories about the fight. Kody calls in witnesses.
Next week’s episode is going to continue with the graduate students, but TLC wants to treat us to an hour showing behind the scenes footage of the Robyn’s journey with the family. All I know is that Kody’s ponytail is scaring the crap out of me. I am convinced that Kody only has denim button downs in his closet. He must have fifty of them! The wives are watching clips of the last several years and the haircuts and outfits are such a walk down memory lane. Kody’s hair is much fuller and fluffier. Janelle has lost a lot of weight, and the kids have grown up so much. Mariah is the only child who seems to take a small issue with the expanding family. Robyn isn’t joining Kody and the other wives on the sofa so she can be interviewed on her own. Is she the favorite? I don’t recall any other special episodes about Meri or Janelle or Christine. The wives find it pretty awkward to be watching and commenting on Kody’s very affectionate courtship with Robyn.
Christine is reminded just how jealous she was when Robyn first came into the picture. She recalls being livid to learn that Robyn sealed her engagement to Kody with a kiss. Christine didn’t kiss Kody until they were saying their vows at the altar because she felt it was inappropriate to kiss a married man. Ironic? Meri, Christine, and Janelle plaster on fake smiles as they watch footage of Robyn and Kody’s wedding preparations. Robyn promises that she tried so hard to make things easier on her future sister wives. She wanted them all involved and included their pictures on the save-the-dates. Robyn made sure each wife had their own dance with Kody at their reception, and she was careful not to get any pictures of just her with Kody. Everything had to be centered around family. The kids love the addition of Robyn’s kids, but they don’t need any more. Robyn reveals that there were two tents at the reception–one for people who didn’t want to be filmed and one for those who didn’t mind being filmed. Most of Robyn’s family stayed in the former tent.
Before the shows began airing, the Browns made an appearance on the TODAY show, and press surrounded their home after learning that the Browns were under investigation for bigamy. Robyn learned that the show was going to be a thing during the courtship. She believed that he was bragging at first, and she was terrified to initially be a part of the show. It’s hard for me to remember a time when Kody wasn’t sporting denim on denim, but back in 2011, he was all about the hoodie. We watch clips of the Browns high tailing it to Las Vegas. Robyn sure cries a lot. Meri and Robyn’s friendship is highlighted as we’re treated to Robyn sharing the news of her first pregnancy with Kody with his first bride. We watch Robyn’s kids react to the pregnancy as the other wives prep Solomon’s birth. Christine has cross-stitched a peace offering after treating her unkindly and blaming her for being Kody’s favorite wife. I’m not going to lie…I’m not sad I wasn’t watching this show when Robyn gave birth in her bedroom. Unfortunately, I got to see it last night. Meri watches the footage and seems bittersweet. All of the kids were thrilled to welcome their newest brother, and Kody cites Solomon as being the glue that brought the family together. You don’t say.
Robyn tears up over Kody’s love and acceptance of her children from her previous marriage. Dayton had a hard time adjusting to his larger family, but he shares that having so many siblings has definitely helped him with his social skills…and, he jokes, his survival skills. I do love that kid. Of course, I think all the Brown children are pretty great. Robyn’s Christmas gift of changing her name is remembered, and the other wives pretend they loved the hoopla. The birth of My Sister Wife’s Closet is recalled, and everyone is beyond excited about it–then, not now. Wait, was Kody just wearing a ring with a smiley face on it? From the beginning, there is a divide in the family business, and Janelle recalls that it was a hobby business. Not surprisingly, we’re treated to Robyn crying about having to choose between having another child and working her behind off designing ugly jewelry. And just like that…Robyn’s special ends with her sharing that she’d like to have more kids. That was a tad abrupt, don’t you think?
TELL US – WHAT DID YOU THINK OF BOTH EPISODES LAST NIGHT? WHY DID ROBYN GET HER OWN SPECIAL?
[Photo Credit: TLC]