Did you watch this mess? Could you bring yourself to actually do it? Well, no matter! I am here to fearlessly take one for the team and recap this shiznit!
Lest you venture forth too quickly, I advise you to take a deep breath and center yourself. (Ohhhhhhmmmm) Because what went down on Little Women: LA Matt and Briana, Part 1, last night is not for the faint of heart – nor for the rational, emotionally balanced, mentally stable among us. Nay! It is for the delusional and the slow to learn, for those wretched souls who wander the planet screaming RIDE OR DIE in public urinals during the sunset of their lives. So, with that warning, let’s all climb in to this steaming garbage heap together, shall we?
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First off, I thought this was going to be a 2-hour special, as in 2 straight hours of Bonnie and Clyde’s descent into madness. But it appears Lifetime has strung it out into a 2-parter, with the second half airing next week. All I can say to that is: thanks a bunch, Lifetime! <eye roll> In any case, this week’s drama unfolds just after a pregnant Briana Renee “discovered” (quotation marks intentional) her dear husband Matt Ericson sexting other women and talking sh*t behind her back. This information was revealed to her courtesy of frenemy Terra Jole, which we saw in the final episode of LWLA season 4.
The very night of Briana’s talk with her friends about Matt’s indiscretions, cameras follow her home. She is questioning whether she even knows who Matt is, and says she needs to reflect on what she’ll do now. Asked by producers if she still loves him, Briana evades. She reiterates that she thought he was a certain person, but he’s turned out to be an entirely different person. Well, not really!
We take a stroll down memory lane as scenes from the rollercoaster of Briana and Matt are replayed before us – including how they met online, Briana’s family’s and friends’ suspicions of Matt’s general shadiness, his past sexting, pregnancy news, and their eventual Ride or Die wedding.
Flash forward to Briana coming home to Matt with a pink folder in hand, apparently containing evidence. Briana asks Matt if he’s on Tinder, as the girls told her at the “intervention.” Dolt Matt defends, “I communicate only through Instagram!” Because that’s what innocent people say. Briana calls his bluff, noting how he Facebook messages peeps (yeah, like Terra back in the day when he was trying to get someone – anyone – to take the bait and get him on TV!).
Briana asks Matt, “Why? Why do I love you?” Matt lamely answers that they have issues. “You were there for me?” he snarks “Is that what you’re saying?” As he tries to pile the blame on Briana, he backpedals, trying a different tactic: these sexts just show how “sick” he is. No, retorts Briana, they show he doesn’t give a f*ck about her. At this point, she wants Matt to figure out what’s wrong with him while she decides what to do. She doesn’t know how she’ll ever love him the way she did before.
As Briana cries in the bedroom, Matt follows her in to grovel. She believes in marriage (even their janky 11-month filled-with-cheating one), so she wants to fight for it. She also believes Matt’s
pathetic excuse issues come from the “traumatic experiences” he had as a child that make him act out now, so she wants him to get help. Hmm, he didn’t need help before this? These issues weren’t surfacing, say, during his previous marriage in which he fathered two children? These issues didn’t contribute to his domestic violence incidents, like the choking incident with a former girlfriend, right? I say: BRING OUT THE EXES! Let’s see how much of this “I’m sick! I need help!” tactic has played out through the years. (Damn. Where’s Maury!?!?)
Briana visits her friend Lisa in the next scene, who she feels is a friend who can give her a non-judgmental opinion. She confesses the sexting business to Lisa, who wisely says “You have to learn to trust him” when Briana blathers on and on about saving her marriage. “Right now, I think you guys are toxic,” Lisa says, pointing out that Briana can save this marriage all she wants, but she might end up married to a loser who continues this behavior forever.
Cut to Matt’s personal confessional camera – The Matt Cam! – that producers have given our reptilian friend to snot all over with his crocodile tears, confessing his “feelings” in the privacy of his wacko DVD collection. I am having creeptastic flashbacks of Scott Peterson as Matt delivers seemingly rehearsed lines like, “I’m sorry I wasn’t so great. Now what do I do to make it better? I don’t know if I can make it better. I don’t know if she’s gonna want me…or if she’s gonna say ‘get the f*ck out.'”
After Lisa‘s, Briana comes home to have a little chitty chat with Matt, who admits he made a horrible decision that affected their lives, and doesn’t know how to undo it. Well, firstly, it was not ‘A’ horrible decision; it was LOTS O’ horrible decisions! And, once done, they can’t be undone. But Briana just feels sad watching Matt cry. It pains her so! Oh. My God. (Do you feel like Briana needs a lawyer/life coach/exorcist present to guide her through even the simplest of BLACK AND WHITE conversations, or is it just me? #NoLifeSkillz)
“You don’t deserve this!” cries Matt. “No, I don’t,” answers Briana. Matt then reads her his list of reasons why they should stay together: “We’re both crazy. You are my everything. I will always take care of you. You believed in me!!!! You have my baby.” What do all of these reasons have in common, except that they are in the laundry list of codependents anonymous? Matt! Because it has always been and will always be about Matt.
When his tears and super duper thoughtful list do not get through to Briana, Matt decides to throw the list to the ground, punching it with his fist repeatedly for dramatic effect. Briana of the flat affect (which is a telling sign of depression) monotones that she needs space and wants Matt out. He packs his little blue bag, throws on his Iron Eagle 2 pleather bomber jacket, and…it’s deuces for now! Something tells me this little “break” may be for the cameras, no?
Oh lord, not again. Matt Cam! This time, Matt is reporting in from his doghouse Motel 6 room. I don’t know if he drank the entire minibar or what, but Clyde’s entire face looks like one giant capillary exploded and spread outward. Think: eggplant with a goatee. In a #BlueShirt. He’s also moved on from
fake humility and groveling to anger at Briana throwing him out “for the second time!” Even though he did a lot of kinda bad stuff and things, it’s Briana’s fault too! Neither of them have had successful relationships, so he thinks they’re both to blame for this mess.
Back home, Briana brushes Leiana‘s hair. Almost 7 and indescribably adorable, Leiana is the real victim in this Clyde-Nado. Disturbingly, Leiana tells Briana how she likes a boy at school who “always goes to the principal’s office.” Even more disturbingly, Briana laughs about it, telling Leiana those boys are called “bad boys,” and they’re just boys who do whatever they want to do, but sometimes get into trouble. “Kind of like Matt Daddy!” chirps Briana. What. The. Hell?
Okay, Lifetime, I will speak plainly here: This is NOT entertaining. I have watched my fair share of maladjusted behavior/drama/shadiness/moral ambiguity on more reality TV than I care to admit, but this scene just pushed me over the edge. Maybe it’s because I have a 6-year-old daughter of my own. Maybe it’s because I know Briana is reportedly back with Matt, despite the scenes we’re viewing here. But mostly, I think it’s because witnessing a mother pass on her dysfunctional, dangerous, and potentially life-threatening norms to her impressionable child – on camera – all in the name of entertainment is too much to bear. (Sorry, friends, for the crazy rant. I feel like my face is now as red as the #MattCam! Damn!)
Later that day, Briana meets Christy McGinity Gibel out for lunch to discuss her drainage ditch of a life. Christy still wants Briana to reach out to her parents, but Briana still doesn’t want to. Her family has been calling Briana’s friends to check in on her since she’s stonewalling them. (And since Matt controls her phone.) Christy and Briana both wonder what Matt’s doing on his little “break” in Seattle. (Ooh! Ooh! I have a guess! Pick me!) Neither of them admit what the rest of us are thinking though. And Christy just wimps out in the end, advising Briana to give Matt “enough rope to see whether he hangs himself.” Um, isn’t that what has already happened…repeatedly?
We are told next that Matt and Briana haven’t spoken in 4 days. So now they’re Skyping to catch up. Apparently, Matt’s been getting his Karaoke on in Seattle all weekend, which she asks him about, but he snarks back that she’s at home hanging out with friends and spending money, so she’s not taking this “reflecting” time seriously either.
Briana is shocked that Matt‘s angry. He says the collapse of their relationship isn’t all on his shoulders; she has a part too. He’s pissed for being in this “situation.” She snaps back that he shouldn’t have done what he did in the first place to create the situation! He’s all, “Well, thanks for brightening my day!” to Briana, who, giving up, just snaps the laptop shut mid-Skype on his dumb ass. Ha! Well, it was a small moment of justice. But I’ll take it! They won’t see each other until the LWLA Reunion, which aired this past month (and we all know how that went – thank you Kevin Frazier! #MyHero).
Matt Cam! Still reeling from getting the laptop shut in his face, Matt says he hasn’t slept in days. He’s mad at himself, and at Briana too for saying “she’s done” to him multiple times. So, off to therapy he goes! We’re treated to Matt’s first therapy session, in which he tells the therapist about this “behavior” that’s “attention seeking” and “sexual in nature” (thanks for this total clarity, Clyde). He knows they’re bad decisions, but he’s still
getting caught making them. He confesses abuse from his childhood, which is terrible, and tells the therapist it created a “very sexual grown man” who’s still reacting to that abuse. His goal is to be a better man, which is of course just what the therapist wants to hear. But we don’t hear much more from the therapist in terms of advice or questioning beyond this.
Meanwhile, Briana arrives to prepare backstage for the LWLA Reunion. Christy comes by to
crawl up her anus offer support, and Briana admits she does miss Matt after being separated from his for a whole week. <sniff sniff> I am shedding a single tear over here for these star crossed lovers. Briana is nervous to see him tonight. But it should be Matt who is more nervous because, apparently, he needs to be frisked and searched and prodded before he’s allowed on set with the cast.
No sooner do we hear Matt‘s going to get shaken down, when suddenly he just – poof! – appears in Briana‘s dressing room. He’s all smiles, then launches into his big speech. Being away from Briana “sucks,” so he wants to come back. Simple as that. Briana’s not so sure though. She does let him – ugggghhhhh! – lean in for a grotesque kiss. Briana is shocked that Matt is so apologetic. Um, did you hear an apology? I didn’t. Briana’s eyes and body language give her away though; she’s thrilled to see her Bad Boy. He’s been sent to the principal’s office and, now that he’s back, is more appealing than ever. I have no words. This woman is beyond help.
Matt launches into his bravado facade next, asserting that he doesn’t give a damn what any of these women on the reunion throw at him! He’s been trying to prove he’s not a scumbag for years with them, and it’s never worked! Wonder why? Briana just wants him to keep his cool though. Good luck with that, Bonnie!
After some flashbacks of the reunion in which Matt is confronted with transcripts of his gross texts, and in which he offers up his rehearsed excuses, we see some behind the scenes footage of Matt whining like a baby about the sexts on display. The producers talk him down from the ledge. And we know how the rest went.
After the taping, Briana and Matt meet outside to talk. Matt feels like he was “kicked in the gut,” and Briana piles on that the girls are too hostile toward both of them. Matt says he wants to be with Briana, he wants to continue therapy, and he’s even willing to delete all of his social media accounts to prove his intentions. His penis will no longer communicate only through Instagram! It will communicate in person.
Briana surprisingly stands firm about Matt not coming home just yet though, which angers Matt, who didn’t expect this big girl move. He gets immediately pissy, whining that he’s just going to go back to Seattle then! Whah! Briana, exhausted and pregnant, heads back in to tape more reunion footage while Matt is left to cry on the curb. Where he belongs.
TELL US: WHAT DID YOU THINK OF BRIANA’S DECISION? IS SHE FINALLY STANDING UP FOR HERSELF? IS MATT TRULY SORRY, OR IS HE JUST SORRY HE GOT CAUGHT?
Photo Credit: Lifetime