Sister Wives Tell All Recap: Let Them Eat Catfish

“Nothing is off limits,” she said. “A two hour honest discussion,” she said. All I heard coming out of Erica Hill’s mouth at the beginning of last night’s Sister Wives tell-all was “TWOHOURSTWOHOURSTWOHOURS!!!” But, if we’re going to get some dirt on the Browns, I’m in for sure. The sit down starts with the easy stuff…Kody and Robyn’s new daughter Aria. Kody brags about how much the baby loves him, and Janelle and Christine get emotional seeing footage of the birth for the first time. The group discusses hospital births in the polygamist community, and Kody says he’s ready to grow up and stop having kids, although he realizes the decision is out of his hands. Robyn plays coy about whether she will have more children.

Erica highlights Robyn’s feisty behavior throughout her pregnancy, and Kody seems genuinely peeved that his other wives found her curtness towards him to be hilarious. The group jokes about the perks of the women overlapping with their pregnancies since it allowed Meri to help breast feed Maddie when Janelle didn’t produce enough milk. While that didn’t bond the pair back in the day, Meri and Janelle are now working on their relationship. When asked if they consider themselves to be friends Janelle quietly nods as Meri offers up an unconvincing, “I think so.” Janelle cites that Christine is the good common denominator that helped them get along. When Erica asks about individual relationships, Kody doesn’t understand the question. As he tries to talk over Christine, his giggly third wife patiently explains what Erica was asking. Erica already seems over Kody.

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Janelle recognizes that her perception of Meri was very different from Meri’s intention. They both communicate differently, and we’re reminded of the great Thanksgiving decorations debacle of 2015. Erica wonders if Meri was doing instead of planning before she and Janelle could decide on how to decorate for the holiday. Meri is so abrupt about her differences with Janelle while Janelle is nothing but gracious. 

The conversation turns to the first wedding of the Brown children. Everyone is thrilled about Maddie’s engagement to Caleb, and Kody admits to feeling overwhelmed when the couple asked him to officiate their ceremony. He claims he hates public speaking. Yeah, right. However, Kody gushes over his future son-in-law. Erica notes that the family dynamic has changed now that the kids are getting older. Next up, the older brown children (minus Hunter, adding Caleb) join Erica on the sofa. Maddie dishes on wedding planning, and she shares that she and Caleb want to wait four or five years before having children. I’m happy to hear she plans to finish school. Caleb admits he was intimidated at first by the Brown clan, and Garrison jokes that his dad has a bromance with Caleb. 

Logan also notes that he’s getting a lot of pressure from his family to get married. As his girlfriend listens backstage, he assures Erica that an engagement will happen sooner rather than later. Aspyn and Mykelti recall their time as roommates. While it wasn’t a bad situation, Mykelti needed some room to grow up without her sister’s motherly advice. She is enjoying her life in Utah, and she tells Erica she wants to go back to college at some point to finish her degree. The tweens and teens are up next, and Janelle’s young daughter hopes that Aria is the last Brown baby. They talk about how amazing their Hawaii trip was and the discussion turns to whether they will practice polygamy. While they all state they are too young to make that decision, they each assert they aren’t opposed to the idea. Is it just me, or is Robyn’s oldest daughter monopolizing the air time? 

The topic turns to Aspyn moving in with Robyn as opposed to her mother Christine. Christine believes that the living situation has improved her relationship with her daughter. Meri isn’t sure she’d be thrilled if Mariah moved in with another mother, but Janelle didn’t think she’d have an issue with it. Christine further shares that Mykelti wasn’t welcome to move back home. She wanted her daughter to continue her progress instead of taking a step back. Talking about her sons Garrison and Hunter, Janelle is both incredibly proud and fearful of her sons’ decision to join the military. 

Christine then sits down for a one-on-one with Erica about the bombshell dropped by nineteen-year-old daughter Mykelti on last week’s finale. Christine expresses her shock. Mykelti is so young and Christine barely knows her daughter’s boyfriend. She’s also yet to tell Kody about Mykelti’s request that her boyfriend meet with Kody regarding her hand in marriage. Christine was surprised to learn how long Mykelti and Tony had been dating as she believed they just casually dating. Erica compares the reaction that Maddie received when she announced her engagement. Christine admits that Mykelti won’t get the same warm wishes from the family if she rushes the relationship which saddens her because Mykelti deserves it. She reminds Erica that the family had known Caleb for years and knew his family. 

Finally, the catfishing! Christine was the only one who’d heard the term before Meri was targeted, thanks to Aspyn watching ol’ Nev and Max. Kody believes that his divorce from Meri created a gap that added to Meri’s empty nest sadness. Robyn interrupts that the haters on social media took a toll, and Kody agrees, flipping off the naysayers. Erica digs deeper about the state of Kody and Meri’s relationship before the catfisher ever came into the picture. Meri finally concedes that things were at a low point. With the catfisher, Meri thought she was filling a void with companionship. When Erica points out that she said “I love you,” to the catfisher, Meri hems and haws about how she’s a loving person and has love in her heart and expresses it to everyone for whom she feels friendly, platonic, not in the least bit romantic kind of love. Meri is a terrible liar. She further claims that she told the catfisher she was never going to cross the line, and Erica counters that she must have been thinking about the line to even make that statement. Meri continues to stumble over her words, digging her hole deeper. Kody cites his confusion over Meri’s behavior but doesn’t consider it to be an emotional affair. It was just talking. Geez Louise. 

The Browns reveal the web of lives weaved by the catfisher. Kody talks of many fake profiles filling their feeds, and Robyn shares she was bombarded by strangers on social media who told her Meri was having an affair with a man she’d met online. She says when she’d confront Meri about it, Meri would just cry and say she wasn’t going to meet him in person. When Erica inquires if Meri ever wanted to leave, she admits that the catfisher made her doubt some things and she briefly considered it. But wait, didn’t she just say five minutes ago that it was just an innocent friendship? Of course, Meri reminds her family that she never could have left because of the children. Kody cries heartbreak and takes responsibility for putting Meri in such a vulnerable place. When Erica brings up all of the texts and pictures and voicemails leaked by the catfisher, Meri blames the catfisher. She only went along with taking those pictures and writing those texts because she felt threatened and manipulated. Pressed by Erica about the authenticity of the items, Meri backtracks, saying she hasn’t really wanted to look at any of the items being leaked. From what she understands, the voicemails sound spliced together, but neither she nor Kody listened to the messages. Erica is so not convinced…

Wondering about trust issues, Robyn is quick to coming to Meri’s defense. Meri believes it will take a while to rebuild trust as she kind of, sort of thinks she betrayed her family. While Kody and her sister wives have been quick to forgive, her daughter Mariah isn’t quite ready to accept her mom’s apology. Mariah has moved home for the summer, and she’s still very angry at Meri. Kody knows that time will heal their rift, but he thinks that Mariah is making it a bigger deal than it was. Robyn interjects that Mariah has come to her for advice, and she does her best to validate Mariah’s feelings while showing support for Meri. Mariah sits down individually with Erica and says she’s not yet ready to forgive. She had a gut feeling all along that her mom was being catfished because really, who meets like that online? She doesn’t really have any sympathy for her mother and she doesn’t fully trust her. Mariah is still very angry that her mom didn’t listen to her. 

Christine and Janelle assure Erica that they have had honest and candid conversations with the children about the catfishing situation. Christine just ignores the lies and the tabloid headlines so as not to give them more attention. Robyn and Kody’s focus is on supporting Meri and helping her get stronger. While it’s hard for Meri to see Mariah be closer to her sister wives than to her, she’s grateful the women are there for her daughter (but yes, she’s also very jealous). Kody loves to see his older children spreading their wings because they keep making good choices. Speaking of, during the last commercial break, a TLC blurb announced Mykelti’s engagement. So there’s that for next season!

TELL US – WHAT DID YOU THINK OF THE TELL ALL? DID ERICA ASK THE HARD QUESTIONS? 

[Photo Credit: TLC]