Well guys, last night on Sister Wives we traded tacos and matrimonial entitlement for pink p knit caps and female empowerment. I’d say that’s an improvement, wouldn’t you? While I’m still not on board with this whole “two hour episode” format, I’ll watch Meri Brown uncomfortably support her daughter while Kody bitches about civil rights for polygamists any day if it means Tony is absent. Throw in an overly giddy Christine, less screen time for Robyn, a therapy session with Janelle, and a glass of Malbec, and it’s quite a nice little cozy evening.
In case you missed it, Mariah has purple hair and she’s still as sullen as ever. She’s summoned her mother and Janelle and both are beyond nervous and curious as to the reason behind the meeting. She invites them both to the Women’s March on Washington. I am dying laughing. I feel like knitting pussy hats is the hobby Christine didn’t know she needed. Mariah cites both ladies as being supportive of her journey. Janelle is intrigued and emotional and open to the idea, and Meri is all, um, is this an LGBT thing? Meri feels like this invitation from her daughter is a step in the right direction to fix their fractured relationship.
Janelle jokes with Meri that they will have to travel together, and thankfully Mariah can be their buffer. Privately, she’s concerned that taking a trip with Meri could undo the progress they’ve made in therapy. What progress is that? Janelle’s younger self wanted to be a protester, but the whole “marrying a man who already has a wife” thing kind of derailed her Rosie the Riveter aspirations. Meri has no desire to be political, and she certainly doesn’t want to be involved in a protest. However, she does need to know one critical piece of information. Does Mariah have a girlfriend? Mariah is a tad more liberal than the rest of the Brown clan (you think, Captain Obvious?), but Meri reminds us that it doesn’t make her a bad person. It just means she has different opinions. Meri recalls when Mariah announced she was gay to her parents, and how differently she responded than the other wives. She’s really hoping to make up for that less than stellar moment.
Now that Mykelti has fled the nest and her wedding is a memory, Madison and Caleb are rejoining the cul-de-sac compound. I’d say it’s an even trade. Kody ticks off the reasons they are moving back home: baby, school, work, money…as in, having one, not going, need, need. He then has a temper tantrum about the parking situation that is impeding the unloading of Caleb’s trailer. It may be easier if two of the vehicles weren’t out of commission. Caleb is struggling with the notion of being a thirty-year-old husband with a child on the way who is moving in with his in-laws. Christine feels for the outdoors man who has to relocate to Las Vegas. He’s not a big fan of the strip. Caleb suffered from a pulmonary embolism that was life threatening, and his health issue is the major motivating factor behind the move. Okay, that’s pretty serious.
Meri may have an empty nest, but she does have a wet bar and can entertain the family when needed. She has Kody and the wives over to discuss the women’s march and share the news that she and Janelle will be joining her. Janelle is worried that Robyn and Christine’s feeling may be hurt because they weren’t included. Before that can even be dissected, Kody starts spouting off his reservations. It sounds too political. Why am I shocked that a man with multiple wives whose bravado is stifled only by his mane of hair has such a problem with women marching for equality? Like seriously, I legit had a few seconds where I was surprised he was so opposed to the idea. Y’all. My flu meds may be getting the best of me.
Meri is concerned that Kody‘s hesitancy will translate to Mariah as not being supportive. Kody describes the march as obnoxious. Why can’t his wives focus on a topic near and dear to his heart…making sure polygamists are treated equally. Is that too much to ask? Homosexuals have civil rights. Kody doesn’t…at least not in Utah with multiple spouses. He describes it as a conflict of interest. Hey dumb ass, why can’t they attend two marches? I’m so thankful that Kody reminded me how easy members of the LGBT community have it. Christine begs to differ. Thank goodness Christine steps up to be the voice of reason. How often does that happen? Kody believes that boosting up women is going to detract from his cause. Meri interrupts to say she’s going to march to support her daughter. Mariah has barely spoken to her in the past few months, if her daughter wants some time together, Meri isn’t asking questions. Christine beams when she sees Meri stand up to Kody. I’m actually going to organize a march on the cul-de-dac to get Kody to stop wearing so much under-eye concealer in his sofa segments. Who’s with me?
Because it’s the Browns and they live for a half-assed reason to buy balloons, Maddie is having a gender reveal party for her baby. It’s yet another concept that Kody doesn’t understand. King Solomon announces he wants a boy, and Caleb agrees. The family votes with mustaches and hair bows, and the reveal is done with some pesky trick balloons. It’s a boy! He shall be named Axel James. Christine is completely on board with the moniker. It’s so masculine. The Browns have more girls than boys in their brood of eighteen. Meri reminds them that as their children get married, they’ll have an equal number of females and males. Christine, who is clearly enjoying her meds more since that dreadful wedding, laughs hysterically. They don’t know if any more of their kids will be gay, and Mariah already threw off the balance since she’ll marry another woman. Great, please remind Kody once again that lesbians have more rights than he does. Eye roll.
Jenelle and Meri are off to another therapy session. Janelle is dreading it so much she’s tempted to hit up Meri’s wet bar for some booze. She’s considering bowing out of the trip to DC if they can’t settle some of their crap. The pair has had a few flare-ups in recent months. Meri is especially peeved that Janelle recently answered for her when being interviewed by a news outlet about Mariah coming out as a lesbian. Janelle shares that she was floored because to her recollection the question was asked to the group, not specifically to Meri. Janelle cites that the rest of the family involved in the interview didn’t think Janelle spoke out of turn.
Meri is tearful and plays the victim per usual, and Janelle concedes just to make the situation less awkward. She recognizes that a lot of Meri’s behavior she believed was aggressive could actually be defensive. She used to think Meri was just a straight up bitch. Correct! Janelle has a cup full of self-awareness, and Meri may need to borrow a spoonful…or a ton. Janelle is all for “implementing tools” so she can better deal with Meri’s tantrums. This is the Meri Show and Janelle is just an extra. I mean, if you’re going to be a whining, jealous, conniving first wife, at least be like April on Seeking Sister Wife. A baby voice and crazy smile can go a very long way, Meri!
Mariah is hosting a gaggle of friends for the weekend, and Meri is cooking pancakes and wondering if one of these lovely ladies could be a love interest for her daughter. Meri awkwardly hugs the girls while asking about the logistics of the march. She wonders if Mariah has let Kody know that she’s in town. Full disclosure, I used to equate Mariah with nails on a chalkboard. I’m not saying I don’t find her a tad obnoxious, but I do think now that she’s able to live her true self, she’s a lot more tolerable…and her disinterest in Kody is icing on that cake. Meri thinks that Mariah is going to announce a lady friend over brunch, and she’d like to hear it before the other wives. The gaggle of friends encourages the disclosure, and Mariah pinpoints the gal in the group who is her new girlfriend. Meri offers her congratulations and wonders how long the pair has been together. Three weeks! And Mariah has been gone for two of those weeks. Sounds serious!
Kidding aside, Mariah seems happy. Christine admits that she was trying to pick out the girlfriend out of the gaggle the second she arrived at breakfast. Robyn concurs. Kody is confused. Why did his wives automatically assume Mariah had a girlfriend? As the entire family congregates, Mariah announces the need for a parent meeting on the front lawn. The younger kids line up for eggs as Meri shuffles out with Mariah’s girlfriend Audrey under her arm. I’ll give Meri credit–she is really trying to show her support, and I recognize it’s counter to everything she’s ever believed, so kudos. Kody isn’t keen on these covert operations, but Audrey handles the family shenanigans like a champ. She calls the wives “adorable” as they converge on her with bear hugs, and she responds “the best” when Kody jokingly asks her intentions. The TLC producers then subject us to a cringe-worthy minute of Mariah’s feminist friends defending her parents’ polygamist lifestyle.
The closer the women get to the march, the more Meri and Janelle are recognizing the gravity of what in which they will be participating. Thankfully, the DC getaway begins with an innocuous steakhouse dinner. Meri appreciates that these girls are reveling in finding their voices. Mariah is very grateful that her mother and Janelle make the trek. After dinner, Meri approaches Janelle about bowing out of the following night’s dessert so she can spend some alone time with Mariah and Audrey. By all means, Janelle assures her.
At the march, Meri and Janelle are clearly fish out of water. Meri describes the energy as angry, but she is grateful Mariah and her pals kept their signs “classy.” Meri using the term classy is as hilarious as she and Kody swapping hair products and under eye concealer. Seriously, who does their make-up? Mariah and Audrey head out to find their missing friend while Meri and Janelle make the horrible decision to look for porta-potties. The odds of them reconnecting with their party are slim to none. Thankfully, they find their tribe amid the pink knit toboggans after a few hours of searching.
While Janelle and Meri are miles from their comfort zone, they are proud of Mariah and her friends for exercising their voices. Janelle feels empowered by their energy. That evening, Meri sits down with Mariah and Audrey after dinner. Don’t think I didn’t notice that wine glass sitting empty in front of her! The girls are a sweet, balanced couple, and Meri asks sincere, direct questions about Audrey’s coming out experience. She is thankful to learn that Audrey’s family is supportive of her, and Audrey relays that Mariah feels the same way about Meri even if she doesn’t tell her directly. It’s a touching moment, and honestly, I’m just thrilled we were spared pinatas and wannabe soloists. Amirite?
TELL US – WHAT DID YOU THINK OF LAST NIGHT’S EPISODE? WILL MERI AND JANELLE BE ABLE REPAIR THEIR RIFT AFTER MARCHING TOGETHER?
[Photo Credit: TLC]