It’s time for another episode of Sister Wives! Mercifully, Mykelti and Tony’s wedding is over which means…we no longer have to watch these grifters stuff free cake/tacos into their unemployed gullets or suffer through any more painful “wedding prep” episodes.
With the wedding over, it’s naturally time to focus on Meri again.
In this episode, Meri’s estranged daughter Mariah asks Meri and her estranged sister wife Janelle to go with her to the Women’s March in Washington, D.C. a few days after the presidential inauguration.
Meri is moved to tears by the request because Mariah has basically been a great big ol’ crapnugget to her mother for the past few years, and Meri feels this may be Meri’s attempt to extend an olive branch.
(Has anyone else wanted to hit Mariah with an olive branch for her horrific treatment of her mother and everyone in general for the past two years or so?)
Anyway, Meri reminds us how her relationship with Mariah became strained. In case you hadn’t heard, Meri was catfished and Mariah got mad at Meri for being dumb enough to fall for it…or something.
Thankfully, we don’t have to watch those tired clips of the catfishing episodes again. They move the storyline right along because, at this point, frankly the producers/editors/crew members/etc are probably threatening to quit the show if they have to hear Meri beat that dead catfish horse one more damn time!
“To me it’s a huge step that she’s inviting me to go and a glimmer of hope and a step toward healing our relationship,” Meri says.
Janelle says she is also open to going on the trip.
“As a teenager I always wanted to run away and do those protests and things, but I was in such a conservative society growing up, it was always a non-starter,” Janelle says.
Mariah tells us that she’s inviting Janelle because Janelle was the first feminist she ever knew. This just tells us what we already kind of suspected: Janelle is way cooler than we see on TV, and that we shouldn’t judge her because she made one big mistake (i.e. marrying Kody).
Mariah says she is bringing her group of friends to the Cul-De-Sac of Broken Dreams to meet Janelle and Meri. They ask Mariah if she is interested in one of the women coming with her. Mariah doesn’t deny or confirm if she is interested in anyone, most likely because she knows if she confirms it and Kody finds out, he’ll be running over there to lecture them on kissing hormones faster than you can say “Internet Science!”
Before any sister wives or bratty daughters can take Washington by storm, however, another one of the Brown kids is moving back home. Kody’s favorite daughter, Maddie, and his boy-crush (and son-in-law) Caleb are moving in with her mom Janelle. Apparently Maddie and Caleb couldn’t hack it living on their own in Montana so they have to shack up at Janelle’s place.
Caleb says he’ll fit right in on the Cul-de-Sac of Broken Dreams because he’s basically living his worst nightmare now.
“Yes, this is such a very proud moment,” Caleb, says sarcastically. “I’m 30 years old, married, I have a wife that’s pregnant, and I’m moving back in with my in-laws…into a one-bedroom loft.”
Well, Caleb, maybe you should have thought of that before you knocked up your still-in-college 20-year-old wife. This poor guy will now be forced to have an adoring Kody follow him around, constantly coming over to Janelle’s pad to see if Caleb can come out and play.
Maddie tells us that Caleb had a pulmonary embolism recently and that contributed to the reason why they needed to move in with Janelle. She said the doctor told him that it’s a miracle he’s even alive.
With Maddie and Caleb settling into their new lives as perma-moochers, Meri and Janelle decide to sit down with Kody and the rest of the sister wives to let them know they are going to do the Women’s March with Mariah. Neither of them seem to know what the hell they are marching for but, hey, a free vacation away from Kody? They’d probably agree to medical lab testing in Guantanamo Bay if it means being Kody-free for a few days!
“It’s not a protest..it’s a walk,” Meri tells the group. (Apparently she thinks this is some sort of jog-a-thon or something?)
“It’s a march to tell people, ‘hey we’re here!’” Janelle explains.
Robyn seems confused, but maybe she’s just mad because this means she’s stuck “here” in Vegas with Kody.
Speaking of Kody, he’s not on board with two of his wives (even his least favorite two!) going to a march in Washington DC.
“It seems very political to me,” Kody says.
Thank you, Captain Obvious.
Meri says she’s concerned that if Mariah finds out that Kody is not on board with the march, she will think he is hating on her new fangled lifestyle as a gay woman. I mean, at this point, Mariah already seems to have purchased a lifetime supply of cut-off plaid shirts and hiking boots so….
“I am concerned that Mariah could interpret his hesitancy on us going on this march with her as a reflection on her. He is highly conservative, and she is very liberal,” Meri says.
Kody’s reasoning for him not wanting his wives to go has nothing to do with him hating gays or women or marching whatnot. In fact, in typical Kody fashion, his reason is actually all about him.
He says that there’s no need for Mariah and the sister wives to march for LGBTQ rights because they already have their rights and, in case they haven’t noticed, he doesn’t. He tries to show off his smarts by using big words like “legislature” but, of course, he fails miserably.
Kody says he has something in his world that is “much more important than” the women’s march, and that he would rather them participate in a march on the capital for polygamists who don’t have their civil rights in Utah.
“They’re going to go off on this march when my rights aren’t even recognized,” he wails.
Apparently someone must have told Kody that you can only go to one march a year or something? He has this idea that marching for Mariah and women will make the sister wives ineligible to march with him when he storms the capital for polygamist rights.
Janelle and Meri are also confused as to why they can’t do both marches. (Meanwhile, Christine is just sitting there with a weird smile on her face, nodding. Perhaps she’s dreaming of what song she’ll sing at the polygamist march? All together now… “Let me call you sweeeeeeethaaaart…”)
Kody says participating in the Mariah march would be “taking away energy” from the polygamist movement.
Janelle and Meri say the two things are not mutually exclusive. They seem to be getting fed up with Kody trying to make the “executive decision” on them attending the march.
Finally, Meri just basically tells him he can take his self-serving ideas (and mop of Muppet hair) and shove them. She’s says she’s going to support her daughter and that’s final!
Kody shoots her a sour look, but seems to realize that, once again, no one gives a flying hoot what he thinks. He “agrees” to let Meri and Janelle go and then pouts.
Later, it’s time for Maddie and Caleb to tell the family the gender of their baby. The Kody-shaming continues as the sister wives reminisce about how they found out the genders of their children.
Meri regales us with a hilarious anecdote.
“When I had Mariah, Kody was like, ‘it’s a boy’ and then the midwife said, ‘no, that’s the cord it’s a girl.’” Meri says.
The sister wives all get a good laugh at Kody’s expense (while probably simultaneously hating themselves for ever letting that half-wit touch them on their no-nos).
Kody protests, stating that Mariah was only his second child so he was still a new dad…but Meri gleefully reminds him that Mariah is actually his third child, not the second.
Anyway, all of the sister wives, Kody and the background kids have gathered at Janelle’s place to find out the gender of the baby. They have purchased paper mustaches and hair bows for the family members to wear to demonstrate if they think it’s a boy or a girl, respectively. (Kody has a hard time understanding the concept. He puts the hair bow on as a bowtie and wears a mustache. Someone help Kody, please…)
After minimal hub-bub, Caleb and Maddie pass out balloons to the family. They announce that only the pink or blue balloons will inflate, and the one that does inflate will indicate if the baby is a boy or a girl. Kody, of course, looks confused.
The Browns begin blowing up the balloons, and the blue ones inflate, revealing that Maddie and Caleb are having a boy!
Maddie says she is naming the baby Axel James because she had some dream where a creepy dream kid named Axel James called her “Mommy” or something. (Hey, maybe the next kid will be a girl and they can name her Kodina?)
Later in the episode, they up the drama factor a bit by sending Janelle and Meri to therapy together. They reveal that their strained relationship is nothing new. In fact, they’ve hated each other for an upwards of about 20 years!
“I’m not looking forward to this,” Janelle says. “I am not really a drinking person, but I honestly feel like I need a drink before I go do something like this.”
How can you not be a drinking person and still be married to Kody? Why the hell do you think Meri was so insistent about getting that damn wet-bar!? It’s necessary for survival!
Janelle is having second thoughts about traveling with her sister wife nemesis Meri across the country to go to a march. Apparently, saying “we’re here” to the world is not enough to make Janelle want to suffer through three days, two nights in a double room at the Best Western with Meri and her ever-lasting catfishing tale!
“If we can’t clear the air, I’m probably going to call in sick for this trip,” Janelle tells us before heading into therapy.
Meri says they have had a couple of “instances” in the past couple of months that they need to discuss. One of the “instances” was when they were being interviewed about Mariah coming out. Meri was mad when Janelle answered a question that someone asked Meri and basically stole all the attention away from Meri.
Then, they got into a text fight about it. Janelle and Meri say the same things they always say in therapy, that they communicate differently, yada, yada, yada. (Meri likes to spend money, while Janelle likes to make it, for instance.)
They agree to go ahead and go on the trip with Mariah. Before the march, Mariah brings a bunch of her friends over to meet the family. Mariah reveals that she is dating one of her friends, Audrey. They have been dating for three weeks, so obviously Mariah wants to let poor Audrey know what she’s signing on for: a TLC camera in her face, and her idiot father walking around spouting ridiculousness.
Of course, because Mariah is so extra, she has to wait until the entire family is saddled up to Meri’s wet bar before announcing she needs to see all of her parents outside. She flounces around, making a big deal out of it.
She announces that Audrey is her girlfriend and everyone is just like, “That’s it? You already got your two-episode arc for being gay? What more do you want?”
Of course, though, Kody doesn’t disappoint.
“Well Audrey, I’ve gotta do this. I don’t discriminate,” Kody says. “Audrey what are your intentions with my daughter? This is different for us, but we are really good at different.”
Audrey pretends that she thinks Kody is funny. At this point, he’s a novelty though, like those dogs playing poker paintings or something, so it makes sense. Wait a few months, Audrey.
Audrey and Mariah discuss their relationship. They do this, of course, while wearing basically the exact same Old Navy men’s button-down shirt and jeans and shoes.
The next day, Janelle and Meri arrive in Washington D.C. (with their camera crew) to storm Washington.
Meri says she feels an “angry” energy. (Life on the Cul-de-Sac of Broken Dreams has surely prepared her for that, though.)
“I have a little bit of anxiety about how angry some of the people are,” Janelle agrees.
They finally meet up with Mariah and her friends, as the crowd begins to swell around them. Mariah has lost one of her gal-pals, so she goes to look for her, begging the sister wives to just stay where they are. Naturally, Janelle and Meri take this as a sign that they should go wade through the ginormous crowd in an effort to take a pee. Their tinkle break results in them getting lost for about three hours. On the plus side, though, Janelle and Meri cling to each other, despite their hate, because they are nervous to be in such a big crowd.
Finally, the sister wives find their way back to Mariah’s gang of She-Thugs and begin to march. Meri and Janelle are thrilled to see Mariah marching, shouting and actually being happy for once. She’s really in her element while marching and the sister wives are happy for her.
Once the gals have sufficiently told the world that they’re “here,” they head to dinner to discuss the day’s events. Mariah is actually acting like a halfway decent person as she thanks her moms for flying across the country and participating in the march with her. Meri is beaming and it’s actually a sweet moment.
Later, Audrey and Mariah stay behind to chat with Meri about their relationship. Meri is hoping that this trip will help her and Mariah get back into each other’s good graces.
Next week, Kody convinces most of his family (even some of the background kids!) to go to Utah to do his march for polygamist rights.
To read our previous ‘Sister Wives’ recap, click here!