Well, here we are again.
We are now in the 815th season of a Teen Mom show. And, before you ask—no, we still don’t have anything better to do than watch this crap that MTV has been shoveling our way for the past decade-and-a-half or so. We’ve survived on-air brawls, battles with pillseseseses, failed lie-detector tests and driveway Porta-Potties and, yet, here we are.
Anyway, a new season of Teen Mom: The Next Chapter has premiered, and unfortunately The Ashley has slacked off on her recapping. (She’s been too busy slicking down her greasy bacon sidebangs, drinking Bud Lights and preening her Albert Einstein couch puppet.)
So we’re just gonna pretend this new season of ‘Next Chapter’ started at Episode 21, OK?
We kick things off with a recap of the previous episode, where Catelynn and Tyler move, Leah plans a big party for the twinseseses’ birthday and Bar is busy completing his community service.
Seriously, that episode could have been aired in 2011. The plotlines never really change: someone is always moving, someone is always having a ridiculously over-the-top party and someone is always trying to resolve their legally challenged issues! The only difference is that everyone has better hair now.
Anyway, that brings us to the most-recent crapisode. We start off at Cate & Ty’s new mansion. (Not gonna lie, I’m sure gonna missing calling their house the Octagon ‘o’ Triggers.) Apparently Nova (the oldest Not-Carly) is fighting with Catelynn over a cheerleading shirt Cate wants her to wear. Nova is only 8 but already self-conscious about her body, Catelynn tells “the gals” (I see they’re still trying to make that whole “group chat format” happen.)
Nova tells Catelynn that she’s going to be so embarrassed to wear the tank top.
Oh, if only they made little girls’ shirts with sleeves!
They go into the place that Nova does her cheerleading (which, for some reason, appears to be in a barn?)
Nova prepares to take off her sweatshirt and they legit start playing TENSE MUSIC to build the suspense. Really guys? Has it come to this?
We then see that Nova is not wearing a “tank top,” but actually wearing some sort of kiddie crop top! (Yes, The Ashley is aware that kids wear stuff like this at cheer, but they don’t have to, especially if they’re expressing that they’re uncomfortable being so exposed.)
As Nova is trying to cover herself, Cate goes ahead and announces to all the other moms that Nova was self-conscious about wearing the crop top.
Can we get a therapy horse to the cheer barn, ASAP? This kid’s gonna need it.
When they get home, Cate makes sure to tell Tyler about The Great Crop Top Caper. Tyler is understandably concerned, and wonders if there is a reason for Nova’s sudden need for body privacy. (It could be because the kid’s literally had a camera in her face since she slid out of Cate’s hooter?)
Meanwhile, over in Ye Olde Holler, Leah comes over to where Ali is sitting and Ali just gives her this look, like she knows Leah’s about to bring up some embarrassing topic for the cameras.
Ali decides to cut Leah off at the pass, and instead blurts out that she wants to write a book about horse therapy.
Leah, the literary genius of our generation, said she was about to talk to her publisher about starting her own second book, but says she’ll do Ali’s first.
(I don’t know about you guys, but I, for one, am anxiously awaiting Mama Dawn‘s memoir. Imagine the tales of Walmart fights, love stories at the Waffle House and ding-dang Holler hijinks that book would contain!)
Leah vows to talk to her publisher and start getting the wheels in motion for Ali to write her book. I suppose this means that, sadly, we will have to anxiously await Leah’s follow-up novel, which we can assume would be titled Unending Photoshoot: My Time with Jaylan.
Next we head to LA to check in with Cory. It’s the day of his infant daughter’s heart surgery, and he and Taylor are both crying. There’s honestly nothing funny at all about a little girl having surgery, so let’s go ahead and skip right through this part…
We skip on over to Las Vegas, where Ashley and her family are going out to dinner. They’re still reeling from the death of Ashley’s brother.
JESUS GOD LEAH! This may be the most-depressing episode of ‘Teen Mom’ ever (except for the episode where Kieffer was arrested and therefore taken off our television screens. That was hard on the whole country.)
The next scene, Bar is dancing with the cat (as you do), and Ashley is talking about their upcoming wedding.
Ashley tells her mom, Tea, that she wants to fly to Dallas to see a wedding dress designer who makes “very exquisite” dresses.
Does SHEIN have a Dallas location or…?
Next we head to Tennessee to see what Maci is up to. We see the family sitting in front of their MTV Mansion, with Taylor throwing a baseball around with the assorted mulleted youngins. Maci tells us that a couple of weeks have past since Bentley went out to dinner with his dad Ryan, one-on-one. She says she wants to check in with Bentley to see how he’s handling everything.
And what better place to do that check-in than ON-CAMERA! She calls up Coach B to chat with her and Bentley (and the MTV camera crew, natch.)
Bentley tells Maci that she’s doing everything she can to support his suddenly rekindled relationship with his oft-arrested, drug-using father.
Taylor is not too keen on Bentley getting closer to Ryan. (Go figure!) He says he wants to teach Bentley how to be a man who is nothing like Ryan.
They decide to ring up Cate and Tyler on The Facetime to talk about the Ryan situation. (Catelynn’s bangs are giving “just got slapped in the forehead with a pound of greasy bacon” in this scene. YIKES.)
We see this is Christmastime (due to the décor in the background), so keep in mind this convo is happening before Ryan got arrested for heroin possession and before he allegedly trashed his home, etc.
Taylor tells the gang that he’s not supportive of this renewed interest in Ryan. He thinks Ryan will eventually muck it all up (spoiler alert: he basically does), and that he’ll have to pick up the pieces of Bentley’s broken heart when his dad gets crappy again.
Tyler reminds us that he grew up with the King of Crappy Dads, Butch!
Maci seems to totally disregard Taylor’s objections to Bentley getting all cozy with Daddy Dearest, but, thankfully, Tyler tells Taylor how proud he should be that he stepped in to parent Bentley while Ryan was off shooting cats, threatening people and slamming the Big H.
Tyler says that Bentley having Taylor as a father figure all these years will be what shapes Bentley into a good man.
“Because we all know it wasn’t Ryan!” Catelynn cracks.
We are then treated to even more Catelynn (and her slick ‘n’ speedy side-bang). I’m not sure I can take this much Cate and Ty in one episode without at least a spoonful of Butch and/or April. It seems unfair.
It’s time to talk about Nova and her tank top again. Super. This plotline rivals the riveting yesteryear content that was Aubree’s cellphone or Isaac’s wallpaper line.
Catelynn then tells us that Tyler was particularly worried about Nova’s sudden body insecurities because he was sexually abused when he was Nova’s age.
They decide to do more therapy.
This therapy does not come in the form of a therapy horse (or pig). Instead, it’s a therapist named Sandra who beams in via Zoom to talk to Cate and Tyler about all of this.
After that not-fun convo, they make us go right into Cory’s baby’s heart surgery.
COME THE HELL ON GUYS. GIVE ME SOME MAMA DAWN SCREAMING IN HER HOUSECOAT, OR AMBER RANTING ON INSTAGRAM OR SOMETHING TO LIGHTEN THE MOOD.
They surprisingly let MTV’s cameras right in the hospital, up until they’re literally about to give the baby her anesthesia. I’m out on baby surgeries, so we are gonna skip right along again…
We hop on over to the Holler to see Leah. She’s firing up the dial-up Interwebs to have a video chat with her book publisher, Ashlyn. They chat about Leah’s ideas for her second book.
“I was thinking relationships, the healing journey after,” Leah says.
Leah is writing a relationship book? Did I hear that correctly? That’s kind of like Kail writing a book about using birth control, or Jenelle writing a book about choosing a soulmate without an arrest record, isn’t it?
(Also, does the world really need a second memoir from Leah? I mean…really?)
Leah also mentions that Ali wants to write a book, and the publisher seems to think that’s an even better idea. (I will say that Leah is looking amazing here. It’s possibly the best she’s ever looked on this show, honestly. No more crunchy Ramen curls or weird “Mom” hair for this gal!)
The book publisher lady keeps her trap shut and pretends that Leah’s “relationship” book is a great idea. She tells Leah to write up a blurb about her book and Ali’s book and they’ll get the ball rolling.
Later, Leah talks about Ali and her book. She says that Ali has been an inspiration to a lot of people, which is true.
Leah also drops a really nice little quote.
“Strength is more than a muscle,” she says. “It is also a mentality.”
Leah sure has come a long way from her “Stand In Your Power” speech days! Get it, girl!
Over in Los Angeles, Cheyenne, Zach and Chey’s dad are cooking some food to bring to the hospital for Cory and Taylor, who are still there with Maya following her surgery.
Maya is having complications from the surgery, and Ryder is sick with a high fever, so everyone is struggling right now.
Meanwhile, Ashley is flying to Dallas to see the “exquisite” wedding dress designer. She and her sister and several friends are having some drinks in their rental house when Ashley informs them that this will be the first “wedding trip” of many. She tells them to get ready to spend some serious money.
The next day, Ashley tells her bridesmaids that she’s chosen a few dresses already but now they need to be customized into her dream dress.
They go to the bridal salon, where Ashley tries on several sparkly dresses. (Not gonna lie, but she was right: the designer’s dresses really are exquisite.)
Everyone is hootin’ and hollerin’ as Ashley models each wedding dress style and tries to decide which parts of each dress to incorporate into her own.
Over in Tennessee, we catch up with Jen and Larry. Ryan’s there and so his his son, Jagger. As Ryan raids his Mama’s fridge, Jen asks him about his renewed relationship with Maci and Bentley.
Ryan says that, what with workin’ and wrestlin’ and
chasing the white dragon and whatnot, him and Bentley haven’t really had a chance to go have another MTV-funded meal together.
Jen reminds Ryan that it’s his responsibility to ask to see his son. As per usual, Ryan has a bunch of excuses.
Also…Ryan appears to be legit nodding off during this convo with his mom. Jen and Larry should know they have a serious problem happening here. Do they need him to start babbling about “the dye in the baby’s head” or something before they realize there’s a pharmaceutical reason for Ryan’s sudden slumbers?
Over at Maci’s house, Taylor and Maci discuss how “good” Ryan is doing.
Taylor vows not to interfere with Ryan and Bentley’s relationship, even if he thinks it will end in disaster.
Over in Los Angeles, Maya is still having serious complications from her surgery. Cheyenne and Ryder pray for her.
That’s it for this episode of ‘Teen Mom: The Next Chapter!’
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