Error: Twitter did not respond. Please wait a few minutes and refresh this page.
This week’s Teen Mom is titled, ‘As Long as We’re Together.’ Is this show smart enough to give us an ironic title? Because the whole show is about almost being together, but not really about any sense of relief in partnership, the way the title would imply. Maci wants to be together with Bentley and not miss a second of him, even though finishing school is the smart, mature choice. Amber is just… not even remotely together. Clinton, Gary, Leah, Krystal, a sister who died in infancy. There’s nothing about the word ‘together’ that can be applied to Amber in this episode. Farrah wants to move so badly to a far away, warm place that she’s gone Full Asshat on her parents for daring to even remotely try to tell her that they aren’t on board because they’ll miss her and Sophia so much. And Caitlynn’s dad visits, after four years of not seeing him, but then he leaves and goes home to Florida.
But incontinuity aside, the babies are cuter than ever this week, and I’m not even kidding. Brace yourselves for lots of gratuitous baby shots in the Re(al)cap, because the holiday baby moments were adorbs! But as far as who’s together in this mess, I’m stumped.
Also to note before diving in, I love y’all’s comments! I never get to respond as much as I want to, because of time restraints, but mad snaps, yo. One commenter posted a link to…. wait for it…. AMBER’S BROTHER’S BLOG. It’s rich, too. It’s got a content warning on it, for adult content, and there aren’t many posts but it’s so worth the read. I would like to know why Shawn Portwood’s known as “The Chili Man,” and I would like to thank him for reminding me of this gem: “It’s Gary Time.” Chili Man hasn’t brought up “Have a picnic life,” but I’m so waiting for that tee-shirt!!! Mostly though, dude’s following the family formula of blaming everyone and anything but the actual protagonist of the drama. He’s pointing his chili finger at MTV Networks and saying, “All they care about is ratings and will destroy whomever life that they have to in order to get them. The same can be said for when they aired my sister hitting Gary in the face. There are some things that just do not need to be shown. They should have taken matters into their own hands and called the authorities, but they did not, they filmed it and played it. Sneaky sneaky MTV, I really do hope it was worth it but considering you are all spineless soulless individuals I am sure it was worth every dirty dime”
Good luck with that, Chili Man. Your sister signed up to be on a TV show, and then let it all hang out and smacked her boyfriend more than once. MTV has been criticized for Teen Mom in many, many ways and validly. It’s a really interesting discussion that I hope to explore more in the Fullcap, but bottom line? Amber and Gary went on a TV show. The show lead to a spin-off, and the spin-off was really captivating; so much so, that it’s now led to a level of popularity that it’s being discussed on National Public Radio shows and tabloid magazines. I’m pretty sure that at this point, Chili Man’s sister is making plenty of her own dirty dimes. If she isn’t, it’s 100% because of her own crappy choices that she made, which happened to be filmed…. because she signed up to be on a show.
It’s a white Christmas in Anderson, IN and Amber’s hanging up lights, and decorating with her new boyfriend. Clinton has a seriously lame Mohawk and his ability to eye-roll is second only to Farrah. They’re decorating the new place, and Amber’s saying she wishes Leah could be there but she doesn’t go get Leah or anything. Doorbell! Five dozen flowers from a secret admirer. Hilarity ensues, in the form of everyone involved acting like a manipulative jerk. We end with Amber making soft-voiced kissy faces at Clinton, but here’s my first Gurl, please moment of many. Amber’s on the phone with Gary eating up the attention he’s giving her, which he’s only doing because he’s a manipulative immature jerk himself. Clinton takes the phone trying to man up for his woman, and Amber eats that up, too because she’s high as hell and truly believes that she’s a pretty pretty princess. No lie, these two look like any given subject on Intervention. I’m literally checking the TV schedule because I’ve been forgetting what day is it all week. Like, maybe I accidentally thought it was Tuesday, but really it’s Wednesday and Candy Finnegan will show up any minute.
Turns out that Amber lost a sister to SIDS when Amber was just five years old and this is her sister’s birthday. Ohhhhhhhhh…. that explains a bit about this family’s utter refusal to take responsibility for anything they do. A horrific, inexplicable tragedy like losing a baby to SIDS is so massively going to affect a family. It’s nobody’s fault that the baby died, and I can’t help but wonder if that became kind of a basic tenet, that awful things can happen and it is not your fault. I’m not sure if I’m sticking to this, but it’s a theory. But Amber’s things? Her fault.
Oddly, Clinton drops out of the episode, and Amber turns to Gary for comfort. Now this, I get. They are so knotted up together in abuse and actual love, in history and in desperation that I can see why she’d go there and why he’d want her to. In those worst of times, when you hate yourself more than you could ever hate a mortal enemy, if you can turn to someone you’ve treated terribly and have that person still accept you, still comfort you, still love you then you at least feel like your feet are back under you. The problems with this type of relationship are infinite, and serious, but these two, if they ever take this seriously and want to pull it together, will send some shrink’s kid to Notre Dame with no student loans, no problemo.
They finish decorating the tree and for freaking once, they act like parents and focus on Leah, on how delighted Leah is by the tree. When they plug it in and the lights go on, Leah positively lights up in a way that we rarely get to see from her. Kousin Krystal puts the baby to bed, and Amber and Gary talk. Amber says she misses her sister, that she knows her life would have been different had Candace lived. Now that is honesty. That makes me think maybe Amber does have it in her to turn this all around.
Maci’s scenes don’t read a recap this week. In the alternate, 1970s TV Show Universe, a detective with a wicked full mustache and a relatively tight light gray suit would draw his gun, and bust open the door to Maci’s scenes, only to find that it’s a reel-to-reel tape recorder instead of an actual person. And the recording is really bad, because everybody was on High Mumble Alert in Tennessee this past Christmas.
Should I quit school entirely? Why did Ryan Facebook friend Kyle and offer to get Kyle in touch with someone about a job? Should I quit school? Should I go on another epic tour of TN, asking people if I should quit school? What do I doooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo?
I’m not even kidding. Like a Frosty you don’t eat later reveals itself to be mostly air, so were Maci’s scenes this week. The only anything was that Ryan texted to say his employer is hiring, and also sent a friend request to Kyle on Facebook. It’s really not that big of a deal. I’m a Facebook junkie, hardcore and unapologetic, and I bet Ryan friended him because it’s a small town, and they probably already have a bunch of mutual friends, so it was glaring and stupid to not add Kyle, ergo less drama to add him than to not add him. Boom. Friend request. Kyle hilariously gets in one shot to Maci about how if school’s so hard now, imagine how much worse it would be with a second baby. You go, girl.
Farrah is dead to me.
It’s also Christmas-time in Iowa, and the Farrah Famiglia is making a gingerbread house. Sophia is beyond cute, in this scene, but nobody else really is except maybe Michael. They’re all talking about Farrah’s plans to move far, far away, and I’m surprised that Michael and Debra aren’t offering to pay her moving expenses, and six months of rent on a condo sublet in sunny Singapore. You’d think they’d be stoked to have her go away but no, they’re sad she wants to leave.
Farrah’s scenes are classic assholery. There is a ton of Arizona landscape porn – big blue skies, cacti, sand-colored houses, and all of the things anyone thinks of when they think of Arizona except for the snowbirds in an RV, going 23 mph in the middle lane of your main surface street. Farrah snots out that she will only live in the Camelback area or Scottsdale, and Tucsonans everywhere breathe a huge sigh of relief. And have a good laugh, because honey, you’re a brunette. Good luck in Scottsdale. I used to date this big Viking/Caveman film-maker who lived there. At times in certain Scottsdale bars, I was literally the only brunette and the only person who weighed over 117 pounds. Besides the bouncers. It’s probably mellowed a tiny bit; this was at the very height of everyone being Paltrow blonde and at the very height of the real estate boom. Now everyone’s in foreclosure and can only afford foils, instead of a double process. But Farrah still has no idea what she’s signing up for. She’s used to being a hot potato in Council Bluffs and Omaha. The West Coast Standard of Beauty is very real, and very much applies to Phoenix, but hey, if she moves there and starts partyin’, we can look forward to thedirty.com having a field day with her.
But the main thing with Farrah is what an utter jerk she is being to her parents. They go with her, as it sounds like they used to live in Phoenix. It seems like they used the trip as a little get out of winter card, but were also down to help Farrah explore. Farrah’s beyond impatient and rude though, so it’s a very tense trip, for everyone. Farrah wants to move away, her parents aren’t going to approve of this, and she’s going to act out because they don’t approve… it’s a nasty, recognizable cycle that I’ll get more into in the Re(al)cap. For now, suffice it to say that Farrah is dick soup in this episode, treating her parents like she’s 14 years old. In a restaurant argument with them, she actually said, “Well if you can’t handle this, you shouldn’t have had this!” That’s possibly the stupidest argument to ever throw at parents, and why they want her to stick around is beyond me. This one will move away for 3-4 months, to Vegas or Scottsdale, since Farrah’s already recognized that Los Angeles would eat her as a midday snack, and then she’ll come home humbled and homesick. They should be throwing her off the back of a pickup truck on to the I-10 so she can fail hard and then get her ish together.
Caitlynn and Tyler found a less expensive yet bigger apartment, so they’re moving. TMZ said they were evicted, but surprisingly, I don’t go by the gossip tabs so I won’t call it like that just yet. It takes a lot to get legally evicted, so I’m guessing that’s not what happened but maybe there was some short rents or something and they broke the lease to go somewhere more affordable or something. Conjecture, but at the end of the day, it’s all conjecture (including anything I ever say about Amber and you-know-what, which rhymes with ‘description hugs.’ I do not know for sure, but I have to guess and I do, and I think she’s a first-rate addict, who is so messed up in show-time, that she’s high as hell most of the time and it’s caused her to lose her mind and, consequently, her child.).
The big news for Caitlynn is that her dad is visiting! He’s been in Florida and she’s not seen him in four years but they talk a lot and have a good relationship. He’s got a job interview in Michigan, so he’ll take care of that and stay with Caitlynn. He’s never met Tyler, so this is super exciting for everyone! I was convinced from the previews that this would turn out differently, that her dad was showing up out of the blue and they weren’t close but see? What do I know? If I read TMZ or US Weekly, I guess I’d know I was gonna be wrong and I’d never have made that call. In my head. Whatever.
So Papa Lowell arrives in wintery Michigan, and this dude has clearly been in treatment in Florida for all this time. He alludes to his mistakes form the past, and he’s got a way with words and with processing the things going on in Caitlynn’s life that seems to be rooted in the language of recovery. I’m not judging here, just commenting by the way. I liked the guy, and it seems like he’s doing what Tyler tried to get Butch to do a few episodes ago, that is to say that he’s taking things seriously and walking carefully through life so that he doesn’t fall back into old bad habits or make mistakes that have major, lasting consequences on himself or his loved ones.
He’s really there for Caitlynn, and he totally approves of Tyler. They do some Carly-talk, over the photo album, and he really does understand why Butch, April, and Kim would have a hard time understanding the adoption. He’s a little over-whelmed, but he’s totally empathetic to them as grand-parents. He’s also able to think bigger though, and to understand at a much more gut-level why Carly’s adoption was not only the best thing for her, but also for Caitlynn and Tyler. It’s so great to see Caitlynn have a parental bond with someone who genuinely likes her and who is able to put her first, emotionally.
So much going on in this one! Full recap will be up in a few days, but in the meantime, check out The Chili Man’s Chronicles. I hate to mock a vet, I really do, but…. well, go read for yourself. You can also check out the last recap here!