So here we are, a special 90 minute episode of Teen Mom. These people are delusional, and the most insane thing is that of everyone on the show, it’s Amber and Farrah who are the least delusional in this episode. Everyone else is losing it, kinda hardcore. It was a long 90 minutes, too so let’s dispense with the usual jokesies and get on down with it.
We open with Amber, in snowy Indiana, fresh from jail and still looking more sober than she has since probably like, February 2010. She’s also wearing these enormous fake eye lashes, and the thing is, it’s like it’s her new look or something. She’s wearing them in the entire episode, and man. Fake eyelashes are a commitment to a look, because it takes some time and some effort to make that happen on the daily. But what the deuce Amber? Like, did she vow to herself to up her everyday glamour look by 100 while she was chillin’ downtown? Did she look in the mirror one day and think, “I need a new look. Indiana Chola is so out. Kat Von D is in.” Seriously, she’s working the lashes, darker hair, and big earrings now. You go girl. She not only changed her look, but also her Facebook relationship status when she got out of jail. Clinton’s been dumped, I’m sorry to report.
Amber breaks down jail a bit to her friend, and then talks about court and CPS. She and Gary have a meeting scheduled and she’s nervous, even though CPS has had nothing but glowing feedback for her. Gary’s mom comes by to pick up Leah, and she thinks the non-contact order is stupid. I think she’s tired of being the Shuttle Service that only runs between Leah’s parents. She does get Amber to admit that she’s a little scared. It’s pretty touching. I thought Gary’s mom could barely stand to be in the same room as Amber, but she’s been very accepting of her this season.
Amber’s mom comes by in the morning to watch Leah while Amber and her distracting fake lashes go to the psychiatrist. While Amber’s getting her head shrunk (but not her lashes), Gary goes on a date with his best Single Dad Guy Pal, Evan. Evan? My best friend thinks you’re hot. Call me. I’ll hook you up! She’s a babe, loves kids, and lives not too far away from you! He’s trying to explain that it’s different when you’re apart from someone and you want to be, versus his situation where he’s apart from Amber because of a court order. I wonder if Butch and April ever ponder this deep thought, but Gary’s buddy says he’ll light a candle for Gary. Gary goes, “You lit a candle in my heart,” and it’s broners all around as Gary blushes and they both giggle, realizing that they’re on a date in a completely non-sexual but intimate way. Awwwwwww.
Krystal comes by with her darling son, Landon. I wonder if he’s named for Landon of Real World/Challenge fame? I can dig it, if that’s the case. Amber says again that she’s only heard good things from CPS in her feedback, but she’s really aware that she could lose Leah. Amber’s mom shows up with Leah and some meatloaf for Amber, and about two minutes later, Leah projectile vomits. Amber bathes her and puts her to bed, for snuggles because tomorrow is Court.
Leah is sick all night, and Gary comes by to get Leah. So one of these two can finally drive, eh? Baby steps, I guess. Once all of the maneuvering a sick baby between two people who can’t even have eye contact with one another by order of the State of Indiana is done. They all head off to the CPS meeting with a police escort following them. I wonder if that’s a fourth wall being broken, or if that’s standard practice for this kind of thing. With these two, I feel like there is so much more than we know, or ever will know. The meeting goes well, but Amber and Gary are still going to have CPS visiting with each of them for a few months. Gary picks up Leah and takes her to the doctor. He calls his mom to break it down; Leah’s got strep and a double ear infection. Yikes! Gary also tells us that they have court soon to get the no contact order dropped.
Krystal comes by, ostensibly to see Amber, but I think she’s just as fascinated by Amber’s false lashes as I am. I have never seen fake lashes look so fake, and the thing is, I feel like Amber wants them to be like that. It’s so weird. Amber’s totally getting sick, and Krystal confirms it by telling Amber about Leah’s illness. Luckily, Krystal stopped and Big Lots and got all the stuff to make cupcakes. No silly, not butter and sugar! Boxes and cans and sprinkles! Good idea to cheer up your cousin, but last time I checked, it’s not a great idea to cook with a person who’s been exposed to strep a few hours ago. Amber tells Krystal about how weird it was to be in the same room as Gary and not even to be allowed to have eye contact. Amber’s not sad about it, but yeah, it’s weird.
America’s Teen Mom Sweetheart Caitlynn has finally finished classes! They get an email from Brandon and Theresa, acknowledging that it was sweet to invite them to graduation, but they need to take some time to think about it. Tyler’s thinking about the practical aspect, like arranging travel and taking time off from work, but Caitlynn cuts to the chase and names the hesitancy after its progenitors, April and Butch. They talk about how it’s tricky and non-traditional to be birth parents, wisely noting that their role is hard and then not so wisely Tyler says, “You gotta remind yourself you ain’t her parent.”
The next day, I presume, in Monty’s classroom, things are wrapping up on high school. The fifth year seniors are dismissed for the last time, but Monty asks Caitlynn to stay back for a minute. He wants to close-talker tell her that he’s really proud. He’s the kind of dude who seems like a close talker. Yeah. Add that to my list of suspicions about Monty, the Hip Teacher. He drives a snow-biten Camry, he works out a lot, he plays guitar in a classic rock cover band, he would smoke weed if it was legal but it’s not so he doesn’t, and he sometimes close-talks. He asks Caitlynn about April, and we learn that she never finished high school and had Caitlynn at age 19. He asks what Caitlynn’s plans are and takes it oddly personally that she wants to be a teacher. They agree that her decision to place Carly for adoption was a hard, complicated thing to do so when things get hard, Caitlynn can always remind herself that she’s already done one of the bravest things in the world to do, so she can get through anything.
Later, Caitlynn and Tyler go to their favorite pool hall, with several big-haired friends. Caitlynn says she’s not starting classes until September. It’s still snowy, so it sounds like Caitlynn is going to have some time to kill between high school and college! Maybe she can pick up extra hours at the boutique? The boys go have some pizza and there’s a non-sequitor conversation about whether or not Tyler thinks about other girls, and the honest-to-male answer is, ‘yes.’ He goes on to say, though that he made a commitment and he stands by it. It’s his life and he’s very much aware of the details and what his choices mean for him. His friend just kinda tosses it out that there he hopes Tyler doesn’t wake up 25 and regret his choices.
Later on, Caitlynn secretly books a ski trip for Tyler, on her iPad. These kids’ place is nicer than mine, and they have better toys. I’m officially pissed about the 90 minute episode, now. I’m not recapping their nice stuff, because jealousy is an ugly emotion. Or maybe my job and commitments are very demanding right now, and I’m thinking I don’t want to wake up and 45 with regrets. Oh, who am I kidding??? That ship sailed a long time ago, and the SS Regret does not stray far from her port now does she? But, sometime after age 25, we quit dwelling on them and sigh and say, “Well, I made that choice. Now I’ll make a different one.” Regret is sort of a guilt trip unto oneself, and guilt is a wasted emotion. If you will feel guilty, don’t do it. Boom.
Tyler hangs out with Kim a bit, too and I love how much she loves this kid. She just lights up around him! He’s telling her about Caitlynn going out and having fun, but how there was a big episode. He’s ticked because she said she trusted Tyler, but not the skanks trying to get a piece of her man and he tells Kim that’s lame sauce. She agrees, because… that’s lame sauce. It’s the person you’re with that needs to be trusted, not the people who may or may not hit on your honey. Kim voices that Caitlynn has a lot of insecurities, and Tyler agrees citing that she’s fatter and that the insecurity issues make it uncomfortable at times, or unattractive. Oh, Tyler. From anyone else it would have been an insult, but he’s ready and wanting to stand by his lady, for bigger or smaller, for richer or poorer. Kim knows her way around insecurities, like I know my way around pulled pork, and she really hopes Caitlynn gets a handle on hers before Tyler and she get any more serious.
Later on, Caitlynn springs it on Tyler that she got him a ski trip as a ‘thank you’ and celebration of their love. She wants them to go out of their comfort zone again, and to do it together for a little bonding time. Things start to spin a little funny here. He’s feeling good, and was just saying to his mom that he’s earned some autonomy and some time to do what he wants to do. 20 minutes later, Caitlynn is whisking him off on a trip he didn’t know was being planned. That’s about the furthest from autonomy that there is. He’s excited, in fact he kind of squealed like he won a trip on a game show. But in Caitlynn’s scenes with Tyler, there is a clinginess that I was hoping she would be able to over-come. We still have one more week, and I really am pulling for her to get a grip, to step back from all the changes and from her insecurities to realize how much Tyler loves her. He’s only going anywhere if she doesn’t pull it together. Oh, the cycle of emotional neediness. The more one needs, the more the other wants space, and it spirals, spirals, spirals. I hope they can catch this. I really want them together until they are at least 32 or so, at which point they wake up and are like, “Ya know. I think this is it. I love you, but let’s split up.” And then they do, and they both realize they had this amazing experience as young people who grew up together, but they grew up slower than they thought they did, and they grew up to be people with very different needs and interests.
Five minutes later, they’re off to a fabulous ski vacation and rockin’ it on the Babyface hill. It looks warmer and more manageable than Colorado skiing. Which is terrifying to me, who is possibly the worst skier ever. One of my team mates fell off the lift and yet is still a far better skier than I. They have fun on the slope, yes, singular: Slope. They’re gearing down, high on adrenaline and Tyler does a little dancin’ in his ski boots. Then he takes a turn into Deep Thoughts Village, after Caitlynn comments about how they’re doing new stuff and keeping their relationship alive. It’s sort of hokey, really. Even hokier is Tyler not really digging it, and responding about how it’s good because if you keep doing the same things, you’re not really living, it’s just a routine. They have a major mountain high buzz here, because Caitlynn teases him by calling him Mr. Vocabulary which he points out laughingly, makes no sense. It’s cute, but their vibe is off. Mark my words. They have some stuff going on.
They arrive at their Bed & Breakfast a little later, greeted by a tiny elf disguised as a Pure Michigan Gramma. I’m positive she’s got a snow mobile parked out back and prefers it in the winter. The house was built in 1892, and besides being every bit as stereo-typical of a B & B with lace and fake flowers everywhere, there’s a totally original to the structure Jacuzzi tub. Caitlynn calls it a Bread & Breakfast, hahahahahaha. It kinda sounds like a genuine slip she didn’t catch. Grammy Elf leaves them to themselves, and they cuddle up to talk. Body language. Tyler is distracted by a train outside, and then the more they talk, the more Caitlynn explains why she did it again, only this time it’s not a thank you, it’s a thank you but, but also a push to him out of his comfort zone. Because of the lace curtains? She’s speaking and Tyler’s mmm’hmming, but nobody’s hearing each other; rather no one’s acknowledging what they’re really hearing here. Tyler looks like he’s suffocating in all the chintz, actually.
Bentley’s at his dad’s place, and even though Maci has Kyle and a house that she could do to spend some time tidying up, she’s lonely for Bentley. Luckily, a friend calls to report that one Mr. Ryan Edwards was spotted downtown, out and about on a Saturday night. Maci is hot about it, of course, because how dare Ryan get to go out at night when she’s not 21 and can’t get into the bars to spy on him! No, she says she’s angry because she gave him the extra day that he wanted so he could spend more time with Bentley but he’s out partyin’ and not sitting at home watching Bentley sleep.
Over at Ryan’s, we see the way RyanWentOutOneNightGate went down. Jen and Ryan are playing trains with Bentley and it hits bedtime, so Ryan gets Bentley jammied and ready for dreamland. Ryan gets Bentley ready for bed. Ryan’s buddy Tyler comes over while Ryan’s putting Bentley down, and it turns out that the boys have plans for Buffalo Wild Wings and some partying. Ryan puts Bentley to bed.
Sometime later, Maci’s got Bentley back with her and they all head over to her parents’ house. Bentley’s not having it that dinner’s almost ready; he wants to go play with his Jeep so Grandpa take him outside to play. THIS IS THE BEST EDITING EVER, SHOW. Witness: Maci is bitching to her mom about how Ryan goes out when he has Bentley, and why did she have to give up time to that loser jerk Ryan, and she never wants to deal with him again because Ryan doesn’t take responsibility or care for Bentley, it’s his parents that do everything. And God bless MTV for cutting to Bentley playing with Maci’s dad during this entire scene. Because Maci is a hypocrite with some weird revenge mission for Ryan’s lack of natural parental instincts when Bentley was an infant. Maci’s mom doesn’t engage, and shuts it down by reminding Maci that if she didn’t want to deal with Ryan, she shouldn’t have had his baby. Oh, snap.
Kyle, Maci, and Bentley are at home later, and Maci pops Bentley’s passey out to ask him, “Who plays with you at Mimi’s?” “Mimi (Ryan’s mom)” “Who changes your diaper?” “Mimi” ”Who feeds you?” “Mimi.” Then she pops his passey back in, satisfied with herself for proving that Ryan never gives care to Bentley, doesn’t play with him, and basically acts like Ryan doesn’t deserve to spend time with his child because his parents help him out a lot. Maci, I knew you would show your true colors. I’m actually genuinely angry about this. Ryan is Bentley’s father. Ryan lives with his parents, who are wonderful, involved grandparents that love spending time together and that dote on Bentley. Instead of encouraging this very healthy, very happy relationship that Bentley has with his dad’s side, Maci is manipulating him to undermine it.
She asks Bentley if he wants to go to Daddy’s, and Bentley says no. I’m livid. She debates not letting Bentley go, and Kyle tells her that it’s whatever Maci wants to do. Yeah, like Maci needs to be encouraged to do what she wants. She does take Bentley out to Ryan’s waiting truck and then proceeds to passively-aggressively provoke Ryan into a fight. She asks him how the visitation schedule is working out for him, which tips him off that she’s looking for a fight. She goads a bit more and finally says she’s bothered that Ryan went out, because she doesn’t feel like it’s his parents’ responsibility to care for Bentley. I seriously wonder when Ryan met his girlfriend, and I’d bet it’s sometime around right now, in show time. I would bet you Rod Stewart, Motley Crue, AND Dr. Drew’s Jaguar. Well, not the Crue tickets; I’d keep those. Girl, don’t go away mad, girl just go away. Ryan is adamant that he went out one time, and keeps asking her to give him one other example. I believe him. He is all in on this. He even tells her to make him look stupid and he’ll shut his mouth. Tell me one other time I went out while Bentley was sleeping in the same bed he’s always slept in, with the same people he’s known since birth, Maci, who’s moved him back and forth to Nashville, and who’s moved Kyle in and out of Bentley’s home.
Maci picked a fight and then has the lack of awareness to lean in to Bentley and ask him if he’s okay, since he might be upset having seen his parents fight. Bentley’s fine, but Ryan drives off calling Maci names under his breath. Maci goes back inside and breaks the fight down to Kyle, but she leaves out the part about how she started the fight, and how she couldn’t really respond to Ryan asking her for even just one more example of his failure to spend time with Bentley, since one Saturday night out, after Bentley’s bedtime, is hardly a crime of parenting.
Kyle mentions that it sucks how Ryan comes over and starts drama, and I stare, wide-eyed in disbelief at my TV. Spin all you want on the Aftershow, Maci, it’s here on camera so I’m not picking up what you’re laying down at all. If we go by the “But it was captured on camera,” for Amber, then we gotta do the same for Maci. What was captured on camera? Maci manipulating her kid, picking a fight with Ryan, and many, many instances of Ryan taking care of Bentley. Ryan calls Maci and asks her who was reporting on his social life. She won’t answer him. She’s so stalking him, though. She’s That Crazy Ex, who despite claiming to have a happy life spends a lot of hours worrying about what he’s up to and thinking of fights to pick. Resentment makes for a crazy bitch, and I hate that Dr. Drew will probably let her off the hook for it. When in reality? Until Maci can step back and look at her family as a big, co-mingled mess of awesome people who ALL love Bentley to pieces, she is going to keep believing that she’s acting protectively when all she’s doing is being incredibly selfish, narrow, and destructive.
Kyle takes Maci to dinner and she says she wants to be done fighting with Ryan. In my head, I hear the Psycho strings start up, because…. look, I know she’s a teenager, but the problem with Maci is that she refuses to believe she’s young ‘n dumb. She refuses to believe that anyone might be right, or that the world operates any way besides the way she sees it. And she is wrong. At dinner, and again, thank you MTV for the editing here, Kyle is playing with his napkin, tucking it into this shirt, and fooling with his forks acting generally like a twitchy kid. Maci asks him if he’s happy, and he is. So is she so she asks what’s next. He gets pretty sweaty and she says that she’s marry him tomorrow in some tiny chapel. He says he doesn’t want to deal with Ryan, which I take to mean, he senses that she is way too easily set off by Ryan to be able to give Kyle the relationship that he wants which is namely not one that has bi-weekly blow ups about whether Ryan puts Bentley in his jammies, or whether Mimi does it. Maci, declares that she will no longer be talking to Ryan and will go through his parents for everything.
Farrah, Debra, and Sophia are all hanging out and talking about Farrah’s fleeing for Florida. Debra is getting desperate on this one, and getting really manipulative herself. Debra is in a complicated position though. She’s got a daughter who she loves and who she wants to see go out into the world, self-actualize, and really get to take advantage of all the advantages of education and middle class that Debra gave to her. She’s also got a grand-daughter who she loves very much, and who is in her primary developmental stage. Sophia gets a lot of attention from an extended family that loves her very much.
Farrah’s doing some toothbrush time with Sophia later, and mentions to Sophia that she’s going to get the braces that she should have gotten when she was still in high school. Farrah saved for a baby instead of for braces. I actually think this is true. Farrah worked, and I can believe that Debra probably required Farrah to learn about financial responsibility. I bet it was the kind of house where if Farrah wanted something, she had to work to earn half of it and then Debra would help out. It’s Michael’s birthday, so Farrah and Sophia sign a giant card, and then roll across the street to take him out to dinner.
At dinner, Farrah lets them know that she made an appointment with her counselor for them to go and talk about Farrah’s plan to move. Things stay pretty calm here, and Farrah is quite open that if she’s accepted to the BA program she wants to attend, then she is moving. She says she doesn’t need their permission, but I think what she really means is she doesn’t need their approval… but it’s killing her that they won’t give it to her.
The next day, she finds out that she can pack her knives because she made the cut to go to school in sunny Florida! She calls Debra to let her know the good news, and Debra says they can talk about it in therapy. They all show up to the family sesh with Counselor Deena, and Farrah catches Deena up on plans to move. She does admit that it would be a big change, so that’s some progress on the part of Farrah.
Debra speaks up that she has encouraged Farrah to go away to school and go get some time to find out who she is, that she wants Farrah to continue school because this is an avocation for Farrah. It is? Huh. I actually believe that, but I’ve seen no evidence of it. Sort of like, I dunno, Bigfoot. I believe in the Squatch, but I’ve never seen one shred of evidence. Debra then screws up her case by saying that she believes it’s harmful to Sophia for Farrah to take her away with her to Florida, that Sophia will be missing out on all of the hands-on loving family time, and reading time, and all the things that any kid lucky enough to be born into an educated, middle class family gets as benefit of birth. Deena shushes Farrah when a protest is begun, and then reminds everyone that Farrah is the parent, that Farrah gets to make the decisions. Farrah loves them very, very much and wants them to be okay with her decisions, but ultimately, Farrah doesn’t have to tell them what she does and doesn’t have to get their permission to move wherever it is that she wants to live. We end with a lot of insight, and Farrah finally saying what’s really at issue here, which is that Iowa makes her sad. She’s depressed. To be fair, she’s been through a lot at an early age, and getting out into the world a bit is probably exactly what she needs to do!
Later, Farrah gets her braces and later still, Michael and Debra discuss the therapy session. Michael totally got it. Farrah is an adult. Debra, not so much. Debra felt criticized by Deena, and that she was sort of the bad guy. Michael sums it up, though, that Farrah wants to share with them, but does not want or need their permission for her decisions at this point. Debra’s checked out though, and she’s circling the drain with, “it’s about what’s best for Sophia.” Debra’s really starting to get to that point though, where she’s the only one still arguing.
Michael watches Sophia while Debra and Farrah debrief a bit more. Debra is not gonna drop this at all. She feels that Deena was divisive, and she asks Farrah if she’s feel like a bad mom for leaving Sophia with Debra while she goes and finishes a four-year degree. Debra works the angle that Farrah might be a better mom by leaving Sophia and visiting on weekends, holidays, and via Skype. Tough call here, so I’m not making it until the Re(al)cap. I see Debra’s point but it’s all too easy for me to empathize with Farrah, given that I also ran away from my depressing life in the Midwest to a sunny state really far away and it worked out, so…. I completely understand what Farrah’s going through, really.
Farrah puts some thought into the proposition, because Debra also has a point. to take a toddler from a place where there is a ton of stimulation, a ton of loving and trusted family members who read to her and play with her and love her is a very hard thing to do. Unless you’re Maci, of course. Then you want to deny your child these things because you are pissed that your child’s grandparent makes dinner instead of your child’s father making dinner.
Farrah calls her sister for some advice, and Ashley admits that she’s love to have Sophia still nearby, but she’s not sure Farrah could stand to be away from Sophia for very long. Farrah knows Debra has only the best intentions, and I think that deep down, even though her own decisions are challenged, she knows that they are ultimately challagened in her and Sophia’s best and seperate interests. This is very complex, and for as much of a hose beast Farrah has been in the past few episodes, I have to hand it to her for pulling herself back together and getting her think on before going full-steam ahead to move to la playa.
So, HUGE episode last night! Yeesh, so much to think about!! Just as a little business FYI, the full recap is likely going to be a little later than usual. I try to get them done by Friday or Saturday, but things are really nutty with work and with derby. We go to Western Regionals in a week, and I’ve got extra practices on nights I usually write for ya, so bear with me. I’ll get you hooked up as soon as I can – look for it on Sunday! In the meantime, Comments Away! It was a massive night, as The Hold Stead would say, and I’d be dying to talk about it, too! Meanwhile, here’s last week’s right here!!