“We’re changing it to Sunset City” – Robyn
Welcome to another recap of my favorite TLC show about those crazy but lovable polygamists, SISTER WIVES!
The title of this episode is “Another Wife” and let me tell you, my jaw DROPPED when I saw the title. Initial reaction: YOU ARE EFFING KIDDING ME! Robin hasn’t even dropped her first baby yet and you want ANOTHER WIFE???
Lo and behold, I had nothing to worry about – the title refers to friends of the Browns. In my opinion, this episode was probably the most meaty and interesting episode in the history of the show. We get some insight into the struggles faced by people that share the Browns’ faith, and we get to hear the Browns weigh in on Warren Jeffs and the FLDS, and how the WJ and his followers relate to their reasons for doing the show in the first place
Before we get into some pretty deep discussion about polygamy, let’s catch up with the Brown teens. The kids have finished out their first school year in Vegas and had their summer break, and they are finally adjusting to their new life. Hunter and Madison, the two most unhappy teens, have really made great strides towards becoming well adjusted. THIS MAKES ME SO HAPPY. It also makes Janelle and Kody happy, as it should. Hunter no longer sulks around; in fact, Hunter wants to play football again!! That is a huge sign that his depression is lifting.
He’s BAAAACK! I’ve never been so happy to see football gear.
YAY for Janelle being happy!
Madison has decided to focus on being more positive since being grumpy is exhausting. Her new mood is reflected in her new hair color. SHE LOOKS SO MUCH BETTER!
Teens, I know black hair is a statement; it’s a statement I made – but you should know that hair dyed solid black looks good on approximately 0.05% of the population. If you don’t believe me…
…then look at this pic. Now look me in the eyes and tell me she looks better here. I DARE YOU.
She’s a little cutie when she has a nice hair color and smiles. Get the shotgun ready, DTKB: you’re going to have horny teen boys at Janelle’s door. Seriously tho, you go Madison!
Friends of the Browns are in town! Andy and Nicole, friends and neighbors and church peers, have come to visit! Andy teases them for moving to Sin City, and Robyn says they are trying to make “Sunset City” happen. That’s nice, Robyn, but lots of cities have beautiful sunsets. You know what a lot of cities don’t have? A 24 hour orgy of alcohol, sex, and gambling. The name stays.
According to the Browns, there are a lot of people in their church who believe in plural marriage but don’t practice it. As we will learn from Andy, it’s hard out there for a pimp man looking to add wives to the marriage.
The family and their guests head to the mountains for an outdoor picnic. As we watch the families drive up and set up the picnic, we learn more about Andy and Nicole. They were both raised in plural families and they believe in it, but they’re currently monogamist. As we will see, they are fighting what is comfortable to them to try and live their faith. My two cents – if these two people ever bring in another wife, it is going to be a disaster.
If you make this face when you’re talking about how you want to be in a plural marriage, you don’t want to be in a plural marriage.
Andy wants to talk to Kody about how to date a woman while you are already married. They separate from the others and talk over the grill; how very manly!. Apparently finding another wife is on Andy’s mind a lot. He would prefer to marry someone with kids because he’s 37 and he doesn’t think it’s fair to date someone who is young and just starting out in life. It turns out that Andy and Nicole have already have 6 kids, and Christine thinks it would be hard to bring another wife in at that point. Meri disagrees – her family had six kids when her dad took another wife, and it worked out just fine. Meri – 1, Christine – 0.
Andy says that he and Nicole know it’s right, but then you see someone else that you think is pretty, and then all of the safeguards kick in, a.k.a., the guilt. Andy wants to know how to take something sacred and holy and do it in a way that is appropriate? Translation: how do you court another wife without getting a boner?
“I’m so glad I get to talk to you about this! How did you deal with being attracted to other women in front of your wife?”
“It wasn’t really a problem. I courted my wives because I felt called to do so.”
“I get that, I do. But seriously, did you like, take cold showers, or think about old lady boobs, or what?”
“Andy, how dare you? My unions are all the work of the Lord! Sex has nothing to do with it!”
“Wow, Man, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to offend you or anything…”
“HAHAHA I’m fucking with you. In case you hadn’t noticed, my four wives are sitting RIGHT THERE and there’s a camera filming us. We’ll talk later, dude!”
As the family plays what appears to either tag or “let’s all run around in a field screaming”, Andy tells us that it is difficult to find another wife. Some men ignore the wants and needs of their wives to chase tail, but Andy thinks that is wrong. He and Nicole think about polygamy all the time, but they can’t just throw anyone into the mix. They have to find the right person. Judging by their expressions and body language, the right person is really no person.
Andy wants to learn Kody’s secret. He also apparently wants to alienate the wives. Andy is observing to try and figure out how they make it work. He then says this, and I quote: “In Utah, you guys all lived together as a family. now you don’t. So whether anyone wants to admit it or not, essentially, you guys share custody with Kody. So now it’s almost a divorce.”
YEAH. I know, right? Meri makes this face:
“COME AGAIN, MY FRIEND? I will cut you.”
Andy is still yammering on after briefly acknowledging that maybe this is a sensitive topic. He and Nicole sleep in the same bed every night. If he gets another wife, he feels he will cut his life in half and he when he is with his other wife, he will be thinking about how Nicole is home alone. For people who say that they want to be polygamists, they sound a lot like people who DON’T want to be polygamists. They aren’t really even conceiving of this second person as being an equal wife. Instead, she is already viewed as an interloper causing drama in their marriage.
Meri says understands what Andy is saying. People have asked her if she would be in a plural marriage if it was not part of her religion, and she doesn’t think she would choose it. Whoa! That’s a huge admission. Kody makes this face:
Kody may think the truth is sad, but Meri has a point. We live in a monogamist world. that’s reality. Kody says they did it by way of commandment, but he would do it all again because of love. Well OF COURSE he would! You get to the center of attention and have four wives. You don’t have to share them with anyone, so you don’t know what the jealously and the neglect feel like. That’s like saying “I was born into money, but if I had to choose whether or not I was going to be rich, I would still choose it!” DUH OF COURSE YOU FUCKING WOULD! Whatevs.
Andy doesn’t want to approach plural marriage as a burden of his faith, but that is how he feels about it. When Andy is sitting in church, he suddenly sees that all the single ladies are potential wives, and he has to shut down his inner perv.
It’s Sunday and you know what that means – Home church! Christine’s house is serving as the chapel today. They’re stoked because they have their friends there to participate. I bet! They pray, do hymns – and there was no warning to mute the TV during the hymn, so I’m kind of pissed at TLC.
Dear TLC, NEVER MAKE ME LISTEN TO A BUNCH OF WHITE PEOPLE BUTCHER MUSIC WITH OFF KEY SINGING AGAIN! Love, LB.
There are no priests or rabbis in their church; it is common for dad to head up church service. Since this Sunday is special, Kody has asked each of the wives to prepare something. Christine tailors her sermon to the younger kids by taking a modern concept – the cell phone everyone has on them all the time because we are sheeple tied to our technology – and tells them that there is someone they can always call if they need to talk, and that’s God. God’s number? J-E-S-U-S. While I think that’s a pretty clever way to explain the concept of Christ and God to kids, I just want at least one of those kids to actually try to dial that on a phone and then get disappointed when they get nothing. Why? Because I’m a horrible person. Seriously though – you know you would laugh.
Don’t forget to dial 9 first
Andy gets to speak too, and he tells the family how brave he thinks it is that they are living their life in the open. He had to hide his whole life. He relates it to the story of Daniel, who threw open his windows and yelled his prayers when he was told he could not pray to the Lord, and that is what the Browns are doing. Comparing a family to a biblical hero = best compliment ever. Try it sometime.
Mykelti seemed to be inspired by Andy’s speech. She told her Mom (Christine) that she gets what they are doing now, and she is proud of them because they are putting themselves out there to pave the way for the acceptance of others. Christine is moved to tears, and rightfully so – Mykelti finally respects her! Meri says they don’t have a lot of support from their community for their decision to go on TV, and Andy’s support meant a lot. It certainly made up for his divorce comment. Good save, Andy!
Serious time – Kody is going to talk to the family about Warren Jeffs. Since he’s doing it on camera, he is essentially talking to us about it as well. It’s time to confront the stereotypes that plague the polygamist community. The grown ups think Warren Jeffs is evil, and say they are nothing like him. That’s true. Say what you will about the Browns, they would NEVER EVER marry their girls off to dirty old men.
Kody wisely states that those who inherit their power often do not respect that power and they abuse it. I’m agreeing with Kody, and it’s a new an unusual feeling. I think it’s good that he is discussing it with the whole family because I am sure the kids hear that comparison about their family, and it’s good to talk about it instead of ignoring it. The entire community that the Browns are a part of is sickened by Warren Jeffs and his church. Robyn gets super angry about it. It’s the most assertive I’ve ever seen her. I like this Robyn. Next time she’s acting all quiet spineless damsel in distress, someone should just whisper “Warren Jeffs” in her ear.
“Where is he? IMMA SNAP HIS NECK!!!!”
Christine gets pissed not only about the evils of Warren Jeffs; she also gets really upset that people still assume that community is the norm for polygamists. Kody thinks that the hiding and secrecy of the FLDS is how they are able to pervert the polygamist faith, and that by opening up the community and making it safe, those being abused could go to the normal polygamists and and be free to practice their faith without the abuses. If polygamists like the Browns trash the people in WJ’s community, it will alienate them and drive them into further secrecy and hiding. Christine wants them to come out of the compound to a world that is safe for them. If the normal polygamists judge them, then they have no one.
This is the most intelligent I have ever heard these people sound EVER, and I love them for it. They will not judge the people trapped in abusive polygamist society because they want to be able to support them and show that they can still practice their faith without having to live in a closed and oppressive community. I never really thought of it that way, but that must present an enormous spiritual conflict to those trapped in WJ land – if they leave, they have no where to go that they can safely practice their faith. The Browns are not just trying to pave the way for polygamists like them, they are trying to open the minds of our society to make it harder for people like WJ to do what they do.
Also, Warren Jeffs only got sentenced to 20 years in prison. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? 20 YEARS?? Can’t we just put him in a hole somewhere until he dies? (This is why I’m never selected for juries).
It’s grown up time! The grown ups take a dinner cruise on Lake Mead. It looks like fun. It’s time to grill Nicole! For realsies – we’ve already heard Andy’s take on polygamy, let’s find out more about Nicole’s views. Meri says that they seem like they really want polygamy from their words, but she is curious about their motives. Nicole knows it is “true”. She grew up with it, but it’s their faith.
Robyn is next – does Nicole see any other benefit besides the fact that the testament commands it? Nicole’s response? Iit’s good for the kids will have playmates and lots of moms, right? Oh, dear. Janelle makes this face:
Nicole is not getting it, and Robyn goes in for the kill – does Nicole see any benefit as to having relationships with your sister wives? Nicole has to THINK about this one.
“WOW, um…I mean…well, um….sharing shoes? I mean, I can borrow hers but I don’t want her borrowing mine..wow…this is hard….can I get back to you?”
“Bitch called the other kids ‘playmates’. Oh HAYULL NO!”
Christine was disappointed in Nicole and Meri says that Nicole and Andy are not ready. I have to agree. If the only reason you want to be a polygamist is “we have to” and “my kids have playmates and more supervision,” you are missing the point. She is clearly not excited about the idea of having sister wives, and her fears – not having Andy every night and her kids not having their dad around all the time – scream that she wants to stay monogamous. You know what she actually tells us? They are SACRIFICING THEIR RELATIONSHIP for this.
Let me just tell you two what everyone, including you, is thinking: THIS IS A REALLY BAD IDEA
Meri says it’s important to find someone who wants to be a part of the family, not someone who wants just the man. Meri also says you cannot understand the benefits until you do it. They joke that they should write Polygamy for Dummies. DO IT! IT COULD BE YOUR FAMILY BUSINESS!
It’s clear that Nicole and Andy are not ready. Andy is worried about being attracted to others, and Nicole is going to be super uncomfortable sharing her husband. Compare that to the Browns, who say that they felt a spiritual call to bring each wife into the marriage. Andy and Nicole feel obligated because of their faith, but they can’t seem to conceive of plural marriage in spiritual terms.
Whether they realize it or not, the Browns have already taught us how polygamist marriage works: the First Wife has to be the driving force behind it. If you’ve been watching since Season 1, you know that Meri has been the captain of the polygamy ship, not Kody. She convinced him to seek other wives, and they were smart enough to bring in two women that they already knew very well. Christine and Janelle both knew Kody and Meri for a long time before they married Kody, and both ladies have said that it was Meri’s influence that convinced them to get on board. You may also recall that it was Meri who first brought up courting Robyn. Kody and Meri met her at a party and Meri felt a spiritual pull towards Robyn.
Compare Meri’s behavior and actions to Nicole. Nicole cannot conceive of not having Andy all to herself, she doesn’t seem to see herself having a beneficial and positive relationship with her future sister wife, and she sees the hypothetical children of her sister wife as playmates for her kids – not siblings, not children that she shares, but playmates. As a result, Andy feels like he is on a wife hunt by himself, and that makes him feel like he is cheating on Nicole. Of course you feel that way! If you want to mirror the success of the Browns, then your wife needs to be involved 100%.
It’s too bad that Andy and Nicole are trying to push forward with their plan even though they clearly want to keep their marriage the way it is. Perhaps they can get past their feelings of obligation to just enjoy being married to each other. I’m sure it will be okay with Jesus, and if you’re still concerned about what Jesus thinks of you, just give him call! I heard Christine has his number.
In closing, Meri says you have to just jump in, while Kody says that it takes a lot of work. Robyn adds “it might take a couple years” AWKWARD!
This episode was very enlightening and interesting, but I want to hear whether the situation with the kids is any better, and I hope they address that next episode. You can’t just drop bombs like “Dayton may leave because the other kids are mean” and then leave it unresolved.
What did you think? Are Andy and Nicole ready to find another wife? Do you think that the Browns are noble and brave for trying to break down the walls of prejudice towards plural families, or do you think they’re deluding themselves and this whole thing is a disaster?