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Welcome my dear Sister Wives-Lovin’ Gasmii! It’s time to travel back East with the Browns for Episode 9, “College-Bound Browns!”
Uh-oh, I think we made a wrong turn somewhere….
During this episode: The Browns have taken up Episcopalian Danielle’s offer to come speak to her class and the Brown kids learn that they, like most teens, will probably not get into Harvard!
Once again, the episode begins with a view of the Vegas skyline and mountains. Kody calls Meri to make sure she is ironing his shirts, and Meri reminds him that he needs to let her know which shirts he wants ironed. She’s not a mind reader, dude. Packing for a trip drives Kody nuts, especially when he’s trying to wrangle items from four different homes. I hear you. I hate having to pack and I have one small apartment. I think Kody may be onto a video game idea…
**Press A to start**
Since Logan is a senior, Madison and Mariah are juniors, and Madison is a sophomore, they’re accompanying their folks and going on college tours! I’m jealous – I never got to go on an out-of-state college tour.
Kody recaps Episcopalian Danielle’s visit to Vegas and her invitation. We know it’s a flashback because the color is all off:
“Misty watercolored memories…of when Danielle was in town….”
Madison is packed and super excited! For those who were curious as to how her hair looks curly with the new shade, here you go:
Madison is actually beaming – she’s clearly excited about the trip. She is hoping that visiting some of our nation’s premiere colleges will inspire her to do better in school. OMG these kids are so GOOD. Does this mean Maddie may not go to Utah??
Logan has no illusions about whether or not he will get into an ivy league school; he says he probably won’t. Too humble, that boy. Logan, they’re going to accept a bunch of people, so why NOT you? Shoot for the stars! Also, shoot whomever told you that shirt is a good idea. You and Kody wear it all the time. STOP!
Sweetie, you’re not a douchebag, don’t dress like one! I will send you some replacement shirts if you donate that one to some sassy homeless. Love, LB.
Logan is excited to see these grand stadiums of knowledge and learning. Also – Logan be working out, y’all! Check out the gun show!
Kody is excited that the panel will show the crowd see that his that children are not oppressed and depressed and who lost of other presseds, but he’s worried because he knows the kids will speak their minds. He’s not REALLY worried, he’s smiling; you know they are all super-proud of their kids, and they should be. The Brown teens are pretty damn awesome.
“I’m worried about what my kids will say because…who am I kidding, my kids are AMAZING! I should just let them talk the whole time…”
Logan was so excited about the trip to Boston that he hadn’t absorbed the fact that they would be speaking in front of a crowd. Aspyn is nervous, and Madison says her folks are nervous, and she doesn’t understand why; it doesn’t seem nerve wracking to her. Probably because you will not be judged as harshly as your parents will, sweetie. That, and you’re a badass, so nothing scares you! TEAM MADISON, HOLLA!
Janelle and Kody share their concerns about how people have preconceived notions about polygamists and people can be hostile towards them because of those preconceived notions. They do not want to be equated with Warren Jeffs. The folks remind us again that they are not the same church. Kody gets defensive when people paint him and ol’ Warren with the same brush, so he’s a little worried he’ll get all mad. Not to worry, Kody. Warren Jeffs = creepy old dude with crazy eyes, Kody = Mormon Sammy Hagar.
Christine says she’s worried about Kody’s big mouth, and Kody says he’s afraid of Christine talking, har har har. Kody asks the ladies who is afraid of him speaking, and Christine and Janelle raise their hands while Robyn and Meri don’t appear to be worried. Robyn, because well, she’s Robyn and Meri because she’s gotten used to his nonsense after twenty years.
Christine is nervous because she does not know anyone on the East Coast, and she’s worried the audience will be loaded with Ivy League feminists who view the wives as oppressed. Robyn says other women often don’t accept that the ladies all chose this. Robyn has a point – it’s anti-feminist to assume that Brown ladies are brainwashed. If you want to support women, at least accept that they have the right to choose what kind of life they are going to live.
Back at home, Christine is coaching Aspyn about what she will say – will she want to be in a plural marraige? Aspyn is evasive and says she’s too young to think about that. Good save, Asypyn! She doesn’t have the heart to tell her mother yet that plural marriage does not fit in with her dreams of the bright lights of Vegas.
The Browns are in Boston!!! They arrive at the hotel and everyone is stoked to be in a hotel for a few days. I used to love staying in hotels, now it’s a pain in the ass. True story – I had to go to a team building meeting about an hour from my house and my company paid for my hotel room onsite so I wouldn’t have to drive home. I lasted one night before I drove the hour home and back for the rest of the time just to sleep in my own bed. Baldy can’t hang without the cats and the memory foam mattress.
Family time at the hotel is easier than in Vegas for Kody because they’re all on the same floor. Is he going to spend a night with each wife? WEIRD! Kody has to get keys to all the rooms so that he can have access to everyone. “I live in all their houses, I have access to all their hotel rooms.” He has to make notes on the cards so he knows who is who, etc.
“I learned this trick from my second favorite role model after Jesus – Sammy Hagar! I don’t agree with all the fornication outside of marriage that comes with being a rockstar, but the man knows a lot about efficiency!”
The family meets up with Danielle, who looks like Lisa Loeb in this episode.
“You say I only hear what I want toooo.”
She has brought along some of her students and they’re taking the Browns to dinner. Logan is excited to see Danielle because she’s smart, cool and funny. “She’s like a mix of a smart person and Christine. HAHAHAHAHAHA” It looks like Logan’s got a crush on Danielle. Also hot, bubbly and smart is the formula to hook Logan, ladies.
Logan’s in loooove!!!
Janelle says she pictured Ivy league grad students would look like nerds, like she was back in the day but they were normal kids, like the Brown teens! I love that Janelle was a nerd. Me too, Janelle. Me too.
One of the grad students asks how they feel about other non-traditional marriages, and Christine and Robyn give a good answer – our kids can do what they want when they are consenting adults. Kody acknowledges that his religious beliefs clash with other lifestyles but he believes that everyone should have the right to choose. In fact, he believes more than anything in the right to choose your faith and your spouse.
George, one of Danielle’s students, identifies that he is gay and says that he’s happy to hear how accepting the Browns are. He was worried that the Browns would be super conservative and judge him. Logan tells us that they have a lot of common with George because they all know what it’s like to be judged for who they are. George makes a good point – straight monogamous people have “lives” and everyone else has a “lifestyle” – Christine is like “THAT IS SO TRUE!”
Not to buy into gay stereotypes, but George, PLEASE TAKE THESE LADIES SHOPPING. Love, LB.
Christine laments that poor George assumed that they would judge him, and Robyn says that as good Christians, they would of course not judge him. That means the shitty Christians are the ones who judge everybody – I’m with you Robyn! It would be hypocritical for them to judge others while demanding acceptance of their faith.
One of Danielle’s other guests, Max, asks about the relationship dynamic between the wives. Meri explains it’s a sisterhood. Robyn says that no one can understand unless you do it. Mariah has felt the calling to be in poly marriage. The students seem satisfied with this explanation. All in all, the dinner went really well and gave Janelle a sense of relief about their upcoming speaking engagement.
The teens get invited for ice cream with the college kids and the adults stayed behind to discuss the panel logistics. Danielle reassures them that people are mostly curious, not frothing at the mouth with rage about their choices. One of the students explains that the campus is very diverse, so they may even find camaraderie. Translation – there are going to be lots of gays and lesbians in the room, so no worries.
Now that parents are gone, the teens talk more frankly over ice cream. Logan tries to explain that the don’t feel obligated to be in a plural marriage. The students ask if the girls want to be poly. Madison is flat out no, Aspyn is not sure. The students dig a little more; they want to know why. Aspyn explains that it is really hard. Grilling keeps on – why does Mariah want to be in a polygamist? Mariah says that it has been positive being in a plural family. Does she have an order choice? I want to not care, if that makes sense. After watching the show, it does – Mariah doesn’t want to be hung up on the jealous issues.
Mariah tells us that it was intimidating hanging out with the college kids because they seem so smart. Don’t worry, sweetie, the rest of the kids in college are like this:
Logan is impressed at how articulate and smart they are. They make college look fun! If ice cream and being smart is fun? I think it’s fun, but for a teenager to say that? These kids are great. Also, Logan – you are pretty damn articulate yourself, almost to a frightening degree.
It’s morning the next day and Christine is imitating a Boston accent and acting drunk ,a.k.a. having fun, which is the easiest way to drive your teenagers out of the room.
“Paahk the caaar in the yaaahd, hahahah! Aspyn, where are you going??
They’re off to the Plymouth Plantation! I have never been to one of these colonial villages before – anyone Gasmii have an experience to share with the rest of the class? Someday I’ll go. It’s pretty low down on my bucket list.
This village is filled with actors role playing people from the villages. They take it very seriously. Do they? If they did take their roles seriously, they would be screaming bloody murder about the weird women wearing pants and carrying noisy devices that they point at them.
The founder of the Brown’s church is a descendant of Elizabeth Allen, who apparently lived in this village, so they go to see her! Kody feels like he’s walking on holy ground. He’s also moved by the bravery and sacrifice of the pioneers! Kody, she’s just an actress. CHILL.
Kody and the “Ancestor” of the founder of his church, a.k.a. Jenny from English class who likes theater too much.
Christine, being Christine, has to start shit. She asks the colonial women what they think of the Browns’ outfits? OH HOW I WISH SHE WOULD ASK ME THE SAME QUESTION! Colonial lady says they need to put on a skirt, and a hat. Christine tells the colonial ladies that they have four wives in the family, and the woman assumes they are not Christians. Christine got upset – they’re Puritans, Christine! They don’t like ANYBODY. Christine almost picked a fight. She was testing their tolerance level. REALLY? Testing the religious tolerance of Puritans by harassing some actors?
“They’re essentially DORKS, Christine, not real Puritans. Calm the eff down already!”
Kody draws a comparison between himself and the pioneers. Vegas is his Plymouth rock. You know, since they had to leave Utah? Um, I get that it’s hard to have your family strewn among four houses and y’all need jobs, but that’s not quite the same thing as people crossing the Atlantic in wooden ships and trying to make do with only the shit they found here. Kody says that it felt SACRED to be on the land where people came seeking religious tolerance. IT’S A FUCKING NON STOP PILGRIM LIVE ACTION RPG!
Later in the day, Danielle’s Tufts undergrads take the Browns around town to see Tufts and Harvard. The Parents of course think it would be cool if their one of their kids went to Harvard, but it would be hard to let them go so far away. Kody didn’t go to college. In fact, none of the parents finished in the normal college age years and so they all want their kids to go to school. Logan has witnessed the struggle to complete education as an adult so he definitely wants to get it done right after high school. Christine would love it if one of their kids could go to Harvard. Logan is probably their best shot. Logan says any kid who wants to go to college drools over Harvard. Well, any driven, smart kid. Some kids don’t care. Logan is realistic – it’s far and it’s expensive. Janelle points out that all colleges are expensive. The kids will have to do what most of their peers do these days – the kids will have to work and go to school.
Madison likes the East coast, but she still has her heart set on Utah. In fact, Mariah and Madison want to live in their old house in Utah. My first thought – BEST PARTY HOUSE EVER. I doubt that’s where they’re going with it, but whatevs. Aspyn wants to go to school in Nevada and perhaps transfer to California, and Logan is considering Utah. OR, Logan will do his first two years somewhere reasonable and then he and Aspyn can transfer to Tufts!
“We got ourselves a plan!”
IT’S TIME TO GET READY FOR PANEL!! They get to the place where they will be speaking, and Kody is nervous. The wives are calmer. Robyn calls them out – BULLSHIT! You guys are scared too.
Robyn’s face says what they’re all feeling.
Janelle is nervous that the audience will ask probing questions that they are not comfortable asking – aka SEX QUESTIONS! They maybe poly, but they’re still Christian! Even Danielle is nervous, which is freaking out the family! This was Danielle’s idea, after all. What happened to “people are just curious”?? I have a feeling that this is going to be just fine and not nearly as dramatic as TLC has built it up to be.
Kody is worried that people will pick fights. I’m worried for the audience if they get aggressive because I’m pretty sure that Christine will cut someone.
The Browns get to introduce themselves, then it’s time for Q and A. Kody gives them the Readers’ Digest version of the Mormon Church and how his church broke away. He’s not prosthelyzing (sit down Ken from Wyoming!) Q and A Time! The teens get on stage. They look great. I love Mariahs outfit. Also, check out Aspyn’s blue hair! I had not noticed it before:
“If we were Warren-Jeffs-Creepy, would my daughter have THIS??” GASP! She’s got BLUE HAIR!
First question – How are they educating the kids and do they want them to be poly? Christine takes this one. The Brown parents want the kids to experience life, college is required, and the kids are not expected to be poly. That was easy!
Next Question – How do you make it work so easily? EASILY? This chick has not watched the show. Then again, there appears to be a lot less fighting and screaming among the Browns than in many monogamist families. It’s all about perspective, I guess. Janelle fields this one: It’s not always easy; jealous happens, but they try move beyond it. Robyn’s answer: we support each others’ marriages.
Everyone’s least favorite Polygamist, Warren Jeffs, comes up. How do they feel about it? Christine takes the lead: people don’t understand; the average person gets mad about WJ, and the Browns get mad about WJ TOO! Robyn jumps in to let the audience know how much it made her sick to read about what went on with the FLDS, and how it hurt even more so because he did it under the banner of her faith. Robyn goes all Coal Miner’s Daughter on everyone and starts crying and gets this southern-y accent out of nowhere.
Y’all it makes me so mayuhd! I hope he burns in Hayull!
Kody’s least favorite question: what if there were additional husbands? Kody HATES this question and he knows it is hypocritical. Meri shuts it down – it’s our faith. It is what it is. Janelle cracks a joke – who would want that? NO SHIT! I’m sorry, but if I had to deal with four different penises on a regular basis, I would hate my life.
“Seriously, imagine four of him and one of you. Think it about it, let it really take root in your mind. Yeah, there’s your answer.”
The ladies make an interesting point – they all get a lot of “me” time, and Kody gets zero alone time. I love “ME” time, so I will definitely not be signing up to have four husbands any time soon. Or one, for that matter.
Teen Talk Time! How do the kids feel about coming out? Logan says that a lot of good things have come from itl they’re tearing down stereotypes. He admits that they are not as happy in Vegas. Mariah feels freer – she doesn’t have to explain her life or hide it anymore.
Someone asks what it was like leaving Utah, and would they go back? Teens say it was heartbreaking. Madison clarifies: they LOVE their family, but they left behind our lives. It’s been really hard to live in four separate houses. Kody jumps in: they didn’t want to do this, they had to. The kids were really honest about Vegas, and the parents worried that it would be misconstrued that the kids are miserable for being plural. In reality, ask any teenager ever who had to move while they were in high school what it was like, and you’re going to hear the same thing the Brown kids are saying. Sometimes, though, it works out:
Exhibit A: Ren is miserable in the town that outlawed dancing, but he ends up doing the robot in a grain mill. EVERYBODY WINS!
Kody wraps up the session with a closing sponsored by Hallmark – he is lucky to have the four wives and the wonderful kids. Meri sums up the experience – Boston was great! They mingle with the crowd after. I love the guy who was waiting for them to come out in the prairie dresses. Not these ladies! I hate the layering, but they look like fashion icons compared to those AWFUL dresses and poufy french braid hair dos. Where in the bible does it tell these people they need to dress like they Anne Shirley??
The crowd is also impressed that their family works when so many traditional families don’t. Overall, Danielle was right: the crowd was curious, not mean. Meri gets in an “I told you so!” As for the attendees, everyone is impressed at how normal they are. I guess Ivy Leaguers don’t have time to sit on their ass and watch TLC. Wouldn’t you at least look up the show ONLINE if you were going to this panel? Come on guys, be prepared!
And we’re back from our virtual trip to Boston with the Browns. What did you think? Were you worried that the panel would not go well, or did you see through TLC’s dramatic music and editing?
I’d also like to give a quick shout-out to the folks who have been joining the Sister Wives conversation here at TVGasm this season – you guys are AWESOME! Thanks for answering peoples’ questions on LDS and putting the show in context. I treasure you as though I were Kody and you were my Lexus convertible.