What’s UP? Hustle, loyalty, respect. Nothing anyone on Teen Mom has in spades, that’s what’s UP. Let’s get to the part where we are stunned to learn that Gary Shirley gets laid, shall we?
Caitlynn and Tyler are working, and living on their own but Caitlynn’s going to take some time out from domestic bliss to go on a second retreat for girls who’ve given their babies up for adoption. She and Tyler sit with Kim and it comes up that they’ve not been calling Brandon and Theresa that much. They feel guilty about this, but Kim’s eyes are in rare-form with an epic bug out. She feels like that makes no sense. They’re moving on, and that’s how it should be.
Caitlynn’s hoping to figure out the relationship with Brandon and Theresa. Look, I’m gonna be very up-front about this. Caitlynn and Tyler’s scenes this week are downright boring. No Butch, no April, and not one time did we see either of them eating pizza. Caitlynn is going on the same retreat she went on with the adoption agencies, and she brings her friend Paige. Paige gave her baby boy up for a semi-open adoption not too long ago, and Caitlynn thinks she’ll really benefit from being around other girls and talking about it. The retreat is different this year, as Caitlynn and Tyler are feeling a little distant from their adoptive family. Brandon and Theresa haven’t pulled back, it’s Caitlynn and Tyler. We get some good Kim-time, but one of the retreat counselors nails it when she tells Caitlynn that it’s a positive thing to take some time for herself, to distance herself from Carly a bit. As the years go by, Caitlynn and Tyler’s grief will naturally change and doing what they need to do to take care of themselves first is very mature, very smart. We don’t see much of Tyler, but I hope he’s keeping busy finishing high school, and working at Dan Good Pizza!
Caitlynn and her friend Paige arrive at the retreat and they have some standard ‘girls who had babies and decided to enter into a semi-open adoption talk.’ Caitlynn’s mentoring Paige a little, and it’s nice. Eh, who am I kidding? It’s freaking boring. Without Butch and April, it’s pretty vanilla in the C & T Zone.
Caitlynn does learn that semi-open adoptions can close and this is scary. She’s feeling distant from Brandon and Theresa, but when she talks at the retreat, it defaults to some insecurities about the future and how she wants to make sure she has a good relationship with Brandon and Theresa. She’s worried that the adoption would close and isn’t sure how to handle that. It seems really genuine, and I appreciate that, but it’s still, well, kinda boring.
Caitlynn does get some one-on-one time to talk to the counselor on the retreat, and they talk about Caitlynn’s goal to make sure the relationship with Brandon and Theresa is solid forevs. Caitlynn’s not sure how to feel, and since they got to see Carly, she’s felt like she needs some distance. The counselor so wisely reminds Caitlynn that this is okay, and normal. Caitlynn first parted with Carly when Carly was an infant, and there was a pretty specific grieving process that went along with giving a baby up for adoption. Now, a year+ later, when Caitlynn spent some time with Carly, she had to go through another grieving process. Carly’s no longer an infant, and Caitlynn was able to see herself and Tyler in the baby. They’re still feeling positive about the adoption, and so now they need to put some time and space on it so that they can make sure they stay on solid ground. They’re grieving more specifically now, and that’s okay; they’re doing the right thing to take care of themselves first. And who knows? They’re still going strong as a couple, so in a few years, they may have another baby together. These things are hard to wrap their heads around, so it’s good to take some time and think about everything.
Farrah’s got to find out if she got high enough grades to graduate. Farrah actually ends up doing okay, but she got a C in ‘skills,’ and she disagrees that she has C level skills. She’s got mad skillz, y’all, C+ at least. But, C’s get degrees, so Farrah’s golden, and she decides she’s earned herself a puppy for her accomplishment! She and Sophia head over to a really big, really clean kennel to pick out a puppy. I’d love to think Farrah is acting like a selfish jerk, wanting a little purse dog to make herself look cuter, but Sophia seems to have an interest in dogs – she perked up when Farrah was talking about it at home, and she was delighted at the kennel. Sophia is excited about her new, furry little buddy; Farrah’s excited it’s a puppy buddy, and not a baby buddy.
Puppies are soft, and much less work than a baby brother, So-feeee-a!
Look, I know I’m the only one in the Teen Mom Nation who flies her Farrah Flag high, but I think I get it with her. She has a terrible, entitled attitude, and a snotty tone. It’s insufferable, and she also has no friends for it. She’s probably making a grab at what she thinks will be her ‘in’ to a life as celebrity skin. But she’s also really grown up from the first couple of seasons, and I love a redemption arc. I kinda get it with her – she’s got a dominant successful mother, she’s probably a little shy and she’s got a huge ego, so being defensive is the first thing that comes to her. She needs to work on that, no doubt about it. She has reached out to Derek’s paternal family, she’s working on her relationship with her sister, and her relationship with Sophia is loving and bonded. She’s got a long way to go and I agree that she’s difficult to watch because she’s such a huge snot-face 99% of the time. But hey, if she didn’t act like that, then her professors wouldn’t have called her a bitch, and then what would we have to make fun of? Her new, freaky bangs? Meh. Her bangs will grow out way before her misanthropy and crappy tone.
She’s a little worried that Debra’s gonna have a cow about the puppy so on the way home, she decides to try keep it a secret until Christmas. Apparently, they have discussed a puppy in the past, and you’ll note that there have been zero puppies up until today, because Debra isn’t into the dog lifestyle. Then again, Farrah’s got a kid so it’s much less of a responsibility shock than it was for my late-blooming self, who got her first dog at 31. She brings the puppy home and the dog immediately sniffs out some great spots for an inside potty. Farrah, hmmm, how can I explain this? Farrah follows the dog around as it marks every spot in the house and then… and then…. she takes the puppy and holds it over the toilet, admonishing it to go potty. Uh huh. That just happened, and I sincerely hope for the Italian-Asian fusion scene in San Jose, that Farrah did this as a little potty-training time for Sophia. You gotta be a little sharper of a knife than to try literally toilet training a dog, hon, if you want to run an Italian-Asian fusion fancy restaurant in Silicon Valley.
Farrah takes potty training a dog more literally than 100% of dog owners, who are normally content to let a dog pee outside.
Farrah and her sister go to have a little girl time, and do their hair. On the ride over to Sally Beauty Supply, Ashley asks Farrah about a puppy. Ashley is the most enthusiastic and loudest person on the show! Man. Chill out girl. This is reality television. No need to over-act it! Be natural. She’s top-volume, and rapid-fire. Ashley’s cute though, and she and Farrah seem to be working it out. Their sister bond is cute. She tells a story about her own dog, which Debra apparently returned to the pet store, and Ashley had to go buy the dog back. Ha! The very best line of the show though, happens when Farrah drops off Sophia with Debra and Sophia says, “Hi Doggie,” to her grandma. I’m really hoping Sophia goes through a phase where everybody is ‘Doggie.’
Ashley, Farrah’s VERY enthusiastic sister, who also happens to have terrifically white teeth. YOU GO GIRL.
Farrah’s scenes turn into a sitcom as she tried to hide the dog from Debra, who, you’ll remember, lives across the street. Naturally, if you can’t let your dog out to go potty because your landlord/mother’s home, and you don’t want your dog using your house as a toilet, what’s the first and best solution? A diaper, duh. So Farrah’s puppy is waddling around her house in a diaper looking a lot less cute than it did at the kennel.
A pipe bursts at Debra’s, and this is agony! Last winter there was a mega cold snap with like, 14 degree temps. Southern Arizona doesn’t have pipes that are buried too deep. One day, water mains and pipes burst all over town. I had to go shower at my team captain’s house so we could catch a plane to St. Paul, Minnesota, where it was technically WARMER than Tucson, Arizona.
Anyways, Debra and Sophia head over to Farrah’s so Debra can borrow Farrah’s shower. Farrah’s trying like a champ to hide the puppy, but Debra has Mom Ears and Farrah’s busted, like Nuvaring in the fridge busted. Debra admonishes Farrah about the dog, and Farrah snots off a few times about, “I know I have to take it to the vet, MOM; and, I know I have to feed it, MOM.” Debra plays with the puppy a bit, and Farrah voices over what we all figured out already, which is that after you surprise your mom with a baby, a dog’s not really that big of a deal.
We open with Maci waxing on about how helpful Kyle is, how great Kyle is, how Kyle will watch Bentley while she goes to school, KyleKyleKyleKyle. She really seems to be selling this Kyle+Maci+Bentley = Family. Kyle does seem really comfortable playing house with Maci, so that’s cool and I hope it works out? Maci’s sure loading up her egg basket with this New Daddy Kyle thing.
Maci’s Insta-Family. Just add potty training!
Maci’s a great mother, with great maternal instincts. She was killing it, but thus far, she can’t seem to get it together at school – the Fs on her report card didn’t escape me earlier this season. She also moved away and moved back and moved her boyfriend in a couple of times without really mentioning it to Ryan, who has every right to know with whom his child is living. Imagine those shoes on opposite feet. Maci would lose it hardcore. She’d turn into a tiny orange tornado, an F5 with freakish strength for being so little. There would literally be no trees or roofs left in a five mile radius of Ryan’s love shack if he moved in with someone and didn’t tell her, or if he kept Bentley one day because, “technically” he can. That, to me, is far more damaging than Farrah’s bitchery, and that’s why I have a bigger problem with it. Farrah’s bitchery isolates herself, makes her look stupid, but we all get to laugh at her when she effs up something or tells her mother that her professor called her a bitch. Maci’s bitchery, on the other hand, creates a child who will unnecessarily feel like he has to chose a side all of his entire life. Ryan’s not getting a pass, by the way. He’s lazy and he calls Maci names instead of holding her accountable for her treatment of his parental instincts, or lack thereof. That’s not cool, either.
Maci breaks it down to her friend, still gushing about how helpful Kyle is, and reminding America how unhelpful Ryan was, relative to doody duty. Ewwwww… that alone should be a deterrent to teen pregnancy. Make them sit down and learn all about the many, multi-colored bodily functions that babies bring into your life every three or four hours per day, every day, for 2-4 years. Then they turn into kids and the real barfing begins. Then they turn into teens, and have babies and circle of life beings anew.
Ryan’s mom comes by to pick up Bentley, and when she gets home, the family has dinner. She gets a little gossipy and notes that Kyle was there when she picked up Bentley. They discuss the situation, and suspect that Maci’s moved Kyle in but they don’t really know for sure. They’re worried about Bentley’s stability, and it’s genuine, but at the same time, it seems like there’s an agenda that we don’t know about yet. One thing that’s clear is that she really wants Ryan to be more proactive with asking Maci questions, and with making sure he knows what Bentley’s living situation is over there. She asks him what he’s gonna do about it, and he says, “Court.” Ryan yawns some more, because that’s what Ryan does, and repeats ‘court;’ Ryan’s like a prototype robot. He yawns and he says “court” a lot, but that’s kind of all he’s got in the memory bank so far. Maybe Dr. Who could swing by with his magic screwdriver and give Ryan a few more vocabulary words?
Bentley’s smiling at Ryan… ish-head, absentee dads usually don’t get THAT dinnertime smiles, but whatev, Maci.
Teen Mom starts planting the seeds of Ryan and Maci Part Deux. Ryan’s mom wants to know if it’s really, truly over and if Ryan thinks Maci’s still hot for him. Dun dun DUNNNN. Ryan asserts that he’s over Maci and not interested in any kind of Extra Crispy version of their Original Recipe. I believe Ryan, but I’m not sure what his mother’s angle is; whatever it is, she’s working it hard. I guess it’s probably easier for everyone if the kids could make a go of it, but that ship seems to have sailed a long time ago. I never really got that Ryan was in love with Maci. I think he tried it because he had to, and I think he loved her, but I don’t think he had the maturity or the confidence to try to be mature enough to be with Maci.
A little later, Kyle and Maci roll up to drop off Bentley. Kyle waits in the car while Maci brings the baby inside. Ryan’s sitting on the couch, and they do some chit-chatting. He finally asks her if she’s living with Kyle, and she’s finally honest. They have genuine chemistry on-screen, and they engage in some genuine flirting until Ryan cuts it off. Maci heads back to Kyle’s car and Ryan heads to his man-cave (garage) with Bentley. Maci fails to notice that Kyle has turned an alarming shade of violet, and she leans in for a kiss. Kyle refuses, since his blood pressure is higher than any blood pressure ever recorded for a young, healthy man. Methinks Kyle’s not a psychic, and doesn’t sense that Maci and Ryan were flirting 2 minutes ago. But he did just get hit with the fact that he’s in a relationship with Maci, Bentley, and Ryan and if this is where he’s gonna hitch his wagon, he better understand he’s always going to be parked next to Ryan’s whip. Given how purple he just turned, I hope Maci knows what the signs of aneurysm are, because when Kyle blows, it’s gonna be a hot mess.
Moments before Kyle’s head exploded.
AMBER… and Gary… and Gary’s Love Gloves
Amber’s almost moved in to her New Place, so she’s gearing up to show us Amber 2.0, who is a fantastic, level-headed mother. According to Amber, Leah is staying with Gary right now because she doesn’t have a room set up for Leah yet, and the heat’s not turned on in her latest new place. The State of Indiana has a different take on why Leah’s staying with Gary, but whatever. Details, right? Amber’s rolling around with her friend Sheena who, by the way, has a perfect tan and three children aged 5 or under. She asks Amber what they’re doing for Leah’s birthday party, and this is the first but not nearly the last time Amber pulls out her trademark Soft Voice of Delusion. ”We’re having a big old bash and I’m dressing her up like a princess, and she’s so incredibly adorable. You can feel the energy sucking out of Sheena’s mom taxi, as she realizes that Amber is not right in the head. It’s that moment you’ve surely had with someone, where you kind of know way deep down on some primal level that something is decidedly not right upstairs with your friend.
My mom just rented a house to Amber Portwood. Oh. Craaaaaap.
I love the editing monkeys for cutting to a shot of Leah throwing a fit on the floor, right after Amber is whispering furtively about what a precious angel her baby boo boo is. Leah’s chillin’ with her dad though, so she works it out pretty quickly, while daddy dials up that mean lady they all call Amber.
He’s single and ready to mingle, ladies.
First he tells her he’s doing his own birthday party, so she yells and then he tells her he misses her and wants his family to be together, and they cry. I’m so lost! Our Gar-Bear seems to be thinking that a joint party will confuse their toddler, that she’ll think daddy and mommy are back together. Amber flips, natch, until Gary casts a manip-u-tears spell on her, and SHE starts crying, maintaining that they are not ready (read: I am not ready to quit doing drugs, and I know that’s your Bottom Line) (allegedly). She knows she caused this, but Gary laying that on her with his manip-u-tears magical works is pretty low. The last thing Amber needs is an emotional be-with-me trip when she’s, legally at least, dealing with how she beats you and stuff. When they hang up, Leah’s reaching for the phone in Gary’s hand and saying, “Amber,” and her hair’s all in her face and stuff. It’s so sad. It’s all funsies and joksies until you remember that these are peoples’ actual lives, and that’s an actual baby calling her relatively estranged mother “Amber.”
Amber is high (I suspect), and packing to move. She’s packing up Leah’s baby clothes and reminiscing, ‘This is when she was really little, and I took care of her everyday.” Ugh. Kousin Krystal shows up to help, and surveys the scene, and realizes she’s in for a long night until Amber inevitably crashes. She asks about the birthday party, and Amber wigs. They debate who should call Gary, and Amber does it. She immediately launches into a first-class, high-pitched whine and Gary hangs up on her. This is when Teen Mom shows us Club Gary, on MTV.
Gary rolls up to what I assume is a club in Indianapolis, and immediately introduces himself to the ladies outside, like he’s a member of MVP. This only would have been better to watch if there was a soundtrack on this show, and his theme some, ‘Girls, they love me,’ by Heavy D and the Boyz started playing. In case you’re unfamiliar, it starts out like this: “How can that big old boy get all ‘a them women? That boy is BIG.” Later, in the club, after beating up the beat and fist-pumping, he gets his closed-eyes, I’m-so-wasted white-dude sway on. The editors gives us some funky tracers around him, because The Overweight Lover Heavy G has had far too much Four Loko and far too many shots, but thank goodness he spares showing us his Situation.
He’s the Overweight Lover, Heavy G.
The next day is Leah’s party, and needless to say, Gar-Bear’s hangin hard. His mom was babysitting Leah while he was out getting slizzered, and when she brings Leah home, she’s pretty upset that he’s done zero to clean up for Leah’s birthday party. That’s pretty bad. One day, Gary. One day you can’t be Big Daddy Gary, so you can have your friends and family over to celebrate the fact that you managed to get Leah to Age 2 with no major mishaps. This is so effed up. It’s so bad that we’re treated to not one shot of Gary’s Trojans, but two! Gary Shirley’s getting laid, y’all. I have no words. He’s in a hang-over, post-sex haze and he’s not picked up the house at all. So he fails to notice Leah playing with Trojans. I want to adopt Leah. That baby’s hair is always in her face, she’s been seen playing with all matter of things that aren’t toys for babies, and Gary can’t even act like a normal 23 year old. Holy Diver, man – make a screwdriver and bust a move to tidy up, blow up some balloons for your baby girl, and let’s do this right for once.
This better not be my birthday present!
Instead, he and his brofriend head out for some grease while his mom picks up the house. Guess who’s too busying making out with a Baconator to come back in a timely manner and open presents with Leah? Her responsible parent, that’s who. Amber shows up later to pick up Leah for the evening. She heard Gary was out failing at his Jersey Shore bid, and instead of leaving him to the rope he tied for his own self, she has to get some bitchery picking in before sweeping out of the old new start house and taking Leah to a late-night Mexican dinner. Just what every tired toddler wants to do on her birthday!
Leah’s fussy, and Amber bitches to Krystal. Some more. Then some more, too. They head back to Amber’s to get Leah in bed so they can do some drugs (I’m assuming), but not before they give the baby a Ring Pop. So far today, Leah seems to have had birthday cake, Mexican food, and a ring pop. After checking out all of the princess gear Amber got for her, she falls asleep with the ring pop, in a filthy-looking arrangement of mattresses on the floor. You know, I never noticed before what a great mother Amber is! The CPS episode cannot come fast enough for me.
We end with Amber looking higher than any acid-dropping liberal arts college kid. She’s dancing around in the living room, wearing a bunch of the princess toy clothes she got for Leah. I’m sure she believes that she’s being cute or whatever, but it’s hard to see someone acting this messed up on substances. Whether she is or isn’t, we really don’t know but it sure is smoky, and chances are very high that there’s a fire called Amber ‘Good Mother’ Portwood does buckets of drugs while her toddler cuddles her ring pop dinner, and sleeps on a mattress in the next room.
Never stop dancing , Princess Amber… never stop dancing…