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.
Cue Teen Mom end cap: “Do doo dododo do” Close enough. Also, sorry for getting that stuck in your head…. unless you think it would be cool for you to have a little end cap music in your day too. Like when you’re at work, and you get up to go to the printer: “do doo dododo do,” or when you’re stuck at a train and you’re late to a hot date: “do doo dododo do.” Not a theme song really, just a little emphasis in your day. I can dig 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? Did she vow to herself to up her everyday glamour look by 100 while she was chillin’ downtown? I’m all for a little vavavoom here and there, but fake eye lashes for all day, every day? Was she at a post-jail release party, and a friend of the family said to her, “You know what’s the future, Amber? One word. Lashes.” Regardless of how it happened, she’s changed her look, and we learn, her Facebook status has changed, too. I really was looking forward to Amber and Clinton becoming the next Pam and Tommy Lee, but no luck for the jerks like me, because Clinton’s been dumped.
Watch out, Anderson Metro-area ladies, Clinton Yunkers is single, and ready to mingle!!
Amber and her lashes talk to a friend on the phone while Leah plays tea party. Amber’s still looking sober. hey, I know it’s only one paragraph later, but have you met Amber Portwood?? Me either, technically, but I still would assume things go from zero to mayhem in no time. She’s explaining court and the CPS hearing that’s coming up for her, where decisions will be made about Amber’s custodial rights. She’s nervous, even though she says that 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. Amber is very much aware that she could loose custody of Leah, and she’s very much aware that CPS is telling her good things but may not be telling her everything. I’m mouth-agape, since this is Amber. Where are the fake tears? Where’s her trademark sotto voce? She’s still acting like an adult. A young adult, but still. I’m getting nervous. Am I in Bizarro World? Actually, that seems like a reasonable explanation given the events of this past week. Everything’s gone upside down, in surprising and good ways.
Gary’s mom, or the new gal over at Sunshine Taxi, the one stuck on the Amber/Gary runs?
Tonya, Amber’s mom comes by in the morning to watch Leah while Amber goes to the psychiatrist. Amber and her distracting lashes put Leah in Tonya’s car and say goodbye. There’s a cute moment when Leah tells Amber to go sit in the front seat, as if they were all gonna go to the psychiatrist together, but really Leah just wanted to try to get Amber into the front seat so she can’t see those freaky lashes anymore.
Amber’s face shape and chola look just do not jive with the mod lashes she’s chosen. I want too give her a make-over SO BADLY. She could be cute, but it’s just mall wrong, here!
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. He’s so broken up about this, but I still think it’s not exactly genuine. I think he misses her, but Gary has become a little codependent and it’s really starting to feel a little weird. I wonder if Butch and April ever ponder this deep thought, but Gary’s buddy says he’ll light a candle for Gary. Gary says, “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. It’s actually pretty cool to see two homies being totally honest and supportive and have it not be a big deal, or in any particular context except that they’re good friends and co-founders of the Anderson Metro Single Dads Club.
Thanks to Teen Mom, and a broment with Gary captured on TV, Evan can now choose from any one of at least 4,096 women (mostly cougars) throwing themselves at him.
The night before the CPS hearing, Amber’s Kousin 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 talks to Krystal, and as I live and breath, I swear that girl admitted that she is aware CPS may not be telling her everything, and that she’s aware she really could lose Leah. Tonya shows up to return Leah to Amber, and brings Amber some meatloaf. Amber has always loved meatloaf. Remember the Cracker Barrel? Ah, those sweet innocent times of yore… maybe the meatloaf takes her back. Whatever it is, I’ve never seen such an affinity for meatloaf. She gets her dinner into the microwave, and about 8 seconds later, way before the beep, Leah projectile vomits. I knew we wouldn’t get out of this season without a major barf, be it mine because of this show, or one of the babies. Poor Leah though. Amber’s mom reports she was feeling fine, and Amber assumes she’s just been running around too much. Holy diver, does that really happen? Do toddlers run around so much that they make themselves vom? If i ever do have a child, I’m gonna be sure to pray hard for one that’s bookish and also one that has an iron stomach. Krystal dry heaves the rug into the washing machine, and I feel so bad for her. You can’t leave it, because you gotta help your girl out, but at the same time, Sympathetic Pukers Unite. I salute you, Krystal, I’d have hurled. Amber bathes Leah and puts her to bed. She is planning for Leah to sleep in he bed, so she can snuggle her. Tomorrow is Court, and it’s really not a slam dunk for Amber to retain custody right now.
It would have been touching and special, but Leah is shaping up to be really sick, and she threw up on Amber several times. There were other bodily functions mentioned, but I’m having a hard enough time with all the throw up action. Gary comes by to get Leah, and they have to maneuver a sick baby between two people who are not allowed to have contact. Everyone is gonna be sick in no time. 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. I have heard from a few places that Amber was genuinely having trouble with being harassed at home, and that it’s kind of escalated. If this is true, that is bullshit. Just because she’s on a reality show, and just because The Teen Mom Nation is strong, does not give anyone the right to harass Amber. Look, I’m a part of the problem here; I write 5,000 – 7,000 words per week about this show. But regardless of what’s on the show and what we think of it, regardless of how invested we all get in the stories and in the babies, nobody deserves to be harassed to the point where it’s safer for her child to be removed, or to the point where she has to have a police escort to go to a CPS hearing. Amber hit Gary a couple of times when she was a teenager. There’s not an excuse for that. She’s also not shown to be the most active, involved parent but neither of these things mean she should be harassed in her home. It does nothing for Leah, and nothing to help this little family heal and grow. 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. Amber was hoping that the visits could be ended, but for a few months here, she’s going to have to keep working at it. Gary 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, and I’m sure that both grand-mothers are furtively lighting candles so that they can quit the second jobs they pay to do; namely, to be a personal shuttle service for Leah to get from parent to parent. 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.
Amber’s totally getting sick, and Krystal confirms it by giving Amber the news about Leah’s illness. Luckily, Krystal stopped at Big Lots and got all the stuff to make cupcakes. Oh, to be young enough to be getting sick and be able to get up off of the couch. Anymore, I turn into Amber at the first pulse of a sore throat. Couch time, no sitting or standing, and a bunch of drugs (legal ones for a cold). See, it’s Bizarro World. 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. Disease transmission in action! 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 was weird. Amber still looks a lot better than she has all season, even though she’s coming down with strep. I like sober Amber. I hope it lasts for her!
Let’s make strep throat cupcakes and pass them out to all the cougars trying to get a piece of Evan!
America’s Teen Mom Sweetheart Caitlynn has finally finished classes! She tells us this as she sits down on the super nice couch, in the super nice inside place these two have these days. They have upgraded; granted, it’s technically in a mobile home park, it is really spendy, in the trendy McTrailer style. Super nice on the inside, like a McMansion, with Tuscan, Real Housewife taste but, you know… in a mobile home park. They sit down with Caitlynn’s iPad to read a long email from Brandon and Theresa. This is the response to their Christmas-time made request that the two-year visit take place at their gradutation, in June. Brandon and Theresa are considering it, but they aren’t sure yet. Tyler’s thinking about the practical aspects, like arranging travel and taking time off from work. Caitlynn cuts to the chase and names the hesitancy after its progenitors, April and Butch. Brandon and Theresa really have to think hard about bringing all of the extended family into the mix at this time. I can understand that, even if it wasn’t April and Butch. Gosh, if it was Jen and Larry, Ryan’s awesome parents. They seem awfully well-adjusted, but I could see where any parents who adopted in a semi-open arrangement would be hesitant to widen the circle. An arrangement like that seems so delicate and complicated that it needs special care. Caitlynn and Tyler talk a little 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, “It’s hard because you gotta remind yourself you ain’t her parent.”
This looks like they’re in the trailer version of Tamra Barney’s house. Or Nene Lekes’
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 tell her that he’s really proud. He is expressive, isn’t he? 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.
Oh Monty. You’re That Guy. Possibly I’m wrong here, I could see maybe a serious fan of SCA and still plays some D & D for serious but this reads Classic Rock Cover Band and close-talking to me.
Later, Caitlynn and Tyler go to their favorite pool hall, with several big-haired friends to celebrate Caitlynn finishing high school. Kim and April are there, too so Aprile lives! I was wondering if we’d see her or Butch again. I miss Butch. 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. 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.
Big Hair Committee of Detroit. I couldn’t get a great picture of it, but these ladies love a big ‘do. I never think ‘Detroit’ when I think “the higher the hair, the closer to God,” but I’ll be a monkey’s uncle if these chicks don’t dig their volumizing products. and teasing combs.
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 45 with regrets. Oh, who am I kidding??? That ship sailed a long time ago. Sometime after age 32, 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 the next day. I love how much she loves this kid. She just lights up around him. They have great mother-child chemistry, and I love the show for giving us moments of them together, considering the show is about motherhood. He’s telling her about Caitlynn, how he talked her into going out and having fun. Kim was surprised Caitlynn wouldn’t want to go clubbing. Tyler explains it about her insecurities about her body and about other women. He’s ticked, maybe disapppointed is a better description. Caitylnn used the old turn-about language, and said she trusted Tyler; she doe not the trust the skanks trying to get a piece of her man, and 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’s insecurities and pretty big. 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. Tyler understands that he’s at this great time in his life, and doesn’t want to miss it by having to respond tailored to Caitlynn’s developmental needs. He loves her, and he knows it will work out but he can see that there is going to have to be some work that’s done.
Later on, back at the McTrailer, Caitlynn springs it on Tyler that she got him a ski trip as a ‘thank you’ and celebration of their love. She was surprised she liked going out of her comfort zone, and thinks doing it more often wil make them stronger. Things start to spin a little funny here, like maybe she’s trying a little too hard. Barely too hard, just a whisper, but it’s an early one. From here, things need to be nipped and they need to work on this clinginess thing. But he 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 when Caitlynn tells him they’re leaving in five minutes, he cools down a lot.
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. 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, and it almost seems like Tyler is not really digging it. His response is a little off; he says how it’s good because if you keep doing the same things, you’re not really living, it’s just a routine. Or maybe they just have a major mountain high buzz here, because Caitlynn teases him by calling him Mr. Vocabulary and he points out laughingly that Mr. Vocabulary 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. It is every bit as stereo-typical of a B & B with lace and fake flowers everywhere. 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. I could be projecting here, but Tyler looks like he’s suffocating in all the chintz.
How do I get out of here?
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 so happy with her life, and in love with Kyle that she’s ready to get married to him and start a famiy with him, so she’s not really interested in Ryan’s comings and goings. LOL. Right. Kyle watches and Maci gets hot about it, because how dare Ryan get to go out on a Saturday night after Bentley goes to bed! It’s outrageous that he would leave Bentley sleeping at home while Jen and Larry are there! Insufferable! That is a crime of parenting! She says she’s angry because she gave him the extra day that he wanted so he could spend more time with Bentley, but here he is, out partyin’ and not sitting at home watching Bentley sleep.
This would be the rest of my life? Watching Maci stalk Ryan via her friends who are old enough to go to the bars?
Over at Ryan’s, we see the way RyanWentOutOneNightGate went down. Jen(Mimi to Bentley) and Ryan are playing trains with Bentley. It hits bedtime, which is 10 pm, so Ryan takes Bentley to get him jammied and ready for dreamland. Ryan’s buddy Tyler comes over to get Ryan for a big night at Bufflao Wild Wings and some party time later. Jen and Larry tease the boys that they’re taking Bentley, but Bentley says goodnight to his grandparents, and then ryan takes him and puts him down. Once the lights are out, Ryan and his friend irresponsibly leave Bentley sleeping in the same room he’s always slept in, in the same house he’s always visted Ryan in, with grandparents who love him very much.
Sometime later, Maci’s got Bentley back with her and they all head over to her parents’ house. Maci and her mom talk school for a bit, and it turns out that Kyle really pushes her to go to class. Maci has a revelation that many college kids have; if you go to class, it’s really not that hard to get good grades and get things done. 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. She says she wishes she never had to deal with him again, and gores on to say that Ryan doesn’t take responsibility or care for Bentley, it’s his parents that do everything. Even though we JUST SAW Ryan changing Bentley and Ryan putting Bentley to bed. God bless MTV for cutting to Bentley playing with Maci’s dad during this entire scene. Because I really do feel that Maci is a hypocrite with some weird revenge mission for Ryan’s lack of natural parental instincts when Bentley was an infant. It’s such a waste sine Ryan clearly loves Bentley now, and loves being around them. Bentley and Ryan both light up when they see each other, and ya know? Ryan is Bentley’s father. Ryan deserves to have as much time with Bentley as is fair. he adores bentley and shouldn’t be punished because he didn’t know what to do or how to do it when Bentley was an infant. He knows now and he takes care of his baby. Maci’s mom agrees in her head, and won’t engage Maci’s poor me power trip. She 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.
If you didn’t want to deal with him, you shouldn’t have had his baby.
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 just lets his parents do everything. She basically acts like Ryan doesn’t deserve to spend time with his child because his parents help him out a lot. 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 is manipulating a two year old baby to marginalize his own father so that Maci can spend more time with Bentley, moving him back and forth from Nashville, and moving Kyle into and out of his life. No freaking wonder Jen is so upset that they might see a day when Maci rips the rug out. Maci is a wonderful care-giver, no doubt. But technically? Ryan’s home is more stable.
Smug self-satisfaction often has new fake boobs and a ratty blond weave.
The nest day it’s gonna be Ryan’s day to get Bentley. She asks Bentley if he wants to go to Daddy’s, and Bentley says no. I’m livid. He’s two. He’s busy with whatever it is he’s doing at that exact moment. I don’t like transition either, Bentley. Sunni? Want to go to dinner at your favorite restaurant and I’m buyin’? No. I’m watching Teen Mom right now. 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’s got this look on her face like she’s got sooooo much on him, like she has pictures of him smoking a bong while driving with Bentley in the car and a hooker on his lap. She goads a bit more and he doesn’t take the bait because she’s really not that good at this style of fighting, but what kid is? She 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 tickets, Motley Crue tickets, 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. Tell me one other time, Miss Maci, who has moved him back and forth to Nashville, and who’s moved Kyle in and out of Bentley’s home. Tell me one other time I have left that kid who’s sound asleep so i can meet some friends on a weekend night and have some normal young guy fun… or wait… I guess you can’t because you were busy in Nashville, leaving Bentley with Kyle’s mom or going off to the library while Kyle watches him.
Maci picked a fight and then has the lack of awareness to understand that not only did she start it, but she could not finish it. Which is why fighting is so stupid about 97% of the time. Why bother? Say what you have to say, hear the other person and then agree to disagree. Maci is so selfish and narrow-minded right now that she can’t see how much of a rookie she’s being. She leans in to Bentley and asks him if he’s okay. She looks about 11 years old in this scene and I hope she sees that when she’s watching, and that she remembers she’s a kid, too. Bentley’s fine, but Ryan drives off calling Maci names under his breath. Maci goes back inside and breaks the fight down to Kyle, conveniently leaving 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.
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 to Kyle and on the Aftershow, Maci, but 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. He’s pissed, and 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. She ends crying, with Kyle consoling her, but man. Kyle? What are you doing. Set some boundaries, son. Maci either lets this crap go and it stops being all about Ryan all the time, or you pack up and crutch on out the door.
Kyle takes Maci to dinner, on a date, and she says she wants to be done fighting with Ryan. This is Production City. When they walk in, it’s still light out, but this is winter, and it would be dark by like, 6. So either they are trying to kill the average age on an early-bird special, or this is a recreated scene. They’re too dressy for lunch. Regardless, 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 acting like a twitchy kid; not in any kind of disturbing way, but you know, playing with his napkin, and fooling with his forks… stuff that stops being cute or funny when you hit about 21. 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’d 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 deserves. Ryan takes up a lot of the relationship that we see every week. Even if this is just a little bit of their lives, and it’s not always about Ryan, there is still a lot of vitriol, and I can see why Kyle would be really hesitant to promise to love, honor and cherish that for all the rest of his days. Maci, declares that she will no longer be talking to Ryan and will go through his parents for everything. Yeah, that’s the ticket. Don’t get some counseling, don’t try to change your approach, don’t figure out how to make it work. Just deny it and ignore it. Smooth.Husband material.
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. She rally wants Farrah to self-actualize, and to really take advantage of all the advantages of the education and middle class upbringing that Debra gave to her. She’s also got a grand-daughter who she loves very much, and who is in a primary developmental stage. Debra recognizes how lucky Sophia is to get all of the attention and the development that her extended family give to her. Sophia is a lucky little girl, who gets read to and played with, and who has people in her life that want to develop her brain, her creativity.
Barney wants to help Sophia’s primary development, too!
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’m going to skip this in the recap. It really has no bearing on anything in Farrah’s scenes, except that welp, she got some braces. She’s got a cross-bite, and it’s getting corrected. Whoo hoo, thanks MTV. Besides deciding to be a Brace Face for awhile, it’s Michael’s birthday, so Farrah and Sophia sign a giant card, then roll across the street to take him out to dinner.
Gratuitous Baby Shot! Sophia was so excited to help Michael. Too CUTE!!!!! Everytime I get sick of this show and my allegiance to the Teen Mom Nation, I see one of the babies so something darling, and get sucked back in.
At dinner, they have a decent time; Debra wants to learn to make fries and Farrah’s like, “Duh Mom, that’s like the easiest thing in the world-uh.” But it’s probably like a Level 2 Bitch Face from Farrah, so it’s nothing. A tremor that didn’t even register. 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 to Florida. She says she doesn’t need their permission, but I think what she really means is she doesn’t need their approval. Really, that’s all she wants. Farrah is on an approval trip, and a validation trip. It’s no uncommon at all, and I actually just read an article about gifted children who grow up with parents who are critical, and who have very high expectations that are primary and pushed. The child tries and tries and tries to meet those expectations, but once the goal is met, the expectation is moved to the next bar and sometimes there isn’t enough down time, or enough time for the child to learn to be proud of his or her accomplishments. Then the kids are unleashed into adulthood and they still seek the parental approval. Only now the parents are saying, “It’s your life, do what you want,” so the young adult doesn’t really have great decision-making skills, or the parents say, “You need to do x,y,z, but the young adult doesn’t feel x,y, or z is right for her and doesn’t know how to communicate that to her parents because she doesn’t want to let them down.” From there, it spirals. Farrah just wants her parents to support her decision and they don’t. Neither her parents nor Farrah really know what to do here, so counseling is not a bad idea.
Michael’s counselor is named sake.
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. Farrah and Debra are so intertertwined, and can be such jerks to one another but bless their hearts for knowing their limits and hitting up a therapist all the time for help with translation. 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 getting adament that she believes it’s harmful to Sophia for Farrah to take her away with her to Florida. See, if Debra had backed off and taken a different approach with Farrah, maybe her message would have gotten through better. Debra has a point, she does. The solution isn’t necessarily to leave Sophia in Iowa, but Debra’s point is legit. By moving Sophia to Florida, Sophia will be spending time with sitters that Farrah doesn’t know, and who aren’t as invested in Sophia as the family is. 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. Farrah wants to share her life with them, but she wants to make her own decisions and have her parents accept those decisions as being Farrah’s to make in the first place. 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. 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 wants to get her legs under herself, to see some more of the world, and to take a break if not make a break from the grief and the reminders of the tough things she went through as a teenager.
All that hair is Farrah’s thinking cap.
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, and many loving, 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. Plus, in the back of her mind, Farrah does know that she’s not an adult. She’s admitted that she’s a teenager on the show. She’s the only one of these girls who has really showed us her development. She went from being a spoiled brat in her 16 & Pregnant episode, to being a girl who couldn’t stand the thought of staying in one night and just sitting with the baby, to being a young woman that spends a lot of time with her child, and who thinks about the future as the two of them together first and foremost. Farrah sees herself and Sophia as a unit unto themselves, and not even Maci can say that. Then again, Bentley’s father is alive and adores him; Farrah really is ultimately on her own with Sophia except for the love and support her family gives them and Derek’s dad’s family gives to them. The cool thing is that Farrah does seem to understand that.
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.
Next week’s the season end!! There’s going to be a little change-up next week, so you’ll get a huge mini-cap, and no re(al)cap but I mean, come on. Like I’m gonna leave ya hangin’!