They’re back and more married than ever!
Last week Robyn gave birth to a healthy boy named Solomon. But the really incredible things in this episode are quite unrelated to the mystery of life.
First, the Browns visit a cul-de-sac where they can build four homes to be close together, yet the wives can have their own kitchens, which I guess is vital. Why on earth would they want to live that close together? So they can see where Kody’s sleeping that night? Weird! And since none of them have jobs, other than being professionally Mormon, where’s the money for this commune coming from?
Next, they meet up with a realtor, which seemed to make sense, since they were going to be realtors a few episodes back. But apparently, now they’re opening a fitness center. Christine says she feels a little embarrassed to open a fitness center when they’re not exactly American Gladiators, but Meri shuts her down: “We’re going to use the fitness center.” Take that, Christine!
Kody is characteristically unconcerned with the details and eagerly lobbies for the name “Fundamentalist Fitness”. No really.
I’ll just say up-front Robyn is my least favorite wife. She seems determined to be sweet and cutesy, but at least once every episode someone will piss her off and just for a second, you see through the mask and she looks completely infuriated, but quickly substitutes a martyred expression. So far, I don’t think Kody has caught her making faces , but we all know he’s not the sharpest polygamist in the pack.
Alternatively, Robyn could be KGB, and there’s some evidence to support this theory: she has an evil glint in her eyes, she masochistically gave birth at home without drugs, and it appears she and her other children have no past prior to becoming Browns.
It took a long time to accept the sister wives are, indeed, attracted to, and willing to procreate with, Kody. Since I came to terms with it, though, one fact remains stubbornly clear. There is no way the shiny, happy sister facade is real.
It isn’t like any of the wives are burdened with an over-developed knack for subtlety, anyway. Especially Christine, who frequently talks about her dislike of Robyn (with the caveat that she’s “past it”).
I wasn’t really crazy about Christine until recently. She seemed weird, like the type of woman who would hang out at Michael’s Craft Stores for hours, exploring the silk flower collection. But now that she’s plotting Robyn’s demise, she’s way more relatable.
Robyn is a little better at concealing her feelings, but you can tell there’s no love lost on her side for Christine or Janelle. I think she might hate Janelle a tiny bit more.
In this episode, Christine presents Robyn with a “peace offering” cross-stitch, saying she feels bad for being mean and is really happy about the baby. I believe her. I also believe she would gladly sell Robyn to some rogue Nepalese as an assistant goat-herd. Maybe her gift of a cross-stitched item that Robyn will be forced to hang in a prominent place is just a passive-aggressive way of screwing up her home decor.
If I were Christine or a Chinese warlord, I’d recruit Janelle. You need allies, girl! Janelle is the main brains and money-maker in the family, and being a woman of sense, she must hate Robyn, too. If she cuts off the funds, the honeymoon is over!
Janelle seems indifferent to Robyn and also to Kody. One really funny part of this episode was when everyone is sitting around on the confessional couch, and Janelle says, “I’m as excited about this baby as any of the others, but it’s not like I’m going over to see it if it’s born in the middle of the night.”
The TLC camera crew, who no doubt caught on to Robyn long ago, immediately cut to her reaction and true to form, her eyes narrowed as she emanated a momentary death ray in Janelle’s direction. Janelle’s non-reaction bumped her up several notches in my book.
That leads us to Meri, who is way the coolest person on the show. She’s the Alpha Sister Wife. Her sudden closeness to Robyn is both icky and inexplicable. She actually says she feels closer to her than the other sister wives. (Wonder how that will go over when they’re all watching the season together? Because you know they do everything together.)
I’m going to give Meri the benefit of the doubt, and believe her friendship with Robyn is a carefully orchestrated ruse, which will serve a greater purpose later on. Maybe she’ll publicly swear off fundamentalist Mormonism and begin a global dialogue about the ethics of having plural wives. Robyn can be the Sister Wife who Ruined it for Everybody.
The obvious resentment between Hunter (the kid with the faux-mohawk – fauxhawk?) and Robyn is a welcome relief. Hunter says,”We already have enough kids.” Say what you will for the “be fruitful and multiply” dogma, but Hunter has math on his side.
Robyn senses this punk could cause problems, if he’s not dealt with promptly. However, she says she’s sure Hunter will acknowledge her as an equal mom now, since “he’s holding his father’s wife’s baby in his arms.” Of course he will, Robyn!
Hunter and Christine seem to be the only people experiencing natural emotions. Everyone else is exhibiting classic sociopathic behaviors. The wives are literally prancing with joy at the arrival of the baby who is, after all, tangible evidence of Kody’s physical relationship with Robyn. And the other kids seem ecstatic about baby number 42.
Seeing everyone act in this uniformly bizarre way, you begin to wonder if maybe you’re the one who needs psychiatric attention. Like in Zoolander when Will Ferrell yells: “Derek Zoolander only has one look! Doesn’t anyone else notice this? I feel like I’m taking crazy pills!”
Adding to this surreal atmosphere is Robyn’s father, the Joe Cool of all dads, calmly taking pictures of his daughter, son-in-law, grandson, son-in-law’s other wives, and their respective children. He looks like a traditional gentleman; wholesome, a regular oatmeal-eater, Wilford Brimley-ish.
I bet Robyn’s dad is unaware his daughter married into a polygamist family. He was probably told the horde of women and children crowding into Robyn’s bedroom just after she gave birth are just extra-friendly neighbors with boundary issues.