On Teen Mom, Catelynn's Adoption Just Went From Open to Closed
Not pictured: Brandon and Teresa. Possibly forever.
One way to know you have a good episode of Teen Mom on your hands: the scene that's been previewed to death doesn't come until the last few minutes of the episode. That's the case this week, as the "Catelynn and Tyler have to be reminded that they're not Carly's legal parents and can't just see her whenever they want" storyline finally comes to a head. Although it doesn't come in until fifty-four minutes have passed, the whole season -- if not the whole series -- has been slowly building to this point: Butch's creepy Carly tattoo, the social media postings, the wedding invitations, Tyler's stupid "I will not silence my voice" monologues followed by him doing exactly the opposite of whatever Brandon and Teresa requested, the fact that the adoption is why these people are on TV in the first place.
It is Cate and Tyler's first wedding anniversary, which means they (a) feel obligated to eat some of their gross freezer-burned wedding cake and (b) remember it's been a solid year since they last saw Carly and her family. To celebrate the big day, they leave Nova with April and head to some sand dunes to go ATVing (definitely Tyler's idea, and his shellacked hair stays in place the whole time). They then have a picnic out on the sand, which Cate seems more on board with since there's wine, and she says that, by their second anniversary, she hopes there's "another little Baltierra" on the way. Tyler says he thinks they were always destined to have a big family. (I suspect he counts Carly in that total.)
But about Carly. Now that she is older and this show keeps dragging on, adoption counselor Dawn tries to get Tyler and Catelynn to understand that Brandon and Teresa are slowly moving to close the adoption and end their visits. If you thought Cate was a wreck before, just wait until you see her now. No one ever uses the word "close," but the only thing missing from this scene is an enormous MTV graphic of a door closing and smushing a heart.
|Teen Mom-y Element||Present?|
|Crying||As expected, the Carly conversation -- in which the news is gently broken by Dawn, who brings printed copies of the agreement Tyler and Cate signed when they were teens as reminders of precisely what it is they agreed to -- is a big ol' flood of tears from Cate, but not so much from Tyler, who is doing a good job of acting cool while he seethes on the inside. Cate is already crying when the conversation starts, and I think she's not only hurt about the lack of visits but about the fact that she isn't hearing this directly from Teresa, whom she has had a really close bond with.||Fighting with ex or current boyfriend/husband
||Matt, Amber, and Chris have an extremely awkward scene about Chris's struggle to stay sober and decision to go live with them in Indiana for a while. Everyone's looking down or away instead of at each other, and I can't decide if the weirdness is because this scene is a re-enactment or because none of the three people present has any idea how to communicate. Matt is really selling the "I made mistakes in my past because of addiction but look what a great parent I am now" schtick, and he insists that Chris must not drink and must have a regular job while he's in Indiana -- rules that neither Matt nor Amber can stick to themselves. He agrees to work and get clean, but refuses to go to AA or do a 12-step program. Matt and Amber disagree about the value of going to meetings (he's anti because he is lying about being an addict in the first place; she's cautiously pro) and later argue about the best way to cook hot dogs, but the only insult he can think to call her "Chef Boyardee." I'd rather bang a fictional cartoon chef than Matt Baier.||Obligatory cute kid||Bintlee and Jayde are ridiculously cute, but Maverick is still in the "puke and sleep" phase. Leah gets about four seconds of screen time, but Amber keeps insisting that Leah and Chris, who is an adult man, will get along when they meet.|
|Crimes against the English language||Amber warns Chris not to "overthink too much." Cate wants to "physically talk to" Teresa on the phone. At her bridal shower, Maci talks about how excited she is to become "Miss McKinney," and her best friend has to lovingly explain that the word she's looking for is "Mrs." (Keely is the same person who had to tell mother of three Maci where babies come from, in case you'd forgotten why she needs an associate producer credit.)||Style disasters||For their first wedding anniversary, Cate and Tyler go dune-buggying. Cate's tank top combined with her newly purplish hair in a high ponytail are giving her a major Leela-from-Futurama vibe, and I'm into it. Here's what I'm not so into:
Amber wearing a retro MTV shirt, despite being on a show that is blamed for taking the network in a whole new anti-music direction. Symbolism!
To celebrate Farrah's furniture store opening, Debra buys her this horrifying pillow -- which reads "Mirror Mirror On The Wall, I Am My Mother After All" -- and suggests that she keep it on her bed (probably for nightmare fodder, or so it'll prevent her from making another "accidental" "sex tape"). It's almost as unsexy a bedroom object as Catelynn and Tyler's giant quilt of Carly's face. Also, Debra is wearing two belts for some reason.
|"Shocking Reveal" we already knew about from Us Weekly/the internet||Maci and Taylor meet up with Maci’s grandparents, Jack and Joyce, so that they can ask her grandfather, a pastor, to perform their wedding ceremony. Are these the grandparents for whom she's so worried about being an honest woman? Because those two babies in her tattooed arms were definitely conceived out of wedlock, and I don't think that's a secret. Also, their entire wedding has already been on Us Weekly, so there are no surprises about anything unless it turns out Chewbacca was there and somehow escaped photobombing anyone's selfies.|
|Tertiary character as voice of reason||Rahhn has yet another new girlfriend. This one is named Mackenzie, and encourages him to make things right with his dad. This week, Farrah and Sofeeyah head to Missouri to spend time with Derek's family, who have just "adopted a highway" in his name. Jerry (Derek's dad) teaches Sofeeyah how to fish. It's such a glimpse into what Farrah's life might have been like if this show had never happened. Wonder of wonders, Farrah gives someone other than herself a compliment and says she's glad Derek's family has been such a positive presence in Sophia's life.
Not going to lie: I rewound this scene three times to be absolutely positive the sign didn't read "Daddy Derek Highway."
|Shit talking||After nearly being a human with Derek's family, Farrah picks a fight with Debra and calls her mom a "genius fuckface."|
|Mom whose segments are totally worth skipping||Maci and Taylor are going to Grenada for their honeymoon. Maci also wants to cut the "does anyone object?" line from the vows because she is sure Rahhn will suddenly stand up and profess his love for her. Ha...ha?|
|Meta moment||Rahhn goes to his parents' house to patch things up with his dad. I still don't think we're getting the full story on what happened or why, though, so this scene doesn’t resonate like it should. Jenn tells Rahhn that he and his dad need to have a real talk, adding, "but I don't think you'll say what you need to say if the cameras are here," and he agrees. Jaala, to her credit, does too, and the camera cuts out. Matt and Amber prepare to watch their Dr. Drew episode, and Matt asks Chris, who is currently being filmed, if he's nervous to be on TV. Chris says it'll be fun to be recognized because he could use some friends, but Amber assures him it's not worth it, which is particularly rich since the biggest hanger-on of all is parked right next to her.|
|9 / 10
Adopting a highway
Adopting out a kid