The penultimate episode of Jon & Kate Plus Eight was a smooshed-together hour of scraps. “Kind of like leftover night,” Kate described it: “Randomly extraneous footage.” Oh, yum.
The first new half-hour was a “regular” episode, or what passes for one these days: Jon and Kate doing separate activities with the kids. Jon took the brood to a minor-league baseball game; Kate took the clan to a gymnastics class.
But then, multiple commercials for Cake Boss later, we got to the much more strange, second half-hour, which was aptly titled “Broken dreams, broken promises, broken episodes.”
Kate provided weirdly robotic voiceovers for what she robotically called “some of this great footage.”
The knives really came out this evening — metaphorically speaking, of course. The random footage included a scene of Jon standing outside with a phone in each hand, talking and texting, while one of the sextuplets whined, “Please can we have a popsicle, please?” Jon ignores her. “Please?” she moans again. Silence as Jon gazes only at his little phone-screens. Oooh, bad daddy.
Kate also got an opportunity to blame Jon for not training those two dogs that seemed to slip in and out of the show’s final seasons. (See what happens when you honor your TV contract, Jon? You get to have the last, bitter word.) She said the canines had electronic collars so that “their boundaries were set and they stayed home… Maybe we should have used a collar for other people,” she added in a sarcastic reference to Jon’s hound-dog straying.
We also saw a few minutes showing us the entire family, including Jon, going to get passports for a trip they never took because of the collapse of the Gosselin marriage. The strain was evident here. Kate had told the kids, “You can’t say where we’re going out loud” — because the paparazzi would follow them to Korea, apparently. But of course, Jon blurted it out in the passport office, and of course, Kate freaked out at him, yelling. Back in the safety of the Jon & Kate set, she said in retrospect, “I don’t think I handled that too well.” No, indeed.
We also saw snippets of the sort of personal-appearance dates Kate does to promote the show. She said (in robot-like voiceover) that she does these mostly in the South (why?) and that “you kind of get addicted to it, because you’re making people’s day… making them happy.”
This wasn’t egotism so much as fact — in these moments, and at a book-signing, Kate’s fans truly do seem to adore her. There was an interview with a woman who was growing her hair to match the Patented Kate Hairdo. Unfortunately for this woman, it wasn’t turning out as she’d hoped: She still looked like a normal person.
Next week, the series finale. Depending on your point of view, you may commence your cheering or weeping below.