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'Jon & Kate Plus Eight' recap: Shipshape family?

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Jon & Kate Plus Eight, Kate Gosselin
TLC

Jon & Kate Plus Eight

type:
TV Show
Current Status:
In Season

It’s time to jump in the way-back (well, not way, way back) machine again this week, Jon and Kate watchers. If you’ll recall where we left off last time, Kate had taken the eight to the North Carolina shore, while Jon stayed at home to renovate and carry on ”not” having his midlife crisis. Mady and Cara left midway through to get back to school in Pennsylvania under Jon’s supervision, while Kate and the sextuplets stayed behind. Last night’s episode, named ”Battleship & Barber”, featured the boys visiting both a battleship and a barber. The show’s name might not hold up any longer, but at least their episode titles can still say it all.

As promised, Kate took Aaden, Joel, and Collin on a field trip to visit the U.S.S. Carolina. (Hannah, Alexis, and Leah were nowhere to be seen this entire episode.) When Ma Gosselin and her lads arrived at the ship, Kate did her best imitation of a politico and held a stranger’s baby for a photo op. It’s hard to imagine that it’s not all in the name of good PR these days but it’s to be expected with the climate of the Gosselins and their show.

Back in PA, Jon took Mady and Cara on a mini field trip of their own to an arcade/go-kart track. Battleships are pretty cool, but what could be cooler than go-karts. Point Jon. It’s fairly obvious from the get-go that Mady was not having any of it. Kate may be changing her old ways, but Mady is certainly sticking to her guns.

And speaking of guns, Kate and Joel, Aaden, and Collin (let’s call them JAC for the sake of all our sanity in this recap) hopped on board the battleship and the boys got some awfully cute sailor hats. Even cuter than their tiny caps were their initial reaction to being in the vessel, which Collin and Aaden so delicately described as ”creepy,” ”scary,” and ”scary dangerous.” It seemed Joel was going to be the bravest of the bunch (at one point he boasted, ”Whoa, I’m not afraid!”), while his apprehensive brothers pondered when and where all ”the bad guys” were going to strike. If we’re talking paparazzi, it’s fairly soon, boys, so hold on to your adorable little hats.

Just ten minutes into this episode, it was fairly obvious this was going to be a kid-centric episode. No complaints here. I don’t know about you, but any break from the J&K tabloid drama is a welcome one. In fact, the confessionals tonight were done by Joel, Aaden, and Collin, who recalled their stint as wee sailor men. Back on the boat, the boys’ continued obsession with the prospect of looming bad guys prompted Joel to proclaim to Kate, ”When I grow up, I’m going to be a bad guy. But, I’m not going to shoot you.” What a swell kid. Kate told Joel that he would never be a bad guy and she wants ”no bad guys in my life.” Point Kate.

NEXT: Kate is all about getting a haircut…for the boys

Not only would they not be shooting their mother, they also protected her from falling through the grates on the ship. (Though, it would have been her own doing. Wedges on a battleship, Kate? I liked you this week, yet you should have thought that one through.) But the boys weren’t the only ones having an adventure. Their older sister, Cara, was taking part in a ropes course back home (Mady sat it out claiming she is an ”indoors girl,” something Kate has admitted to being for years.)

On the ship, JAC played on bunk beds and visited the ammo room. While Kate’s historical commentary bordered on annoying, all was redeemed when, on the confessional couch, the lads tried to one-up each other in describing how big the ”bullets” were. They were, for the record, ”THIS BIG!” Once again, the cuteness subsided to make way for another ill-timed visit from the paparazzi (it seems Kate has given up on calling them ”the ‘p’ word,” so I have, too.)

Before we go on, readers, I’m curious as to your opinion on the inclusion of the papparazzi in every episode thus far this season. It’s hardly a stretch that these poor kids are hounded by the photogs all the time, but if the show is trying to break away from the harsher side of what this family is really going through, shouldn’t the paps go with it? Or would it seem like they were straying too far away from their new, ultimately pretty crummy, reality? It was really quite sad to watch those three boys have to wait in a stairwell for their turn on the ship deck, and I wonder if we should all just pretend like the paparazzi aren’t really there.

The ”disruptive” paparazzi seemed to frazzle Ma Gosselin the most. While she was on the deck with her boys, she instructed them to jokingly (right?) aim the guns at them. No one may have gotten shot, but Jon certainly took a hit back home. While joining the girls on the go-karts (Mady decided to participate in this activity) I couldn’t help but smirk at the sight of Jon’s Ed Hardy hoodie being blurred out. News broke earlier that the producers would no longer allow Jon to pimp himself on their show and they wasted no time doing it. Point TLC.

Once Kate and JAC hit dry land, she decided they absolutely needed a haircut. Instead of waiting a week to get home and hit up their usual Mom and Pop shop, Kate took the boys to a local barber. While I’m sure it’s something only a mother could notice about unruly hair, there’s something all too ironic about Kate Gosselin talking about a ”bouffant” that desperately needed to be cut. And speaking of iconic looks, it seems young Aaden has ditched his trademark glasses. I’m all for his having 20/20 vision, but I must admit, a small part of me is sad about this and will miss the glasses.

Freshly shorn, the boys were treated to some strawberry ice cream by their Mom (who, I will admit was in good spirits, and dare I say sorta, actually, really likable throughout this episode. Am I alone on this here?). Kate said that the boys are in a phase where they are starting to take care of her and a few moments later Joel, who was crawling all over his dear old Mom told her, ”I like you.” It was the first time in weeks I said ”Aww” out loud while watching this show. Hey, anything to replace those ”Uggggggh”s is certainly progress.

What did you think of this episode, TV Watchers? Did you think Kate was at her most tolerable? Did you miss the little girls? Are you ordering your own custom-made blurry Ed Hardy shirt right this moment? Will you tune in next week or are the episodes all too much of the same for you lately?