Jenelle's temper with her mother escalates, Leah tries to win back Corey's trust and Chelsea learns a harsh reality about teen motherhood.
Teen Mom 2
Credit: MTV

A new year, a new set of moms. This season, we get a more in-depth look at the lives of 16 and Pregnant alums Jenelle, Leah, Chelsea, and Kailyn. Having been totally wrapped up in the original Teen Mom — Leah and Gary’s bitter verbal and physical fights, Farrah’s money troubles, and Maci’s courageous mama-bear mentality — I wondered if I could get sucked in the same way for round 2. Well, thanks to a fairly explosive first episode (see: Jenelle), mission accomplished.


Unsurprisingly, the North Carolina beach bum broke up with Andrew, her former beau and father of baby Jace. Surprisingly, Andrew is back to modeling — in China apparently — and, thankfully, paying child support. Otherwise, little else had changed in Jenelle’s world. She was still making partying as much of a priority as parenting, and you better believe her mom, Barbara, had an opinion about that. Jenelle tried to prove (weakly) that she was a good mom, but nights out dancing (it was Saturday, duh!) weren’t the best way to back that up.

The mother-daughter battle continued to percolate: Jenelle left the air conditioner on, Barbara picked out clothes for Jace much to Jenelle’s dismay, and, as a precursor to the battle royale, Barbara took the Internet modem from a Web-happy Jenelle, who stole it back and shoved Barbara in the process. (Seriously, their back-and-forth fighting makes my head spin.) But all of that was nothing compared with the war that erupted at the end of the episode. Barbara served Janelle with custody papers, and the most apt way to describe Jenelle’s response? “I’m gon’ f—ing kill her,” she said. The attack was filled with curse word after curse word followed by face-to-face screaming and slammed doors. Just watching was uncomfortable, disappointing, and altogether heartbreaking. Considering all of the drama, I had to step back and remind myself that this is only episode 1. Folks, rev your emotional threshold for more painful combat.

NEXT: Leah has relationship issues and Chelsea plays the dating game.


When we left the former cheerleader, she was dealing with twin girls and a teetering relationship with boyfriend Corey thanks to an incident of infidelity with ex-boyfriend Robbie. Troubles aside, Leah graduated from high school on time, but the consequences of her cheating were still hanging over her head. The still-hurt Corey opted not to come to her graduation, even if that meant not seeing twins Ali and Aleeah in their undeniably uncomfortable matching dresses and bonnets. “You would think that he would care enough,” Leah said offhandedly. Yes, she made her bed and now she has to lie in it, but I couldn’t help but feel sorry for the girl when she made that call to Corey asking, so nervously, if she could cook him dinner. It’s clear that Corey is a good guy with an emotional maturity hard to find in most boyfriends and husbands of Teen Moms (let’s disregard the low blow he made about who else had lain in Leah’s bed), so it was all the more endearing to see him break down when Leah handed him an anniversary cake and card. Could they be this season’s Caitlin and Tyler?


The one thing I wanted for Chelsea at the end of 16 and Pregnant was for her to ditch that awful boyfriend of hers. If your memory fails you, he called their baby “a mistake” and Chelsea “a stretch-mark b—-.” Lovely. Thankfully, he’s out of the picture (for now), and when we revisited Chelsea, she was in the midst of finishing her high school degree and moving into an apartment with her friend Meghan. Chelsea is double lucky, in Teen Mom terms, with support from not just her family (Dad is paying her rent; Mom drops off baby clothes at the drop of a phone call) but from friends, too. Apparently, Meghan had no problem living with Chelsea + 1, going so far as to say she wanted this. How many high school graduates are ready to shack up with a baby — one who gets diarrhea on move-in day no less? Keep those friends close, Chelsea.

But for this Teen Mom, a happily-ever-after was more important than good friends. And that was the impetus she used to go on a date with Chris. The date was a total flop, and if nothing else, a prime example of just how different the lives of Teen Moms are from those of their friends. As Farrah realized in season 1, the dating game is that much harder now that they have to find not only a good guy, but a good guy who can handle dating a mother, too. When Chris wasn’t totally distracted by sports on the restaurant TV — which is to say almost never — he told Chelsea to “chill out” and not worry about the 9-month-old she’d left at home. So who could blame Chelsea when the next day, she tearfully admitted to her dad that she felt alone and missed Adam — or the idea of him, her dad corrected her.

NEXT: Kailyn finds herself without a boyfriend and without a home.


With a high school diploma and a community-college acceptance under her belt, Kailyn’s life seemed stable. But thanks to boyfriend Jo and his ironclad restraints, her emotional sanity was thrown for a loop. Without a car of her own, Kailyn was forced to share with Jo, who made sure to check the mileage on the car after each use. It seemed like Jo was just waiting for an opportunity to break up with her, so the fact that she used up 80 miles seemed like as good a reason as any to end their relationship. Feeling taken advantage of (um, what?), Jo told her to move out of his family home, where she had been living. But with a mother who’d rather spend time with her boyfriend than her and one who DIDN’T EVEN OFFER SHELTER TO HER, where was Kailyn supposed to go? Enter Jo’s parents, specifically his mom, Janet, who was compassionate enough to offer the furnished basement space in her home to Kailyn. In the world of Teen Mom, if Jenelle’s mom is a saint for taking care of Jace and Chelsea’s dad is a saint for helping with her rent, then Janet is Mother Friggin’ Theresa.

But a helping hand didn’t erase the fact that things between Jo and Kailyn were undoubtedly awkward, what with their running into each other at the house 24/7. It’s not the life she pictured, but what’s a girl to do when the father of her child shuts her out? Date! She weighed a co-worker’s request for a date with some caution (good girl!), and for maybe the first time in the whole episode, we saw a smile.

What did you guys think of the episode? How do you feel about Jenelle’s verbal attack? And do you think Leah and Corey will make it?

EW’s TV INSIDERS PODCAST: This week, Dalton Ross, Adam Vary, and Mandi Bierly go inside the American Idol audition room and tell you what to expect from the new judging panel. Do they actually get along? Can they survive the loss of Simon? And does Steven Tyler make one lick of sense? Plus: We break down the season premiere of The Bachelor while asking the question on everyone’s mind: Who brings a manscaping kit out on a date? Or fangs, for that matter? And listen in as Ken Tucker stops by to preview midseason TV and let you know which new programs you need to be watching — and avoiding. To join in all the fun, just click on the audio player below. Of course, we’re now on iTunes! So you can also subscribe for free right here and take the TV Insiders with you on the go. And to send a question to the TV Insiders or learn about upcoming editions, follow us on Twitter @TVInsiders!

Episode Recaps

Teen Mom 2

Chelsea, Jenelle, Kailyn, and Leah navigate the trials and tribulations of young motherhood on MTV's reality drama.

  • TV Show
  • 11