Teen Mom 2 recap: One Step Forward, Two Baby Steps Back
I don’t know about you guys, but last night’s episode felt particularly gut-wrenching. At times I felt angry, especially when Chelsea failed to see just how terrible Adam was. But the episode also made me sad — how could you not tear up when Leah asked if she was to blame for Ali’s medical condition? All aboard the emotional roller coaster!
I wish I could say that Adam cleaned up his act, offered to pay rent, and was nice to Chelsea. But I’m sad to inform you that not one of those things actually happened last night. Chelsea conveyed her father’s message to Adam that he should contribute to the rent. (Anyone else surprised that Chelsea actually did something about the situation rather than let it combust? Just wait, we’ll get to the combustion later…) Adam rationalized that he couldn’t pay both rent and child support (heaven forbid!), and that if he had to pay, so did Megan. I never realized that Megan was living there rent-free, but that explains why she’s ever so willing to put up with a baby in the house. Regardless, she actually agreed that splitting the rent three ways was totally fine by her. But the bigger problem was how Adam treated her. He made her feel worthless, all while Chelsea played dumb. Mind you, Adam had just said that she and Megan were “brain-dead” and “idiots.” Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the father of Chelsea’s child.
In an unfilmed scene, Adam said something that pushed Megan over the edge. When Chelsea asked Adam about her friend’s whereabouts, he responded, “Hopefully she’s dead.” That was undeniably evil, but pair that with his text to Megan that she should move out and it was quite the jackhole move (to borrow from Andy Cohen’s Watch What Happens Live). Things had gotten so unbearable at home that Megan moved out to live with her parents. Not one to let her go without a parting gift, Adam gave Megan another nugget of hate (again unfilmed) that erupted into a final blow. And where was Chelsea during all of this? Crying to her father about how she’d tried to stay out of it. Chelsea, which part exactly did you try to stay out of? The part where your boyfriend bashed your best friend and roommate? Or the part where your friend said that Adam made her feel like “a piece of s—“? Chelsea constantly asked Megan not to drag her into the middle, but she couldn’t have been more entrenched in the situation. She asked her dad if she’d done something wrong, and then screamed that he blames everything on Adam. So according to Chelsea, this problem just … happened because she’s not the instigator and neither is Adam. “How do I choose between my family and my best friend?” Chelsea wondered. Girlfriend, I suggest you read these recaps.
NEXT: Jenelle misses Jace’s first steps.
For Jenelle, the problems keep piling up every week. And this time, on top of being homeless, she had to contend with a sticky financial situation. Because she was technically an independent, her mother would have to sign her financial aid forms. I doubted that Barbara would come around, but lo and behold, Barbara pulled out the mother card. She signed the forms. Sure, the forms were delivered by her husband, but it was practically the first nice interaction we’ve seen between the mother and daughter since the show began. Sure, it wasn’t actually face-to-face, but it was progress. Jenelle stopped by her former home to thank her mom (see? progress!) and, in the process, realized that being away from Jace at this crucial time meant missing all of his major milestones, like walking. Jenelle finally saw Jace scurry across the room, to which Barbara said offhandedly, “He’s been doing it for a week.” I agree with some of the commenters that Barbara often injects herself unnecessarily and that her screaming will potentially scar Jace, but I liked how casual she made his walk seem, as if to say, “You’re missing this stuff because you put yourself in this situation.” But Jenelle’s absence seemed to have a more worrisome effect: Jace appeared emotionally detached from Jenelle, turning away and seeking solace in his grandmother’s arms.
Jenelle looked visibly hurt, but figured that nothing solves a little detachment issue quite like a big birthday gift. So she purchased a Spider-Man four-wheeler for little Jace, which seemed too big for the little guy. But why bicker about a gift? Jenelle thought about someone other than herself and wanted to impress Jace, which was quite cute. But leave it to Barbara to muck things up royally by criticizing the gift, explaining that she should’ve gotten him a silver cup with his name on it. Actually both of their gifts seemed fairly useless. How about an adorable Onesie or a fun age-appropriate game? Jace was neither here nor there on the gift, but to be fair, at that age, I think babies are just as fascinated by wrapping paper as they are by Marvel Comics characters.
“It’s a big mess” was how Kailyn summed up her situation at the moment. And she was right. She didn’t have a place to live, since Jo had been kicked out of his parents’ home, but at the same time, she felt trapped living with him and was desperately seeking her own place. In case she didn’t understand the severity of the situation, her helpful friend Kim reiterated, “Your life just sucks.” Thanks, Kim! While her peers were less than sensitive, her mother finally lent her ear and dished some soothing words, though she still didn’t offer her daughter a roof over her head. I suppose one (advice) out of two (advice + shelter) isn’t bad.
NEXT: Kailyn tells Jo she wants out.
But that bout of homelessness didn’t last long. Jo had a chat with his dad, who said that both he and Kailyn were welcome back in their home. That was all well and good, but it didn’t really help Kailyn’s campaign to move out on her own. She told Jo that their living together again was a “recipe for disaster” and that she would temporarily move back in, but only because it was best for Isaac. (Let’s face it, she didn’t have any better options.) She said her goal was to find an apartment for herself. Jo didn’t scream, he didn’t mock, and he didn’t kick her out of his home. No, he had to act as cool as a cucumber because Jo just got served.
With the Fourth of July boats gone, and that housewarming glow faded, the couple we’re all rooting for were back to dwelling on baby Ali’s medical condition. It was another month before her MRI, so for the time being, a doctor came over to check on her motor skills. There was definitely something going on with her lower hips and feet, but that was all the information Leah and Corey had at the moment. It was a ripe time to talk through their feelings, but Corey was less than ready to spill his guts — not really a shocker. He finally opened up, and so did Leah. She feared that her small frame was what caused Ali’s problems and wondered if this was all her fault. The waiting game seemed particularly grueling.
They managed to bide their time with a pretty adorable family portrait session. I’m not sure how I felt about the military-fatigue theme, but I can’t deny that those are seriously the most well-behaved babies I’ve ever seen. It certainly must ease the labor of caring for twins, but it’s pretty clear that Leah and Corey have the best support system of all the Moms. Last night, they got the luxury of a date night while Corey’s dad and stepmom watched the babies. At the state fair, they played a cloying game of “I love you more!” and talked about having more kids. Leah was good for now, thanks very much, but Corey still wanted a baby boy. Oh please, people. Not now! And not soon! But for now, Corey had other life-changing plans in mind. He picked out an engagement ring, one that would “tickle her to death,” according to the surly salesman. Next week, he’ll propose in a canoe, and the day she says no is the day Chelsea kicks out Adam. One can only hope.
What did you guys think of the episode? Did you think Chelsea didn’t stick up for Megan? And do you think Jace’s walking will compel Jenelle to change?
Chelsea, Jenelle, Kailyn, and Leah navigate the trials and tribulations of young motherhood on MTV's reality drama.