Credits. Aaden! Collin! Joel! And for a brief 10 seconds, it’s all cupcakes and bunny rabbits until the reality begins.
Day 8, Jackson Hole, WY! TLC must have put out their lemonade stand this past week and have forked over a little extra cash for some Western sounding guitar rifts for the background music. I find it rather coincidental that viewers were complaining how odd and dark last week’s episode was without music. Wouldn’t you know it, suddenly part two is full of chirpy guitars. Why would you make part one of an episode dead silent, and bring in a full orchestra for part two? I think someone was busy in the editing room this week--TLC is so transparent, aren’t they? But since they are finally admitting they hate Kate, too, as evidenced by the past few episodes, I’ll let this one go.
Some light-hearted teasing about the party bus/boring bus, with Ashley playfully writing “boring bus” on a window, turns into a perfect opportunity for Kate, who is bending over the campfire serving up some undercooked turkey bacon, to point out that she does all the work and Ashley and Jamie lay around all day getting hot rock treatments and sipping pinot grigio with the other Housewives.
Kate jokes that had she and Jamie been in the same RV they would have killed each other by now. I’m not so sure Kate is the best person to be joking about that. She’s pissed off so many folks over the years she probably qualifies for the witness protection program. “There’s still time left,” Jamie quips with a subtle, yet distinct eye roll off to the side. Ha. You know I never really liked her, but things are getting warmer between us.
For some reason they skip completely over Jackson Hole, where some people reported on Twitter/Facebook seeing them. Kate would have us believe this is because Kate was lovely and wonderful there and thus it was edited out. I think more likely there was just too much bad behavior to squeeze into two measly little episodes, it would take an epic 12-week miniseries at least. They then begin the day-long drive to Utah, and suddenly on a winding mountain road the party bus starts smoking really bad and has to pull over. Jon, you didn’t slash the tires during the night, did you? What’s revealing about this is that as the boring bus passes the smoking bus, there’s another Challenger RV right behind it. Oops, weren’t supposed to see that folks, look over here, not there! Likely I assume the third bus is where Kate, and perhaps someone else, really spends most of her time. We’ll call that the smoosh room bus.
A cop comes by to try to help, and, uh-oh, this isn’t good, the engine is gushing ugly brown sediment everywhere! It looks like Jon literally took a screwdriver to it and pretended it was Kate‘s face. Jon, you got the wrong bus, she’s over there in the boring bus! Well, at least we know how the party bus really feels about Kate.
Kate and Steve have a long boring hubby-wifey conversation about what to do, and decide to order some SUVs. For ordinary people, this sounds like a nightmare that could take hours and hours or even all day, but Kate seems to think she can conjure up a couple of SUVs in the middle of nowhere Utah like you might call in a pizza in New York. I’ve been to Utah and it’s just lovely but I think Samantha Stevens here doesn’t have a clue. Kate goes over to the party bus and yells at everyone to start packing up luggage for two days. What she tells them right now will be important, so remember it, because she’ll lie about it a short time later. When Jamie goes off to the bedroom to start packing, Kate for some reason I sure as heck can’t figure out accuses her of acting like a child. I don’t think Jamie heard that, because I’m certain if she had, the knock down drag out would have happened right there and then in all the sediment, Laura Ingalls/Nellie Olsen style. Kate is probably wondering which character she would be. Hint: the prairie bitch.
Another golden (platter?) opportunity for Kate to trash the party bus, calling the boring bus ship-shape and organized. Which is exactly why they would be the boring bus. Also she rudely imitates the party busers’ blank stares and lack of urgency. She doesn’t understand that with a narcissist, you can either move your ass, or you can stay sitting there and give your narcissist a blank stare, but either way you‘re gonna get chewed out for doing it wrong. And sometimes, moving your ass gets you in worse trouble--more things Kate can choose from to criticize. So sometimes, with Kate, a blank stare is actually your best option. But really, how urgent do they need to be when they’re trying to get two rental SUVs out to a winding mountain road in Utah? They could be here longer than the Donner Party with this kind of trouble, and we all know who would be eaten first. Meanwhile, cute little piano ditties and something going ba-ba-ba-bum over and over is playing in the background. The music truly makes all this so much easier to handle, like a soothing wave machine by your bed at night. If only the Donner Party had the luxury of a TLC piano-guitar track.
Jamie, who by the way has been lauded as Kate’s best friend forever for two years now, approaches the camera, puts her face up to the lens and says, “She’s such a *BLEEP*!!” Oh, so that’s why this was rated TVPG L, because somebody finally told the cameras what they really think of Kate. Or at least it wasn’t edited out this time. Go Jamie. We support you and your fatty creamer against this witch!
They manage to get everyone to a rest stop, and Steve is essentially yelling at Jamie about where she put all their stuff while Kate makes rude faces at her. Jamie is explaining that she followed directions and packed up two days' worth of stuff, but doesn‘t know where it went after that, and Ashley had the exact same understanding and did the same thing. We saw in an earlier clip it somehow got routed by a driver outside the RV. Kate gives a bitchy little laugh of disbelief, and here it comes! Jamie grows a pair faster than a Chia Pet and gets up in her face and says, “You know what?! I can get on a plane right now and leave!”
Kate is spouting some nonsense, most of it lies, about how she told Jamie to get checked luggage and carry-on luggage, an explanation we certainly never saw. It’s so bad Steve has to tell Kate to go to the other bus, as if he’s the level-headed husband trying to help everyone get along. Because Kate has absolutely no friends or family she can lament to, she bitches to the camera about how disorganized (i.e. fun) the party bus is. Meanwhile, Jamie and Ashley are commiserating in their bus about how Kate never said before what she is saying now (Ladies, she lies for a living, get over it) and how absolutely silly this is, which they would be absolutely correct about. It’s sad that Cara is standing right there, one thing that stinks about being the child of a narcissist is that when it’s this bad, people can’t help sometimes talking about her in front of you. It’s still her Mommy and I imagine it must hurt very deeply to know people don’t like your Mommy even if you‘re well aware why. Incidentally though, Cara backs up Jamie and Ashley and says yes I heard two days, too. Bet Jamie is really regretting all the times she left her children back home in another state to go be Kate’s shoulder to cry on and personal slave through Kate’s divorce. That’s what happens when you allow a narcissist to feed on you, eventually you realize what you’ve done and then come the big regrets. Jamie just got there before our very eyes.
The semi-tow truck shows up, they don‘t even seem to want to tell us God knows how many hours later. Kate says she thinks generally her attitude has been very good. If she means, very good at making everyone else miserable, I agree.
Kate is disappointed in Jamie for her attitude and goes on and on about what a screw up she is. Kate blames this entire thing on partying all day. I’m confused, if you party a lot, the vehicle you are in will break down? Is this anything like those folks who used to try to scare normal warm-blooded young people by saying if you do a certain something you’ll go blind? “That’s what they get!” Hannah, or possibly a parrot, shouts from inside an RV. I know that sounds very mean, and it is, but since the little kids still have to stay with Kate in her RV, it serves their best interest to just back her up as much as they can no matter how ludicrous she is being. I also get the sense that Kate is teaching the kids when bad things happen, God is punishing you for something, like being disorganized, or getting a granule of sugar on the floor. Some more guitars take us into the commercial break. Welcome back, guitars, it was scarier than I imagined without you.
Upbeat drum kit leading us into Day 11. What happened to day nine and 10? Those were the days Kate was busy rocking some malnourished babies and nursing a kitten with a broken leg back to health and so of course it was edited out? It’s the editing I tell you!
They pull over the side of the highway and now Kate is throwing a fit because Jamie and Ashley can’t find some of the kids’ swimsuits. She tells the cameras that she texted instructions “this long” and holds her hands about three feet apart. A three-foot long text message just about swimsuits? My phone would probably automatically reject that one. I give her credit there, it must have taken ages to tap out three feet worth of all her usual convoluted nonsense and lies on her fifth pink iphone. “I don’t know how they could survive without me!” she laments. Well, for starters, the family might actually enjoy their vacation. Wouldn’t you know it, after just a little looking Jamie comes up with the swimsuits. All that moaning for nothing. More orders from Kate to do things her way, something about unless there are 16 tornadoes I must have my way, though really, Jamie, I wouldn’t bother, as all those instructions will be changed up the next time you touch base. Kate is like a human bingo cage, something new spits out every time you play. As Jamie walks back to her trailer, she sticks her thumb out to hitchhike. Ha! Oh, Jamie, a girl after our own hearts!
White water rafting on the beautiful Colorado. Ha, Ashley and Jamie are like this is our chance to escape, get a boat! When you’re spending the bulk of your vacation plotting how to get out of there, something is not right. Next thing you know they’ll be getting tattoos on their chests resembling the blueprints of the RVs and a map of the Colorado down their arms.
Mr. River Man tells the kids to pee in the river. Kate tells them they can’t do that (why?) but without so much as blinking Mr. River Man outright vetoes Kate and tells Clay to get in the water and demonstrate, yes we will pee in the river and have fun, screw you, Kate. I can already tell this little part of the trip is going to be great.
Kate wants the little kids in her boat, and doesn’t want to get wet. So, she’s going white water rafting but doesn‘t actually want to get any white water on herself? What, that orange tan isn’t waterproof? Seems her stupid logic applies not just to all her f-ed up relationships, but extends to river rafts as well. This is rather like holding your hand over a fire and demanding you better not get burned. Let’s see, what else can Kate dream up to complain about? Ah-ha, the seat is too hot. When Mr. River Man helpfully tries to wet it down, she freaks out and scrambles to the front of the boat, the wettest part, as Mr. River Man informs her. Ha.
“Sit down!” Kate’s husband orders her. I believe he forgot the other half of that, which would be, “and shut up!” Or if you prefer and probably necessary in this case, “shut the f up!”
Ashley, bless her heart, tries to educate the kids a bit about how this river formed the Grand Canyon. Eh, who wants silly trivia like that you’ll only ever need if you’re a contestant on Jeopardy when you can shout incessantly at Mr. River Man to make the boat go straight?
Jamie and Ashley are harassing the “boring boat.” They’ve turned into the mean girls, only Kate deserves every last stinking bit of it. I’ve never cheered for bullies before, Kate has brought me to this point. “Is it snack time? You only get one!” Jamie mocks. Heh, that’s great. So Jamie’s noticed the absurd portion control too? What’s next, Kate doles out ration cards? Isn't it wonderful to know after all this time, we, the non-fans, are not crazy after all?
Kate shouts back that they stuck her with the preschoolers. What preschoolers? She must mean her own multiple personalities, right? Not these smart, funny, growing seven-year-old kids going into first grade who really should be in second. Mr. River Man, God love him, calls Kate out: Um, as I recall, lady, you chose to ride with the “preschoolers.” As I recall as well, that’s exactly how it went down.
And in a very telling, multifaceted statement, Kate replies, “I did because they’re the youngest and they’re the um, the most defenseless.” Yup, control, that would be it exactly.
A couple rapids you would call kiddie if you‘ve ever done this before, and I keep wishing it were Kate that Kevin Bacon tried to kidnap and take down the Gauntlet and not Meryl Streep.
Kate is still complaining about getting wet. Mr. River Man cuts her down to size, telling her he made sure she didn‘t get a drop on her, that was the gentlest part of the river, I never said what you said I said I did (none of us ever said what Kate said we did, Mr. River Man), shut up you f-ing bitch, and the like.
The kids go swimming, Kate goes grimacing.
“We’re gonna give out an Academy Award at the end of the day and I’m nominating you,” Mr. River Man tells Kate. Baw-hahaha! He reminds me so much of our dear friend and Kiwi national hero Brad. Same story, different setting. Do you suppose River Man has a nephew working at a sky jump in New Zealand?
“She’s the type of person that can test one’s patience,” a producer says to Mr. River Man. Et tu, Brutus?
“Mm-hm, I would say that,” Mr. River Man replies. You know those moments in sports where you‘re watching the big game and they throw the Hail Mary pass and the receiver catches it, and you realize you just witnessed history? This is like that, only not nearly as fun. One for the history books in the land of Kate.
Day 12. The producers are in full on sell Kate down the Colorado river mode, as much as they possibly can with only a few days left. They interview the little kids, who say they much prefer the party bus, and the boring bus is very boring because all they do is watch T.V.; it’s “sad” one of them says. Yes it is very sad when all your mother cares to do to help keep you happy on a very long trip is to gather 200 DVDs together. Makes you wonder what’s happening at home.
For Kate’s next clue about where they are going, she takes an axe and carves out a long line in the dirt. I would try to take a guess what the heck this is supposed to be this time, but someone as unstable as Kate carrying a weapon as dangerous as an axe is leaving me too paralyzed, even the nice little guitar riffs in the background aren’t reassuring me this time, just please put it down, slowly. The kids once again guess it right away, although this time they say it was because they heard Jamie mention it. Boy does this piss Kate off that Jamie told them about that huge missing chunk of earth deep crevicey thing. Known to those not in the middle of a complete psychotic breakdown as the Grand Canyon. It doesn’t matter to hypocritical Kate that hypocritical Kate covered a bunch of containers with giant “Food for the RV” signs and that’s how Mady found out about the trip in the first place. Jamie’s response to all this? “She can kiss my $%&.” Oh, like she would bend over for that, Jamie!
More bus problems, this time with the generator on the boring bus. How cozy, Kate and Steve are sitting at a little table together to talk out this problem. This time Kate takes it much more calmly, and is even proud of the kids for handling it so well, probably because there is no possible way she can blame this on anyone else this time, certainly not Jamie and Ashley. You know she was racking her brain for a good three hours trying to figure out how to pin this on someone. When something bad happens to the party bus, it's all their fault. When it's Kate's bus, it's like we're frolicking in a meadow because why would it be Kate's fault?
Things were going so well until Kate announces they’ll probably switch RVs tomorrow as that is only fair. What the hell? I didn’t hear Kate offering to give up her RV when the party bus broke down. What a hypocritical piece of work.
Kate wants to cook chicken with grills Jamie says the RV park doesn’t even have; everyone else wants to just make it easy and get pizza after such a long day, including Steve. Kate stomps off in a huff, “I don’t care, that’s rude!” she shouts at Steve.
What’s rude, that everyone else wants pizza and Kate wants chicken? That’s not rude, that’s called majority rules. Maybe Kate thinks the expression is majority rude? She does tend to mix up her idioms a lot.
Kate demands Steve come into the RV to talk to her, like a hubby-wifey talk. When he won’t do it (because that’s weird, bizarro, outrageously inappropriate, all of the above?), she slams the door on him. Steve finally agrees to go in because how else will this ever stop? Mady explains to the cameras that Mommy threw a fit over pizza because they already had a candy bar today, and was upset about someone taking a photo. Oh, it all makes sense now. Not! Which is sort of Mady's body language.
Steve and Kate come back. And, we’re getting pizza, folks. HA-HA, he’s a stronger man that Jon! Kate, who is having an affair with Steve in her head, says we have footage to prove Steve scoffed at her about something or other stupid thing, this is so over, the chicken is going to waste, and wants Steve to take care of someone taking a photo across the way, which Steve refuses to do. You know, because it’s a public place and it’s a free (and great) country and all that. Incidentally, in a hot room in Philly sometime in the 18th century, the First Amendment was written exactly for people like Kate who don't want any of their misdeeds documented and criticized. Go Founding Fathers, especially the ones from PA. How could you have such foresight? I don’t know what Steve could be doing with that pair of pliers he keeps pinching throughout this other than visualizing pulling out Kate’s upper bicuspids with nothing but whiskey for anesthetic. Kate is tearful, because that’s what she does when she has absolutely nothing left to stay to justify her terrible behavior, but still holds out some kind of delusional hope we’ll sympathize with her.
Steve blames this all on the lack of air conditioning, and when asked if he would ever do a trip like this again, he replies “With these people? Ask me in about six months.” A random member of the crew, Danny, also cannot wait until this trip is over. Don't know where he came from, but, funny.
Day 13. Grand Canyon. “Ashley, don’t choke nobody,” the driver warns as they disembark. Is it so bad we’re contemplating first degree murder now?
Cara is very upset over some kind of dispute over underwear, and although it’s disturbing to see her so distressed, I have no idea why Mady got punished too. They are not the same person, Kate. But both Mady and Cara get sent to the RV to wait with Ashley. Unbelievable.
‘They look out over the beautiful Grand Canyon, which Kate calls wasted space. People with dollar signs for eyes like Kate can never, ever appreciate something that doesn’t give you something tangible back like dollar bills--they’re too busy wondering how many condos and McMansions they could squeeze in there. Kind-hearted Jamie just keeps talking about how Ashley, Mady and Cara are missing it. I know, aw. Kate says the canyon stretches 10,000 miles. No, Kate, try 277. Maybe she’s mixing this up with the Mary Chapin Carpenter song?
(Play as you read on, it may soothe you)
More RV trouble again? I am downright convinced Jon is paying someone to pour Koolaid into the gas tanks in the dead of night. Some light hearted teasing between Kate and Jamie, with the best comment of all being Jamie saying the kids' "attitudes go away when they come over here.” I bet they do.
Kate discovers that the party bus is digging into the pizza leftovers. She marches over there and demands they hand over Steve’s slice, as it was reserved by him last night. How old is Steve again, 12? Jamie is basically like, well, none of us knew that, but no problem, Mady will give it to him. Next Kate freaks out because Mady handed it to Steve with her bare hands, without wrapping it in foil. What the whaty what? Mady sobs, “Mommy, I’m sorry. I didn’t know, okay?” Aw, poor kid.
Kate says she is always the jerk on the trip running around like a nut. She knows? Ashley tearfully says she’s tired of Kate’s dramatics and that Kate always acts like Ashley does nothing. Exactly, Kate has zero appreciation for all her nanny’s hard work, five years worth of it. Kate says she’s the mastermind. So was Hitler.
In front of their window, Kate repeatedly insults Jamie and Ashley telling the cameras she does everything, Jamie and Ashley are not the same people, they have an HD TV and she doesn’t (oh, the humanity!) and other cruel, hateful things. Ashley slams the window on her, rightfully so.
Kate admits they helped, but they didn’t help enough, they didn’t ask her what they can do to help, which sounds exactly like what she used to say to Jon! He also finally couldn’t take it anymore. By the way, the nice thing about these episodes for Jon is that most of America not only understands the Ed Hardy phase, but now commends him for it and can’t fathom why it didn’t last longer. Really, Ed Hardy was as harmless as a sandbox and juice boxes compared to what he’s been through.
Ashley and Jamie, the adults still oriented to space and time on this trip, essentially say a blowup over one piece of pizza is childish. Which is pretty much what the 400 comments in this blog’s discussion thread said too, so at least they are not alone.
Commercials, and we’re back, and is Kate really, really going on about the stupid pizza still? And the HD TV. That HD TV really bothers her, doesn’t it? 27 Dresses just does not look as good slumming it on standard definition! Also she throws in that she is paying Ashley and Jamie, because I guess if you’re getting paid, you are not allowed to have feelings. Kate says they’re always 20 minutes late because Kate is doing everything.
Seems to me the camera men are filming Kate’s tirades for a bit, then skipping over to Jamie and Ashley to get the real story, then back to Kate, and back again. Heh. Ashley says actually, since Kate went there, the real reason they were late is because Kate was showering and doing make-up for two hours while they watched all the kids. We all knew that, don’t worry, Ashley.
Kate feels bad saying bad things about people she loves. I don’t believe for a second she really loves these people, because if she did, she would stop right now. Actually, she never would have started. She says they don’t take posh trips. Good one! Wait, that wasn’t a joke? See North Carolina, Alaska, Australia, New Zealand, the resort in Mexico, the foot licking in NYC, must I really go on?
Ashley lets it out of the bag that she’s been treated like this for five years. Thought so about that, too. She wipes away her tears. I feel for her so, because I was once in her shoes nannying for a famous (and nutty) woman’s children, I loved them, too, and I cried, too when I finally knew that as much as I loved the children, I mean really loved them as my own as she does, for my own sanity I had to leave. This is so very heartbreaking and personal for me, as I’m sure it is for so many other viewers, but in a strange way, I’m glad this all came out before the show is done for good. Maybe up in that big blue sky there was a reason this show dragged on so long, and it was so people could be pushed so much that they would finally let out the truth before all was said and done and these kids were left alone with their mother and no viewers anymore to keep tabs.
“I would die for these kids but I can’t spend one more minute with her,” Ashley says, “Please send me home.” The crew says they’re working on it.
A graphic says during a private conversation Ashley told Kate she was leaving. Kate will claim later she didn't know. Someone is lying, and I just checked, odds are now 400 to 1 it's Kate. Outside the RV, Ashley tells the kids “I love you with all my heart, don’t let anyone tell you any differently.” Who would be so horrifically evil as to tell the kids that? Hmm.
What I find so telling about this scene, which I don’t think has been mentioned yet, is that even Clay is there, looking up at Ashley sadly, so sorry to see her go. Ashley is such a sweet girl and good nanny even Clay feels the loss after only spending a few days with her. Ashley, if you ever stumble across this, you are a good person and a good nanny, don’t let anyone tell you any differently.
The kids are sobbing and telling her how much they love her. I am sobbing, too. It’s bullshit Kate isn’t there to comfort them and is only interested in telling the cameras her side of things. Kate’s reaction to Ashley leaving is “whatever.” She has to move on, people leave her life, she keeps on going. As she is driven away, Ashley says she’ll always love them and be there for them but just couldn't take it. Jamie says essentially she’s staying for the kids. She did not expect such a sad ending. Eh, I did, since it’s Kate.
Kate says pretty much everyone leaves her eventually, and makes it sound like it’s because of the kids. This sounds so familiar, because she pulled this same tired shtick when Tony walked out on her on Dancing With the Stars. And what I said about that a year and a half ago still rings true today:
Thank you for not quitting, Kate tells Tony. A lot of people have quit on me in my life. I wait for Tony to remove his cowboy hat and tearfully quiver, “I wish I knew how to quit you, Kart!” Whoops, wrong movie.
Now, see, if you didn’t know Kate that well, like maybe this is the first time you’ve really seen her in action, you might fall for that pathetic and manipulative “Everyone has quit on me” comment. But don’t, and I’ll tell you why! People in Kart’s life don’t quit on Kart. Kart DRIVES THEM AWAY. She has estranged all the children’s closest relatives and friends. She goes through nannies like the kids go through organic fluffernutter. You wouldn’t know it the way she tells it, but she filed for divorce first, not Jon. Yes, check the archives of Radaronline, the Shopping Kart is the Petitioner and Jon is the DEFENDANT! She actively drove him away by treating him like a doormat. She’s amassed more enemies than Bernie Madoff. Kate has always wanted us to believe that all those people are wrong, every single one of them, and she’s right. Uh-huh….This is Kate’s story. She is responsible for being alone.
It was Kate’s story then, it’s Kate’s story now, and unless she gets some serious mental health treatment, it will forever be her story.