had very little validity in terms of the show’s "experiment." Yes, it was a lot fun to watch our couples try to parent teenagers when they are teenagers themselves, but none of it had anything to do with proving that the couples can parent. Actually, the episode was much more focused on two couples self-destructing, which, I guess, is just the sort of thing we should have expected from the series.

It all started while the couples were at a kid-free but tension-filled brunch. As Daton and Morgan fought before they’d even ordered food, the teens were showing up back at the houses. We were instantly informed, much to my amusement, that the teens’ parents wouldn’t be watching the goings-on from across the street. The teens, quite clearly, had been given a license to wreak havoc and most of the couples were none too pleased when they got back from the restaurant. Very amusingly, Daton and Morgan’s teen, Eddie, had been trying to cook but found out that he needed to first clean the spatula. Morgan, as though we didn’t know as much already, doesn’t keep a clean kitchen, but having her "child" tell her the place was filthy was excellent. I’m sure that the criticism didn’t sink in, but it was valid.

Daton was still displeased from breakfast, and picked a fight with Morgan in front of Eddie. Eddie, who was six when his parents got divorced, wisely left the room. While it was better for Eddie to leave, it did mean that he missed Daton telling Morgan that he wanted to break-up. Eddie was back by the time that Daton had his bag packed and got to say goodbye before Daton left the cul-de-sac. Morgan, in a rare display of good sense, opted to stay on as a single parent instead of bailing from her responsibilities.

That storyline completely overshadowed Sam, Cory and Alicea’s troubled teen, who quickly threw all of Alicea’s clothes onto the floor and once the couple got home proceeded to climb out a window and play on the roof. All of the sudden that whole locking the kid in the basement from the second season of Desperate Housewives didn’t seem like such a bad idea to me. Sam, who seemed more like a talker than a doer, told the couple he was going to go out, hotwire a car that wasn’t his, and drive around. Naturally, he didn’t make any move to leave the house, but that didn’t stop him from being obnoxious.

The couples were assigned to go to various outings, some educational, some boring, some whitewater rafting. Jordan and Sasha, rather than trying to make the trip amusing for their teen, Snowy, did nothing but complain about the trip. Snowy didn’t seem to think the museum was that boring, but Jordan and Sasha wanted nothing to do with it. Not such great parenting skills on display there.

After the outing, Morgan ran over to Kelly to tell her about Daton’s leaving. That led to Kelly complaining to Austin about their relationship and some more serious couple-fighting. Kelly’s biggest complaint? Austin is too much of an adult. Also, Kelly apparently doesn’t like him to touch her and despite it being her idea to go on the show she doesn’t want to be married to him, she just wants to have fun. The two decided that they would stick together until the end of the show and then end their relationship.

It was that night that the games with the teens really began. A bunch of the teens got together and toilet papered the neighborhood. Upon waking and seeing the goings-on, Jordan was hugely displeased, he ran out of the house and started threatening to get out the belt. Again – funny, but probably not the best parenting tactic. Morgan actually acted like an adult, getting mightily perturbed at Eddie and ordering him out of the house to see, and admit to, his handiwork.

The next day eventually came and we got to see why it might have been better for Morgan that Daton left the show. Morgan had the opportunity to talk to her mom and apologize for her own behavior when they last saw each other. Austin and Kelly? They didn’t have any sort of time to relax. They had another massive fight, which left Austin outside the house and convinced that he was going to be sleeping elsewhere. It even worried their teen about where he was going to end up.

Kelly ended up apologizing to Austin for blowing up at him, but Austin wasn’t so ready to accept the apology. Instead, he told her that he needed to think about things. It made sense to me, but I couldn’t tell how it struck Kelly. She went back inside, which may have been her being angry once more or it could have just been her giving Austin the space he seemed to need. Austin did end up staying at Cory and Alicea’s that night.

The next morning, Morgan headed off to work leaving Eddie to clean the whole house and Austin headed back to his place to check on the kid. There was some momentary excitement in the morning when Cory and Alicea were awoken when three teens fired some toy darts at them, but, like too much on the show, it didn’t really go anywhere.

At the debrief, Cory and Alicea tried to talk to Sam’s mom about his attitude over the course of the three days. Mom though was apparently delusional, as she insisted that her precious child would never do the things Cory and Alicea claimed. She said that it was their parenting tactics that were wrong, that Sam would never act that way to her. Sam proceeded to head downstairs and give his mom the exact same sort of attitude Alicea and Cory had talked to mom about. Mom tried to make some excuses about it, but they were all pretty weak. Her kid acted poorly, it wasn’t Alicea and Cory’s fault, and mom just didn’t want to admit it.

The rest of the debriefs were moderately less interesting, though Morgan and Kelly did both sound a lot more adult now than they did at the beginning of the series. The episode ended with Austin holding Kelly after he explained to her that he still loved her but that logically he didn’t think their relationship should be progressing the way it is.

Thoughts and questions:

  • Some of the teens actually behaved surprisingly well. Naturally, we barely saw those teens, but I was impressed by a few of them.
  • What do you think, were the teens told going into the show that it was okay to act out and generally destroy things or were they smart enough to figure it out on their own?
  • Do Kelly and Austin breakup permanently?
  • Does Daton come back for the reunion show?

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Posted by:Josh Lasser