The Dec 8th episodes were surprising in that the show that contained "the scene", the water cooler buzz if you will, was not the episode that featured the twins 18th birthday and Jacob being taken to the ER.
You can see the blog below for what happened with Jacob. The rest of the episode centered around the twins 18th birthday. Amy wanted to do something special for them. They weren't full of ideas beyond wanting a pool party, so Amy took their friend Jacob Mueller to lunch to plan. As Amy's narration explained that the twins have had the same friends since kindergarten and remained very close to some of those kids, one of them being Jacob Mueller...That sound you heard coming from television screens everywhere was fans groaning "WE KNOW! Unfortunately!" I don't think the Roloffs or TLC are in tune with the fact that when they mention how sweet it is that Jeremy and Zach have been friends with Mueller all of their lives that a large majority of the audience does not think that is a good thing. It's quality over quantity, er...amount of time. Jacob Mueller is the type of kid you would want to keep away from your kids. Ever notice how much more likable Jeremy seems in those very rare (and boy, are they ever rare!) scenes when he's not in the presence of Mueller? Anyhow...I'm getting side-tracked...
Mueller came up with ideas such as helicopter rides....ah remember the days of Chuck E Cheese, now it's helicopter rides...I guess you can plan big when you open your lives up to television cameras!
Jacob Mueller is taking some heat (or at least getting some funny looks) for his no girls stipulation for the pool party. Far be it for me to defend Mueller, but that conversation should be cleared up since it went by quickly.
The conversation went like this:
Mueller: Zach's lenient on every thing, but no girls....
Amy: We can have some girls
Mueller: Jer doesn't really want them either
Amy: Oh really? Ok
Mueller: You know why?...
quick edit away
Mueller: The thing with girls is we could have them come at 4 and leave at 7....I'm sure we could put up with them for 2 hours.
Molly: ...Isn't that 3 hours?
Mueller: Whatever, chill out.
Loved Molly's snark in that moment. She needs to keep on directing it towards the right person and all will be well.
As you could see from the conversation, they didn't elaborate on the "you know why?"
I don't think it was that unusual given that Zach isn't always himself around girls (which is not that unusual for some guys) and if Jeremy was just coming off a drama-filled relationship with Kirsten....I think a day with just the guys is not that alarming.
Instead of the suggested helicopter rides, they opted for gliding. As Amy, Mueller and anybody who has ever watched Jeremy and Zach predicted, it was something geared towards Jeremy more than Zach. I wonder if they could have found something that was more equal on the enjoyment level? He did enjoy it once he tried it, but spent most of the time looking nervous and uncomfortable. Poor Zach, the birthday parties always result in Jeremy having more fun, but hey at least, this party didn't end in the kids ganging up on Zach and spitting on him like birthday parties of the past.
Jeremy's quote of the night came when he was sharing his thoughts on turning 18: "The whole world has opened up. I'm legally an adult. I can go get a Costco card if I want."
The second half-hour episode focused on Amy's reunion with sisters Kathy and Cindy, and her younger brother Roger - they showed pictures of him when he was a child and into his teens - it answers the question of who Jeremy takes after in appearance - Jeremy and Amy's brother looked very similar when he was Jer's age.
The siblings alluded to the fact a few times that as adults they aren't very close as they live in different states and hope the trip would be a new start.
A brief scene back at the farm shows Matt attempting to get the kids to start cleaning up. Jacob is mopey. When Matt tells Zach to clean, Zach angrily brings up the fact that Matt apparently pays Jeremy ridiculous amounts of money to clean. There was mention of the laundry room, but earlier Jeremy appeared to be working on the same pile of clothes that Zach was now supposed to be putting away.
Back in New Mexico, while Amy and her siblings are having fun horseback riding, Amy says she received a call from an upset Zach because everyone got into a fight over cleaning the house.
Amy on the phone is heard saying: "The thing is, I can't sit here and quit every thing, Zach. I need to be able to move on after you guys are all gone. I can't just quit my life. I'm in New Mexico doing a celebration birthday for my sister and I've got chaos. And I'm a messed up mom because I didn't do well by you guys."
What happened next was shocking and completely unexpected because Amy is usually so tough. She breaks down emotionally. Her sister asked if she was alright, Amy answers no. Amy was upset enough that her sister wondered if someone was injured.
There is a very somber mood as Amy and her siblings drive back to the resort. Amy's brother tries to provide some humor by asking if she needs another spa. Amy says she needs the sweat lodge to release the negative energy that was suddenly thrust upon her.
Roger asks: So the troops are getting a little restless back home?
Amy answers in a very serious, very sincere and very raw tone: No, it's more. I think Matt...and, um, the kids are terrible.
Roger: You have terrible kids. Terrible. (obviously not serious)
Cindy: Not as terrible as mine.
Amy: I do. I didn't do well raising them. Totally crummy.
It was a very intense to see Amy so vulnerable and emotional. Of course in-vehicle camera being inches from her face and the once again brilliant sad mood music of Joey Newman made it all the more intense.
Amy's emotion wasn't over. Amy reveals that she spent the night crying. The next morning, at 4:30, they head out for a Native American spiritual ceremony. Amy states that she is there for clarity and help with a lot of big decisions.
During the ritual Amy is asked what she believes in?
Amy: I want to thank God for the faith that he has given me and knowing that he is always with me. I'm thinking that maybe I'm not doing well with helping my boys."
It was very emotional and came completely unexpected. I have to believe Amy's breakdown was about a lot more than just an argument back home about cleaning the house. It appeared to be a lot deeper than that. I felt bad for Amy. I can't imagine a worse time to have a breakdown like than a reunion with your siblings. Usually that's a time when everyone talks about how wonderful their kids are instead of confessing fears that she hasn't raised the boys right.
I appreciate the moments of Amy's raw honesty. It was another interesting hour of viewing. Amy's breakdown and her reasons for it was definitely was the hot topic of the week.