Time sure flies when you're having fun! So we have come to the last episode, which in true reality show fashion, should try to tie up all those silly loose ends generated throughout the season. Of course, NatGeo is not as slick as Bravo's stable of reality shows, or smarmy like TLCs Sister Wives (i.e. no crying Kody or Meri or Robyn, no kids running around a cul-de-sac jubilantly flying kites). Hmm....I wonder what we'll see?
Before we start, here's some Michael Cawley inspired artwork of the polygamists whose ends were still hanging loose in the last episode.
Uncle Art, son Ezra and wife Gloria
So I can hear you thinking, "But what about Rose Marie?" Ah yes, when we last left Rose Marie, she was accompanied by her father and about to step into the Brethren's office door. She had decided to leave it up to the Brethren to decide which man in their small community she will marry.
According to the narrator, we learn this is the first time "outsiders" have been allowed in a Brethren's office. From the look of his office, I can see why. See how carefully Brethren Cawley has organized his office and desk? At first glance it looks like a normal office, but when you look a little closer...
Anyway, being that Brethren Cawley has the same last name as Michael Cawley I supposed it would be safe to assume they are related. In fact, they are. Now, I won't spill the beans on how close a relationship it is, but I will say that male pattern baldness is inherited from a man's mother.
After the meeting, (and apparently after being coached by the producers) Rose Marie decided to approach her mother with a question...What if she feels the Brethren made the wrong choice? Could she still say no?
Rose got this look of total mortification on her face. You could almost hear her mind saying "Not in front of the cameras...NOT IN FRONT OF THE CAMERAS!!!" She hurriedly spitted out "If you don't feel right about it, you do not do anything." OOPS, wrong answer Rose. So Rose Marie spelled it out by saying that "Papa" said if you go to the Brethren for help and they give you a name, you don't say no because "...it's the Priesthood and they have a direct line to God...saying no to the them is like saying no to God." Yikes, how is Rose going to get out of this? Well, she fell back on how she had been taught. She explained "If you believe these men get inspiration from Heavenly Father...then if the answer comes from the Brethren then you are exercising your faith that Heavenly Father is working in your behalf and you believe that those men represent Him." But then she adds "...but you are the one whose going to live with the choice."
So, in other words, Rose Marie you should have just taken your chances because now you no longer have a choice. Get ready for that 70 year old husband. Stick a fork in Rose Marie, she's done.
Next, we have Ezra's story arc. The Brethren decided he needed two things before they would approve his marriage: 1) $10000 in the bank and 2) a place to live.
Of course, a sensible, dutiful son would take the advice of his father. He would put his marriage plans on hold, join the missionaries and prove to the Brethren he is worthy to be married. But Ezra isn't sensible or dutiful. In fact, he's irrational, immature and already a ne'er do well at 19 years of age. He wants everything NOW, and doesn't have a clue how to get it. And the way he shakes when he's around Tiffany makes me wonder if all this "I need it NOW" is driven by his need to...release his inner tensions if you know what I mean.
Anyway, his parents - Uncle Art and Gloria still want to meet and discuss with him about North Dakota and how he plans on meeting the requirements set by the Brethren. Now, this meeting might have worked if Ezra was level-headed and sensible. But he isn't. It's obvious he has no idea how to go about setting goals, making plans to meet those goals and saving money. He doesn't even know how much money, if any, he will be making. What a dumb-ass.
But it was particularly cruel of Uncle Art to imply that Tiffany may not wait for him, and that he hopes "Absence makes her heart grow fonder." Gee, maybe that's the reason Ezra is so messed up, ya think?
And when Ezra tells Tiffany he is leaving for North Dakota, she is so sad. She even tells him to remember he's got a girlfriend at home but she seemed resigned to the fact he will stray anyway. So it's a contest who will get the Dear John/Jane letter first.
Don't worry, Tiffany. He'll return like a bad penny always does.
|I saved myself for marriage. I haven't kiss a guy before...|
Now here are two people who were thrown together because Kellie couldn't get Hyrum's name out of her head when she was a sophomore in high school.
Hyrum kind of understands what's going on. As we watch him packing up his clothes for the move to his brother's house, he talks about barely knowing Kellie.
In fact, he's talking like he's moving into a co-ed dorm room, and Kellie will be his roommate. Kellie says she definitely likes him, and that "love ...will come after we get to know each other and live with each other..."
|Sorry, but I kissed a girl before|
Ay Carumba!!! I have a feeling Kellie's gonna be in for some disappointment. Something tells me Hyrum will be pulling as many strings as possible to get a girl he really likes to marry him in a couple of years. Yep, marriage to Kellie may be duty, but Hyrum looks like he wants a wife who could match him shot for shot of tequila. A girl similar to ...Connie Cawley, perhaps. (Ha, betcha thought I was going to say Rebecca, didn't you!)
In what could be the most uncomfortable scene for the entire season, Hyrum and Kellie sit down for lunch with each other.
|Yeah, I heard about that...|
With Kellie giggling incessantly, Hyrum tries to engage her in conversation. "Do you want to bite this?" Hyrum says, putting a slice of red bell pepper in Kellie's face. "Do you want to take a bite out of me?" Hyrum asks suggestively, with Kellie immediately recoiling away.
The only time Kellie answered like a mature woman was when Hyrum asked her "Do you want to have kids?"
"Well, not right now!" she says with a straight face, that immediately dissolves into giggles.
I wonder if Hyrum has Rebecca on speed dial? Like, he needs H E L P!!!
And Kellie needs a T-shirt that says "Hyrum Kissed A Girl Before, And All He Gave Me Was This Fever Blister."
Good grief. When Michael Cawley brings out that torn picture of what he envisioned his life to be in the year 2040, all I can say is...What a strange 18 year old he must have been. I mean really strange. And I wonder how the corner of his masterpiece got torn off.
And then he starts this discourse on "Raising up a Righteous Royal Seed" and housing them in...hold on to your chapeaus, rusty shipping containers from China no less.
Yep, seven wives
and 50 children, housing the "excess" righteous royal seeds in shipping containers. No wonder Connie is throwing him a WTF look while he's going gaga about containers at the table.
The wives most vehemently against the container housing were Rose and Connie, with Runaway wife Teresa wanting to spend the money on standard additions to the home. Yeah, like regular people in Centennial Park do.
Once inside the containers (which are not just eyesores, but damn ugly rusty eyesores) we see an amazing turn of events. Suddenly Rose is on board with Michael. So is Runaway Wife Teresa. Connie has been left slowly twisting in the wind. The containers will stay and be used as housing for Michael's righteous royal seed. Sorry Connie, but next time wear a shirt that doesn't have pink horsies and chickies on it if you want to be taken seriously.
So what do two sister wives do when their hubby goes off to work for 5 weeks. Well, in the case of Rebecca and Marleen, you have a steak night and drink lots and lots of wine.
|How does she walk in those things?|
At the conference, Marleen fielded questions like a professional. Professional polygamist, that is. For example, driving home the fact that she isn't like the polygamists of the FLDS. She chose to live her life as a polygamist and she has never been abused, Thank you very much. Actually I believe her. Who'd want to try and mess with a woman wearing 7 inch heels? Those things are lethal weapons!
The episode ends with the Centennial Park families going to worship. Uncle Art asked Rose Cawley to step up to the podium and give testimony.
Rose said she was grateful for the film crew (being that they are right there in her face). It's what God wanted them to do so people can see "what we want them to see."
And what she says is so true of this series. It wasn't a matter of showing outsiders Centennial Park, but one of only showing outsiders the Centennial Park the insiders want them to see. We saw the older, wiser polygamists and the new generation. We saw how they place couples into marriage. We saw how the community "missionaries" help to build houses and schools.
But as outsiders, we can also see how some things just don't make sense.
For example, saying that woman makes the choice who they will marry when in actuality their choice must be approved by the Brethren. And if a woman decides to allow the Brethren to "place" her in marriage, if she believes in her religion she will not say no to their choice of husband.
We saw a 15 year old girl break down in tears at the thought of not being able to bear children for her future husband.
We are told there is no abuse, but we see Art Hammon throwing a boot at a young man's head, and saying to son Ezra "You get kisses from your mother, you get a kick in the ass from me."
And don't forget the bedtime story reading by Michael Cawley that said women who live in monogamy are condemning their daughters to live as harlots in the street. And although the producers strove to "hide" the huge mansions, they are still there for all to see, courtesy of Google Map. Huge mansions being built while the groundwater of Centennial Park is too radioactive to drink, and still no building of their temple on Berry Knoll. Why are the super wealthy men of Centennial Park not taking better care of their community?
The good people of Centennial Park may think we outsiders only see the facade, but they need to know that facade is crumbling and their dark secrets are slowly but surely being seen in all their glory. Centennial Park wake up.