Last night, Kate took the sextuplets on a beach vacation, while Jon stayed behind in the Gosselin house with the twins. “When I was in New York, I got Mady and Cara two sets of earrings,” he said. “I love them, Daddy!” said Cara. Well played, J.G.! After two weeks on the bench, you’re back in the game with some old-fashioned bribery.
Meanwhile, in the land of Oz, Kate took the girls on a horse-drawn carriage ride, “The way every girl should ride everywhere!” After that, it was off to a tea room. When Kate saw the tea set, she said, “I’m gonna cry, it’s so beautiful.” How epic would that be?
Much was made of the triplets’ inability to drop sugar cubes into their teacups. “This is not ice, girls, this is sugar. What does sugar do?” “It makes it colder!” (Bzzzzt, wrong!) Said Kate, “It was nice to do really fun, girly things,” inventing new definitions for “girly” and “fun.”
Jon described how the twins had some fun playing with seeds. But we didn’t see him there while they were counting out the seeds (they just talked to the crew), and his supremely disinterested description — “They had to water them. It was kind of cute.” — made me think that he heard about it secondhand from Alex the sound man.
Let’s be frank: Jon’s half of the episode felt more like deleted scenes. Maybe it’s because Kate is more willing to play parent for the cameras, or maybe it’s because Jon is a lazy clown man who peddles earrings to pre-adolescents, but TLC is clearly straining to fit him into this show.
Kate took the girls to a bead store. Like the tea room, it was curiously empty except for peppy service personnel. The girls made bracelets. Alexis: “That’s how little my wrist is!” Kate made bracelets for Mady and Cara. That’s fair enough, K-Goss, but are you aware that J.G. just bought them earrings? Dangly earrings, from New York?
Back at the manor, Daddy rode his lawnmower to clear out space for a bonfire. (What’s up with lawnmowers this TV season?) “Let’s just be pyros,” he suggested to Cara. But he criticized his daughter for bringing out newspapers to burn instead of tabloids. “We’re wasting good paper, when we could be burning toilet trash.” Mee-yow, friend of Lohan!
This episode subtly but firmly divided up the elements between the spouses. Kate, sailing over the water while the breeze blew waves onto shore, had Wind and Water, while Jon, who left his children to their gardening and then built a funeral pyre to his old life, took Earth and Fire. You’re thinking, “Of course, they’re missing Heart!” Actually, according to my wiki-research, in classical science-ology the fifth element was the Void. And you thought this show was shallow!
Kate took the girls to get ice cream. Leah picked a curious flavor: “I picked a color that I don’t know what it is!” Kate didn’t think she’d made a good choice: “It’s not gonna look good on that dress.” Zing!
Meanwhile, Cara was making her Daddy a special card for Father’s Day. (That places the filming way back in June. The time shifts are confusing; last week, Kate said that the kids were about to start school, but in this episode, Mady and Cara were just finishing school.) This led to the episode’s best exchange, and the only one which didn’t feel forced:
Cara: “Go get a piece of paper. Mady: “No. I’m just gonna make him eggs.” Cara: “You don’t know how to make eggs, Mady.”
Kate ended the episode with an unconvincing Meredith Grey soliloquy about life’s unrelenting difficulty: “I’m constantly torn a hundred different ways.” I think it helps if you realize that “Jon & Kate Plus 8” is no longer a show about a family; it’s a show about eight kids who have to undergo family-style activities with a pair of overgrown babysitters who kind of hate each other.
Sextuplet line of the night: “And we ate it, and it was so little, and we had funny hats!”
Twin line of the night: “He got us earrings. I don’t know why.”
Kate line of the night: “I should probably take up a stress-relieving activity.”
Jon line of the night: “Now the tabloids will be critiquing my fire skills.” (I assure you, they should!)