The latest episode of "Sister Wives" features a long-awaited moment that viewers have been eager to watch unfold ever since Christine and Kody Brown first announced that they were splitting up after 26 years of marriage.
The Season 17 episode, titled “And Then There Were Three,” follows the 53-year-old as she prepares to tell her sister wives that she is leaving Kody and moving to Utah.
"I wanted to tell them a while ago but it just hasn't worked out. I'm nervous, I’m ok, I’m sad, gosh, really sad," she says in a confessional.
In one scene, Kody and his four wives — Meri, Janelle, Christine and Robyn — get together to discuss Janelle's decision to build a home on Coyote Pass, the family's undeveloped land in Flagstaff, Ariz.
At this point, Christine realizes that she really needs to tell her sister wives that she's not sticking around, and therefore won't need the piece of property reserved for her on the lot.
“They need to know that I have no intention of living on the property and I don’t want my piece of property, I just don’t. I’m not gonna live out there. I don’t see the point in having a piece of property. It’s additional stress that I don’t have to have in my life," she says.
Christine invites Kody, Meri, Janelle and Robyn to her home to break the news and the group films the discussion with their cell phones since they want to keep it private for the time being.
Christine opens the conversation by acknowledging that she and Kody have had marital issues for a long time. She then reveals that she's leaving him.
"It’s a hard decision. I need to make a choice for happiness. I need to make a choice to have joy in my life and peace and there hasn't been a lot of hope at all until I decided to leave. I feel strongly this is the best choice for me," she explains.
The group is silent for a moment and Robyn admits that she had worried this was what Christine was going to tell them.
“I knew you packed his stuff up, I knew that. But I didn’t know how final it was or if it was just a break or something,” she tells Christine, who says, “It’s final.”
Behind the scenes, Robyn says she's in shock: "It's not really computing ... I don't know what to say." Meri is also speechless and says she's "processing." On the other hand, Janelle says she knew this moment was coming, but says it's still difficult.
"It's hard to know something and then to have it actually happen," she says.
Back in the meeting, Christine asks Janelle if she'd like to rent her house since Janelle needs somewhere to live while she builds a home on Coyote Pass. Then Kody interjects.
"Christine, you felt like you had to have this discussion with your sister wives because of Janelle’s need to move?" he asks.
Christine explains that that was certainly the final push for her, but says she's been waiting for the "perfect timing."
Janelle then tells the group that the news isn't a total surprise for her but says she's concerned about how the breakup will affect the children in the family. Kody shares 18 kids across the four women.
"The kids are the hardest part, of course, but it’s like the relationship that the kids have with each other, that will still be great. I think that this is still family, it's just going to look different," Christine replies.
In a confessional, Meri says she's being "black-and-white" in her thinking. To Meri, Christine's announcement reconfigures the arrangement drastically. "If women are not married to the same man, you’re not a sister wife anymore. I really, at this point, have no idea what this all means."
Meri admits that she’s angered by the news.
“Each one of us made a commitment to each other, like to all of us, that we would love each other, that we would respect each other, that we would stick through it thick and thin and we would work these things out,” she says.
Back in the meeting, Janelle struggles to imagine what their family dynamic will look like after Christine leaves.
"Christine is front and center in all my memories," Janelle explains in a confessional, adding that Christine used to watch her children for her when she'd go to work years ago. "To me, it’s almost like Christine’s as big a part of my world as Kody is."
In the meeting, Robyn asks Christine if she and Kody are really sure about their decision. Then she shares her honest perspective on the matter in a confessional.
“I’ve been through a divorce. I know what this means. We’re not just talking about three kids and a husband and wife. We’re talking about 18 kids, spouses, grandbabies and five of us that are all connected and committed to each other and technically married. Do you even understand what you’re saying?” she questions.
In the meeting, Janelle asks how Truely, Kody and Christine's 12-year-old daughter, will feel about leaving her extended family. Christine agrees that she will miss everyone. This triggers Kody to speak up.
"Oh no, you can't take her from me because we’ll have to have a shared custody. It'll have to be 50/50," he says. In response, Christine claims that she and Kody have already discussed her moving, but he says he never fully gave her the go ahead.
Christine offers Janelle her house to rent, since she's moving to Utah. On that subject, Kody also can't seem to figure out why Christine wants to move in the first place.
"I don’t understand it at all, unless there’s some guy she wants to date there or she wants to get away from me so that my stink isn't on her so she can date," he says in a confessional.
Back in the meeting, Robyn asks Christine if she still believes in plural marriage.
"I believe it works for people who want it to work for them. I believe if people have a testimony of it, they should live it," she said, adding that she no longer feels called by the lifestyle.
Towards the end of the meeting, Kody seems to be more accepting of Christine’s decision to leave.
"This is just the honest place. So we’ll be angry about it, it’s not fun. I'm mad about it, I'm angry, but it's the honest place so it just is what it is," he says. " There’s no sense in killing ourselves to redeem it. That’s what we were doing in Las Vegas, we were killing ourselves to redeem the marriage and it just wasn't working."
Christine agrees and says, "And it’s been even worse here, a lot worse here."