Kody Brown is ready to make some changes to his plural marriages in the latest episode of "Sister Wives." Namely? He wants to make sure his three remaining wives "conform to patriarchy."
The Season 17 episode, titled “And Then There Were Three,” features a pivotal scene where Christine tells her sister wives that she's leaving Kody and moving to Utah.
After Christine fields questions and concerns from the group, Kody has the last words in the discussion.
“I’m going to be the head of my household again, and I’m not going to be circumvented in that. If everybody’s willing to conform to patriarchy again ... 'cause I’ve been fighting to make everybody happy," he says.
"My bitterness is out of trying to do that and not having the family that I had thought about and designed."
Janelle doesn't seem to receive Kody's attitude change well.
"Yeah, I didn’t know I’d signed up for patriarchy but that’s not what we all agreed on in the very beginning," she says in a behind-the-scenes interview.
In his own confessional interview, Kody disagrees with Janelle's remarks.
"Ironically, Janelle did sign up for patriarchy. When her and I made an agreement that she would come into the family she agreed wholeheartedly that she would run her will into mine because I had to be the head of the family and she made that agreement with me," he said.
Janelle, Kody's second wife, joined the plural marriage in 1993.
Back in the meeting, Kody elaborates on his intentions to reassert his position of power in the family.
"And if it's too awkward, or if I don't feel like I'm the head of my household when people are around, then I’m not gonna have the whole family together," he says. "I’m at a point now in my life where I don’t have time to waste on people who won’t respect me or treat me with respect so we’ll see how that goes."
The 53-year-old goes on to say he's "disappointed" in the way he's managed the family recently and says he should've "taken the reins" back somewhere along the line.
"But I felt like all of your independence was more important and so in that, we sort of lost some form of unity," he explains.
In a confessional interview, Robyn laments Christine's departure and reflects on Kody's message to the group.
"This is just gonna rock us in a very, very hard, hard way if we’re not careful. If we’re not very, very careful. I sure hope everybody’s taking it seriously. I hope everybody’s taking the responsibility that we now have seriously cuz this is a big deal, this is huge," she says.
Back in the meeting, the episode ends with Kody saying, "I guess I'm just sorry we failed."
Earlier in the episode, Kody also brings up the topic of independence while meeting with Janelle, who discusses her intention to build a house on the family’s Coyote Pass property in Flagstaff, Ariz. During their chat, Janelle announces her intention to live in an RV on the property while her home is being built.
Kody doesn't seem too keen on the idea, but admits that she seems to have made her mind up and he can't exactly stop her.
“Here’s the funny thing in plural marriage: a wife works with you or works against you," Kody says. "I got a feeling through this experience that each wife has a breaking point where they’re just not gonna put up with whatever the other wives needs are anymore and they’re gonna do their own thing and Janelle has done that before."
The father of 18 goes on to explain how each of his wives have worked with or against him throughout their marriages.
"Janelle and I would be teammates sometimes and wouldn’t be sometimes. Christine was usually fairly compliant, then when we decided we didn’t want to move to Utah when Christine wanted to move to Utah it’s like, ‘Well, I’m going to Utah.’ So Christine became suddenly very independent," he says.
"I always though Meri was working with me fairly well. Robyn’s whole goal when she came in the family was to become part of this family and work together with our family," he continues.