'Sister Wives' Season 4B premiere: The mothers-in-law descend

sister-wives-season-4b-premiere.jpg"Sister Wives" came back to TLC Sunday (Dec. 29) with the latest goings-on of Kody Brown and his four wives, Meri, Janelle, Christine and Robyn. But the Season 4B premiere added some extra irons to the fire -- mothers.

Kody's mom Genielle and his four mothers-in-law (Meri's mom Bonnie, Janelle's mom Sheryl (who is also Kody's step-mom), Christine's mom Annie and Robyn's mom Alice) all come to town for Mother's Day, which is ... a lot to handle. Can you imagine having four mothers-in-law?

That is not all, however. Most of his mothers-in-law have a sister wife or two, so Kody actually has eight mothers-in-law and one mother. Wowza.

But first, the families are busy celebrating their "plig-de-sac," the cul-de-sac where they finally live in their four houses. The kids are ecstatic, running back and forth all the time, while the sister wives are working on their relationships. It's hard for them because they were living very independently for quite some time before these houses were ready -- Christine and Janelle in particular were liking their freedom.

That jibes with what we've seen on the show before. Meri and Robyn became fast friends, with Janelle always kind of liking to do her own thing and Christine being the prickly one who is kind of hard for everyone to get along with.

Extra added pressure comes in the form of having to have a serious discussion about the kids going to college and how they're going to pay for all the tuition. Kody is adamant that his children not incur any debt whatsoever for college, which is going to prove tricky because Mariah wants to go to the pricier, private Westminster College (as opposed to Logan and Aspyn at state schools).

But then the mothers-in-law descend. Kody takes them out gift shopping for his wives and ... did he really need the moms to tell him not to buy Janelle a sign to hang in the kitchen that says, "I kiss better than I cook." Seriously, dude? Not only does that kind of insult her cooking, but would the other wives object to you complimenting her kissing?

Anyway, after the silly shopping trip, he starts discussing with the wives how he doesn't feel like he and his wives have a solid foundation right now. He wants to ratify a mission statement and have a family celebration. What's interesting is that Kody's main concern is that if he died, would his family still remain a family and he doesn't think that is the case.

It reminds me so much of the "Big Love" finale and how when Bill Henrickson died, his three wives stayed together because they loved each other. It was actually a really nice ending to the show. And Kody is worried that his wives don't love each other enough to stay together in his absence.

From the perspective of a TV viewer, we're inclined to agree with him. Janelle and Christine would stay in touch, certainly, but they wouldn't stay as a family with Robyn and Meri.

Later, all the wives and mothers talk about how hard it is to live plural marriage, feeling like there isn't enough room for you in the family at times. It makes Kody just want to go through with the commitment ceremony even more because he thinks it'll make their family stronger.

In the preview for the upcoming season, it looks as though Meri really struggles with her family relationships now that she's an empty nester. The sister wives just have to keep working on getting to the friendship they want to have with each other.
Photo/Video credit: TLC