It looks like they started shooting Teen Mom Season 3 pretty soon after after Season 2 ended, which is good because the drama in these girls’ lives doesn’t stop for anyone, or anything. In the first episode alone we get to explore the Western ideal of female beauty, the psychology of passive aggressive face-to-face text messages, when baby birds should fly away from the nest (answer, after a burglary), and, most importantly, we learned how to break up with your boyfriend.
Thankfully beloved Kyle came back into Maci and Bentley’s life about a week after their painful break-up on the couch (which seemed completely staged and recreated.) Kyle missed Maci and Bentley, and even now they’re still going strong. Maci even recently dubbed Kyle her “perfect lover.”
That’s a pretty sweet nickname, and hopefully makes up for the Ryan’s passive aggressive text message asking “Is Kyle slow???” Ryan pitched this “personal question” that he just “had to know” when Maci came over for a Bentley exchange and to ask about a missing child support payments. (This drama was ramped up with whispers of Ryan going to jail, but ended as a simple bank error.)
“No!!” Maci emphatically answered, playfully-but-not-playfully threatening violence. Ryan said he was just asking because “other people” asked him all the time, and he didn’t know because he’s never met Kyle. (In the same breath he was insulting Kyle, and probably also addressing tabloid rumors that he was best friends with Kyle.) As Maci drove away, Ryan insisted he “wasn’t being mean” but now he “knows what to tell people when they ask me.”
Maci promptly forwarded Ryan’s succinct question to Kyle, and she later met him for food to discuss if Kyle could ever get over having his intelligence questioned by the scholar and gentleman Ryan Edwards. For Bentley’s sake, Kyle will think about being civil in a room with Ryan in the future, but only because Kyle’s levels of perfection are slightly more elevated that most people’s (including mine.) (UPDATE: Tonight Kyle tweeted a zingy comeback: “Slow enough to get ya gurl #ohmyhoodness!”)
Farrah is still waiting to get Social Security payments because of Derek Underwood’s death (foreshadowing, there’s gonna be trouble with the Social Security later!) She’s juggling a job, school, but the the most pressing issue in her life is that fact that her boobs are smaller after having Sophia. Her mom Debra comes over to discuss Farrah’s impending breast augmentation. She explains that she needs to “treat herself,” and that the enhancement will help her modeling career. Debra’s concerned about the loan payments, and notes that breast implants can suppress the immune system, but Farrah insists that it’s a risk worth taking because it’s an investment in her and Sophia’s future. It turns out she was right, because soon after her surgery, she landed in a motorcycle calender (though her boobs weren’t really on display here – unlike these bikini photos from January!)
Farrah’s mom Debra watches Sophia, while Farrah meets with plastic surgery David R. Finkle, who’s professional tag line is “Correcting nature’s imperfections.” She wants a C that you can see, and Dr. Finkle is ready to help with that. We do get a little insight into the cost of breast implants: Saline implants ($4.7000) are less expensive than silicon ($5,700.) Last season Farrah got gyped out of $3,000 by an online shyster, and now she’s barely batting an eye at throwing down 6 Gs for plastic surgery. Times change. In narration Farrah throws in a line about not knowing if she can afford the implants, but we’re pretty sure her payments from MTV probably helped her pay off that loan.
Speaking of the loan, we get to see Farrah get turned down by a line of financing companies, but in the next segment she suddenly gets the loan with no explanation about whether or not she did anything different to get approved (again, it might have something to do with the elephant in the room of the impending MTV payments, which we’ve heard are anywhere from $60,000 per season to $140,000.)
Debra doesn’t seem too excited about the good loan news, and lets Farrah know that to hedge their bets against the health risks of undergoing surgery, she’s had their lawyer draw up a will so Sophia can be taken care of in case Farrah doesn’t make it out of the operating room. Farrah insists that Debra’s overreacting, but finalizes the details with the lawyer. It actually is a pretty smart decision even if she wasn’t having surgery. Anything can happen.
Farrah goes into surgery, her mom says a pre-boob job prayer (is there a patron saint of breast augmentation?) and Farrah makes it out of surgery sore, but a-okay. Her dad Michael takes her home, and leaves a very quiet and serious Sophia on the steps while he escorts her convalescing mom downstairs to bed. Sophia, still contemplative (perhaps she’s mulling over the implications of our society’s unrealistic expectations of female beauty, and trying to come to terms with the contradictions of feminist theory?) sits somberly on the fancy couch in front of the bed where her mother reclines painfully with frozen vegetables on her bosom.
Catelynn’s story begins with a burglary scare. Nothing was taken, but several of the windows look like they’ve been jimmied. Speaking of breaking and entering, Butch wasn’t around for the suspense (he was still in rehab), but his name was written out on refrigerator magnets behind an anxious Catelynn.
The police come and can’t find anything, but the experience is enough to shock the whole family into relocating. Catelynn’s grandmother offers to let April and Catelynn’s baby brother Nick stay with her, but Catelynn doesn’t get along with her grandmother, so she’s not so keen on moving in with them. (I’m guessing she’s talking about Judith Mitti, who sold a story about Catelynn’s childhood and some photos to Star Magazine last year.)
Tyler points out that the best option would probably be just to move in together. Catelynn makes gestures of apartment-hunting with her mom, but ultimately decides she just wants to move in with Tyler. Her mom April’s okay with it, but Tyler’s mom is wary. Catelynn previously lived with Tyler and his mom for a while after their daughter Carly was born, so it’s not that much of a stretch, but his mother is just being protective, and lamenting the fact that he seems to be rapidly leaving behind the last shimmering, responsibility-free threads of childhood.
Amber’s attending counseling after her blow-out with Gary, and is still dating Chris but that gets complicated by a call from Gary, who wants yet another chance. Amber is scared about getting back with Gary because of their lack of stability.
Amber is considering breaking up with Chris to be with Gary. She meets with her cousin Krystal to discuss. Chris calls, and he’s anxious because she sounds down. He lets her know that he wants to be with her, but then asks if she’s gonna get back with Gary. She responds, “Yeah, dude, I’m gonna have to talk to you.” At this point the drama level is off the charts! Also, Amber is looking like a maja playa! There are literally dudes, who know she’s dating other dudes, calling her up begging her to chose them. That’s got to cause some sort of power trip.
Even though she’s still stringing this Chris fellow alone, Amber and Gary meet with life coach Dr. Shinevar to discuss the possibility of patching things up. Amber says they broke up because Gary cheated on her. They immediately start old school bickering. Gary admits he “kissed this girl,” and says “the whole thing with me cheating, that was to one up her when she got her own place. It stupid, I was hurting, and I’m sorry.”
Dr. Shinver: “That’s pretty impressive, in terms of humility, for me.” Amber says “Why?” with a smirk, and she’s already over it. In a way she has a point, there’s something deeper going on with these two that needs to be dealt with on a different level then the merry-go-round of hurt and apologies (on both of their parts.) Amber doesn’t walk out though, and talks about “getting physical” with Gary, and Dr. Shinevar says if it happens again, he won’t work with them. Amber expresses resentment because “he got me pregnant at the age of 17.” She says Gary cheating on her made her feel ugly and insecure, but she reasons that if Gary can forgive her for hitting him, she can forgive Gary for cheating on her. That’s some sort of progress, but it’s gonna take a lot more than that to really get to the core of their issues. Hopefully that’s the kind of treatment Amber’s receiving right now in rehab.
Later, while Gary is over at Amber’s playing with their daughter Leah, Amber gets another call from Chris, and tries to casually tell him that they’re done. Chris demands that he see her in person, so she drives over to do the severing in person. Chris gets in the car and pleads “Please give a guy like me a chance.” Amber explains that he’s not ready for a relationship. Neither is she, really, and there’s a long painful road of personal battles and self-discovery in store for her yet. But for now, her best love Gary is waiting at home for her with their daughter. No matter what seems to happen, she always has Gary, and he always has her. It’s kind of terrible, and it’s kind of sweet.