SISTER WIVES Gabe breaks down over his dad forgetting his birthday, he’s since stopped speaking to Kody

Tonight’s episode of Sister Wives (Season 17, Episode 13 “Coronapocalypse”) showcases the heartbreaking reason why Janelle’s son Gabe no longer speaks with his father Kody. While recounting the story, Gabe breaks down in tears.

Sister Wives Gabe Brown crying

The segment starts off with Kody and Robyn grabbling with contracting COVID-19 after 20 months of strict rules. Most of the time Kody, Robyn and their five children were following very strict isolation rules, but they still contracted COVID-19 after the kids starting going back to school.

Kody did leave to officiate a wedding in another state where he did not wear a mask during this time, but they used these rules to to justify not seeing the rest of the family, especially Kody’s sons with Janelle: Gabe and Garrison.

Kody went so far as to ask Janelle to kick their sons out of their home last season, asking her to choose between them and him. During this episode he seemed to be doing the same thing by asking that they they apologize to Robyn and seemingly putting down an ultimatum that he would only love her if she was loyal to him and obeyed him completely.

Garrison officially stopped talking to Kody earlier in the season, prompting Kody to label him a “narcissist.” Now, Gabriel has stopped speaking to his father.

The rift happened on October 11, 2021, Gabe’s 20th birthday. Gabe received a call from Kody that day, but it wasn’t to wish him happy birthday. Kody had come down with COVID-19 and wanted information and advice because Gabriel had tested positive for COVID earlier in the year.

Gabe, now 21, was distraught with the fact that his father had no idea the significance of the day. Gabe says he didn’t remind his father that it was his birthday because he wanted to see if he would remember. He didn’t.

“So to him, it was just a phone call. You know, just asking me about COVID,” Gabe says and then is overcome with emotion. He has to pause talking as he breaks down in tears and sobs.

We he’s able to talk again, Gabe says “It was a lot worse than just a phone call for me.”

Gabe says Kody called back a few hours later to tell him happy birthday, which was the last time he ever talked to his dad. He didn’t elaborate on what, if anything, happened between them, but Gabe’s emotional vulnerability while discussing this was profoundly moving.

Kody says that during this time he was so sick from COVID that he had no idea what day it was and had been sleeping for three days prior while suffering from fevers and aches and pains. “Talked to Gabriel a little bit, just trying to gather information, just trying to figure out what I can do because I’m out of my mind suffering in this weird place,” Kody says.

It’s unclear exactly how much Kody was responding to the fact that he forgot Gabe’s birthday, but he doesn’t even mention it when he recounts the events of that day. Instead, he focuses on his own suffering.