This week on Teen Mom 3, the overall theme seemed to be the fact that, SURPRISE SURPRISE, when you have a baby before you're legally allowed to drink, maintaining a normal life and relationship is hard work. Who would have thought?
This week's episode made one of the best cases for practicing safe sex in the history of reality TV, because it managed to illustrate what a struggle it is to keep an expired relationship alive for the sake of a poor child who would be better off if mom and dad weren't together anyway. Relationships between teens still finding themselves as people were never designed to last—forcing them to causes unhappiness, an unstable environment for the kid, and networks like MTV to have episodes of reality shows like this one.
The first instance of this we see is with Mackenzie and Josh's relationship. As illustrated last week, they're pretty unstable—the only way he seems to show any actual affection is over text message when he's not present to face the terrifying reality that he's a teen father, and Mackenzie seems content to live in a fantasy world where he's on the same page as her when it comes to raising their child, Gannon.
It's clear that Josh is scared, but it's hard to feel any sympathy for him—perhaps he should have thought about that before he decided not to use a condom. Mackenzie tries to convince him to move in with her and her parents, producing the argument that he never has to deal with Gannon when he's crying in the middle of the night, but Josh ultimately says no, and agrees to sleep over once a week to assist with raising Gannon instead. Mackenzie accepts this as a good compromise, when in reality, he's just negotiated full time parenting down to parenting 1/7th of the time. What a quality dude.
The second instance of this is in Alex and Matt's relationship, which is perhaps the most volatile of all the ones on the show. Matt is a recovering drug addict (who might still have a problem, judging by his erratic behavior), and has no qualms about lashing out at Alex every time she makes a simple request like "look for a job so I don't have to support you, our kid, and I on minimum wage." Matt acts like he's the victim, and this child they have together is just the thing stopping him from being able to go out on the streets every night.
It's scary when the two fight—Matt seems unstable, and he gets this blank look in his eyes, like he could easily lose himself and get violent if provoked enough. One scene in particular, involving Alex's mother trying to referee a fight between the two of them, is striking: Matt fumes, says that Alex isn't "worth it," that being around her raises his blood pressure, and then tells Alex that she knew "full well" the "baggage" she was taking on when the two got together. He is, quite possibly, the worst person currently on reality television.
The third instance is with Briana, and her increasingly civil relationship with her ex, Devoin. Last week, she agreed to let him back into her and their daughter Nova's life for at least a couple of hours every week, but this week, those terms came with some conditions: If he slips up again (a.k.a. spends his nights bullying her over Twitter), she'll take out an injunction against him that would forbid him from seeing her, or Nova. She produces the proper paperwork to prove that she did, in fact, pursue the injunction, and asserts that Devoin doesn't seem to understand how difficult taking care of a child is. Since they're stuck together in some fashion for life, she then tells him, point-blank, that he's never to disrespect the woman that takes care of his daughter again.
The fourth and final instance is with our fourth and final teen mom, Katie. Though last week things between her and Joey seemed great—he proposed, after all—she's slowly beginning to figure out that having a ring on her finger isn't the happily ever after she'd hoped it would be. The two decide that they need a new apartment because their daughter, Molli, is growing, and they sign a lease for a nice two-bedroom apartment in a luxury apartment complex.
Money's tight after that, though, and when Joey's friend calls them asking for $400 that he loaned Joey three years ago, Katie and Joey start fighting about money every time they're in the same room together. Joey thinks that Katie doesn't appreciate him despite the fact that he works as a coal miner every night, and Katie doesn't understand why Joey has to yell, or why he can't love her like she loves him. The episode ends with Joey leaving to go to work, yelling "it's over," and Katie holding Molli while she cries. The saddest part: Molli seems to have no idea of what's going on, and if you're anything like me, you couldn't help but think that kid has no chance.
Teen Mom's reason of the week to wear a condom
It's simple: Wrap it up and you don't have to deal with your annoying ex. An ex that A) thinks it's cool to spend his nights Twitter-bullying the mother of their child with hashtags; B) seems to be more interested in rotting away as an unemployed drug addict with a short temper, and who looks like Dexter Morgan pre-kill when he gets angry; and C) doesn't speak in full sentences, even when someone asks him a DIRECT QUESTION.
Seriously, if Josh doesn't start speaking next week, I will throw something.
It wasn't just the kids having kids that were making the terrible decisions this week, though—an honorary mention in this installment of Teen Mom's Reason of the Week to Always Wear a Condom goes to the parents of the teen mothers, because the amount of bad decisions they made is pretty astounding, even for an MTV show.
Case in point: Mackenzie spent a good chunk of this episode debating whether or not to get on birth control to be safe, even though she wants to stay abstinent until marriage. Both Josh and her best friend both tell her that she should (while giving her a look that basically says "ABOUT FUCKING TIME"), but Mackenzie's mom attempts to convince her not to, saying that she wishes the two would just practice abstinence instead. Clearly, that didn't work the first time, though, so it's hard to see where Mackenzie's mom is coming from with these bullshit views that teaching her hormonal, teenage daughter about the proper ways to not have kids is less preferable than telling Mackenzie to just not have sex, ever. The majority of teen pregnancies happen because the teens aren't educated enough about safe sex—since it already happened once with Mackenzie, why risk it happening again?