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The Telefile
<I>Sister Wives</i>: Back and Fighting the Law!

Amid much turmoil, Sister Wives returned for Season 2 last night, in a weird timeline mind-meld episode that took place all the way back in the "coming out" Today Show interview they taped before Season 1 premiered last September. And Truely was there, so I guess they filmed the entire first season before that interview, aired the season, and are only addressing the aftermath of that moment now. It broke my brain a little, but I figured it out. Apparently you have to be a damn logistical genius to watch TLC.

So now the Browns are famous and dealing with a whole new host of problems: a legal inquiry by the state, the effect of all of it on their 17 (17!) children, Meri losing her job in upcoming episodes, and the entire clan having to uproot and move to Nevada seemingly to evade said investigation, which seems like something that would go over just great with not only the entire family, but their teenagers in particular.

But, since TLC is still hell-bent on portraying the Browns as a normal, happy, loving family that should definitely make the entire nation rethink their position on polygamy, the majority of the episode was devoted to quotidian family activities, like insulting each other's photography skills and eating homemade hamburger buns. And even if those activities were weird, the show presented them as if they were normal. Like ice-blocking, for example, which we learned is wholesome family fun from the 19th century. The Browns do it not because their lifestyle is full of strange, antiquated throwbacks to an ancient time, but because it keeps teenagers out of trouble! And because Joseph Smith enjoyed it, which you may have noticed Kody mentioning under his breath, likely due to Joseph Smith being the king of everything negative associated with polygamy. But aside from that, I'm sure he was really fun to go ice-blocking with.

For cliffhanger purposes, the criminal investigation was saved for the last five minutes of the episode, and though I've been watching this unfold over the past few months online, there was a telling moment where Robyn strongly insinuated that the Browns don't engage in insurance or welfare fraud. Which, if true (and who knows if it is?) just makes me return to my initial burning questions about how four people pay for all those kids and that massive property without engaging in something dishonest. It also makes me wonder why they'd flee the state if there's no abuse and no fraud being committed, despite Utah's very broad definition of bigamy. As usual, I'm sure the show will gloss over that part and focus on the family's persecution (not all of which is entirely unfounded, but I doubt we're going to get the whole story here). Oh, and how great of a husband Kody is, and how those feisty women really run the show. Dubious at best, but still, great, trashy entertainment, as usual, TLC.

Did you see the premiere? Tell us what you thought of it in the comments, then see our list of Season 1's best moments!

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