Kody Brown‘s older kids have had enough when it comes to his COVID restrictions. Coming off the highest season premiere in six years, Sunday’s episode of TLC’s “Sister Wives” didn’t tone down the drama. In it, the patriarch of the Brown family is at odds with some of his older children who accuse him of favoring his youngest wife, Robyn Brown, amid the pandemic.
“Different people think Kody’s not being fair with his time, and he really actually is, they’re just not tracking it because they’re struggling,” Robyn says in an aside interview. “It’s really easy to sit there and think of the lack if you’re struggling.”
But Kody then expresses anger after his and his second wife Janelle’s son, Garrison, calls him and accuses him of being too extreme with his COVID protocols.
“The fact is, in this environment, I’m just trying to keep my children, especially my small children, from getting COVID,” Kody explains, referencing the younger children he shares with Robyn.
Kody is upset with Garrison, whom he accuses of spreading COVID to all of Janelle’s kids, Janelle, and Garrison’s own girlfriend.
“Then he’s mad at me that I’m not coming around,” Kody says, claiming that his son said, “‘I love you, Dad, but this is goodbye forever.'”
Robyn knows that many of her husband’s children from other marriages blame her for the COVID protocols the family has.
“I know there’s a lot of accusations from the boys about me and they’re false. I just don’t have the kind of power over Kody. And if I did, I certainly wouldn’t have chosen what we chose through COVID,” she says. “I would have had us sit down and find a compromise about how to handle COVID together as a family. That’s what I would have done if I’d had ‘the power’ that they think I have.”
Kody claims that many members of the family believe that COVID is “fake,” but both Janelle and Christine disagree with this interpretation.
“I have never told Kody that I think it’s fake,” Christine argues.
“COVID is real, I had it! I had COVID, it’s real,” Janelle says. “Garrison is military, so he’s had the vaccinations already.”
Janelle explains that while she may not feel the same way, her sons don’t feel that she is being treated fairly and have said they are “done” with their dad.
“Kody and I have a good relationship. It’s struggling, but I know what I need from Kody and I communicate that to him and he does a pretty good job meeting it,” Janelle says. “What I have now is adequate, it works for me. But it doesn’t look like Robyn’s relationship with him.”
“Janelle’s kids have been frustrated with him for years because of the way he’s treated Janelle for years,” Christine adds. “Janelle’s fine with her relationship with Kody. She’s said it’s everything she needs it to be, over and over and over she’s said that. Her kids feel differently.”
Kody says he told Janelle to have her sons move out, which she describes as “hilarious,” adding, “Dude, you’re not even on the lease.”
Kody describes his older kids as being a “clique,” saying “you’re either in with them or you’re out with them.”
Christine, who is in the process of splitting with Kody, actually has sympathy for her ex, saying, “I wish all the kids could see how heartbroken Kody is about the whole thing. He just looks to be drowning to me. And has no place to go and certainly whenever I see him it just seems like he has such a burden on his shoulders. I just feel bad for the guy, honestly.”
But none of these feelings mean that Christine is willing to give their marriage another try or cancel her move to Utah.
Christine says there’s been no change in how much or little Kody sees their daughters, noting that their youngest, Truely, has “not even noticed” that anything is different.
Of her planned move, Christine says, “What I’m looking for is a place to envelope Truely in family. I can take her to a better support system where she’s surrounded by love. Whereas here, to be honest, most of the time it’s me. Right now, Truely doesn’t understand at all. She doesn’t see what Gwendlyn and Ysabel have seen for years, that he’s just somewhere else and he just prefers to be somewhere else. I would rather take her away from this situation before she clues in.”
Kody admits to being “shocked” and “angry” about Christine’s decision to leave, saying, “It just feels like this major injustice that is being done to me and it galls me.”
But he does have a moment of kindness, telling Christine, “I need to get to a place where I can rejoice about your happiness and your freedom.”
“Thank you, that’s, like, the sweetest thing that you’ve ever said, by the way,” Christine says.
Robyn adds that while Kody has been around her house more, it hasn’t been exactly pleasant for their marriage amid this difficult time.
“Kody’s been at my house a lot just by default because of the decisions that other wives are making,” she says, referencing Kody’s COVID protocols. “I love Kody dearly, but this is not what I chose. His other relationships are stressing him out so much that it’s not like it’s really that fun to have him around anyway. He’s an angry man right now. He’s really struggling… What’s going on with him and Christine, I’ve never seen him like this before. It’s including the kids and that’s getting worse for him and he’s having a very hard time.”
Tearfully, Robyn adds, “I miss my husband. I miss my husband, because he’s not himself. Anytime I try to talk to him, I get the anger thrown at me and I have to say, ‘Hey, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, I’m not who you’re mad at.'”
She adds that she’s tried to speak with her other sister wives about this and “nobody’s willing.”
In addition to the rift between Kody and his older children, he also discovers that his and Christine’s daughter, Ysabel, is moving to North Carolina to attend community college.
“I feel broken and Ysabel’s leaving,” Kody admits. “It’s a heartbreak to me that she’s leaving under these circumstances that whatever has happened with me and Christine has left her and I with this crap relationship where I’m just trying to reach to her.”
Christine says that Kody’s soured relationship with their daughters is his fault, saying that his absence has been “absolutely devastating” for them.
Kody seems defeated by his older kids’ attitudes toward him, saying in an aside interview, “I spent my whole life trying to be the hero for my kids, working hard, doing everything I could to support them, to help them, to be there for them. And now because of this COVID situation, they’re trying to make me the villain because of COVID, because of protocols, because I want to protect my children.”