I don’t get this one at all. Last week “SuperStation” WGN somehow mishandled their programming so that I was missing one whole episode of Starting Over. Even though the show had been rescheduled to early the next morning, it didn’t change the programming, and my TIVO didn’t pick it up. Now it showed Monday’s episode of this week to be only thirty minutes long, so that’s all my TIVO recorded. Lucky for them, SO is such a continuing show that I can pretty much pick up the gist of what I missed.
As my “thirty minute show” kicks in, Rhonda is carrying in a basket of adult-sized baby clothes. These are for Lisa. I missed the telling of Lisa’s story, but it seems she is forty years old and still allowing her parents to take care of her. Maybe that’s not such a bad gif if you can get it. No responsibilities.
As Lisa is dressing in her “baby” clothes, the other women are told they must treat her like a baby the rest of the day. TJ will be acting as baby Lisa’s “mommy.” Rhonda feels she’s the perfect choice, as she has trouble showing compassion, always wants to be in control, and lives in a world where she expects perfection – the antithesis of a good mother.
As baby Lisa enters in full baby garb, Rhonda says she will do everything other babies do. She will take a nap, eat at the kiddy table, have all her food prepared by her mommy or another adult, use kiddy utensils and drink from a sippy cup. Later today, Mommy TJ will take her on a play date.
Mommy TJ reaches over and wipes the makeup off baby Lisa’s face and puts her pacifier in her mouth. Lisa says she is embarrassed, humiliated and feels like a complete fool. Everyone knows the purposes of this; Lisa is an adult on the outside and a child on the inside.
Jill meets with Iyanla and tells her she is ashamed of her weight. At this point she feels the fat defines who she is. For her last commitment to lose weight, she had enrolled in a weight loss center where she lost seventeen pounds in two weeks. She kept it off for awhile, but then used the excuse of being busy at work to not continue the work. Jill is now telling herself that she never does it because she has no willpower. Iyanla tells Jill it’s not about her size; it’s about her consciousness.
TJ is challenged in her mommy role as she doesn’t know how to identify with children. Lisa suddenly realizes if she has “a play date” she’ll be walking around like this in public. Not as baby Lisa, but seemingly more like herself, she starts crying so hard she nearly start hyperventilating.
TJ brings Lisa to a play center called, “Funshine.” TJ tells the “real” kids that she’s leaving her baby for the first time. As she sits down to play, Lisa asks the kids to cook for her in their pretend kitchen, and they refuse. She fights with them about it, and TJ reprimands her for fighting with the other kids. She sees Lisa as a spoiled little girl who just wants to be seen and heard.
Jill is sent to Jenny Craig to set up a healthy eating plan. She says she would like to lose half of her weight and make it down to 150 or 160 pounds. Her counselor tells her she will eat Jenny Craig meals five days a week and her own food with their guidance the other two days a week. Jill steps on the scale to get her current weight and finds she’s at 346.2 pounds. She leaves Jenny Craig confident she will do the work needed, but also scared to death.
TJ and Lisa return home, and TJ immediately reports in to everyone what happened on Lisa’s play date, prompting Allison to say she really worries about TJ as a mom. Point blank she just isn’t maternal. Lisa admits to mixed feelings about this assignment. She is still embarrassed and humiliated, but part of her is also secretly enjoying it. I think that’s the whole point, to see that this is how she’s been living her life not because she’s been forced to, but because she wants to.
Jessica presents to her housemates who her mother was as a woman. She has included a rose as that was her mom’s favorite flower. As her mother, she was practical, caring, nurturing and shopped for others before herself. But Jessica has now found out when her mother was in her twenties she took care of rent and the necessities, then spent the rest of her income on makeup and clothes and would go out often. She taught them all and was spiritual and wise.
The housemates are playing dress-up with Lisa, and Christina is putting jewelry and fake nails on Lisa. Once she hears Jill had made cookies earlier, Lisa starts demanding that the others get her a cookie and milk. Lisa and TJ realize they forgot Lisa’s “bankey” at the play group, and TJ says they’ll go back and get it. When Lisa asks when they’ll get it, TJ starts ripping the dress-up things off Lisa so they can leave. Lisa gets hysterical with this and we see once again that it’s hard to tell the difference between Lisa and Lisa acting like a baby.
After the tantrum, the other housemates comfort Lisa in her bedroom. Allison tells her it’s not her fault. Jessica sees Lisa start to finally be willing to be herself as Lisa admits one of the reasons she is like this is that her mother never showed her how to do things to encourage that independence. Lisa say she never had birthday parties and that this year on her fortieth birthday her parents didn’t even get her a present.
This all leaves Allison touched and depressed about all things “mother” – Jessica’s loss of hers, TJ’s inability to be a good one, Jill tired of being with hers, Lisa feeling like she was wronged by hers, and Allison’s own recent surgery confirming she will never be one. TJ cries and says she tried to be loving, but for Jessica it’s like breathing. She knows it’s because of Jessica’s mom that she is able to express that so easily. Feeling bad for Lisa, TJ ells her she can come out with the rest of them when they got out that night.
Iyanla calls TJ and asks if she has arranged for a sitter for Lisa. TJ replies that she hasn’t and offers to stay home with her and is told a sitter has already been arranged. Lisa must stay home. When TJ tells Lisa she can’t go out, she’s sad again. She feels like that’s a step back after all she’s learned. Once the sitter arrives, she asks her to read her a story. As other ladies are partying it up and having a good time, Allison gets very tired, but feels it’s important to say out with the girls and be supportive.
The next morning a belly dancer arrives to give the women an early workout. It’s very hard for Allison to do these moves because of the hysterectomy, but she wants to do it. This is all about being in touch with your body. TJ and Lisa keep up their roles while they have a very flippant conversation during this. TJ asks Lisa if she enjoys being sexy, and Lisa says she just wants to be like her mommy.
In group everyone is reacquainted with Allison’s story and caught up to speed on what she’s been up to since the end of season two on Starting Over. She learned last time in the house that she was not emotionally honest with herself. She also learning how to prevent the cancer from recurring and that she carried the gene that would make it very possible of getting it again. Allison says she recently contracted a minor infection in her right breast and that was why she wasn’t able to start in the house on the first day.
Iyanla remarks there Allison goes again, making it sound like a minor head cold. Asked how she is now, Allison says, “I’m fine.” As to why she is back in the house again, she says she still feels a disconnect between her heart and intellect and lives in denial. She is committed to living but still not happy. Begrudgingly she admits she felt that way before the cancer.
Jill cries listening to this story and asks how you can feel that way so long and not be crazy. She says her view of Allison is so different than Allison’s thoughts of herself. These two have way more in common that anyone would guess first meeting them.
Showing her new self-portrait, Allison starts laughing and says she didn’t notice it before, but as she’s lying there on a chaise lounge, it looks like Dr. Stan standing there next to her. Iyanla points out it’s amazing because the portrait shows what she thinks stands between her and happiness, but she made it up. It’s not her career, the cancer and all those external things. It’s because she still feels ugly and disfiguring and like not a whole woman. She feel empty and embarrassed. Her new goal will be Living Large, and Iyanla advises her to, “Step it up!”
Jill meets up with Dr. Stan who asks her why she believes she has a weight problem. She thinks it’s who she is. She doesn’t have any painful memories of her size until eighth grade. Her mom put her on a diet trying to help. I’m no doctor, but maybe that’s part of what is behind her current dislike of her mother. In high school she remained thin through deprivation. She had no boyfriend, but did attract boys because she “wanted sex.” In Jill’s time in the Starting Over house, Dr. Stan plans to help her discover her deeper issues with eating.
Allison puts on a bracelet from a fan who sent it. This woman is suffering from fibromyalgia and lupus and considers her an inspiration. Allison also talks of a recent cancer walk/run that had been in her honor. It’s amazing that all this doesn’t make Allison feel better about herself.
Lisa meets with her life coach, Rhonda, and tells her dressing like a baby made her feel good in some ways as she liked the attention. She talks of TJ being her mother and says it was ridiculous as TJ has problems of her own. She mentions TJ ripping her nails off after the dress-up and feels it sent her through some sort of breakthrough, as she never could have expressed herself like that with her real parents. She feels she never had a childhood. The adult Lisa will go on a fake interview today, but in the baby clothes, just to get some more input on where she stands.
Lisa drives herself to the interview in the baby clothes and says the interview gave her a reality check. Her longest job was eight years ago and still only lasted two years. The “prospective employer” says they look for longevity. Lisa says she doesn’t know what she wants, and admits in the interview that she gets carried away sometimes and says inappropriate things.
Allison and Iyanla meet to discuss what Allison’s second term in the Starting Over house will be about. Asked what was worse, the hysterectomy of breast removal, Allison thinks probably the hysterectomy as she can still mask the breasts. Although she didn’t know her reconstructive surgery would be like this. They used hair from her stomach, which was hairy, to recreate her breasts, so now she has hairy boobs.
Iyanla says it’s not about the cancer anymore; it’s about surviving. Allison admits she has lived, but she’s not living. Asked if she’s ready to date, Allison says she doesn’t know, but she is willing to try. Iyanla is sending her to see one of the same doctors she saw in her last term in the house. She is told to ask one of her housemates to drive her.
Interestingly, Allison picks TJ. She thought it would be a perfect opportunity to spend some time together. Yet TJ never gets to learn more about Allison, only the other way around, because TJ won’t stop talking about herself. She says she feels like a pineapple. You have to be willing to get priced to get through to the good center.
Jill is upset about not eating enough for breakfast, then starts her fitness routine. She meets up with none other than Marcus Pierce, Sommer’s old crush. It’s great to see him again. He gets Jill going right away on the treadmill.
The housemates are already irritated with TJ and no one really knows her story yet. In previews we see we are to learn it very soon. I can’t imagine what it is. It’s clear, she came to the house with some serious baggage and hasn’t even unpacked it yet. Because they forced her into being mommy so early on, I wonder if it has to do with that. Last season , the beginning six all had clear daddy issues. So far, it seems this six all have mommy issues. It can’t be only the first three, Jennifer, Jill and Lisa.
What do you think of the new chicks? Email me at LauraBelle@realityshack.com