The show opens on Towanda happy, but a tiny bit nervous, that her husband is coming to visit the house.
The women gather in the loft and Lynnell pops in. Lynnell is from season one. She is going to run an exercise called “Feeling knotty.” At first I thought it had something to do with the hand-crocheted black poncho that she was wearing as a one-sleeved blouse, badass babe that she is… but this will be a repeat of an assignment she and Hailey had to do in the house. (Hailey’s not there because she was “tied up”, nyuck nyuck) The women will have to be tied together in twos for 2 and a half hours. Lynnell will help with Chloe while Josie is tied to Kim. Josie is looking unhappy. Sommer will be tied to Towanda. Jennifer will be tied to Sinae. Jennifer narrates that this will be difficukt because Sinae has been getting on her nerves lately. Kim narrates that this will be hard for Towanda, to be tied to the Other Woman. Jennifer is feeling impatient with Sinae because Sinae is making spoon-size pancakes which is too slow. Kim and Josie practice going up stairs and get along well. They go outside and discuss their common parental issues.
Towanda is laying across the arm of the chair (she looks sad like Snoop Dawg) while Sommer chats on the phone. Another shot of Josie and Kim. They’re not really trying to move around, just sitting and talking. Then a shot of Sommer and Towanda talking. Sommer is listing the ways they are different from each other. Towanda narrates she’s a lot more understanding of Sommer and realizes she doesn’t mean any harm when she says awkward things.
Jen and Sinae are yelling at each other and the other women, but I notice they have on matching t-shirts.
The women return at the end of the exercise and Lynnell frees them. Dr. Stan comes in and Lynnell makes her exit. Josie tells him she has a lot more respect for Kim and she “takes back” all the bad things she said. She says they shared a private conversation that will keep them close. Jen knows she needs more patience and is quick to blow up because she thinks she’s always right. Dr. Stan tells her she’s invested in being right. Dr. Stan reminds them that healthy relationships require a lot of respect and each giving the other credit. Or in Josie’s words, “a lot of shade o’ grey.”(?) He tells them it’s the same in their relationships with men. He asks them all what is a real man, and Kim says one who can show emotion but still be a man. Jen says they can cry but not all the time, over nothing. All the women think men should not cry with them over movies. Josie refuses to discuss men because she doesn’t see how it relates to being tied together. Dr. Stan re-iterates these are important principles for any kind of relationship. Here I am noticing that they have really gone too far with the background music this season, and it is really getting in the way.
Rhonda meets with Sommer and Josie. She tells them they have both been co-dependent in relationships because they have never loved themselves. She asks, “Have you ever looked in a mirror and thought, wow! I get to be ME today!’” She wants to send them on a “love hunt”. They will interview strangers downtown and ask people how they love. Josie says this is too invasive and people will not want to share. Rhonda tells Josie she’s the one that doesn’t want to share, and says she’ll see them at 8:15 tonight.
Towanda calls her “Mommy” to ask questions for her book. Was she planned? Just like her dad, her mother thinks this is a very funny question. What kind of baby? “You put the C in crying.” Towanda tells Mommy that her dad told her she was a mean child, and the mom hems and haws but agrees. Towanda is amused by her mother’s reactions.
Sommer and Josie are getting ready to leave, Josie hollering that she does not like the assignment. Sommer wants to know why Josie’s getting mad at her for it, and Josie says she’s not. “Well, you’re yellin’ at me.”
Towanda reads her autobiography to Iyanla. It’s written in the third person. She wrote that she was named by her brother who had wanted a dog. Her mother told her she always wanted attention. She never felt she had enough attention and this would make her angry. Towanda never had a chance to be “the baby” because her mother became pregnant for Trina so soon. Iyanla tells Towanda that because her parents had wanted a boy, she is “wrong sexed”, so she has come forward in life with a sense of wrongness, a need to always be right; and that because the next child came so quickly, Towanda never had her “moment”.
Kim has called her friend on the phone. Joan is going to have radical surgery for possible colon cancer. Kim is devastated and narrates that she is about to lose another close person. But with Joan and later in the episode, she is very sympathetic.
Josie and Sommer are not having much luck getting people to do their survey, even with the promise of a free “love pop” lollipop.
Back to Towanda with Iyanla, who is saying it’s possible that Andre did not marry the real Towanda because she has never shown herself to him, and that he might not like the real thing. “Don’t allow him to be the reason you stay small, cause if he’s supposed to be with you, he will.” Iyanla narrates that she hopes Andre can deal with it.
Later Towanda listens while Kim talks about her friend. Kim is angry with God that he would let this happen to Joan.
Josie and Sommer are still getting rejected, then a few people stop to participate.
Towanda meets with Dr. Stan and they talk about her marriage. She feels great that Andre’s coming to visit. She tells him she trusts him as much as she can trust a man, but that every man will cheat eventually. He asks what she would be giving up by believing that SOME men cheat SOME of the time. She says being right, and being in control. Dr. Stan tells her that if she lets down her defenses, She might trust more and love more and possibly even reach the highest plane of love.
Sommer and Josie are hearing some stories of love. One guy says he met his girlfriend when he bit her at a party. She tells him no, he scratched her, and he changes his story. They have been together 3 years. Another man talks about being a single dad and tried to be there for his child.
Towanda is telling Kim Dr. Stan must think she’s crazy. (In the background someone is yelling “Ow! Ow!” It sounds like a little kid, but Chloe is not old enough to say words, so maybe it’s a battle of the network baby talkers?) Kim says she’s not, but doesn’t understand why Towanda believes cheating is inevitable for her husband, yet she herself would never consider it. Towanda narrates she’s just happy in the relationship, for now.
Here we are invited to join the Starting Over “texting club.” ( Is there cake?)
It’s Kim’s turn to meet with Dr. Stan. She tells him that when her children came to visit, the house “flipped”. Dr. Stan wonders if Kim feels that whenever she’s happy, she will have to pay with some kind of tragedy. She agrees. They talk about the church. Her family is catholic and when her parents divorced, they were not welcome in church anymore. Dr. Stan observes that Kim is in a war of the Gods, a Kind God versus a Punishing God. He tells her she hasn’t truly embraced her religion if she still embraces a Punishing God.
Everyone’s together having pizza. Josie was pleased because she was more aggressive than she had planned to be, and people responded. Sommer was happy to learn that getting into a relationship is not always a huge production. Rhonda asks them all “what is love?” Kim says it’s a soft place to fall, but not easy to maintain a relationship. Rhonda agrees it’s easy to fall in love but hard to keep a relationship. Josie reminisces that with her grandma, she was confident and didn’t need to constantly be reminded or test the other person to see if she was loved. Rhonda tells her she needs to start believing there is enough love. She doesn’t believe the old adage that you need to love yourself before anyone else can love you. Josie is crying now because she realizes that she puts a lot of effort into finding people who remind her of her grandmother. Rhonda asks, “How long is the Queen of Punishment going to continue this? 20 years like me?” Joise realizes that being so loyal to Chloe and the memory of her grandma makes it impossible to love anyone else, and that love shouldn’t hurt so much – she hadn’t thought love would hurt this bad, so bad that it makes her sick. Rhonda wonders, what if love was the answer to the hurt , and what if the hurt is really the lack of letting more love in, because you feel constricted by the love you are already holding. Josie agrees she could let more love in to add to what she feels, without replacing it. Now Sinae is crying because she doesn’t think anyone can love her since she is a burden. “How can you love me if I have to ask you to read me something?” The women are all shocked that Sinae doesn’t know how privileged they feel when she asks them for help.
Towanda calls her husband to wish him a happy 8-month anniversary. He tells her he doesn’t do “that month to month thing.” “Can’t you just humor me?” she asks. So he does. “You’re so insensitive, ” she murmurs and when he says “huh?” she sighs and says, “Nothing.” She narrates that she will be a new person, she’s planning to say what she feels and not worry about hurting the person’s feelings, even if it’s her husband. (Ok. Maybe next time.)