Sister Wives recap: The ghoulish, clueless episode about the sick child


Last week’s “Sister Wives” had a cliffhanger that one of the one thousand spawn of Nickelback wasn’t feeling well, and many, many teaser commercials about how Trulie? Truly? Trudy?—whoever this kid is—is heading to the hospital. Oh god, her name really is Truely. I looked it up. But of course, before we get to that, we have to have some more sitting around on the couch and shopping for the improbable commitment ceremony.

The article continues after these advertisements...

Very in depth convo: they all agree on the fact that they like calla lilies! Breakthrough!


Now, cake tasting. Nickelback has a cake that the he doesn’t think the cakemaker can do. Way to start off your relationship with your vendor. He wants a cake shaped like a tree, because he has a vision. Of course the cake people can do this because since Cake Boss, cake people are ninjas that can make pretty much any type of fucking cake ever. Cut to various sister wives freaking out about how much the cake will cost. Nickelback doesn’t want to spend the money, but he wants the cake he wants and pouts about having to get a smaller version.

Wait, is all this happening before the sick kid thing? The wives came home to sick kid, but instead of dealing with that, they all went flower shopping and cake tasting instead? You’d think with four mothers among them, one of them would have the sense to rush to the doctor.

Oh, also first, we have to have yet another discussion of Mariah leaving for college and the tears over that and the party planning for that and the surprise car they’re buying for her. Again, sick kid?!

Oh, there the kid is. It’s just lying there looking sad on the couch, so maybe it is time to go to the doctor because now the child is going cross-eyed. Christine is petulantly worried. What the fuck? Your kid has been sick for days, but you did the flower shopping thing first?

The pediatrician says, “Dudette, your kid is cross-eyed. Do not leave her here. Take her to a fucking ER.” People, you’ve had eleventy children between you, and you have no sense of urgency when a child gets sick?


Generic driving stock shots of people driving to indicate travels to the hospital ensue. Christine is still whining about how she couldn’t have possibly known that a child going cross-eyed out of nowhere was a severe problem. Worst sister mom-wife ever.

Mercifully, we learn that they are not dragging cameras into the ER, because Truely’s condition might be serious. Thank god there’s a limitation to what ghoulishness reality shows will sink to. They’re totally cool, however, with still photos from the ER and lots of back and forth chitter-chatter about the diagnosis, which is kidney failure. Cut to children doing a prayer circle, which we might mock under other circumstances, but seems like a reasonable response in this case if you’re a sky-god sort of person.

So the child wasn’t drinking and got the flu and now has kidney failure. Now Nickelback is mad that the doctors can’t give him an exact time at which her kidneys start working again. Dude, you people forgot to take her to a doctor even though she STOPPED DRINKING LIQUID AND HAD A FEVER FOR DAYS.

I’m giving the show the benefit of the doubt that all the couch talk with Nickelback and Cody describing the condition are done after the crisis has passed, but it makes for weird TV, because it looks like the worried parents keep bailing out to head back home and give interviews.

Let’s drag out Child Sickness Watch and skip back to Mariah getting ready to leave for college, and how Mariah is now dealing with mixed emotions because she’s excited to leave for college but also worried about Truely. Complex!

Time for the patented reality show speakerphone call. Sick kid is getting sicker and has to have abdominal dialysis because she has acute kidney failure. Many more generic shots of driving back and forth to hospital and many more snapshots of sick child attached to many tubes. We’re not quite that terrible here at the Agony Booth, so we’ll just give you one of the generic child sick on the couch shots instead.


Meanwhile, Mariah has gone off to college, so we’re treated to some boring walking around college campus shots, but we’re only going to do that for a few minutes because we’re back to Sick Child Watch because dialysis isn’t working. I’m being pretty cavalier about this sick kid because I can’t imagine that the show would go on if we really have dead kid (which the show keeps sort of casually alluding to as a possible problem), but maybe I’m underestimating how terrible the people that run and participate in this could be.

Nickelback seems to think that the child just lacks motivation. No, I am not even kidding. He gives her a pep talk about how she just has to pee. Nickelback does not understand how humans—or medicine—works. He’s confused and irritated that this isn’t an overnight stay, but probably something that will stretch into a ten-day sort of thing. Dude. Kidney failure. ACUTE KIDNEY FAILURE.

We’re on day 9 in the hospital, and since Truely isn’t in the ER anymore, they’ve dragged the cameras back in the hospital. I remain gobsmacked that a hospital wouldn’t just say, “Oh hell no you are not bringing a camera crew in here right now.” Sick child is less sick, kidneys are working, and she’s coming home. See? Told you.

Cue obligatory “this really helps us focus on what matters” conversation, and a party with an absurd amount of pastries. Christine is now going to be the best mom ever, she tells us. We just hope that “best mom ever” includes “noticing your child is sick before said child heads into kidney failure.”

TV Show: Sister Wives

You may also like...

  • jodyleek

    Ish. Ish, ish, ish, all around ish. There is no sense of urgency among these troglodytes because:1) It’s God’s will, or God will provide, or blah, blah, blah blame it on God, whatever.2) There are four fertile broads with one horny dude so they can make a replacement baby if the one baby dies, big whoop. 3) They are all about God and baby Jesus and family and Christian values and making an infinite number of babies, they have still got to make a buck by creating drama for the audience by ignoring their dying progeny because Jesus doesn’t like boring old families who just have one or two kids and keep the cameras out of their damned lives, for Christ’s sake!

    • Farb

      Poor little girl. First she’s born a Saint, then they give her a screwed up name, then she has to tolerate cameras and crew, then she has kidney failure after being ignored by her parents. That’s a lot of shit to put up with.

    • squiggysmom1

      Actually nothing ever gets blamed on God by Christians like these. Usually Satan gets blamed for everything wrong in the world. We’ve all seen the news footage of people standing around their flattened homes after a tornado, thanking God for allowing them to live, and finding babies in trees. Nobody wants to talk about why God doesn’t kick Satan’s butt and save the world.

      • Torgo3000

        I don’t watch these shows, so I need some clarification: are they Christians or Mormons?More important, WHERE THE FUCK IS CHILD SERVICES?!?

  • beautifulmutant

    I assume that one has eleventy children so that if one child is lost to kidney failure, you don’t really notice. Right?

  • Farb

    The first time a camera crew followed my critically ill child into the hospital would be the day the camera crew was admitted to the emergency ward for having been bludgeoned witless. Izzit the Mormon religion, or money that makes this family a gaggle of fools?

  • Joline Z

    The fact that you bothered to look up this child’s name might suggest that you are developing Stockholm syndrome over there…just a heads up.

  • Demona

    I gave up this terrible show partway into Season two so many thanks to you for proper reporting of the incident (Starcasm take a lesson here). Now I can go on with my life and not watch a single episode this season.