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S03.E07: Windy City Newly Weds

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Kelly Jo and the kids travel to Chicago to visit newlyweds Michaella and Brandon and help them get settled in their new apartment, and see the sites in the Windy City. Back in Tennessee, Zach graduates from the police academy and the whole family is there to celebrate this big achievement.

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Lawdy, what a snooze. Brandon didn't take his apartment being rearranged very well. I bet everything went back to the way it was the second the Bates contingent left. If I can say one thing about Michael, it's that she doesn't seem to adapt well to change...unless clinging onto Brandon is involved.

It was strange for Big City me to watch Zach's graduation, mixing city and county officers. He kinda stuck out like a sore thumb amongst the Rocky Top cops in their dark uniforms.

Lastly, since it can never be said enough, I want a Chad. Hell, I have more mastery of carpentry tools than my tool-challenged husband. :D

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Chad is really talented. Hopefully he can start some sort of side business doing refurbished furniture. Carson is a cutie.

I agree about Brandon, he didn't seem too thrilled to find his apartment in disarray. I bet he suddenly had to work a lot of overtime for the few days his in laws were in town.

What kind of cop is Zach exactly? Is he a Sheriff's Deputy? I didn't understand all the different uniforms.

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I know their newlyweds but I thought it was weird the way Michaella was in Brandon's arms while her mom,

sisters and brothers were in the room. Anyone else think that? I've known many newlyweds and they generally

don't feel like it when their mother or mother-in-law is in the room and/or brothers and sisters. The latter probably

more due to the teasing they'd get and/or grossed out.

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I probably wouldn't be overjoyed if my in-laws and spouse rearranged my/our apartment to their liking either. I think the show just needed a story for the visit and that was chosen. No matter what, the space was going to look cluttered. It's tiny. I do agree that the high table and chairs were better off in that corner. It looked more cozy that way.

Edited by trimthatfat
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Loved it when Tori or Carlin (I can't tell them apart) balked at Michaela's "I like what he likes" comment.  Come on girl, getting married doesn't mean you have to turn into a Stepford wife with no opinion of your own. 

 

Brandon's "joke" about Tori/Carlin taking a walk outside was funny.  He really doesn't like her.

 

Whitney needs to lay off the mascara.

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Loved it when Tori or Carlin (I can't tell them apart) balked at Michaela's "I like what he likes" comment.  Come on girl, getting married doesn't mean you have to turn into a Stepford wife with no opinion of your own. 

 

Good god that statement made me want to dry heave....... 

 

And bible study each morning in tiny chair together? *vomit face*

 

I mean it's sweet and all..... for two teenagers in puppy love.

 

I have a friend who is constantly all "we like this... we prefer that....." and it drives me absolutely bonkers! More so because I'm pretty sure it's what SHE likes and her husband just goes along with it lol  But I have never met a husband and wife who consistently love the same things. 

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I think Michael just has a personality type where she is happiest following Brandon's lead.  Brandon doesn't even come off controlling so I think Michael is that way naturally. Contrast that with Tori or Carlin who have more distinct personalities where they'd probably be very comfortable saying 'I love gray, but my husband loves brown' and it's not an issue.

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I think this show has lost its charm.  Wait, did it ever have charm?  I think I liked it much more in the past.  Maybe bc it featured the little kids more?  I don't know.  I suppose it could just be the mood I'm in.  But I do think Carlin needs to chill the fuck out a little.  She's way too much for me.

 

And I need a Chad as well.  Loved that refurnished hutch.  Love!

 

One LOL I did have from last night:

 

Kelly Jo:  Does anyone need to use the bathroom before we get on the boat?

Carlin (??):  Mom, I think these boats have bathrooms.

Kelly Jo: Oooh.  Fancy!

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I think this show has lost its charm.  Wait, did it ever have charm?  I think I liked it much more in the past.  Maybe bc it featured the little kids more?  I don't know.  I suppose it could just be the mood I'm in.  But I do think Carlin needs to chill the fuck out a little.  She's way too much for me.

I don't know if this show lost it's charm or if their lifestyle is just repetitive. They don't do much outside of modest vacations, visiting family, and talking about marriage/babies. I'd love to hear more about Zach's job, but I also understand that he takes his career very seriously so we won't hear much. I'd also like to hear about the kids in college and what they're studying.

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I'd love to hear more about Zach's job...

Yes.  Forgot to mention Zach.  Amazing and kudos to him.   Whitney looked so proud of him.  I like those two.  He looks so much like Gil. 

Edited by woodscommaelle
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I felt for Brandon in this episode. Some people don't do well with change, especially when it involves your living space. Luckily he was at work for most of it or I'm sure he would have stroked out. Tori/Carlin was really getting on my nerves in how high strung she was taking over the project & voicing her opinion where things would go, which she thought was THE only way. OK, we got she didn't like the Prayer devotions chair, but she seemed to forget that it wasn't her chair& Michaela had to defend why they liked it & should keep it. Tori/Carlin forgot that it wasn't her apartment. I did like how it turned out. The apartment looked like it was part of a house. Kind of weird that their front door was a sliding glass door.

At the end, Brandon & Michaela walked towards an inside door (possibly another way to the outside) or was this their bedroom? I would have liked to have seen their bedroom or did I miss it?. One of the girls mentioned something about it being pink. What is it with these Fundy girls, that they have to decorate their "marriage bedroom" in pink like a stunted teenager & husband goes along with it? We know it's cuz they never had a room or even a section of one to decorate when growing up but Michaela just doesn't seem to be a pink kind of girl.

I really hope Chad & Erin start a woodworking business. You can definitely see it is a passion of his & he loves doing it. The before & after of the hutch was amazing. I'll have to watch show again but at beginning, they mentioned that hutch was from Zach or Whitney. Who was the finished hutch going to? Back to Z & W or to someone else? You would think with Chad's skills, he would make doors to cover up their washer & dryer in their eating area or did I miss them too?

One more comment. I liked how Kelly asked about using the restrooms before going on the boat. She was just being a typical mom. I would have done the same thing.

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Barb23, I got the impression that their unit was part of a regular house as well. The apartment looked like one large room that the owner split into a bedroom and kitchen/living area. I wonder if Brandon rents from another Gothard employee? I can't see them mingling with the heathens.

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  But I do think Carlin needs to chill the fuck out a little.  She's way too much for me.

 

When this series started Carlin and Tori were a breath of fresh air coming from watching many seasons of the duggars.  But yea.. now they're getting to be a little TOO much and they could really knock it down a notch or 12 and still be their individual selves.

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I like Brandon but he is totally overwhelmed by the Bates family. Especially the two girls that seem to think that whoever shrieks the loudest has the best chance of getting their opinion across. Kelly seems to be rather good at holding her children back in the episode so they didn't do anything too drastic to the apartment like chucking out furniture.

I imagine conversations between the newlyweds like this.

MICHAEL: Tori and Carlin are coming to visit.

BRANDON: Yeah, okay dear, but not at the same time, right?

Some of Michael's sisters seem to revel in making Brandon blush.

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At the end, Brandon & Michaela walked towards an inside door (possibly another way to the outside) or was this their bedroom? I would have liked to have seen their bedroom or did I miss it?. One of the girls mentioned something about it being pink. What is it with these Fundy girls, that they have to decorate their "marriage bedroom" in pink like a stunted teenager & husband goes along with it? We know it's cuz they never had a room or even a section of one to decorate when growing up but Michaela just doesn't seem to be a pink kind of girl.

 

Their pink bedding looked like Shabby Chic....which I think is so pretty, but VERY girly.  I think it was Erin who also went for the pink Shabby Chic.

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That apartment was teeny but it did look better with the furniture moved around, and it did look like part of a house.  Brandon must not make much money if that is all he can afford.  Wait until they get a couple of babies in that place!

 

Was there a long ago rumor that Jana turned down Zach Bates?  If so, big mistake--that young man impresses me!  I do think he and Whitney make a great couple.

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Brandon must not make much money if that is all he can afford.  Wait until they get a couple of babies in that place!

 

Apartments in Chicago are not cheap lol 

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Keeping the apartment deliberately small cuts down on the number of Bates family members that can visit at once.

 

And allows Michael to keep Brandon close at all times.  There's no where for him to go.

 

Another barf worthy moment on this episode.  Michael says that Brandon's desk has to stay in the living room so that he can work on his stuff with her in the same room.

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If I'm not mistaken the suburb where Gothard was headquartered is fairly affluent. Cheap apartments may not be available there. David Waller must be higher up on the food chain, because he and Priscilla got a house.

Should we take bets on how long it will be before Michaela drives Brandon crazy? He seems like the kind of guy who needs a bit of space and she's super glued to his side 24/7.

I can't remember if the Jana/Zach thing was true or just rumor, but Jana is probably kicking herself now if she did pass up nice, eligible guys when she was younger. At 26 and single, there's nowhere to go but down.

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I know Michael started praying to marry Brandon the moment she saw him and realized that he was in the same cult, but did she realize or care that she was getting with a stodgy old man instead of a young, fun guy like her brothers in law? What (newlywed) 25 yr old man even cares what his wife and mother/sisters in law do to the furniture placement? I feel like most guys would come home, look around and say - is something different, and then nod and say oh ok, so are we going out to dinner tonight or did you whip up some home cooking Mama Bates?? Meanwhile with Brandon it was a series of "oh my gosh" and "what did you do to my corner, oh my gosh" while looking generally stressed. I find the Josie/Carlin/Tori trio irritating as I think they -- like a lot of TV families -- have realized that the one who shrieks the loudest and is the most shrill is going to get the most camera time, and I like that Kelly was trying to give him an out by saying -- it's all moveable Brandon, we can put it all back if you want. But WTH is up with this guy!? I mean this is no different than when Erin got married and painted their bedroom baby girl pink complete with stuffed animals. Chad's reaction was -- whatever makes her happy. You could practically see the look in the dude's eyes that said -- my new bride lets me hit it every night, she can paint the room green with purple stripes for all I care.

 

So nice to see that Chad is so talented at wood working and enjoys it so much. He said he was working on a few pieces to test out a side business. A massive restored hutch/china cabinet like that would go for at least $1000 if not more in most places. But I don't know how much of a market there is for that kind of thing in a rural, impoverished part of Tenn. Though if he ends up pursuing it, I hope he goes to Nashville and shakes some hands with furniture store owners bc I feel like some of those expensive boutique places could buy a piece or two from him yearly -- that's at least a few thousand a year extra in his pocket, which can only help as I expect they'll be having several more kids. And with all his handyman skills, I really hope he builds some doors or a closet around the washer/dryer parked in the dining room! I'm fairly sure it's a rental house, but I'm willing to bet the landlord will allow it as it'll only help the rentability and property value of the place.

 

Good for Zach for making a goal to be a cop and pursuing it. We haven't seen that kind of persistence in other fundie families, nor do we see the parental pride we saw with the Bates. Also great to see how real the Bates kids marriages are -- when Zach was saying he called home a few times from basic training crying, Whitney interrupted him and said -- you called every night, and he blushed and laughed and said he was trying to sound tough! So normal!

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Brandon and Michael are so unbelievably boring. You can feel the dullness radiating off of them.

Her clinginess is disturbing. I know a few girls/ couples who are like that, and I could never do it. I like my space too much.

Michael seems to live in a fairytale world. She has a child's view of what love and and marriage should be.

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Brandon and Michael are so unbelievably boring. You can feel the dullness radiating off of them.

Her clinginess is disturbing. I know a few girls/ couples who are like that, and I could never do it. I like my space too much.

Michael seems to live in a fairytale world. She has a child's view of what love and and marriage should be.

Maybe the good thing is that they are both at the same level of boredom/dullness so they will think it is normal and be satisfied. Time will tell. I wonder if she clings all the time or mostly when the cameras are on so she can demonstrate how "in love" they are to their adoring (or not) public.

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I did feel sorry for Brandon at the point, he just walked in the door and there's Michael(a)'s family rearranging his living room.  When I get home, I want a chance to get from work to home frame of mind.  That being said, I can also feel sorry for him because I doubt he can go to the bathroom without Michaela following him.  Honestly that chair did not look comfortable enough for two people to sit in at the same time.  

 

I'm glad Zack is doing something on his own.  The whole family was there cheering him on and making it about him.  I was trying to look, but I was wondering did any women graduate from the same training program?  If so, I just wonder what he thought about working with women.  

 

Chad - I'm not fundie in any way, but I would love to find a guy like him.  He loves Erin and Carson so much.  He did such a great job on that hutch.  They are so close to Knoxville and I'm sure with all the people that live in the area because of UT would buy furniture like that.  

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What (newlywed) 25 yr old man even cares what his wife and mother/sisters in law do to the furniture placement? 

My husband absolutely cares about that stuff.  Diff'rent strokes and all.  

 

From what I've seen, the biggest obstacle in their marriage won't be Brandon's concern for interior design but Michaela's inability to give him any space.  I bet he's praying they get pregnant soon so Michaela has something else to focus on.

 

I'm just glad Zach has a non-religious job.  I bet he heard some colorful language that his parents wouldn't approve of while he was at the police academy.

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It's nice that the adult Bates kids aren't so brainwashed that they shy away from jobs where they'll have to interact with women. Whether or not there were women in Zach's police academy class, as a first responder he'll certainly have to interact with women -- as women call the cops too, they have car accidents too etc. -- and he won't be saying -- uh, I can't respond to that call with just me and a female, how will I remain accountable/faithful!?

 

Looks like the Bates are about an hour from Knoxville, 4 hrs from Nashville, and about 2 hrs or so from North Carolina, which is furniture country. Chad definitely has the talent and it’s likely that he can track down furniture pieces in his small town, re-finish them one by one, and sell them to either individuals in those bigger cities or to small, boutique furniture stores in Knoxville, Nashville, and Ashville.  If he can make 2-3 sales to small furniture stores, I think he has a chance of becoming their “go to” man that they turn to to supply them with a few pieces each year or maybe they even ask him – hey we came across this old china cabinet/dining table/whatever, will you refinish it for us for $x.  I think Chad has a decent white collar job locally – he’s a finance manager for a small business/manufacturing company, so he could do the furniture business on the side but who knows if it keeps him busy enough and brings in enough, at some point it could become a full fledged business for him.

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I doubt Brandon was surprised by the visit from his in laws and the furniture rearranging session. This is "reality" TV after all. He knew what was happening, but seemed to be unsure of what reaction he should portray on TV. He seems to be carefully choosing his words and probably practiced in the bathroom mirror. Poor guy comes off so uncomfortable all the time.

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I'm glad Zack is doing something on his own.  The whole family was there cheering him on and making it about him.  I was trying to look, but I was wondering did any women graduate from the same training program?  If so, I just wonder what he thought about working with women.  

 

I saw at least one woman in the graduating group.  I wasn't paying too much attention to the group so not sure if there was more. 

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Maybe the good thing is that they are both at the same level of boredom/dullness so they will think it is normal and be satisfied. Time will tell. I wonder if she clings all the time or mostly when the cameras are on so she can demonstrate how "in love" they are to their adoring (or not) public.

Her social media posts have the same air of desperation/something-to-prove. Sadly, I think this naive, Stage 5 clinger is who she is 24/7/366 (it's a leap year). :)

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I'm glad Zack is doing something on his own.  The whole family was there cheering him on and making it about him.  I was trying to look, but I was wondering did any women graduate from the same training program?  If so, I just wonder what he thought about working with women.

 

I saw an older woman in the line when they lined up to cross the stage.  I used to have family over all the time after I was first married (granted they lived 2 miles away, not a few states) but, my husband said he needed space when he got home and their presence was too much. Perhaps Brandon needed a little space. My husband would have noticed the furniture placement and his response would not have been censored. He's the interior designer and I don't even consider changing anything. Our families don't either. They generally call him to make the changes.

 

I've never been to Chicago, but, seeing Kelly change her stance about the look of the city after her boat ride was nice to hear. That's probably the only thing I'd want to do if I went. 

 

It was nice to see the whole family go to Zach's graduation. They do support each other and they aren't afraid to show emotion. Seeing Whitney cry over how proud she was was very sweet to see. My daughter graduates college in a few weeks and I wouldn't be surprised if I'm the same why. Now, I won't be embarrassed. Thanks Whitney. That family photo of them at the end was adorable. That pudgy Bradley is a doll.

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Do we know where they live in Chicago/Chicagoland?

Gothard headquarters are in Oakbrook, IL currentlly the property is for sale. Their apartment looked like something that might have been an in law arrangement apartment? And yes, Oakbrook is $$$$$$$$$$$$$$.

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Gothard headquarters are in Oakbrook, IL currentlly the property is for sale. Their apartment looked like something that might have been an in law arrangement apartment? And yes, Oakbrook is $$$$$$$$$$$$$$.

How did I not know this? Then again I never actively looked or maybe I should have paid attention more. I used to live in downtown Naperville, before moving into the city to be closer to my work. Thanks for the information! It is very interesting.

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