Internet, happy Wednesday! The fact that it’s Wednesday means that yesterday was Tuesday, which is when I (and almost nobody I know, frankly, but evidently a lot of other people on Twitter) tune in at 10 Eastern/9 Central to watch episode 4 of Preachers’ Daughters on Lifetime. Didn’t catch it? Here’s what you missed.
Last week, 16-year-old Kolby Koloff had broken off her relationship with Micah, amid her confusion over whether she was ready to date. This week’s episode begins with Kolby, immediately post-breakup, going to talk to her mother. It’s here that we start to see a more complicated and vulnerable side to Kolby’s mother, Victoria. Realizing that she may have given Kolby an overly dismal view of dating, Victoria talks movingly about her own regrets about marrying at 16, finally saying “I’m sorry. I know you’re not me.”
This is very good, and maybe a bit overdue, TV-wise. The previous episodes have given an impression of Victoria as intrusively over-concerned with her daughters’ sexual decisions. Evidently even Victoria Koloff thought so, too. On her own episode recap she wrote, “Finally, you don’t hear me saying anything about sex! What a relief! I told you I was more than a teenage sex educator!” Episode 4 shows us a Victoria who accepts responsibility for her mistakes and wants better for her daughters.
Her daughters want something for her, too, as it turns out: they’d like for her to reconcile with their dad, preacher and retired pro wrestler Nikita Koloff. In fact, they’ve arranged for Nikita to surprise Victoria with a date. You guys, it’s Parent Trap! Of her mom’s reaction, Kolby predicts “Her heart’s gonna fall out of her butt.”[hard blink]
Er, I’m going to take that as an overly literal extrapolation of the expression, “Her heart will melt.” Moving on.
Parental regret over past mistakes shows up in the Coleman family too. Last week, grounded 18-year-old daughter Taylor was given permission to go on a date with Demotious. There was one catch: Her parents would go along. Dun dun dun! Well, this week we get to see the date. Demotious shows up, and in his commentary Ken muses, “He reminds me of me when I was younger.” But for Ken, that’s not a good thing, as he regrets a lot of his youthful choices. Ken grills Demotious on church attendance, drug use, and sexual history. Then he invites Demotious to hold hands, pray, and make a vow of celibacy—yes, right there in the restaurant, in front of a camera crew. Demotious looks like he’s trying to do a convincing impression of a dinner roll, in the hopes that the waiter will whisk him away in the breadbasket. Otherwise, though, he handles the situation with good humor.
Another interesting subplot has involved Taylor trying to split time between, as she puts it, her “regular friends” and her “church friends.” Last week’s episode showed the two groups eyeing each other at the bowling alley, and this week shows both groups joining Taylor at a clothing drive at church. The “regular friends,” along with Taylor, find many pairs of silly undies in the donation pile. They decide to put them on over their clothes and do a dance, under the stern glowers of the “church friends.” (It is maybe a little concerning that there are enough donated undies to go around, although I suppose we don’t know for sure that they are secondhand undies. Um, you know what? Let’s stop talking about the undies.)
That’s when the church secretary walks in, tells them to knock it off, and reports the indiscretion to Pastor Ken, Taylor’s dad. Taylor later notes, quite rightly I think, that nobody seems to notice the fact that she was doing a community service project at church with her friends, including her friends who didn’t even go to the church. Anyway, Ken confronts Taylor about the report that she was “dropping it like it’s hot.” Taylor retorts: “I wasn’t dropping it like it’s hot. I set it down like it was warm.” And then there was a loud boom, which was the sound of the #preachersdaughters Twitter hashtag exploding with delight.
And finally, the Perrys. Of the Perry daughters, we’ve seen the most of Olivia, an 18-year-old former party girl turned responsible mom to baby Eden. This week we got to see more of Emily, her sister, recently returned from a modeling trip in Mexico. This may have been hinted at in earlier episodes, but here it’s made explicit: Emily and Olivia actually used to party together. This means that Emily is also acquainted with Frankie, the friend from Olivia’s past who has recently shown up again. He’s just a friend, but nevertheless, Olivia’s parents Mark and Cheryl want to know who’s in her life. So they invite Frankie to the weekly “microchurch,” their church’s term for small group. “I feel really awkward about my parents inviting Frankie over for microchurch,” Olivia confides.
Understandably so: Frankie is, by his own admission, not religious, and this is new for him. And also, it’s all happening on a television show? Actually, though, Frankie seems to like it well enough and asks if he can come back. Also, Mark winds up inviting Frankie over for dinner, which Olivia deems “super weird. Meeting the parents seems like a dating thing.” Yeah, it kinda does, and it would be interesting to know whether a female friend would be treated the same way. On the other hand, Mark reports that he and Frankie had a long talk at microchurch, and Frankie has expressed interest in coming back. So there is a sense in which Mark and Frankie have their own relationship now, as pastor and possibly-interested-church-newcomer.
And on that note, I’ll just point out that in my experience teaching seminarians—many of whom are serving churches already—this is the most realistic clergy family issue we’ve seen so far in Preachers’ Daughters. (Having very beautiful teenage daughters and a camera crew in one’s home? Less so.) It’s one thing for a pastor to relate to someone whom s/he knows only as a member of his or her congregation. But what if that person is also a spouse’s client? Or a spouse’s boss? Or your relative? Or the friend of your kid? It can be really tricky, and requires a great deal of skill, character, compassion, and preparation to negotiate well. If this week’s episode means that we’ll be seeing more of those kind of issues, well, the show’s a lot more subtle than I first gave it credit for.