Christmas has finally come to MTV's "Teen Mom 2," and one can only hope it brings more tidings of joy than previous weeks. Babies, it's depressing outside!
Hopefully Santa will bring our young mothers what they really need: A deep conditioner for Chelsea, a clean bill of health for Leah's family, a big screen TV for Kailyn (in your face, Ms. Kailyn's Mom) and a winterized car for Jenelle -- 'cause there's no way she's not getting kicked out again. But if we've learned anything from the show that's slowly becoming less of a guilty pleasure and more of a punishment, what the ladies really need is rarely what they get ...
Though Keiffer's not physically around to smoke the -- er, stir the pot -- he still hangs over the episode like the ghost of jailed boyfriends past.
Jenelle feels awful that he's spending the holiday in the slammer because of her, and even as she sits under the tree with her mom and Jace, it's obvious that her heart's not in it. Bahbrah and Jenelle share a rare, almost decent moment as they exchange gifts -- but it's painfully obvious that "love" is used only to describe feelings about presents, not people. Of course, that's just the Christmas calm before the storm.
Jenelle gets a note that she's on academic probation at school and then promptly lashes out at Bahbrah, who sees this as her chance to dash and makes a beeline for the door, baby in tow. (Anyone else desperate to hear Jace talk ... and worried it's just going to be profanities in heavy accents of both the Southern and Boston varieties?)
Alone again, Jenelle misses her imprisoned Prince Charming even more. Since she's not 21 yet, she can't sign the paperwork that would free him, so she goes into full-blown telemarketer mode and calls everyone she knows.
[MTV CONTINUITY FLUB: Jenelle has acrylic, french manicured nails when she rings her pal Tiffany, but then "One Hour Later" when they meet, they're magically short and pink? Whoops.]
Of course nobody will help Jenelle, which is proof that she's burnt her last few bridges, and she's back to square one, crying bitterly in her car.
Mike, Bahbrah's boyfriend, probably put it best when he asked: "Where's Jenelle, full of life? What happened to Jenelle?"
The Leopard Princess of MTV -- with Snooki as The Leopard Queen, of course -- is down one leg brace, but that's not the only reason life feels lighter. Awful Adam hasn't stolen their child in a few hours, and he even has a job working with generators that apparently doesn't require him to shave nor does it prevent him from getting weird finger tattoos!
Though he still only averages about 10 to 15 words per episode, the majority in the first episode of 2012 were civil. He was even a good sport when TLP brought him to cut down a Christmas tree at a place run by the Moss Man's wife. (Tell me you all saw that woman dressed like a shrub?) He may be the sort of father who plays catch with his kid by throwing the ball at her head, but still -- he's Aubree's dad. It's hard to fault TLP for desperately wanting to build a family less fractured than her own.
TLP may not ever convince her seemingly wonderful father to like Adam, forcing them to leave him out of their Christmas plans. Still, Aubree, Adam and TLP manage a nice celebration with her mom and sister, who we learn has a baby named Braylee because "E" is the sisters's super favorite letter.
As the sappy music drips over the scene, you don't actually need to speed-dial your therapist for once. We're all praying to our various gods that TLP doesn't end up with Adam ... but for the moment, it's nice to see her smile.
For Kailyn, it's a holiday of firsts: first Christmas in a new place and first Christmas as a mom. But joint custody of baby Isaac means splitting his time during the holidays and Jo has him on Christmas Eve. Though her counselor reminds her that the tot "isn't even going to know it's Christmas," Kailyn will ... and since she's not speaking with her family or Jo's, the loneliness is palpable. She's the first to admit that it's a bittersweet time in her life: She's finally got her own place, but nobody knows where she lives.
She hopes that a letter she's drafting to Jo's mom will begin to bridge the divide between them.
Luckily, darling Jordan saves the day. What he may lack in wit and general comprehension, he makes up for with love and presents! She asks him if he sees them together down the road, and he answers with the words all women want to hear: "Well, I can't tell the future ..." Still, it's hard not to feel all warm and fuzzy as Kailyn puts bows on Jordan and declares that he's her present. (Totally unlike that horrifying Folgers commercial with the brother and sister.) And soon enough, Little Isaac is back in her arms.
But it's a painful juxtaposition when MTV cuts from Isaac, surrounded by Jo's family, to Isaac and Kailyn. Sure there's wrapping paper and presents everywhere ... but that's obviously not what Kailyn's wishing she was surrounded by.
Since Ali-girl and Aleeah spent last Christmas in the ICU, this year's already a major improvement. Leah goes all out, spending more than $500, though her mom (rightfully) points out the twins will probably prefer the wrapping paper.
Because the babies were born on the 16th, December is a big party month, and we get a peek at their lovely, cake-smeared birthday party. Though we, as viewers, are magical creatures who know what the future holds (read: divorce), Leah and Corey certainly seem content as they proudly watch their daughters.
Christmas morning brings a new slew of presents -- delivered by Santa's trailer park twin, Corey Claus! He worries that he isn't fit for the job because he "can't wrap good." (Uh, that's what elves are for. Duh!). But for Leah, he dons the outfit just right.
So what if Corey's impression of St. Nick sounds a lot like Patrick from "SpongeBob SquarePants"? Who cares if his children are absolutely horrified? He gets in 12 "Ho, Ho, Ho's" before the babies start wailing, and another nine post-cry for good measure. (What, I counted!)
Still, frightened twins and duct-taped gifts aside, Leah and Corey embody what all the teen moms truly want and deserve during the holiday: a family.
Did your opinion of any of the teen moms (or dads) change this episode? Let us know in the comments!
"Teen Mom 2" airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. EST on MTV
Need help? In the U.S., call 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) for the National Domestic Violence Hotline.