Labor of Love Recap: Birth-Day Hoot

When he refers to his “fire,” Kristy immediately is on guard. After a voiceover in which Kristy says she’s sensing that Keith’s anger flares “at the drop of a hat,” she lets him know she’s SENDING HIM HOME RIGHT THEN AND THERE. “That is not a personality that I gel with,” she voiceovers after. And Kyle really hasn’t revealed himself. And after a group activity the next day (they all look at photo mash-ups of what their kids might look like, with predictably horrifying results), Kristy pulls Stewart aside to tell him how much she liked the gesture. Trent’s a boy. At one point, they are enveloped in a flash mob-type dance thing to “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life” from Dirty Dancing, and Trent does a (rather impressive) straddle jump, then kisses Kristy like they’re in a rom-com, earning huge cheers from the dancers. He earns a bit of my sympathy when he confides in her that his mom has Parkinson’s Disease, but then he loses it again when he brings up for the ZILLIONTH time the fact that if he doesn’t have a son, his family name dies out. I certainly don’t want it in my present or my future. Back at home, Stewart has left Kristy flowers and a letter, which she finds when she returns after her date. “You’re the person I feel the strongest about in that way,” she says, and they come very close to smooching before Keith interrupts, pulling Kristy away to give her a bowl of food. They go to Six Flags Over Georgia and have the park all to themselves, a situation I think he enjoys WAY more than the fact that he’s getting some alone time with the woman with whom he allegedly wants to have children. Marcus is a mastermind. “I’ve had that in my past. They go downstairs to talk, and the conversation eventually turns to Keith’s demeanor. Kristy takes Keith aside and asks him again what he meant by “fire.” He runs through all the confrontations he’s had since he arrived at the house, and you can just see the NOPE piling up behind Kristy’s eyes as they chat. Sneaky! And he probably sensed that was coming, because he calmly handicaps his competition for her (“Gary and Stewart are the most genuine in terms of their intention toward you. Speaking of Trent, he’s Kristy’s first date this week. That could be a problem.”
Let’s shorthand Kyle’s date, which is basically just canoodling in front of the fire in her backyard: Wine, lots of kissing, Marcus looking on sadly from his bedroom where he’s trying to write Kristy a song. That’s all I’m gonna say.”) then goes inside to tell the guys he’s taking off. Sorry for the short shrift, Kyle, but we’ve got to get to her conversation with Keith the next day! Wow.
“I can handle this no problem.”
A moment later, the guys are writhing, yelling and panting as the stim machines do their thing. “We are going to test your mental toughness as well as your ability to be a supportive partner,” she adds. As usual, I’m far more into what Kristin Davis is doing on the sidelines than whatever the guys are up to.. The guys, they freak. So… spinoff idea? At any point, the men can tap out by ringing a bell set up next to their beds. After being instructed to partner up (Keith/Gary, Trent/Kyle and Stewart/Marcus, in case you were wondering), their attention is directed to a giant curtain that drops… revealing hospital beds and medical attendants. “What I saw today is all six of these men will be great fathers,” Kristy voiceovers once all the yelling and such is done. Once again, it appears Kristy and I have very different criteria for “great fathers,” but let’s move on. With all of Trent’s hooting and howling? Really? “She turned that machine on, and everything changed,” he adds, laughing. “Can Stewart have the baby for me?” Kristy says between giggles. (Spoiler alert: None of them do, which tells me less that the dudes are stalwart specimens with excellent mental fortitude and more that the shocks weren’t strong enough.)
Stewart, Keith and Kyle are in the beds first, with their partners providing encouragement. In an interview, Kyle says he is an endurance athlete who is used to long periods of severe discomfort. Next to her, Kristy is a study in blush athleisure wear. And turns out to be true, in a way. An obstetrician steps up to explain that the men will have electrodes pasted to their bodies, and currents of various strengths will be administered to them in order to give them “firsthand insight” into what labor feels like. In fact, the way that Stewart and Marcus guide each other through this ridiculous drill makes me want to watch THEM raise a baby together. And I have to admit: Dude is using some impressive breathing through the pain. “Gentlemen, welcome to Labor Pains,” Kristin Davis says. The guys dress in workout gear and are trucked to a gym, where they think they’re going to have to prove their mettle with feats of strength. and at the moment, she and Kristy are losing their stuff over the histrionics happening.

What did you think of the episode? Kristy tells Kristin Davis that her ex-husband had a temper, and she has no desire to repeat a relationship with someone like that. Sound off in the comments! Now it’s your turn. Then it’s Decision Time! In his voiceover, Keith spends a lot of time telling us he’s super unbothered, because although Kristy’s running out of time at 42, he’s a dewy 38 and has allllllllllll the time in the world to figure out his future family plan. And you may think that makes either of those guys the week’s winner, but I’m going to give that designation to Stewart, who sneaks off to walk Kristy home and winds up carrying her most of the way — which she seems to love. She puts Marcus and Gary in the We Need to Talk Box… but winds up keeping both of them around for another week. A little shady, yes, but still way more mature than Angelo’s exit interview, right?

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The episode Labor of Love promos have touted since the series’ start airs this week, and it’s the one where the men get hooked up to electric stim machines and zapped into feeling like they’re going through childbirth. But I’m far more entertained by the succinct, kinda outta-nowhere way Kristy dispatches one of her potential baby daddies later,  before the elimination ceremony even begins. She boots him with little fanfare — and, surprisingly for a show of this ilk, little drama — negating the need for an end-of-episode departure. Yes, it’s silly to watch the guys mug for the camera in a whole new way.

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