Ken Tucker
November 09, 2009 AT 12:00 PM EST

This week’s Jon & Kate Plus Eight was an hour-long clip-job: “Viewers’ Top Moments,” as voted by long-time J&K-watchers on TLC’s website. This was a smart programming decision. After so many weeks of Kate and TLC trying to make entertainment out of the muck of tabloid controversy, simply letting us watch old footage, when the Gosselins were unusual only in having eight kids, was pretty pleasurable.

Those of us who’ve watched all five seasons remember sweet little scenes such as Alexis discovering she loved alligators (“aldergators,” she fan-famously called ’em):

A Jon-less Kate set up the clips; the producers came up with the categories. You can’t say Kate wasn’t a good sport about this. She had to sit through her meltdown in a Toys R Us, during which she yelled at Jon to stay by her side and bellowed down an aisle, “Come!” — as though Jon was a wayward dog. Yes, this and a few other scenes (how about the time Jon went to a store and didn’t bring coupons, leading Kate to mutter furiously, “You let that man out of the house and this is what happens”?) were among the ones that launched the Kate-as-oppressor, Jon-as-whipped images. These roles eventually became the pair’s on-screen personalities.

The kid footage was terrific, whether they were visiting the dentist for the first time, bopping each other on the head with toy blocks, or hearing Joel discover his manhood:

Speaking of wieners, there was some new interview footage with Kate Gosselin near the end of the hour that reaffirmed the couple’s fundamental differences.

“I was me all along,” Kate asserted after watching the old clips. Then she added, “Jon discovered he was somebody different than we had known him to be.”

Jon, of course, was nowhere to be seen on-camera. But in one old clip, he reacted sharply when Kate was fussing and yelling at him as they tried to dress the kids for some outdoor activity.

“When are you going to pull the stick out?” Jon snapped at his wife.

Kate, in a new interview, said with a sigh, “Perhaps [that] was a sign of things to come.”

Indeed.

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