Not that the producers didn't give us some hints. We had some snippets of Kate telling us that she doesn't hate Jon and never will, and Jon telling us ''this is the hardest episode ever.'' Heavy stuff. Cue promotional tie-in! Yes, rather than tell us the inevitable, J&K fit in time for yet another product placement. Granted there was no Ace of Cakes or American Chopper television tie-in, but the Gosselins told us they ''heard of'' a company in Maine that built crooked playhouses for kids. I half expected Ty Pennington to burst out of the woods with a megaphone and a declaration to build the wee Gosselins their dream dream, albeit slightly slanted, houses.
Alas, no Ty, but last night's episode titled ''Houses & Big Changes'' did start with the preparation for said crooked houses. In between Jon clearing space in the woods and Kate molding Play-Doh with the kids, the folks at Kids Crooked Houses got the longest commercial ever. And while I should be very much used to this sort of thing on Jon & Kate as of late, I shuddered a little bit when most of the kids were sporting T-shirts for Kids Crooked Houses, becoming tiny little billboards. And, oh ye God, do we really need to point out the irony of something called a ''crooked house'' for this poor clan right now?
But, as per just about everything Jon does, the spot he picked in the woods was not okay with Kate. Her concern was that the houses were too far away, while Jon wanted to have them there to keep them out of the view of the paparazzi. Kate admitted she was ''going out on a limb here and risking World War III'' to talk to/argue with Jon over the placement of the houses. I don't know what I found most jarring here, the fact that Kate was actually afraid to approach Jon with something (rather than bark her usual orders) or the fact that I agreed with her reasoning, which wouldn't be the only time that would happen in this episode.
While Jon put up a protest to Kate's suggestion at first (he merrily rode on his tractor stating, yet again, he enjoyed his alone man time), with a little coercing from the KCH guys he caved for the plan for a new locale. Once the houses began to be assembled, Kate decided to have a backyard picnic and we finally got to spend some time with…the kids! You know, those eight cute rug rats the show had initially been about? Stated Kate: ''It doesn't matter where Jon and I are in our relationship, my kids still matter the most to me. If I have to put on a happy face to have a picnic with them, and put all those issues aside, I do.''
NEXT: Getting houses in order