January 09, 2008 09:55 PM by Jennifer_Brown
Tonight’s episode of Wife Swap is a battle of the Michelles…er, Mishelles…er…whatever. It’s super-structured Mishelle Orris of Ohio vs. laid-back Missourian, Michelle Flynn.
The Flynns are a party family with not a lot of discipline when it comes to…well, anything. The kids (Jessica and Billy) are allowed to be (*gasp!*) kids, husband Patrick is a class clown who never outgrew cafeteria food fights and here-pull-my-finger jokes, and the house is…well, we’ll just call it lived-in. And, though we never actually saw any, there’s claim ofsome cats with, er,digestive distress running loose around the place.
Where the Flynns are ultra-easygoing, the Orrises are disciplined to the highest degree. Mom Mishelle runs a my-way-or-the-highway boot camp-style household, complete with whistle wake-up calls in the morningsand military yard drills outside when a rule has been broken. Step-dad Terry, an ex-military man, likes his house ship shape, and keeps their two kids, Justin and Payton in line. Life at the Orris house is so regimented, each child must pass the toothpick test (are their teeth brushed to Mom’s standards?) and the sniff test (hike up that sleeve and let Mom have a go at your pits, soldier!) before leaving the house in the mornings. “I’m a controlling person because my way is usually the right way,” Mishelle brags.
They aren’t long into the swap at all before sparks start to fly, particularly between Partier Patrick, andMilitary Mishelle. Patrick introduces Mishelle to the neighborhood by way of driveway golf cart party, where Mishelle mutters, “If I was the neighbor they’d hate me because I’d call the police on them constantly.” Patrick’s response: “I’m ready to rip my ears off and throw them across the street.” Inside, achocolate and ketchup food fight between Patrick and Billy has Mishelle incensed and it’s not longbefore she just can’t hold back anymore on talking about the mess in the house. For the first (but definitely not the last) time, Patrick explodes. “You fat piece of trash, pack your bags!” he shouts.
Over at the Orris house, Michelle can’t takeTerry’s rigid style. She waits till he’s gone to work and revamps the chore list. Bad move — when Terry gets home, he’s not happy. The kids are in trouble and Michelle feels horrible. She apologizes to the children and notices that both of them have the same response: “That’s okay, I’m usedto it.” It’s supposed to be family fun day (fishing), butTerry won’t go until the chores are done. By the time the family getsto the water, a storm rolls in, forcing them to go home. Terry’s ticked and Michelle’s in tears.
Soon the wives get to switch the rules, which doesn’t go too well. Patrick’s got a serious hate on for Mishelle and peppers her every sentence with anasty barb of his own. “I’m not dealing with a woman, I’m dealing with a Sasquatch, man,” he says. “She’s got man hands.” “You’re a man trapped in a woman’s body,” he taunts during the rule changeceremony. “From now on your name is Sasquatch, that’s it!” He pushes Mishelle to her limit and she rears up on him: “Listen, you fat bastard…!” but Patrick gets up and storms out.
After Patrick’s calmed down, Mishelle sticks to her guns and makes himput a steering wheel lock on his golfcart and hang a signon the garage door announcing there will be no more parties. Then sheputs the kids to work, which brings a crying Patrick to the decision to take over the housework himself. Epiphany time! He suddenly hasmuch more appreciation for all that hisMichelle does.
Things much calmer between the two of them, Mishelle asks Patrick if he really thinks she’s so hideously ugly. He reveals (TMI alert! TMI alert!) that he’s always had a thing for large women (Uh…is that a compliment or not…?)
And speaking of Michelle…she’s not having much luck with her rule changes, either. Terry’s disgusted by the filth that quickly piles upin the house, and earns yard drills for breaking the rules and mopping. “Don’t you stop and smell the roses even if they’re dirty?” Michelle asks him. “I ain’t never saw a rose that was dirty,” Terry responds angrily.What’s worse, Michelle finds that Justin doesn’t want to participate in her rules, either,no matter how fun they are. “Herfun isn’t fun. I’m more of an adult than she is,” he cries. She brings in a golf cart and wears Justin down, though, and even gets him to open up about his feelings.In the end it’s asnake-in-the-washing-machine prank that Justin sets up that finally melts Terry andnext thing we know the whole lot of them are bonding overa backyard barbeque, complete with dunk tank (Terry, of course, in the “diver’s” seat).
The couples have a mild and friendly reunion, and get back to life as usual, except now the Orrises have eased up on the kids and Patrick has ponied up on the laundry chores.
Photo Courtesy: ABC