Welcome to Plathville Finale: Ethan and His Dad Barry Almost Get Into a Fistfight About Olivia
Ethan Plath finally said what he needed to say to parents Kim and Barry Plath.
Throughout the season, the conservative Plath family has been at odds. They split into three households — Ethan and Olivia, both 22; Micah, 18, and Moriah, 19; and Kim and Barry with their youngest children (Lydia, 16, Isaac, 14, Amber, 11, Cassia, 9, and Mercy, 7).
Previously, Ethan revealed on the show that he and Olivia, who celebrated their two-year anniversary in October, "needed space as a couple, so we decided that that meant no contact with my parents," which he initiated after he and his wife were no longer allowed to see his siblings.
Unfortunately, although Ethan was hoping for a different outcome during Tuesday night's episode, the conversation ended with Barry and his oldest son nearly coming to blows.
Ethan confronts Kim and Barry
The episode began with Ethan telling Olivia — as they prepared to move out of Cairo, Georgia — that he wanted to go over to Kim and Barry's home to say goodbye to his brothers and sisters, and that he had "a thing or two" to say to his parents about "not being able to see my siblings."
While Olivia agreed to drive over with Ethan, she asked to stay in the car.
Arriving at Kim and Barry's home, Ethan knocked on the door and proceeded to speak with his parents outside as his siblings watched through the window.
"So, I'm going to keep this short and sweet. I've come by to tell you two, and hopefully my siblings, that Olivia and I are going to be moving in the near future. And as far as I can see it, there still will be no contact between us," he began. "And I'd like to say goodbye to [my siblings] and say goodbye to you. This isn't a debate or conversation — this is my statement to you."
He continued: "I want both of you to know that I love Olivia more than you will probably ever know, and I really don't understand why either of you felt the need to say the things you've said about Olivia. And I don't even know if you two know what that has put her through, and put me through. And I'm not going to let that happen again. Some of the biggest regrets of my life were listening to you two tell Olivia things about her and I didn't say anything — and I wish to God that I had."
He said he had held back from saying something out of "respect" for his parents, but that it had become clear that they "do not accept Olivia."
"You both know if you can't accept her, then you don't get me either," he said. "That's where I'm drawing the line, that's where the line is going to stay until something happens. So, I don't know what you guys really feel, I don't know if you really are sad, if you are happy."
Acknowledging their strained relationship, Kim told her son: "I hear you. And I know that you've been through a lot — I know that you've both been through a lot."
"Yeah, thanks to you," Ethan replied.
In a confessional, Kim admitted that Ethan's words were "hard to hear." "If we didn't love him, it wouldn't matter. But it's hard to take words like that from someone that you really love," she said.
Addressing his son, Barry thanked Ethan for coming over to their home and for letting them know where he was at.
"Well, you know, I did tell you this once before, and you said, 'Have a nice life living in bondage.' Those were your exact words," Ethan told his father, who couldn't recall saying that.
Apologizing, Barry said, "Well, if I hurt you, I'm sorry."
Ethan fired back: "It's very nice of you to say that on camera in front of everyone."
Kim pointed out that this was "not what any of us wanted," and Ethan agreed: "This isn't what I wanted either. But there's nothing I can do about it."
Ethan and Barry almost get into a fistfight
Before Ethan went to say goodbye to his siblings, his father reminded him, "As you leave, just don't forget, we will always love you. We do love you, we always will love you."
The eldest Plath son then asked to say goodbye to his brothers and sisters — and requested that Olivia join him. Telling the family matriarch and patriarch that Olivia was in the car, he said he would take the younger kids over to her — but Kim wondered why Olivia couldn't come to the house instead. Barry also suggested that Ethan have his wife come over to say goodbye.
"I'm okay with them being with the children, but it has to start with all of us being together," Kim told the cameras. "I can't send our children off to go be with somebody that's talking bad about me and has such strong resentment and bitterness towards me."
But walking up to the front door, Ethan proceeded to tell his siblings that Olivia was in car. As the children followed him out of the house and towards his vehicle, Kim and Barry joined them and tensions began to heighten. "Mom, look at me. That is my wife in that car," Ethan said.
"These are my children," Kim told her son, and later added, "I'm willing to tolerate her presence if she can tolerate mine."
When Kim asked her husband to chime in, Barry told Ethan once again to have Olivia come up onto the property.
Attempting to mediate, Isaac interrupted to ask his brother and dad to "say something positive about each other," and Barry once again told his son that he loved him. "Ethan, I love you," he said. "In spite of all the vitriol that is coming our way."
"It is very nice of you to say that you love me," Ethan said. "But behind my back, when you talk about my wife to other people, it's not going to fly with me."
At that, Ethan acknowledged how "unfortunate" it was that Olivia wouldn't be able to say goodbye, which prompted Barry to say, "Let's go say hi to Olivia."
As Barry began to walk swiftly towards the car, Ethan grabbed his father's arms. "You are not going to walk over to my wife. Do you understand?" Ethan warned, pointing his finger.
His dad relented. "No problem," he said.
Ethan then hugged each of his siblings goodbye and told them he loved them. As he walked away, Ethan's sisters and mother burst into tears.
Getting into the car, Ethan told Olivia they couldn't come to an agreement. "I'm sorry. It's your siblings, Ethan," she said. "I guess we just have each other."
He agreed: "We've got each other."
Ethan tells Micah and Moriah about the confrontation
The following evening, Ethan went over to Micah and Moriah's home, where he detailed the near "fistfight" he had with their dad.
"For the past year, I've had like, a lot of frustration and anger building up inside of me, just over everything that's happened," he told them. "It's hard to understand or get over not being able to see my siblings because of the family situation, and even when I could see them, any of the kids, Mom was like right there. For some reason, she wouldn't trust her 22-year-old son to be with his siblings by himself."
Ethan added that the confrontation "was some pretty intense stuff." "Mom was jumping around and saying this is her property and Olivia couldn't be on it without her there and all of that. I mean, it just went downhill fast," he said.
"Me and my dad almost ended up in a fistfight," he continued. "He started marching off down to the car when we were arguing. It's sad, it's ugly, it's messy, it's nasty, but in a weird way, it's relieving, in a sense, because at least for now, I can move on."
Reflecting on the situation, both Kim and Barry expressed sadness.
"I look at Ethan and I do feel really hurt that I'm his adversary," Barry, who was Ethan's best man, said in a confessional. "And that just really is so bizarre and hurtful."
Said Kim: "I'm baffled, to be honest. I know there's things that they don't like about us, but I mean, it's crazy to me how it's gotten to this point. I think it'll take a miracle to bring the two sides together."