FinaleWatch: 'Baby Borrowers'

Kelly_austin_babyborrowers_240 How fast kids grow up. It feels like just a few short weeks ago that infants were crawling around on the floors, and I'm convinced that it was just last week that teens were tormenting the house. Now, all of the sudden, the teens have turned into the elderly and the name Baby Borrowers has become even more of an inappropriate title for our little love child of a show. There was a certain symmetry to the show beginning and ending with diapers, but the elderly could and did provide advice, unlike the infants.

The advice started quickly tonight, with Gene talking to his teens, Austin and Kelly, about the couple's life together and what the experiment had brought to them so far. Les, Cory and Alicea's charge, was certainly not quite as vocal. He wanted to provide advice, he told the camera as much, but when it came time to talking to Alicea and Cory, he was practically silent. I'm writing it off as a case of nerves as he was talkative later, but there were definitely some awkward moments between the senior citizen and the teens early on.

At least Les and Gene were pretty mobile, as was Jordan and Sasha's charge (George), but some of the other elderly were not quite so quick on their feet. Kelsey and Sean (who, I'll admit, I kind of forgot were on the show, they really haven't been involved in the last few episodes) had to learn how to work an oxygen tank filler. Single-mom Morgan was caring for a woman, Hedy, who had suffered a stroke a few years ago and didn't have full use of her hands.

After one member of each couple (save Morgan who apparently got the day off) went to work, the other member of the couples learned all about the drugs and rules and various bits of minutiae that the senior citizens carried with them (physically and emotionally). The hardest task of the afternoon (and episode) belonged to Morgan who had to help Hedy shower. It all went smoothly, but it did seem a little early in the relationship for that step.

Seriously though, there really wasn't much to this whole thing tonight. Gene actually cooked dinner for Kelly and Austin and provided some good relationship advice, while Jordan went with Sasha to a record store to look at some jazz albums. It was a just a nice, quiet, uneventful, few days.

I'm just not sure that I understand the point of this part of the "experiment." Gene seemed to revel in his position as a life/relationship/gym coach, so Kelly and Austin learned something, but for everyone else it was kind of like spending time with a grandparent. There was some advice offered here and there, though nothing happened to convince me that this portion of the series was necessary.

On their last full day with the senior citizens, George took Sasha to meet his wife, whom he's been with for 67 years (but who passed away after the filming of the episode). Sasha got to see what a long term relationship looked like down the line, but that still wasn't enough to convince me that this episode was necessary.

It was actually the scene between George and his wife Regina that might have been the most touching tonight. The two truly loved one another, but it had very little to do with a parenting. Being a couple, yes, being a parent, no.

The other moment that could vie for most touching was Les taking Cory and Alicea to the grave of his wife. Les is clearly still very in love with her and misses her deeply.

Without a doubt, if Sasha, Cory, and Alicea were paying attention, they saw what love looks like decades down the road. The stories they heard were heartfelt and I hope the teens were paying attention, but no matter how many stories we heard and how much advice was given, it had very little to do with raising kids. I just can't imagine why the teens would listen to these elderly folks any more than they have listened to advice they have received in the past.

After some extremely elongated goodbyes with the senior citizens, the last ten minutes of the show tonight focused on the couples themselves, talking to one another and thinking about what they had learned over the course of the season.

Unfortunately, some time after the show ended Austin certainly found himself with a bit of heartache. At the end of the episode, he told Kelly that they're a better couple than he thought they were and then we got to see Kelly say one-on-one to the camera that she had no idea where they would be at any point in the future. A little postscript on each of the couples informed us that the two had in fact broken up. Oh yeah, all the rest of the couples broke up too. Apparently Daton and Morgan were dumb enough to try their relationship once more, but it still didn't work. Not really a huge surprise there.

I really don't think that the end result invalidates the entire experiment, but the whole thing does kind of make you wonder. Were these just bad couples to choose or did the experiment destroy the relationship?

Other bits and pieces:

  • Kelsey actually admitted at the end of the episode that she's not ready for kids. I guess some of the teens did learn something.
  • Morgan admitted to Hedy that she doesn't like being alone. That was kind of clear from the beginning of the show, but at least she can say it out loud now.
  • The other question of the week: are you really, in any way, shape, manner, or form surprised that ALL of the couples have broken up? I'm not.

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