This week's episode of 90 Day Fiance was followed by a promo for Episode 9 that promised plenty of drama.
But all that people are talking about after they watch this preview is Brandon Gibbs ... and his parents.
After Julia Trubkina's ultimatum, Brandon finally stands up to his parents. Or he tries to, anyway.
Shocked and terrified that she might lose absolute control over her adult son, Betty turns on the waterworks -- anything to keep him under her thumb.
In Brandon Gibbs' part of this preview, it's just him and his parents, Betty and Ron, at dinner at a restaurant.
We wonder if he chose it so that they wouldn't make a scene in public. That ... might not work.
He tells them that he and Julia need to move out of the house -- something that he has promised Julia, who has been treated with indignity, disrespect, and forced to be free farm labor.
Betty's first reaction is a very visible and a vocal astonishment.
Though she takes center stage, look at Ron, who also looks surprised.
But as Betty says "what?" he looks to her -- almost as if seeking a cue on how to respond.
"No," Betty says, at first in astonishment and horror and then, more adamantly: "No, no, no."
There is a difference in tone between vocalizing your dismay and ordering someone to not do something.
Betty is clearly trying the latter.
After 27 years under Betty's thumb as she made sure that her son was the least assertive man alive, Brandon is not going to spontaneously regrow a spine overnight.
That is probably why his first instinct is to throw his fiancee under the bus, as he did with the tea.
"It's not my choice," Brandon says.
Ron, clearly furious, says "it IS your choice."
Now, Ron's anger is ridiculous here -- most parents would be overjoyed that their son has a full time job, a fiancee who loves him, and is looking for his own place.
But he is right -- it's Brandon's choice. What Ron clearly does not understand is that it's also the right choice.
We're not seeing every moment of the conversation in this preview -- it's just a teaser -- but Betty switches tactics, as all practiced manipulators do.
She tries to inflate Brandon's ego to get him wrapped around her finger once again.
Betty tells him that he's "the man of the family," whatever the hell that nonsense is supposed to mean.
Again, we can acknowledge Brandon's spinelessness while also recognizing where it came from.
Disturbingly, Brandon immediately tries to back down to appease his parents, suggesting a "bargaining chip" like allowing him and Julia to share a room.
That is unacceptable. He's an adult and he needs, frankly, years of therapy to heal from his family's toxicity.
Betty's tour of manipulation tactics has not ended. She started with admonishment, then moved on to praise.
Now, she's trying to guilt-trip Brandon, and it's sure to work after 27 years of very effective conditioning.
"That she's making you choose," Betty begins to say in a shaky voice.
"... That makes me so sad," she says while she begins to tear up.
First covering her mouth, so that her tears are visible, she then covers her face with her hands.
Mom Tears are never easy to witness. Well, except in this case, for those of us who aren't Brandon, it's pretty easy.
We're not accusing Betty of faking her tears. Suddenly realizing that her son might leave her absolute control could certainly make her genuinely cry.
It's just that it's difficult -- for me, impossible -- to feel sorry for such a terrible, rotten person. The way that she has treated Julia and Brandon is not okay.
Maybe she's genuinely expressing her anguish at the thought of her 27-year-old son living in an apartment and she's upset. In the wise, wise words of Kim Kardashian: "It's what she deserves."