Welcome to Plathville: Olivia’s Attitude Toward Cairo & Ethan’s Family Is Concerning
Episode 4 of Welcome to Plathville season 4 premiered on June 7th, 2022, and there’s a lot to talk about. Predominantly, the episode focuses on the conflict between Kim and Barry, as well as Ethan and Olivia. We’ll get into Kim and Barry in a separate post, but for now, lets focus on the escalating situation between Ethan and Olivia. Viewers will know that Ethan and Olivia Plath temporarily separated last season, following a string of marriage struggles and going no-contact with Ethan’s parents. Fortunately, the two got back together and moved to Tampa, Fl, with Ethan’s sister, Moriah, and Olivia’s brother, Nathan.
Still, things are clearly not well. For one, renting a home in Tampa was a temporary compromise that Ethan and Olivia settled on, due to Olivia wanting to move and Ethan wanting to remain in Cairo. Ethan had to sacrifice quite a bit moving to Tampa, as he had to leave his cars behind, quit his job, and move away from his younger siblings. What is becoming increasingly sad about this situation is that it is still not enough for Olivia.
Olivia’s Can’t Make Every Major Decision Herself
In the past few episodes, Olivia has revealed yet another layer of demands that are simply, wholly unreasonable. First of all, without seeming to get Ethan’s approval or opinion, she has obviously 100% decided that their move is permanent. Not only that, but she never wants Ethan to speak to his parents again or to ever go to Cairo again. Her demands started coming out last episode when Olivia got defensive about Ethan wanting to spend a week in Cairo to work on his cars. She quickly revealed the reason she didn’t want him to go is because she can’t trust him and, furthermore, feared that he would talk to his family if he was there. This immediately raises red flags because, if them going no-contact with Ethan’s family was a mutual decision, why would Olivia suddenly be scared he’ll talk to them behind her back? Unless Ethan wasn’t onboard with the arrangement, but Olivia pushed this major decision anyways.
Olivia's Behavior on Ethan’s Trip Is Not It
In this week‘s episode, Olivia “solves” the issue by insisting to go along with Ethan to Cairo. While she and others feign that she just wants to help and be close with Ethan, it is very clear she came along to “watch” Ethan. While she is helpful, and Ethan comes to enjoy her presence, that doesn't change that she intruded on a trip he preferred to just be his own. Meanwhile, her behavior on the trip down there gave me second-hand embarrassment. First of all, she starts complaining that Ethan is making her feel like he doesn’t want her there…. Hm, maybe it’s because Ethan didn’t want her there, as he told her, but she still demanded to come. He wasn’t being mean by it. It’s just that Olivia has expressed a deep hatred for Cairo and was the one who forced them to move, because being in the same city as Barry and Kim triggered her. Now, when Ethan wants to go visit his friends, his siblings, and work on his cars, Olivia is suddenly demanding to come?
She then asked Ethan if they could “at least” see Ethan‘s siblings, Lydia and Isaac down there. Even though, you know, this is Ethan’s trip and he should decide what they do. Ethan explains to her that he had plans to spend the weekend with Isaac already. Olivia then asks if she can come, too, to which Ethan explains he just wants special brother time with Isaac. Olivia says that she gets that, but why can’t she still come? Girl, what? What part of that don’t you understand? First, she’s the one who forced Ethan to cut off contact with his parents, hence, making it difficult for him to ever see his minor siblings. She also prohibits him from going to Cairo or visiting his family at all. Yet, she really is going to complain that Ethan doesn’t want her intruding on the one time Ethan actually gets to see his brother?
When Ethan explains to her that she’s not going to come along with him everywhere he goes on the trip (because, again, she wasn’t suppose to come in the first place), Olivia then sits in the passenger seat and pouts the rest of the drive.
”We’ll never come to Cairo again!”
Olivia‘s behavior improves once they get to the car garage. However, it’s clear her intentions are not good. She begins dropping loaded remarks, about how they need get done with the cars as fast as possible and once the cars are done they’ll never come to Cairo again. Ethan gets visibly upset every time she makes these statements, but Olivia doesn’t stop. At one point, Ethan finally confronts her and says that, no matter what, he’ll always probably come back to Cairo. After all, a huge portion of his family lives in Cairo. He spent his whole life in Cairo. He has friends in Cairo and his cars are in Cairo.
Seriously, Olivia is trying to banish her husband from visiting an entire city ever again. There is just no reason for this at all. Yes, we know that Kim and Barry deeply hurt her and Ethan and that Olivia is dealing with the trauma from that. However, there is no reason why Ethan can’t go to Cairo ever again. If she dislikes Cairo, same as if she dislikes Ethan’s family, then SHE can stay away from Cairo and Kim and Barry. She never has to go there ever again. What she cannot do is say to Ethan, ”I have a problem with Cairo, so you’re never allowed to go there again.”
Olivia Needs a Better Approach to Her No-Contact Decision
This also isn’t the first time Olivia has attempted to inconvenience or control other people because of her feelings. Last season, she barred Moriah from letting her parents come to her first concert ever, because Olivia didn’t want them there. Because Olivia has a problem with Kim and Barry, she demands everyone else to have a problem with them, too. Just like how she is forcing Ethan to have a problem with Cairo because she doesn’t like it. Again, I sympathize with Olivia, truly, but she needs to understand she’s not the only person in the world. Other people have thoughts and feelings besides her and she can’t continue to make everyone cater solely to her feelings with outrageous demands and rules.
We saw in the next Welcome to Plathville episode‘s preview that Olivia is raving mad that Ethan hid that he bought another car while they were separated. Am I the only one asking what the big deal is? The only reason I could see the “secret” being so bad is if they were in a poor financial situation. However, that’s not the issue and there’s really no reason why Ethan would have to explain what he does with his money and hobby to Olivia. Of course, it’s clear that Olivia’s reaction is because it will mean more time in Cairo for Ethan to be able to fix up this additional car. While it’s not good to keep secrets, it’s more concerning that Ethan felt he had to keep something that isn't really any business of Olivia’s, a secret from her.
Still, the car is just another example of why Olivia’s demands to erase Cairo from their lives isn’t plausible. Ethan has numerous cars and a big hobby down there. If he wanted to buy a car to continue working on down there, who is Olivia to say that he can’t? Once more, you can't ban your spouse from visiting the general city his family lives in.