Kris Jenner (Kind Of) Meets Caitlyn Jenner During I Am Cait

The penultimate episode of I Am Cait pulled something of a fast one on us. The clips leading up to Sunday night's episode, titled "What's In a Name," promised that Caitlyn Jenner would have her long-awaited meeting with her estranged ex-wife Kris Jenner. And they did. Sort of. With the clock quickly running out near the end of the episode, it was pretty plain to see that either the Jenners meeting was very abrupt or this would be some sort of "To be continued..." situation. It, unfortunately, was the latter. (In fact, if you saw the preview clip of their clearly uncomfortable encounter, you really saw the entire thing.) I guess I could say I expected more from I Am Cait, but, hey, it is still an E! reality television show and cliffhangers mean bigger ratings. Still, the episode was built around this meeting, while so many other important moments wound up taking the backseat. Maybe it's not as "appealing" as watching Kris Jenner meet Caitlyn for the first time, but this episode also featured Caitlyn facing her fears about changing her name legally, as well as her now iconic ESPY Awards speech. While both of those things received plenty of attention, it was all about this build to the Kris Jenner meeting, which got all of about two minutes of screen time. It seems like I Am Cait tends to cherry-pick the familial issues that Jenner faces, both good and bad. I could have watched an entire hour of Jenner's delightful mother, Esther, meeting with Caitlyn's trans friends and her journey to the ESPYs with a broken hip. I also could have watched even more behind-the-scenes ESPYs footage of Caitlyn's friends Candis and Chandi (who gave viewers a look at her incredible support group for trans teens at the Children's Hospital) getting to enjoy that pivotal moment. The ESPYs moment was huge, but it felt like it barely made a dent in this episode. It quickly moved from Jenner's nerves surrounding the event ("I feel so unbelievably vulnerable"), to showing a brief segment of the event, to Jenner's relief that it went well. For one of the landmark pop culture moments of this year, I certainly expected I Am Cait to cover it even more. But, as is so often the case with I Am Cait, the real stars of the show are the trans women who Caitlyn Jenner has introduced to the world on a broader scale. In addition to the return of the fantastic Jenny Boylan (who gave Caitlyn terrific insight into relationships after a transition), there was also Drian Juarez, who educated Caitlyn and viewers alike on what goes into a name and gender change and the proper documentation that is required and why it's such an important step. Still, in terms of reality TV editing, these scenes were no match for the Kris Jenner build-up. Caitlyn spent a bulk of the episode telling her friends that she and Kris hadn't talked for months and that their last meeting was tense, but that she wanted to open lines of communication for the kids, particularly the younger Kendall Jenner and Kylie Jenner. There were telling and honest moments like Caitlyn saying she was sad not to have Kris by her side at the ESPYs, considering they'd been at each other's sides for most of their big life events. It was also quite revealing that Caitlyn chose to share some of the uglier bits of their relationship. This included Kris buying her estranged partner a home (and designing it) without any of her input, just so they could live apart. It wasn't the prettiest picture of Kris Jenner, to say the least. Then again, as anyone who watched Keeping Up With the Kardashians can tell you, Bruce Jenner was often silenced from having any input or anything to say, but the same cannot and will not be true for Caitlyn Jenner. The first meeting of Caitlyn and Kris looks to be tense and awkward and brimming with things that need to be said on both sides. Will this serve as a helpful lesson on how the family deals with this transition, or be made into just another juicy reality TV tidbit? Let's hope the former, so that I Am Cait can go out the way it came in: with grace and dignity and something important to say.

More from TV

R29 Original Series