“Generation Cryo” recap (1.6): One Last Trip

The other siblings spill out on to the street, as if to say, “Your heart-to-heart over yet, kids?” They walk into the LA sunset.


The next day, the fabulous Boston duo, Molly and Paige, make their way to LA, too. I can see Maddi, Bree, and Paige having a lot of fun together. But before new half-sib bonding can take place, Bree has her heart-to-heart time with Molly and Paige alone, where she shares her news of actual contact with the donor. Molly and Paige, like Jonah, are so interesting, because their own desires are so far away from Bree’s. While they hesitantly listen to Bree’s new information—the donor doesn’t have a wife or family of his own, and he’s open to contact with any and all of them—they still don’t want a relationship with him. But yet they are so supportive of Bree, and so happy for her, in her own journey.

Although even as Bree continues to email back and forth with the donor, she starts to feel more and more strange about how fast it all seems to be unfolding. She starts to pull back the reins a little, and starts to finally empathize with the position of some of her other half-sibs for the first time. She doesn’t regret anything that’s happening, but there’s just this big question looming over her: how does this person fit into my life now?


So after a little while longer of hanging in LA, she heads back to Reno, and sits down to talk with the person who matters most: her mom. Sitting in their dusty Nevada backyard, Sherri says all the right things a mom can say to a daughter who’s trying to figure out who she is. She says that she’s sorry, but that she can’t tell Bree how this man is going to fit into her life, or what he means for her. That’s something Bree has to figure out for herself.


But she does tell her that there are certain people in our lives who are important, and that this guy is indeed half of her—part of her soul, as Sherry puts it. This might be strong wording for some, but it’s clear that Sherry believes it, and that she’s extremely grateful for it. And for Sherry, the most important person in her own life is Bree. And that’s the way it’ll always be. Cue one last heartwarming hug.


On the other side of the country in Atlanta, things don’t feel as clear cut or as warm and fuzzy for Hilit and Jonah’s family. Hilit didn’t join in on the LA trip, so Jonah fills her in on everything once he gets home. They then go to talk to their parents together. Jonah had previously confronted his mother about how she reacted to news about the donor at Tahoe, and it seems like they don’t get much further here than they did last episode. By being so strong headed about wanting to know the donor even as Jonah and Hilit pushed back, Jonah feels like his mother wasn’t listening to her family. Terri, meanwhile, feels like Jonah is trying to silence her feelings.

At the dinner table with Eric, they continue to hash out the meaning of all this for them. Hilit brings up the idea that even if their family doesn’t want contact with him, if Jesse and Jayme or Bree actually become close to him, and they have a family get together at some point in the future, what if he becomes part of it? Eric says that that may very well be a reality. It’s like they’re all part of the same spider web now. They might be on the far edge of the action, but they can still feel the repercussions of a fly getting caught in the web. Terri maintains her position that she just doesn’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing. Eric says he doesn’t have anything more to say. Their road ahead may be a rocky one, at least in terms of dealing with the idea of the donor, but at least it will be an honest one.


Back in Bree’s bedroom, she turns on her video camera to make one last video diary. And then she packs all of the memory cards into an envelope to send off to her sperm donor, an act which seems so much scarier than her first letter! He presumably now will see everything we’ve seen, from the beginning of Bree’s journey, logging on to the Donor Sibling Registry, to Atlanta and Boston and LA and back again. At the end of it all, none of the siblings who are now in contact with him—both Jesses, Jayme, and Bree—continue to correspond, but none have approached actually meeting in person. For the rest of them, the Boston sisters and Jonah included, they stand by their current position of disinterest, but as time has gone on, also now acknowledge that their emotions may change over time.

And with her mission pretty much accomplished, Bree is now off on a new journey: college.

Now that Generation Cryo is actually all said and done, let’s take a moment to think about what we got from these brief six episodes. We saw a whole range of non-traditional but beautiful, functioning families. We saw those families talk about what family actually means. We saw a really positive portrayal of a young lesbian woman and her two loving moms. We saw a bunch of kids from across the country become siblings, and become fiercely loyal to each other. We didn’t see any single one of those kids give a shit about Bree’s sexuality, to the point where it was almost a complete non-issue. We saw a group of kids have extremely different viewpoints on extremely personal issues that affected them all, yet they always talked them through calmly and compassionately. And at the end of the day, they still respected and loved each other. Because they were family.

In short, this was six really good hours of TV that documented a really good part of youth, of America, of family. It would be great to see more things like it.

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