The heartbreaking moment played out on Sunday's 'Sister Wives.'
Sunday's episode of Sister Wives featured one particularly heartbreaking moment after Kody Brown and his fourth wife, Robyn, finally contracted COVID after 20 months of sticking to strict social distancing protocols.
The family struggled with severe symptoms that landed Robyn in the hospital and left Kody feeling physically run down and depressed. In the thick of it, Kody reached out to his and wife Janelle's son, Gabriel Brown, who had gotten COVID earlier in the year. Kody called Gabriel on Oct. 11, which just happened to be his son's birthday.
"I didn't remind him that it was my birthday because I wanted to see if he remembered," Gabriel explains in an aside interview, tearing up. "And he didn't. So to him it was just a phone call just asking me about COVID."
Gabriel weeps in the confessional, wiping his eyes and putting his head in his hands.
"It was a lot worse than just a phone call for me," he says.
He adds that several hours later his dad tried to call him back and apologize and wish him a happy birthday.
"That's the last time I ever talked to my dad," Gabriel says of the October 2021 moment.
The show doesn't feature the father of 18's response to his phone call faux pas. Tensions have been rising between Kody and his older kids throughout the COVID pandemic as they have accused him of using the virus as an excuse to spend more time with Robyn and their children.
Prior to contracting COVID, Kody and Janelle meet for a tense discussion in which Kody calls out Janelle's other son, Gabriel's brother, Garrison.
"I'm not going to have them come to my house for Thanksgiving if they've got animosity towards me.... Maybe Garrison should try to reach out to me and make amends," Kody suggests.
In her aside interview, Janelle says, "Kody and my boys are very estranged. He doesn't even want to see their point of view. He's like, 'You've offended me. You've offended those that are close to me, aka Robyn, you guys have to come mea culpa and apologize and grovel.' My boys are just not gonna do that."
Kody disagrees with that interpretation, saying, "I'm not asking for an apology or a mea culpa from Gabe and Garrison. I'm simply wanting to clear the air."
In a previous episode, Kody accused Garrison of spreading COVID to Janelle and her kids.
"Then he's mad at me that I'm not coming around," Kody said, claiming that his son said, "'I love you, Dad, but this is goodbye forever.'"
Sister Wives airs Sundays at 10 p.m. ET on TLC.