April 21, 2008
You’ve heard the sayings, “Money can’t buy happiness,” and “Money is the root of all evil.” The family moving into The Dr. Phil House proves these sayings are true! They have waged a vicious war of finger-pointing and accusations against each other, all because of the almighty dollar. Their time in The House will be the first real communication they’ve had in over two years!
Part 2 Summary:
The petty bickering over the land and the will carries on as the relatives continue to defend their positions. Fed up, Sara steps in to break up the conflict. “We shouldn’t feel this way. Let’s stop that. Stop!” she tells her family. She asks her mother, Sonja, to start taking responsibility for her behavior, and she lets her know that putting up the fence on the land was a stupid thing to do. Sara encourages her sister, Lisa, and mother to admit they love each other, and Sonja and Lisa share an emotional embrace.
Lisa and Sonja face off in a one-on-one conversation to barrel down to the core of their issues. Soon into the conversation, tempers flare and the focus of the talk returns to the will and the fence. Lisa tries to reason with her mother and wants her to be sorry for her actions. Sonja feels she’s been treated as a villain and refuses to apologize for putting up the fence.
Although Sara has stood by her mother’s side throughout the dispute, she confronts Sonja about always acting as though her actions are right. Dan, Sonja’s husband, joins the conversation and urges Sonja to stop playing hardball so she and Lisa can reach a compromise, because they are running out of time. Sonja says she feels isolated because everyone is ganging up on her, and Sara is “swinging and swaying,” in her loyalty. Sara leaves the conversation in tears and goes into her room to cry. Shortly thereafter, Sara emerges from her room and tells her mother that she loves her and is not abandoning her. Sonja admits she wasn’t being open when Sara confronted her but says she doesn’t feel valued. Sonja still questions what all the fighting is really about.
Dr. Phil’s close associate, Steve Davidson, visits with the family, and asks them to answer a series of questions from their hearts. When Sonja has her turn, she has a hard time revealing her true emotions. Dan voices his opinion and apologizes for his actions. Sonja is ashamed of herself because Dan said sorry first. Sonja asks Lisa and her husband, Javan, for forgiveness. When Lisa sees her mother show true emotions, she’s hopeful their relationship can be healed but is cautious that the behavior will only be temporary.
Dr. Phil has his final sit down with the clan. He suggests that Sonja’s seemingly irrational behavior could be triggered by her fear of growing old without any financial resources and alienated from her family. Sonja is open to Dr. Phil’s theory and agrees with it. Dr. Phil suggests the family not participate in anymore business deals together. He offers to provide a neutral mediator to help the women negotiate the dividing of the property. Sonja and Lisa appreciate the offer. Dr. Phil takes the dollar bill off the wall and reminds the family that the real work starts when they leave The House.
The family prepares to return home. Lisa sees glimmers of the mother who raised her and is hopeful; though she worries because she and her mother have lived the pattern of fighting and making up for many years. Sonja feels the family is on the road to recovery. Sara understands more healing needs to take place.
A few weeks after the family leaves The House, the Dr. Phil cameras follow Sonja, Dan, Lisa and Javan as they head into mediation. The women bicker and emotions run high. Sonja feels she’s being treated unfairly and tears well in her eyes. She says she’s done, and leaves the room. After 10 hours, mother and daughter come to an agreement, but Lisa worries her mom will not honor it.