In the season finale “Welcome to Plattville”, Olivia Platt finally told the whole story of her feud with Kim Platt and why she is so traumatized by her mother-in-law. Welcome to Plathville season 4 was full of surprises for viewers who never expected the conservative family to change so much. When Mika, Moriah and Ethan Plath started a new life outside of Cairo, Georgia, Kim and Barry Plath’s marriage reached a critical point. Kim and Barry told their children that they were getting divorced, and the season ended with the exes not knowing what their future as parents would look like.
Viewers saw Kim from a new side in season 4, and the controversial matriarch actually won a lot of sympathy from fans after talking about his own traumatic upbringing. Mick and Moria have had serious meetings with Kim this season, and they seem to be on much better terms. Even Ethan agreed to meet Kim to have a tense and awkward conversation, which is an important step for Ethan. But one member of the Plath family who is still not ready to get along with Kim is Ethan’s wife Olivia. In the season finale, there was a family outing by Plath, to which Olivia unexpectedly agreed to come. But Olivia’s discomfort around Kim was palpable to viewers.
In ITM, the producer asked Olivia: “Why can’t you meet Kim?” and with tears in her eyes, Olivia told her whole story with her mother-in-law. Olivia revealed that she first met Kim when she was 16, at a time when she was desperate for a maternal figure in her life. As one of 10 siblings, “Welcome to Platteville” star Olivia said it’s “very easy to feel overlooked and forgotten,” but Kim made her feel important. At first, Kim and Olivia were emailing and talking to each other every day, and Olivia said: “I trusted her more than my mom.” Olivia admitted that for a while she genuinely loved Kim and was glad that she was in her life. However, Kim and Olivia’s relationship eventually broke down.
“What has changed,” commented Olivia, “is that I began to realize that I was just being used. I felt that I would be valuable to her only if I did what she wanted me to do.” Olivia gave one example: when she first married Ethan when he was 20 years old, Olivia discovered that Kim used his credit card, but did not return the money to him. According to Olivia, Ethan didn’t have a password to the family computer, or even a password to his own bank account. Calling it a “literal, what the fuck moment,” Olivia quickly changed Ethan’s passwords, and when Kim asked for it, Olivia firmly told her “no.” “It was the first time she exploded, yelled at me and slammed the door in front of me,” Olivia said. “It changed from ‘I love you so much’ to ‘There’s a devil in you,'” Olivia added, “it just changed overnight.”
For years, many viewers and even many members of the Plath family have wondered what Kim did to make Olivia so upset about her. In the Season 4 finale, Mika, Moria, and Ethan seemed disappointed that Olivia didn’t want to bury the hatchet, or at least tolerate Kim the way they learned to do it. Many fans have called Olivia selfish and stubborn for not being able to move on, but knowing the whole story changes everything. It is now clear that Kim traumatized Olivia during an extremely painful period of her adolescence. To give such love and affection and then take it away is cruel to treat a person, and it is clear that Olivia still has an emotional trauma.
In light of their story, the simple “hello” that Olivia said to Kim during the season 4 finale “Welcome to Plattville” was a monumental effort. Although Kim hurt her sister-in-law, Olivia learned a lot about how to heal herself emotionally. “Just because someone wants to, it doesn’t mean they love you,” Olivia mused. “They may want you because you satisfy their needs, not because they want to satisfy yours.” Obviously, the emotional wound inflicted on Kim has not healed yet, and Olivia may need more time and patience when it comes to communicating with her mother-in-law. Olivia’s husband Ethan and his siblings are disappointed with Olivia’s slow progress, but she is doing her best despite a serious injury.