After the emotional turmoil of the season premiere of ‘Hoarders,’ A&E brought another episode right away, and this one was just as extreme. A&E’s iteration of the hoarding phenomenon focuses more on people in desperate situations. Dire straits that their hoarding has put them in, and thus it tends to deal with heightened emotions. This week, we saw a mini-Branson, MO and what happens when pride gets in the way.
I will give credit to the producers of the show for not trying to sugarcoat the severity of these situations. Neither of these stories ended particularly positively for any of the participants, though I think Sir Patrick is in a better place than Gordon, Gay, Peter and Renee. As the episode progressed, it was revealed that Gay and Renee are the hoarders, while the men of the house just kind of let them do what they want and deal with it. Gordon, in particular, is that old-school proud that is probably not going to be fixed or ever accept help.
As horrid as the conditions were in the house, I kind of understand his rage at the city for coming in and dictating what they can and can’t do with his house. Yes, in this case they were right to remove the animals and ultimately condemn the house, but it can be frustrating to have your life so completely taken out of your control. And if Gordon isn’t a classic hoarder, he at least had a role to play in the squalor that their home became.
Sir Patrick’s situation was different, as his packed home was almost quaint and enjoyable to look at. He called it Camelot, while his neighbors called it the museum. His was a classic case of someone substituting real human affection and interaction for objects, but he also took at least some care of those objects. Whereas most hoarder homes have piles to the ceilings and a look of chaos, there was an order to Patrick’s house. It was packed as tight as it could be, but everything was on display and meticulously placed. I’d almost think that’s a whole different condition. I did find myself wondering how much his electric bill was as he went around turning on lamps and strings of light everywhere.
That he suffered a heart attack after the show left his home is I think indicative of the emotional toll this breakneck approach can have on the participants. They’re not emotionally or psychologically healthy to begin with, so tearing apart the defenses they’ve literally built up around them and then leaving them to fend for themselves has to be just overwhelming. Imagine that first night alone after the crews have gone in an unrecognizable house. Sir Patrick probably felt more alone at that moment than he had in years and was wrought with emotion and panic.