The casual fan’s guide to jumping into WeTV’s ridiculous guilty pleasure ‘Life After Lockup’

The ‘Love After Lockup’ spinoff is just as much of a can’t-look-away train wreck as the original.

The casual fan’s guide to jumping into WeTV’s ridiculous guilty pleasure ‘Life After Lockup’
[Photo: Scott Broome/Unsplash; Carles Rabada/Unsplash]

Love After Lockup is another mini-universe of reality TV insanity that keeps fans coming back for chaos every Friday night. Brought to us by Sharp Entertainment, the same people who produce 90 Day Fiancé, the show started January 12, 2018, and got so popular that it spawned Life After Lockup, which premiered last June.


The series centers around multiple couples who met for the first time while one person was behind bars. Much of a season follows the couple while they’re separated by the law, building to a crescendo when the incarcerated party is released.

Obviously, the drama escalates when both parties are free, as they navigate life, parole, skeptical family members, their own bad life choices, and not to get too heady here, but the nature of freedom itself. Life After Lockup is the logical continuation of Love After Lockup, but it features more of the fan-favorite dysfunctional couples after they’ve been together in the free world for a spell. As the former inmates taste freedom for the first time in a long time and learn who they are again on the outside, they deal with clingy significant others, who in a lot of cases tend to act more like wardens.

Life After Lockup is currently in the midst of its third season, and tonight’s episode is major, because it features the biggest altercation in the history of the show.

Actually, it’s more like a beatdown.

Basically, Andrea, a black Mormon woman living in Utah, assaults her husband Lamar—who is a member of the Crips and once did nearly two decades in the bing for armed robbery—because she found condoms in his pocket.

No one should be physically assaulted, and after getting to know Andrea via this show, it’s not surprising that she would resort to violence. The civilians on this show are often more unhinged than the jailbirds—and that’s what keeps people watching. The bad decisions are astounding. That’s also the main thing you should keep in mind when watching this show. Don’t question it: Just tweet your judgment and be glad it’s not you (hopefully).


We probably won’t know what the resolution between Andrea and Lamar will be until tonight’s episode, but here’s a breakdown of the rules for Love After Lockup/Life After Lockup in the event you’ll be tuning in tonight for the first time or need a reminder.

The civilians are the nuttiest

Andrea, the aforementioned black Mormon, possibly takes the cake. She has three children, two teenagers who are more mature than she is along with a five-year-old. When we first meet Andrea, she mentions that she met Lamar in jail while she was doing some sort of ministry pen pal program and that they had been together for a while. The numbers are hazy, but she met him while he was in the middle of his 20-year sentence, and she kept their relationship a secret from her other Mormon friend—one of whom had a tendency to blurt racist statements that Andrea described as the woman “just speaking her mind.” When Andrea met Lamar, she had two kids but carried on a seven-year-relationship with Lamar before he got out of prison. By the time Lamar got out of prison, she had three kids, with her youngest obviously having been born during that time. Are you mathing yet? Anyway, she kept her youngest child’s father’s identity a secret, until earlier this season, when she revealed that her now five-year-old daughter belongs to Lamar.

Andrea and Lamar didn’t get married until Lamar got out. You can’t get conjugal visits in prison when you’re not married, but they found a way to get busy in a prison closet anyway (they probably bribed a c.o., but we’ll never know for sure). The reason why Andrea kept this a secret is because obviously that’s a crime, and Lamar could have gotten more time. So they had to wait until he was off parole to reveal that secret.

Furthermore, Andrea had convinced herself that her children—who, again, are more mature than she is—thought she got pregnant by the Holy Spirit. That is literally something she said, but obviously the kids know where babies come from. The other sign that this relationship is doomed is that Andrea prefers to live as a Mormon in Utah while Lamar prefers to live religion-free in his hometown. So much of Andrea’s life revolves around getting her Mormon friends to ambush Lamar with knowledge about Mormonism, and Lamar pushes back against their flagrant attempts to indoctrinate him. Quite frankly, a lot of it seems very Sunken Place-adjacent, and Lamar is hip to the game.

Manipulation is the name of the game

There are always exceptions to every rule, but in Love After Lockup World, it’s safe to assume that a lot of the inmates are shady. Many of the stories always start with people who are head over heels in love with some inmate that they saw the good in, but then you learn that the civilian probably sent that inmate an exorbitant amount of money. Then you think about how isolated prisoners are, and the fact that they can easily meet people on inmate dating sites, and also the fact that inmates still need money for survival, and the red flags just get brighter.


Let’s take Scott and Lizzie, for example:

Scott spent over $90,000 on Lizzie and even bought a new home so that Lizzie and her daughter could move in with him and his son once she got out. It immediately becomes clear that Lizzie was only interested in his money when she reveals that she had Scott on rotation with several other men while she was in jail after racking up several DUI charges. She tried to clean up her story a bit when Scott’s friend called her out, claiming that she really fell in love with him, but once again, her motives became clear when she ran up his credit card bill on a shopping spree for herself and a friend, and then broke up with him after finding out he went broke attempting to take care of her.

Blame it on crack

If you’ve learned nothing about how bad drugs are in elementary school, let this show be a refresher that drugs are bad, mkay?

Seriously, “Motherf—ing crack!” has become a catchphrase spoken often in relation to this show.


The words were first shouted by Clint, whose drug-addicted wife, Tracie, ran out on him and stole his rental car just a few hours after they got married (and after his parents warned him to stay away from her). Clint was distraught and called his mom to complain about what inevitably happened. His mom surprisingly humored him (in lieu of hanging up on him) and asked him why Tracie left. Clint responded, “Motherf—ing crack!”

The backstory is that Clint vowed to help his goddess (his words) Tracie get clean. Tracie vowed that she was ready to live a sober life with him, but anyone else with eyes could see that getting her off drugs would take a lot more than love. Tracie got arrested again shortly after running out on Clint after their wedding, but his love never wavered. He was there for her when she got out the second time, and then again after a third arrest for possession, where he was also arrested. He got lucky and managed to get released, but Tracie had to stick around on the inside for a while.

This season pretty much picks up from Tracie getting out again and Clint telling us this is her last chance—seriously this time—but all signs point to the struggle continuing.

Bad decisions run rampant

You can reference the love triangles between Michael, Sarah, and Megan, or between Lacey, John (or “Schjohn”), and Shane. There’s also Angela and Tony the hobosexual.

In other words, this is a show you will want to live-tweet, because there will be so many times where you can’t believe how silly some of these people can be.


There’s a lesson in this drama somewhere

You know how they say it’s easier to judge a situation when you’re watching it from the outside? It’s also easier to learn from a situation when you’re a spectator, so let us all be reminded that drugs are bad and it’s probably not a good idea to get romantically involved with someone who is in jail.

At least wait until they’re free.