Tonight on CBS The Briefcase premieres with an all new Wednesday May 27, season 1 premiere called, “Bronsons/Bergins,” and we have your weekly recap below! On tonight’s episode, an injured military vet and the owners of an ice cream truck are presented with a tough decision in the premiere of this reality series: Keep a briefcase filled with $101,000 for themselves or share it with another hard-working family facing financial difficulty.
The Briefcase is about hard-working families who are experiencing financial setbacks are given a large sum of money and presented with a difficult choice: Keep it all for themselves or share it with a household in a similar situation.
On tonight’s episode as per the CBS synopsis, “emotions run high when the Bergin Family from Matthews, N.C. and the Bronson Family from Manchester, N.H. are presented with a life-changing amount of money and a huge decision – to keep, give or share it with the other family. Initially, they think their choice will be straightforward, but after learning about each other lives, they realize it is much more complicated.”
This is definitely one series that you don’t want to miss. Don’t forget to stay tuned to Celeb Dirty Laundry where we will be live blogging the season 1 premiere of The Briefcase.
Tonight’s episode begins now – Refresh Page often to get the most current updates!
#TheBriefcase begins with a commentary on the struggle of middle class families in America. Two deserving families will get a briefcase with $101,000 in it then will face a decision of whether to keep all, some or give it all away. Both families have a briefcase are deciding whether to share it with the other. That means each family considering the other has $101k. That means one could end up with more than $200,000 and the other with none. Interesting.
In Mathews, North Carolina, we meet the Bergen family. Joe Bergin got laid off from his job and they started an ice cream truck company. Kim says it’s been a struggle and Joe was in a collision not too long ago and now can’t work. They’re struggling but working through it. In Manchester, New Hampshire, the Bronsons live. Dave earned a purple heart after he lost his leg in combat. His wife Kara is a nurse and is pregnant and the breadwinner.
They live on the third floor of an apartment building which is hard on Dave who is a stay at home dad. They think they are on a documentary about money. The producers show up at each home with a briefcase of cash. Faye Stapleton is at the Bergins. She says they know a little about their story and has a briefcase for them. She says it’s theirs and they can open it when they want.
They click it open and are stunned. Kim asks what it is and Faye says it’s $101k for them. Kim asks why, how and if it’s for real. Kim cackles and sniffs it and laughs. She says this must be a joke. She says it’s unreal. She asks Joe what he’ll do with the money and he says give it to his wife. Kim says they can start their business off the way they should. Kim asks if they’re pranking them.
The producer in New Hampshire hands the Bronsons a briefcase. Kara and Dave are in stunned silence. They tell the Bronsons how much it is and that it’s theirs. Dave hugs and kisses Kara who is shocked. Dave asks if it’s Monopoly money. Dave says they could get a house with more accessibility, pay off their debts and take care of her maternity leave.
The producers tell each couple they have a decision to go with it. Kim says they can’t have it back. They are told they can keep all of it, some of it or none of it. They tell them whatever they don’t keep will go to another family that’s in as much need or more than they are. Joe says another family may need it more but Kim says that’s easy for him to say since she’s dealing with the bills.
She wants them to think about it carefully. Dave says a lot of people are struggling that he knows. Kim says this money can change someone’s life. They tell them they have 72 hours to make their decision. They leave them a phone where they will be texted with information about the other family. The producers tell them to spend the $1,000 from the top of the pile immediately.
Kara and Dave talk about buying some nursery furniture. Kim and Joe want to get a washer and dryer and they take the girls out to do a little shopping. Dave and Kara talk about the money and wonder what to do. Dave says they shouldn’t take more than 20% of it. Kara says she’s thinking more long term. She says he has had 33 surgeries and may have more. They decide to go out to dinner.
Kim gets a text and so does Dave. The text asks where they stand and says they need to go to the bank. Only one of them gets to decide how much will go in the bank and how much they give away. Joe and Kara are each tasked to make this decision. There will be three bank visits and they get to decide how much to deposit to keep. Joe says he’s never made a financial decision in their marriage.
Kara says Dave doesn’t want to be greedy but she’s the one who has to work and support the family. Joe goes to the bank then comes home very stressed out. Kim freaks out and he says it was hard. He asks if she wants to see what he decided. She opens the briefcase and sees that all the money is still there. Joe says he decided not to keep any of the money and give it all to the family.
He says he doesn’t know if he did the right thing. Kim says she wants to beat him but his daughters aren’t surprised. Kara tells Dave she decided to give $40k and keep $60k. He says that’s not fair to keep more than half. He asks if she feels greedy and she says no. She says if they can’t help themselves, they can’t help other people.
Joe tells Kim he wants to do the right thing but she says they have to look out for their family. He says he has three kids that he has to raise and if he died, it would be catastrophic to the family and now he thinks they should keep all of it. She laughs at his change of heart and is so excited. She does a #100kDance. She says they don’t know anything about that other family.
They get a text. They get info about the Bronsons. It says Kara is a nurse and that Dave has a long-term injury. Joe says that doesn’t change anything for him at this point and says they’ve been through this too. He says the other family needs to learn from their debt and says they paid their dues. Kim asks if they’re awful people and he says he doesn’t think so.
The Bronsons go look at a house they’re building that’s adaptive for his disability. She hopes he’ll want to keep more of the money once they hear about the cost of the home. He says they’re getting a VA grant to help because of his disability. He says in the future, he’s facing life in a wheelchair. Dave says he wants to help someone else out but needs this stuff for the house.
She’s frustrated and wishes their family is more of a concern for Dave. She says they don’t know about this other family. He says she doesn’t know how bad the other family needs it. They get a text that says the Bergins earn $58k and have a $148k in a mortgage. They read that he had a heart attack at 38 and they can’t afford health insurance. He says they scrape by and hope for a change.
Dave asks if that changes her mind any at all. Kara says it makes her feel bad. He reminds Kara he lost his mom at eight and says those girls would struggle if their dad died. Kara says she worries about them even though she feels bad for them. He asks what if they were in their shoes. She cries and he tells her that he loves her. She says it’s so stressful.
They get another text that tells Dave that he can decide to increase or decrease the amount to give to the other family. Dave and Kim head to the bank to make their decision. Kim says she has to make the right decision for his family. Joe says Kim is very emotional and she may not keep any of the money. She meets the family and their friends tell them they need to keep all of the money.
Then another friend says they couldn’t keep it all and feel good about it. She tells Joe to look in the briefcase. He opens it and sees she kept nothing in the briefcase for the other family. Joe says he knows it’s hard to do that. They get a text about the other family and say they’re going to go meet the other family.
Dave tells Kara that he sticks to things he feels strongly about. Kara says she wants to know they are the top priority for him. He says he decided they should only keep $20k. He says it should be about doing things for other people. They get a message that they will get to go see the other family’s life first hand. They are down to less than 24 hours to decide.
Kara says the Bergins have a nice neighborhood. The producers pull them up and tell them they can go into their house and look around. The camera crew follows them inside. They see a family photo of the family. Kara sits on their bed and says she didn’t think that waterbeds still existed. They look through the teen’s messy closets and see the broken washer and dryer and a stack of medical bills.
They agree that it looks nice from the outside but once you get inside, you can see that they need help. They then take them to the place where the ice cream trucks are. They look at the trucks and notice which ones are in bad repair. They agree it looks expensive to get those up and running before the ice cream season starts. Kara says this makes it harder since they can see now how they live.
The Bergins head to the Bronson’s neighborhood. They see the area isn’t that great. They climb the three flights of stairs up to their apartment. They see that the apartment is overcrowded with stuff. Kim calls Joe in and shows him Dave’s prosthetic legs. They see the ultrasound photos of the baby girl then they see the Purple Heart and realize he lost his leg fighting in the war.
Kim is full on bawling now. She says he’s so unselfish and they look at all his medals. They leave and Joe says they mirror them 20 years ago with where they lived and their kids. Kim is crying non-stop. Kim asks the driver to pull over and she gets out. She actually throws up she’s so upset. Joe asks what’s going on and she says it’s them minus a leg. She says it’s so hard and cries.
She says they have so much. Kim says she thought she wanted all the money but then seeing that it made the money not important to her now. The Bronsons and Bergins each get a text. It says they need to make their final decision together. It says to leave the amount in the briefcase they want to give the other family and will give it to them in person in LA.
#WhatWouldUDo – the families go to LA to meet each other. The couples introduce themselves to each other. They congratulate Kara on the baby and thank Dave for his service. They hug each other warmly. Dave says it made him who he is today. Kim says they had a day at home and they got a knock on the door and tells them about the briefcase. Kara is stunned. Dave says the same thing happened to them.
Kim says they realize both couples have been on the same roller coaster. Kara says she wanted to help another family but needed to take care of her family. Kim says they felt the same way. Kim says she handles all their money and decided on day two to keep all the money and felt really bad about it. She says with her husband not working it was hard.
She says then they saw their apartment and it reminded them of them 20 years ago. Kim says it was a very hard decision. She says she’s not selfish but has to think about your family. She starts setting money out on the table. She says she saw her kids’ faces. Joe says they want them to have all $100,000. They hand it all to them. Kara and Dave hug them. Joe says he’s at peace with this.
Kim says they’re so happy to do this. Dave says they went through the same thoughts as well. Then he says they peeked into their life in North Carolina. He says they toured their house and their ice cream trucks and says he can tell it would take a lot to get them fixed. He says that hit him hard. Kara says they battled back and forth and says they can’t put a price tag on their health.
Kara puts money on the table and Dave says they decided to give them the full $100,000. They hug again and Joe says they are like them. Joe says they changed their lives before that. Joe says this has changed his life for the way he makes his wife handle all their finances. Kara says she learned a lot about herself. The couple smile and hug each other.
Dave says it took a lot of teamwork to get to that point. He says it was a roller coaster and they all agree it was an amazing experience.
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