Look up inscrutable in the dictionary, and you may as well find a picture of Kourtney Kardashian.
If you hadn't been watching her roller-coaster relationship with Scott Disick play out on TV for nearly eight years now, it would be practically impossible to tell that she's been dealing with so much for so long. Even having seen the ups and downs, it's still sometimes difficult to connect what must be a nightmarish situation with the generally even-keeled mother of three, who remains determinedly focused on her kids, work and the rest of her sprawling family.
But Kourtney's stoic facade finally cracked in the most visible manner to date last summer, when she dumped Scott after his behavior—which for the better part of a decade has involved abusing alcohol—crossed a line. (Or as Khloe Kardashian later put it: "I haven't seen Scott since before he was caught with some whorebag.")
And she has admitted that the "revenge bod" that her sisters have gushed over on Keeping Up With the Kardashians is at least in part because she needs those workouts to stave off anxiety and all the other emotions that go with a tough breakup.
"Let's look on the bright side. Now I have a huge closet, guys," Kourtney deadpanned to Kris Jenner and Kim Kardashian after she kicked Scott out in July. "There's actually a lot of bright sides. The closet is number one." Seconds before that, she was wiping away tears.
And yet...Scott has mostly stayed in the picture. After Kourtney kicked him out in July, he tearfully confronted her, Khloe, Kim and Kris at Kris' house, lamenting how he knew he had screwed up and knew that he was at risk of losing not just the mother of his kids but entire support system that comes along with being part of the Kardashian family.
Scott spoke of losing both his parents—tragically, his mother died in November 2013 and his father passed away just two months later—and how post-breakup he felt like he had lost everyone in his life and he felt like there he was nothing he could do to make it right.
"I want to be able to be the man that you've always wanted," he told Kourtney. "I could party, I could go out every night I could do whatever, it's not the life that I really want. I know what I want and I may not get it but I know that I would literally hate myself for the rest of my life if I didn't at least try and I realize that if I don't make a change now like it'll never be able to be OK and it may not be but I'm damn well gonna try and I wanted you guys to know that and I wanted to see you guys and I just love you all and miss you guys so much you know?"
The Kardashians, meanwhile, seemed to accept the new, strange situation—even if no one else did—and Scott continued to be welcome (just as Lamar Odom continued to be when things reached peak dysfunction with Khloe) as a member of the family. He joined everyone at Khloe's house for Thanksgiving, had dinner with Kris while undergoing treatment in November and he and Kourtney would spend time together with Mason, Penelope and Reign and give each other shout-outs on social media.
In fact, it's hard not to root for him and Kourtney, at least a little. They've been through so much, and he does seem to really love her despite all his screw-ups...But how much is Kourtney supposed to forgive? Because it sounds as though her family, though ever supportive of Kourtney, is through with him as her boyfriend.
"I really think that Kourtney's had it, so I don't think that she would necessarily get back with him, but there's always that possibility," Kim lamented last summer. "And that just worries me, 'cause he can't just go, do what he wants to do and then come back when he wants to come back. I hope that she just holds her ground, 'cause it's not gonna help anyone [if she forgives him again]."
Kourtney has indicated that this time is different, that though she had taken him back multiple times after his partying got out of hand, after multiple stunted attempts at rehab, she wasn't interested in jumping on the merry-go-round again.
"I feel like he had fun, and then once, like, reality set in, he was like, "Oh, s--t," Kim said during the Nov. 22 episode of Keeping Up With the Kardashians.
"Yeah, but I feel like that's kind of what happens every time," Kourtney said. "Like, he would be home and be really good for, like, three months, and then go out of town, and then be, like, worse than he was, you know, before." (It would turn out Scott was at the house during this conversation).
Once again, the family had included him in their New York Fashion Week plans, but Scott skipped Kanye West's Yeezy Season 3 show (which also served as Lamar's first public appearance since his overdose) and was instead out with friends every night, drinking and partying, according to sources.
"After a few months of being on his best behavior, he cracked," one insider told E! News.
In what must have been quite the understatement, the source also said that Kourtney "is not impressed."
Nor will she have any reason to be unless Scott commits to a long-term plan to get his life in order. Aside from the faint notion of salvaging any romantic relationship with Kourtney, he's got three children to think about.
"He has, like, two personalities," Kourtney said on the show last year. "That's the hard thing. It's like he wants both. He's like, 'I just want my family,' or whatever, and I'm just like, 'Well, what are you doing to try to change your life?' There's just a lot that would have to happen [to take him back]."
"I haven't seen any good behavior yet," was Khloe's response when Scott tried to get in touch with her after a month of being incommunicado.
"I think regardless of Scott and Kourtney being together, Scott will always be in our lives," Kim also said at the time. "I mean, he's the father of my nephews and my niece. We want him healthy and happy, so that he can be in their lives as much as possible. But I still want Kourtney to figure it out and be strong and not get back together with him."
Fast-forward a few months, and Scott has continued to give the Kardashian family no reason to want otherwise. As he himself said, months ago: "I understand that I need to help myself way before I can help [Kourtney] or my kids or whatever"—but though he knows what needs to be done, he isn't doing it, in the time it takes to put a show together or in real time.
Judging by the steadfast support for Lamar, it's unlikely the fam is going to turn the other cheek as far as Scott is concerned anytime soon. And he's going to need the Kardashians more than ever if he continues wandering along the same destructive road—because who else but family is going to put up with this?