This season’s ‘Catfish: The TV Show,’ which premiered Tuesday, June 25 at 10 p.m. on MTV, features so many OMG moments that it is best to analyze each episode with equally expressive reactions. And not just text-based or still image reactions — GIF reactions.
First and foremost I have to give a shout out to @SEPedaGirl for this amazing fan art.
I am in awe of the greatness that is real life Catfish: The TV Show fan art. Maybe if there’s more we can dedicate a whole post to it. Look at me promising things I have no control over. Regardless, thanks!
This episode starts where we left off — Piscataway, New Jersey’s version of Nevax’s non-descript hotel room. Do they always start a new episode in the last town they visited in the previous episode? Where have I been? Apparently I only notice important show format details when it relates to New Jersey.
18-year-old Aaliyah of Oakland, CA is this week’s Catfishee. In her email, she explains that despite having a girlfriend who lives a mere 70 blocks away, she has yet to meet her in person. (Granted, 70 blocks isn’t a walk in the park — maybe Central Park — but it’s also not a thousand miles.) After meeting one year ago on Facebook, Aaliyah and Alicia have been in a romantic relationship for the past 10 months. She is Aaliyah’s first love. But — there’s always a but — Alicia continues to make excuses to not meet Aaliyah in person and also claims that she’s not “out.”
Nevax video chat with Aaliyah for more information on her situation. She’s a bubbly, happy person, who is going through serious hardship. She lost her home when her mother was evicted and has been couch-surfing for the past several months. Nevertheless, she still attends school and works at community-based non-profit organization, HOPE Collaborative.
Aaliyah wants Alicia in her life. However, if Alicia refuses to meet her or go out in public with her, then Aaliyah wants to be sure she can move on. Nevax and viewers alike can already tell Alicia is hiding something, but I hope it’s not too devastating for Aaliyah.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, Nev and Max are those annoying kids playing in the airport, getting in everyone’s way as others rush to make their flights. I would never fly with them.
Nevax meets with Aaliyah at her friend’s house. She’s been staying there for about a week as she continues her couch-surfing. Aaliyah explains that she and her mother were evicted because her mom decided to continue paying for Aaliyah’s education over their house. Aaliyah suffers from ADD, and so, a school that works for her is important. Her mom is on disability with a fixed income after having been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Despite her harsh reality, Aaliyah’s constant touchstone in her life is Alicia.
Then Aaliyah also reveals that she has sent about $600 as well as (or including, it’s unclear) an iPhone to Alicia throughout their year-long correspondence. Nope, this is not okay. Alicia better pull a Loyda and give back everything Aaliyah has given her. I don’t care how genuine Alicia is or not, to pressure someone you supposedly care for to buy you things when you know this loved one is in a tough financial situation is egregiously selfish.
Great, the show just started, and I’m already upset.
Aaliyah is at her breaking point and can’t continue maintaining a relationship restricted to the phone. Another strained virtual relationship means another case to be solved. It’s Investigation Time.
First, Nevax checks Alicia’s Facebook. She’s listed as “Interested in Men” and “In a Relationship,” yet this matches up with Aaliyah’s understanding of Alicia hiding her sexuality. Image Search yields no results, which is a hopeful sign pointing to the authenticity of her physical appearance. As such, Nevax deems Alicia’s profile genuine.
Nevax goes on to contacting some of Aaliyah’s Facebook friends including Allyi, Kennette, and Cortez. Kennette almost immediately calls Nevax and explains that Aaliyah is a good friend of hers. She also used to date Kennette’s brother. Uh-oh. Not necessarily the reddest of flags especially if she’s still in the closet, but that news is not encouraging. Cortez calls soon after and states that he is another ex-boyfriend of Alicia. Uh-oh. This isn’t turning out as well as hoped. But Max has faith! He believes that such revelations don’t necessarily mean that Alicia doesn’t love Aaliyah. Max acting as this week’s romantic is surprising and sweet. But it also gives me a bad feeling about what has yet to be revealed.
The next day, Allyi responds to Nevax’s Facebook message as if we need more A names this episode. Allyi is not only Alicia’s roommate but her sister. Nev guardedly asks Allyi questions about her sister, stating that “someone” is in love with Alicia. Allyi reveals that Alicia doesn’t have a job, unlike Aaliyah’s understanding that she was a caregiver at a nursing home. Oh and she has a boyfriend.
Max then takes over the line of questioning and flat out states that the person in love with Alicia is a female. This shocks and surprises Alicia’s sister as she goes on to say, “No one in our family would approve of her being gay either.” Now setting aside just what the hell a sign of being gay even is, this reveals a lot about Alicia and why she may still be in the closet.
Nevax and Aaliyah visit a cafe to go over the investigation results. Aaliyah doesn’t take any of the news very well. She is steadfast in her belief that Alicia doesn’t have a boyfriend, and it’s really Alicia pretending Aaliyah is a guy when in front of her friends and family. What about the other lies? Like the lack of a job and how that changes the circumstances of Aaliyah presenting gifts and money to Alicia?
Nevax decides it’s time to contact Alicia in order to set up a face-to-face meeting. Because Alicia may be unwilling or uneasy to discuss her feelings for Aaliyah, another woman, Max states the obvious, “We gotta be really sensitive here.” Max is not the most sensitive person in the world, so he should steer clear of the conversation and let Nev do what he does best.
This is an interesting, perhaps problematic episode. On one hand, Nevax’s loyalties and support go to, as always, the Catfishee as they do all they can to weed out the lies and bring forth the truth regarding the true identity and intentions of the Catfisher. On the other hand, the Catfisher seems to be a person who has not yet decided to share her true sexual preferences and identity to both the public and most of the people in her life. What right does Nevax have in forcing this person out of the closet?
It’s a Catfish conundrum!
On a less intense note, let’s appreciate how garishly orange and awkward Nevax’s rental car is this week. It’s most certainly not the sleek black Range Rover they’re used to. I think this new car fits Nevax’s style even better. Orange is the new black after all.
Back to the drama: Nevax picks up Aaliyah, and they drive the 70 blocks to Alicia’s house. And then a storm of fake eyelashes, bad extensions, and a worse attitude is released. Oh, I mean, Alicia finally reveals herself. Alicia saunters out and immediately states that she has been using Aaliyah and has no feelings for her whatsoever. The only person she cares about is herself, and Aaliyah is but one person she uses to get money and gifts. She claims that such fake connections are her “job.” She is so haughty and negative, she even opens her front door with a bad attitude. This is the worst case scenario.
In the much needed mid-commercial break, Nev and Max visit a barber shop. Nev wants Max to receive a straight razor shave. “After you get a straight razor shave, you’re supposed to get married,” shrugs Nev. Wait, is this his version of a proposal? Let’s just say that it is. In the barber’s chair, Max says, “The only people that held knives to my throat have been ex-girlfriends.” That’s why they’re the past and Nev is the future.
A clean shaven Max and Nev then exit the shop as Nev declares, “Let’s get married!” (I’m going to pretend that he said this instead of “Let’s get you married,” which he actually said.)
Back to the drama: Alicia continues her emotional rampage, and with a pout, spews, “I don’t care about anybody’s feeling about mine.” Nev is so put off by her that he can’t carry a conversation with her. He returns to the car where Max comforts a crestfallen Aaliyah. So, it’s Max the Interrogator to the rescue! Max first pisses Alicia off, bluntly stating that he doesn’t buy Alicia’s cold facade, she really does care for Aaliyah. But it seems to work as he is able to get Alicia to admit that she cares for Aaliyah as a friend and is willing to meet them the next day. Max is almost as good as the Lasso of Truth or Veritaserum.
The next day, Blazer Nev makes his debut. Blazer Nev is great in the abstract but in reality has a bit of a young-boy-pretending-to-be-a-businesman-on-Career-Day vibe. But I like the switch up in look — keep trying, Nev, maybe one day you’ll pull it off. (Pro tip: don’t pair that blazer with that black T-shirt.)
Nevax and Aaliyah meet with Alicia once again. Today, Alicia still has her conceited edge but confesses that she values Aaliyah’s friendship and is apologetic for leading her on. Plus, she’s not a lesbian. She’s sorry but she’s straight, okay?! Sure she is.
I’m just in awe of how delusional Alicia is. She says she’s been hurt before yet always finds herself hurting those close to her. I call shenanigans on all of these complicated excuses. She has some underlying issues either related to her sexuality or not that she must deal with before she can truly have meaningful relationships. Her pause when Nev suggests she give back the iPhone Aaliyah gave her made me want to throw the remote at the screen. Aaliyah, too sweet for her own good, doesn’t want the phone back, but will stop paying her bills. She was paying her bills, too?! Oh no no no no no!
What is wrong with Alicia? That could be the title for an interesting spinoff show if she didn’t infuriate me so much that I can hardly watch her on screen.
One month later, Nevax checks in with both Alicia and Aaliyah. Alicia says she’s done taking advantage of people online and hopes to grow from this experience. Hm, I’ll believe it when I see. Aaliyah has decided she’s not ready to be in contact with Alicia yet. (Good!) Despite no change in her living situation, she’s hopeful for the future as she continues working with Hope Collaborative and aims to attend college next year. Aaliyah seems to be such a warm and giving person that I’m sure she’ll end up just fine — as long as she keeps far away from people with so much emotional baggage and drama like Alicia.