90 Day Fiance HEA Episode 5 Recap: Voodoo Chicken Feet

Danielle and Mohamed

Danielle is meeting with her family members to ask them to provide evidence against Mohamed in her upcoming annulment trial. They are skeptical, because this is about the seventh time Danielle has filed for an annulment. They’ll do it, but this is Danielle’s last chance. If she pulls the annulment or goes back to Mohamed, they’re done. Again.

Mohamed’s friend Diamond has asked to meet with him and he hopes everything is okay with her. It is not, because Danielle has been texting her and hassling her on social media ever since Mohamed posted Diamond’s picture on his Facebook page. Obviously Mohamed is a little slow on the uptake regarding his social media management–this is like the tenth girl Danielle has stalked. Maybe don’t post pictures of girls for awhile? Diamond seems to take Danielle’s harassment in stride, especially her comment that Diamond looks like a man. I really don’t think Danielle is in a position to cast aspersions on other women’s looks. She’s too easy of a target herself and should know better.

Mohamed is embarrassed by Danielle’s behavior and apologizes to Diamond. He knows that marrying Danielle was the biggest mistake of his life, and hopefully he’ll be done with her once and for all when he returns to Ohio for their annulment hearing.

Mohamed packs for his trip to Ohio and Danielle is shopping for court clothes with her sister. It’s hard for her to find clothes because she’s got “short girl problems.” Mmm…okay. Mohamed says he’s afraid for his life and Danielle and her sister bash him in the sad little dress shop where they’re browsing for a new outfit. Danielle isn’t sure what Mohamed’s up to, but she hopes she’s gathered enough evidence to secure an annulment. So do I. This storyline is tired AF.

Chantal and Pedro

Chantal and Pedro are packing to go to the Dominican Republic. In addition to an entire suitcase full of gifts for his mother, Pedro has bought her a flat screen TV. How does he think he’s going to get that on the plane? Chantal doesn’t understand why Pedro is bringing back all these gifts when he’s already paying his mother’s rent. She thinks Pedro’s mother and sister are freeloaders. She’s right. And as if paying his mother’s rent, bringing a suitcase full case of gifts and a flat screen TV isn’t enough, Pedro wants Chantal to buy his mother a laptop. Incredibly, she agrees to do it. Where does it end? Even though Chantal is trying to be patient with the cultural differences, at this point she needs to have Pedro’s paycheck deposited directly into her account and put him on an allowance–at least until he pays her back for the wedding ring she had to buy for herself. How does Pedro have all this money to spend on his family but he can’t buy his wife a $4,000 wedding ring? Oh–I just answered my own question. Time to cut Mama Pedro off.

Chantal’s parents feel awkward around Mama Pedro because they can’t get over the time she called them stupid Americans with mental problems after they insisted Pedro sign a pre-nuptial agreement. I love the way Pedro refers to Chantal’s family as the “Family Chantal.” It’s cute. What’s not cute is the way his mother and sister basically ignore the Family Chantal upon their arrival in the DR and accost Pedro about the whereabouts of their TV. His sister seems like a bitch. They couldn’t bring the TV because it was too big, so they’re going to FedEx it upon their return to the US. I think you could probably buy a seat on the plane for the TV and it would be less expensive than FedExing it to Pedro’s family. Just how expensive ARE electronics in the DR?

Mama Pedro invites the Family Chantal over to her house for dinner, but Chantal’s mom Karen is leery of eating food that was prepared by someone who doesn’t like her. Once they arrive, Mama Pedro gives them the grand tour, and Chantal notes that it is a three bedroom, two bath apartment. She and Pedro live in a studio. Chantal tells her family that they’re able to afford this apartment because Pedro is footing the bill for it. Karen finds this strange and Chantal tells her she’s trying to be “acceptive” of Pedro’s customs. Karen still doesn’t like it. She watches disapprovingly as Mama and Sister Pedro unpack their suitcase full of gifts, but the laptop is the last straw. Someone asks the sister if it’s for work and she says, “yes, for work,” before she and Mama Pedro break down in laughter. Karen has Pedro’s family’s number, and she’s seen enough.

She says they won’t be able to stay for dinner, but Pedro begs them to stay because his mother has been cooking “all day.” The Family Chantal reluctantly sticks around, only to be served a plate of chicken feet and chicken necks. Not only is Karen insulted by this meager offering, she thinks Mama Pedro may be putting some sort of hex on her, since she knows that chicken feet are often used in voodoo rituals. This seems a little paranoid to me, but I wouldn’t be thrilled about eating chicken offal either.

The Family Chantal prepares to leave, but before they do Karen thanks Mama Pedro for inviting them into their home, even though she thinks they are “stupid Americans with mental problems.” What follows is a language barrier-challenged roundelay filled with chicken feet angst and lingering bitterness over a certain pre-nuptial agreement. Nothing is accomplished and the Family Chantal takes their leave.

Chantal sits down to dinner with the Family Pedro and tries to convey why her family feels disrespected. Mama Pedro admits they never eat chicken feet, but says, with a shit-eating grin on her face, that she thought the Family Chantal would enjoy some traditional Dominican fare. She’s a sly one, that Mama Pedro. Chantal also wonders if Mama Pedro “prayed up” the chicken feet with voodoo and points out that regardless, it was disrespectful of them to cook something they don’t normally eat and try to feed it to Chantal and her family. Chantal is spot on–if the something they don’t normally eat was lobster, it would be a different story. But it was chicken feet and chicken necks–in Chantal’s words, the lowest part of the chicken.

Chantal calmly explains to the Family Pedro that the whole point of their DR wedding is to unite the two families. Mama Pedro concedes that she knows this and that hopefully they can still accomplish it. The next day is a new day, and the Families Chantal and Pedro are traveling to the wilds of inland DR to meet Pedro’s grandmother. Everyone is hopeful that relations will improve from here on out. The ride to the grandmother’s house starts out well, with Chantal’s dad complimenting the countryside and Mama Pedro apologizing for the previous night’s dinner. Five hours later, however, they still haven’t reached the grandmother’s house, and when they do, it’s “pitch black” outside. Pedro joyfully reunites with his grandmother while the Family Chantal refuses to get out of the van. Why? Because through the inky darkness all they can see is a house that is in disrepair (River says it’s the kind of place where the militia live), some “wild” dogs running around and a woman stirring a cauldron–more chicken feet voodoo, assumes Chantal. Translation: there is a modest home, a couple of dogs and a woman cooking over a fire. The Family Chantal are not world travelers, are they?

In the van, the Family Chantal riles Chantal up over the fact that Mama Pedro lives in a three bedroom apartment, while she and Pedro live in a studio. Why are there three bedrooms and two baths when only Mama Pedro and the sister live there? Who is the third bedroom for? Obviously Pedro, who has perpetrated this marriage charade so he can earn money in the US before going back to live with his family in the lap of luxury at Chantal’s expense. It is beyond rude that Chantal’s family won’t leave the van. I would be mortified if I was Chantal.

Pedro doesn’t understand why the Family Chantal won’t leave the van, and Chantal tries to explain to him that they are questioning why Pedro’s family is moving up in the world while he and Chantal are stagnant. She thinks he’s putting his family above his wife and Pedro explains that as a son, it is his responsibility to take care of his mother (and to let her shamelessly take advantage of his sense of duty). Chantal feels like she has tried to respect his culture and customs, but he gives her no respect in return.

Mama Pedro laughs as Chantal and Pedro fight, while the Family Chantal cowers in the van and wonders what menaces lurk in yonder shack, not to mention the surrounding jungle. Karen thinks that Pedro and his mother plotted to hoodwink Chantal into marriage, and she doesn’t trust them. Chantal is starting to think her family is right. She storms away from Pedro and into the van, and the Family Chantal heads back to (relative) civilization, bashing Mama Pedro all the way.

Back at Pedro’s grandmother’s hovel, Mama Pedro curses Chantal and her family, and warns that they shouldn’t fuck with Dominicans. Her formidable manipulation skills are on display as she tells Pedro that she gave birth to him, educated him, and gave up everything for him. The least he can do is support her while she doesn’t lift a finger and shower her and the sister with expensive electronics while they sit around and eat the highest parts of the chicken all day. If Chantal doesn’t like it, she can go back to the United States. I don’t think the Family Chantal are the only ones anxious to flee the DR for the US. Have you been to Washington Heights?

Pedro despairs that the goal of uniting the families is a lost cause, and I have to agree because his mother and sister–who are both despicable–are berating him for making a fool of himself over a girl who thinks she’s a queen, and for caving into the American custom of purchasing a ring for his wife. Umm, Pedro? You didn’t buy that ring for Chantal because your credit was denied. She bought it for herself.

It looks like a lost cause for the Families Chantal and Pedro. Pedro’s mother and sister are shamelessly greedy and manipulative, but the Family Chantal are provincial snobs. So I guess it’s a draw for now.

Jorge and Anfisa

Anfisa was upset after Jorge didn’t stick up for her to his sister Lourdes, so she’s kicked him out. Again. Jorge is holed up in a hotel–again–and thinks this latest fight is more serious than their garden variety knock-down, drag-out blowups. He was blinded by lust love, and now his heart is broken into a million pieces.

Anfisa Ubers over to the Fig and Olive to meet her friend Miranda for lunch. Why does Miranda have purple splotches on her lips? They discuss Jorge and Anfisa’s latest breakup, and Miranda tells Anfisa she can do WAY better. After all, they’re in the OC, where sugar daddies abound. Who is Miranda? How did Anfisa find a girl with the same deplorable value system as herself so quickly? Oh, right, it’s Orange County, where sugar daddies abound but moral compasses do not. Anfisa compliments Miranda’s lips–the purple splotches are the result of recent lip injections. I should have known. Miranda encourages Anfisa to ignore the haters and do whatever makes her feel good about herself. Anfisa doesn’t really need this advice because she points out that when people say she’s filled with plastic, she just shrugs her shoulders and says, “who isn’t these days?” Anfisa gives zero fucks, which is why she’s awesome.

Jorge is meeting Lourdes for lunch to tell her about his breakup with Anfisa. He is able to be candid with her since Anfisa is absent, and tells her that things between them are worse than he’s led his family to believe. He describes the degradation and the hitting, and admits he’s afraid of Anfisa. He says he’s finally seen the light and feels like the marriage was a mistake, but Lourdes is skeptical. She’ll believe he and Anfisa are over when she sees the divorce papers. Jorge’s penis still loves Anfisa, so Lourdes shouldn’t hold her breath.

Loren and Alexei

Loren and Alexei’s mother Natasha are shopping at an Israeli market so Natasha can teach Loren how to cook some of Alexei’s favorite dishes. One of those dishes is chicken livers and onions–of course Loren is grossed out by chicken livers. In addition to preparing a nice meal for her husband, Loren wanted to bring Natasha to the Israeli market to show her that she can be comfortable and make a life for herself in America. There is more to living in a foreign country than knowing where to buy your preferred brand of ketchup, but Loren doesn’t tend to overthink such matters. She and Alexei are hoping that Alexei’s parents and brother will immigrate to the US, so Loren is taking Natasha to see an immigration attorney.

The attorney sits down with Loren and Natasha, and upon being introduced to Natasha begins speaking Russian! Natasha is delighted. He tells them that after three years, Alexei can apply for US citizenship, and once he becomes a citizen he can file a petition to bring his parents to the US. Once he files, the process only takes about six months, which is great news. Bringing the brother over is a different story. Alexei can file a separate petition for his brother at the same time he files his parents’ petition, but instead of six months the time frame for his brother to be allowed into the US is about thirteen years. Loren and Natasha are disappointed, because Natasha will not leave Alexei’s brother alone in Israel. So that’s that. It seems like this drama could have been avoided if Loren and Alexei would have educated themselves about the mechanics of bringing over his family before everyone got all excited about it.

Alexei takes Natasha and Loren out for a nice dinner, but Loren is worried about telling him about his brother’s dismal prospects for immigration. It wouldn’t be an episode of 90 Day Fiance Happily Ever After if Loren wasn’t worried about breaking some sort of distressing news to Alexei. Reasonable, mature Alexei is disappointed but he understands. He respects that his parents do not want to leave his brother behind and will not pressure them to do so.

Russ and Paola

Russ has had it with Paola’s shady “agent,” and with his wife in tow, goes to confront her. Paola is dressed like a Tijuana whore. The only signage to identify the “agency” is a haphazardly tacked-up banner over the door, indicating a fly-by-night operation that changes locations every time the law begins to sniff around. Paola has not gotten any work since she’s been in Miami, and Russ wants to meet the woman who promised her so many great things. He stares her down as he says this and the “agent,” who senses she can’t play with Russ like she does with her stable of starry-eyed, D-list would-be “models,” is speechless for a moment. But the “agent” is a mistress of deflection and says she totally understands Russ’ frustration but she is a very busy woman, and the pictures Paola has given her (the pictures Paola took with the photographer the “agent” set her up with) are no good. Paola needs new, sexier pictures that reflect her current look. I don’t know how Paola’s pictures could be any trashier sexier–they already look like a boudoir photo shoot from the back room of a motorcycle clubhouse.

Paola says she’s happy to get new pictures but since the “agent” has ghosted her, she didn’t know she needed them. The “agent” switches tactics and blames Paola for not logging on to the agency’s “casting system,” where she can access all the model castings and generate direct bookings. This is not how the modeling industry works (at least not in New York–I don’t know about Miami). There is no way a real modeling agency would allow its models to use its website to get direct bookings from a client. Modeling agencies make their money by acting as go-betweens, and they get a percentage of whatever job a model books. They do not provide an avenue for clients and models to contact each other directly, because in doing so they would eliminate their role as middle man, and thus their source of income. Escort services, however, operate in a way that is similar to the one Paola’s “agent” is describing. No wonder she told Paola during their first meeting that she doesn’t like working with women who are married.

The “agent” pretends to check the “casting system” to see if Paola has activated the login credentials the “agent” claims to have given her. Not surprisingly, Paola has no profile on the website. There are only six “models” on this “agency’s” website, and one of them has no picture, just a default avatar. Russ sees through this charade, but Paola wants to start fresh. Oh, Paola–listen to your husband for once. You are being taken for a major ride.

Russ and Paola meet with her photographer and her idol, some internet fitness model and her manager/husband, Jimmy. Paola has plotted planned this meeting to push Russ in the “right direction,” i.e. to make him more comfortable with whoring out his wife. The photographer says Russ needs to loosen up about Paola’s photos–yes, they’re sexy, but they’re classy, too. Classy?! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! I just choked on my gin and juice.

Paola, the photogapher and Jimmy all tell Russ he needs to support Paola in her famewhoring endeavors, but although Russ is proud to say his wife is a model, he points out that Jimmy is European–a far more open-minded populace than your average Oklahoman. Russ wants to support his wife, but he’s not sure he’ll ever be 100% okay with what she’s doing. Poor Russ–he’s trying, but like I’ve said before, he needs to trade in this flamingo for a humble little wren if he’s ever going to have a happy marriage.

 

 

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