90 Day Fiance Ep. 4 Recap: Annie Get Your Buffalo

I missed last week because of my grueling work schedule, but nothing much happened anyway. Luis and David arrived in America, some major red flags were raised by Andrei’s control issues, and we met a new couple–Josh and human Kewpie Doll Aika.

This week began with a major seismic shift as Nicole actually displayed some wisdom regarding Azan’s treatment of her. She doesn’t want him to treat her badly in front of May because she is concerned that May will grow up thinking it’s okay for a man to treat her just as shabbily and dismissively as Azan treats her mother. She probably read this insightful tidbit on a greeting card or in one of the “Chicken Soup for the Soul” shlock-fests, but I give her credit for giving some thought to her daughter’s long-term emotional health. Only a little, though, because Nicole also wonders if Azan is parent material–something she probably should have ascertained before she encouraged May to call him Daddy.

Luis and Molly’s younger daughter are chattering away in the car on the way home from the airport as Olivia maintains a steady teenage sulk. The younger daughter–Kensley?–asks Luis if he likes their house as they pull into the driveway. Considering that Luis’ house in the Dominican Republic didn’t have running water, I think it’s safe to say it meets his standards.

Elizabeth meets with an immigration attorney before she leaves for Dublin to visit Andrei. They applied for their K-1 Visa seven months ago and she wants to know why they are still waiting to find out if it’s been approved. The holdup could be that Andrei has been arrested at some point and failed to disclose it to on the visa application, or it could be that he overstayed a previous tourist visa by six months. Whatever it is, it’s clear that Andrei has some kind of skeleton in his closet, the revelation of which hopefully TLC won’t drag out for several episodes. After her meeting with the gloom-and-doom attorney, Elizabeth thinks she and Andrei might have to come up with a Plan B.

Evelyn is driving David around her podunk town, and is miffed that David is not excited about settling there permanently. Her fanatic’s smile falters for a moment when he tells her that he prefers living in cities, but quickly returns as she glosses over his feelings, naively convinced that he will adjust and learn to love it. After all, what city could compete with Claremont, with its one breakfast restaurant, Evelyn’s family band and the accommodations offered by “Pastor Tim?”

Evelyn’s cult is throwing David a party to welcome him to America, but Evelyn is concerned that her friend Michaela–the only voice of reason in her life–will be standoffish. After all, she had the nerve to ask Evelyn if David just wants a green card. David scoffs at this notion. “She knows I’m coming from Spain, right?” Bingo, David. He’s not after the American dream, because he was living the Spanish dream in Granada. Evelyn reveals her ignorance by telling him there’s no such thing as a European Dream and David corrects her, saying that there is, and it’s called quality of life. I love David. What is he doing with this fluffy Christian quisling?

I thought David and Evelyn were going to be boring, but as Evelyn’s selfish, childish and arrogant true colors are coming out, I realize I was wrong. David is concerned that Evelyn is demanding that his friends–who are traveling thousands of miles and spending thousands of dollars to be at their wedding–shell out $100 to rent their own tuxes. David rightly thinks it’s rude to require them to do so and that she shouldn’t be so rigid. Like the spoiled child she is, Evelyn is outraged that David’s friends think they can dictate the details of HER wedding. She finds it frustrating that since she is face-to-face with David, she can’t just hang up on him when he displeases her, as has been her modus operandi thus far. Welcome to adulthood, little girl.

Clearly Evelyn, throughout her sheltered life, has been led to believe she can do no wrong and when she doesn’t get her way she becomes an entitled bitch. When David points out that weddings in Spain are more laid back, Evelyn cuts him off by sniping that they’re getting married in America. David reminds her that she’s marrying a foreigner and might want to give a little consideration to his culture. I like how David stands up to Evelyn, and at this point he should probably realize this pouty Bridezilla has some major growing up to do and postpone the wedding. But he won’t. They never do.

Speaking of men who make bad decisions, David and Annie are traveling to Annie’s village to speak with her parents about the dowry. The villagers put on a show to welcome the foreigner and grease him up for the dowry conversation. Annie’s parents request 500,000 baht, but for some reason settle for the 50,000 baht David is offering plus two water buffalo. Have we stepped into the 18th century? David sports the familiar hangdog look that settles on his face every time he finds out how much it’s going to cost him to purchase Annie. First it was 50,000 baht, then it was 11 baht of gold, and now it’s two water buffalo. Where does it end? David is in way over his head. Clearly this is a financial transaction that David doesn’t have the finances for, so why is Annie still hanging in there? And why would her parents sell their daughter to a broke, middle-aged shlump when there can’t be a shortage of American men with low self-esteem who can actually afford an Asian trophy wife?

Nicole and Azan are discussing parenting techniques over dinner. Nicole tells Azan that if he doesn’t like the way she does something, rather than just tell her not to do it, he needs to discuss it with her. She lords her status as May’s mother over him, but Azan feels that if she wants to thrust him into the role of father, she needs to respect his opinion when it comes to raising May. His point is brilliantly illustrated when the waiter sets a plate of french fries on the table and May goes into paroxysms of delight. (French fries in Morocco?) Azan thinks May should eat healthier foods, but Nicole defends what is surely a steady diet of chicken nuggets and fries because frozen food is just fine. Well, sort of. Frozen broccoli is just fine. Frozen fish and chicken are just fine. Frozen pizzas and fish sticks are probably not.

Azan is used to home-cooked meals, as is the Moroccan way, but Nicole insists that she can’t cook for May every night because, unlike Azan’s female family members, she is not a stay-at-home mom. Azan reminds her that his sister works and points out, as he is wont to do, that Nicole is just lazy. This brings him to her promise that she would make some lifestyle changes by going to the gym and eating healthier foods, which is just a roundabout way of saying that she promised she would lose weight and she didn’t. Nicole didn’t lose weight for the same reason she stuffs her daughter full of junk–Nicole is just lazy.

David and Annie are at a water buffalo farm. David is dismayed to find out that it will cost 75,000 baht to buy the big water buffalo her family covets–he was thinking more like 35,000. Once again, he gulps at the mounting costs of this romantic escapade, and settles for two small water buffaloes. Annie is a suspiciously good sport about David’s inability to meet the expectations for her dowry. Is this all a game to fleece a desperate foreigner? Why else would she and her family settle for 1/10th of the desired cash, a couple baht of gold rather than the customary 11, and two small water buffaloes that may not be up to the heavy work on Annie’s parents’ farm? Hmmm.

After all these concessions Annie may not even make it to America, since David used their airfare money to buy the water buffaloes. What happened to David’s generous friend who was introduced in the first episode? Ten to one he’ll be back next week so David can hit him up for more cash.

 

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