First there is some housekeeping to get out of the way. If there is one thing TLC excels at, it’s giving us heaping helpings of exposition that we don’t need. Elizabeth is a nervous wreck waiting for Andrei to get out of his immigration interview. It’s a wasted scene because–surprise!–Andrei was approved. Now Elizabeth can start to stress about Andrei meeting her family.
Luis has purchased an engagement ring for Molly but wants to give Olivia a heads up before he proposes. In another wasted scene, because we already know that Olivia is less than excited about this marriage, she tells Luis not to rush into it before she and Kensley get to know him better. Here’s a heads up Olivia can actually use–Luis and Molly have already rushed into it, and the engagement is a fait accompli. Luis points out that whether he proposes to Molly right away or waits to do it, they’re still going to be married within 90 days. And there it is. We don’t need to see any more scenes in which Molly’s family express their reservations about Luis. We already know they don’t like the idea of Molly marrying him, so either show us how he wins them over or show us how he proves them right. Just move it along, people.
In Thailand, cowardly, broke, weasel David takes off his engagement ring before he video chats with his daughter, Ashley. He hasn’t told his kids that he’s engaged to Annie yet, but pussyfoots into the water by telling Ashley that Annie says hi. Ashley asks, “Who’s Annie,” maybe because she’s trying to get in a little dig about her father’s parade of Asian girlfriends, or maybe because she really has no idea who Annie is. She’s never spoken to or seen Annie, and she suspects that she’s a figment of her dad’s imagination. To prove her wrong, David drags Annie over to the computer and forces her into an awkward conversation with Ashley, in which Ashley asks her if she can do nails. You know, because that’s what every Thai woman does–nails. And ben-wa balls, but it would be a little creepy if Ashley asked about that.
Turns out that Annie can do nails, and she shows Ashley her own to provide a sample of her work. Poor Annie. First she has to cook for Chris and Nicki and maybe give Chris Thai massages by the pool, and now she’s expected to do David’s daughter’s nails. I hope the water buffaloes were worth it. I don’t see how they could be. Annie tries to hold up her hands but David covers up her left one so Ashley won’t see her engagement ring. After they hang up David explains that he wasn’t trying to hurt her, he just didn’t want Ashley to see the ring because he hasn’t yet told her about their engagement. Annie asks him why he’s lying to his kids and David responds that he’s not lying, he’s just not telling them everything. This is one of the many reasons why David is a loser. Not only does he have no money and no shame, he has no balls.
After the fallout from their fight about Nicole’s shady and deceptive ways, she, Azan and May go to the beach. Nicole thinks a beach day is a good way to show Azan how great of a family they can be. Okay. Because there is no better way to solve problems than sweeping them under the rug (or the sand). There is a camel on the beach (maybe they’re trying to sweep their problems under the magic carpet), and when Azan climbs onto its back, Nicole tells May to watch “daddy.” It’s really unnecessary for Nicole to prompt May like that, because clearly the child has already been thoroughly indoctrinated into the Azan-as-daddy thing; when Azan climbed onto the camel, an alarmed May cried, “daddy–noooo!”
When Azan admits being a parent is harder then he thought, Nicole asks him to imagine how hard it is to raise a child and have a JOB at the same time. Azan used to have a job, but Nicole called and texted him so much while he was working that he got fired. Azan wants to get another job because he, like everyone else, doesn’t like not having any money. His feelings don’t concern Nicole, who is happy to send him money in exchange for his being available to text and talk to her 24/7. It’s okay with her if he gets a job, as long as the job he gets meets that one criterion. Of course no job will, so she has him over a barrel. How does this simpleton have the mental wherewithal to be such a cunning, manipulative monster?
Speaking of monsters, Her Imperial Highness Evelyn of Claremont has dragged her consort David to the tuxedo shop. HIH Evelyn is concerned over the fact that she and David have been arguing so much over the wedding planning but chalks it up to them both being stubborn, which is half right. David has the gall to want a blue tuxedo instead of a black one, which HIH Evelyn will not tolerate in the classic, vintage wedding she has been dreaming of HER WHOLE LIFE. Evelyn’s lack of irony is astounding. David thinks her age contributes to her irrational need for control, but I’ve got news for him–it is not Evelyn’s age that makes her a tyrant. It’s the fact that she’s a tyrant that makes her a tyrant, and she’s not going to grow out of it. David agrees to wear a black tuxedo, and I wish he would understand that every time he gives into one of HIH Evelyn’s petulant demands it’s just going to reinforce her belief that no one should dare to question her imperial edicts.
With the issue of David’s tuxedo settled, the bridal shop worker brings up the groomsmen. Uh oh. If you recall, HIH Evelyn not only expects David’s friends and family to fly to America and find and pay for their own accommodations, she expects them to rent tuxes. Since David has the audacity to disagree with her about making them spring for their own attire, HIH refuses to discuss the issue. She cannot understand why she can’t be just a little bit selfish on her wedding day of all days, which is HER day that, again, she has been dreaming of her WHOLE LIFE. It’s pretty clear that Evelyn feels entitled to be selfish every day of her life, and the wedding is just an excuse to ramp it up to titanic proportions.
David points out that HIH is marrying someone from another culture and it would be nice if she would compromise a little bit. But HIH reminds David (again) that he is in ‘MERICA now and it’s time to toe the line. What a charmer.
Molly is taking Luis to Woodstock, Georgia’s version of the beach. Talk about culture shock.
Molly has packed a picnic and it’s kind of sad when Luis asks her if she comes to the beach sometimes, and she replies that she’s always wanted to but never had anyone to go with. Aww. Well now she has Luis, and he is going to surprise her by proposing, despite Olivia’s misgivings. It’s sweet how surprised Molly is when he gets down on one knee and presents her with the ring. Of course she says yes, and they share an embrace on the sad little beach that is kind of a metaphor for this relationship. Molly has been lonely and is happy to have someone to share her life with, but I think she is settling for a murky Georgia lake instead of holding out for the turquoise waters of the Caribbean.
Elizabeth and Andrei are in a pub celebrating his visa until Elizabeth brings the celebration to a screeching halt by badgering Andrei about whether or not he’s going to “forbid” her to go out on girls’ nights once he gets to the US. He is fine with her going out with her sisters or her girlfriends on special occasions, but not until like, 4am, and not to the club. What about her bachelorette party? Andrei says it’s fine if she goes out for dinner and has a bottle of prosecco, but Elizabeth doesn’t consider such a staid outing to be fun. She’s worried that Andrei is going to expect her to be a submissive, old-world style wife and not the freewheeling American woman she is. She’s willing to compromise, she says, amid a series of blinks and tics that belie this statement, but Andrei is going to have to alter his expectations, too.
I’m a little concerned about Andrei’s control issues. He makes them sound kind of reasonable by saying Elizabeth can go out with her friends and family as long she sticks to certain parameters that he lays out. But this is an excuse for Elizabeth to say to herself, “well he didn’t forbid me to go, he just wants to know where I am and who I’m with because he’s worried about me.” This is slippery-slope thinking. Hasn’t Elizabeth ever watched Investigation Discovery?
In Thailand, David and Annie are having a joint bachelor-bachelorette party. From this segment we become privy to yet another of David’s long list of shortcomings by learning that he’s a bad drunk. With each revelation it becomes more and more baffling that Annie continues to contemplate moving across the world with this “man.” Annie says that whenever David drinks he can’t control himself. She is embarrassed as he dances through the streets and annoyed when he questions why she is sitting across the bar talking to her friend. Um, she’s talking to her friend about you because you’re acting like a jackass.
I’m glad Annie’s friends are there for her to vent to, and I’m proud of her for getting in David’s face about his sloppy behavior. Obviously she’s not going to dump him yet because we’ve already seen previews of her on the plane to the US, but the fact that she’s standing up for herself in this situation is a good sign. Annie tells her friend she’s worried about going to America with David–another good sign.
Nicole and Azan are at the market–again. They spend a lot of time in various markets. Azan is teaching Nicole to shop for vegetables so she can cook healthy meals for him in America. Not surprisingly, Nicole says she’s used to the kind of vegetables that come out of a can, which sort of explains why she mistakes green beans for peas, but not really.
The next stop is the chicken man. Nicole wonders why the chickens are still moving, apparently not realizing that they are picking out a fresh chicken that will be killed and butchered right then and there. This is too exotic for Nicole, who escapes outside for some fresh air. The Moroccan market sure is different from the Piggly Wiggly in bumfuck, Florida!
In Georgia, Molly has invited Olivia to have lunch with her and Luis so they can all spend some time together. Olivia is on reasonably good behavior as Molly asks for her help in planning the wedding, but it all goes south when Luis tries to feed Molly in an overtly sexual way. Olivia is repulsed and states that her mom and Luis are “gross,” which in this case is true. Olivia and Luis’ relationship is already weird because Luis is closer in age to her than Molly, yet he’s going to be her stepfather. It gets even weirder when Luis tells her she needs a “real” boyfriend, which kind of comes out like he thinks she needs a boyfriend to loosen her up sexually. Eww. Molly immediately puts the kibosh on that, telling Luis that Olivia is too young, but Luis disagrees. Molly is dismayed that Luis is not acting like a proper father figure, but–duh–he’s 26 years old. She thinks they can find a way to parent together, or at least that Luis will respect her wishes as a mother and behave accordingly.
It’s Josh and Aika. Josh looks mighty weathered for a 43-year-old (meth?), and he needs to take those tragic gauges out of his ears. Of course he wants Aika to model because it’s his dream to have a model girlfriend/wife. HIS dream. Here we go again with an over-the-hill wannabe model and some backwater talent agency in the boondocks. Did Josh learn nothing from Paola and her Oklahoma City modeling career? Doing local car commercials and gigs as a Fireball girl in the greater Phoenix area sports bars is not exactly what aspiring models dream of doing. And to Aika’s credit, she’s not at all interested in modeling but just going along with it to appease Josh. (Also to her credit, she immediately realized that flip flops are more suitable for the supermarket than hooker heels.) Aika is not the problem here–Josh is.
They arrive at the modeling agency, and who is there to greet them but Matthew from “Difficult People!”
And who is this modeling agency employee throwing bitchface at poor Aika throughout her audition?
The agency tells Aika they would like to work with her, but when Aika says she’s planning on getting pregnant in a year or two, they immediately rescind their offer. This is a master stroke by Aika. She doesn’t want to model and gets out of it by simply telling the truth that her priorities are being a wife and mother, which to Josh should be above reproach if he’s actually interested in a wife and not a piece of arm candy. Nicely played, Aika.
Ugh. Her Imperial Highness and David are at a bakery to taste wedding cakes. HIH is going to throw David a crumb–get it?–with this one detail because she doesn’t care about it that much. How magnanimous. David is happy to get his way, but soon finds out that as a subject of the imperial realm, he’s probably never going to really get his way when Evelyn tells him they can’t afford the cake. Instead of feeding all the guests expensive wedding cake, HIH decrees that they will order a fancy cake for the wedding party only. Everyone else can settle for Betty Crocker or a lump of coal because, as HIH graciously points out, it’s not about them anyway.
I’m surprised David and HIH have to be so frugal for this wedding, what with the family band and her red-hot solo career. HIH is happy that her and David’s parents are helping them pay for the wedding, but if I were David’s parents, it would take about 2 minutes of watching this smug little despot emasculate my son before I pulled the plug. I’m sure they’ll be appalled when they meet her in person, so maybe they’ll be able to talk some sense into David before it’s too late.
Azan’s aunt–the woman who has opened her house to Nicole and her daughter–has made a traditional Moroccan dish for Nicole, who rudely scrunches up her face at it. It’s a sheep’s head, and since a sheep’s head is outside her usual fare of chicken nuggets and cheetos, she refuses to eat it. When Azan forces her to try it–after all, it’s the first time to his knowledge Nicole has ever not been hungry–she takes a tiny little taste then spits it out right in from of the aunt. Unbelievable.
Luis and Molly’s brother Jess are playing pool when Olivia and her friend join them. It seems like Olivia is warming up to Luis a little bit–maybe a little too much, because Luis feels comfortable enough to inquire into her sex life. When Olivia says she’s way too young to think about marriage, Luis asks her if she’s just with her boyfriend to f*** him. Gross. Gross, gross, gross. Then he asks her if she knows the Spanish word “agarre,” which he translates as meaning, “when you wanna f*** you should f***. Even more gross.
Olivia reports this conversation to Molly and Molly is horrified. When she tries to tell Luis that having that type of conversation with Olivia is inappropriate, Luis just shrugs and says Olivia should be able to do whatever she wants with her body. This doesn’t bode well for the future father-daughter relationship.
Your recaps are so well written and give me life. Thanks Professor!
Love the picture of Evelyn’s SMUG face after she gets her way AGAIN with David who is just so much cooler than her it’s ridiculous. He needs to high tail it out of there while there’s still time.