90 Day Fiance Ep. 6 Recap: Let Them (Not) Eat Cake

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.

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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!”

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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They arrive at the modeling agency, and who is there to greet them but Matthew from “Difficult People!

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And who is this modeling agency employee throwing bitchface at poor Aika throughout her audition?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

90 Day Fiance Ep. 5 Recap: Just Say NOOOO!

As Nicole and Azan are leaving Casablanca, they make a pit stop so Azan can show Nicole and May its famous mosque. Nicole couldn’t be more disinterested. Two-year-old May is better able to grasp its architectural impact than her mother, whose only concern is that she and Azan will be able to sleep in the same room when they get to his aunt’s house in Agadir. She has heard that unmarried couples can sleep together in private homes in Morocco, and has no compunction about forcing Azan into the awkward position of asking his aunt to openly disrespect her culture. She’s a randy one, that Nicole.

Elizabeth lands in Ireland, and is immediately on edge when Andrei says he has something to tell her. This scene has already been teased ad nauseum, and in true TLC-style, it’s a complete nonevent. The thing Andrei has to tell her is that his interview with US Immigration will take place two days hence. Control issues aside, Andrei is cute as a button and he and Elizabeth seem legitimately in love.

Since Molly works all the time, Luis spends a lot of time with her daughter Kensley. He likes kids, and he and Kensley seem to have a sweet rapport until Luis starts badgering her about how she feels about him becoming her new padre. She tells him in no uncertain terms that she already has a dad and shows her burgeoning diva-ness by telling him exactly how it is: “You’re not my dad. I don’t love you. Sorry.” Ouch.

In Thailand, it’s the day of David and Annie’s traditional engagement ceremony, and guess what? David is nervous because he has to shell out cash he doesn’t have to the entire village. No wonder the villagers have been so welcoming to him. What a sap. Like I called last week, David has borrowed more money from his friend Chris to get through the ceremony.

It’s time for Spanish David’s welcome to America party. Evelyn’s aunt, clearly recognizing the foundation of a solid marriage, thinks they make a great couple because they’re easy on the eyes. David tells everyone that he wants to live somewhere warmer, like Virginia, for a few years. Coming from Spain, he’s not looking forward to months of cold and snow, and he thinks this is the time for him and Evelyn to have adventures and new experiences. He is absolutely right, but Evelyn’s family is horror-struck at the thought because, in Evelyn’s father’s words, such a move would be a “deathblow” to the family band. Are these people for real?

When David reasonably suggests that they could get a replacement for Evelyn for a couple of years, her mother reveals how Evelyn became the insufferable monster she is by saying, “Evelyn IS the band.” Evelyn tries to shut down the conversation by saying it’s making her angry, but David reminds her that he’s not asking her to go to Spain, just to another state. The band’s mouth tightens with displeasure at this affront to her authority.

Fortunately Mikayla (sp?) walks in and Evelyn’s wrath turns from David to her. As Mikayla calmly tries to explain her concerns about their hasty marriage, David and Evelyn gang up on her. Evelyn says that by not trusting her judgment, Mikayla is disrespecting her. David chalks up her attitude to being a lonely spinster, which makes Mikayla cry. This douchebag move makes me think that maybe David and Evelyn are a match made in heaven, after all. Mikayla and Evelyn hug it out, but I think this one-sided friendship is doomed. Evelyn obviously expects Mikayla to toe the line when she lays down the law, and is only tolerating her rebellion in order to ensure her wedding pictures have the proper composition. The best thing that could happen to Mikayla would be to get out of Evelyn’s shadow and find some friends that appreciate her honesty and thoughtfulness.  #TeamMikayla.

In Dublin, Andrei’s casual attitude towards his upcoming visa interview is making Elizabeth nervous. If he is denied, she would have to move to Ireland. The horror! I truly do not get why these people are so dead-set against moving to Europe. The Philippines? Sure. The DR? No-brainer. Thailand? Okay. But Europe? I’m scratching my head.

Wait a minute. Nicole and Azan have just arrived at his aunt’s house–a woman Nicole has never met. Nicole expects Azan to ask a woman she has never met, whose hospitality she is taking advantage of, if they can flout the rules of her culture and have sex in her house?? Nicole has no shame.

Azan’s family is extremely welcoming to this clueless blob, and immediately envelop May with love and affection. Do they have Child Protective Services in Morocco? If so, Azan’s family should call them immediately and get custody of May, who might actually have a chance in life if she gets away from her clod-hopping disaster of a mother.

Azan, visibly squirming but feeling that he has to knuckle under to Nicole’s wishes, asks his aunt–in front of the WHOLE FAMILY–if he and Nicole can have their own room. Why would he agree to making such a brazen request? How does Nicole bulldoze everyone around her into getting her way? Why are her family and Azan so susceptible to her manipulation? It’s maddening.

Thank goodness for Azan’s aunt, who denies the request. Azan breathes a sigh of relief, and Nicole congratulates herself for not complaining or getting angry at the denial. Wow, Nicole has really grown. Azan claims he want to have sex with Nicole, just not in his aunt’s house, surrounded by his family. I don’t think Azan would want to have sex with Nicole on a desert island after ingesting a triple dose of Molly and a fifth of tequila, but that’s just me. Apparently they did have sex during Nicole’s last visit to Morocco, but I have a vision of Azan squeezing his eyes shut and gritting his teeth as he perfunctorily performs the act, praying to Allah for it to be over soon. I just don’t get what Azan’s endgame is.

David and Annie are back in Thailand, having drinks somewhere with a spectacular, panoramic view of the city. How can David afford a place like this? Oh–he can’t. They’re meeting Chris and his wife Nikki there so Chris can pay the tab. Not only is Chris paying the bar tab and footing the bill for David’s entire romantic folly, we learn that David and Annie will be living with him and Nikki when they get to America. That’s because in addition to having no money, David has no apartment, no house, no car and no bank account. I give David credit for being such an unabashed loser, but what exactly is Annie getting out of this relationship?

David, Annie, Chris and Nikki discuss the living arrangements once they all return to America. Even though Chris extended this offer to David without consulting her, good sport Nikki tells Annie she and David are welcome in their home. They will have private quarters in the basement and full kitchen privileges, just like in an SRO in San Francisco’s Tenderloin district. It’s even better than a Tenderloin SRO because they will have their own bathroom. All Chris and Nikki want in return is for Annie to cook them Thai food and maybe give Chris Thai massages by the pool.

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Wait–did I just hear that? Did Chris actually just ask Annie if she’ll give him Thai massages in exchange for her room and board?! Dear God, this has to be the last straw. Annie has accepted 2 baht of gold instead of 11, a lowball dowry and two small water buffalo instead of a proper dowry and a nice, big water buffalo, and endured David’s endless grousing about his inability to afford the expenses associated with their engagement as well as his physical attentions (yuck). She is leaving everything she knows to go to a strange country with a man who has no worldly possessions and no way of supporting her, where she will be unable to work herself. And now, not only is she going to be a guest in the home of virtual strangers, she is expected to earn her keep–and work off David’s debt–by giving massages to this creepy, red-faced lech?? At this point, Annie AND Nikki should run away as fast as they can. I’m actually kind of sick to my stomach right now.

David does not say a word during this exchange and leaves it to Annie to deny the request. What a pussy. David does not have a single redeeming quality, and the only thing I want in life right now is for Annie to get up from the table and never look back. And I thought Mark rousting Nikki out of bed with a train whistle was bad. What a naive lamb I was back in Season 3. Honestly, how bad can Annie’s life in Thailand be if she’s willing to put up with this nonstop humiliation?

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Molly takes Luis to meet her father, who surprise, surprise, is not receptive to their relationship. Molly thinks he just needs more time but Luis understands that he has not been accepted and probably never will be. Poor Luis–first Olivia, then Kensley and now Molly’s father. Thank goodness for Jess, who’s just happy to have some help taking care of the lawn and a buddy to drink beer with all day.

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Elizabeth and Andrei prepare for his visa interview by role-playing. She is the stern interviewer and Andrei is himself. Elizabeth is unhappy with his cavalier attitude and Andrei is frustrated with this exercise because Elizabeth is grilling him. This doesn’t bode well for his interview, but this is TLC, and all the tension and build-up being created around this interview will be for naught when his visa is granted 5 or 6 episodes down the line.

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Azan, Nicole and May are eating out. Nicole reminds Azan not to order any vegetables for May and surprisingly, Azan pretty much lets this slide. That’s because he has more important things on his mind, like where he and Nicole will live once he comes to America. Nicole’s father–and Azan’s sponsor–wants them to live separately before they get married. Azan initially seems concerned because he will have no friends and no job once he gets there and will be sitting around the house, but it turns out that is not the real issue. He wants to live with Nicole to keep tabs on her. He doesn’t trust her because–get this–SHE cheated on HIM! Not only that, but when she got back from Morocco last year, one night she took off her engagement ring before going out with a friend because she wanted to feel “free” for the night.

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In their interview, Azan is shocked when Nicole reveals that friend was a guy. Nicole tries to say he was just a friend and it was no big deal, but Azan’s issue is that she told him she went out with girlfriends that night. Nicole stops the interview and demands to be de-mic’d. She follows Azan outside and pleads with him listen to her. It sounds like they’re both crying and I’m amazed that Azan seems genuinely upset over her betrayal. Can he possibly have real feelings for her?

Josh, who we haven’t seen in a couple of weeks, is going to the airport to pick up Aika, who emerges from the plane looking like an Asian blow-up doll come to life wearing pink hooker pumps, a micro-miniskirt, and full make-up complete with fake colored contacts. Maybe she and Paola shop at the same store. Nothing like a wholesome girl to bring home to mom–or in Josh’s case, a house full of roommates. Here’s yet another one who has been less than honest about his circumstances in the US. Aika wonders why he’s picking her up in a jeep when he promised to buy her a Porsche. At least David has been forthcoming about his penniless loser-dom.

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Poor Luis is bored being stuck out in the sticks with no friends, nothing to do and Molly working all the time. He video calls his family and even though he tries to put a brave face on his circumstances, his loneliness is evident. The Family Luis (tm Pedro) encourages him to hang in there and love Molly’s daughters and family even though they don’t accept him at the moment. Luis agrees to try, even though it’s not as easy as that. Poor Luis.

Evelyn has decreed that it’s time for her and David to send out their wedding invitations, even if they have to stay up all night to do it. She’s not a rigid despot, she just likes things a certain way. What Evelyn means when she says a “certain” way is “her” way, which includes demanding that David address his envelopes in cursive. Really?

David makes the mistake of pointing out that it would be easier to have a website rather then sending physical invitations, which of course it would, since most of his guests are coming from Europe. In a controlled fury, Evelyn responds that a website would NOT be easier, since the invitations have already been printed. Remember, it’s HER wedding and it will be done HER way, with the fluffy pink invitations she’s been dreaming about her WHOLE life.

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David blunders again by broaching the subject of accommodations for his friends and family. Evelyn refuses to ask her friends and family to host them because in Claremont, NH–the only corner of the world that matters–people don’t feel comfortable inviting strangers into their homes. Except for Pastor Tim, who had no problem putting David up for 90 days.

Evelyn scoffs at the idea that she should put any effort into finding David’s wedding guests places to stay because there are cheap hotels in the neighboring towns. Is he aware that if they stay in other towns they will have to rent cars to get where they need to be? She is actually annoyed that they might not come to the wedding just because, after spending thousands of dollars to travel to the US and shelling out an extra $100 to rent a tux–per Evelyn’s edict–they are still expected to find and pay for their own accommodations. Someone needs to tell this little bitch to go jump in a lake, pronto. Evelyn is a monster, created by an insular community of marginalized fanatics and parents who worship the ground she walks on, who have all deluded her into believing her mediocre warbling is some kind of great talent.

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Josh and Aika arrive at his home. She changed clothes somewhere along the way and, incredibly, looks even more whorish than she did when she got off the plane. Aika sizes up Josh’s roommate like a piece of meat, giggling that he is a “big, handsome man.” Red flag. Josh’s skeptical friend Joe shows up and after presenting Aika with a cheesy Welcome-to-America kit, proceeds to grill her about all the men she was talking to online. Welcome to America, indeed.

Back in Morocco, Nicole and Azan are meeting for lunch to discuss Nicole’s wanton and deceptive ways. Since Azan only trusts Nicole “like, 40%” he wonders if marrying her is a good idea. The answer is, it’s not. Nicole assures Azan that she’s told him everything and he can trust her. For some reason he agrees to give her another chance, and that’s it for this week’s episode.

 

 

 

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.

 

90 Day Fiance Ep. 2 Recap: A Plane Ride and a Child Bride

Nicole is getting ready to leave for Morocco but hasn’t been able to get in touch with Azan for two days. If you were about to fly to a foreign country with your 2-year-old daughter in tow, wouldn’t you be a little unsettled if the person you were planning to visit ghosted you right before the trip? I would, but you and I are not Nicole, who doesn’t appear to be operating on all cylinders. She’s upset that Azan hasn’t been as “lovey-dovey” over the phone and texts as he was when she saw him in person, and for once, TLC’s obsession with flashbacks serves a purpose. They show a montage of last season’s disastrous trip to Morocco, where, for starters, Azan called her lazy, admitted she wasn’t his perfect woman (no surprise there), and told her she didn’t matter to him. Which begs the question, if Azan has been treating Nicole worse over the phone and in texts than he did in Morocco, what possible reason could she have for still being with him?

Nicole reminds me of a mole person. She appears to have limited intellect, no common sense and zero self-awareness, yet somehow she malevolently blunders her way through life, blindly burrowing through any obstacles she encounters. Her beleaguered mother Robbalee is rightfully concerned about Nicole’s ability to manage herself and her daughter in Morocco, and makes a series of entreaties on the way to the airport, all of which Nicole ignores.

Robbalee also reminds Nicole that Azan expects her to have dropped a few pounds since their last visit, and is apt to be disappointed–again–by her appearance. Like all of her mother’s concerns, Nicole just shrugs it off. The focal point of this trip is May, and to see whether Azan will be a suitable father figure to her. I predict that once she lands in Morocco, Nicole will foist May off on Azan’s family and, just like the last time she was there, demand his undiverted attention. Does Nicole really care if Azan will be a good father? She’s already instructed May to call him “Daddy,” so it doesn’t seem like a little thing like May’s welfare is going to dissuade her from doing whatever she pleases. Robbalee should have petitioned the court for custody of May before Nicole could use her to blackmail the family into sponsoring Azan. This poor child couldn’t be in worse hands, and it’s clear that Robbalee knows it as she tearfully says good-bye to May.

Next we’re introduced to Evelyn, an 18-year-old from a devout Christian family who is engaged to David, a 26-year-old from Spain. The only issue here is whether David will be approved for a K-1 Visa. Evelyn, her brother and parents all possess a strange, otherworldly glow. The family’s only concern about Evelyn getting married at 18 to someone they’ve never met is that she might leave the family band. Evelyn is a fledgling singer-songwriter, which is how she met David–he sent her a message on social media, she responded, and the rest, as they say, is for us to dissect on 90 Day Fiance.

I’m sure she’s very talented, but why does every young female singer adopt the same breathy, yodel-ly vocal style? Just sing the damn song. And while you’re at it, get off my lawn. Anyway, Evelyn’s high school friend appears to be the only person in her life who has reservations about Evelyn’s rushed and youthful marriage. I’m shocked that Evelyn even has a high school friend because I’ve always thought the kids of devout Christians with family bands were exclusively home-schooled. I finally learned something from The Learning Channel other than how to rubberneck the lives of an endless parade of little people.

David ends up passing his interview and is approved for his visa, so it seems that the only wrinkle in the sunset-swathed unearthliness of David and Evelyn’s romance is the threat of her leaving the family band. I’m already bored with David and Evelyn.

Last week we learned that Molly’s daughter Olivia is not thrilled with the prospect of Molly’s intended, Luis, coming to live with them. So this week, Molly meets with her mother for some support. Molly’s mother, like Olivia, is worried that Luis will take her away from them, but the mother is confident that as long as Luis treats Molly well, Olivia will come around and everything will work out. Molly’s father is a different story. He thinks Luis is using Molly to gain entrance to America, and doesn’t like the idea of his daughter marrying someone from a different country–or a different race.

David, the sad and penniless 48-year-old, is taking his fiance Annie to pick out some gold. How appropriate. Apparently it is Thai custom for a groom to present his bride with 11 baht of gold, symbolizing the union of two individuals. 1+1=11 in this case. Unfortunately for Annie, 11 baht of gold cost around $6,800, and, as we know from last week, David is broke. He is already planning to offer her family a lowball dowry of 50,000 baht, and now he wants to start her off with 2 baht of gold instead of the customary 11? He asks the jeweler if he can leave a down payment and come back tomorrow with the rest of the cash required for his paltry purchase. Does David never tire of weaseling his way around paying for things? Last week he was getting ready to hit his friend up for another loan, and this week he’s wheeling and dealing with the jeweler–and Annie–to get out of presenting her with the traditional amount of gold.

None of this would matter if it wasn’t so obviously important to Annie. She pouts her way through the humiliating episode at the jewelry store, then unleashes her frustration on the way home, asking why David is 48 years old and has nothing. When he explains to her that he lost everything in his divorce, she tells him she doesn’t care about the past and he needs to figure out a way to take care of her. Ah, true love. At this point Annie should just cut her losses and this farce should go no further. She only has a couple of weeks invested in this relationship, and David is obviously in no position to provide her with the security she’s seeking. David can move on to another, less demanding gold digger, and we can all be spared yet another cringeworthy 90 Day Fiance coupling.

Nicole has landed in Casablanca and she still hasn’t been able to reach Azan. She is concerned that he might not be there to meet her and May, and wait a minute–she’s worried this man won’t be at the airport to pick up her and her 2-year-old daughter? WHAT IS SHE DOING THERE?

It turns out Nicole’s worries are for naught, because Azan is there and he actually seems glad to see Nicole. He doesn’t even squirm that much when May calls him Daddy, and showers the little girl with affection. This makes Nicole jealous. Smh. She still doesn’t get that Morocco’s laws do not permit PDA between adults, and despite this apparent happy reunion, I predict there is disaster ahead for Nicole and Azan. Or at least Nicole–for Azan there is only freedom and the dodging of a massive bullet.

Molly is meeting her father, and because her relationship with him is strained, she is bringing her brother to act as a buffer between them. You know you’re in the presence of some good old rednecks when the first question out of the brother’s mouth is, “you drunk yet?” Molly’s Dad is not yet drunk enough to brush aside his concerns about Luis’ intentions, and reminds Molly that since America’s borders are effectively closed, people will pull any scam to get here. Here’s another person that thinks the only allure his daughter could hold for someone is her ability to get him into the US. No wonder she has Daddy issues.

 

90 Day Fiance Recap: Before the Trains Wreck

Here we go again with a new set of couples seeking to marry on a K-1 fiance visa, as well as last season’s hot mess, Nicole and Azan. It’s always interesting to see how these relationships play out–for the most part it seems that the people who troll the internet for foreign spouses end up in bad situations (Danielle & Mohamed come to mind), while people who meet organically while traveling have a better chance of making it (see Loren & Alexei). This season includes both types of couples, so we’ll see if this theory holds true.

First up is Molly, a custom bra designer who intends to marry Luis, whom she met in the Dominican Republic. Molly is 41 and Luis is 26–red flag–but Molly seems infinitely more astute than her cougar sister Danielle. She also seems to be doing pretty well for herself, so hopefully Luis doesn’t have a venal mother and sister back in the DR for whom he intends to drain Molly dry in order to support, a la Pedro.

Next we have Elizabeth, who met her Moldovan fiance Andrei in Dublin, where he lives. Elizabeth is the youngest of ten–that’s right, TEN–siblings, and she isn’t even a Duggar. But she is from Florida, a state known for the backwoods tendencies of its citizens, so I guess it’s not that surprising. I already like Elizabeth because she loves her dog and appears to be well-traveled. She and Andrei “came across each other”–I’m assuming online–and her reservations about the complications of a long-distance relationship fell away when she met him in person. Elizabeth describes Andrei as the classic alpha male and a gentlemen despite his rough exterior.

Elizabeth’s family is not on board with her overseas romance. They think Andre could not possibly love Elizabeth, and is just using her to come to America, which isn’t the best way to boost a loved one’s self-esteem. I can see why Nicole’s family would doubt Azan’s motives because duh, Nicole–but Elizabeth is attractive and seems intelligent and confident, so her family’s skepticism is less understandable.

On to Nicole, who incredibly is still with Moroccan Azan and plotting to bring him to the US. Nicole and Azan were last season’s most delightful train wreck. After meeting Azan online, Nicole impulsively flew to Morocco to meet him in person. Azan was taken aback at the real-life Nicole’s physical appearance, lamenting that she was “big, a little.” How could he not have anticipated that she was overweight? Skype can only hide so much and Nicole’s moon face should have been a dead giveaway.

Once in Morocco, Nicole revealed her utter ignorance of Azan’s culture by constantly badgering him for public displays of affection, whining that his reluctance to engage in such behavior made her feel unloved, and turning up her nose at the local cuisine, wondering where she could get french fries instead. Azan appeared to at best tolerate Nicole, but most of the time seemed repelled by her, which is why it’s surprising to me that these two are still involved with each other.

Nicole can’t afford a K-1 visa herself so she needs a co-sponsor to bring Azan to America. Her mother adamantly refused to do it last season, so now Nicole is blackmailing her father and stepmother into co-sponsoring Azan. She tells them if she can’t find a co-sponsor, she’ll take her daughter and move to Morocco. Everyone in Nicole’s family recognizes that she is completely out of touch with reality, and is therefore appalled at the thought of 2-year-old Mae adrift in a foreign country with only this clueless simpleton to care for her. The father and stepmother agree to sponsor Azan, but as they try to impress upon Nicole how much of a risk it is for them, she indifferently shrugs her shoulders.

Next we have yet another middle-aged loser who thinks a twenty-something Asian girl is his true love. Behold the American male midlife crisis. David loves Annie because she makes him feel younger than his 48 years. Rather than going out and acquiring a red sports car, David is opting for the second most obvious midlife crisis symptom and seeking to acquire a young Asian wife. He proposed to Annie after dating for a week or two, so clearly he has completely removed his brain from his decision-making process and is relying solely on his penis.

For her part, Annie has agreed to marry David because she imagines life in the US will be like the American movies she loves. She estimates she is maybe 90% in love with him, which she finds strange because she doesn’t think he’s handsome, but at least he’s nice. And American. And pretending to be flush with cash as he squires her around Bangkok. Cue the secret David is keeping from Annie–his financial situation is precarious, and he’s worried whether her family will accept the meager dowry he is able to offer for her hand. He can only swing 50,000 baht, which is equivalent to around $1,500. This seems like a bargain-basement price for a whole human being, but hey–at least Annie is cheaper than a sports car.

At a family dinner, Elizabeth’s father and siblings grill her about Andrei. They express the same reservations all the families on this show express–Elizabeth and Andrei are moving too fast, they don’t know Andrei, how will he support himself when he gets to the US, and is he just using Elizabeth. Only time will tell.

David’s best friend and his wife are in Thailand to meet Annie and to attend her and David’s engagement party. David’s friend Chris is very supportive of him, but Chris’ awesome wife Nikki (sp?) breaks down the real story. She is skeptical of David and Annie’s relationship because this is the third girl he’s met since his divorce and he’s wanted to marry all three of them. Chris points out that Annie is the first one David has actually proposed to and while Nikki concedes this to be correct, her facial expressions and body language tell us that she knows what’s up.

David starts rattling off all the expenses associated with his engagement, including the “Sin Sod.” Nikki wonders what a Sin Sod is and David admits it’s a dowry. It’s like by using the Thai phrase for dowry, he was trying to obfuscate the concept in hopes his friends wouldn’t catch it. Too bad, David. It seems like nothing gets past Nikki.

David actually describes the dowry as a means of “buying” a wife, which prompts Annie to repeatedly emphasize that she is not being purchased. How demeaning for her to hear him say that. David is a tool. Turns out he’s also a mooch, having borrowed money from Chris several times. Obviously this conversation about money is David’s way of greasing Chris for another loan. Nikki, standing next to Chris with her arms crossed, is sure the request is coming and is clearly over it. Have I said that Nikki is awesome? Chris must be the world’s biggest optimist because he says he doesn’t think Annie is with David for money, since David doesn’t have any money. What we already know that Chris doesn’t is that David has not been truthful with Annie about his finances.

Nicole meets her family for dinner the night before she and Mae leave for a 2-month trip to Morocco. She breaks the “good news” to her mother that her father and stepmother have been bullied into sponsoring Azan. Nicole’s mother, Robalynn (again, sp?), browbeaten and frustrated by a lifetime of trying to manage the selfish, blundering Nicole, is not pleased. The look she shoots her ex-husband says it all.

Robalynn

She vents that Nicole bulldozes her way through life, expecting everyone to cater to her whims, doesn’t understand the meaning of the word “no,” and doesn’t get that life is different from the way she thinks it should be. When Nicole’s father basically concedes that he agreed to sponsor Azan to keep Nicole from spiriting his granddaughter away to Morocco, Robalynn correctly points out that Nicole is holding the whole family hostage.

Nicole’s younger brother agrees. He thinks Azan sounds like a robot when he tells Nicole that he loves her and misses her, and points out that his sister is not a very observant person. This poor family. How awful would it be to have to deal with a person as stupid as Nicole? If she didn’t have Mae, they would probably just cut her loose and let her make her own way, but as dense as Nicole is, she is cunning enough to realize she has the ultimate bargaining chip and shamelessly exploits it.

Back to Molly, whose 17-year-old daughter Olivia is unhappy about Luis’ impending arrival and her mother’s plans to marry him. Molly seems to be a sensitive and astute parent, inquiring about Olivia’s feelings and assuring her that things will be okay. If not, they’ll go from there. I empathize with Molly’s dilemma; as a single parent her children have been her first priority and are worried their mother’s new romance will take her away from them, but Molly feels it’s time to pay attention to herself. Molly may have fallen into the pitfall of being more of a friend than a mother to her older daughter, so now Olivia thinks she has more say in her mother’s decisions than she should have, but who knows? Olivia has a point when she says it’s inappropriate that she and her sister won’t even meet Luis until he moves into their home, so the stage is set for some potentially brutal conflict. I have high hopes that Molly will handle it better than Danielle did, which I guess isn’t saying much, since Danielle was…well, Danielle.

 

90 Day Fiance HEA Ep. 11: The Couples Tell All (of the same things they told last week)

They are actually going to drag this thing out for three installments. Let’s see if anything new is revealed this episode.

It’s not looking good so far as the first scene is a repeat of last week’s final scene. Pao is pissed that Russ is not backing her up about the lingerie/video thing so she walks off stage, wondering why she is even married “with” him. He follows her, and the argument continues. Not only are they fighting about the same thing they fought about this entire season, they’re fighting about what they fought about at the last reunion–so it’s a rehash times two. Pao is upset that he said she did things behind his back, when all season long she did things behind his back. She is actually saying that she did not make the choice to wear the lingerie for the video. Did the producer hold her captive and force her to wear it? If she didn’t make the decision, who did? And why is Russ letting her get away with this argument? For a rigid control freak, he sure is a pussy.

Now the host wants to focus on Danielle and Mohamed, so they are the only couple on the set. Oh look–a flashback to last year. There is absolutely nothing Danielle and Mohamed can say or do that they haven’t already said or done a thousand times, so I’m not even going to bother to recap this segment. The real action is backstage, anyway, where Loren is ranting (again) that Danielle and Mohamed and Jorge and Anfisa have made a mockery of the K-1 Visa process on national TV, and she is embarrassed to be associated with them. Hey Loren–if you don’t want to be associated with them, don’t agree to be on a show with them.

The minute Loren brings her into it, Anfisa leaves the room. This gives mean girls Pao and Loren the chance to gang up on Jorge. Loren tells Jorge there is no way Anfisa fell in love with him and was just using him for his money; Pao asks him if Anfisa was a mail-order bride and tells him he could have done better because she’s not that pretty. Loren says she can’t even tell what she looks like because all she can see is Botox. How bitchy. They are both ten years older than Anfisa and should know better to engage in this kind of petty attack behind her back. Loren and Pao’s catty barbs are clearly making Chantel uncomfortable, and to her credit she doesn’t join them in raking Jorge and Anfisa over the coals. Loren ends the conversation with a classic bitch move–telling Jorge she wishes him well after she’s just spent ten minutes tearing him down. How did poor little Tourette’s syndrome Loren learn to sharpen her claws when such an embarrassing affliction certainly would have precluded her from being in the popular clique in middle school? Unless it didn’t, because it wasn’t as bad as she’d like us to believe, and she was able to hone her bitchiness throughout her high school years, finally mastering her craft in one of America’s premier passive-aggressive bitchery laboratories, the sorority house.

Everyone is back on set, and Alexei feels bad for Jorge after Pao and Loren Regina George’d him. In the words of my sister, “Poor Alex. This is so beneath him.” The host turns the conversation back to Russ and Pao, saying she was surprised they’re still so sensitive to the lingerie issue, since they’ve already discussed it ad nauseum. Jorge tells Russ if he trusts Pao he shouldn’t have a problem with it, then Russ abandons every principle he’s ever purported to have. He says Pao looked classy and beautiful and he would never change anything about her. Russ must really need to get laid.

The host asks Loren what kind of friendly advice she would give Danielle and Mohamed, and Loren uses the opportunity to pontificate yet again about their abuse of the K-1 Visa process.

Now it’s time to talk about Jorge and Anfisa’s ill-fated dinner with Jorge’s sister Lourdes, where Lourdes told Jorge that Anfisa only “spreads her legs” for him when he has money. Yes, her statement was crude, but it’s ridiculous for the host to clutch her pearls and refuse to repeat it. This is the woman who sat by last year, salivating while Mohamed discussed Danielle’s sexual problems. Don’t act like this is some kind of refined forum, Shaun Robinson (whoever you are).

As we already know, Anfisa was upset that Jorge didn’t defend her to Lourdes. Anfisa didn’t feel welcome around Jorge’s family, so, tyrant that she is, wouldn’t allow Jorge to see them. Loren chalks up Anfisa’s attitude to her cultural background, stating that Russians are cold. That’s nice, considering her husband is Russian. Anfisa, being Anfisa, is fine with being characterized as cold. She sits there stone-faced as Loren explains that Russians are more reserved than, say, spicy Latinas like Pao. Pao grabs the spotlight while she has the chance and shimmies all over her seat.

The host asks Chantel about the voodoo chicken feet. Everyone agrees it was rude for Pedro’s mother to serve chicken feet to Chantel’s family when his mother never eats them herself. Pao asks Chantel if she thinks Pedro’s mother likes her. Chantel thinks she does, but isn’t sure how she feels about the Family Chantel. She reiterates that Pedro’s family is still upset Chantel’s parents made him sign a pre-nup (Jesus, people, let it GO!), then Pedro drops the bombshell that his mother is a lawyer. Pedro’s mother is a lawyer? I find that incredibly difficult to believe.  Unless “lawyer” means “nail tech” in Spanish.

Back to Jorge and Anfisa, and Anfisa’s revelation that Jorge was her “first man.” No one believes it, and Anfisa doesn’t care. Jorge believed it at first because he didn’t find any sexual dirt on her during his “vetting” process. I have to laugh thinking about what Jorge’s vetting process could have possibly entailed other than trolling her social media and checking to see if she had a Suicide Girls profile.

Jorge has learned not to trust everything Anfisa says, but the host points out that Anfisa has been honest with him about her gold digging from Day 1. Jorge never told her he was a millionaire, but he admits that he flashed money in her face. Pao interrupts to ask a burning question. She has read there are gold digging academies in Russia and wonders if Anfisa went to one (and if their program is better than the Colombian gold digging academy Pao attended). Pao is really showing what a bitch she is this episode. No wonder Juan is her best friend. Anfisa just laughs in her face and says that, sure, she’ll say she went there, if that’s what everyone wants to hear. Anfisa has just done a superb job of making Pao look like an idiot, and I applaud her for it. Alexei has read my mind and tells Pao that he’s sure there are gold digging classes in Colombia, too.

Jorge was not put off by Anfisa’s blatant materialism because he thinks all girls are “about the money.” I just noticed that Russ looks exactly like Hermey, the elf who wants to be a dentist, from Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. The host wonders why Jorge seems so angry. It’s because he gave Anfisa trust and she stabbed him in the back. Anfisa reminds him that she hasn’t said anything bad about him today; Jorge replies that’s because she’s afraid of what he’ll say about her.

And that’s the end. I guess we have to wait until next week to hear Jorge accuse Anfisa of whatever terrible thing TLC has been teasing. Knowing this show, it will be utterly anticlimactic.

 

 

90 Day Fiance HEA Recap: The Couples Tell All

In true 90 Day Fiance Happily Ever After fashion the first ten minutes of the tell all special are wasted with flashbacks we’ve seen a hundred times before and fake drama. The producers clutch their pearls because they can’t contact Jorge and Anfisa. Will they show? Of course they will, because TLC has already shown promos for the episode that include clips of Jorge and Anfisa. Mohamed’s not on set–oh no, will he show? Of course he will, because TLC has already shown promos for the episode that include clips of Mohamed. How stupid does TLC think its audience is?

The host, whoever she is, is awful. She starts things off by asking Jorge about the status of his and Anfisa’s relationship. After a dramatic producer-inserted pause, he says that it’s over. We already knew that, and this is what bugs me so much about this show. The host asks a question, a pause is edited in so we’re supposed to be on the edge of our seats waiting to hear the response, and when it comes it’s something we already know from the previous episode. When will TLC figure out that this type of ham-handed manipulation doesn’t create anticipation, it insults the viewers?

Anyway, the host points out that Jorge and Anfisa are staying in the same hotel room (which we know, because we just saw it a couple of minutes ago, so–redundant) and asks why, since they’re no longer together. Jorge responds that he had to pretend that things were fine between them in order to trick Anfisa into participating. The host pretends not to understand what he’s saying, so Anfisa breaks it down: Jorge knew that if Anfisa suspected he was going to call her out during the tell all special she wouldn’t have come, so he acted like everything was fine between them. It’s not that difficult. If Anfisa, who is not a native English speaker, can figure out what Jorge is saying, why can’t this host? I assume she’s some sort of communications professional since she’s hosting this reunion, but so far she’s not very adept at communicating.

She asks Anfisa if she thought the relationship with Jorge was improving. Why would she ask that when Jorge just said the relationship is over? Anfisa doesn’t know about that, she just thinks Jorge likes to play the victim. She might not be the nicest person, but at least she’s been honest about her intentions from the beginning. Amen to that, Anfisa! She feels that Jorge knew what to expect from her, but when she got to the US she discovered that Jorge was not who he was pretending to be. Loren is screwing her face into all kinds of wtf expressions as Anfisa talks, so I assume she’s waiting for an opportunity to lay into her. I don’t know why, because love Anfisa or hate her, she has never once misrepresented herself or tried to downplay her psychotic tendencies. Which is why she makes great TV.

Jorge is either getting a divorce or an annulment, but he hasn’t begun the process for either. The host asks what the basis for an annulment would be, and he says, “a sham marriage.” Instead of pursuing this line of questioning with Jorge, she cuts him off and turns to Danielle. Incredibly, she asks Danielle why she wanted to get her marriage to Mohamed annulled instead of divorcing him. Um, hello? DANIELLE EXPLAINED THIS VERY THING ON EVERY SINGLE EPISODE THIS SEASON. EVERY SINGLE EPISODE! WHY do we have to go over it AGAIN?

Hearing Jorge and Anfisa’s story makes Danielle sad. She thinks people don’t realize how much time, energy and money it takes for an American to bring someone over on a K-1 Visa. Jorge agrees. Mohamed hates it when Americans bring up how much they’ve done for “them,” meaning their foreign spouses, because he feels like the spouses are being objectified. He resents the attitude that coming to the US is a blessing. Well, isn’t it? Mohamed spent the entire season trying to avoid getting sent back to Tunisia.

Paola shuts him down by saying they all wanted to come to the US and experience the American dream. Alexei has empathy for Anfisa and Mohamed, but not much. He doesn’t think either of them came to the US for the right reasons, but Jorge and Danielle also had an agenda, so it is what it is. I love cool-headed, reasonable Alexei. What a contrast to Jorge, who displays ugly American arrogance when he says bringing Anfisa to the US was a blessing for her, because what did she have in Russia? Well–a home, a family, friends, a way of life. Nothing big.

Anfisa admits she is materialistic and that she thought Jorge was going to provide her with a certain lifestyle. Paola asks if she made that clear to Jorge. Yes Paola, I think Anfisa was being quite clear when she told Jorge she was with him because he could buy her things and would leave him if he became incapacitated and could no longer work. Loren asks Anfisa why she doesn’t get a job and Anfisa said Jorge told her he didn’t want his wife to work. Since we’ve seen Jorge talk to her about getting a job several times this season, as in, “when you get your green card you can get a job,” that wasn’t the best move.

Loren asks what Anfisa would do if she had a choice between Jorge and a wealthier man, and Anfisa answers that it would depend on how the wealthier man treats her. Loren calls her a bitch and a gold digger and says Jorge treated her like a princess. Except for the constant lying. Loren yells that Anfisa and Mohamed make the K-1 Visa process look like a joke, but Anfisa asks why she doesn’t blame the Americans? They’re the ones who initiate the process, after all.

Loren is angry that she and Alexei, who are legitimately in love, got denied for a K-1 Visa twice, and because when people like Mohamed and Anfisa abuse the process it makes it harder for real couples to be approved. They go to break and show some pointless behind the scenes footage wherein Loren tries to reason with Mohamed, followed by a montage of the high points of the couples’ marriages. Not surprisingly, the montage does not include any scenes of Danielle and Mohamed’s marriage.

Moving along, how did Pedro know Chantel was the one when he didn’t speak any English when they met? Chantel was learning Spanish at the time, and Pedro used a lot of hand gestures to express himself, so they got by. Paola says it doesn’t matter if there’s a language barrier–if two people have a connection, they know it. I strongly disagree. But I disagree with most things about Paola, so that’s no surprise.

The host randomly cuts off this conversation and asks Mohamed about his marriage to Danielle. He says he learned the hard way, but next time he’ll get to know a person before he gets too involved. Danielle thinks it’s sad that the other couples were willing to stick with each other through the bad times when Mohamed wasn’t. That’s because Danielle and Mohamed only had bad times. Can we be done with these two already? Paola asks why, if Danielle says she’s moved on, does she still stalk Mohamed on social media?

We don’t get an answer, because the host cuts off that conversation as well, and asks Mohamed how his and Danielle’s relationship came about. He explains that it built slowly during a time when he was living outside his country and very lonely, and he learned to appreciate talking to Danielle every night because she made him feel like someone cared about him.

Conversely, Jorge fell in love with Anfisa because of her looks. That is the one and only reason he can give for marrying this girl, so he deserves what he got. Anfisa liked that Jorge was nice and treated her well. She thinks he’s trying to save face after looking like a chump for two years, which is why he is now saying the marriage was a mistake. Jorge tells the host during a break that she only knows half the story, hinting that he has some explosive information to reveal about Anfisa. Like everything else on this show, it’s probably a buildup to nothing. Or something we’ve already seen a thousand times.

Now it’s time to rehash the Loren/Alexei Tourette’s storyline. Loren has Tourette’s. It’s hereditary. Alexei was upset when she told him. Now they’re fine. Except Loren is worried that her children will resent her if they have Tourette’s, because it will be “her fault.” Chantel totally gets it. She would never want to bring a life with some terrible disease into the world. Chantel needs to work on her delivery.

The host thinks it was “powerful” when Loren asked Alexei if it would be so bad if their children turned out like her. The host is a moron. That statement was not powerful. Manipulative, yes. Immature, yes. Bitter, yes. Powerful, no. Loren whines about how hard the preceding segment was for her as they go to break.

And it’s on to Russ and Paola and lingerie-gate. Russ makes snide comments as they show clips of Paola filming her video. There is nothing here we haven’t heard before. Russ feels it’s inappropriate for his wife to wear lingerie in front of other men. Paola doesn’t see anything wrong with it and didn’t want to jeopardize her video gig by refusing to wear it. Russ is oil. Paola is water. They have the same fight they had on the previous episode, the one before that, and the one before that, then Paola walks off the set, wondering why she is even married to Russ. Why indeed, Paola?

 

 

90 Day Fiance HEA Ep. 9 Recap: Free at Last!

Pedro and Chantel

It’s the day of the wedding, and no one is excited about it. While Chantel is getting her makeup done, her friend GeGe asks how the conversation with Pedro’s mother and sister went. Chantel doesn’t want to give anyone a reason to have even more reservations about her marriage, so she downplays the low-rent puta fest it devolved into. The bottom line is that Chantel knows where she stands with Pedro since he refused to take her side even once against his mother and sister, yet she’s preparing to walk down the aisle anyway.

Pedro’s family visit him in his room before the wedding. The sister is wearing white. Does she know it’s considered a faux pas (at least to stupid Americans) to wear white to someone else’s wedding? Maybe this is another strange Dominican custom that the Family Chantel will have to accept, or maybe it’s just another way for the sister to get under Chantel’s skin. Given the sister’s odious behavior during this visit, it’s probably the latter. After all the drama they’ve caused between Chantel and Pedro, the mother and sister get choked up when they see him in his wedding finery, and it’s nice to see them behave as if they are more evolved than the common hyena for once.

Chantel’s mother, sister and best friend help her get into her wedding dress, and Chantel waxes enthusiastic about how she’s finally getting the wedding she wanted. Like many young girls (and Katie Maloney), Chantel wants this wedding primarily so she can get her hair done, wear a pretty dress and be princess for a day. It will turn out to be a waste of money when the issues she and Pedro have swept under the rug return to break them up in a few months. Chantel’s mother warns that if Pedro’s mother and sister cause drama today, she will, like any Mama Bear, protect her cub with her claws, teeth and life. Who’s being dramatic now?

The wedding is about to begin, and Chantel’s parents present Pedro’s grandmother with some flowers to apologize for their behavior at her house. She graciously accepts the gift, and it looks like the families may be able to get along despite all the drama. Pedro is still worried that Chantel won’t show, but of course she does. They exchange vows that address some of the issues they’ve been dealing with. Pedro tells her she comes first, and she tells him her life is better with him in it. A good time is had by all at the reception, and Pedro’s awful mother and sister even hug Chantel. Pedro and Chantel acknowledge that their families may not always get along, but need to accept that Pedro and Chantel have chosen to be together and love each other. The end.

Russ and Paola

Paola is finishing up her video shoot and yammering about how Russ is not going to be happy that she wore lingerie. We know–we’ve heard the same thing ad nauseum for at least three episodes now. We’ve heard it from Russ, we’ve heard it from Paola, we’ve heard it from the creatures in the forest. Paola prepares to call him and break the news, and when she does, guess what? Russ is not happy. Enough of this. Russ married a thirsty famewhore whose culture is the polar opposite of Russ’ uptight Midwestern upbringing. Either he accepts the fact that his wife is a thirsty famewhore and sucks it up, or he moves on. One of them needs to get off the treadmill, because they have become tedious.

Pao returns to Miami and explains how excited she is about her music video and that she wishes Russ could be proud of her. Instead, she is greeted by his cold disapproval. They have yet another futile argument about the boundaries Russ is trying to impose on Pao, but she is over it. She doesn’t feel like she’s doing anything wrong and she’s tired of Russ making her feel like she is. She loves him but doesn’t think she should have to change who she is to make her marriage work. Brava, Paola! Finally one of these two is admitting to themselves that they are horribly mismatched and might be happier if they go their separate ways. Which they will.

Danielle and Mohamed

Danielle and Mohamed FINALLY attend their annulment hearing. Danielle emerges from the courthouse crying, because she’s a pathetic sap who cannot muster a shred of dignity to save her life. The judge told her she is unlikely to prevail if she pushes for an annulment, so her attorney advised her to settle for a divorce. Danielle is upset because now it will be more difficult to get Mohamed deported, and she feels cheated that she wasn’t able to prove to the world that Mohamed used her for a green card. Danielle–trust me when I say that the world already knows.

Danielle decides she needs to give Mohamed a piece of her mind, one last time–again–and walks purposefully over to his car. She lets him have it by timidly suggesting they should meet before he flees to Miami. You go, girl!

Danielle gets upset once again when her friend Beth discovers that Mohamed announced the divorce on Facebook. She thinks he should have given her time to let her family know she opted for a divorce instead of an annulment so they wouldn’t have to find out on social media. Why would Danielle’s kids follow Mohamed on social media? They hate him. When Danielle breaks it to them, they’re fine with it–they are not fine, however, with Danielle’s plan to meet Mohamed later that day. How did a train wreck like Danielle raise such seemingly reasonable and mature young women? They must have spent a lot of time with their fathers.

There is one more Danielle/Mohamed scene to endure. Please let it be the last–their story is so over. Danielle wants to show Mohamed that she’s over him (as if), but ends up haranguing him over the same things she’s been haranguing him about for two years. Danielle just cannot get it together and I am beyond over it. Bye, Danielle. I hope you are never on my TV again.

Jorge and Anfisa

Jorge is going to meet Anfisa in hopes of getting back together. He is so worried about the potential volatility of the meeting that he plans to meet her in the parking garage next to their apartment building. What girl wouldn’t swoon over such a romantic gesture? Anfisa explains that Jorge needs to apologize for not standing up for her to his sister, but Jorge doesn’t get it. He apologizes, but when she asks him to be more specific, he says he’s apologizing for whatever caused them to fight. Anfisa’s had enough of his lying and his unwillingness to take responsibility for hurting her, so she’s done. You know it’s serious when she refuses to even open the gift he brought her.

Jorge is so blandly inarticulate, and Anfisa is so uncharacteristically calm, that I think this meeting was contrived by production to put a neat little pin in Jorge and Anfisa’s relationship. Whatever the circumstances, good riddance to a bad marriage, and good luck to Anfisa in her search for her next sugar daddy. Or pimp.

Next week: the reunion. I really hope Russ and Pao have gone their separate ways, but other than that, I don’t care. Jorge and Anfisa have split up like they should have, Loren and Alexei are happy, Chantel and Pedro had their wedding, so there shouldn’t be that much to reveal. And nobody needs to hear anything more about Danielle and Mohamed, ever again.

90 Day Fiance Ep. 8 Recap: Tourette’s, Turmoil and a Tart

Chantel and Pedro

The episode picks up where the last one left, right after the fight between Chantel and Pedro’s horrible mother and even more horrible sister. Chantel tells Pedro that his sister called her a bitch, and they go back into the resort to confront the mother and sister. They both deny that the sister called Chantel a bitch, and lie to Pedro by saying that Chantel called the sister a bitch first. Have I said that Pedro’s mother and sister are horrible people? Because they are. Chantel didn’t call the sister a bitch anyway–she called her a whore.

Chantel calls them out on their lies by asking the sister why, when Chantel asked her if she called her a bitch, she said yes. The sister plays innocent and whines to Pedro that Chantel asked her the question in English so she didn’t understand what she was saying. Pedro turns on Chantel and it’s three against one. Chantel realizes that out of the three most important women in Pedro’s life, she comes last. Dump this trifling Mama’s boy already, Chantel! When Chantel gets upset he tells his sister that if she apologizes, Chantel will apologize to her. The sister gives a snarky, patently insincere apology that Chantel doesn’t accept. Good girl!

Pedro’s mom tells Chantel that she knew about Pedro’s culture when she married him so she’d better suck it up or let him go. She also says she will never accept Chantel’s culture. I can’t say it enough–Pedro’s mother is awful. Chantel has had enough of this pointless argument and walks away from it. Pedro follows her and they argue about whether their wedding, which is scheduled for the next day, is going to happen. Each wants the other to make the decision, which indicates to me that neither of them want to go through with it but neither of them wants to be the bad guy. Finally Pedro tells her that if she doesn’t want to get married, she shouldn’t show up at the wedding. But he’ll be there waiting for her.

Chantel is still upset that Pedro wouldn’t take her side against his mother and sister. He brings her into a room and prevents the cameras from following, but since they are mic’d we can hear them having the same argument they’ve been having for the last three episodes. Pedro urges her to forget about their families and concentrate on each other, but Chantel isn’t sure what she wants to do.

Danielle and Mohamed

It is finally the day of the annulment hearing and Danielle is getting ready for court. She hopes she’s gathered enough evidence to convince the judge that Mohamed married her for a green card. The only evidence Danielle needs to bring is herself. I mean, duh. Mohamed is also getting ready for the hearing and repeats what he’s said every episode this season: he’s worried the judge will grant Danielle’s request and he’ll get deported. We know. Just get on with it already.

Mohamed decides to film himself on the way to the courthouse…for protection. Huh? Danielle’s stalwart friend Beth is driving her to court and they talk–again–about what might happen at the hearing. Good God, how long can TLC draw out this annulment story? Danielle and Mohamed have indisputably jumped the shark.

Russ and Paola

Pao arrives in New Jersey to shoot her music video. She meets with the producer and wardrobe stylist and assures them she is comfortable being sexy. She has brought a selection of whorish outfits from her personal collection but they are not whorish enough for the producer. He’s got other ideas and tells Pao to keep an open mind when she shows up to shoot the video the next day.

Pao is on her way to the video shoot, and oh my God, her outfit. Silky gym short-shorts with a a fuzzy long-sleeved cropped sweater. Just when you think she couldn’t possibly get any tackier! Where do you even buy this kind of clothing?

Pao flirts with one of the band members while she’s getting her makeup done, then heads over to wardrobe. Gasp–it’s lingerie. We all know Russ’ hard line on lingerie and I guess we’re supposed to feel anxious about what Pao will do. Please. As if there is even a question. Pao rationalizes that if she refuses to wear the lingerie, she’ll have difficulty getting objectified cast in future third-rate music videos. She pretends to be conflicted, but heads to the set (which is basically a bed) in the forbidden garment, which we all knew she would.

She discusses her dilemma with the band member with whom she previously flirted and he pretends to be interested. Does Pao not know that girls like her are a dime a dozen and easily interchangeable? Or that she didn’t get this gig because these gentlemen want to hear her speak? Of course she doesn’t–she still thinks her Miami “agent” is running a modeling service.

Pao wishes Russ could see how professional this video shoot is, which is marginally more professional than her photo shoots have been. It still doesn’t rate an actual studio, but a motel is an upgrade from some booty photographer’s front yard, right?

Loren and Alexei

Loren is in Washington, DC to deliver her speech at the Tourette’s Society function. We rehash Alexei’s less-than-enthusiastic reaction to her announcement that Tourette’s is hereditary. How many times do we need to hear the same things over and over again on this show?!

Loren attends a meet-and-greet the night before she is scheduled to give her speech. The organizers are happy that Loren, as a successful adult living with Tourette’s, can be an inspiration to the kids and teens who are in attendance. She meets a mature and confident young lady whose comfort in her own skin impresses Loren. She wishes Alexei could be there to see how well these families are coping with Tourette’s.

Loren is proud to be sharing her Tourette’s journey, but sad that Alexei isn’t there to support her. Except that he is. Alexei really is a very thoughtful and supportive husband, and it’s actually sweet to see how happy Loren is that he’s come to DC. Loren gives a heartfelt speech as Alexei smiles with pride in the audience. Good for Loren–it looks like she’s finally ready to begin adulting.

Next week: Russ loses trust in Pao, Danielle yells at Mohamed, Jorge and Anfisa meet, and Pedro and Chantel may or may not go through with their wedding.

90 Day Fiance HEA Ep. 7 Recap: “Models” and Melees

Chantel and Pedro

Pedro returns from his unproductive meeting with Chantel’s father and brother. Chantel is disappointed to hear it did not go well. How can she be surprised?

Chantel and Pedro are checking into the resort where their wedding is supposed to be held. Chantel awkwardly greets her family while Pedro ignores them. Somebody is walking around the lobby of this “resort” in a bikini.

The happy couple meets with their wedding planner. Chantel is worried about the seating arrangement since she and Pedro’s families hate each other. I can’t believe this wedding is actually going to happen after everything that’s gone on since they arrived in the DR.

Chantel plans to sit down with Pedro’s mother and sister in attempt to repair their relationship. Pedro sabotages the meeting before it begins by telling them that Chantel’s father told him Chantel is better off without him.

Chantel begins by apologizing for her family’s behavior, but Mother and Sister Pedro are unreceptive. She then tries to justify her family’s actions by explaining that they think Mother Pedro encouraged Pedro to marry an American woman. Not the best move. Mother and Sister Pedro guffaw and call the Family Chantel stupid. Chantel changes the subject and begins complaining about how Pedro needs to treat her better and stop sending the mother and sister so many gifts. Again, not the best move.

The sister is one rude, aggressive, entitled little chica. She leans into Chantel’s face and tells her she’s tired of hearing her complain about the same things over and over again. Then she calls her a fucking bitch. Chantel retorts that she’s a fucking whore and walks away as the mother and sister laugh. God, they are awful!

Instead of nickel-and-diming Pedro with requests for hair straighteners and toiletries, Pedro’s sister needs to ask for the only thing that’s going to make her look better–a chin implant. I heard they’re cheap in the DR, just like the rent.

Jorge and Anfisa

Anfisa meets her friend Miranda to lounge by the pool. This is the lifestyle she envisioned when she came to America. Anfisa and Miranda discuss Anfisa’s recent facial enhancements, Jorge’s attempts to get in touch with her and Anfisa’s feelings for Jorge. This is a very one-sided friendship. Miranda inquires about the quality of Jorge and Anfisa’s sex life, and Anfisa admits that she is attached to Jorge because he was her first.

Jorge meets his friend to shop for a gift for Anfisa. He misses her intensely and wants to patch things up. He’s such a sap. And at the same time, a cheapskate. He explains that Anfisa likes really expensive and nice things, yet the gift he selects to win her back is a $300 piece of costume jewelry. I can just imagine the look on Anfisa’s face when she opens it.

Danielle and Mohamed

Tomorrow is the annulment hearing. Finally. I’m sick of watching Danielle talk about the hearing. I’m sick of watching Mohamed talk about the hearing. I just want the hearing to happen already. Mohamed’s friend Tom fills him on his meeting with Danielle. We really don’t need to hear about Tom and Danielle’s conversation because we just saw the whole thing last week. Mohamed loves living in the US but Tom warns him that the reality of the situation is that he may very well get deported.

Danielle leaves Mohamed a message warning him not to start drama at tomorrow’s annulment hearing. Between these two, has Mohamed ever been the one to start drama?

Russ and Paola

Pao is happy that Russ has a job because now he will be too busy to check up on her. She has gotten an offer to be the lead model in a music video for a group that contacted her through social media. Not through her agent–through social media. Think about that. Russ is leery of the opportunity because he has seen this group’s videos and they are too risque for his taste. He wants his wife to look classy. HAHAHAHAHAHA! Pao has never looked classy a day in her life! She doesn’t even know what it means to look classy. Her aesthetic is pure Miami streetwalker. He hasn’t realized that yet?! He should have, it’s why he married her.

Russ lays down his rules for the video shoot: no lingerie and a good paycheck. Of course this means there will be lingerie and at best an average paycheck. It’s hilarious that he has a problem with lingerie but is okay with the tawdry ensembles she wore in her recent photo shoot.

Pao’s agent has invited her to a “networking event.” Pao is keeping it classy by wearing a skin-tight midriff-baring white dress through which her vagina is outlined. The agent assures Pao that everyone who walks in the door is either a millionaire or a billionaire, and they are all producers or directors. They are all also middle-aged men. This is a networking event all right, but it’s not for modeling. The agent says it’s important to have “girl time” with the other models. This is known as “isolating.” During this girl time, another model tells Pao how much money she can make and how glamorous the modeling world is. This is known as “normalizing.” Poor Pao doesn’t think it’s fishy that the other models are only kind of attractive, or that her agent has failed to get her a single job but now wants her to mingle with a room full of greasy-looking older men. Those stars in her eyes are blinding her.