So long, farewell, auf Wiedersehen, season fiiiive!
|Oct 25, 2018||Public post|
As the auto-tuned-voice of a generation, Lizzie McGuire, once sang in her silver screen debut: Hey now / Hey now / This is what dreams are made of.
Our circumstances may differ, of course, as I believe Lizzie was referring to the moment when one is mistaken for an Italian pop star while on an eighth grade graduation trip to Rome (a thing!), and rather than going the Parent Trap doppelganger route, taking instead the Star Is Born path where a crowd who's paid to see their favorite singer perform in concert at The Colosseum (another thing!), is instead thrilled when a strange young woman comes onstage singing and baring everyone's favorite patch of skin: those three inches right below the belly button…
No, for me this stuff of dreams is not becoming a teen pop sensation, or winning the 1.6 billion, or being named godmother to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's baby (it's really too early to know!).
This is a small dream — a recappers dream, wherein I got to start a trash reality series; meet all the wacky players; and then immediately skip to the end to see what happened without having to watch the 13 hours of filmed WhatsApp phone screens in between.
If you're confused—me too! Because I swear I googled to see if there was an upcoming new season of 90 Day Fiancé before I started recapping the already-completed season 5 a few weeks ago, and the entire internet told me nothing. So, I set out on my first ever 90 Day Fiancé adventure with reigning queen Nikki and archnemesis Nicole…
Then — boom — on Sunday, TLC drops a brand new season of 90 Day Fiancé.
And I am here to tell you, it is a doozy: think cats in costumes, international water cheating scandals, and a man who briefly considered going to personally fight ISIS, then decided instead to seek out an Indonesian wife — because who hasn’t been there.
What does that mean for season 5, you ask?
But I won't leave you without answers on everyone's favorite fiancé-flight-risk, Azan; everyone's most pretentious little cousin at the family reunion who doesn’t realize she’s an actual child, Evelyn; nor everyone's least favorite poor person, David. With absolutely no context beyond episode 2, I watched 90 Day Fiancé: the Couples Tell All, the two-hour conclusion of season 5, to find out where each couple landed after their titular 90 days.
And color me shocked to see that most couples arrived together; there was one couple I had never even seen at all (and will not mention again); and Spanish David has yet to be imprisoned for sliding into the DMs of a theater kid. It's all hosted by Shaun Robinson, a woman whose work I did not previously know, but after watching her effortlessly juggle an international troupe of trigger-happy clowns for 120 minutes, would now like to see physically escort Megyn Kelly out of the Today Show studios and usurp her utterly undeserved hour of television.
Doing my best to piece together an entire season from the Tell All reunion, I can tell you this much for sure:
NICOLE & AZAN
It really is incredible, almost artistic, how the season started with Azan ignoring Nicole and her bullying her family into thinking the best of him — and 13 episodes later, it ends with Azan still ignoring not only Nicole's calls, but the entirety of TLC studios, and Nicole still berating her mom into not speaking ill of him.
Every return from commercial break starts with Shaun Robinson saying, "We're joined by all of our couples from this season…except Azan." And since Nicole and Azan both seem like immature punks, it is a thrill every time.
Even my cold dead heart is capable of feeling a little bad for Nicole though, seeing her all dressed up and ready to Skype, only to be completely ignored in front of the entire cast and trash-loving nation.
But then the clip package of their time together in Morocco reveals what Azan ignoring Nicole in person looks like (it looks like Nicole physically herding him around with her body until he escapes her, and then her weeping about him ignoring her), and it's just all so annoying. Equally annoyed is the normally inscrutable Shaun Robinson who can hardly even string together the question: What does Azan do?
"He does a lot of different things," Nicole responds: "He doesn't have, like, one set job."
This leaves everyone wondering exactly how Azan…survives, and Nicole says that sometimes his family gives him money and sometimes she gives him money. Her mom says Nicole should tell just how much “she's” given him this month alone, and she starts whining, Mooooom! Her mom says Nicole will ask her parents for money for gas or groceries, then she'll look at Nicole's bank account, and see:
But Nicole keeps telling her mom to stooooop, and even though I feel great sadness for that mother, I am forced to now hate her forever for caving to her daughter’s pleas, because I NEED TO KNOW EXACTLY HOW MUCH MONEY NICOLE HAS SENT AZAN WHO WILL NOT EVEN PHONE INTO THIS REUNION FOR HER.
But surely we’ll never know now, right? Because surely this callous rejection will be the last straw, right? Shaun asks Nicole how sure she is that she could marry Azan at this point?
Get me out of here.
MOLLY & LUIS
And into the peaceful abyss of Molly and Luis!
Ha ha, just kidding, this one went up in absolute F L A M E S in 90 days flat. Other than Azan, Luis is the only other person not on stage for the group reunion, leading you to believe that he and Molly have broken up. Other things that might lead you to believe that:
Clips of Luis asking Molly's eldest daughter if she's with her boyfriend "for love or for fuck?"
Clips of Luis seeming to be at a strip club.
Clips of Luis accusing Molly of being a witch.
Let's expand on that last one while also figuring out why it seems like these two are still together when Luis is eventually brought onstage…
In the final filmed episode, Molly and Luis had a huge blowout where she asked him why he was demanding that she focus less on her children, and he responded by saying: "Here, I just saw a Buddha. I never seen one Bible here. I never seen something about God here." Molly correctly points out that given his proclivity for premarital sex, drinking, and partying, perhaps Luis’ holier-than-thou conversation pivot is a little hypocritical. Except she says it with more of this vibe:
Molly says that "in typical Luis fashion, when I try to talk to him about something, he starts in on the décor in my house." Listen, I know I missed 11 episodes, but — is this typical Luis fashion??? To avoid criticism by attacking Molly's religiously-ambiguous interior design choices???
It seems that’s exactly correct, and that this is not the first time it's happened either, because it brings about what I'm sure would have been my favorite line of the season even if I had watched all of it:
"YOU'RE BLAMING AN OWL CANDLE ON THE FACT THAT YOU'RE AN ASSHOLE TO MY KIDS?!?!"
Now, I would like to remind you, that when Luis comes out onstage, Molly makes room for him to share the couch with her daughter who he recently asked about her fucking practices during a casual game of billiards. Luis refuses and sits on the other couch by himself because there's "more room."
And when the camera comes back to them after watching the scene of Molly telling him to get out of her house, he's laughing. A creepy, dead-eyed smirk that he continues for the rest of his time on stage.
Molly and Luis say that they're back together and working on it, but the only time Luis admits any culpability is when David of all people — y'know, he of virginally-courting-a-child fame — says that Luis’ actions show he did not have good intentions, and Luis responds: "I know I'm bad. I know everything he says is true and that I have to change."
[Ed. Note: Reader, he did not change. One of my most trusted trash associates has just texted me that Luis married another woman five months after his divorce from Molly. Cool, cool, cool.]
ELIZABETH & ANDREI
Let's take a brief break with Elizabeth and Andrrrrrei, whose extensions look rough, sure, but whose intentions at least seem fine.
I kept saving my mockery of Elizabeth's unnecessary over-pronunciation of Andrrrrei's name for a recap that needed some filler, but now here we are at the end, with too much 90 Day Fiance and not enough TATBT…
Time and TLC, they are fickle co-mistresses, indeed.
Elizabeth and Andrei are the real deal it seems, and their only holdup seems to be that Andrei has very old-fashioned views about how women should behave (cute!). Elizabeth has become more submissive as a result, and I get where her sisters are coming from saying that's so unlike her, but the thing is…Elizabeth's personality never seemed that great, so why not try a different one on for size?
I don't know, I'm just taking nonsense because I really only care about Elizabeth's extensive collection of bobble-head sisters, who trot out their best bodysuits one more time for a video call-in where they try to act like they were seriously concerned about their sister, but mostly just laugh at Andrei's performative masculinity that he and Elizabeth are so proud of…
I love them so much, and I swear, if you still haven't listened to Dirty John after my last pop culture sister comparison, I… have no threat with which to follow this up, but really you guys, you'll get so much more out of Connie Britton and Connie Britton's hair's upcoming Bravo limited series performance if you listen to the podcast first!
ANNIE & DAVID
Just as Azan entered this season a ghost, and exited a ghost; Queen Nikki entered a legend, and exited a legend. Yes, this segment is purportedly about finding out what became of Annie and David’s relationship, but really, it is all about Nikki — she came in tired, and she left tired because, as is his way, David has sucked her dry with the totality of his own suckage.
David has an unbelievably benevolent friend in Chris, and we have an equally generous benefactor in Nikki who spills every bit of tea until nary a sip or swallow is left. Last TATBT left David, he was able to offer Annie's family 50,000 baht in exchange for taking their eldest working daughter away to the States.
It was a tenth of what they were expecting, and I don’t know if that also includes the two water buffalo we briefly see David trying to round up or not.
Annie has previously said that if David couldn't take care of her, then she would say bye, and when Shaun pushes her on that, she says, "I'm sure, every woman... if a man don't take care of you, what is he doing?" while Nikki nods along vigorously. My favorite thing about Nikki is that she despises David as an individual, completely separate of Annie.
Normally, I would consider Annie’s views on the husband being expected to provide antiquated, but the question remains: What does David have to offer?
The divorce that bankrupted David was ten years ago, and Chris has pretty much been bankrolling him ever since. Apparently when they were both single after the divorce, Chris wanted to be able to travel with his best friend, so he would pay David’s way. Nikki says that David then came to expect Chris to pay his way and it seems that…Chris continued to pay his way. For 10 years! It's nuts!
David just sits there silently, not admitting that it's nuts and not admitting that he probably owes Chris no less than $50,000. But the fact that David has no source of income, seemingly no desire to find one, and yet has taken on some of the financial responsibility of Annie's family is, like, the least bad thing about him. In a transition I did not see coming, Shaun Robinson says, "David, your drinking habits have become a topic of conversation since you've been with Annie."
I'm sorry. This middle-aged vagabond also has a drinking problem??? What is happening, Annie?! Nikki, save us!!!
We then see just an awe-inspiring unfolding of events wherein Chris and Nikki host a get-together to celebrate David and Annie's return to America at their home — where Chris has invited David to live with them, natch — and David gets drunk immediately.
So drunk that he's embarrassing Annie enough to make her cry. Nikki and her brother Anthony take Annie inside to tell her that she doesn’t have to be disrespected like this, and David comes in slurring:
See, Anthony is gay, and David is under the impression that implying Anthony desires to have sex with his brother-in-law Chris is a hilarious joke.
Anthony does not agree.
When David goes to sleep it off, he is awoken to an excellent impression of the timeless classic Y’all-Not-Gon-Get-No-Sleep-Cause-of-Me, but Anthony’s rendition involves a bowl of ice water to David’s face, and an informative lesson on the outward-facing perception of his drunken behavior…
Y'all. I want to think I'm a bigger person than this, but when Nikki's brother called David a "Ninja Turtle, Penguin, Batman-Ass Bitch," I well-and-truly lost it.
Anthony does not go on to have a very kind showing at the Tell All, so I don't want to be too firmly in his corner, but the fact that David tries to explain away his behavior by saying "everyone was drunk," and everyone individually informs him that they were, in fact, not drunk at all, says a lot. But it does not say everything…
That's right, David gets water thrown in face not once, but twice this season!
Annie meets David's children whom he had not previously told he was getting remarried, and his eldest daughter…does not seem to care much for him.
Possibly because he cheated on her mother repeatedly, which is apparently what led to their divorce, a fact that David never told Annie. When Annie got upset with him about this during the season, he petulantly shot back, "You have a past too."
Oh, fuck this guy! He's such a weasel. If Annie does “have a past,” it seems that he at least knows about it. That's the thing about Annie: she's very honest. When offered $10,000 by Chris if she wanted to just go back to Thailand — he's the one sponsoring her visa, obviously — at the Tell All, she declined, saying that she loved David… contingent upon the agreement that he continues to provide for her, of course.
If David can no longer do that one day (bearing in mind that both Nikki and Chris now say the Bank of Chris is closed)…
EVELYN & DAVID
Finally, we must address Evelyn and David, who I still refuse to let sway me with the aesthetic relief their presence on the Tell All stage offers. It's true: they make a striking pair and they seem very happy together…
But I won't ever forget that Evelyn was a high school senior when David started hitting her up, and you know who else won't?
MIKAYLA IN DA HOOOOUSE!
Things seem to be smoothed over with Mikayla, Evelyn, and David now, but we see a clip of David asking Mikayla is she has a boyfriend when she raises concerns about the speed of their relationship, telling her: "It's just that you sound like someone who's not dating anyone."
Okay, fine, these two are fucking made for each other; they can keep their creepy relationship! And speaking of made for each other:
Enter Evelyn's mom with some casual heteronormative wedding night advice for her daughter. But good on her, I guess, because David is so uptight, he doesn’t want Evelyn to talk about sex with anyone, including him.
He does further elaborate on the Tell All that he's not uncomfortable talking about sex in general, he's uncomfortable talking about sex on camera…and at the breakfast table with his in-laws, who apparently like to have full Kama Sutra debriefs with the whole family every morning.
Truly, season 6 cannot come fast enough…
Oh wait, it's already here!
That's Jonathan; he bought his 19-year-old fiancé a new pair of celebratory boobs because the world of 90 Day Fiancé is a vicious, vicious cycle. See you back here on Friday for the season 6 pre-wash, my friends, and look out tomorrow for a very spooky Halloween Netflix recommendation!
If you have friends who might enjoy 90 Day Fiancé recpaps and more from TATBT, forward them this letter, and tell them to sign up right here. I cannot promise a new pair of boobies, or even two water buffalo, but I can promise to pop the finest culture.