'I Need Help In Meeting My Fiancé'
Breaking down the elements of Cassie's CRAZY episode of Catfish.
Cassie, who works at a radio station in Miami.
Steve, with whom Cassie's been in an online relationship for over two years, and to whom she proposed marriage -- over email, because they've never met in person.
Cassie has fewer than three photos of Steve; she's never videochatted with him; she's...uh, never met him.
After getting a particularly steamy shirtless shot of Steve, Cassie decided she didn't need any more/other photos of him; he couldn't get his webcam to work; he can't come visit her in Miami from his home in Atlanta because he's always travelling around doing shows in an effort to get his rap career off the ground. Also: Cassie "met" Steve shortly after her father was murdered and Cassie had fallen into a downward spiral of partying and meaningless sex; Steve helped her to realize she is worth more than that. (That said: they have had phone sex.)
Nev and Max Shazam the tracks Steve had sent Cassie under his stage name, S-Killa, and find nothing, other than evidence that for someone who claims to be in the studio all the time, he's not very good. They Google "Atlanta rapper S-Killa" and find no results. (There is a Skilla, but that's not a hip-hop act.) They visit Steve's Facebook page, and judge his count of 94 friends "not great," which I guess it isn't for someone who's an aspiring performer who'd be networking all the time. Then they do a Google image search on the shirtless photo and immediately find that it belongs to someone named Deonee Arness, a model with almost 7000 Facebook Likes.
The IRL Loved Ones' Opinions
Nev and Max meet Gladys, Cassie's best friend since Pre-K, who considers herself more like Cassie's sister. Gladys notes that Cassie wouldn't listen to her, nor to Cassie's mother or sister, about her hard partying, so she respects Steve for that, but Gladys considers the marriage "sketchy," and tentatively suggests that Steve could be lying.
The Presentation Of Findings
Cassie is embarrassed to see that the photos of the person she thought was Steve is Deonee. (Nev tells her, "Being an open and trusting person is not a flaw," which...come on.)
The Further Investigation
When "Steve" sends Cassie a song, she forwards it to Nev, who finds the author in the file metadata and identifies "YNotParty," a.k.a. Tony.
The Presentation Of Further Findings
"That's Gladys's cousin....He's staying in her house. He's been staying in her house for a while."
Gladys -- Cassie's self-declared sister -- manages a half-hearted "So...you think it's Tony?" before letting out a huge sigh and admitting she has been Steve all along. Cassie stalks to Max and Nev's rental car and screams to herself. While Nev goes to comfort her, Max asks Gladys if Tony is in love with Cassie; Gladys says he just voice-posed as Steve because Gladys asked him to. Nev manages to get Cassie to sit back down with Gladys, who calls Steve's phone...which rings in Gladys's hand. Gladys explains that she has two identical phones -- her own and Steve's -- and that every time Steve texted Cassie that he was in the studio, it was because Gladys was with Cassie (or at school or work or whatever). Gladys says she invented Steve to give Cassie's life purpose and make her stop partying all the time, because Gladys loves Cassie. The phone sex with Tony just happened because Cassie kept suggesting it and Gladys couldn't think of a way to get Steve out of it. As for the wedding proposal, Gladys claims she didn't say "yes" to the wedding proposal, she said "okay," because she didn't know what else to say.
THEN Cassie goes inside to talk to Tony, who is just some idiot who's convincingly apologetic about the whole thing.
The Post-Confrontation Confrontation
Gladys asks Nev and Max basically to be human shields for her as she goes over to Cassie's to apologize some more. After Gladys and Cassie are positioned on the couch, Max and Nev give them some privacy; before Gladys says anything, she asks the camera crew with legitimate trepidation, "You guys are going to get her if she tries to get me, right?" Cassie promises not to "put hands" on Gladys. Gladys essentially repeats her line from the day before, about not wanting Cassie to screw up her life, and apologizes for making Cassie "feel violated" by Tony. Cassie admits, "I am a better person than I was before." WHAT. She adds that she doesn't hate Gladys. WHAT.
Gladys promises to stay off Facebook. Cassie and Gladys hug. WHAT EVEN.
Two months later, Cassie's not dating. She and Gladys have seen each other socially in groups, but not really one-on-one. She checks Gladys's computer and phone periodically to make sure Gladys isn't up to any shenanigans again. Gladys has deactivated Steve's Facebook account and hasn't created another one. Sometimes the show gets a reaction from the person whose photos were stolen, but if they did contact Deonee, he didn't want to participate.
The Life Lessons Learned
Don't have phone sex with someone you've never met. Don't accept Facebook friend requests from people you don't know. An extremely cursory Google search on someone you think you might want to marry takes literally fractions of a second. There are fates worse than having lots of anonymous sex -- for instance, getting tricked into a multi-year online relationship with someone who claims to be your friend.