Screens: MTV

Whoo's That Girl

This week's Catfish presents an exceedingly credulous Army veteran and his pun-friendly babysitter beloved. Hugs are promised and delivered, though tragically none involving affection-starved Nev.

The Client

Derek, an Army vet from Detroit.

The Beloved

Kristen, a professional babysitter (red flag) from Tampa (RED FLAG), who proudly sports this headband from the Jemmye collection (REDDEST OF FLAGS).

The Clues

Derek's deal is that he's twice divorced, with a kid from each marriage, both of which ended because his ladies stepped out on him while he was deployed. So he's already got the "gullible" edit working for him. Pretty much, the biggest "clue" here is the fact that Derek fell for her in the first place. Anyway, kids are really important to Derek, and this girl seems to be really into the idea of kids. Oh, and Derek "doesn't have a webcam," so they've never seen each other, because in the world of Catfish, there's just no possible way to know these things without the guiding hands and shit-eating grins of Nev and Max.

The Excuses

The fact ("fact") that Kristen ("Kristen") lives in Tampa is the given reason for their as-yet-sight-unseen status, but more specifically that Kristen keeps offering up the kids she babysits for as excuses for why she can't come to Detroit. Nev and Max obviously know they have a live one here (we've all agreed to operate under the fiction that these are genuine "investigations," right?), and forgive me for my only casual viewership of this show, but is Max always this much on the edge of giddy laughter at the proceedings? Anyway, Nev manages to point out that Derek does seem to own an iPad, which, um, HAS A WEBCAM, and would be conducive to the Skype conversations that he and Kristen have apparently never had. Derek's excuse is that, uh, he doesn't like to video-chat. Max's response: "I think that's totally normal. I think, uh, a lot of people are with you on that." And hey, look, I hate video-chatting, too. But I'm not engaged in any cross-continental relationships with Tampa-based babysitters. (Note to the male nanny population of Tampa: not saying I wouldn't.)

The most important part of this pre-interview, of course, is the part where Nev falls head-over-heels for Derek. Not even in a sexual way, but in that way where Nev seeks to consume the innocence of everybody he comes into contact with, thus leaving them cynical husks while he skips away, filled with all the wonder and awe of the world's most hairy-chested baby.

Direct quote, from Nev to Derek: "It's amazing that you're still looking for love! You're an incredible guy! And I love it! I want to be there for it!"

The Investigation

Okay, first of all, this chick's name, as it appears on her Facebook page, is "Kristen Whoo." Max nearly has an aneurysm at this "Guy Incognito"-level alias, though, to be fair, I kind of worry about Max ever being unleashed on the Asian-American Catfishing community, with that attitude. The big finding of the early going is in her Facebook photos, wherein…

"That's…Vanessa Hudgens." So…yeah. Vanessa Hudgens, who IN NO WAY looks like the two entirely different women being passed off as Kristen in her other photos:

Potential Catfishees of the world, a few lessons: 1) learn to look at noses. The turned-down vs. turned-up indicators are your friends. 2) Find one seriously bitchy friend to peruse your intended's Facebook photos and just let her (or him!) go to town. These Hudgens frauds will be rooted out so goddamn quickly. Here's where I begin to feel legit bad for Derek, because maybe his gullible self really did believe he'd be part of the .2% of people on Catfish who find out their mystery loves are exactly who they say they are (if not better!), and it's right at this moment that he realizes 1) nope, he's fucked, and 2) he's going to have to play out this entire humiliating string. The best that Max can offer him at this point is that finding out who this person really is "won't be scarier than Baghdad." Um, yikes.

So once Max and Nev are alone, they start digging into the Facebook rabbit hole, and it's seriously the easiest "investigation" ever. Her telephone number has a Michigan area code, registered to one "Chasity Noneya" of Waterford, MI. Her Facebook URL has "/tricia.waurd" at the end of it. One of her Facebook friends (one "CitiLightz Efc Hhunter" [sic]) pretty much immediately confirms that "Kristen Whoo" used to be called "Tricia Waurd." The Tricia Waurd that Nev and Max looks up appears to be a happily married lady with two kids. Just amateur-level stuff that one would think, even if it didn't initially occur to Derek, would have occurred to him once MTV made the appointment for a visit from Nev and Max, but this show crumbles into dust if you squeeze it too hard, so let's just move on.

The Presentation of Findings

So, right, case in point: when Nev and Max arrive at Derek's the next day, he's like, "Oh, so last night I looked at her phone number for the first time and noticed it has a Michigan area code." They tell him all about Tricia Waurd and her husband and two kids, and Derek kind of goes pale at the thought of being the other man, after his multiple experiences getting cheated on by his wives. You guys. Nev wants to hug him so bad. There's always some kind of Nev Hug Threat Level on this show, and this time it's blinking an angry red:

When Nev calls up "Kristen" on the phone and introduces himself, she's like, "I've seen the show." She admits to having "a lot more going on in my life than Derek knows about," because no kidding. Meanwhile, Prince Valiant is all about making sure she knows that Derek is a "caring, loving wonderful guy," which causes Kristen to flee the call so she can go back to "babysitting." The next day, she won't answer her phone and only texts Nev and Max that she's willing to meet Derek, even though the truth "will hurt a lot of people." Obviously, she really lives in Michigan, so this meeting can take place ASAP. Once again, Derek looks like he just wants to bail, but MTV owns his ass at the moment, so he allows Max and Nev to convince him that he needs "closure."

The Confrontation

True to stereotype, Kristen turns out to be "Chasity" -- which, okay, is either red-flag #a billion or else she's still in alias mode -- and the horror, as it almost always is on this show, is that she is both overweight and in possession of a stupid haircut. If there aren't currently at least one hundred thesis papers being written for Media Studies programs right now about fat-shaming on Catfish, I'll be very disappointed. So Chasity's deal is that she's not married, but she does have those two kids, and also a gang-affiliated baby daddy currently in prison. That's why the fake Facebook page, she says, so she could…spy on her ex in order to gather ammunition for a possible custody battle? Nev and Max kind of already have the story they want, so they're literally like, "Makes sense to me!" They're already onto the phase where Derek will or will not accept the real Chasity.

As is generally the case on Catfish, Derek falls back on "you lied to me" as code for "I am not attracted to you," because he still wants to get out of this looking like the good guy, and even though Chasity is an asshole, if Derek just makes the mouth-gag motion and calls it a day, he loses. To be clear: Chasity is not empirically bad-looking. She's not empirically anything. Any guy could absolutely be attracted to her. Derek is clearly not. But, you know, her feeeeelings were real. She says the surname "Noneya" is made-up and intended to sound like "none of ya," like "none of ya business." Between this and Kristen Whoo, QUIT BEING CUTE WITH THE NAMES, CATFISHES! Chasity ups the asshole ante by pretty much immediately going passive-aggressive and putting the whole thing on Derek's shoulders as to whether he's going to reject her or not. "Hopefully he's not gonna judge me now, because I'm still the same person!" She's also 100 percent on the verge of breaking out into a Max-level grin about the audaciousness of it all. She's just very "sorry about it!" "I am that person," she says. "Just not my name." Uh huh. She tries to wheedle her way into a hug from Derek, but no dice.

The Post-Confrontation Confrontation

Max and Nev decide she was doing this for "good reasons," which I guess is referring to the prison baby daddy. "I did it for my kids" seems pretty next-level for a Catfish. Nev urges Derek into one more meeting, encouraging him to "have fun with this now." OKAY?! Back with Chasity, she's like, "Okay, can we just get back to being in love" to an infuriating degree. At one point, he asks her to clarify something about herself, and she's like, "We already talked about this on the phone." Like, were you calling from the set of Spring Breakers, VANESSA? Maybe deal with your massive deception for one second? Derek is nicer about it, but even he lets out an exasperated, "We're gonna have to re-talk about everything." Or, you know, not talk ever again once the camera crew heads home. This girl is a piece of work. "Tell me I'm pretty. Tell me what you like about me. Are you still in love with me? Where's my hug?" She really does want that hug, which Derek obliges in what your regular Catfish recapper Tara Ariano described on Twitter as "the most crotch-avoidant hug" in history. She's not wrong:

You know how at, like, Catholic school dances in '60s-set movies, the chaperones will tell the kids to dance with enough room so the Holy Spirit can fit between them? This hug is spacious enough that Nev could fit comfortably in the space between their lower halves:

The Aftermath

Derek and Chasity "hung out for a little while," but it's not going to work out, like, 1) duh, and 2) THANK GOD. Derek is going back to school and sticking to meeting people IRL, while Chasity deleted the Kristen Whoo page and started a job at BK, where only the burgers will be created to suit the whims of their intendeds.

The Life Lessons Learned

Skype. Skype again. Area codes matter. So do Facebook URLs. Starting a fake social-media presence to spy on your gang-affiliated ex is just a terrible idea on almost every level, but if you do, don't use it to meet men. Nev Schulman still loves you.

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