Will Catfish End Its Season With A Picture-Perfect Ending For Dylan & Savenia?
Savenia has told Dylan she's a model. But she's also told Catfish she's not what she seems. What's her deal?
Well, in this dumb season even this has to be convoluted as hell, but since the story is told from his perspective let's say it's Dylan, nineteen-year-old aspiring wedding cake designer, of Roanoke, Virginia, even though...
...Savenia, of Rochester, NY, also emailed the show six months before Dylan did.
Kind of the biggest is that Savenia contacted the show's producers to say, "I'm not the person he thinks I am," but allegedly didn't provide her phone number and the email bounced back, which is allegedly they didn't/weren't able to follow up with her until Dylan allegedly wrote in himself. Regardless: whatever she meant by not being the person Dylan thinks she is, it's probably the reason she's refused Dylan's requests that they videochat throughout the five years they've been talking online and on the phone since he came up among her suggested friends on Facebook. Also, Savenia's a model, a classic fake job for online liars. The only photos he's seen of her, in fact, are the modeling portfolio pictures she's posted on her Facebook profile. And she never told him she'd written in to the show about their relationship.
Savenia came into Dylan's life around the same time his mom returned to it: he'd been raised by his father since his mother, an intermittently incarcerated addict, was extremely negligent with Dylan and his brother, and it sounds like the attempt at reconnection failed; his mother returned to prison, and she and Dylan are no longer in contact. So since Savenia was his support during this painful time, he may have bonded with her more intensely than he would have under less traumatic circumstances. "And there's no chance that your mom is Savenia?" asks Max, speaking for us all. Dylan:
Of course this has never occurred to Dylan the simpleton -- who also says he hasn't so much as Googled Savenia -- even though it's the first thing EVERY SINGLE ONE OF US WATCHING thought when we heard the timeline of Savenia's appearance in his life. "I don't think so?" he answers, lamely. Nev gently suggests that she created the Savenia identity to try to be Dylan's friend. He doubts it. When he shows them her pictures, Nev is like, "She's pretty!," so Max has to remind him that it's not her, based on her own testimony in her first email to the show. Nev backtracks, saying it's very likely that the photos are of someone else, but that whatever information she still has to impart "could be anything." This is why he gets paid the big bucks, guys.
The photos on Savenia's Facebook page are, as Dylan had reported, nothing but very pose-y modeling portfolio pics, and I guess she's not that successful because none of the ones they search is anywhere else on the internet.
Someone with her first and last name and one of her photos has created accounts on both Twitter and YouTube, but apparently never used either of them. Since this all seems like the internet activity of your average normie, Nev and Max are forced to speculate about what she's hiding: Max wonders if a friend of Savenia's is using her profile to talk to Dylan -- but if they think Savenia's profile is real, how would that even work? Savenia would have to know, right? And why would she go along with it?
Whatever: that doesn't go anywhere, so let's move on to the next search, which is Savenia's phone number, and which comes back registered to Name Unknown. They decide to cold-message a couple of people who seem like they know her for real. While they wait, Nev vamps that Dylan could be talking to the real Savenia, but that there's something she hasn't told him, like that she's married or has a kid or something, but Max the pessimist is of course focused on the literal words she literally wrote, which have convinced him that she's just using stolen pics -- and, honestly, Occam's Razor does feel like it was invented for this stupid show.
So then they get a call from Colleen, who went to middle school and high school with Savenia. To her knowledge, Savenia is not in a relationship right now, nor does she have "a sort of online friend that she's been talking to for a long time." When Nev mentions the name Dylan, Colleen muses that her sister Riley might have been involved with someone by that name, and Nev and Max immediately react like they've cracked the case. Colleen doesn't say she knows that Riley used Savenia's profile to talk to Dylan, but volunteers that Riley is really shy, and that she's twenty-three.
This would mean that Dylan started falling in love with Savenia/Riley when he was fourteen and she was eighteen, which, gross.
And when they look around Riley's profile, it seems as though she is an animal lover -- something Dylan had previously said was true of Savenia. And all her photos on Facebook are of animals; none shows her face. Aaaaaand the number on Riley's profile is the one Dylan had sent them as Savenia's. You can tell Riley is definitely NOT going to turn out to be Savenia based on the fact that they don't message Riley to ask her if she is, but anyway: investigation over.
To his knowledge, Dylan's never interacted with Riley and never cared to visit her profile (and why would he). Nev puts his thumb on the scale as he shows Dylan the photos on her Facebook profile and states that "she's certainly made a point of hiding her face." Or she isn't vain? Or she's self-conscious for any of a million reasons, like the possibility that her sister's online shadiness is going to get her on Catfish someday? Shut up, Nev. "Our best guess is that you're talking to Riley" is Max's closer. Dylan doesn't know why, if that's the case, Riley would lie about it for five years, and Nev's next WILD question is whether Dylan has any enemies in the Rochester area who'd want to mess with him. If this is someone engaging in some kind of Oldboy scheme, isn't it more likely just to be someone in Roanoke? Come on, guys.
So Nev calls Savenia. On speaker -- without knowing Dylan's there listening -- Savenia expresses shock to hear from him "out of the blue," to which Nev must remind her that it's not totally out of the blue what with her having (allegedly) written in to the show six months ago and all. She repeats, "I'm not really who I say I am," but she agrees to meet -- as, given that they're going to fly her from Rochester to Los Angeles, who wouldn't. (Sorry, Rochester, but you know I'm right.) When they hang up, Nev and Max still think they were talking to Riley.
Were they??? Well, there's this whole stupid misdirect where Max and Nev are waiting with Dylan at his Airbnb when a producer texts to say he or she "just got them" from the airport so then they're like, "It could be both sisters" or "It could be Savenia and child" and not "The producer said 'them' to disguise the fact that 'Savenia' is a guy" or "Savenia is gender nonconforming and prefers 'they' and 'them' pronouns," but guess what?
Uuuuuuuuuuugh. We were sold "the wildest Catfish season ever" with "twice the reveals," and this is our fucking finale??? This is great for Dylan, whom I wish no specific ill, and merely regard with my usual contempt since he talked to this broad for five years without ever once GOOGLING HER, something I have done to find out more about the feebs on fucking House Hunters -- but you guys, here's what Savenia meant when she kept saying she wasn't what she said she was: that her modeling photos had been retouched. She's also self-conscious about being tall, but when she's like, "As you can see, I don't look like that"? BITCH, QUIT FISHING, YOU DO LOOK LIKE THAT, GET THE FUCK OUT OF HERE WITH THIS WEAK SHIT. She also pretty much admits that she only contacted the show because she wanted to meet Dylan in person and didn't know how it would happen except on the show's dime.
I am furious.
There's nothing more to this story. Savenia's number is on Riley's profile because Savenia needed a number on her profile (...no you don't), and they just kind of forgot to change it. When she started talking to Dylan, Savenia was thirteen. She has since graduated high school, washed out of college due to her dyslexia (I'm paraphrasing), and now aspires to join the...Coast Guard? It has honestly never occurred to me that this was something anyone planned to do as opposed to just ending up there. (Sorry, Coast Guard, but you know I'm right.) She's not sure she'll get in, though, due to a "dark past" that involved a brief stint in a psychiatric facility, which Dylan knew about and helped her through; they bonded over her issues with depression and his issues with his mother. She started modeling after that because she lost a lot of weight during that period, which: it's awful that Savenia's physical health suffered along with her mental health, OF COURSE, but "I got so skinny I had no choice but to become a model" is not the most tragic story we've ever heard on this show, no matter what the music would have us feel about it. As for Colleen: Savenia says she doesn't talk about Dylan at home because people "get freaked out" about online relationships; she thinks Riley has some other friend named Dylan.
Savenia's hope, now that she's grifted the show into making this meeting happen? If she doesn't get into the Coast Guard, she'll move to Virginia and go to community college near Dylan. This is news to him, but he's happy about it.
After Nev and Max step out, we get the standard "I can't believe you're real" conversation, followed by an extremely wholesome date involving pizza, a visit to a dog café, and paddle boating.
Savenia and Dylan hug when they first meet, and we may reasonably surmise that there were many more hugs later that we don't see.
Three months later, Savenia and Dylan are together in Virginia for their Skype date with Nev and Max, and confirm that they are "boyfriend and girlfriend," over which Nev and Max high-five. Savenia did not, in fact, get in to the Coast Guard (lol), so now there are no impediments to her moving to Virginia, particularly since Dylan's whole family is apparently in love with Savenia. They even kiss on command on the webcam. Love conquers...whatever.
Either put your own cell phone number on your Facebook -- or, better yet, no phone number at all. If you're worried about misrepresenting yourself online with barely doctored photos, put up a couple of candids. Try to describe your debatable internet deception in the least dramatic terms -- unless, of course, you're trying to frame your online love story as a scandalous mystery that only a free plane ticket from MTV can solve. THIS SHOW NEEDS TO END, IMMEDIATELY.