Will Catfish Guide Infiniti And Dave To Endless Love?
Dancer Infiniti has never been able to meet her online boyfriend Dave, even though they both live in New York. Will Nev and Max steer them to a happy ending?
Infiniti, a nineteen-year-old retail employee and aspiring hip hop dancer in New York City. (When he sees her in their first videochat, btw, Nev volunteers that he "used to live on 124th" even though it's not established at this point that she lives north of Central Park, aka in Harlem. I don't want to say he assumes she does because she's black, so he shouldn't make it so easy for me to.)
Dave, age 25, who also lives in New York.
They live in the same city and in the six months they've been talking since Dave messaged Infiniti "out of the blue," they've never met. They text, but they've never really talked on the phone, except on calls where he's barely audible or the call is breaking up. He's also texted her from a variety of numbers. And! When Infiniti goes to pull up his Instagram profile, it's disappeared -- perhaps because she tipped him off that she'd called the show; it later turns out that he's locked it, so he may have just soft-blocked her first. (She can't pull up his Facebook profile because she doesn't "have Facebook anymore.") The fact that he's never met Infiniti didn't prevent Dave from requesting that she send him a "pussy pic." Nev lectures about how gross it is for him to make such an outlandish and Infiniti just silently fidgets with her necklace which suggests to me that she actually may have sent him one???
Some we see: he's always travelling for work (job unspecified); he can't pick up the phone because he's driving; he lost his phone "again." The reason for the various phone numbers is that he travels a lot? In fact, he's told her that he's going to be in Los Angeles for the next several months (and has contacted her from a 323 number, which might originate there), but she thinks he's actually seeing someone else.
If he were speaking for himself at this early stage in the story, however, Dave might offer the excuse that he doesn't have to try that hard to deceive Infiniti. Her standards are so low that she thinks his "good morning," "good afternoon," and "goodnight" texts are evidence of his "outgoing" personality and positive energy. She also doesn't seem to think it's strange that she doesn't know what he does for a living other than that he used to be a rapper. Max asks whether it seems like Dave really does live in New York -- if he's ever demonstrated local knowledge. Infiniti: "The only thing that he talked about in the city was a restaurant called Ruth [sic] Chris?"
I love that you can see Max trying not to burst out laughing when that is clearly impossible. Nev kindly explains that (the stupidly named) Ruth's Chris is a restaurant chain, and Max breaks in to add, "There's this restaurant in New York I'm dying to go to -- it's called Chipotle." Infiniti: "Chipotle is great! You never had Chipotle?" The editors very rudely add a sad slide whistle and Nev's like, "No, we-- He's--" and Max cracks, "I can see how Dave got so far with you!" I mean, honestly. Infiniti is young, but she might also just be dumb.
Plus Dave is cute, which may be why she's so certain:
Even though when she told him she'd called the show on him, he begged her to back out, as would anyone who has nothing to hide.
Included in the tiny amount of information Infiniti supplies -- the username on Dave's locked Instagram account and the phone number she's most recently used for him -- she also offers the phone numbers for Nelly and Nay, two of her friends who know the situation and that she's going to be on the show, and since they basically have nothing else to go on, Nev just goes ahead and calls Nelly first. Why? What could she know about any of this? If Infiniti's never met Dave, then surely neither has Nelly! I guess they have to fill the long, long, really excessively long hour somehow, and yes, I vastly prefer this to more Mrs. Nev.
Anyway, all they can do is ask Nelly what she thinks about the Dave situation from the outside. She starts by cautiously saying Infiniti doesn't know much about Dave but that if Infiniti's happy, it's none of Nelly's business. Max asks whether Nelly's skeptical about Dave's identity, and she casually says she wasn't until they were all supposed to meet up in Miami and Dave never showed up. This trip is brand-new information, maybe because Infiniti's staunch "He's real" position is somewhat undercut by the tale of Dave telling Infiniti he was going to be in Miami, her planning a trip there with her friends just to meet him, and Dave straight blowing her off. ("Why would Infiniti get on a plane to meet Dave when he won't even get on the 1 to meet her at ANY CHIPOTLE?" Great question! We never find out.) Nev notes that Infiniti hasn't even talked to Dave on the phone, and Nelly first firmly says that she definitely has, and then backtracks, "At least, that's what she told me." Nelly says she thinks the inconsistencies in what Infiniti's told her and Team Catfish is probably due to her being embarrassed. Which: she should be.
On to the pics. None of the previously saved ones Infiniti's emailed them hits, and when they do get onto Dave's Instagram somehow, it shows that he has 24 posts and 42 followers; they message a couple of them, seemingly at random.
Next up is the phone number, which shows up registered to a Macksimo [REDACTED], in New York, NY, age 35. "If this is him, that's really messed up," says Nev, on the basis of the age difference alone? I mean, if I were single I would have no interest in someone sixteen years younger than I am, with their fidget spinners and their Capri Suns, but while Infiniti is literally "a teenager," as Nev describes her, that makes it sound like she's a freshman in high school and not...like, legally an adult, which she is. She's certainly not the brightest one who's ever crossed my path, but there are people a lot older than she is who are a lot stupider, and if Macksimo is "Dave," the age difference might not disqualify him from dating her; we haven't seen her say such a thing would be a dealbreaker. What is a dealbreaker is that when they look him up on Facebook, they find that he's shared memes like "You Call Them Pigtails, I Call Them Handlebars" and, over a photo of a bottle of wine, "She Said No, I Said Maybe." "This guy is gross," says Max succinctly. Nev and Max agree that they've definitely nailed Dave and that he started talking to Infiniti because he's got a thing for "young girls." Again: not what Infiniti is. Regardless, Max is "not going to give this guy the benefit of any doubts": "He's a fucking loser pervert. What else could he be hiding?" Suddenly Nev is worried about ruining the reputation of this person whose Facebook page they've absolutely dummied up for the show for exactly these legal reasons, and suddenly Max agrees. Nev thinks they should message Macksimo. Based on how hard they went in on this "fucking loser pervert," I'm going to go ahead and guess they don't hear back...
...and they don't, quite: the answer that comes back is "This is NOT Macksimo, this is Dave." Max and Nev roll their eyes, all, oh, right, DAVE, before Nev texts back, playing along and asking to chat about Infiniti. Dave says he can't talk for a few hours, and Nev pretends to believe that will happen...
...AND THEN IT DOES! Nev and Max are on their way to Infiniti's when someone with a deep voice calls Nev back and identifies himself as Dave. He claims to have just come from California, and says he is willing to meet Infiniti since there are some things they need to clear up; he'll send them an address. When Nev's hung up, Max is "100% sure" it's Macksimo. And Max has never been wrong this season except in basically every episode thus far.
Max and Nev go to the dance studio where Infiniti's rehearsing, and where, in lieu of Mrs. Nev filler, we get Nev ballet filler. I'm not happy about it, but if those are my options: Nev ballet forever. Put on a whole Nutcracker.
When that's over, Max and Nev bring up the Miami trip. Infiniti disputes Nelly's version, saying they were going to Miami anyway and Dave just said he was going to be there, but that he missed their appointed meeting because he had to catch a flight.
Infiniti says that's why she didn't tell them about the trip: getting stood up was embarrassing. ("And with such a half-assed excuse," she does not add.)
The conversation then turns to the Macksimo of it all, and Infiniti is disturbed by the possibility that Dave could be this guy...
...WELL before they get to the gross memes he's shared. It probably doesn't help that the photo MTV has picked to represent this imaginary person looks so much like a mug shot. Nev explains about messaging the profile and hearing back from Dave, and about the call that came from what he calls "a man's voice." Despite everything, Infiniti is prepared to meet Dave. Or whomever is representing himself thusly.
So everyone gets into the rental and drives to a location that...will.......be a park someday?
The soundtrack tries to make it seem like they're about to get murdered, but you can see the wholesome unplanted trees in the middle of the shot, not to mention it's broad daylight -- like, it's not the most intuitive or picturesque place to set a meeting, but I think they're going to be fine. And who is it they meet? Dave? MACKSIMO???
It's Ray, someone Infiniti knows and sees at parties, though apparently never in a romantic context. She seems to be experiencing a mixture of relief and excitement that it's someone she knows (and not a possible sex offender), while Max and Nev warily wait to hear what Ray's deal is. Infiniti giddily asks why Ray never identified himself, and he curtly says that she never paid attention to him before. He confirms that he's been Infiniti's "secret admirer," and that he couldn't talk to her on the phone because she would have recognized his voice. This he punctuates with a blasé chew of his gum. Infiniti is still so thrilled to see Ray there that she's not remotely registering how detached Ray seems. Plus she can't hear all the warning stings on the soundtrack...
...which is why it shocks Infiniti when Ray says he's been "talking to" someone else, and that it's getting serious, so he wants to end whatever this is with Infiniti and pursue the other broad. Why, then, did he ask for that pussy pic? "A new picture," Infiniti adds, so it definitely sounds like she sent him one in the past, right? Ray says he was trying to do things that would make her reject him; it's also why he tried to delete his social media accounts and block her: "I started it, I didn't know how to finish it, you know?" Infiniti whines that he played with her for six months, and she doesn't know why. Ray didn't mean to hurt her, but shrugs that they can't have anything more. He doesn't say he WOULDN'T take receipt of more explicit photos, however.
The music gets wistful as Infiniti silently chews her lips, forcing Nev to take over and guess that she's hurt by the "double burn" of his lying to her as her friend and now rejecting her as his girlfriend. Infiniti says she doesn't want to be around Ray right now, and loose plans are made to talk more the next day. Pretty straightforward, you know how it goes!
Before such loose plans can come to loose fruition, we check back in with Nev in his hotel room as he receives a call from Kabriah, one of "Dave"'s Instagram followers. Forgoing pleasantries, Kabriah announces that she's calling about Ray.
Kabriah says that Infiniti needs to talk to another friend of hers named Joneille, and hangs up. Nev runs to Max's room to report the latest development and Max immediately gets a scandal boner.
While they're gleefully talking through the latest, they both wonder who this Joneille is, quickly guessing that maybe it's Nelly. Nev gets on the phone to check in with Infiniti, who says she's feeling a little better, and that she talked through what happened with Nelly -- which is, in fact, short for Joneille.
A small New York hotel room like this is going to have a hard time containing all the scandal boners. Nev says they'll come over and catch her up in person. As they're heading out, they decide the play is to call Nelly and get her to come over to Infiniti's too -- but they beat her there, recap the call from Kabriah, and ask whether Nelly could possibly be Dave. "Nelly would never do that," says Infiniti. Nev suggests that Nelly might actually not be Dave, but could know who is.
So Nelly gets there and immediately looks guilty as hell. After Nev recaps the Kabriah call for a THIRD time, Nelly puts a hand on Infiniti's knee and says, "You can't be mad at me, okay?"
Keep it in your pants, idiots, it's not like she pulled out a tit.
"Ray told me that it was him," says Nelly. "And he told me not to tell you, so I didn't." Max and Nev still look suspicious, and Infiniti is still confused, soon getting up and hurrying into the next room to cry. Nev follows as Max stays with Nelly and asks if that's it. "That's not it," Nelly admits.
Max brings Nelly out to the front room, where Infiniti is trying to collect herself, and prompts Nelly to get out the rest of it, which is: Ray wasn't Dave; Nelly was, and has been all along. Infiniti shakes her head in betrayal, so Nelly adds, "Infiniti, you did it to me." Infiniti doesn't know what she's talking about, so Nelly reminds her that she gave a boy Nelly's number in high school, and "thought it was so funny." Nev breaks in to ask if Nelly's saying she created the Dave profile as a joke. Nelly says she thought it was funny at first, "and then it just went on" and "a little too far." Ray wasn't involved until the point when we saw him; she asked him to pose as Dave, to preserve her friendship with Infiniti.
The next logical question -- PARTICULARLY GIVEN THE PUSSY PICS -- is whether Nelly has romantic feelings for Infiniti. Nelly: "I wouldn't want to date, but, I mean, I love her." Max tries to clarify whether Nelly's saying she loves Infiniti as a friend, or like Dave does. Nelly starts to say it's not the latter, and I can't tell if it's because she's scared of what Nelly might say next that Infiniti interrupts here to blurt "You took it too far!" again.
And what ABOUT that pussy pic? "Most of the stuff was just so she would be like, 'I can't do this anymore' -- not showing up, not responding sometimes, disappearing...." Nev asks whether the whole point of Dave wasn't so that eventually Nelly could unmask herself and gloat to Infiniti about fooling her. Nelly says she was waiting for something to happen, like for Infiniti to come confide in her, so that Nelly could tell her the truth, but Infiniti never did. She...didn't? We know Nelly officially did know about Dave at least back to the Miami trip? I don't know, this story has a lot of holes.
"I think you should laugh about it," says Nelly, not really seeming like she thinks that at all. Max:
Infiniti says she might have if Nelly hadn't -- all together now -- taken it too far, and Max flips into dad mode to lecture Nelly and Infiniti about how hard it is to sit there and listen to them when this all sounds so "juvenile." I mean, they are barely out of high school. But Nev is still immature enough to want to pursue it, so he takes Nelly away to the next room, and Max is sufficiently sophomoric to suggest to Infiniti that they go eavesdrop.
So at Nev's urging, Nelly says for the fiftieth time that she took the deception too far: "But she just wouldn't tell me stuff. She was telling him these things that I would never know." In the next room, Infiniti whispers uncomprehendingly, "You know everything about me." "She was jealous," Max whispers back. "She was," Infiniti nods. Nelly goes on: "It made it easier to be her friend, as me. Like I used to just think she had a attitude for no reason. But then, as Dave, she would tell me what was the matter, so then, as me, I know why she has a attitude." "So because you had this sort of secret way of knowing more about your friend, you were able to be a better friend," Nev summarizes. "Right," says Nelly. That's kind of...weirdly sweet? Then Infiniti got so attached, and Nelly didn't want to abandon her. She thought Infiniti knew, on some level, that Dave wasn't going to show up -- in Miami or ever, I guess: "She just wanted somebody to talk to." Infiniti?
Aw, Dave. Bringing people together. In an extremely weird, passive-aggressive, pornographic way.
Nev brings Infiniti in to sit on the couch next to Nelly, and recaps what we just saw and Infiniti heard. Nelly apologizes and asks for a hug, to which Nev and Max caution her to give Infiniti some space. Hey, if she gets lonely, she can just look at that pussy pic she definitely has.
Two months later...
Nev wants to know how "together" Infiniti and Nelly are, meaning ARE THEY A COUPLE -- something he's always hoping for with every story involving two women -- and Nelly says they're on vacation together in Miami. Infiniti says that Nelly wrote her "this long paragraph" of apology, and it's proof once again of how hard Nelly worked to understand Infiniti on a deep level that she knew a paragraph is about as much writing as Infiniti can stand to read in a single sitting. They've been able to laugh about it -- something Infiniti might have been more kindly disposed to do after Nelly made her the apology gift of...this trip. Infiniti's over Dave: she's got a new boo, and we have to take both their words for it that it's not Nelly.
Find out what your online boyfriend does for a living. Suspect anyone who texts you from more than one number. Don't put too much stock in anyone's ability to text you with greeting customized for the time of day. Leave your high school shit in high school. Don't hatch any plan that might possibly inflame Nev's softcore lesbian fantasies.