Will Catfish Help Andrew And Zac Find Out If They're A Good Crossfit?
Tinder matched Andrew with a foxy Crossfit trainer. Are they star-Crossfit...ted?
Max and Nev tell us that as filming is starting on this episode, the shooting at Pulse in Orlando has just happened, so they're wearing commemorative shirts to mark the somber occasion and affirm their support of the LGBTQ community. I guess they're also doing that with this episode reminding us that gay people are just as capable of being dirty liars as straight ones? What a touching tribute to the victims and survivors.
Andrew, whose story has been brought to Catfish attention by his (nosy) friend Marian; he lives in Los Angeles.
Zac, a Crossfit trainer in San Francisco.
Since Zac and Andrew matched on Tinder (Andrew was living in the Bay Area at the time) -- whereupon Zac impressed Andrew with his wit...
...Zac has never agreed to talk to Andrew on the phone. (About the above: it apparently has meant a lot to Andrew that after that initial dumb double entendre, nothing Zac has texted has ever been racy, which is a major departure from the other guys who hit Andrew up on Tinder with dick pics and nuance-free come-ons.) Also: when Andrew sent Zac's photo to a friend of his, Andrew's friend replied with proof that Zac Miller is somewhat famous on Instagram...and based in Maine. In fact, two years ago People named Zac Miller the hottest guy on Tinder in Maine.
Zac begs off phone calls because he's in meetings (...Crossfit trainers have lots of meetings?), or otherwise busy with work. "There's no way you're talking to Zac Miller," Nev points out after the People bombshell. Andrew: "But, what if Zac's profile in Maine is actually the fake profile, and he actually lives in California?" "There was a whole article about it," says Nev, like, the state of journalism may not be so hot at the moment, but print magazines still do have fact checkers. "...Yeah," says Andrew. But he adds that even if his "Zac" isn't the guy in the pictures, he still could be someone Andrew is attracted to; on personality alone, Andrew already thinks he might be falling in love with Zac.
Andrew supplies Max and Nev with Zac's current and recent locations as well as two numbers he's used to reach him...so naturally they start by looking up Zac Miller in Maine. Why? Why. They are all already agreed that this Zac Miller isn't the guy Andrew's been talking to; even Andrew left their initial conversation agreeing that it wasn't. Is this episode sponsored by the Zac Miller Association To Promote Awareness Of Zac Miller?
Oh wait, here's why: when they go to his Facebook, they find a status update in which he's said he just found out someone in New Zealand had been using his photos and the first comment is "You'll be on Catfish before you know it." "Well, this is interesting," says Nev. (It's not.) "We should send this guy a message." (Leave him alone.) Nev justifies this further invasion of this poor hot guy by saying that in the time since he posted that on Facebook, others might have looked around themselves and found more fakes. Seems like a reach, but fine.
Nev then notices that Zac's posted a throwback pic of himself, from college, with a woman named Elizabeth; for some reason they message her too?
"Let's run the phone numbers," says Max. "These are our best bet." WHAT WAS ALL THAT OTHER DICKING AROUND, THEN? Whatever: the first one comes back with a full name -- Staci [Redacted]. Max says that if Andrew's been talking to a woman, it would explain why "Zac" won't get on the phone. They look up her name, but no one with her full name that they can find seems to be in the U.S. A second website they search, however, finds the number registered to a Johnny [Same Redacted Surname] in Seaside, CA.
They've even got an address! So now they search Johnny, and whatever his surname is, it's apparently pretty common; lots of results come up...
...including a John [Redacted] in Orange, California. On the basis of this Orange guy's having "johnny.[Redacted]" in his URL, Max decides it could be the same person, despite the fact that a search on his name yielded what seemed like at least a page's worth of results, and despite the fact that, according to my own Google search just now, Orange and Seaside are a six-and-a-half-hour drive apart. Nev speculates that Staci and Johnny could be sister and brother, or mother and son-- "Or husband/wife," Max suggests. Nev's all, "OOOOH!" Literally.
"This could be a married guy who's exploring his sexuality on the DL," Nev speculates. "Which is why he would want to hide it," says Max. "And why he can't talk on the phone," Nev adds.
This flight of fancy is interrupted by a call from Elizabeth. Neither she nor Zac has ever made contact with anyone using Zac's photos, she says, but that may just be because this has, according to her, happened to Zac "over fifty, seventy times now." DAMN! I mean, he's hot, but jesus. Nev asks if she'd be comfortable giving them Zac's phone number, and she says she's sure he wouldn't mind and coughs it up. WAIT FOR HIM TO MESSAGE YOU BACK, THIRSTY. But they don't; the call goes to Zac's voicemail.
And then Nev says they might as well just stop looking anything up themselves until they hear back from Zac, since he might have information on the "creeps" who are stealing his photos. Did they...even search the second phone number Andrew gave them? No? No, WHY WOULD THEY.
Andrew's never heard of this Staci. When they pull up Orange John's profile, Andrew points to the "Nutrition Superstore" on John's cover photo and draws a (tenuous) connection between that and "Zac"'s claims of being a Crossfit trainer. Nev and Max immediately agree that the space displayed looks like a Crossfit gym.
Or a gym, guys. Relax.
When they get to the Real Zac part of the story, Nev blows past the fact that Zac hasn't responded and therefore maybe doesn't want to hear from them and just calls him again. But he picks up, so I guess Nev's not the only thirsty one. Weirdly, Andrew and the real Zac seem like they have a little chemistry? Or I just want it to work out because they're both so cute.
Nev tells Zac about the Johnny who may own "Zac"'s phone number, and Zac's mouth falls open in shock. Two weeks ago, he says, he got a confession from someone who'd been using his photos and who identified himself as "Fucking [Something] Johnny." Fucking Shit Johnny? Fucking Cock Johnny? Something dirty, anyway! Zac agrees to send them a screen shot, and...
Case closed. You're off the hook, Orange John. Max gives a sidelong look at Andrew to see if he might possibly want to meat Johnny's balls. "He's not bad-looking," Andrew politely replies. "He looks to be in shape. No reason to hide your face online, I wouldn't think." "Unless you're not out or something," Max offers. ...And then makes it weird by asking if Andrew would kiss this guy. Andrew laughs that he doesn't know. But he'd like to meet him.
Nev calls "Zac" and gets his voicemail, of course, because he won't talk on the phone. Nev texts him an explanation, and "Zac" answers immediately, asking if it's really Catfish, hee. "Zac" says he's not comfortable on the phone, but that he'll text, so Nev goes ahead and texts him the results of the investigation -- to wit, that he's not Zac Miller. Andrew says he wants to meet in person; Johnny says he has anxiety about it, so they should give him time to "process this." Nev tells him to sleep on it, and then immediately makes plans with Andrew and Max to go up to Seaside, so I guess we're not considering "Zac"'s feelings or mental health today.
After "Zac" does agree to meet -- though he only tells Nev this, going radio-silent with Andrew -- our intrepid trio journeys to Seaside. Andrew texts from the car and "Zac" tells him exactly where he is. Guess what? It's a park, where nothing good normally happens. (Spoiler alert: this one's actually okay.)
Who's waiting for Andrew & Co. by the wharf?
Johnny starts by saying he's "having a bit of an anxiety attack right now," which I hope he doesn't mean literally because no one on this production is at all equipped to help him. But Max and Nev are, at least, in Nice Mode, and when Max asks who Johnny actually is, he readily tells them that his name is Johnny, he manages a grocery store, and he's twenty-four. Nev tells Johnny that they contacted the real Zac Miller, who told them about his recent confessor, and Johnny says that was him: "I had a lot of remorse....I'm not a malicious person....I felt so guilty pretending to be Zac." He never meant to talk to anyone using the profile.
Andrew has gotten as far as "So, whyyyyyy--" when Johnny breaks in to say he's not out to his family, and hadn't dated a guy until this year. After his ex broke up with him, Johnny started suffering from anxiety because he didn't know how to deal with it. He made the fake Zac profile to see if he'd match with his ex, and if that guy had moved on: "That way I could move on, too." He never did match with his ex, but he got drunk one night and started swiping right on every guy for the hell of it, and got about thirty times as many matches as he does on his own real profile. That's when Andrew messaged him. Andrew asks if talking to him was just a method Johnny was using to deal with his anxiety, but Johnny says, "I was interested." "'Was'?" asks Nev. Johnny corrects himself: "I am interested." Andrew seems touched, but his face looks more fond -- the way you look at a dumb but lovable old dog -- than lustful.
Why hasn't Johnny come out to his family? He doesn't want to disappoint them, he says; his mother wants to be a grandmother. "She can still be a grandmother," Max brays. Johnny agrees that he's right, but doesn't seem that interested in becoming a father. Andrew kindly says he knows it's hard to come out, but that it's healthier for Johnny to be himself, and not worry about their expectations. Johnny says that while his name and profile picture were fake, he was talking to Andrew as himself, and he wants Andrew to get to know him. Andrew nods, and Max and Nev wander off to let them talk.
Alone, Johnny apologizes to Andrew for his deception: "I do like talking to you." Andrew cuts right to it and asks, "Are you ready for this?...For a romantic relationship." Johnny babbles an answer, so: no, not really. Andrew asks if he's ready to come out to his family, and Johnny says it will be scary, but he'll be able to do it: "As long as I have you there." Oh boy. This baby gay is not for you, Andrew.
But: they walk to a cafe to hang out and talk and so Andrew can educate Johnny about wine. Intercut with their date-of-sorts, we get Johnny's diary cam telling us how relieved he was to tell the truth, and Andrew's saying that Johnny is a "sweetheart" and that he's done his own crazy things after heartbreak. At the cafe, Johnny says he has tickets for a Giants game that he bought back when he and his ex were still together, and that he messaged this guy to see if they were still going: "He didn't reply back, so I guess we're not going." Andrew asks when the game is; it's next weekend. "You wanna go?" asks Andrew -- which, remember, he lives five hours away; this is a very kind offer for him to make to someone who's been lying to him for a while. "But what if he, like, reaches out to me?" asks Johnny, smiling apologetically. Andrew:
Seeming to realize even as he's saying it how ridiculous he sounds, Johnny says he wouldn't want to give Andrew the ticket if the ex still intends to go, and Andrew even more kindly lets him off the hook immediately, saying he gets it, and in his diary cam, he's like, he's not over his ex.
The next day, Max and Nev stop by Andrew's motel room clearly hoping to find Johnny there under the covers or something; Andrew is respectful, but he seems pretty certain nothing romantic is going to come of this for the time being, if ever, because Johnny's still hung up on this other guy: "He needs a friend more than he needs me to jump into something I think would be reckless for him and for me. 'Cause no one needs a rebound." Nev thinks Andrew needs to make that clear to Johnny, and off they go to drop the hammer.
They meet Johnny on some kind of touristy boardwalk, where Nev needlessly sets the table for Andrew to tell Johnny they're not going to be together That Way, but that they can be good friends for one another. Johnny agrees that they should move forward as friends and see how it goes. He's grateful for the way Andrew's handled this, and that he's been so understanding. Next, Johnny has to come out to his family and accept who he is; Andrew offers to help him through the process. Before they part, Andrew mentions the baseball game, and says he's available as a date or a wingman. Johnny is very happy for the offer.
Johnny's a sweet kid who made some dumb mistakes, and Andrew is MAYBE THE NICEST MAN ALIVE? So of course everyone hugs everyone.
For the second week in a row, there's no post-filming Skype check-in. But there is an update!
She's supportive and promises to help him tell the rest of the family when he's ready. And that's all we get, so I guess Andrew never made it to that Giants game after all!
Don't steal photos from a guy whose hotness has been celebrated in a national magazine. Don't lead with a dick pic. An Andrew in the hand is worth ten shitty exes in the bush. (As it were.)