Catfish

Will Catfish Help Sheklia And Talli Lock Each Other Down?

Sheklia's son Le'vonte turns her in over her relationship with a guy who might have done time. Will Max and Nev make a love (ex-)connection?

Before we get into it, some excerpts from Nev's opening voiceover: "Of course, since we started, a lot's changed in my life. I got married to the most incredible woman in the world" -- fact check: false -- "and I'm taking advantage of Laura's perspective on some of our cases."

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"In an age where everyone knows everything about everybody, people are getting better and better at hiding the truth." From simpletons, maybe. "Which is why this time around? Every episode has double the secrets...double the surprises...and double the reveals...that are seriously going to blow your mind." So this nonsense is about to get even more convoluted and Nev got Mrs. Nev a no-show job? These fucking grifters, you guys.

Without further ado: our season's first "case."

The Client

Sheklia (pronounced to rhyme with "tequila," which makes no sense phonetically), of St. Louis.

The Beloved

Talli, of the greater San Antonio area.

The Clues

It's actually not Sheklia who's contacted the show; her seventeen-year-old son Le'vonte has dimed her out because he seems to be paying closer attention than she is, and he doesn't want this latest guy to turn out to be another dirtbag like the many others Sheklia's dated in the past. He was so suspicious about Talli's failure to take Sheklia out that he finally got her to admit that they'd never met -- including when he lived in St. Louis, which he did until recently -- or even videochatted.

The Excuses

Sheklia believes Talli is what he seems because although it would be easy for him to fake her out via text, they talk on the phone. More to the point, though, Sheklia says she doesn't think there's any point being in a relationship with someone if you don't trust him, so she's decided to trust Talli.

But also...after Max and Nev get to the house, Sheklia takes Nev aside and admits to him that the reason she hasn't tried that hard to pursue Talli for an IRL meeting because she's also been using a fake account she created to stalk an ex, and that's the one Talli friended. This is Sheklia:

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And this is her alt, Kerry Taylor (which, honestly, why not just commit and make it Kelly Taylor with a screen shot of Jennie Garth from 90210's Season 1 credits).

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Sheklia says she's ready to confess to Talli: "I just hope that he can look past [the deception]. I'm still Kerry, I just have a different name, and a different look." Nev asks whether she'll be as accepting if she meets Talli and finds out he isn't as he's been presenting himself, and Sheklia's like, fuck no: "I like my men to look a certain way. I never dated no, you know, no bad-looking men, so if he's not very attractive, I'm probably not going to accept that." It's bold? And hypocritical? But my girl knows what she wants and she's not trying to settle, and I honestly find her apparently unearned self-confidence inspiring.

The Investigation

They start on Talli's Facebook Wall, and apparently scroll back to 2013 to find a birthday wish to Donell -- which, when they mouse over the link, pops up a thumbnail of the Talli Boy [Redacted] profile they are currently on, meaning Talli's changed his profile name from Donell at some point in the past couple of years. They search his old name on Facebook and find no results -- but when they scroll forward, it seems as though Talli's name was Darius in November of 2016.

So they then search "Talli Boy [Redacted]," and find TWO with that exact name, with photos of what seems to be the same guy -- except there are way more photos on the other profile. Someone named Yaya has posted "Looking good friend! Hope u staying outta trouble," so they figure this is someone who knows Talli for real and message her. She calls them immediately, and if I may be fearlessly frank for a second: I have, in the past, shat upon the Catfish bit players who call Nev before they've read to the end of his email, but if I got a message like this I would be just as thirsty. Anyway: Yaya does, in fact, know Talli; they grew up together. Nev asks if he's ever been known as Donell or Darius, but she says no. What's his real name?

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I mean, what else would it be. Yaya doesn't know anything about the other profile, but volunteers that he's been in and out of prison. Feel free to share his personal business with MTV why don't you! She says he had a Facebook page before he was incarcerated, so her theory is that maybe when he got out he forgot his credentials and just started another one. That seems unlikely and like it would entail an excessive amount of hassle, but if he doesn't know how to recover his password, MAYBE?

Fortunately for them, "Dartallius" is not as common as "Darius," so when they search his full name, they easily find two of his mug shots.

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Look at this dreamboat tho. He's so hot that I almost overlook the fact that THIS IS ALL MAX AND NEV DO WITH THIS "INVESTIGATION."

The Presentation Of Findings

Max tries to spin that if Dartallius is lying about his name, maybe he won't care that much that Sheklia's been lying about everything, and he should have learned by this late date that what he's suggesting has never happened. True to herself (if not to anything else), Sheklia declares that if it does turn out Talli's been lying about his identity, she's out. She goes so far as to say that if he's the same guy but that he doesn't live in Texas, that will be fine, since she's "got some skeletons in her closet." Yeah, WE KNOW, KERRY. Of course, that's just setting the table for the reveal about Talli's prison record (because it's not clear at this point whether Max and Nev agree with Yaya that both Dartallii on Facebook could be the guy Yaya knows), and Sheklia is NOT happy to hear about it; but, of course, she wants to get to the bottom of it.

Nev steps out to call Talli, who explains away the second profile by saying he started it because of an ex who was always hacking his accounts. He doesn't want to talk about his time in the joint. He has feelings for Kerry and he'd like to meet her. Nev says she wants to meet him too, and that she has some things to tell him, so the St. Louis crew is going to journey to San Antonio the next day to meet Talli. Nev: "That was easy."

The Post-Presentation Of Findings Confrontation

That was a little TOO easy, because when Nev and Max get back to their hotel, a guy is waiting out front.

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The Real Dartallius! Yaya let him know that Catfish was in town, and I guess he figured out where they were staying somehow (idk) because he's there to inform them that someone stole his photos but that, otherwise, he is not involved in whatever they've got going on: he's never talked to any "Kerry," he did not talk to Nev on the phone earlier that day, and he's...like, demonstrably not in San Antonio. So they're going to get him a ticket and fly him out to San Antonio to confront fake Talli about stealing his photos too! JK (and I guess they probably can't if he's on probation and can't leave the state, though that doesn't come up). Anyway, they don't make Sheklia get on the plane -- her first-ever plane ride, in fact -- without knowing that Dartallius has already informed them that he's not her online boyfriend. She still wants to go! And honestly, why wouldn't she: this definitely takes a lot of the heat off her for her lying.

The Confrontation

We already know that hot con is not going to be coming out of this ranch house in San Antonio. And before we see who does, this happens:

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Nev brings the guy out and directs his attention toward Sheklia...

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...and I guess Nev doesn't have to pretend to be very disappointed in the Beloved this time since the Client is also just as big a liar; instead, Nev can be amused by both of them, which must be a relief for him. But it turns out he's about to be even more delighted by this sordid tale as Sheklia laughs, "OH MY FUCKING GOD," and this dude, whose name we're about to find out is Terrance, is like, "Are you serious?...This ain't right." Sheklia, hilariously, is like, "YOU catfished ME," and Nev is like, "Welllll, you catfished him too!," and Sheklia is like, "Yeah, but still, though!" Guys, I love how determined Sheklia is to ignore her own guilt in this whole affair, and if she ever starts teaching self-esteem seminars, I will attend.

So as you probably already surmised, these two knew each other. But! Not only do they know each other, but they used to date, "like ten, eleven years ago," according to Sheklia.

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Nev starts to Nev out, being all, "This is destiny," but both Terrance and Sheklia are immediately like, nooooooooo, because their relationship did not end well. Or go well during the five years it was in the process of happening: "While we were together, he had three kids on me!" (I would very much like to know at what point Sheklia found out about each of those kids, but no one asks.) "You told me you don't even have any kids!" Sheklia reminds Terrance about "Talli"'s backstory. "You have a lot of kids!" And he does -- there's a fourth in addition to the ones he fathered while screwing around on Sheklia. "He was just a H-O-E," Sheklia declares. H-E-E. "Talli ho," cracks Max. Nev loves it.

After some blah about how the fake Talli profile was created -- it seems as though Terrance took it over from some other dude who was using it "to get females," though when Sheklia asks whether she knows Terrance's associate, Talli decorously dodges that he'd rather not say -- Sheklia's like, "So what do you get out of this," and Terrance snaps, "Definitely didn't get what I wanted!" Sheklia:

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It would not surprise me in the least, based on what she's said up to this point, if Sheklia's been standing in this yard waiting for Terrance to say he's glad it was her and that he wants her back and that she'd consider accepting based on the fact that she was easygoing enough during their relationship to stick it out through five years and three extracurricular pregnancies, so that take is her wounded shock at his rejection, instantly chased by bravado.

The next thing Sheklia says is that she needs a break, as she heads back to the car and Max confirms with Terrance that he definitely does not want to reunite with Sheklia, who meanwhile cries to Nev that Terrance hurt her "really bad": "I was gonna marry him and everything. He treated me so bad." So it seems like Le'vonte's instincts about Sheklia's poor taste in men are absolutely correct. Back to Terrance, who's telling Max that he loved Sheklia but that he messed things up, and by the end Sheklia was bleaching his clothes or hacking them up with a knife; he also claims there were times he came home and found Sheklia in bed with other guys. BEFORE OR AFTER SHE HEARD ABOUT YOUR LOVE CHILDREN, BRO? Yeah, this is a romance that should have ended up at the altar for sure.

So Nev and Sheklia get out of the car and Terrance says that all he can do is apologize for the past. Sheklia's like, what about now, and Terrance is like, what about now, and look, he's a piece of shit, but he's not wrong: she's just as guilty as he is in the current situation, irrespective of everything that happened before, which she didn't know had anything to do with "Talli" until five minutes ago. But of course you know Sheklia's not about to apologize, even when Terrance basically straight demands that she do so. Will she muster some regrets when they meet back up the next day? Let's find out!

The Post-Confrontation Confrontation

The first thing Sheklia does is repeat what she'd just finished telling Nev and Max back at the hotel: that what made her cry the previous day was that "Talli" was so much kinder and more attentive to "Kerry" than Terrance ever had been with her, and that if he'd been more Talliesque during their real relationship, they'd probably still be together. Terrance says that he was too young and dumb back then to have given much thought to...treating people well, I guess? Given that he's currently using a honeypot account to try to pull even more online strange, I'm not sure he's so much wiser now. But no one says that. Instead, Max sets Terrance up to tell Sheklia that "Kerry" was also a lot nicer than Sheklia so, I don't know, they both suck. But they both resolve to try to suck less, in the ways that made their fake partners like their fake selves, as if THE HOT PHOTOS THEY STOLE had nothing to do with their mutual attraction. Terrance apologizes, and you're not going to believe it, but Sheklia does too.

Nev puts a button on everything by saying "this could have gone a lot worse," adding, "You know, I thought there was a chance this could have worked out." WHEN?! Whatever: Terrance and Sheklia are going to try to be friends. WHY?!

Hugs?

There is a hug.

The Aftermath

Two months later, Sheklia has dumb new hair.

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Nev does that thing where he's like "Look at that hair!" which is not exactly a compliment, before quickly adding that she looks fierce. She looks like a Cleopatra from a Reelz original movie, but okay. She still talks to Terrance every day (WHY?!) and thinks he's a good person; he's coming to town soon and they're going to hang out. Why. Max says it sounds like things might work out with Terrance and Sheklia just giggles. Idiot, you deserve every new child he squirts into other broads when you take him back.

Terrance confirms that he and Sheklia talk, and when Max says it sounds like it might be more than just talking, Terrance also laughs, but then says he's let it be known that whenever Sheklia wants to try again, he's ready. This is terrible and Nev and Max are complicit.

The Life Lessons Learned

Don't create a fake profile. Don't use a fake profile anyone else created. Don't date a guy who's deceived you using two different names. Maybe consider dumping a guy after the first time his cheating results in some other lady's pregnancy. Listen to Le'vonte.

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