Will Catfish Prove That, As A Couple, Yasmine And Lewis Can't Lose?
After Sandra found out her granddaughter Yasmine had sent money to her online boyfriend, whom she's never met, she dimed her out to Catfish. Will Max and a newly returned Nev prove her fears unfounded?
The show's producers decide the way to make us excited that Nev is back is with a minute of dumb basketball clowning. Interesting choice?
Yasmine, of Oklahoma, who's been turned in by her grandmother, Sandra.
As to the above: yes, this is yet another episode in which the Beloved has already admitted to some identity-based dissembling even before the show's gotten involved. Sandra, with whom Yasmine lives, found a receipt from Western Union (or its budget equivalent) indicating that Yasmine had sent money to someone whose name she didn't recognize; Yasmine confessed that she'd been "seeing" Lewis for a year and sent the money to him, except the name on the receipt wasn't his -- it went to someone named Rihana [Redacted]. Also, Sandra looked up Lewis [Different Redacted Name As Far As We Know] and found an active social media account -- not the one to which Yasmine was connected -- featuring many videos of the face Yasmine knew from photos; when Sandra showed that feed to her, Yasmine said the voice that came out of the Lewis in the videos wasn't the one she talks to on the phone.
Because Sandra's already done half the job for them before they even so much as Skype Yasmine, Nev and Max pick up where she left off before they even get on their plane. And for an older lady, Sandra is no slouch: she even attached a photo of the incriminating receipt. And when they look it up, they actually find someone with that name, in Arkansas!
But she has no connection to Lewis -- by which I assume they mean Yasmine's Lewis, not the real Lewis whose profile Sandra found.
When Max and Nev search the number Yasmine uses, they find it belongs to someone named Lakiesha, in El Dorado, Arkansas -- a 2.5-hour drive from Stuttgart, which may or may not be dispositive: they don't find that Lakiesha and Rihana are connected, because Lakiesha doesn't seem to be on Facebook at all.
And that's as far as they get before bringing Yasmine into the mix.
After meeting through some app that helps you get more followers on Twitter (so Yasmine's thirst may have worked hand in hand with her gullibility to get her to this point), Yasmine and Lewis never videochatted. The reason he asked her for money was that "one of his cousins got into a car wreck," and Lewis couldn't go see him because he had no money for gas. When Sandra showed Yasmine the Lewis videos, Yasmine confronted Lewis...
...who then admitted that he's actually named Milo: "And then I was even more confused, because he's even cuter!"
True. Also, apparently this is the first Sandra's hearing about this part of the story.
By this point, Yasmine didn't know what to believe, so she confronted MILO about who HE actually was, and he sent a THIRD picture.
In fact (using that word as loosely as possible), the person Yasmine's been speaking to is Blue. "Do I just let go and move on with my life?" YES, TWO IDENTITIES AGO. But she says she's still talking to Blue, so the person he is matters more to her than his appearance does; she met him when she'd just gotten out of a bad relationship, so it means a lot to her that he helped her through it. So when he needs her -- when he's having a bad day and demands her attention -- she'll blow off work to stay home and talk to him. SOUNDS HEALTHY.
"Oh, I can't, my phone's broke. Oh, I can't, my computer's broke" were the standard claims regarding his inability to videochat. "I was so blinded by love that any excuse that he gave me, I would've gone with it" -- and apparently did when she said she'd send him $40, and he said she should send it to his friend Rihana because he couldn't find his ID. As to why Blue stole the photos of two other dudes to represent him? Though the reason seems pretty obvious (physical insecurity), no excuse is offered.
They check the profile pic on Blue's Twitter feed; no other results are found. And that's a wrap on digging into Blue! They came to Oklahoma for no reason!
Unsurprisingly, Yasmine doesn't know anything about anything they tell her, and she does want to meet Blue. When Nev calls, though, Blue -- after confirming that he lives in Little Rock -- says both that he loves Yasmine, and that he doesn't want to meet her; he's not ready. Nev tries to point out that Yasmine hasn't cared AT ALL about the TWO times Blue admitted that he was not the person in the photos he used, but it doesn't work; Blue hangs up on him. "They love me but they don't want to see me," weeps Yasmine when Nev relays this to her. (Does she mean "they" in the Mecca sense -- the consortium of guys she was supposedly dating on the internet? OR SOMETHING ELSE???) Nev says he thinks Blue doesn't want to lose her, and Max adds that he's probably afraid of being rejected. Nev suggests that they just drive to Little Rock the next day, since it's not that far. (Note that even though she was the prime mover who made this episode happen, Sandra doesn't try to tag along, MECCA'S MOM HEATHER.) (Though maybe she would have if Blue lived somewhere more appealing.)
In the car the next morning, Yasmine texts Blue to say they're on their way; Blue texts back an address where they can meet.
"This is creepy," mumbles Yasmine as they...stand on a lawn in a tidy neighbourhood across the street from a house with two SUVs in the driveway. TALK TO TELIZZA ABOUT "CREEPY," BIIIIIIIITCH. Anyway, they're just filling time in an already short episode until Nev manages to get Blue to come out a side door. But is Blue even Blue? Yes, in the sense that Blue is the person in the last photo he sent Yasmine.
But also no. When Blue comes out to where she's waiting with Max, Yasmine asks, "What's your actual name?," she replies, "It's Keerah." Nev is not totally sure what to make of the person he's just met and respectfully asks, "How do you identify yourself in terms of your gender?" "Female!" Keerah replies. iO would be proud, but it's still awkward. Fortunately for Nev, Keerah can't linger on it because she's got some things to tell Yasmine, and opens with "I did not do this to hurt you. I love you." "If you loved me, you would've been honest when I told you, 'If you're lying again, I'm never going to have anything to do with you,'" says Yasmine. "If you loved me, you wouldn't have continued lying to me. If you loved me, you would've told me you weren't even a guy." Yasmine's been holding it together pretty well, but here's where she bursts into tears.
Keerah insists that she couldn't fake the personality Yasmine fell in love with, and it turns out Keerah's story is truer than most: her cousin did get in a car accident; she does have a friend named Rihana who picked up the money for her. Keerah kept up the pretense of her "Lewis" identity because she didn't know at first if Yasmine "liked girls," and didn't come clean due to her "insecurities." But Yasmine isn't about to let Keerah off that easily, bringing up the times she would talk all day to a needy "Lewis," and the request from "Lewis" that she get a tattoo of his name: "'Insecurities' doesn't tell you to tell someone to tattoo a name that's not even yours on their body." That's...a great point and an extremely weird detail. "You ever been caught up in the moment?" asks Keerah.
Is that...a smirk? What is actually happening here?
If that chin-down pose is intended to charm Yasmine, it fails miserably. Yasmine -- reasonably -- thinks Keerah would put her through these paces to laugh at her. "Who's laughing?" says Keerah, flipping to a more aggressive tone. "See, that's what you fail to realize, you don't-- You don't get this shit all the way through your head." It might be easier to keep the narrative in order if she didn't know you by three different faces and (to date) four different names?
Yasmine seems to be shutting down, but instead of recognizing her change of mood, Nev decides this is the right time to ask, "What if she had tattooed 'Lewis' on her-- on her arm or something?" "I mean, if she did, you know, she could've got it covered up," offers Keerah. This proves to be a dumb thing to ask since it escalates hostilities: Keerah mumbles, "I was just talking." "Exactly -- you were just talking," says Yasmine, laughing bitterly. "About the motherfucking name, GODDAMN!" yells Keerah, before turning around and stomping back into the house. Max suggests that he and Yasmine, who's started crying again, go sit in the car, while Nev follows Keerah. She sadly tells him she doesn't know how to convince Yasmine that she's sorry.
"It hurts so bad and I feel so stupid!" says Yasmine in the car, supplying the show with another excellent accidental tagline. "Like, how could I have not known?" That too. "She can sound like a guy, so I can kind of understand it," sighs Max. "She has a deep voice" might be a more polite way to put that, Broseph.
Inside, Nev urges Keerah to show Yasmine the person she talks to for hours on the phone (without getting angry and defensive, he does not add); Keerah seems ready to try, but when Nev goes back outside, Yasmine pretty much says she just wants to go back home, and Nev at least knows better not to try to change her mind. Without promising anything, he returns to tell Keerah they may try to pick things up tomorrow.
The next day, Yasmine tells Nev and Max she's not sure about having Couch Time with Keerah because she fears getting "guilt-tripted." Nev says that if he and Max go with Yasmine, Keerah won't try pulling her usual sentimental blackmail moves on her. Well, maybe MAX can head that shit off at the pass; I would argue that Nev doesn't have that kind of emotional intelligence. But let's see!
In the backyard at her house, Keerah apologizes for the way she stormed off the day before, and repeats that she loves Yasmine. She knows she caused Yasmine a lot of pain, but every time she said she loved Yasmine, she meant it. Yasmine looks somewhat mollified, but her response is is clear: "I'll always care about you, and everything you've done for me -- I'll always remember that....And I think, no matter what happens, I'll always have some type of love for you because you've helped me through so much. But, like, it's best to let go -- not only so I can find myself and better myself, but so you can also do the same."
Remember two paragraphs ago Nev and Max were going to stay with Yasmine to make sure Keerah didn't try to manipulate her? That's off the table because they leave to let Keerah and Yasmine talk alone. It's okay, though: Keerah doesn't seem to have much fight in her today. Yasmine repeats that she'll always care for Keerah, and says she thinks they'll be friends again, given everything they've gone through together: "I refuse to let this end on a bad note. We'll just call it a goodbye for now?" Keerah agrees.
Keerah asks for a hug, and Yasmine agrees.
Nothing ventured, I guess? At least she asked. Yasmine, giggling, declines, and when Keerah says, "I love you," Yasmine laughs, "You're not getting a kiss." "I hope you enjoy your fucking life," says Keerah into her ear. "And you know, I still might be all depressed and shit." Again: isn't this what Max and Nev were supposed to prevent?!
Anyway, after Yasmine gets into the car, Keerah is treated to a Nev half-hug too.
Two months later: Yasmine is back in college. She's not on social media much because she's so busy, and isn't "trying to be in no relationships" either. She does still talk to Keerah "every once in a while" and says they're still friends.
Keerah confirms that she and Yasmine check in with each other "every now and then," so: since filming ended, they've talked once? Keerah's over Yasmine, since she couldn't stay stuck on someone who didn't return her feelings. "Good luck with finding happiness and keep on trucking," says Max, undoubtedly regretting this choice of words immediately.
Don't send money to the online boyfriend you've never met -- even if it's a relatively small amount, and especially if he tells you someone other than him is going to pick it up. Have at least as much curiosity about the online boyfriend you've never met as your grandmother has. When talking about or to a less-feminine lesbian, avoid the phrases "She can sound like a guy" and "Keep on trucking."