Screens: MTV

Woke Up This Morning, Got Yourself A Gun

And then started driving to the TRUCK STOP where you'd arranged to meet your online girlfriend for the first time. Smart! This and more from the latest Catfish.

The Client

Jesse (a girl, who spells her name wrong), of Wallingford, PA.

The Beloved

Brian, of Alabama, her Facebook boyfriend of three years.

The Clues

The one time so far that they planned to meet in person (at a truck stop???), he stood her up; their connection to one another is through her childhood friend Fran, Brian's former roommate and a fellow Marine who served with Brian in Afghanistan; Jesse and Brian have never videochatted.

The Excuses

On the truck stop no-show: "I don't know the extent of it, but he got in some type of trouble with the police. And, I mean, there's obviously something he doesn't want to tell me." That was more than two years ago, and they've continued to talk since then. We never hear why he won't videochat.

The Investigation

Max and Nev check out Brian's Facebook page, which seems legit: he has several hundred friends and tons of photos and his status has him "in a relationship" with Jesse. However, among his photos are a couple of old juvenile mug shots, on which he's identified by a different name.

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Googling this new name (they surmise his full name is probably Robert Brian Clark, since everyone on his Facebook page calls him Brian), Max and Nev find out that he's been arrested in the somewhat recent past -- on the day he was to have met up with Jesse at the truck stop, in fact! Arrested for what, you ask?

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To a reasonable person, this would seem like an absolute dealbreaker -- particularly when Nev and Max Google what constitutes a "weapon of mass destruction" in North Carolina, where Brian was arrested, and the results are, like, something radioactive or a disease agent -- but, as Max generously notes, they don't know if Brian was actually convicted.

The next day, they meet up with Fran, who says that Brian was his platoon sergeant in Afghanistan and that Fran probably owes Brian his life. He also drops another bombshell that Max and Nev's sleuthing didn't turn up: at the time that he was supposed to go meet Jesse, Brian was married. A married domestic terrorist: what a catch! Oh yeah, on that domestic terrorism thing: Fran knew that Brian had been arrested, because the two were roommates at the time. He says that Brian didn't go to jail, but that they never talked about it; Fran felt it would have been inappropriate for him to question Brian about it due to Brian's superior rank. Okay.

The Presentation Of Findings

Did Jesse know Brian was married?

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Did she know that he got arrested on the way to meeting her? For possession of WMDs?

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Nev observes that as far as they know, Brian didn't serve any time or lose his job, so maybe this was just a "weird mix-up." ("When it comes to reports on weapons of mass destruction, weird mix-ups definitely do occur." - Judy Miller.) "We wouldn't want to send you to Alabama to just hang out with this guy if we weren't sure that he was safe, so that's something that we would be concerned about, for you," says Max. I mean, ASKED AND ANSWERED? But whatever, Jesse doesn't have any job or future prospects or SENSE so she's still thinking about moving to Alabama to live with this sterling citizen so yeah, Nev should go ahead and call him. Brian tells Nev that he doesn't want to talk about his arrest on the phone, but he does want to meet Jesse, except he puts it this way: "Taking that next step would definitely be bringing her down here." "To murder her," he does not add.

The Confrontation

Jesse spends a lot of time primping for this meeting. Exception noted: same filthy bandage.

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Of which Max tweeted last night:

Jesse keeps saying "I can't breathe," but her accent is so atrocious that it sounds, every time, like "I can't read," which I would also believe based on the fact that even though she had suspicions about Brian this whole time, she never looked at all his Facebook photos and noticed the JUVIE MUG SHOTS with the OTHER NAME ON THEM. Anyway, we've already pretty well established that Brian is the person in Brian's pictures, so when Brian comes out of Brian's trailer, it's not really much of a surprise, but anyway: presenting Brian.

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So, about those WMDs. WHAT HAD HAPPENED WAS, Brian left to meet Jesse coming straight from the rifle range, as you do. He stopped to get gas and drove over the opening where gas trucks fill up the pumps; the sensation it gave him in the car took him back to what it felt like to drive over an IED in Afghanistan, and he had a flashback. To calm himself down, he got into the passenger seat and put on his flak jacket. A guy at the gas station who saw him freaking out got concerned and called the police, who looked in his car and found his sawed-off shotgun (taken apart) in the back; a sawed-off shotgun is fine in Alabama, but is considered a WMD in North Carolina, so they had to arrest him, but he wasn't charged. He never told Jesse about the incident, nor about his subsequent treatment for PTSD. Jesse accepts everything! Brian also tells her that while he had technically been married at the time of their aborted meeting, he had filed for divorce, and was legally separated. Jesse is less accepting of this! But she's willing to give Brian a shot because of his really super honesty!

Interlude

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The Post-Confrontation Confrontation

The next day, Nev and Max catch up with Jesse after she's had a chance to spend an evening with Brian. "It went really good. I just didn't picture it to be so comfortable, you noo, and have it be like, 'I've noon you forever.'" Jesus, THAT ACCENT. They ask her if she and Brian "fooled around a little bit," and at first she's all...

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...and then admits, "You gotta test-drive the car before you buy it." Nev says that this is the first time on the show that the mark and the grifter have Done Sex, though Jesse doesn't believe it, and I think it's probably more likely that it's the first time someone's admitted it. Brian takes Jesse out to his lake house to meet some of his family. Everything goes well, and they finally part with Jesse still planning to move in with Brian.

The Aftermath

Two months later, Brian and Jesse are still in constant touch via text and phone, but Brian "thought she would've been down here by now." Jesse says she'd planned to drive down to Alabama that very night and surprise Brian, but I guess he found out (?) and got mad (??) that she hadn't gotten there sooner than that night? I don't know, this story is weird, and when Nev and Max say they just talked to Brian and that he still wants to work things out with Jesse, they offer to mediate a Skype conversation between Brian and Jesse and Jesse's like, "I'm scared," because it's normal to be SCARED to talk to the person YOU SAY YOU'RE IN LOVE WITH, and to require TWO REALITY-TV HOSTS to be go-betweens. The upshot is that Jesse will go. True love wins again.

Aftermath Of The Aftermath

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Though it seems as though the blame should be pinned on Brian given his past history of run-ins with the law, I prefer to think that he just couldn't handle Jesse's accent because I was ready to strangle her after only spending an hour with her. However, MTV.com has a different idea of what might have broken them up: she's a whore! Cool poll, MTV.

The Life Lessons Learned

Don't bring a sawed-off shotgun into North Carolina. Replace your filthy bandage before meeting the man you think you want to spend the rest of your life with. If you were born and raised in suburban Philadelphia, PLEASE find an accent coach to fix the way you talk.

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