Is Married At First Sight About To Have A Second Couple Crap Out Before The End Of The 'Experiment'?

And more not-quite-burning questions sparked by 'In Sickness And In Health.'

Why was this episode called "In Sickness And In Health," exactly?

Last week, we found out that Lily needs shoulder surgery, and that Tom is prepared to stay by her side throughout this probably not that serious ordeal. Given the episode title, you'd think that would be a storyline again this week? Nope!

Nick's never lived with a "significant other" before?

I'm going to blow right past Nick's non-gender-specific choice of phrase and say: guh? I certainly don't think that cohabitation with one or a succession of partners is a prerequisite for every marriage. However, if Nick has never been sufficiently serious with any of his exes to have lived with them, shouldn't that maybe disqualify him from going on this show to get as serious as it's possible to get -- and with a stranger? That Nick has no experience compromising with someone he's shared a household with goes a long way toward explaining the problems he's been having with Sonia and the dogs, for example.

How horny is Sonia?

Nick tells us that he and Sonia still haven't had sex -- because, he says at the top of the episode, he still barely knows her. (Of course, by the end of the episode it seems like there are other reasons they haven't crossed that carnal bridge yet, BUT WE WILL GET THERE.) Meanwhile, Sonia...well, you know that first flashback episode of Friends when Monica was trying to seduce Chandler and Rachel was giving her tips about finding sensuality in everything around her, leading to this debacle?



Sonia is Monica. She thinks having breakfast with Nick in the mornings would be "something really cool." She thinks bringing in a dog trainer to help her learn how to interact with his dogs will make him see that she's trying (and, presumably, whip his dick out in response). Watching him put together a slapdash outdoor fire pit leads her to tell us, "It's sexy, a man that can, like, be a man." Nothing is less sexy than visible effort, Sonia. (Of course, by the end of the episode we learn that Sonia already lost Nick some time ago so it doesn't really matter how big a try-hard she is, BUT WE WILL GET THERE.)

And speaking of the dog trainer: was I the only one who thought she hated both Nick AND Sonia?

My dog is dumb, which means learning things is hard for him. He's also a rescue, which means he has behavioral quirks he might never lose. But in order to try to make him less antisocial, we've worked with a bunch of different dog trainers, and I think I've gotten pretty good at reading them, which is why I believe Janice instantly judged Nick as a bad dog owner who lets Dax and Lola get away with lots of shit they shouldn't.

Can we not with Heather and Derek anymore?

Confidential to Dr. Pepper: you fucked this one up. I'm willing to grant the possibility that Heather and Derek are mainly to blame for fucking this one up by answering their questionnaires with less than perfect candour, but still: this is the most spectacularly terrible match in Married At First Sight history. Surely Heather and Derek would prefer to stop talking about this embarrassing chapter in their lives and move on from what is probably the shortest relationship either of them has ever been in. If you want to stop by their apartments and make sure they're not suicidal or something, fine. Making them each write a "letter of appreciation" to the other is dumb. They didn't know each other long enough to "appreciate" shit! LET'S ALL MOVE ON DOT ORG.

UUUUUUUGH am I actually rooting for Tom and Lily like for real?

This was the episode that made me realize I've gotten invested in Tom and Lily's relationship! And I think they really might make it! It's only been four weeks and they're already joking around about poo? Good sign! She's making him a nice breakfast for his birthday (a scene in which I noticed myself involuntarily smiling at their sweet, easy rapport and getting totally disgusted with myself) and getting Tom's brother to fly in from Colorado for the party and surprise him? She's thoughtful and nice! HOW DID I LET MYSELF CARE?! ...Lily and Tom: don't let me down.

That said, how bad is Lily at surprises?

For now, I'm not going to judge Lily for being such a slob that her desire to clean the house before Tom's brother's arrival immediately makes Tom suspicious. (I am going to judge Tom for whining about preferring to spend his evenings after work relaxing and yet, as far as we see, not suggesting that they get a professional cleaner so that they can both relax, because NO ONE likes cleaning, Tom, GOD.) Also, Lily, I'm pretty sure Tom figured out something was up because you were supposedly going to show condos without a lick of makeup on. As if.

Is the show about to have a second couple crap out before the end of the "experiment"?

Ooh, that episode-ending fight, you guys. I'm about to criticize the show's producers below, but here I HAVE to give it up for the build. We got breadcrumbs throughout the episode about where Nick's at now: he hasn't slept with Sonia yet because he doesn't know her well enough (uh huh). He's willing enough to engage in little activities like burning breakfast or meeting the dog trainer or throwing together the outdoor fire pit, but he knows Sonia wants to have a deep and meaningful conversation with him and he's dreading it because he knows she's not going to like what he'd have to say if he's forced to be real with her. And he's basically a decent person, so he's very reluctant to come out with his true feelings, at first hedging in a TH, "When we first got married, I thought she was beautiful, but my level of attraction to her is not as high as it was initially." He wonders if the problems he and Sonia are having are due to their being dishonest with the experts in some regard. In conversation, she tries to assuage what she's discerned are Nick's fears by saying she didn't have any expectations for him, which I'm not really sure is the truth -- point to Nick.

But then, Nick starts the process of losing the argument by saying something ridiculous about their relationship: "It shouldn't be a process of having to work at something." That's...stupid. People who chose each other, as Nick was leaning on in the last episode, still have to work at relationships -- do thinks to show your partner they're important to you and that you...don't want them to leave? I think what Nick is saying is that he didn't think he would find the project of learning to like Sonia so laborious -- and, granted, that's not something you have to do if you meet someone in the customary fashion and decide whether you want to continue to spend time with him or her without having cameras in your faces -- but he's still not coming right out with it, instead going with the Jamie Otis line of Married At First Sight magical thinking: "My only expectation was that we were going to get along and they matched us correctly and then were going to be flowers and rose fields....Three professionals match me. Scientifically. You shouldn't have to work at anything. There should be no fucking effort involved. You should just match. It doesn't make sense to me." Sonia, who's been saying throughout this conversation that she came into this expecting that she and her husband would have to work at building rapport and moving together toward maybe loving each other eventually (I'm paraphrasing), surmises that they're just completely different people, then, and Nick agrees: "Maybe they matched us incorrectly." I would say that Nick's trust in the experts' ability to find him the perfect wife, with whom he would enjoy a problem-free marriage, was woefully misplaced -- their terrible record in nine previous matches speaks for itself, and if he didn't look into that before coming on the show, that's on him -- except that if this show is still happening, it's because the show is still peddling the lie that the experts will do a better job finding spouses for these idiots than the idiots could do themselves. And maybe the experts actually have! Which is a very sad thought to ponder!

Hilariously, Rachel breaks in with a TH in the middle of this fight, informing us, "This is not a perfect science." OH, WORD? She says that she and the other experts count on the couple to continue working at their communication so that their compatibility can evolve, but the thing is -- AS I KEEP SAYING -- that's only true of couples who started with some kind of initial spark and have a mutual interest in keeping it burning. Tom and Lily clearly had that at the altar. Sonia felt a spark when she saw Nick, which is why she's still got hot pants for him. Nick is not there. And he's about to lay it out sugar-free.

Sonia says she believes in the process and is "open to it." Nick says he "believed" in it, but thinks that, after four weeks, he should have "more feelings" by now than he does. "Put in some effort," Sonia suggests, still smiling her dumb default smile but clearly getting irritated. "You should open yourself up more." Nick gets frustrated by this choice of words and starts ranting that "open up" is a "generic" phrase, and that he doesn't know what she means by it.

And then, in a TH, Nick finally stops trying to find polite ways to describe what's going on with him and just admits it straight up: "I'm fucking checked out. Like, I'm fucking over it. Like, I don't want to be attracted to her at this point anymore. Like, I don't even want to try to be attracted to her anymore....I don't have feelings for her! At all!" In his conversation with Sonia, Nick says they're going around in circles, so he's going to leave, because there's nothing else to say. Sonia points out that he's doing what he hates her doing to him, to which he petulantly replies, "Now you know how it feels." As he starts to go out the door, we hear -- maybe for the first time in the series? certainly the first time this season -- the voice of a producer calling after him, "Every relationship requires work." "Well, you have to be attracted to the person to have that relationship," Nick yells back. Sonia's definitely within earshot, so that's probably it for her lady boner, too. Back in his TH, Nick rants more about Sonia's demands that he open up: "What do you want me to open up about? Tell me! You tell me what you want me to open up about. I DON'T LIKE HER! That's opening up! I can't open up any more than that! I don't think she's attractive, and I'm not attracted to her! And that is me opening up to the fullest fucking extent."

...Uh. Yeah! Message received. We've seen lots of Married At First Sight spouses talk around the matter why they might not stay with their matches. I'm pretty sure I've never heard "I DON'T LIKE HER" before, and I would be very interested to see what kind of experting this show thinks can overcome a statement of principle that unambiguous.


Dear Married At First Sight producers: we know you want to focus on the positive rather than what sure seems like another imminent breakup that's going to humiliate the new "experts" by exposing that their matchmaking abilities are even shittier than the "experts" from the first three seasons. But cutting back to Tom and Lily in order to trick us into having positive feelings about how things are going in general is not going to work. A guy screaming that he thinks his wife is gross (I'm paraphrasing)? Said wife packing up all her belongings and fucking off? THAT IS THE END OF THE EPISODE.

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