What Kind Of Relationship Was Nick Hoping Would Result From Getting Married At First Sight?

And more not-quite-burning questions sparked by 'For Better Or Worse'!

What kind of relationship was Nick hoping would result from his coming on this show?

Heather and Derek's seething hatred for one another has grabbed a lot of attention, but what the hell Nick is doing on this show is low-key turning into the most fascinating storyline of the season for me. By Nick's own admission this week, he's "a little introverted," which we may interpret to mean "people terrify me." Nick has spent every second on the show broadcasting how uncomfortable he is with human interaction; I'm pretty sure he wouldn't consider having his mother and stepfather into his home if they hadn't put in the time to get to know Nick and learn how to relate to him on his terms. If Nick has close friends -- we've seen no evidence so far that he does -- he strikes me as someone who cultivated them over years, and that he prefers to hang out with them one at a time, if that. (Imagine Nick throwing a party. I can't. Can you? And don't say "the wedding" -- the show did that for him.)

All of this -- again -- by way of saying that Nick's signing up for this show seems like it might be the social anxiety equivalent of forcing an acrophobe to the top of the Sears Tower. Maybe he was determined to learn how to be less scared of meeting new people, and he thought the best way to do that would be to put himself in a situation where he couldn't escape at least one stranger, ever. And if that's the case, it seems that, from his perspective, the cognitive therapy is working great -- that is, except for the part where Sonia doesn't actually know what's happening. When Dr. Pepper asks each of the newlyweds how they'd rate the marriage on a scale of 1 to 10, Sonia says 5...but Nick says 8 or 9. Whatever his expectations were, this arrangement is meeting them. It's just too bad for Sonia that it's coming at a cost of her feeling safe in her home (since she's still scared of the dogs and Nick's still letting them sleep in bed with him) or sexually fulfilled. And that last one doesn't seem like it's changing any time soon, given that Dr. Pepper's suggestion that Nick and Sonia come up with a physical way of greeting each other made him look like he was about to puke.

Seriously, though, is anyone going to take Sonia's side on the dogs?

What you need to know about me (if you don't already follow me on Instagram and know it quite well) is that I spent years not wanting a dog, then finally relented and let my spouse get one, and now I am completely in love with this idiot dog to what is possibly an unhealthy degree. Even so, if I had agreed to participate in a social experiment that required me to marry someone who came into the relationship with a fear of dogs...well, first of all I would probably make it a requirement that any prospective spouse have the capacity to like my dog too, NICK. If my partner ended up being "deathly afraid" of dogs, I would certainly have a separate conversation with the so-called "experts" who'd matched us, but before that happened, I would try to figure out how to arrange the household such that its human member felt comfortable. You can love your pets a lot -- trust me, I know -- but pets are not people, and people's feelings should be acknowledged and respected. If Sonia has told Nick in so many words that she is too scared to sleep unless the dogs are secured elsewhere; that the dog smell on the bedding bothers her and that she'd like the linens to be laundered; and that she would like Nick to treat her with the same kind of consideration he is capable of showing his dogs, then he is being a real shit ignoring her. (Or, producers are using interview time to steer him toward thinking Sonia is not as steadfast in her feelings as she seems to be to the viewer, which is also crappy to her.) And THEN, after all that, for Dr. Pepper to show up all talking about the three dogs she sleeps with? Sonia's not my favourite (god, that voice), but she deserves an ally in this. So far her only friend seems to be Nick's mother Marie,

What is Tom's position with regard to having children?

The dog dispute is one thing. For the experts to have possibly matched a couple who have opposite views on children is serious shit. Lots of people who want kids think that people who don't just haven't evolved enough in their thinking, or grown up, or could be convinced otherwise by a very determined partner. And while I'm sure that actually is often true -- people can change their minds -- it's very condescending to assume that all people who state a preference not to have children will eventually come around. If Tom is firm in his desire not to be a parent, it's extremely unfair to both people in his marriage that he's been matched with Lily. She deserves to be with someone who shares her vision of a future with children, and he deserves a wife who's just as committed as he is to a barren, childless existence that ends in his death. And if Tom is wishy-washy on this and Lily's fear -- "It almost feels like he doesn't want children but he doesn't want to directly say that to me" -- is just more producer manipulation, that's not fair to either of them either. If Tom probably could be convinced to have kids, then give Lily the chance to get him there without treating her like a hectoring ballbreaker.

How dare Dr. Pepper say something like "For couples who get married at first sight -- they often come into this process with high expectations of this marriage"?

You're basing this on your sample size of twelve? Please do not ever generalize about what people bring into this "process." It's not a process, it's baloney.

Can we just all bow down for a second to the power of the fart joke?

Tom was worried about relating to Lily's niece Emma since he doesn't have a lot of experience with kids, but all it takes to win her over is a toy that toots. Farts are universally funny. Try it with anyone of any age literally any day.

Does anyone care what Derek and Heather do at this point?

I'm still annoyed that Heather can't just say "I don't want Derek to smoke weed," since the idea that she would potentially break up her LEGALLY BINDING MARRIAGE for the sake of legal cigarettes she describes as "certain lifestyle habits" makes her look completely crazy. There are lots of perfectly sensible reasons she might not want to be with someone who smokes weed, starting with if he was comfortable doing it on vacation with someone he just met, then he probably smokes a lot, and that's not cool? And/or that to my knowledge it's illegal in both Florida and Puerto Rico, and maybe starting a relationship knowing your partner is casually breaking the law on a regular basis is potentially alarming in terms of what it says about his character.

All that aside: who cares. Both of these people are talking about "divorce" in terms of not wanting to quit on the show, irrespective of how they feel about each other. And I feel like the clearest sign that the show knows what a dud this plotline is in terms of viewer investment in its outcome is that very cynical cliffhanger about whether Heather's going to stay married. Of course she is! Whether she likes it or not! Several someones on staff will have, by now, explained to her how prohibitively expensive it would be to finish out the season with two different camera crews covering her and Derek separately, and I'm pretty sure neither Heather nor Derek would have agreed to be on this TV show if they didn't want to be on TV. So they're going to continue to do that even if it means they end up looking REALLY bad to any potential future mates who might watch them. (And hey, why not take a chance that a future mate wouldn't see them? After all, it's only fyi.)

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