Why Would Married At First Sight Quitters Heather And Derek Ever Need To Be Friends Now?

And more not-quite-burning questions sparked by 'Naked Truth'!

How hard are Nick and Sonia supposed to work on reconciling their marriage?

Because if there's one thing I learned from last week's episode, it's that Nick doesn't expect or intend to work on his relationship with Sonia at all. If there are two things I learned it's that, and also that he doesn't find Sonia attractive, which is HARD TO COME BACK FROM. Yet when we check back in with them at the top of the episode, Pastor Roberson is telling us all about what Nick and Sonia can learn from each other in order to have a "perfectly balanced marriage." Because he is an "expert" on this show as well as a clergyman, Roberson is doubly obligated to take the stance that this "legal marriage" is to be taken seriously. But -- and I feel like a crazy person reiterating this every week, yet I also fear that if I don't y'all are going to think I have forgotten -- what is true of a real marriage freely chosen by people who got to know each other first does not necessarily also have to be true of fake marriages that took place so that someone could make them into a reality show. If your boyfriend of six months gets mad about something and, in the midst of a fight, claims that he doesn't even think you're pretty, you know him well enough either to decide he's just saying the first dumb thing he can think of to wound you but probably doesn't really mean it; or that he very much means it and that you don't have to forgive him for it -- that you can, in fact, leave.

Now: why didn't Sonia end the "legal marriage" after the events of the last episode? Should we infer from the way things went that there is a set of procedures participants are contracted to go through before they can pull the ripcord like Heather did, and that Roberson's intervention in this episode is part of it? Because if it were up to Nick, I would assume he would happily just quit on his marriage even if it meant that, like Heather and Derek, he always has a divorce on his permanent record or whatever the hell scare language the show's "experts" used to try to make Heather reconsider. Or, the more depressing possibility: is Sonia, in fact, so horny for Nick that she wants to stay married to him, even against his will, and is enlisting the "experts" to make him stay with her so she can try to wear him down sexwise?

Or, should we say, is Sonia just going to resume wearing Nick down sexwise?

Because they totally did it. I guess putting her statement about her and Nick's carnal knowledge of one another in the preview at the end of last week's episode was supposed to make us think Nick would end up refuting it -- but instead, he just lies for a second on the basis that he's "not a kisser and teller" and then admits that they did have sex. We don't know the particulars, like whether they had sex right away to see if they were into each other; or if they tried it later to see if it would smooth over some of the awkwardness that had emerged as their marriage continued; or if they've just been having sex the entire time. Kind of only the first one makes Nick look like a somewhat decent person? Because while I obviously know there's no gender essentialism and that women are just as capable as men of separating sex from emotion, that's plainly not the case with Sonia, whose physical attraction to Nick is explicitly linked to her desire for their marriage to work out. So if he's just been messing around with her because she's there, then he's even more to blame for her developing deeper feelings for him. While I'm not about to demand a calendar with "F"s marking the dates when they boned, a little more clarity on the timeline is important for the viewer to make fair judgments of them both -- and if we're not supposed to judge them, literally why are all of us (the couples included) even here?

"'Husband' means you are the band that surrounds the house"?

No, Pastor Roberson, it does not. You sound like an asshole.

Do we really want love to find someone who's created a "good vibes" corner in her apartment?

Seriously, Heather went on Fathead or some fucking thing, purchased a sticker that reads "good vibes" in fake Hindi script, and stuck it on the wall in the corner of her apartment where she does yoga (which you know she calls her "practice")? And then took Derek's post-marriage letter there to read it? I entirely support Heather's decision not to keep up the farce of her marriage to Derek, but also, she's kind of gross.

Are we supposed to be convinced that Tom and Lily are having problems as great as the other two couples'?

It must be hard for producers to make TV out of one love story and two hate stories, basically. The lie the show peddles is, of course, that experts can match singles with their soulmates more effectively than the singles themselves have been able to do thus far, despite the ever-mounting evidence to the contrary. But when the balance has tipped toward juicy fights and tense reunions, Tom and Lily's storylines are really flat by comparison. They like each other a normal amount for what they are: two people who've been dating a month and maybe moved in together kind of fast. Tom's not wrong that it's way too soon for them to start talking about having children: on paper, they are married, but in reality they're still getting to know each other, and that process is going to take a while longer. His hesitancy (a.k.a. his reasonable boundaries) thus sparks Lily's anxiety about the reasons her parents' marriage failed. Confidential to Lily: your dad had kids and he still left. They may not be the relationship Krazy Glue you hope.

That aside: almost as much airtime is devoted to that conversation as we get watching Tom mess with Lily's toothpaste. We get it, they're happy. Stick it on a black screen of text and get back to the misery, thanks in advance.

Why would Heather and Derek ever need to be friends now?

I kind of thought the letter thing last week was a bit dumb -- are you in the habit of writing farewell letters to people you've dated for less than a month? OR AT ALL? -- but fine: clearly, the exercise was meant to (a) give Derek and Heather a (lame) reason to have cameras continue to tape them, and (b) possibly make them remember the good times and consider getting back together. It hasn't -- not even with Derek, who apparently poured his heart out, to hear him tell it, whereas Heather's sounds like a neutral job performance review of someone who's not getting promoted this quarter. The logical thing for Derek to do would be to realize that Heather is closing the door on any further relationship and quit pouting to his friends about how embarrassed he is. But since he and Heather are on TV, "expert" Rachel DeAlto makes them get back together and for a post-mortem chat about their letters. I guess part of the idea of writing down their feelings was that they calmly journal all their feelings, basically, but if they each wrote them in, I have to assume, an expectation that this was the end, WHY ARE THEY BEING MADE TO SEE EACH OTHER IN PERSON AGAIN? I'm sure it's frustrating to producers that these two have screwed up the schedule by refusing to keep playing along with the format, but already we're seeing this conversation -- like the one where Heather announced that she was quitting this marriage/the show -- stretching over more than one episode. Stop forcing them to re-litigate this decision. They don't want to be together. They don't have to be friends. They would be fine never seeing each other again. They do not need to mourn a fortnight-long mistake. STOP PROLONGING IT.

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