Lewis made a choice last week and that choice was to consciously blow whatever was left of Asia’s self-esteem to smithereens. And since I am a decent human being, I view Lewis’ choice as unacceptable for one simple reason: it was completely avoidable. As far as I can tell, these people have themselves a ton of free time over there in Hawaii. During every single episode, we are shown bullshit slow-motion footage (not a bit of which enhances the narrative) of guys lifting weights or a few moments of the group gleefully tossing beanbags through holes in the yard, so my assumption is there has got to be at least fifteen minutes one can carve out each day to get in a moment of personal reflection. In all of those fifteen minutes, Lewis never once sat down and came up with a compassionate reason he could offer Asia to explain why they do not belong together romantically? Because he could have told her he believes they are not an intellectual match since he is, at heart, a total fucking idiot. He could have sworn he values her presence in his life as a friend so greatly that he is not willing to risk changing their status.
He did not have to tell Asia that he finds her unattractive. He did not have to say words that now leave her bemoaning why she will never be physically enough for a moron.
I weep for the woman who is Lewis’ actual match. I also really hope that woman is Bria.
In the aftermath of Lewis’ confession, Asia sits stunned in the confessional. Then she pledges to let everyone know exactly what Lewis said to her. I agree this is a dirty plan on Asia’s part, one entirely designed to get everyone to hate Lewis, but since I’m already three quarters of the way there with hating Lewis, her plan doesn’t bother me all that much. Besides, Lewis said what he did while wearing a microphone and knowing full well that a camera was pointed at his face. Everyone was clearly going to find out what he said anyway.
In other corners of the house, people are wondering about who should be voted into the Truth Booth next. It seems the three “power couples” in residence are Kayla and Cam, Tomas and Cali, and Kenya and Tevin – and if that doesn’t sound like the saddest sentence you’ve ever heard, we should probably never be friends. Though this group has been slow to get light beams during the ceremonies, they all share the sad little dream that one day they will be able to divide one million dollars between twenty-two people. (Just for trivia’s sake, that little bit of math means that each one of these people will only walk away with about $45,000 – before taxes. Think about that. Is losing your dignity and having night vision footage of you fucking in a place called The Boom Boom Room that will be available forever worth forty grand? And again, if you say yes to that question, we will never be friends.) As for Nutsa, she is positive Brett is her match. Maybe she is, but Brett’s feelings about Nutsa hover somewhere between lukewarm and fully apathetic. The connection he feels with her is nothing profound like the way he felt about Cali, but Cali was proven not to be his match and she’s currently smitten with Tomas, who I hope lands himself a campaign for erectile dysfunction pills the moment he steps off the island. Though Brett probably wouldn’t care in the slightest if a wild boar carried Nutsa away in the dead of night, he is still willing to fuck around with her. He’s also willing to dribble a glass of water down her cleavage as she sits amongst others in a hot tub and Nutsa is all too willing to oblige each and every one of Brett’s incredibly primitive fantasies, all of which were clearly borne from an early exposure to terrible music videos and easy access to copious amounts of online pornography.
Then there’s Zack. He remains just as lost as he’s been all season. He knows he should be with Morgan – or with someone like Morgan, since he’s clearly not invested in this woman as an individual in the slightest. But see, Zack only feels alive when someone is threatening to slice off his scrotum so how can he possibly help that he’s still attracted to Bria, a woman who carries around carving instruments because she always just expects that someone will disrespect her and she will then have no choice but to start slicing? Bria wanders into the living room while Zack sits bored on the couch with Morgan on top of him and Bria giggles like a psychopath and decides she will steal Zack back just so she can remind Morgan of her position in life. I’m serious when I say this: if Bria’s behavior is real and not just, as I somewhat expect, a manipulated effort to snag herself more reality TV contracts in the very near future, then she needs serious therapy with a licensed professional who will surely diagnose her with having delusions of grandeur. She will also surely be diagnosed as being a humungous asshole.
And whenever Bria finishes what should be mandatory therapy sessions (and then gets sent away forever to a sanatorium), perhaps Nutsa can go to the sessions in Bria’s place. Nutsa – a girl who will one day probably need to get herself an actual job – decides it’s a great idea to stare straight into the camera during her confessional and announce, “Good morning, MTV. I sucked some dick today.” Listen, not for one second am I saying a woman shouldn’t own her sexuality and make her own choices, but announcing you went down on some guy while being filmed and while twenty other people slept beside you after the guy has all but shrugged each and every time you swore aloud that the two of you were soulmates? Oy vey, Nutsa. If I actually cared about you, I would be very concerned.
Maybe the only person I truly like on this show is Samantha, and I like her because she appears sane. She lets Lewis know that he should apologize to Asia for hurting her feelings and she also explains how Lewis can get Asia to listen. That this guy has reached his twenties and has no earthly idea how to communicate or how to apologize just makes me fucking sad, but whatever coaching he just received doesn’t matter anyway because Asia isn’t interested in hearing a single thing he has to say.
It’s time for another Group Date and Terrence J reminds them there are only four ceremonies left. The Fate Button gets to choose the girls this week and then those girls will select which guys they want to take out. Bria and Nutsa are selected and Nutsa decides, for strategy’s sake, to allow the house to choose the guy she should invite. And since Bria cares only about herself, she announces Nutsa should pick Zack. If Zack is on the date, Bria will be able to hang out with him all day! She will also be able to once again remind Morgan that Zack doesn’t love her! The other guy chosen for the date is Brett, but – dick-sucking aside – he doesn’t think Nutsa is actually his match. He’s not about to have to deal with any real feelings at the moment, so he whispers to Asia that she should get the house under control and that Zack and Nutsa should be voted into the Truth Booth so Brett can just be left alone. While not a bit of me thinks Zack and Nutsa are a match, I also really hope they are so they can go away to a place not outfitted with walls of cameras and so Bria’s tired performance as a cartoon villain can maybe cease for good. Bullshit posturing gives me a headache, y’all.
As for the date itself, it involves canoeing and clichés.
“I used to think you were a ditz,” Zack tells Nutsa, “but now I know you’re sexy and smart.”
“I’m all the colors of the rainbow,” replies the genius.
Later on, Zack sits with Bria on a blanket and Bria tells him that she thinks he and Nutsa may be a match. And why does Bria think such a thing? Because Nutsa is suddenly, in Bria’s eyes, the person who is most similar to her, you know in that awesome conceited kind of way. Speaking of conceited, Bria makes sure to spell out to Zack – who needs things spelled out for him because thinking is hard – that Nutsa is in no way as pretty as Bria.
“There’s always love and understanding between Zack and I,” Bria swears while the rest of us scream, “That’s not understanding! That’s a fucking shared psychosis!” at the TV screen. Then they kiss and Bria can’t wait to go back to the house so she can tell Morgan what just happened because the only thing better than finding true love is destroying someone else’s soul from the inside out.
Also: I think just swallowed bile.
Also: The words Nutsa speaks to Brett about how much her family has sacrificed are heartwarming, but when she says that her life’s goal is to make choices that will do them proud, I can only sit and stare gobsmacked at how poorly her plan is being executed.
After Nutsa utters the very deep words, “I think being selfless is better than being selfish,” Brett is amazed. How could he not have known how brilliant Nutsa is? She doesn’t want to live selfishly? What a novel mindset! Brett is now hoping Asia maybe forgot to mention to the entire house that Brett said he would rather be sent into purgatory on the hottest day of the year than into the Truth Booth with Nutsa, but Asia did her job as requested. It’s Zack and Nutsa who are sent in and, once again, the group is unable to locate a perfect match. Nutsa is thrilled. She can now go back in the house and blow Brett, but the rest of the group is annoyed that they’ve made such little progress. Kwasi seems to be the most outwardly pissed and he repeatedly screams that all Brett wants to do is stay in the house. “You’re twenty-six!” bellows Kwasi while Asia holds him back. “Grow up, bro! You’re a weak ass bitch!” So yeah, just in case you’re keeping close track, a man who calls himself The Kwasi Beast and requires physical restraints whenever he gets mad just told someone else to grow up.
While Kwasi is melting down, Cali is coming up with some strategy for the next ceremony. She wants two of the “power couples” to switch up who they match with to see if more beams of light occur that way, but Tevin – he of one of the “power couples” – thinks it’s too much of a risk. He’s still allowed to sit with Kenya, however. It’ll be Tomas and Cali and Cam and Kayla switching partners for the evening and besides, they have to do something different because what they’ve done up until now hasn’t worked very well. The guys are choosing matches tonight and it goes like this:
Brett, wearing an open shirt, picks Nutsa.
Daniel chooses Samantha.
Tevin picks Kenya.
Andrew chooses Lauren.
Zack is asked to come up next and, in a completely non-produced moment, Terrence J asks if anything happened between him and Bria on the date. “We kissed,” Zack admits, but then he goes on to say he also has feelings for Morgan. As Bria all but claps her hands with glee, Morgan appears confused and declares she deserves better. We all know she’s going to stick with Zack, though, and not a bit of me understands it so I’m just going to assume she’s making this choice because she’s stuck on an island and was told by production that she’s not allowed to choose a cameraman as her match so she must commit to this scruffy cheating douchebag. They lock in their votes.
Lewis picks Bria. Lord, make it that they never breed…
Moe selects Jasmine.
Kwasi chooses Asia. Perhaps they bonded when she physically restrained him the last time.
Cam picks Cali.
Tomas chooses Kayla.
Were you hoping to find out if Cali’s rather confusing strategy worked? Then I guess you should tune in next week since this episode ends with a cliffhanger that dangles a ton of very essential questions before us. Will Cali find out she and Tomas are not a match? Will Morgan shrug off yet another of Zack’s dalliances with a lunatic? Will Kwasi ever calm down for twenty consecutive seconds? Will Nutsa say any other scintillating things, like she believes being a good person is a nice idea? And will anyone sit down and use those spare fifteen minutes a day to reflect on the fact that if this is who MTV has deemed to be your soulmate, perhaps it’s high fucking time to start restructuring your entire life.
Nell Kalter teaches Film and Media at a school in New York. She is the author of the books THAT YEAR and STUDENT, both available on amazon.com in paperback and for your Kindle. Her Twitter is @nell_kalter