The last episode ended with a cliffhanger, but I feel compelled to assure you that I managed to sleep soundly all week long, even though I didn’t know with absolute certainty whether or not Cali’s ceremony strategy worked. Sure, the melatonin spray I’ve recently fallen in a deep sort of love with helped, but my restful slumber was really due to the fact that it’s almost impossible to care if beams of light will eventually illuminate the nighttime sky in a dramatic visual that’s meant to make us cheer for the success of these people instead of doing what we should be doing: shaking our heads at their continued idiocy. In any case, the results come back, they get four beams, and this definitively proves that Cam and Kayla and Cali and Tomas are not matches. This result also proves these people still have no earthly idea what they’re doing and Terrence J shakes his head at them like a disappointed parent. His reaction reminds me a lot of that one time I came home from a party in high school with hickies lining my entire neck and I swore to my mother that we’d all just sucked on each other’s necks for fun and of course nothing sexual had gone down, but she didn’t believe me for a single second because the woman has a brain. But instead of my neck, let’s talk about Kayla. Poor Kayla. Now officially one of the dethroned self-described “power couples,” she sits in the confessional wearing a bustier I don’t for one moment believe is actually her own and she bursts into tears because Cam is not the man MTV said she was meant to be with. Don’t despair, Kayla! If you miss the guy after you leave the island, I’m sure you will be able to find him at some Hitler-esque rally. He will be easy to spot; he may very well be the only African American in the crowd cheering about the destruction of our civil liberties.
The only two people feeling joy right about now are Kenya and her Milli-Vanilli-imposter-soulmate, Tevin. The ceremony results somehow confirm that these two belong together and so they sit in the confessional room looking very self-satisfied while talking about how nothing can ever come between their profound love. We have all watched enough reality TV by now to know that overt confidence like what we’re witnessing is akin to Chekov’s gun theory. You know what I’m talking about, right? Chekov said that if a gun appears in Act 1, that same gun will be fired by Act 3. So if Tevin and Kenya are rhapsodizing about their bond now, it’s probably just best that you prepare for the fact that one or both of them will likely be emotional roadkill in about half an hour or so.
Already the walking human manifestation of a possum’s guts spread across a dirt road is Zack. The man is human garbage who fuels his ego through engaging in bold deceptions and he only feels alive if someone is so desperate to be with him that she’s willing to engage in something minor like murder. In spite of the fact that he just kissed Bria – again! – Morgan still begs him to move forward with her and my dignity hurts just watching this sad little scene that ends with him making a pinky swear that he will stop torturing her because we all know that’s a promise this asshole will not be able or willing to honor.
And even though they’re all lost when it comes to finding their confirmed matches, a few of the guys decide to hold a mini intervention for Moe. You know Moe. He’s they guy who has said six words all season long, but only two of those words have been said to women. Anyway, the Mensa-approved committee of Lewis, Daniel, and Kwasi sit Moe down and implore him to open himself up to this odd process and maybe use his cooking and cleaning skills to bond with the scary girls in the house because if he doesn’t find his match soon, how will they ever get to divide a shared million dollars by twenty-two people and walk out of there richety rich rich rich? How will they be able to purchase condoms made out of gold? How will Zack pay for the security system he’ll eventually need to keep Bria from removing his tongue in the dead of night because she heard that he spoke to another girl after the sun went down? How will Tevin ever pay the salary of the other guy in that Milli Vanilli tour group he’s going to launch if Moe doesn’t nut up and speak to a woman? How???? Just wanting to be left alone so he can continue to reflect on his antisocial tendencies, Moe promises the guys that he will spend some time with Kayla because she’s sort of up for grabs now and this announcement seems to please the guys enough that they agree not to speak to him for the rest of the evening.
In another part of the house, Samantha is setting up a scavenger hunt for Daniel because he makes her feel less frosty on the inside and she thinks he deserves a present for, um, defrosting her. Cali tells him that the first clue can be found where he and Sam have all of their deepest conversations and Daniel stumbles around the property for a little while because while this guy was blessed with defrosting abilities, he isn’t all that swift. He eventually finds the first clue – it’s attached to a pair of lace undies because, well, there is no real reason for such a thing – and he follows the rest of the clues while Cali lets us know how sweet Daniel is and something is telling me she’s about to try to lure him away from the woman she deems her “best friend in the house.” The scavenger hunt ends in The Boom Boom Room where Samantha is waiting in garters for her sweaty smelly soulmate and I just have to say that all week long I have been wondering what the final nail in the coffin might end up being for this nation and I’m pretty sure the only smart person on Are You the One? explaining her giddiness about a man’s body odor might actually be that nail. And here I thought it would be that tweet a councilman from West Virginia wrote about how liberals should start grabbing coat hangers…
Yes – that really happened.
It’s Date Day! The Fate Button selects Tevin, Kwasi, Kenya, and Morgan and just about everyone is ecstatic because now they can put Tevin and Kenya into the Truth Booth and finally end up with some good news for a change. The only one not so pleased is Morgan because she already went on a date with Kwasi and neither of them felt anything and now she has to leave Zack in a house with Bria for an entire day and she’s nervous that Zack will not be true to her while she’s gone. What about the pinky swear? I know. I, too, honor finger gestures, but I’m quite sure Zack plans to do a whole other kind of fingering while his girl is out of the house. As for the date, it will happen tomorrow because tonight production is throwing them an Enchanted Island costume party! What’s an Enchanted Island party? Does that theme actually exist? Who cares!
Also: If you didn’t just mumble to yourself, “Ah, this fiesta is happening for the sole reason that producers and editors really need some new fighting and naked footage,” then that means you have not been paying very close attention – and that means I truly envy you.
The group gets decked out for the party right away and they show up wearing almost nothing and we get a ton of dancing-and-grinding-in-slow-motion-for-no-reason shots. As the alcohol goes down, Kwasi decides Jasmine is the one he’s feeling right now and Jasmine is just so utterly grateful that someone is finally paying attention to her. How grateful does she feel? Well, she actually says the sentence, “I feel so blessed I can be this little trophy he’s showing around,” and the wails you just heard from the East came from every person born with a uterus who just screamed bloody murder because this girl, hands down, has never once imagined a universe where the validation of men wasn’t the greatest form of currency.
Also: Cam likes to dance like nobody is watching.
Also: I really wish I were one of those people not watching.
Now that her future with Tomas seems unlikely, Cali is grabbing hold of her newfound independence and she’s running with it. To put it more accurately, she’s humping with it. She is grinding everyone on the dance floor and making out with the girls and Zack takes one look at the proceedings and wonders if maybe it’s Cali who is the perfect girl for him! He lifts her up and they both come crashing to the ground and then she just dry humps him for a little while to the music. When they finally stumble to their feet, Zack asks for a kiss while Morgan and Tomas are sitting literally six feet away. “You are nothing that I asked for but you are exactly what I need,” slurs Poetic Roadkill Zack and Morgan walks right over, plops herself at his feet, and demands answers about why Zack just said those words to another girl. Before he can lie to her some more, Nutsa takes a gander at the sad scene that has become all too familiar and she shouts out, “Morgan! Love yourself!” and even though Nutsa is kind of a fool sometimes, at least she can throw out some nuggets of wisdom every now and then. Something about the combination of Nutsa’s advice and Zack grabbing Morgan’s chin and his stupid glittery skin cause Morgan to finally reach an epiphany and she walks away from Zack. And yes, I realize this could very well be a temporary epiphany, but there’s so little to applaud on this show. I will take success where I can fucking excavate it, okay?
Also: Moe gathers his courage and tells Kayla that he’s into her.
Also: Kayla looks like she wants to run away, build a fort high in the trees, and never give Moe the secret password to get into said fort because his declarations of affection just read as awkward.
Oh, look! It’s time for that metaphorical Act 1 gun to go off! Kenya spots Tevin speaking with Jasmine at the party and she loses whatever is left of her mind. Even though Brett swears to her that Tevin wants to be with her outside of this game, she is still a neurotic disaster and those neuroses come out with her wailing words like, “Why is he talking to Jasmine?” and “I love him.” But Kenya is not the only one feeling betrayed at this particular party. Drunk Cali is being, um, appreciated by every guy in attendance, including Daniel. When Cali wraps her legs around the waist of her best friend’s love interest, Asia sees what’s happening and she instantly says, “Daniel’s gonna be in trouble tonight.” Asia, you see, is basically a one-woman version of Statler and Waldorf from The Muppet Show. She watches the proceedings through a lens of cynicism and she immediately criticizes things that should in fact be criticized. Stop throwing parties with made up themes and build that woman her own balcony, MTV! Anyway, Samantha is horrified that Daniel is allowing some girl to rub her ass across his dick and it is Bria – (!) – who takes Samantha’s hand and asks if she’s okay. Is there an eclipse?! But then Bria turns back into Bria and she grabs Sam’s trembling face and yells, “Don’t react!” which could possibly be decent advice given in a book about the art of passive aggression, but it’s also being given by a woman who has reacts constantly (and terribly), so maybe Sam should go talk to someone else, like one of the women doing that scarf dance above the party.
Bria’s advice? Yeah, it’s not taken. Sam walks over to Cali and screams about how not okay it is that she was rubbing her vagina across Daniel’s nether regions and then she tries to take a swing at Cali, but she’s carried off before she can knock her best friend in the house’s teeth out. Meanwhile, Cali maintains that neither she nor her vagina have done anything wrong, Daniel apologizes for his behavior, and Samantha dissolves into tears and forgives him because she’s really too drunk to do anything that would make actual sense at this point.
They’re all still drunk the next morning and it’s time for the ATV date. Though yesterday the entire house seemed ready to vote Kenya and Tevin into the Truth Booth, now some are starting to wonder if it’s better to keep them in the house so their beam at ceremonies will assure that they won’t end up with a blackout. This news will probably not be appreciated by The Power Couple who are completely – well, for now – invested in one another and are completely – well, for now – in love and are completely – well, for now – toasting to the very secure future they will share after Jasmine’s funeral. Once they’re all back from the date and Terrence J comes by, it’s revealed that all that strategizing was for naught because it is in fact Tevin and Kenya who are voted into the Truth Booth. Will their dreams come true? Will it be confirmed that psychologists hired by a basic cable network deemed these two perfect for one another? And will I possibly be able to sleep without knowing the answer to these questions for an entire week?
Yes. Yes, I will.
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