So the last episode ended with the group only nailing one new measly beam of light and Terrence J telling them their process has been nothing but trash. The episode also ended with Zak rolling his eyes at Bria’s continuing stalker tendencies, which means the two of them will surely hook up tonight because Zak is the only person on the planet who saw Fatal Attraction and walked away thinking that being flattered was the point of the movie.
Since they’ve now collectively been told they’re idiots, the group decides a house meeting is in order. Haven’t they already had house meetings? And didn’t they also just come back from a Relationship Retreat From Hell that was designed to help them revamp their picking process? What I’m saying is that yet another meeting where they all scream at one another and speak in bullshit platitudes is probably not going to help, not when half of these people run purely on the smelly fumes of ego.
When the meeting that decides absolutely nothing ends, Zak is left feeling blue. Nobody thinks he and Morgan are a match because they all think he’s supposed to be with Bria and maybe nothing says more about these people than the fact that they believe with all their hearts that a lunatic and a man determined to keep her at the height of her potential lunacy should walk off together into the sunset. Also struggling is Cam. He’s got reservations about Kayla all of a sudden, serious reservations. Those reservations include that she suffers from motion sickness and she believes Donald Trump is garbage, which technically means 1) If this is what Cam bases a relationship on, he’s just knocked out half the female population as his potential soul mate and 2) Cam is a fucking moron.
Look! Someone is allowing Lauren to speak! She sits with Andrew and the two discuss how they are absolutely looking for their forever matches on a televised MTV dating show (stop laughing!) and how Andrew’s favorite thing is to do stuff that wows the girl he’s into. They appear normal – at least in the context of this hellish psychological experiment – so maybe they should get together for real. I mean, they’ll get minimal screen time because neither will threaten to slice the other person’s genitals, but they could make some sweet background action. These two will never be the focal point of the show, not when there are so many others willing to hang out in a hot tub and get dared to play a game called “Nervous.” What does this game involve, you ask? Shockingly, not a bit of it is cerebral. Instead, a girl has to trace her hand up some guy’s thigh and he has to try not to get hard in public and it’s lovely to see these idiots using their time so wisely, no? Nutsa is the first to inch her hand closer and closer to a dick and that dick belongs to Daniel and Samantha is not appreciating any of it, especially the moment Nilsa cups his balls in her hand. She explains to him later on that allowing a girl to touch his dick in front of her is disrespectful and that such a thing needs to be explained in such detail to a man who allegedly is an adult just makes me feel all sorts of sad.
The next day near the water, Daniel tells Tomas that Samantha expects him to do the right thing all the time – which is exhausting – and Tomas lets Daniel know that he’s developing feelings for Cali. Also crushing on Cali is Cam. The two hang out and talk about how they are looking to really figure out who they are and they’re both all about increasing their awareness and perspective. Listen, I appreciate any conversation on this show that isn’t punctuated with words like “motherfucker.” I also really love conversations that do not contain sentences like, “I’m the realest female in this house,” but my guess is these two people should talk about shit like awareness later and should now only chat about whether or not Cali pukes if she’s driven down a bumpy West Virginia dirt road and whether or not she believes locking children in cages is a wise idea.
Also: Nutsa has decided she likes Brett and she shows her burgeoning affection for him by chasing him in circles around a table. Never before has such a literal visual example been captured to sum up the mentality of these people and their dating practices.
As Cali and Cam get closer, Kayla is becoming more and more freaked out. Maybe she can win him back by popping a handful of Dramamine and then publicly proclaiming that what America needs is a dictator! She does neither and instead goes into the confessional to cry. Another “couple” that’s struggling is Lewis and Asia and the struggle appears to be that Lewis is not all that into Asia. Asia is hoping the two are chosen by the nonsensical Fate Button to go on the next date so they can connect and she can finally talk him into liking her. As far as people go on this show, I kind of like Lewis. He’s always smiling and he’s not particularly psychotic and, well, that’s really all I look for in my reality television participants. (I’ve learned that having low expectations is the only way to guarantee that I won’t heave my television clear through a wall.) The people actually chosen for the date are Zak, Daniel, Asia, and Bria. When Bria’s face comes up, the entire house explodes into raucous cheers because now – finally! – she and Zak can be placed in that Truth Booth and they can figure out if they are a match or just a recipe for a hideous social disaster. Lord, I hope the producers took out a shitload of extra insurance for this particular episode…
Also: Morgan is devastated that Zak is going on a date with Bria.
Also: Nobody cares how Morgan feels.
The night before the date takes place, Kwasi opens up to Kayla about how her smile makes him horny and how much he loves his tiny Yorkie, BJ. Kayla lets him know that she is all class, but she also loves being a pervert – someone sedate Cam quickly! – so I guess it’s possible these two are a match. As for Zak and Morgan, Zak assures her that she’s the only girl he has any feelings for, which obviously means he’ll betray her in the next four to six hours because that’s just who Zak has shown himself to be.
It’s Date Day and the four who are chosen ride some dune buggies. To nobody’s surprise, Zak’s feelings for Bria come rushing back immediately because Zak is kind of a sad little guy who needs to feel validated at all times and Bria’s insanity makes him feel like he’s special. Also, being locked in that house without internet access means he’s been unable to do some social media sleuthing that would allow him to confirm that there probably are, um, many men Bria has made feel special in this manner. So what that I called her trash? Zak is thinking. Who cares that whenever I so much as ask another girl to pass the salt, she threatens to beat the shit clear out of me? What is real romance without constant threats? They eventually climb out of the dune buggy to go get some coffee and Bria tells him that watching him with other girls hurt her feelings and she tells us that Zak makes her happy. What we’ve seen so far has been Happy Bria? Fuck. Can you imagine the carnage that Sad Bria could then cause? “Honest question,” Bria says to a compulsive liar. “How do you really feel about Morgan?” Before he can answer, Bria tells him that Morgan is trash, Zak doesn’t correct her in the slightest, and then they kiss. The music swells as their lips meet and I think that means we’re supposed to be feeling something positive that these two psychos are back together, but the only thing I’m feeling at the moment is how fortunate we are as a nation that birth control is still readily available. Tick tock though.
It’s no surprise when Bria announces with a huge grin to the entire house that she and Zak kissed on their date. “Does nobody give a shit that Morgan is right here listening to all this?” Samantha wonders in a manner that illustrates that she very well may be one of the only clinically sane people in the living room. And how is Zak – the guy who swore to Morgan that he was one hundred percent certain she was his match – feeling? Well, six hours with a lunatic can change a man’s mind and now he’s utterly sure he will be packing his bags and heading into the Honeymoon House tonight unless Maria and Shamoy can barricade the door first. “They clearly don’t give a shit about how other people feel, so maybe they are a match made in heaven,” Samantha says. “Or a match made in Hell.” Someone get this girl her own show now.
Zak and Bria head into the Truth Booth and I’m quite sure nobody is rooting for these two to be a match more than I am because that would mean they’d finally be off my TV screen. The lights run across their bodies and we learn there may be a God after all because these people are not a match and society may now finally be safe from their Foile a` Deux, that psychological ailment in which psychosis and delusion is shared by two people. Zak and Morgan are, of course, devastated. Morgan is feeling vindicated, though the idea that she’d jump right back into Zak’s arms after he emotionally abandoned her so quickly makes me physically queasy. Oh, and Bria – because she only cares about herself and it will always be that way – wants to make sure we know that if anyone so much as thinks the words “I told you so,” her response will not be pretty. Have any of her responses been pretty? In any case, after she weeps in a closet for a bit and tells Nutsa that, no, she cannot hug her, Bria storms out to scream at Kwasi for something insanely fucking stupid because she is a total asshole. She then has the audacity to then scream, “Show your character!” when she’s a woman who has illustrated nothing so far except rampant selfishness and a proclivity for rage.
Raise your hand if you’re stunned that Morgan is still all about Zak! Yeah, both of my hands are currently resting by my sides, too. And as my hands remain down, Asia is ready to pull her hands up into some fists because it’s pissing her off that Nutsa and Morgan aren’t crying in a corner because a girl who has treated them terribly for weeks now just experienced a bit of disappointment. “Did I do anything to you?” Nutsa asks while looking terrified. “Nutsa,” Asia responds while invading every inch of her physical space, “You did a lot.” What’s “a lot” according to Asia. Well, Nutsa turned around and looked at her and that means Asia needs to scream, “Fuck you! Go get your food!” into the face of a woman who hasn’t done shit. I tell you: the grossness of these people is mutating like a fucking virus by the second.
Also: After watching her preposterous display of fury – the one that occurred for no real reason – Moe decides Asia is the woman for him. Good luck with that, Moe.
Also: Who is Moe?
Since Bria – who is still staring in disbelief at the screen that says she and Zak are not a match – is out for him, Zak asks Morgan to come chat. See, Zak is unable to not have a girl clamoring for his affection for even a nanosecond. But rather than express regret for how he treated her all day, Zak instead chooses to gaslight Morgan by asking what he did wrong. Seeing the two of them talking outside, Bria is furious – yup, again – and Kwasi brings her outside so maybe they can all resolve this nonsense and get some closure. “Zak,” Kwasi posits. “If one of these females is someone you’re gonna pursue a relationship with after this, who are you gonna be with?” Honestly? Good for Kwasi for finally putting this douchebag on the spot. The two women stand there waiting for his answer, like he’s The Bachelor in a low-rent version of the show and he’s about to hand over some wilted moldy rose. It’s Morgan who turns out to be the lucky (?) girl, but let’s be real. The only reason Zak is picking her now is because he still needs to be with someone and it’s just been proven that he’s not supposed to be with Bria. This is some hedging of bets right here – that’s all it is – and Bria handles it as well as you’d expect by calling them both trash and announcing yet again that she will forever have a “one up” on Morgan in the real world. Bria is a bully fighting for a moron and I fucking rue the day MTV decided these idiots should become their next big stars.
In more rational areas of the house, Cali admits that she likes Cam as a person, but she’s more interested in exploring a relationship with Tomas and the two of them head into the pool and finally kiss. Brett tells Nutsa that he appreciates how calm she stayed while Asia inexplicably went after her and he makes sure she knows he respects how she dealt with the absurdity. And Kwasi? He’s decided Kayla is his girl and he owes Cam nothing by way of explanation.
Also: Zak and Morgan head into The Boom Boom Room and I officially have no more words to describe the desperation these two throw out into the world with such delight. I will only say that I feel residual embarrassment just watching them.
It’s Ceremony Time! This week the men get to choose their matches and their choices go like this:
· Tevin picks Kenya.
· Tomas selects Cali. They’re pretty cute together.
· Lewis chooses Lauren and I am officially confused.
· Moe picks Asia. During this romantic moment, Asia turns around and screams at Nutsa. Excellent picking, Moe.
· Brett chooses Nutsa.
· Zak picks Morgan and Bria reiterates that she is not at all jealous. Nobody blessed with either one working brain cell or the power of sight can possibly believe her.
· Cam chooses Kayla, but he also announces he has eyes for Cali. Morgan is not pleased.
· Kwasi explains Kayla is his number one and Cam is left stunned, but since Kayla has already been chosen, Kwasi chooses Jasmine.
· Andrew gets stuck picking Bria because she’s the only one left.
So how did they do? This week the group manages to get a total of four beams and they leave the Ceremony feeling victorious. Cali is certain now that she and Tomas are a match and, for some reason, the entire house begins chanting that she and Tomas should immediately go to The Boom Boom Room. I don’t know – I think fucking because it’s been demanded by a house consensus is sort of icky, but that part is not nearly as uncomfortable to watch as is the moment Tomas realizes he is unable to get hard. He swears such a thing has never happened before in his entire life, but it’s happening right now and it has all been recorded forever on night vision cameras.
As for Cam, he is floored that Kayla and Kwasi are connecting and now he’s regretting cutting her off simply because she sometimes suffers from motion sickness. He takes her aside to tell her he’s confused by her closeness with Kwasi and she responds by saying she was confused when he said he has feelings for Cali. Oh, Cam swears, that Cali thing is over! She and Tomas went into The Boom Boom Room! They are still in there! (Give Cam a break, okay? He doesn’t know they’re in there saying positive affirmations to Tomas’ flaccid penis.) What Cam swears he’s really concerned about are Kwasi’s intentions, but overhearing what Cam is saying is causing the emergence of what Kwasi himself calls The Kwasi Beast, which is apparently an alter ego that announces publicly the intention to bring some virginal-seeming girl into The Boom Boom Room. Cam rushes inside to defend Kayla’s honor and The Beast rushes at him and all of a sudden it’s looking like a girl’s socially moderate tendencies may be the last thing Cam will ever have to worry about.
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