This season’s ‘Catfish: The TV Show,’ which premiered Tuesday, June 25 at 10 p.m. on MTV, features so many OMG moments that it is best to analyze each episode with equally expressive reactions. And not just text-based or still image reactions — GIF reactions.
I don’t buy that Nev and Max have separate nondescript hotel rooms and I never will. What I do buy is that Nev is a neat freak and Max is much more lax with his standards of cleanliness — one of the most contentious parts of their otherwise happy relationship.
This week’s Catfishee is 25-year-old Mike is from Michigan (Impossible.) He fell for Kristen, 22, who lives in a town about an hour away from him. They speak on the phone and text each other but have never video chatted, since Mike is “not much of a computer guy.” That doesn’t mean Mike hasn’t dropped some bombs during his time talking to Kristen, including l-bombs, g-bombs, and k-bombs — love, girlfriend, and kids, respectively. He believes the reason they have yet to meet face-to-face is Kristen’s fear of showing him her glass eye. Around the time they first started chatting, Kristen was involved in a car accident that resulted in her losing an eye, irreparably damaged in the crash. As Nev points out, the weirdest part of this situation isn’t the rushed talk of a relationship or Kristen’s tragic story but the fact that they live so close to each other but have yet to meet in person.
So Nevax is off to Michigan. Apparently it wouldn’t be a season of Catfish if they didn’t end up at least once in Michigan. Just take another look through the long history of Catfish seasons to prove it. Every season so far has included cases in Michigan! Granted, Nev’s original story of Catfish, the movie, did end up in Michigan (Impossible.) But still, guys, it’s only season two.
Nevax meet Mike at his house — kudos Mike for having his own house at 25 — to get a better sense of his relationship with Kristen. He shows Nevax pictures of Kristen. Nev takes a look and says something along the lines of: “I don’t know anything about glass eyes BUT
the producers I looked up information regarding how to analyze glass eyes and from this photo her pupils are the same size, suggesting she may not have a glass eye after all. That is, if in fact she’s the young woman in these photos.”
Additionally, Kristen has also sent “provocative” photos to Mike. He in return has sent her full frontal nude pictures including his face. Does that count as the np-bomb or the ff-bomb?
Already in investigation time mode, Nevax contemplate how to approach the case given the information Mike has sent. Mike sends them her full name, town, St. Clair, Michigan, age, 22, occupation, cosmetology student, and birthday month, March. Nev calls her supposed beauty school and asks the genial Brianna if Kristen is registered. She responds stating that the only Kristen at the school has an undisclosed different last name. Nevax then moves onto Spokeo reverse phone search. (Are they using corporate plugs again post-G—– Image Search?) They find a man with the last name Hillock, which is assumed to be an older relative. Ultimately, Nevax discovers a Kristyn Hillock aged 57 as well as the MyLife profile of a Kristyn Hillock, born in March, aged 22. This is confusing — and worrying.
They call Brianna a.k.a. MVP of the Week again, confirming that there is indeed a Kristyn Hillock registered at the school. I have no idea whether or not she’s a talented stylist, but she is quite good at customer service. Good job, Brianna!
Satisfied that they have finished, Max declares, “Record investigation time!” But Nev warns, “No we’re not [done yet]!” There are far too many questions still left unanswered. Is she the same person from the photos sent to Mike? Why did she lie about her last name? Is she 22 or 57?! Soon after, they discover her Facebook profile but most of the information and photos private (as it should be — Internet safety everyone!)
A friend segment — I’ve missed these! Nevax meet up with Mike and his bros hitting golf balls at the driving range. Juice-head Nick, Fedora Matt, and Catfishee Mike seem like an unlikely group, but their friendship seems strong. They were surprised to hear that Mike hasn’t yet met Kriste(y)n but support Mike no matter what. Friends genuinely supporting friends is always a nice thing to see especially on TV.
Nev reports their findings, most of which are positive, to Mike. Despite a different name, Kriste(y)n seems to be who she says she is. Importantly, they can’t prove that she is the girl in the photos. Mike is quite pessimistic — readying himself for the worst news possible. It almost seems like he’s looking for an excuse to break ties with Kriste(y)n. As Max points out after leaving Mike’s house, Mike is intense, which is Guy Code for scary.
Investigation time times two! Nevax decide to search the St. Clair High School yearbook at the town’s local historical society to determine if Kriste(y)n’s photos match any other official photos. Nevax and Mike then journey to the historical society like real detectives would. It’s cute that Nev thinks of himself as a “detective.”
The Kriste(y)n they find in the yearbook does not look like the Kriste(y)n Mike knows from his photos. Mike is so pissed off he can hardly speak. But rather than seething with barely bottled up rage, today he just seems defeated. The next inevitable step is Nev’s call to Kriste(y)n to set up a meeting. There’s a twist this time — Mike is the one to persuade Kriste(y)n to reveal her true self. I don’t know if we’ve see the Catfishee ever convince the Catfisher to meet face-to-face during the pre-confrontation phone call. Mike handled it quite well, not letting his emotions overwhelm him. He showed his maturity and poise, illustrating that Mike’s a good guy as opposed to a Nice Guy.
The next day, Nevax and Mike drive the short trip to Kriste(y)n’s house. Kriste(y)n is revealed to not be the girl from the photos — but, hey, at least she’s not 57. She lied about what she looked like and her name but affirms that everything else was genuine. She was in a car accident. She does have a fake left eye. Her rationale for deceiving Mike is that he became her support system after her accident, helping her survive one of the darkest periods of her life. Mike understands and appreciates that he helped her but is obviously still angry about her lies.
After an awkward silence, Mike and Kriste(y)n part ways. On the car ride back home, Mike swiftly deletes her form his phone contacts. Damn.
The mid-commercial clip this week involves Nev and Max on a midday
day trip date at the carnival. Max won Nev a monkey plush toy. Okay fine, we don’t know who he gave the monkey to, if anyone at all, but of course I think it’s Nev.
Nevax returns to Kriste(y)n’s house to have a one-on-one talk with the Catfisher. Kriste(y)n explains that her life went into a downward spiral after the car accident. She was forced to leave school due to frequent medically related absences. Her boyfriend, who was driving at the time of the accident and left it practically unscathed, broke up with her. She gained over 100 pounds. She even contemplated suicide. Her contact with Mike is what she says kept her going. Now, she says she’s getting back to her wacky old self again, which includes taking out her eye for people to see. She easily pops the artificial eye and lets Nev touch it, which is a bit gruesome but mostly awesome. I hope this is the start of a new positive chapter in her life.
I have to admit, if I had a glass eye, I would take it out for people, too. If I was in a position where I had to get an fake eye, then I would totally be a fabulous Mad Eye Moody, shouting “CONSTANT VIGILANCE!” anytime I could. But that’s just me. Kriste(y)n accepting her sweet, wacky, Muggle self is most definitely fabulous, too.
Two friend segments in one episode, I like it. Nevax greets Mike and his bros as the Catfishee digests the truth about Kriste(y)n. Mike was worried his friends would laugh at him, but they’re super supportive. That’s called real friendship!
Two months later, Nevax checks in with Mike. He’s doing well and changed his mind about cutting off Kriste(y)n from his life completely. They still talk occasionally and are now friends. In terms of dating, he’s “dangling his bait out there” but has only received a few nibbles and is still looking. (Max likes that metaphor, and so do I, since I’m five years old.)
Also checking in with Kriste(y)n, Nevax learns that she has started dating and already has a committed boyfriend.
All in all, another positive ending for Catfish. We’re on a roll! Don’t let me down next week, Nevax! I like being happy at the end of these wild stories.