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.
The episode begins, as usual, with Nevax in a nondescript hotel room. They play footsie, or Max steps on Nev’s new shoes as he shows them off. One or both of those things happened.
Anthony the Army vet was wounded in battle and received a Purple Heart. Upon returning home on a medical discharge, he met Marq online. Attracted to his pictures, they connected on a more personal level. They speak on the phone everyday, and Anthony says, despite his suspicions, he loves Marq.
(How can I not use this gif every week?)
But, Anthony isn’t the typical blindly naive Catfishee. After being stood up when he went to Mississippi from Texas to meet Marq and spend Thanksgiving with him, Anthony called shenanigans Marq’s lame excuses. Marq claims to have been the victim of a carjacking and was subsequently run over and injured, thus precluding him from reaching Anthony on Thanksgiving.
Side note: Catfishee refers to the person who reaches out to Nevax for help. Catfisher refers the person whose identity is in question and may possibly be catfishing someone, or see: Catfishee.
The obligatory lame joke during travel montage award this week goes to Max. “Everything’s bigger in Texas.”
I like how Nev asks if they could come into Anthony’s house when Anthony is already mic’ed up.
Despite knowing Marq isn’t exactly who he says he is, Anthony affirms he is 100% in love with him and he doesn’t want to be with anybody else. This is even after the Thanksgiving debacle. He even used Google Image Search (Before Nevax even got there!) to discover that Marq’s photos were the same as a friend of a friend, Joshua’s online pictures. Smart and genuine but holding onto the fringes of hope, Anthony is a guy anyone can root for.
Nevax returns soon after leaving Anthony’s house to find him breaking down his barriers. He cries, frustrated that someone he cares about so much has lied to him in such a profound way. I think I can see his true fear — that this person he’s been talking to doesn’t actually care about him. That it’s a situation like Catfish season one, episode four with Jasmine and Mhissy, who pretended to be Mike in a malicious attempt to get back at Jasmine. I really want to give Anthony a hug.
“The Catfishin’ Hole” is a place I never, ever want to go. And yet it kind of looks like Carrie and Brody’s secret love cabin from Homeland. Coincidence?
They first contact Joshua, who is really the guy in Marq’s photos. Strike one.
Are you serious, Nev? Why are you acting like you’ve never done a reverse phone number search before? C’mon, that’s what every middle schooler uses when she wanted to find where her crush lives without actually talking to him or his friends. Anyway, the search results state that the number belongs to a Framel from Jackson, MS. Definitely not Marq. Strike two.
Nevax searches for more information on the attached username framel_200 through a MyLife page. (Who uses MyLife? Perhaps it’s this season’s Image Search?) They find pictures and a video of the real Framel. It’s a husky young guy with a tooth missing and a fly fade, not an athletic guy with all his teeth and a fitted cap surgically attached to his skull. Strike three, Marq is out!
With their results in tow, they pick Anthony up, but they don’t do the cutesy friend time. They keep everything straight to the point. Anthony silently cries as he watches Josh’s video. Stepping outside for fresh air on Nev’s suggestion, Anthony is visibly and understandably upset. It’s making me upset, too.
Hold on, tissue break.
He is adamant to talk to Framel face to face, and Nev sets up a meeting with him. Tough with the slippery Framel, Nev gets the job done. Like I said before, the whole “investigation” portion of the show is just that — for show. The true heart is Nev and Max’s advocacy for the Catfishee and their mediation between the Catfishee and the Catfisher. Well, Max is more there to say snarky comments at awkward times, hold a digital camera, and look pretty, but Nev and him make a good team.
Now in Mississippi, after a more emo-than-usual travel montage, Nevax and Anthony approach Framel’s house in the pouring rain. For some reason Max insists on sticking his obnoxious little camera in Anthony’s face when there’s a camera already in the front of the car.
They meet Framel. He admits to have been the person Anthony was in contact with the entire time. He says he loves and is in love with Anthony. Anthony can’t even look at him.
Oh my God. He was in the restaurant at Thanksgiving.
It’s only after Anthony storms off back into the car too angry to talk to Framel for any longer that Framel’s facade cracks a bit. Up until then he has skirted around any concrete details about who he really is or why he deceived Anthony in that way and for so long. Framel truly does care about Anthony in whatever weird, duplicitous way that he does/did.
The fun clip in between commercial breaks is cute but not what I was expecting. Nevax Western style doesn’t come out the way I would have hoped, but at least there’s cowboy hats and bandanas involved.
The next day, Anthony and Nevax return to Framel’s house. He is now armed with his best friends. Before any real answers could be revealed, Framel and Anthony engage in a heated argument, really about nothing. Framel should not mess with Anthony; he’s a decorated Army veteran. The bizarro shouting match, and Anthony storms out “forgiving” him. Really, Framel? You’re going to jump all over Anthony’s “threat” to hit you rather than owning up to what you did? Who is Framel? We still don’t know!
After cooling off, Anthony apologizes to Framel and agrees to hear him out for what he has to say. Anthony is such a class act. I can’t even handle how sincere he is.
Nev asks Framel the question we all want to know the answer to—”Who are you?”
At the age of 12, Framel got into an accident that was followed by a series of debilitating surgeries. Overweight and with a low self esteem, his sense of self grew worse as he became confused over his attraction to men. For his family, being gay was equated to something that was wrong. Depressed, he reached out to Anthony. It seemed like it wasn’t until he “met” Anthony that Framel gained self-acceptance and a true sense of self-worth. The first time we see Framel’s face streaming with tears is when he begs Anthony to forgive him, which he receives.
Anthony seems hurt but cleansed. He deserves to be free from deception and anger. I wouldn’t be surprised if the guys aren’t circling the corner for him. (Can you tell that I think he’s the coolest?) Framel is apparently seeing someone, which I hope is true because he also deserves to truly love and be loved in return. Oh my, this was an emotionally draining episode.