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.
First and foremost, I send my condolences to the family and friends of Mike Fortunato, who died on Saturday. As a fan and viewer, I appreciate that Nev and Max acknowledged his passing prior to the airing of The Reunion Show. You will be missed, Mike.
From nondescript hotel rooms to suites with couches to Catfish Capitol, Nevax is moving up in the world! Once Nevax realizes the producers are tired of introduction shenanigans, it’s email time. (Special thanks to the makers of these amazing Catfish-related GIFs!)
Michael, 27, from Pensacola, Fla., receives the coveted spot of being this season’s final Catfishee. He met Caroline the Catfisher on a dating website. They live in the same city but have yet to meet in person. Before we can learn anything else about Michael and Caroline, Max issues a very important PSA: ”If you’re talking to someone who lives in your city, and they don’t want to meet up with you, they’re a Catfish and you should run.” (Doesn’t he mean swim?)
Michael met Caroline about a year and a half ago and still has not been able to meet her. He’s tried to meet her in person and video chat but to no avail. She blames their missed connection on her anxiety problems as well as time and effort in treating her colon cancer. Michael, the poor guy, is starting to blame himself.
Michael is the first Catfishee (to my knowledge) that has admitted using Image Search and other Catfish tricks to find out more about his Catfisher. If he hasn’t come up with anything, then what does he expect Nev and Max to do? Their investigative skills were earned in the School of Google-fu, not anywhere based on actual studies of detective work.
ooVoo rears its ugly head again as Nevax video chats with Michael. (I don’t know why I have such a problem with ooVoo. It may have to do with the time I tried and epically failed to use it years ago. Maybe.) Michael and Caroline met on Plenty of Fish. Insert obvious joke here.
However, when they tried to meet, Caroline called him only to leave right away, telling him she had an anxiety attack and couldn’t do it. She then cut off contact with him only to resurface with talk of finally meeting. Good thing it’s the season finale because this case is awful fishy.
What’s worse than Nevax goofing off in the airplane or airport? Nevax goofing off in the airport shuttle train or “Plane train! Plane train!” I swear, they’re worse than 6-year-olds off to Disney World.
Nevax arrives at Michael’s house where he displays some of his art. (They’re quite nice! I don’t know about that dead scantily clad woman charcoal though…)
Moving on, Michael shows Nevax what he’s determined so far. His first interaction with Caroline on Facebook was from a Caroline Rhodes page that was not updated frequently and contained minimal content. Using Image Search, he then found a fuller, more updated page under the name Caroline Ledford. But that’s where Michael’s ingenuity stops. He thinks Caroline has two pages, one containing her mother’s last name prior to her parents’ divorce and another using her father’s last name after the divorce. (Even though this makes absolutely no sense especially since Caroline Ledford has yet to respond to his Facebook message.) Plus, her photos show her doing social activities — not usually the hallmark of someone suffering from anxiety issues.
She had her “friend” drive by her house and leave him a note stating, “I can’t wait to see you tomorrow. –Boo Bear.” She’s also sent him pictures of his workplace. We don’t just have a Catfisher on our hands — we have a Stalkcatfisher.
Nevax heads back to the Florida edition of the Catfish Capitol suite to kick off Investigation Time. Since the Caroline Rhodes profile is a dead end, Nev messages Caroline Ledford of North Carolina (Red Flag!) about her images possibly being used in a fake account. He also messages Caroline Ledford’s friend Lauren to confirm details of her friend’s life.
Then, Max suggests checking the Geotag of the pictures Caroline sent Mike. (Whoa! Catfish first! Watch out now, Max ain’t playin’ on this one.) He checks one of the pictures and confirms that it was sent in Pensacola, very close to Mike. (It’s not one of his parents trying to make him feel better, is it?! Sorry, that’s just where my mind goes.)
Lauren returns Nev’s call and sets up a video chat with her. She confirms that Caroline lives in North Carolina, does not have cancer, and has never mentioned a guy named Mike from Florida.
The next morning, Caroline Ledford replies to Nev’s message and agrees to chat. Nevax reaches her via video chat officially confirming that Mike’s Caroline (hereby referred to as Rhodes) is not the person from the photos. Caroline Ledford leaves Mike a sweet message, apologizing that she is not Rhodes. This means Rhodes can be anyone. Anyone!
[Shudder] Let’s hope it’s not him again.
Nevax then shows Mike the video. Brutal honesty is definitely called for in this instance.
Mike then reveals that Rhodes told him her address, which just so happens to be the same Geotagged location as her photo. Why didn’t he tell Nevax this before? He even went there once, and Rhodes refused to meet him. (Hey at least it isn’t one of his parents!) The rose-colored (or should I say, “Rhodes-colored”?) glasses are coming off.
Back at the Capitol, Nev calls Rhodes to once and for all, end the pretenses and reveal her true self. Cagey as most Catfishers are at first, she tries to keep up the ruse of Caroline Rhodes. Eventually, however, she acquieses to Nev’s requests and agrees to meet Mike that afternoon in a park. Success! But the question remains — who is she?
Rhodes is Heather. Not only does Mike know her, he knows her after calling her out on using a different fake profile on Plenty of Fish. She confessed to that deception, but here we are with another one. Oh my… well I guess there aresn’t plenty of fish in the sea. Just that one fish that hides behind — sorry, this metaphor fell apart, but you know what I mean.
Heather’s story is a little different. With her friend, she made a fake profile on the site in order to check if her friend’s husband was cheating. In the process of the sting operation, Mike sent a message to “Claire.” Heather got to talking with Mike, provided her real phone number, and sent him a photo of her true self, explaining the real story about Claire. At that point, Mike was “not very nice.” Upset, Heather then made Caroline as retaliation. As things go, she fell for her own trap, developing feelings for Mike.
Heather says that besides her photo, everything she shared with Mike is true. Except for the cancer bit, but that’s not a big deal. Just kidding, that’s a very big deal — especially since Mike’s mother suffered from cancer.
Beach mid-commercial break! A few thoughts: Nev’s chest hair is unreal. Even when Max is being cheesy, I still find him adorable. Is the girl Nev “saves” his girlfriend? How jealous is Max? Nev’s chest hair is UNREAL.
Nevax invites Heather over to Mike’s house to talk more about their unusual situation. She is obviously remorseful, crying throughout the entire sit-down. Mike explains that her (fake) confession of having cancer was happening at the same time as his father’s very real diabetes diagnosis. Heather made a grave mistake and knows it — but it’s time these two cut ties.
One month later, Heather has connected with religion and started a private blog to vent her emotions. Mike hasn’t talked to Heather since the show, but he has texted the real Caroline on occasion. (Nevax hooked up the two via video chat at the end of the episode.) Hopefully they’re now using the Internet in a positive way? For the season finale, this episode ended on a bit of a downer.
The Reunion Show immediately followed, and while I won’t GIF react to the entire episode, here’s a Lauren and Derek update.
Lauren moved in with Derek. The couple was expecting a baby, but Lauren had a miscarriage. It’s been a difficult five months for the young couple, but Derek wants to announce something. He asks everyone onstage to stand. He gets down on one knee and propose to Lauren! She accepts! Nevax throws confetti! SuChin Pak cries a few classy tears of joy! The world rejoices!
Nev already names himself as Best Man. Lauren offers Max the Maid of Honor spot — he doesn’t have to wear a dress (bummer!) but maybe a pink tux (I’ll allow it!). This Catfish wedding better be filmed and aired as an MTV special because it desperately calls for a GIF react.
The Reunion Show stray thoughts:
+ SuChin Pak is back, classing up the joint as usual. (Her collar necklace is mesmerizing!)
+ Nev’s hair looks fantastic.
+ Max is rocking film school chic and is thus perfect.
+ I’m very disappointed Bow Wow didn’t make an appearance, even when 106 & Park received multiple shout-outs.
+ After filming the season finale, Nevax and Mike partied at a club on the beach. Nev was escorted/thrown out of the club and later ended up in the emergency room, where he received stitches for a cut on his arm. He apparently was hit with something, but he doesn’t specify, joking it was a “small shark.” (The idea of partying with Nevax is just too much to handle.)
+ The real Caroline shows up and reminds me of Lilah from Hey Arnold!
+ Alisha still has issues with self-acceptance, and Aaliyah is still a gem.
+ I’m not going to lie, I always hope they read one of my tweets during a special. But with all the Nevax talk, I know that’s never going to happen. Case in point…
+ Actual quote from actual Nev: “Max likes it in the back.” (I have no words.)
+ Lauren and Derek are really too cute. They’re definitely going to get their own show.
+ Dogs love Nev. Emus hate Max. I love them both. Can we replace the upcoming Snooki & JWOW with Nev & Max?
+ Max leads us on into thinking he’ll also finally propose to Nev, but instead, they both announce that season 3 is officially in the works. (Yay! But also BOO.)
Well then, ’til season 3, Catfishers and Catfishees. Good night and good luck.