It’s hard not to wonder with this season of Catfish how Nev and Max will top the drama each week. Last night’s episode touched on a theme more associated with IRL dating than the sort of online love Catfish deals in: a love triangle. And frankly, it was some male privilege bullshit.
Georgia boy Dorion had spent several years on and off talking to Jeszica, through his mother’s hospital stay, his subsequent eviction and time spent homeless. At a time when he had no emotional support system, she was there for him. The fact that she was working, studying, and raising a child on her own reminded Dorion of his own mother; her supermodel looks and glamour shots … well, you know. It turns out one simple Google would have shown Dorion that his girl’s online profile was just one of tens, maybe hundreds, using a woman named Jessie Morrison’s photos. On Morrison’s so-called real MySpace page, the list of known fakes goes on for numerous scrolls. As the show phrased it, Morrison’s online photo archive is a “catfish feeding ground,” essentially a starter kit for wannabe catfish. Were she not a model, it would be slightly disconcerting that Morrison continues to post selfie after selfie on her Instagram account. There’s more than enough there to get any catfish started. Dorion still insisted on meeting Jeszica even after Max and Nev laid this out for him.
The catfish newbiness is not even the thing to focus on here, though. At the time of filming, Dorion had a serious girlfriend of seven months, Raffinee, whose family took him in the second time he became homeless. As Dorion and Raffinee told it on the awkward-as-hell Catfish live aftershow that MTV has started airing, she was “joking” when she suggested Dorion write to Nev and Max about his “former” online flame, Jeszica. The dope took the bait (again), and how could the show resist? Someone with a loving girlfriend willing to risk it all for a woman who won’t even Skype with him. At first it seemed like Raffinee was either the Coolest Girlfriend Alive or the Most Insecure Girlfriend Alive; her focus, first and foremost, was Dorion’s happiness. But as filming continued and Dorion was forced to speak more explicitly about his feelings for Jeszica, it became clear that Raffinee was not okay with the situation. She was terrified of losing Dorion and heartbreakingly, felt she had no choice in the matter. Even Max and Nev asked her why she’d stay through this ongoing infidelity. (If you love someone, set them free … or whatever.) Once more, Catfish excels at showing the full range of self-esteem struggles, particularly for women.
Dorion’s guilt over dangling two different women did not reveal itself until he was in Texas meeting Jeszica, who went along with the whole thing without a fight. Of course she wasn’t the girl from the pics, but who she was, was a cute girl in a sparkly dress named Alexis. A stunned Max looked at her, “But, you’re pretty!” Though he blurted out what I have to imagine was the gut reaction of many viewers, the hosts seemed a little green to the reality of women’s self-esteem issues in that moment. Her reasoning was weak, at best; she made the profile when she had just moved to Texas and knew no one. (Nice attempt at saving face in your most mortifying moment ever.) Moreover, she didn’t have a daughter, which seemed to really bother Dorion, who quickly returned to his hotel to video chat Raffinee. After a quick pro-con list between the two women, he “chose” Raffinee. Yes, he phrased it like that. OOF. The situation would have been more unsettling had Raffinee not put him in his place just slightly: She was thrilled, but he’d have to work to regain her trust and make things right. She could have lost the thrilled part, but hey, it’s a step in the right direction.
Returning to Alexis’s house the next day, Dorion found his catfish flame upset with him … for lying. Either unfazed or oblivious to the laughable level of hypocrisy on display, Alexis chided Dorion for hiding his relationship with Raffinee from her. This was particularly SMH-worthy when considering the fact that Alexis had been catfishing another guy, Sammie, whom Nev and Max spoke with on the phone. Sammie explained that he and “Jeszica” had discussed starting a family together. While viewers knew Alexis was arguing a moot point, seeing as Dorion “chose” (ugh, literally kill me) Raffinee, Alexis appeared delusional once more when she rejected Dorion. Cue the emotional boiling point, which would quickly be smoothed over with the power of Pro Tools. Alexis and Dorion said good-bye with a heartwarming hug; it was clear these two shared an intense history. So it came as little surprise when Alexis, rocking fierce braids and her freakum dress, gave off palpable sexual energy toward Dorion on the aftershow, even with Raffinee in the studio. It was some Jerry Springer shit for sure, on top of the part where Raffinee and Dorion were still together. Raffinee and Alexis, y’all realize there are other guys out there, right?
Dorion’s Delusion Score (out of 10): 8.5
Jeszica/Alexis’s Delusion Score (out of 10): 7.9
Raffinee’s Delusion Score (out of 10): 2.1
Outcome: Fire up that fish fry, folks.