After a banger of a season full of switch-em-ups, culture clashes (Seattle vs. Portland), and a lot of LeAnn Rimes, Love Is Blind’s fourth outing came back with a limp balloon of an After the Altar special. Or maybe, more accurately, a deflated football. Using two sports games as anchor points, the three-episode special catches us up on the couples from last season. Nothing has really changed; the married couples are all still married, Bliss and Zach are still cheesy, Chelsea and Kwame are still cringe, Tiffany and Brett are still adorable. The messy singles are still messy and single; Jackie is still terrorizing Josh. All’s right with the world.
In the spirit of gamesmanship that the Love Is Blind Seattle Pod Squad is apparently so fond of, let’s tally up the winners and losers of the fourth After the Altar special.
Loser: The Space Needle
I thought there’d be, like, a cool view of Seattle from that revolving restaurant at the top of the Space Needle where Tiffany and Brett have their happy couple moment. But from what I could tell, it just looks down on nondescript buildings. Why risk the motion sickness? I’d rather eat on the ground.
Winner: Asher the dog
It’s honestly a pretty funny bit when Zach and Bliss walk into a doctor’s office and start talking about babies … only to reveal that it’s an allergist’s office and he’s getting allergy shots so he can be around Bliss’s “fur babies.” (But please stop using the term “fur babies.” It makes you sound like that couple from Lamb.) Asher the dog got to return home and sleep in the bed! A win for the pets!!!
I had to get allergy shots every week for most of my childhood. It sucks! For the first time since meeting Zach, he has my sympathies.
Loser: Seattle Mariners
I know nothing about this team, but my high school boyfriend was a fan, so now I must hate them on principle. They lost the game for which Chelsea threw out the first pitch by 5-3, making them a double loser.
After the hit job they took in the lyrics to Luke Combs’ “When It Rains It Pours,” ex-future-mothers-in-law got a redemption arc in After the Altar. Micah reveals that she still hangs out with Paul’s mom, Elizabeth, whom viewers were quick to point out is basically Micah in 30 years. They gush about how much they love each other and talk about how Paul fucked up by not choosing Micah. It’s very weird, but also kinda sweet?
Loser, then Winner: Paul
I was ready to declare Paul a loser after his mom bodied him with a simple, “Boys are stupid.” But he came back swinging with his own Elizabeth segment, telling his mom about the girl he’s “talking to” and noting that, unlike Micah, she encourages his interests rather than just tolerating them. (Okay, Taylor Swift!) Paul does a better job than Micah of making sure he comes out on top of their breakup. While she bluntly grumbles that she doesn’t know how she feels about Paul, he points out her shortcomings in a much subtler way than his post-wedding speech about not seeing her as a mom and mentioning that she’d be interested in dating him again, but he’s not so sure. He’s able to convey that he is ready to move on without seeming like an asshole the way he did in the season five finale. It’s masterfully done. Borderline psychopathic, but masterfully done.
Winner: Chelsea’s magic dress
I cannot stand Chelsea (never trust an adult obsessed with their own birthday), but that sequined dress from the pod squad’s joint anniversary dinner is, to borrow a word, exquisite. I will give this and only this to Chelsea: she’s got great taste in clothes.
Winner, then Loser: Marshall
When we’re first reintroduced to Marshall, he’s meeting Tiffany and Brett for a double date with his new girlfriend. She looks like she could be Gabrielle Union’s sister, and he tells Brett he thinks she’s the one. Coming off the season where he was unquestionably the heroic foil to Josh’s villain, all he had to do was stay unbothered and in his lane with his pretty girlfriend. Alas, he got too enraptured with his own narrative and embarked on what Jackie brutally calls his “apology tour” after Kacia, a contestant from the pods that Marshall dated after the show, says she had to block him for apologizing to her every month. He should have just ignored Jackie or politely said hi at the finale party, but instead decided to apologize for forcing her into a relationship (???). He also got clowned on so incredibly hard with the entire party participating in the Marshall Facial Expression Challenge. It’s endearing, but I would be devastated.
Tiffany got the name wrong, and she was the one who suggested playing it!! I have never heard of this game. Is this the new axe throwing*?
*Activity that is fun in theory, but then normies think they’re interesting for doing it, so now you can no longer go to a bachelor party without being accosted by axes.
Loser that strong-armed their way to a winner: Josh’s broccoli ears
Jackie likes them, okay??!?
Loser: Kacia and Marshall’s situationship
If you’ll recall from the reunion special, Jackie claimed Marshall wanted her engagement ring back so he could propose to another pod connection. He denied the accusation and said he went on a date with Kacia but it never got close to an engagement. Well, in After the Altar, Kacia gets to tell her side of the story. She meets up with Jackie, apparently a close friend, to tell her they went on more than a few dates and that he shouldn’t have said her name at the reunion. That’s an impressive bit of spin, considering Jackie was the one who brought up the whole thing. I think we can chalk up this disagreement in narratives to natural differences in people’s perceptions, but either way, this is a situationship that probably should’ve never situated.
Winner that came across as a loser: Micah’s friend Shelby
Shelby, to her credit, was able to leverage her friend going on a TV show into getting more airtime than some people who were actually cast on the show. She probably didn’t expect to come across as toxic and unpleasant as she did, but, to paraphrase an aphorism, any attention is good attention.
Irina’s giant khaki shorts, Jackie’s cargo pants, Tiffany’s skirt, Monica’s jumpsuit … it appears khaki is making a comeback! (Thank Jenna Lyons, I guess.)
Loser who posted their way to winner: Monica
The biggest bombshell from After the Altar is that Monica and Josh got fully engaged in the pods before he came back to scoop up Jackie. We already know that some couples get engaged in the pods but don’t get followed by cameras afterward, but to withhold that evidence from the Josh and Jackie storyline is so shady! I am less online than some of my Love is Blind-loving peers, so I missed that Monica posted about getting engaged on the show, with many fans figuring out it was to Josh. Jackie and Josh are so mad that she posted, but she comes out on top because nothing these two say makes any sense.
Loser: Jackie and Josh
Ugh, can we not? Both are exhausting and honestly, I’m glad they found each other so they will no longer unleash their brand of nonsense on the Marshalls of the world. The AUDACITY for Jackie to say of seeing Marshall, “We all need to move on,” when this lady has never let anything go in her life. The AUDACITY for Josh to accuse Monica of “clout chasing” when he inserted himself into Jackie’s storyline. These are the type of people who cause chaos everywhere they go and then cry about how chaotic their lives are. That is exactly what happened at the finale party — Jackie got upset about Monica’s post and stormed off crying, saying she hates the drama (lol) — and everyone breathed a little easier afterward, the audience included.
Winner: Sports girlies
From Chelsea declaring, “I may be a girly girl, but … I know the rules!” to Tiffany proudly declaring that she knows more about football than Brett, this After the Altar was one for the sports girlies. It was packed with sports, including that fateful Seattle Mariners game, a “fantasy” (?) flag football match, and even an amateur soccer game. Chelsea got a pink catcher’s mitt, and she, Kwame, Zach, and Bliss got custom Mariners jerseys. If there’s one thing I know about sports girlies (gender neutral — Kwame is also a sports girlie), it’s that they love merch if it is pink or customized. Preferably both.
Loser: Sports fans
Unfortunately, the sports portrayed in After the Altar were boring as hell.
Loser: Love is Blind editors
A lot of nothing happened in this After the Altar special, and I feel bad for the editors who had to craft three episodes of content out of the footage. The fact that they aired that flag football game, one of the most boring things ever to happen on this program, proves how little they had to work with.