As soon as Ariela and Biniyam had to dedicate themselves to not fighting, I knew this would be a pretty good episode of The Other Way. This should be another moment of joy for this young couple! Their child’s grandparents are meeting him for the first time! They’re being introduced to their daughter’s fiancé and his family! But, no, every moment that should bring the two families closer just highlights their cultural differences. From their differences in chicken preparation to a husband’s expectations, it’s obvious these two have never been on the same page.
Thankfully, Janice and Dr. Weinberg are here to show this young couple they’re actually reading from entirely different books. They must be concerned for Ari and Avi’s well-being, since it’s obvious they’re pretty isolated in Ethiopia. Biniyam’s family doesn’t give Ari the benefit of the doubt — if she doesn’t rush into everything they want, they’re quick to say she’s acting like Biniyam’s ex. It’s also worrying that Biniyam doesn’t stick up for Ari or correct his sisters. When his sisters said Biniyam would just walk away if Ariela kept treating him like a child, that seemed like a realistic threat. Ariela might keep threatening to leave, and one day she’ll realize Biniyam doesn’t care if she does.
It seems like Ari and Biniyam might just need time away from their families to really figure each other out. There’s too much outside influence and not enough direct communication. I hate to say it, but that’s what helped Yazan and Brittany’s story this week, now that they’re together and able to talk through their issues without his father threatening to murder him. I’ve been hard on Brittany, but she really did ask the tough questions this episode and got clear answers from Yazan. It turns out Yazan has been more up front with the producers and his friends than Brittany. It’s odd that she can be so oblivious to what Yazan is going through, and Yazan might want to think about what it means if he can’t share his feelings with his fiancée, but they were almost cute in his barbershop together. Maybe Brittany will stop playing around, now that she knows what Yazan is actually facing.
Yazan did look absolutely devastated when Brittany said she wouldn’t stay at his apartment, though. The thing is, Yazan is also making his religious and cultural demands known, even if he can marry Brittany without her converting. It seems like Brittany is upset that Yazan actually cares about his religion, though. Brittany rolled her eyes when Yazan said it was dangerous to tell his family what they were doing. I can’t wait for them to bring a translator into this situation.
Jihoon and Deavan are another couple that needs some independence if they’re going to make it. They’re both still terrified of each other’s parents, which could be a sign that joining their families together might not be a great idea. Deavan shouldn’t be concerned with Jihoon proving himself to her mom — Jihoon has done a lot to prove himself to Deavan! Deavan should be making her husband look good! They aren’t working as a unified couple, and Deavan’s mom wants nothing more than to tear them apart.
Tim and Melyza can’t offer any reasons why they’re trying to make their relationship work to their moms, but they’re dedicated to making each other miserable. It’s great they went to therapy, but I think there’s just too much baggage here. Tim is focused on proving himself, but Melyza doesn’t actually seem interested in the equation. They’re starting to feel a bit stale because they’re just replaying the same arguments and patterns. Melyza isn’t going to open up because she’ll never trust Tim again after what he did. Tim can’t trust Melyza because she won’t open up. I wanted Tim to hop on a plane with his mom and head back to Texas.
It’s sort of funny how every other couple has plenty of parental advice to work with, and Sumit is desperate to talk to his parents when it’s the only thing that would end his relationship. Jenny knows Sumit won’t choose her over his parents. Every time I almost believe these two love each other, it seems like Sumit is banking on his parents stopping their marriage. Maybe Sumit really was just using Jenny for support through his divorce and didn’t think she’d go along with it for this long. If Sumit stays strong and actually marries Jenny, that will be great, but his brother and sister-in-law didn’t seem optimistic. Hopefully Sumit isn’t using his parents as an excuse to finally make Jenny leave. I really never want to see Jenny cry again.
Then there’s Kenny, Armando, and Hannah. I think it’s a great choice for producers to show us how Kenny and Armando are navigating the parenting difficulties of having a daughter on a reality show with two dads. I loved Hannah’s “ugly trickster” line and how much she supports their relationship. It’s great that they’re including her in important moments like the marriage office, even if she doesn’t entirely understand what’s going on. Kenny may not be taking Spanish lessons yet, but these two are great communicators and it’s why their relationship feels so strong. When they’re upset with each other, they talk it out. Literally every other couple in the 90 Day universe could learn from them.