New couples, new countries, new drama: The Other Way is back! Since The Other Way premiered, it has been my favorite part of the 90 Day franchise. Normal Way 90 Day can get a little repetitive when it comes to things like “Are they with me for love or a green card?” But with that issue out of the way, it allows for The Other Way to dive into more profound drama. Like Ellie, a widow who is giving up the pizza business she built to move to Providencia, Colombia, for Victor, the new love of her life. How can you not watch the story of Ellie?
Victor is, of course, significantly younger than Ellie and doesn’t seem to take their vacation fling as seriously as she does. The distance also doesn’t help things, but it also doesn’t help that Providencia is hit by a hurricane when the season starts. As many red flags as there are in this relationship, Ellie is clearly heartbroken when she can’t reach Victor during the storm.
Unlike some older white ladies who’ve been featured in the franchise, I don’t get the feeling that Ellie is just engaging in some Caribbean sex tourism with a hot, younger man. After losing her husband, she was clearly surprised to find love again. Also? I’m pretty sure Ellie’s co-worker is in love with her, and I’m rooting for their eventual Pizza Place rom-com moment. Will Victor lie to Ellie again? Absolutely.
I’m most invested in Ellie and Victor of our two new couples, but Steven and Alina are cute! Steven is a devout Mormon, and Alina has no clue what that is, but these two are obviously in puppy love. The culture clash between these two will be interesting to watch, but they’re so young and naive they just might be able to pull this whole marriage off. At the very least, Steven actually speaks Russian, so he gets a ton of points for being one of the few 90 Day men who learn their partner’s language! I’m taking off a few points for announcing his intent to fart on national TV, though.
Okay, now that the new couples are out of the way, let’s revisit some of our old favorites. I obviously need to start with Ariela and Biniyam because Ari has lost her mind. Since we last saw the couple, they’re still living in Ethiopia, and Ari has adapted pretty well. She has a nanny now, but her worries about Biniyam leaving her alone with the baby too much all came true. There’s a rift between the two of them, and how does Ari want to fix it? She invites her ex-husband (and current best friend) to come stay with them! Ari can’t even talk to this man without accidentally calling him “babe,” and you know she wouldn’t be okay with Biniyam doing that! We can count on Biniyam’s sisters to break the situation down appropriately: This is white people shit.
What Ari is doing is absolutely disrespectful, and it’s probably some sort of passive-aggressive attempt to get back at Biniyam. Biniyam is right to be uncomfortable; this isn’t just a cultural difference! I can’t think of any place where someone’s spouse would be like, “Hell yeah, I’d love to have your ex-husband of ten years, who you routinely complain to about me, stay with us!” Ari isn’t just reconnecting with a friend, she’s trying to take that baby back to America to start a new family.
Jenny and Sumit are also facing issues as Sumit yet again lies to her about their wedding. Jenny’s tourist visa extension hasn’t been approved, so she has to go back to America and then pay to fly back out to India if she wants to be with him. They’ve been playing this game for four years now, and this is the first time we’ve really seen her lose her temper over it. Since we first saw them on Before the 90 Days, I’ve said Sumit’s plan is just to wait out Jenny’s patience. I think he wants her to end things and he isn’t willing to because of everything they’ve gone through.
It’s the same with Corey and Evelin: Evelin won’t just end things with Corey even though they so clearly want different things. Evelin hates marriage. Corey dreams about his wedding day. These two break up and get back together so much that the biggest focus of this season is Corey’s infidelity when they were or weren’t “on a break.” If you’ve been watching the show for a while, you know how hypocritical this is for Evelin! Evelin has cheated on Corey at least twice, once with his only friend in Ecuador! Corey used to walk around their village and everyone would call him a “cuck” in Spanish! I have no sympathy for her.
And finally: Kenny and Armando. The best couple from The Other Way isn’t featured in the season-three premiere because the producers know they’re all we want. Honestly, very rude they didn’t even give us a taste of Kenny and Armando!
90 Day Notes
• “I think this is white people shit.” I love Bini’s sisters so much.
• Truly, Ari’s entire plan is so weird and her presenting it as good news is weird!
• I can’t believe they didn’t give us a Kenny and Armando moment.
• Steven and Alina remind me of Olga and Steven from 90 Day Fiancé.