After the chaos that was last week’s episode, I should feel good about all the positivity in “Written In The Stars.” Nearly every couple has a joyous reunion, but it all rings kind of hollow. Everything might seem great right now, but none of these people have fundamentally changed who they are or what they want. Like Alina being temporarily distracted by Steven’s proposal, everyone is losing focus on their real problems in favor of shiny, feel-good moments.
Not that I can blame them; most of these moments feel so good. Do you know how long we’ve waited to see Sumit’s family embrace Jenny? They’ve been together for years, and it seemed like this moment would never come. Like Jenny, I thought this astrologer would side with Sumit’s parents and say rude things to her. Instead, he makes Sumit’s mom cry! Sumit is absolutely shocked that the astrologer is basically saying his parents need to go back home and leave them alone.
And, well, if it seems like Sumit’s parents accept this too easily, it’s because they actually still hate Jenny. As soon as Sumit’s mom is interviewed, she explains that the astrologer told her Sumit would stay with Jenny if she kept trying to break them up. She still doesn’t think they’ll get married, but she knows she can’t be an enemy that allows them to unite against her. Honestly, it’s a smart move, and it works because it makes Jenny happy and Sumit was not expecting it! He has used his parents as an excuse to avoid marriage for years now. Jenny is ready to get married tomorrow, and Sumit has to find a new reason to tell her no. Jenny might’ve been willing to understand his parents’ hesitation, but I don’t think she’ll put up with this from Sumit. It’s a temporary solution.
Alina, to her credit, does call Steven out on his proposal timeline this week. Even though he proposed, he hasn’t taken any of the steps for them to get married in Turkey. Steven says he is ready for marriage but moves the goalpost: Now the problem is that he’s suddenly worried she won’t convert to Mormonism. That wasn’t a concern when he gave her a personal copy of the Book of Mormon last week. That wasn’t an issue when he was talking about converting her mother. Why Steven has suddenly brought this up seems like an attempt to run out the clock on their visas. If Steven and Alina go back to their separate countries without getting married, I think that’ll be the end of their relationship. If Alina is around her real friends instead of cats, she might get some better advice on the situation.
Corey takes a page from the Steve playbook and proposes to Evelin for … I don’t even know, the fifth time? They’re already married, but Corey has apparently healed their issues with breakfast and back massages, so he asks Evelin to marry him again. The entire thing is awkward, but these two have never had incredible chemistry. It still feels inevitable that some other argument will make them break up again, but for now, they’re riding the same high as everyone else, so let’s let them enjoy it.
The only authentically earned moment of joy in “Written in the Stars” is, of course, with Kenny and Armando. Kenny’s reunion with his grandson is adorable, but everything comes to a beautiful crescendo when Armando’s father comes to their wedding. If Sumit’s family embracing Jenny was out of the blue, Armando’s father attending their wedding was even more unexpected. Because I am human, I sobbed along with Armando when his mom revealed his father was in the car!
This is truly all I’ve ever wanted for Kenny and Armando, and I should be ecstatic for them, but even their happiness feels short-lived. It’s not long before Kenny’s kids are going to hear about their adoption plans and remind us that these two have a lot to figure out after this wedding happens. I don’t think anything could break Kenny and Armando up, so they feel like this season’s only chance for us to really see a couple weather the storms of international marriage.
Because, well, Ari and Bini are definitely not getting married. “Written in the Stars” should be a happy reunion between this couple, but instead it’s awkward and tense. Bini has agreed to Ari’s ultimatum to move to Kenya because of course he has. He has no other choice, and he doesn’t want to lose his family. Bini doesn’t do anything that couldn’t have been solved by Ari coming back to Ethiopia. They’ve dealt with Ari’s insecurities around women from the club texting him before when they both lived in the same country. They’ve dealt with Bini being in the studio too much. These are all things that he’d addressed at the beginning of this season. He explains that he wouldn’t answer the phone when Ari called because she would berate him, which we saw.
Ari says she saw photos of him with random women and men in their house, but do you really think he was cheating if their iClouds are synced? With cameras on him when he knows his kid is on the line? No! Ari even admits during their incredibly odd translator-assisted conversation that it isn’t even about adultery, and even if Bini didn’t cheat, he still messed up. If Ari didn’t want Bini’s friends in their house, she should’ve gone back home. I’m sure they would’ve stopped coming around. She wants Bini to apologize for the specific things he’s done, but she also isn’t willing to take his word about what he’s done. She’s treating Bini like a stranger, and he has no clue why she’s being so distant. She says she wants Bini to be honest and direct but barely gives him a chance to speak.
Ari acts like Bini has changed, but she’s the one that changed. The truth is that Ari isn’t in love with Bini anymore. She has to find drama in the situation because it must hurt to tear your family apart because your heart just isn’t in it anymore. Bini knows he doesn’t need a translator, and Ari insisting that they use one is her trying to put distance between herself and their feelings. If she can pin the blame on Bini and accuse him of cheating, it makes the situation easier. Bini seems to know it’s all beyond his control. There’s nothing he can say or do to convince her because the spark is just gone. It was probably gone when she invited her ex-husband to stay with them — so maybe she shouldn’t have run back to America when their relationship was already on thin ice — but either way, both of them have been playing passive-aggressive mind games. Play stupid games; win stupid prizes.
90 Day Notes
• It was hilarious when the astrologer was just like, “Jenny, you’re just gonna have to get used to diarrhea.” They are really trying to toughen up that girl’s digestive system.
• I honestly can’t remember if Corey told Evelin he reconnected with his ex-girlfriend recently or not. I just can’t care about them!
• Bini and Ari’s translator was just sitting there like, “Damn, y’all really paid me to sit here and get a front-row seat to the drama.” She wasn’t even doing her job at a certain point.
• They are really dragging out Kenny and Armando’s wedding! It’s like two days away, and it feels like we won’t see it for another two episodes. I am ready to sob at this wedding! Give me Hannah as a flower girl!