I wanted to spend this recap overjoyed that we finally got to catch up with Kenny and Armando, but I can’t even focus on their chaotic wedding planning. “Testing Trust” is Ari’s villain-origin story, and it sets up the stakes for an incredible season. As Biniyam’s sisters said, Ari bringing her ex-husband of ten years to Ethiopia is “white people shit.” When we get the backstory of Ari and Leandro, it’s even worse: No culture on earth would be okay with what Ari is doing here.
Ari can’t stop beaming and acting all giddy at the thought of going to pick Leandro up from the airport! Then we find out that they never really even broke up; they drifted apart and always thought they’d get back together until Bini got Ari pregnant. The timeline is questionable and makes the entire visit uncomfortable. It also doesn’t help that Ari is wearing dresses, getting her nails done, and not wearing her ring. She absolutely still loves her ex-husband. It’s obvious Ari has never really been into Biniyam but has just done her best to make it work for their kid. She doesn’t take his job, passions, or religion seriously.
Biniyam is terrified that Ari will run away with his kid like his first wife did, and I think he has every reason to worry. Ari’s remarks that Leandro “could’ve had a kid like Avi” is weird. Leandro seems too eager to play stepdaddy. Biniyam doesn’t deserve to go through any of this!
Ari is absolutely the most aggravating person to watch this season, but Evelin is a close second. Evelin has repeatedly told her family and Corey that she doesn’t believe in marriage. She’s constantly reminding Corey their relationship is unstable, and they’ve both slept with other people. So, I do not understand her sudden desire to spend $26–50,000 on a wedding. Corey was absolutely shocked (and hilarious when he said anyone could throw a great wedding at that price).
Since these two came on the show, it’s been pretty obvious Evelin uses Corey for money. It hasn’t been a plot point recently, but viewers should remember that Corey sent tons of money to Evelin to open their bar, and she used him to buy gifts and clothes for her family. I think this expensive wedding is a scam on her part to get Corey to pay as many of her friends and family to put the wedding together as possible. Corey would be happy with a $5,000 wedding in the woods, which is another example of their differences. I’d also bet money is tight for Corey after his father passed away, something Evelin hasn’t been particularly sympathetic about so far.
Also, just because I think Evelin is this season’s second-best villain, I researched her claim that the groom pays for everything in Ecuador. According to Culture Shock! Ecuador: A Survival Guide to Customs and Etiquette, this is basically true: The groom pays for the ceremony, rings, and honeymoon, but the bride’s family is expected to pay for the dinner, flowers, cake, and wedding mementos. It certainly doesn’t seem like Corey should expect to pay for every damn thing.
I’d bet that Kenny and Armando’s wedding will be far more successful. First of all, these two actually love each other. Kenny’s concerns over the homophobia they might face while planning the wedding are fair, but Armando just seems so excited he can’t really see Kenny’s concerns. Kenny is also clearly super homesick, but it’s not like Armando has it easy. He had to leave his family, and his father still doesn’t even know he’s engaged. These two deserve nothing but happiness (Kenny is finally learning Spanish!), but they’ve just been handed very difficult circumstances. Armando and Hannah just seem so ready to start their life with Kenny, but it’s hard to tell if Kenny is still on the same page.
This week we also found out more details about the secret Steven is keeping from Alina. Alina says that Steven asked if he could date other women while they’re together but separated. Of course, I know not all Mormons practice polygamy, but … this is TLC, home of the show Sister Wives. Do I think TLC would go out of its way to find a Mormon polygamist who fell in love overseas? Possibly. There could also be more details to the story that Alina left out, or she misunderstood him. Still, I’m excited to find out whatever Steven has to reveal if there’s more to it than lying about his virginity. It’s just … why would he be so interested in dating other women if he’s waiting until marriage and has already had sex?
Ellie finally told her friends that she’s selling everything and moving to be with Victor. They respond appropriately: She’s making a mistake. Victor has cheated on her, and she’ll have nothing to come back home to if this doesn’t work out. She also reveals that Victor has a bit of a violent past with his ex-girlfriend. She really doesn’t know enough about him to know how he’ll react when things get tough living together full-time.
As we’ve seen with The Other Way’s resident couple, Sumit and Jenny, things change when you’re actually together in person. Ellie is still in the honeymoon phase, but Jenny is a pretty good look at her future. Sumit has Jenny out here looking absolutely stupid. Jenny’s visa is still up in the air, and her only option now is to use some religious loophole she doesn’t even believe. If Sumit would just marry Jenny like he promised, she wouldn’t have to go through all of this. His lawyer already told him there’s nothing his parents can do to stop them from getting married, so he’s just being a coward and a liar. We’ve never seen Jenny get this mad, but she’s going along with this new plan, so I guess she isn’t totally fed up with him.
90 Day Notes
• Ellie … please stop giving that man money and just live your pizza dreams. You are ignoring all the red flags. Also, the passive way of bringing up an issue by saying you had a dream about it?! You aren’t in high school, be direct!
• Steven’s two-apartment thing is understandably annoying. They could get one apartment with two rooms. It’s not like he can’t control himself.
• Has anyone had a transformation like Bini? When we first met him, it really seemed like he had to prove himself, and now he is the most sympathetic character in 90 Day history. I really think Ari is bringing her ex-husband around to teach him some kind of lesson. Ari smiling while her ex held her baby was also weird! Also, getting Ari bras was weird; there’s no way she can’t get a bra ordered online or have her mom send some over. Ari is sitting in BINI’S living room crying over her EX-HUSBAND, call the authorities!