90 Day Fiancé: The Other Way
Well, they finally forced us to watch an episode without Kenny and Armando and it wasn’t that bad! Kenny and Armando face issues that 90 Day Fiancé has never explored before and they genuinely love each other. They’ve been an anchor this season, and the issues their relationship addresses, like homophobia abroad, justifies the existence of the entire spinoff. “Forgiven, Not Forgotten” also leaves out Brittany and Yazan’s antics, which gives us a chance to see just how much drama is really packed into this season.
No offense to Jenny and Sumit, Melyza and Tim, Deavan and Jihoon, and Ariela and Biniyam, but… I didn’t know you had talent! Most of these couples are revisiting stories we’ve already seen on 90 Day Fiancé and it’s not hard to imagine how these relationships will end: Jihoon will not change; Tim will not earn Melyza’s trust; Ariela will get jealous; Jenny and Sumit … are Jenny and Sumit. But “Forgiven, Not Forgotten” introduces some new barriers that make all of their dynamics less clear-cut. With more family members appearing this season, every decision someone makes has an even bigger impact. We met Jihoon’s parents last season, but we’re only now seeing their disagreements over Deavan. I never imagined we’d actually see Jenny interact with a member of Sumit’s family, but now there’s a chance she’ll actually talk to his parents. I am more worried about Tim and Melyza’s dad than I am about Tim and Melyza. It also looks like Biniyam’s sisters are going to have a bigger impact on Ariela’s experience than she realized. Family provides enough drama, you don’t need reality-show stakes like Brittany’s secrets to make things interesting.
I love that Jihoon’s mom has become a pretty solid villain this season. Deavan was definitely being overdramatic when she said her life was ruined, but she is in the right! Jihoon sees it. Jihoon’s dad sees it. Everyone realizes Jihoon has not actually changed. If that money was really for Deavan, he would’ve given it to her when she was looking for an apartment. He was selfish and he’s still selfish! He didn’t make sure the apartment Deavan paid for was even nice enough for them. Jihoon and his mom can say he’s changing, but giving Deavan the money his mom had to save for him isn’t real progress. Deavan is a saint for giving him another month, but I think it’s just going to make things worse between her and his mom.
When Jenny and Sumit moved in together and he confirmed his divorce, I figured he had already made his parents aware of his decision. Jenny seems very confident they’re going to get married, but it looks like his parents could still object. Sumit is still in a position where he has to choose between Jenny and his family. It turns out the distance between their homes isn’t about a secret, it’s more an avoidance tactic. Sumit has been putting off this conversation because he knows it puts an end to this limbo period. His brother thinks it’s time to wrap this all up and he’s right. If Sumit gets married, he’ll probably lose his parents. Jenny doesn’t seem to care. She’s pretty dismissive of his culture and his parents’ happiness.
Jenny could learn a thing or two from Tim, who has dedicated so much time to earning Melyza’s parents’ respect only to lose it by cheating on her. His fear over their dinner was palpable, but he deserved every moment of it. It was hilarious watching him avoid Melyza’s mother until he finally had to address the elephant in the room. Melyza is right, Tim is really good at acting guilty and crying and saying he’ll change. What I earlier praised as genuine reflection does seem more like someone just regurgitating the language of accountability without actually taking action. I think Tim knows his stay in Colombia is temporary and only went so he could say he tried. At the same time, I think Melyza knows that’s all this is, too. There’s no way she’s going to marry someone her parents don’t like, and she knows that. Tim really ruined something that could’ve been a beautiful relationship. Melyza’s dad really does seem to love him.
I think Janice has found a way to love Biniyam, too, I just don’t think Janice loves Biniyam for her daughter. Janice seemed truly delighted when she realized Biniyam dances with his ex, because she sees the writing on the wall. I am sure Janice knows exactly how jealous Ariela can get, and Biniyam’s late nights at the club aren’t going to help. Janice keeps saying Ariela is just in love so she’s not thinking about any of this, but it seems more like Ariela is in a daze. She isn’t thinking about the reality of her situation at all. She doesn’t even know how much money Biniyam makes at his job! She had never even considered that his family might be suspicious of her. I think Biniyam’s sisters are going to hold her to some high standards, given their previous experience with Biniyam’s American partners. It’s not fair for Ariela to be compared to his ex, but they’ve seen this before.
I also think it’s troubling that Ariela said she “wouldn’t want to” take the baby and go back to America if things didn’t work with Biniyam, but she obviously knows it’s an option. It seems more like a question of when Ariela will get tired of Biniyam and go back to America than if. What kind of wild romance did these two have that Ariela is so blind to any sort of planning or budgeting? I think Biniyam knows Ariela has high expectations, but I don’t think he realizes he’ll need to make cultural changes to be the kind of father Ariela expects him to be. She might think she’s supporting his dream now, but when she realizes dancing all night doesn’t pay the rent, it’s going to be a different story. That butt drum move was pretty cool, though.