Let’s be real, Happily Ever After? is absolutely the trashiest spin-off within the 90 Day franchise. I laid it out in my guide to the series: You can make the argument that most of the 90 Day Fiancé universe has an educational, documentary-like aspect, but Happily Ever After is for those of us who want the drama. Plus we all know the couples that are truly “happily ever after” are all on Pillow Talk. (Getting paid to sit back and watch 90 Day Fiancé while talking shit is the gated community of 90 Day spin-offs.) If that’s not an option, the happiest of couples just leave the series and live their happy lives.
Happily Ever After? fans are the bottom feeders (Happy Pride Month!) of the 90 Day Universe: We are here to gobble up the trash, the fights, the adultery and whatever else. This is the spin-off that gave us the Family Chantal’s infamous dinner fight and Jay cheating on his wife by sleeping with women in a barbershop bathroom! There are few things to learn from these moments. They are just perfect, hard-to-watch morsels of reality-TV goodness. You either have a taste for it or you don’t. Season six has been a slow build, but “Troubled Waters” finally gives us what we’ve been craving.
Is it as good as the Family Chantal’s best moments? Well, not exactly. The episode mostly hinges on the Family Libby, with TLC hyping their “boat fight” all week. There are no winners among Andrei, Libby, and her family. No one is rooting for any of them. Chuck’s boat speech about family and “why they do what they do” seemed like a lazy set-up for a spin-off no one will watch. They’re also all such bad actors that the escalations are clearly formulated for reality TV. And anyway, the more interesting part of their story is Andrei’s manipulation of his visa status to maintain his job!
You can’t have sympathy for Andrei or Libby when every talking head interview Andrei does is just him going, “Chuck is a big idiot, I will lie to him and… what is this word? Manipulate him? To get what I want.” Chuck looked like he would do anything to keep his daughter and granddaughter in America. Libby’s siblings haven’t been told this is why Chuck gave Andrei a job, and it’s only going to strengthen their arguments against Andrei. Andrei thinks he’s being clever, but he’s not. Chuck and Charlie also think they’re clever. They’re not.
Ronald is the other know-it-all asshole featured in this episode. Tiffany’s father agrees to sponsor Ronald, even though Tiffany lies to him. Tiffany may have told him the truth about Ronald’s record, but when he asks if their relationship is stable, she just sips her drink. She isn’t telling him she’s talked to divorce attorneys. That would probably be a bigger red flag to her dad than anything else. Does it really matter, though? Will Ronald pass his interview when he can’t even take a chat with his lawyer seriously? The way Ronald acts, I don’t think he even wants to come to America.
Outside of the Family Libby and Ronald/Tiffany, “Troubled Waters” maintains its five-star status. Natalie finally throws the temper tantrum we’ve been waiting for and it’s perfect. Apparently, Mike’s mom said the word “hooker” to Natalie. To be clear, Natalie at first says, “Why your mom call me hooker?” Then she starts to say, “Why did your mom say the word ‘hooker’ to me?”
What’s important here is context. Before this outburst, Mike walks into the kitchen and Natalie asks him to leave because it’s too packed. Mike gives her a hug and Natalie starts repeating, “Don’t touch my pussy while I’m cooking, I think it’s dirty.” Trish is clearly shocked but plays along with Natalie and tells Mike to stop. But, like, even the dog looks shocked. It’s clearly a translation issue. Natalie probably doesn’t realize you shouldn’t say “pussy” around mother-in-laws of a certain age. After this, there’s a cut to Mike starting the grill, and then we come back to the Hooker Accusation. I think it’s more likely Trish made a joke referring to hookers and Mike thinking he can just touch her pussy while she’s cooking and Natalie misunderstood.
Does Natalie take the chance to clear this up? No, she’s not a human who communicates with words. She lets her reptilian instincts take over and begins an onslaught of passive-aggressive remarks, silent treatment, and weird giggles. The tension is so hard and wonderful to watch. Trish does her best, but quickly gets tired of being ignored. Mike does nothing, because he’s Mike. Trish’s roommate Ron provides the outsider perspective we all need. Mike and Natalie may not be interesting anymore, but the family dynamic forced on Happily Ever After? gives us something.
90 Day Notes
• Asuelu said “eat some pussycat” on national TV. This is why we watch. I’m glad he’s okay!
• When Tiffany said “It’s literally in your hands,” I have never seen a woman, a mother, a wife, a daughter, so tired. I really don’t think Ronald is going to pass this interview, but I wish Tiffany would be more honest about their relationship being on thin ice.
• The only thing Mike loves more than describing a Thanksgiving menu is building a woodpile.
• No, really, Libby, stop crying! Libby manipulates her dad with tears just as much as Andrei uses his whole visa story.
• I’m glad Julia got her Green Card! I still can’t think of anything Brandon’s parents could do at a birthday party that would be interesting enough for them to get mad about it, though. Julia is definitely overreacting.
• We get a brief scene with Yara standing her ground against Jovi and his mom. They keep trying to tell her it’ll be so easy for her to raise a kid alone in a new country! They don’t get to define her experience!! She doesn’t know anyone here!
• Someone finally tells Angie no! She really looked shocked that a doctor would not do dangerous surgery just because she wants it!