90 Day Fiancé
I haven’t been shy about the fact that I absolutely love Jovi and Yara. So obviously, “First Comes Love …” was my favorite episode of the season. We still receive updates on the more problematic couples, but it’s Yara and Jovi who get the spotlight and remind us what 90 Day Fiancé is really all about: transitions. Transitions across the world, transitions in life, and how humans balance that with love, opportunity, and hope. When 90 Day only leans into the exploitative, salacious stories — the Danielle-Mohameds or Big Ed-Roses of the 90 Day Universe — it’s easy to forget that’s not what brings most people to the show.
I mean, it’s also not not a reason people tune in. “First Comes Love …” still gives us the mess that is Stephanie and Harris. There’s something different about how this storyline is being handled compared to previous situations where someone is clearly using a rich American, even as the American is exploiting someone from an impoverished country. Danielle and Mohamed, Big Ed and Rose, Michael and Angela — these couples are interesting to watch because there’s symbiotic manipulation at play. 90 Day deserves criticism for the way it has handled these stories in the past, but unlike most reality shows, 90 Day is one that’s happy to change its format and story quickly.
Even though Harris is absolutely playing Stephanie, his narrative is still treated with empathy. We understand why he’s doing what he’s doing, and it’s also very clear that if it wasn’t Harris, Stephanie would just move on to the next guy willing to take her money. So why not him? After eight seasons and multiple spinoffs, the series has found a way to not only decenter the idea of American exceptionalism but interrogate it. Within the story of this selfish American woman who believes she can buy the relationship she wants is a far more interesting one of a man weighing an opportunity that would change his family’s life.
Mike and Natalie have irritated me all season, but I can’t say I’m shocked they were forced to get married because the clock ran out. These two can’t communicate and that’s what leads to their exchanging vows with only Uncle Beau and Mike’s neighbor in attendance. Maybe marriage will force these two to work on all the issues and problems Mike kept mentioning, but at the end of the day, this just feels like two people who are together because it’s what they’re used to. It also doesn’t hurt that being together gives them a small income from the show, so it benefits them to remain in stasis. There are few transitions left in Mike and Natalie’s story. They’re two people who are who they are, they aren’t going to change and they’re just going to keep having the same problems. Unlike with Jovi, Tarik, or Harris, I’m not wondering if Mike is going to make the choice to give up meat and alcohol to please Natalie. He won’t and he shouldn’t have to. And unlike with Yara, Rebecca, or Amira, I already know Mike isn’t going to give Natalie the happy ending she wants because Natalie has made it clear Mike isn’t the kind of man she wants anyway.
I thought we were done with Amira and Andrew’s story, but “First Comes Love …” provides a perfect summary of everything that was wrong with them. Andrew explains to his mother and sister that he simply doesn’t understand why Amira did what she did, but he accepts it. Of course, they’re incredibly confused because he was literally just talking about having children with this woman. Something feels wrong, and his mom tries to speculate, but Andrew manipulates and lies about the situation. He doesn’t explain that he knows Amira actually had a panic attack because he caused it by sending her a wave of emotionally abusive text messages. He doesn’t explain that he bought her ticket back and gave her an ultimatum. He just plays the victim like he did throughout his relationship with Amira.
To her beautiful French credit, Amira now sees through Andrew’s entire act. She says she never wants to talk to him again, and she’s ready to move on. She knows what she wants, and it’s not a life in America with a man who wants to control her, it’s real love. I genuinely hope she finds it with the most amazing hot French guy at the baguette store and they live happily ever after. Maybe Andrew’s mom and sister can come to the wedding once they see this season’s footage and realize Andrew is a jerk.
Yeah, I absolutely saved the best for last: Jovi and Yara. I’m not even sure where to begin. Their Elvis wedding? Jovi giving his newborn daughter skin-to-skin contact? Yara going crawfishing while seven months pregnant in full makeup and a killer outfit? Jovi’s mom fully embracing her new daughter-in-law and granddaughter? Yara calling Jovi a “drunk daddy”? Watching this couple go from their wedding day, through COVID-19, to Mylah’s birth is special, hilarious, and heartwarming. Over this season, we watched Yara, this beautiful ice queen, transform from someone who wouldn’t even spend the night at Jovi’s mom’s house into someone who can go New Orleans crawfishing with the best of them.
Watching Yara as a new mom cry over Mylah’s first time in a car seat just shows how she’s grown with all of these changes in her life. Yara never struck me as the kind of girl who would bake Jovi a cake, but you could tell she really missed him when he was gone. It also helps that Jovi … kind of gets his act together. Yes, he stays out late drinking the night Yara goes into labor, but he remembered to get a push gift and said all the right things through the delivery. Of course, parenthood is going to present a new set of challenges, but these two at least seem willing to adapt and grow together.
90 Day Notes
• This is the season finale! We won’t be covering the two Tell Alls, but Happily Ever After returns on April 25th. You never have to go too long without new episodes from the 90 Day Fiancé universe.
• If you don’t like Yara and Jovi, this probably wasn’t a great episode for you. I don’t care. I love them. I could watch Yara scold Jovi all day.
• Jovi getting his driver’s license could probably provide a season’s worth of stories.
• Andrew is the worst kind of whiny manipulator, and it’ll be interesting to see if his family is in the Tell All. They clearly don’t see who he really is.
• Obviously, Harris isn’t a brilliant schemer if he’s letting the show film him kissing his baby mama. I don’t think he realizes just how controlling Stephanie is yet, and I hope he figures it out before he moves to Michigan to live with that woman and her cat.
• Okay, I had a real problem with the Elvis at Yara and Jovi’s wedding walking her down the aisle. Yara was clearly ready to do a stellar solo catwalk — all eyes on her — and I feel like he ruined her moment. She looked gorgeous.