Before we get into anything else, we have to address the most surprising revelation in this episode: Jenny said she took Sumit’s virginity. When Jenny said Sumit’s parents would need a sound reason to object to their marriage, she says taking his virginity isn’t a crime. This is only surprising because, as viewers know, Sumit was married when he met Jenny. This means he’s either been seeing Jenny since before he was married or he was in a sexless marriage. I wish we could see into their relationship history more because their dynamic is interesting.
They both act as though they’re not bothered by the way people judge their relationship, but I think Sumit is hiding how he feels. Jenny is used to it and doesn’t mind that Sumit’s friends’ wives didn’t show up, but how does Sumit feel about this challenge? I think Jenny is right to worry that he could go back to his parents. Even if he isn’t lying about the divorce, I don’t think he’s being realistic about how hard it will be for Jenny to live in India without friends or family. It’s great that they have each other and they genuinely love each other, but I don’t think that will be enough for them to start a new life together.
There’s one foolproof way to determine if a 90 Day Fiancé couple is actually in love: their relationship title card. This is the most informative part of the 90 Day Fiancé experience. Typically, every couple makes two of these: one where they’re happy together and smiling, and one for when they’re arguing and upset with each other. As the episode moves from couple to couple, you know if you’re going to see a couple fight or not based on which title card is used to introduce them. You can also tell when a couple is genuinely sick of each other because they really let out the eye rolls and contempt in their “angry” title card. You can also tell which couples aren’t really in love by their incredibly fake and staged title cards. Take a look at Brittany and Yazan’s. She’s posing hard, and he just seems uncomfortable. There’s no shared, loving glance or handholding. After last week’s explosion between Brittany and his family, Yazan finally shows Brittany some affection and comforts her, but there’s still a disconnect between the two of them. Brittany doesn’t realize that Yazan is happy to follow his parents’ rules. Yazan still believes she was being insolent, and rose petals aren’t going to make Brittany change her mind and convert. They might have forgiven each other, but this is just another moment of calm before another inevitable storm.
Compare that to Kenny and Armando’s title card. Kenny is finally in Mexico, and they look like their faces are about to burst from smiling. As much as I’ve been rooting for Kenny and Armando, I think I gave Kenny too much credit. I thought outside factors would be the biggest issue this couple would have to deal with, but Kenny’s culture shock is a bit too ignorant for me. The man knew he was moving to Mexico and didn’t learn basic Spanish? It felt like Kenny and Armando prepared for everything, but Kenny couldn’t even pick up a few conversational phrases for ordering in a restaurant? He’s also being a bit judgmental about the conditions of the new city in which they live. To his credit, Armando isn’t putting up with it, and I love that. He’s the younger person in the relationship, but he doesn’t let Kenny intimidate him. He has no problem telling Kenny that he just has to adjust and learn Spanish.
We also meet Melyza this episode, and I’m not worried about Tim steamrolling her either. Melyza and her mom aren’t playing any games, and I don’t think they’ll have much patience for Tim if he doesn’t get with the program quickly. Her mom doesn’t even want to go to the airport to greet him. Seeing the relationship from Melyza’s point of view was sweet, though. Before Tim cheated, it seems like things were going well. It doesn’t seem like Tim cheated because of the distance, since she was moving to America when it happened, so it must be something else. I wonder if it was just his ego or if there’s something off about their dynamic that made him want to blow everything up.
And then there’s Jihoon, who blew up his relationship with Deavan and his parents. It’s sad that Jihoon’s mother would tell him to convince Deavan to accept his lies, but she could lose her grandchild. There are consequences at stake that Jihoon hasn’t considered, and all he can do is sit around and cry about it. I thought Jihoon’s mom was uncomfortable because she didn’t want to see her son hurt, but it turns out she’s also tired of him being soft and not making an effort to change his situation. Jihoon is almost 30, and his mother still has to keep his money because he can’t be trusted to save it. He’s known he’s needed to change since Deavan was last in Korea, but he refuses to grow up. Hopefully, Jihoon’s parents will be more upset with him than Deavan if she chooses to go back to America.
Overall, “Rude Awakening” doesn’t feature very many rude awakenings. Outside of Kenny’s culture shock, it’s a pretty standard placeholder episode. We already know Jihoon has to change. We already know Brittany made a mistake going to Jordan. We already know Sumit and Jenny are going to have a hard time being accepted. We already know why Tim is going to Colombia. While “Rude Awakening” outlines the season’s most interesting conflicts, it feels like things are just getting started.