Love Is Blind
When people talk about peak TV, this is what they mean, right? I’m a natural cynic (check my Bachelor recaps for proof), but this is definitely the best season of Love Is Blind yet. We just left the honeymoons, and we already have one solid couple to root for, one guy attempting to get back with his second choice, and one love triangle/square/whatever shape is made when Irina likes Paul, but he’d prefer it if she took a one-way flight back to Mexico. You’d think by season four of this show, the formula would be tired, but Netflix keeps finding new and inventive ways to punish single people.
In classic Love Is Blind fashion, we start with Nick and Vanessa Lachey telling a bunch of people we’ll never see again that they’re about to meet the loves of their lives before beginning the free-for-all that is pod dating. There’s someone who clearly wears too much leopard print for his own good. Another guy (or maybe the same one?) keeps trying to sus out what the women look like, à la Shake. Yet another random keeps joking that he’s a homeless stripper—oh wait, that’s Zack! With a massive, five-episode first drop, there’s a lot to unpack, so let’s break down our pod couples/throuples before they set sail on their honeymoons:
Marshall/Jackelina: Jackelina (“Jackie”) is straight out of the Love Is Blind textbook — she says exactly what’s on her mind and fully embraces having 12 boyfriends at once. Marshall dresses well, has piercing eyes, and is bad at math, which is his trauma. They agree they don’t want to raise their kids too strictly. When they have their reveal, Marshall’s heart eyes basically pop out of his head cartoon-style, and he literally dances away out of happiness. Honestly, they’re really cute, and I’m scared by the preview! (And yes, I could have included Josh in here, but to quote the great Yolanda Hadid, who is Josh in this world? The man got 0.5 confessionals and revealed himself to be someone who backs down from conflict quite easily.)
Paul/Micah/Amber: Here we are, our first love triangle that goes on for far too long. Paul the Third — who my roommate has lovingly nicknamed P3 — is a nerdy environmental scientist who uses the privacy of the pods to be shockingly flirty. Wrapped up in his orbit is flight attendant Amber, who’s been married twice before, and Micah, who presumably has a job but doesn’t talk about it. When Amber reveals she’s a flight attendant, P3 says, “Pretty obvious connection there.” … Am I stupid? What’s the connection??
Micah immediately wants P3 to cut off his other connection with Amber, which is ridiculous because she’s still out here saying “I love you” to Kwame. When Paul and Micah do decide only to date each other, he’s so upset that he literally cannot get the words out to break up with Amber; meanwhile, Micah rages about why their conversation is taking longer than 0.2 seconds and why Kwame didn’t react to her breaking up with him even though, again, she broke up with him. Whatever. Paul and Micah’s reveal is cute, and they appear to actually like each other somewhat. But I can absolutely see P3 saying no at the altar. He likes her enough not to break up with her, but they don’t seem to have the magical/soulmate/mind-bending connection that Tiffany and Brett do. (Then again, who does??)
Kwame/Chelsea/Micah: Okay, friends, let’s be real. Kwame just likes validation, right? He basically forgot Chelsea’s name until after Micah broke up with him. Chelsea — who we know very little about besides the fact that she has at least 21 pairs of shoes and makes breathy sex noises when Kwame talks to her — is full-on obsessed with former soccer player Kwame, but he won’t stop making googly eyes at Micah through the wall. When they break up, Kwame cries for at least ten minutes and nearly gets into it with Paul, but then suddenly, it’s all Chelsea, all the time! He writes her a song whose sole lyric appears to be “I just want that real thing,” and she sobs. At least at their reveal, Chelsea appears to find the “spiritual connection with her husband’s body” or whatever it is she’s looking for. She literally kicks her feet out of sheer horniness.
Brett/Tiffany: Aaahhh, Brett and Tiffany. They’re a breath of fresh air in all this mess. Tiffany’s a go-getter and is worried that men will judge her based on her ripe old age (36) when she actually has the complexion and joyful spirit of a 22-year-old. Brett is so chiseled and mature that it should be a federal crime that he didn’t find a wife before the pods. He’s had a lot of life experience — he lost his older brother to a car accident and went from his power and water getting cut off when he was a kid to becoming a director at Nike. Tiffany’s very inspired by all this, and the little sneaker he gives her. Their reveal is adorable and perfect and horny and everything you could have ever asked for. I predict they will make our first Love Is Baby.
But: We have to talk about Tiffany Falling. Asleep. At the Wheel. THIS IS A LOVE IS BLIND FIRST (!!!!!!) — which is shocking, considering the caliber of people they’ve had on this series. As a sleepy girl myself, I don’t blame Tiffany; I blame that giant half-drunk bottle of tequila sitting next to her. Chelsea and April come to wake her up like they’re 16 and need to get her out of their parents’ house before they notice she’s blacked out. Brett, understandably, is kinda pissed, but pretty much gets over it the second she apologizes. Love is real.
Zack/Irina/Bliss: I fear for Zack on this show. He’s been through a lot — he initially tests the women by telling them he’s a stripper because, in actuality, his mom, who passed away, was a stripper. But what he needs is therapy, not the promise of some idealized woman who he thinks will fix him. Because of this, it’s ironic he’s choosing between Bliss, who appears to have all of her shit together, and Irina, whose backstory is that she used to have acne. Ultimately, he chooses Irina because he can trust her and Zack … literally, what gave you that indication?? Bliss makes you cupcakes, apologizes for her pettiness (which was minimal), and reads you a poem, and instead, you propose to the girl who literally forgot your birthday? And side note: Zack proposes via original song. What is the deal with songs/poetry this season? If you’re not a musician or a poet, just stay away. You’ll only come off like the guy who whips out a guitar to sing “Wonderwall” at a bonfire. Their reveal is noticeably awkward, with Irina dodging Zack’s kiss and saying he looks like a cartoon character (she’s not wrong). We’ve all seen enough of this show to know what’s happening here.
We have to talk about Irina, who’s 26 going on 16. Is she Love Is Blind’s first Mean Girl? Obviously, we’ve had other female villains on this show before (cough cough, Shaina), but none with such a prominent ally as Micah. They create a noticeable divide between the girls. They keep napping under that damn pink fluffy blanket, only waking to make fun of the other women crying or discuss how in love with them their men are in an extreme vocal fry. Their nature is most evident when Jackie is crying on the couch because she’s torn between Josh and Marshall, and Irina and Micah make the eyes above her head. Any woman who has ever walked the planet Earth knows what that look means. You don’t want to be on the other side of it. Here is a non-exhaustive list of actively insane things Irina has done in the first five episodes alone:
- Spies on Amber
- Asks Bliss for a candle
- Asks Bliss if she’s sabotaging her love life
- Compliments Amber’s flowers from Paul, then calls her a loser
- Flirts with her best friend’s fiancé in front of said best friend
- Touches Zack behind closed doors but not on camera (allegedly)
- Suggests the name “Gideon” for her and Zack’s potential child
But … is Irina what Love Is Blind has been missing? Last season, all the girls pretty much sided with each other, even when certain contestants (cough cough Zanab, cough cough Nancy) were actively making toxic decisions. Finally, we have someone who’ll just unapologetically stir the pot. I hate to say it, but she understood the assignment.
Time for honeymoons! All the couples are pretty much in engaged bliss except for Irina and Zack (and, ironically, Bliss herself), because Irina just squeals every time Zack attempts to make eye contact with her. Chelsea and Kwame appear to be glued to the bedroom. At one point, Marshall asks Jackie if she’d like to wait for marriage to have sex, and she responds with, “Why would I do that?” I love her. The only drama happens when Jackie breaks down about her responsibilities at home, and Marshall comforts her by hugging her, giving her space, and generally respecting her boundaries. Maturity … level-headedness … love languages … I’m not used to seeing this from Love Is Blind!!!
Thank God for these group parties — nothing like seeing a girl you previously proposed to and an open bar to really kick things off. Micah and Kwame have a mature conversation where they wish each other the best. Then, 12 tequila shots later, Micah makes a joke about a failed proposal, and suddenly it’s not looking like she wishes him the best! He confronts her, and they have the kind of drunken conversation that goes on for far too long, and everyone’s talking in circles. Once she apologizes, Micah starts reiterating how much she liked him in the pods. Kwame’s staring at her like she’s the only woman in the universe. He literally starts playing with her fingers. They’re basically having sex with their eyes. Micah reiterates how no matter what happens, she’ll be here, and is she basically saying she’s Kwame’s backup?? Girl, you can’t think that’s kosher. The cardinal rule of Love Is Blind is that you can fall in love with as many people as you want, but that all stops once you propose to each other from behind a wall using someone else’s ring!! Chelsea is understandably pissed. Jackie says she would behead Kwame (God, I love her). Back at the hotel, Chelsea tells Kwame that they’re engaged now, so cool it with the flirting. He seems to get the message.
Marshall and Jackie have a date in the pool, where she reveals her take on the other contestants, which is that Brett and Tiffany = perfect, Zack is a “weirdo” and Irina’s a “peasant.” People are afraid to hear the truth! Micah and Paul have a date at a cenote and appear to be getting closer. Chelsea and Kwame heal their relationship at a “traditional” cacao ceremony. All is well in the Love Is Blind universe, so it’s time for another party!
At the party, everything you’d expect to happen happens. Kwame and Chelsea do everything they can to show they’re actually in love. Micah and Irina (who Jackie labels “frick and frack”) separate themselves from the rest of the group to shit-talk. Zack questions if Irina actually likes him (she doesn’t). Chelsea and Micah sit down to talk about Kwame, which is interrupted by a thunderstorm. We didn’t really need to see that anyway — we know they both wish the other dead.
It’s time to talk about Zack and Irina. They’ve had thinly-veiled hatred for each other since arriving in Mexico and cannot keep up this charade anymore. Irina says they shouldn’t sit together on the plane ride back to Seattle tomorrow, and Zack says this whole free vacation thing has been just horrible. (Does he need someone to take his place …?) The conversation then devolves into Zack and Irina both trying to win the breakup: She says she likes Paul because they had one conversation about Russian food, and he theorizes about her need for control in a relationship (a theory which she politely declines to hear). Once that brief power struggle is over, they brush their teeth and actually start bro-ing out?? He jokes about how she’s a home-wrecker who likes her best friend’s fiancé, and she makes a quip about how he made the wrong choice with Bliss. They’re clearly so much better as friends. Selfishly, I’m sad we’ll probably see less of Irina after this breakup. She brings a certain mischievous elf energy that I’ll miss. We end on a cliffhanger of Zack trying to get Bliss back. I have one word for Bliss: Run.
See you next week to witness the breakdown of Micah and Irina’s friendship!
Raise a Gold Cup To:
• P3 says his old type was “witchy” women. Women … plural?? Where the hell does he find so many witches? Salem?
• Jackie has some mean-girl snipes too! At the after-party, she says she wouldn’t trust Zack as her lawyer, and says that if Micah wanted Chelsea’s man, she could have him. But TBH, she’s funnier about it than Irina, so I forgive her.
• I’m sorry, but the bathing suit Brett picks out for Tiffany is the ugliest swimsuit I’ve ever seen. Women really can’t have it all.
• Ralphie > Chelsea’s shredded baby blanket.
• I’ve created an official power ranking of the lyrics to Zack’s original song:
- I found myself a Blarney Stone
- The bluest guy the blues had found
- As we laid in the pods
- I was aching breaking down
- Irina, you take my blues away
- My heart, you would steal
- Irina, you take my blues away (x2)
- You found me all alone
- I knew it was real
- I love you forever and ever and ever, I do
• Netflix plays the most obvious, Selling Sunset–ass music during this show. While Chelsea and Kwame are fighting, the lyrics are literally, “I will fight.” When they’re making up at the cacao ceremony, the lyrics are, “We’ll make it through.” You can’t make this stuff up.