Love Is Blind Recap: Speed Dating

Love Is Blind

Week 2 (Episodes 6-8)
Season 4 Episode 2
Editor’s Rating 4 stars

Love Is Blind

Week 2 (Episodes 6-8)
Season 4 Episode 2
Editor’s Rating 4 stars

As Nick and Vanessa Lachey tell us while perching atop the Space Needle, the honeymoon phase is over for our delightful pod people. The couples are back in the real world, which means the charm of speaking with a mystery man behind a wall is gone, replaced by unsupportive families, work stress, and quarrels about cleaning. Typically, these episodes are a low point of the season for me (who really cares if he gets water on the floor, Tiffany?), but these couples seem more malleable than ever. The pods are over, but the contestants are still speed-dating. They’re like those mix-and-match bikinis in old teen magazines — if one option doesn’t work, open the door to your right!!!

We pick up right where we left off with Bliss masking her thinly veiled hatred for Zack in a half-empty suburban restaurant. After he explains why Irina sucked in every way possible, Bliss hits him with a “Yeah, I could have told you all that.” They leave things pretty open-ended, but an episode and a half later, they’re all couple-y, cooking dinner together and making jokes about the food! Then, 20 minutes later, they’re getting engaged on a boat in below-freezing weather!! WHAT IS THE RUSH HERE?? Is Chris Coelen threatening to withhold wedding funds if they don’t catch up to everyone else? They’ve had exactly 1.5 dates since their breakup — Zack, what makes you think Bliss wanted her engagement to consist of getting frostbite while some guy named Tobias tells them time is running out on the boat rental? Zack is the perfect example of Miranda’s cab-light theory in Sex and the City: He’s ready to get married; therefore, Bliss is the One. She’s mature, wants babies, and doesn’t overtly hate his eyesore of an owl painting, so why would he keep looking? At one point, he says this to P3, and I would despise hearing this analytical reasoning if I was Bliss. Who wants to hear you’re just a woman-shaped person who happened to be standing there at the right time? Frankly, he and Paul appear to share a better connection.

Perhaps the better question is why Bliss said yes to this shenanigan at all. She appears to have her own reservations about their quickie engagement and seems contractually obligated to bring up Irina during every single one of their conversations because, yeah, it’s hard to forget that you were chosen second to a particular rambunctious trickster god. Her only explanation is that old adage “When you know, you know,” which is advice I usually apply to the decision to order a quesadilla from Chipotle once a week, not selecting my life partner. They move into what would have been Zack and Irina’s apartment and bicker some more. I can’t see this ending well.

Speaking of people who dwell at the bottom of cursed wells, Irina’s back! But only for the Micah-vs.-Irina showdown, one night and one night only. Micah’s pissed because Irina’s off-camera comments made her doubt Paul. Irina’s pissed because Paul didn’t enjoy her leg-touching enough to make this thing a love pentagon, or whatever. She comes in and says, “Hi, you crazy bitch!” because she knows she has to deflect. It doesn’t work. Micah verbally bitch-slaps her, reminding her that she was Irina’s only friend throughout this whole thing. Micah’s calm voice makes this all the scarier because that means this conversation actually means nothing, and mentally she’s already dropped Irina. When Irina admits she was being sneaky, Micah just hammers home that P3 is Not. Interested. That knife collection? All hers, baby! Micah clearly graduated with honors from the Academy of Mean Girlery, while Irina switched majors halfway through the intro class and was never heard from again. She was out Mean Girl–ed.

On the relationship front, Micah and Paul have surprisingly grown closer, playing footsie on the porch, meeting one another’s sweet parents, and finding Paul’s grandfather’s suit stuck in the back of his closet. They both appear to have been diagnosed with Kwame amnesia. Paul and Zack have frequent conversations about how to make Micah feel appreciated. Side note: Why is Zack always lecturing Paul? What does Zack know about making a woman feel special? Last time I checked, he was telling his girlfriend/fiancée/second placer to toss her comically large visor overboard so he could stick his tongue down her throat!

Micah and Paul do, however, have two ongoing issues that make me doubt their longevity as a couple: Shelby and the Copper State (which is kind of a cool band name). First: P3 did not make a good impression on Micah’s friend Shelby, who appears just to be Micah in a different font. This whole group went to the same back-alley guy for their lip fillers. Shelby is the Grim Reaper for Micah’s relationships, and P3’s no exception: When she starts making tiny snipes at Paul, he says he doesn’t care, which infuriates Micah. PAUL. SHELBY JUST BAITED YOU!!! I thought you were a scientist; how could you fall for it so easily? She’s the dean of Mean Girl Academy; what did you think was happening here?? This all causes a very dramatic moment in which the two women drunkenly hold each other’s heads and cry like they’re in the bathroom at a club. Issue No. 2 crops up when Micah mentions that she’d like to split time between Seattle and her apartment in Arizona, which Paul does not want to do. Why does she have an apartment in Arizona, you may be asking? I have no idea because it’s time to move on to Chelsea and Kwame!

Chelsea still likes Kwame far more than he likes her. This is insane because she appears to be a pretty, normal, dedicated person, and that’s rare for this show. Whenever Chelsea compliments him, he laughs it off and girlishly kicks his feet. He’s STILL infatuated with Micah for whatever reason (a shared love of shockingly white teeth?), so much so that he can’t focus on the good in front of him. In this batch of episodes alone, they bicker about Kwame living in Portland, the timeline for having kids, and how Kwame’s mother can’t support their engagement because of the unusual circumstances. At one point, I think they start bickering about bickering. These are all very real issues that may have been good to discuss in the pods, but Kwame was too busy rolling around on the couch, wallowing about Micah. Kwame keeps talking about how he often compromises too much and doesn’t want to do that here — but dude, Chelsea’s 31 and works a real job; of course she wants to settle down. It’s not her fault you have Peter Pan syndrome.

Brett and Tiffany are a breath of fresh air in the middle of all this mess. I don’t even know what to say about them because they’re just perfect and insanely horny for each other. They make out on their new bed. They make out after meeting Tiffany’s friends, who, of course, are delightful and supportive and defend her sleeping habits. They make out in Brett’s apartment after she sees his hundreds of organized shoe boxes. They’re communicative and mature, working through conversations about money and wedding planning. Brett is a gentleman, offering to get a larger apartment for the two of them and cooking Tiffany a steak dinner while Tiffany expresses her emotions freely and maturely. They’re both good friends to their fellow pod people. I have nothing bad to say about them. MOVING ON!

Finally, Jackie and Marshall have quickly gone from floating happily in a resort pool to Bartise/Shayne/Jessica levels of dysfunction. Everything seemed perfect at first: He cooked her pancakes! She met his family! He accepted her lava lamp, no questions asked! But soon enough, things took a turn when they had an off-camera fight. Marshall is returning with a suitcase, and I’m taken aback because when did we see him leaving the commune? He calls their relationship “bleak” (oof) and says Jackie told him to “boss up” and be a man. (Keep in mind, this is the guy who, for the last seven episodes, Jackie’s been proclaiming is a real man, unlike the guys she’s dated before.) So, what went wrong?

Well, once Marshall enters the house and the two start yelling at each other again, we get our answer. This argument apparently started because Jackie wanted Marshall to be more aggressive in the bedroom, but now Marshall can’t get that manly comment out of his head. In response, Marshall admits that he saw Jackie not as his dream woman but as a “project” with “potential.” Oooooooooof. This is a sucker punch. He clearly wanted to throw out an insult that would stick with Jackie like hers did to him, but since we didn’t actually see Jackie’s comment in the first place, this one hurts. I don’t know if they can come back from this, and frankly, I don’t know if they should. This whole thing is unstable and ready to explode, like one of Paul’s scientific reactions. There’s some fundamental disconnect here that starts from the bedroom but is spilling out onto everything and anything in their relationship. They should both get out before they turn into people we don’t recognize.

This, of course, all comes to a head at a party, which is Love Is Blind’s way of stirring the pot even if Irina isn’t there. I think it’s Chelsea’s birthday, but really it’s just an excuse to get everyone in a room together and shake them down until they admit they’re horny for each other. All the relevant players are here: Josh! Amber! Bliss, who all of them forgot existed! But I have one question: Where the hell is Irina? Does Chelsea hate her so much that she couldn’t even fake the idea of her being invited to her birthday party?

Amber’s presence doesn’t affect Paul (she only affects Micah, who grips Paul’s arm so hard she draws blood), but Josh sure as hell affects everyone in the room. This man … what to say about this man? Now I understand why they never showed Josh in the pods, because I assume much of his material was probably, frankly, unusable. He’s slurring his words all over the place. He calls Brett “B Nasty,” a nickname that would never fit him even if he was the last Brett on earth. At one point, he literally says he’s going to stir the pot!! Now I understand why Irina’s not here: There’s only room for one chaos agent.

Josh starts hitting on Jackie, telling her she should dump her “M.B.A. cry boy” for him. (“M.B.A. Cry Boy” sounds like the title of a Drake song.) Micah and Kwame are somehow flirting again, even though Chelsea’s threatened to utilize Paul’s knife collection if he dares speak to her again. This whole thing is a mess. Somehow, we’re still speed-dating. Who knows where we’ll land?

See you next week to witness a breakup that will indelibly affect Jackie and Marshall forever!!

Raise a Gold Cup To: 

• I thought New York dating was bad, but Seattle certainly seems worse. In this batch of episodes alone, I’ve seen these boys proudly show off a paper-towel holder, lotion and tissues within three feet of one another, and a device that plays Harry Potter music when you walk into a room.

• Speaking of, I support Brett and his $1,200 luggage! He’s a director at Nike, he’s got cash to burn! Treat yourself, Brett!

• These are my favorite post-honeymoon apartments thus far. This is the kind of commune I want my friends and I to move to.

• Was this filmed around Valentine’s Day, or does Chelsea’s apartment always have a little pink shrine that says “Muah”?

• Paul is marrying his mother. Micah’s dad is also named Paul. It’s all very Freudian.

• Micah should be a stylist — the baggy T-shirt–hat combo has elevated P3 from “lovable dork” to “could ruin my life.” Also Marshall looks fabulous in glasses. More accessories for men!

• Why does this show make them have these silly little conversations about wedding planning? We all know producers are really the ones picking out floral arrangements and appetizer options.

• Poor Rocky the dog was like a child of divorce while Chelsea and Kwame fought over his head at the groomers. All he wanted was a bath.

Love Is Blind Recap: Speed Dating