Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Catfish Recap: Big Issues

Hey Everyone!  It's Monday night and the world is filled with desperate cyber lovers.  Let’s see who Nev is going to rescue from a life of solitude tonight, shall we?  He reads an email from Kim, who met her online love, Matt, in a chatroom on AOL ten years ago and they are still talking.  Ten years?  Seriously?  A faceless, bodiless voice stays interesting for TEN YEARS?  I’m pretty sure my limit on liaisons of this type back in my single years was about ten days.  If something didn’t at least attempt to materialize after that there wasn’t any point.  I guess Nev would say that makes me a bad friend.  Let’s skype with Kim and see what’s up.

"True friends wait as long as it takes."

Well, first of all she’s from a small town, which I will admit, probably limits her social options a bit.  But as per usual on this show, Matt has refused to skype or meet in person.  They only talk online or on the phone.  Kim has seen a couple of pictures on Facebook that actually look like a regular person, as opposed to the stolen pictures of an aspiring model.  But Kim is 25 now and not getting any younger.  She adores Matt’s personality and she’s been ready to meet him in person for nine and a half years.  Nev is irresistibly intrigued.  He and Max head straight to the airport.

Kim seems like an all around cute girl, but I have to say that the profile picture she has up is a tad misleading.

Right?  Just a little.

But okay, she’s the one willing to meet in person.  She tells Nev that she really loves Matt and she gets super excited anytime he calls or texts her.  When they were younger she actually thought he was the guy she would marry.  Nev can’t wait to unravel the mystery of Matt’s refusal to skype.  What could it all mean?  But first things first, let’s take a look at Kim’s Facebook profile, shall we?  She lives in Alto, Michigan, she is the manager of the Ice Cream Caboose... and wait.  What’s this?  Her status is “in a relationship.”  She tells Nev that yes, she is in a very serious relationship right now, but she still wants to meet Matt to see if she prefers him to this other guy.  And this other guy knows about Matt and “just wants Kim to be happy.”  Uh, okay.  Something isn’t quite adding up on Kim’s end.  Her boyfriend is okay with all of this?  What’s HIS deal?  But on to Matt’s Facebook page!  The pictures he has up are literally his high school pictures.

"No one will notice I'm 14 here..."

Kim says that’s Matt when she first met him, but there’s nothing current to see.  Nev is completely bewildered.  Honestly this isn’t that big of a mystery.  Matt is obviously not happy with the way he looks for some reason.  The question is whether his appearance will be a deal breaker.  I mean, has he acquired a hunchback or grown an arm out of his forehead?  Has he been badly mangled in a car accident?  Quadriplegic?  And if so, why wouldn’t he say as much?  These things would not be his own fault.  Nev suggests calling Matt here and now just to see what he says.

Kim calls and asks Matt what he’s up to and he tells her that he’s playing his XBox in his underwear.  See, now this would almost concern me more than his refusal to skype.  By all appearances it is broad daylight, and Matt is, we are told, a full grown adult man.  Why is he not at work?  Am I getting ahead of myself?  Perhaps it is Sunday morning or something.  Whatever the explanation, no one seems in the least bit concerned that this is how Matt is passing the time, so let’s move on.   Matt says something about promising Kim that they would probably someday meet... eventually... maybe.  But he loves her and they’ll talk soon.  Weird! 

Nev and Max head off to dig deeper into the mystery that is Matt using their Google sleuthing skills.  Right now the main questions seem to be:  What on earth does Matt look like?  What on earth is going on with Kim’s real life boyfriend?  And what on earth does Matt do all day?  At least those are my questions.  Everyone else only seems concerned with the first one.  Nev and Max get back onto Facebook and surprise, surprise, Matt’s profile is not set to private.  So we get to see a bunch of new pictures that Kim hasn’t seen or didn’t show us.  Most of them are closeups of his face, so there’s nothing shocking (no forehead arm).  One picture is one of those motivational posters that says “Fatherhood” on it and Matt has tagged the father in the picture as himself.  There are also pictures of a baby so the guys begin to speculate as to whether Matt has a child he’s kept secret.  Next they Google Matt’s full name and find a website with a bunch of self-produced songs by none other than Matt.  They play one that is of the rap or hip hop genre and it sounds like he’s put it together on his computer.  The songs have parental advisory warnings next to them and it sounds like he’s shouting a lot of f-bombs.  Well, I guess that’s at least time not spent playing his XBox.  Nev describes Matt’s music as angry, aggressive and derogatory - qualities Kim may not appreciate.  Next they find a profile for Matt on an online dating site which clearly states that he would like to meet women.  The guys conclude that there is much that Matt is keeping from Kim and they wonder what he is getting out of all of this.   

Time to report back to Kim and let her know what has been dug up.  She has no knowledge of any children and is not impressed with Matt’s music.  She also seems a bit put out when she sees the online dating profile.  I guess only real-life extra significant others are allowed in this e-romance.  Kim decides it’s time to tell Nev about her past.  Uh oh, there’s a story here.

Kim: "Nev, get comfortable.  This is a doozy."
Nev:  "I am here for you, my friend."

Kim had a high school sweetheart named Steve whom she dated for seven years (I guess Matt was in the online background through all of this).  Kim purchased a house for Steve and herself and they were living in it together (still talking to Matt), but it sounds like Kim was the only one working or contributing in any way to the finances.  Steve’s money all went to buy drugs.  So eventually Kim ended things.  Then one night Steve called Kim hysterically begging her to give him another chance, saying that if she didn’t, he would kill himself.  Well, Kim hung up the phone and Steve killed himself.  Really, MTV?  My Monday night trash/fluff TV really had to go there?  Not.  Cool.  And now we have to deal with this.  So Kim is really messed up.  And she dates really messed up guys.  I say SHE’S messed up because she explains that she spent two years blaming herself for what happened with Steve.  I say the guys are messed up because one killed himself, one doesn’t care that she has an e-boyfriend, and one refuses to let her see his face.  This is not a group of happy stable individuals.  (Thank goodness Nev stepped in.)  But for the two years after the suicide, Matt talked to Kim every day and listened to all of her troubles, which included gaining 125 pounds.  All right, now that everything has gotten dark and awful, let’s get this show on the road.

Nev goes back to the hotel and makes his phone call to Matt, proposing that they bring Kim to Washington to meet him.  Matt, of course, opens right up to Nev and tells him how much he loves Kim, but that he doesn’t want to ruin things by meeting her in person.  He says he doesn’t have a lot of confidence with women.  Nev explains that Kim is on the verge of getting serious with her real-life boyfriend so this could be Matt’s last chance.  Matt hems and haws, then finally agrees to meet her, asking if he can have time to clean his room first.  Okay, more alarm bells.  He doesn’t say “clean my apartment.”  He says room.

"It'll only take like two days cause I'm grounded."

I get that Kim finds him sweet and amusing, but he sounds like he’s stuck at age 15, playing his Xbox in his mom’s basement and surfing the internet for people to chat with.  How is this alluring?  And shall we address the issue of ruining a relationship by meeting someone in person?  It’s like Matt is thinking that Kim will love him as long as she doesn’t really KNOW him.  Like if she knows the real him, or knows too much, she won’t love him anymore.  That isn’t love.  One of the greatest things about love is knowing that someone knows everything about you and still loves you.  Everyone has crap.  No one is perfect.  Love isn’t hiding the flaws - it’s loving around and through the flaws.  Which means you have to be real with each other.  Which, I guess, is one of the huge topics this show is addressing.  How possible IS strictly digital love?  So far, it’s not.

So anyway, our team picks Kim up and they all fly to Vancouver, Washington and the next morning they drive over to Matt’s apartment.  When they arrive they all just get out of the car and wait.  Pretty soon Matt comes out and comes down some stairs to meet them.  Well, there it is.  He’s quite large.  But I mean, he makes it down the stairs with no trouble, so it’s not like he’s immobile.

And black is very slimming.

He and Kim have an awkward hug then everyone heads inside.  Matt explains that his weight was the only thing keeping him from meeting Kim.  He doesn’t have kids or any other big secrets to share.  He says that at his heaviest he weighed 619 pounds.  Whoa!  That’s not just a weight problem, that’s like a TLC special.  Or series.  He says that he actually WAS practically immobile.  But he’s been working on it and has lost about 65 pounds.  He didn’t want to meet Kim until he’d made more progress, but since he’s addressing the things he doesn’t like about his life, he figured it was time to meet.  I have to say he’s quite spry for weighing over 500 pounds.  He practically skipped down those stairs.

Kim is clearly disappointed, but she tries to stay upbeat, saying she’s glad he’s sticking to something that will make him happy.

"I think it's fantastic that you're so motivated!!!"

She tells him that it was crucial for them to meet because she’s trying to decide if she should marry her current boyfriend and she wanted to make sure she wasn’t missing anything.  Yeah, that’s not good from any direction.  Why would you consider marrying someone if you have to “make sure” about someone else first?  Why would you want to marry a girl who had to meet another guy before she could give you an answer?  And finally, how would it feel to be the guy being looked over to see if you’re good enough to chuck the wedding for?  

Later, Nev is driving Kim around asking her what her gut is telling her.  She says she just doesn’t know yet.  Nev brings up Steve, saying Kim has known true love before.  Oh yes, Steve, the drug addict who was mooching off of her and who traumatized her permanently.  Can she ever find such love again?  Kim says there’s just no comparison with either of the guys in her life now.  Steve is a very tough act to follow. Nev and Max tell Kim not to settle.  Hold out for Steve 2.  Aim high, Kim.  Reach for those stars.

Today we’re going to meet Matt’s family, who it looks like live in the same apartment with Matt - so Matt still lives at home.  This would be his mom, sister and dog.  Matt’s mom loves Kim, tells her how pretty she is and how much Matt loves her.  Nev sits with Matt and discusses his new motivation and outlook on life.  Matt says there were times he thought about killing himself because of his weight.  Wow, another suicide?  He almost reached immortalized Steve status.  Are you sensing a pattern in the type of men Kim is drawn to?  But Matt is much happier now that he’s taking control of his life back.

"My five year plan includes moving out.  Maybe."
Finally Matt sits with Kim and tells her that he’s in love with her and always wants her in his life.  He wants her to consider him when she goes home, and he’s glad they met.  Kim cries that she doesn’t know what she wants and that she still struggles with her feelings about Steve.  It’s funny how the more disappointed she is with Matt, the more Steve comes into the equation. She’s pretty sure that she wants to be on her own for a while (ssshhhhocking!).  So she’s going to break up with real-life boyfriend and stay friends with Matt the way they’ve always been.  Well, it was nice meeting you, Matt!

"Please release me."

Nev does his one-month follow up and Matt has gotten himself a haircut.  And dog tags.

"My hair was weighing me down."

We learn that he still exercises daily and has lost another 30 pounds.  As for Kim, she did kick her boyfriend to the curb (is he on suicide watch?) and she and Matt are back to the status quo - talking every day and wondering if they’ll ever meet up.  And they’re best friends.  We get a caption that says Kim is finally dealing with the loss of Steve.  I’m not sure what that means, but okay.  It says she’s not ready for a new romance yet. (Even though she was before Matt came down those stairs.)

Whew!  This episode dealt with some weighty topics, pardon the pun.  I’m not sure how I feel about Kim.  She was completely ready to ditch her boyfriend to be with Matt until she saw how he looked.  And Kim was not exactly a waif herself.  But 619 pounds isn’t just a vanity thing; it’s scary.  I guess it’s good that at least they’re staying friends.  Maybe Matt will get a job.  I don’t know, what did you guys think?

Thanks for reading!
-Honey Gangsta

1 comment:

Jack Spicer said...

I thought Matt was kind of impressive. Going from where he was and making serious and significant progress in getting his health under control takes serious discipline and willpower. The catfishing thing was silly of course but I think there's reason to be optimistic that he'll be able to turn his life around. He had the guts to face Kim and admit that he did without making excuses.

I think Kim made the right call too by leaving them both. Matt lied to her, and she clearly isn't ready to marry her current boyfriend since she was so preoccupied with Matt this whole time. She needs to take some time and move into a romantic relationship according to her own time table.

This was definitely a weighty episode. It's probably the darkest episode other than that awful murder-suicide episode from season 4.