Thursday, January 31, 2013

Catfish Recap: A Model, Idiot.

Tonight Nev cracks open an email from Rico (really?) who has been in an online relationship for three years with Ja’mari.  I will give you one guess as to what Ja’mari does for a living.  That’s right, brilliant readers, he’s a MODEL!!!  An international model, no less.  Because in case you haven’t noticed, models have a terrible time meeting people to date in real life and have to resort to the internet to find true love.  All online romances involve at least one model.  Rico is at a crossroads, you see.  His mother has been taken ill and needs to return to the UK to be near her family.  So Rico has to decide whether he wants to go with her or stay in the US and possibly find true love with Ja’mari.  Well, as an international model, can’t Ja’mari relocate to England?  Oh that’s right.  Only ACTUAL international models can reasonably relocate internationally.  Sorry, is my doubt emerging too soon?

"He said his passport expired."

Nev and Max skype Rico to get things moving and Rico says that he and Ja’mari became friends online because of a common interest.  Ja’mari is a model and Rico wants to get into modeling.  Oh, so like Rose and Kari Ann they can maybe work on some modeling projects together?  Nev asks why Rico and Ja’mari have never skyped and Rico says it’s because when they met Rico was in the military and he didn’t want any of his business “out there.”  Okay, fair enough - that would be a concern in the military.  But what about now?  Why no skyping still?  They never ask.  They just head for Connecticut to meet Rico and launch a Google Image Search.

"Max, give me a quarter!"

Rico turns out to be a genuine cutie.  Like cute enough to believe that a model would find him attractive.  What an interesting turn.  He tells the guys that his mother was in a car accident a few years ago and still suffers from complications of a brain injury.  Ouch.  But Ja’mari has always been very caring and sympathetic. By the way, Ja’mari drives a Mercedes and does very well for himself.  But all of his modeling keeps him on the road a lot, so he and Rico just can’t find a time in both of their schedules to meet.  Rico takes the guys through Ja’mari’s Facebook page and tells them he does print modeling.  Nev asks if Rico has seen any of Ja’mari’s ads.  Rico says no, and Nev points out that it’s odd that Ja’mari doesn’t have a bunch of his ads all over his Facebook page.  Seriously.  He’s the first “model” we’ve met on this show who doesn’t have almost EXCLUSIVELY modeling photos on Facebook.

  But let's not underestimate the bathroom photo.

They tell Rico to give Ja’mari a call so that they can get some footage of them interacting.  He does and it’s all flirtatious.  Ja’mari wants to know where Rico has been all morning, why he hasn’t answered his calls, and then wants Rico to take the phone to the shower with him.  Ja’mari can tell that something isn’t normal because Rico isn’t as open as usual (because Nev and Max are there with their cameras in his face) so he keeps asking what’s going on.

Nev:  "Ask him if his refrigerator is running!"

Then they get all lovey-dovey and say what they love about each other, how precious.  After the call Nev and Max head out to begin their investigation.  They’re pretty sure Ja’mari isn’t telling Rico everything, mostly due to the shocking shortage of modeling photos on his profile.

Over at their coffee shop, Nev and Max google Ja’mari and can’t find any evidence of modeling, so they quickly move on to their Google Image Search.  Nothing.  Nothing comes up.  Pretty odd for a successful international model.  They go to his Facebook profile and try to message a girl named L’toiya, who seems to actually know him.  For the first time ever on this show, the random Facebook friend fails to call Nev immediately overflowing with information.  Then they resort to a YouTube search, which actually turns up a series of videos of Ja’mari and L’toiya.  One of them shows Ja’mari visiting New York for the first time quite recently and spazzing out about it.  The guys point out to each other that a successful international model would not have this type of reaction to visiting New York because he would have been to New York many times.  Not to mention lots of other big cities.  On the plus side, Ja’mari seems to be the same guy that Rico was talking to on the phone.  On the minus side, it’s likely that he’s been lying about being a model and so who knows what else?

Later the guys sit down with Rico to tell them what they’ve found... or not found.  When they break the news that Ja’mari may not be a model, they ask Rico if that would matter.  Rico is concerned because lying about something like his occupation could mean that Ja’mari has lied about a lot of other things as well.  And why on earth would he lie about his occupation?  It just doesn’t make sense.

"How could he help me with my modeling if he's not really a model?"

Hmm, so we finally have a participant who is actually worried that this person might be lying about something other than his appearance.  A contestant who may consider deception a deal breaker, even if good looks are involved.  Nev declares that the next step will be for him to call Ja’mari and arrange an in-person meeting.  Nev is a hero.

When he calls Ja’mari, Ja’mari is super skeptical.  He says that Rico has never told him anything about Nev or a TV show or anything.  After some cajoling from Nev, Ja’mari says he has a lot going on and he’s not sure about just dropping everything on such short notice.  Mm hmm.  Nev finally plays the “Rico deciding whether to move to England” card and Ja’mari says he has tears in his eyes and agrees to meet up.  Nev rushes over to tell Rico and get his pat on the back for being so wonderful and brilliant. 

Everyone flies to Miami, where Ja’mari requests that they meet up in a park.  Yeah, that’s much more catfish-like than a regular house.  Thank you, Ja’mari.  Rico is super nervous and has worn his tightest plaid shorts for the occasion.  They wait around on some picnic tables when finally a regular-looking car - not a Mercedes, pulls into the parking lot and a guy holding a bouquet of flowers emerges.  Rico stands up to walk over to him and they both proceed toward each other down what seems like the longest sidewalk in the world.

"I just came from trading in my Mercedes for that piece of crap."

When they finally reach each other, Rico gets his flowers and they kiss.  They come back over to Nev, Max and the picnic tables.  Apparently this park is right on a beach because Ja’mari explains that his family came to this beach a lot while he was growing up, and they had a lot of problems, but they always felt united at this beach and that’s why he wanted to meet here.  Okay, that’s a nice story, or it could be that where he lives isn’t exactly model-appropriate.  He tells Rico that he has some confessions to make.  No way!  First of all, his name isn’t Ja’mari, it’s James.  Also he doesn’t drive a Mercedes (you don’t say!) and  he doesn’t have his own place.  He’s 22 and lives with his mom.  Oh and he’s not a model.  He’s a bus driver.  So actually when he’s told Rico he’s “on the road,” he really has been on the road, so to speak.  So it wasn’t a total lie, see?  And he wants Rico to give him the weekend to show him that it’s not about material things, it’s about the two of them.  Fine, but isn’t Ja’mari the one who’s made it about material things by lying about all of that?  Rico wants to start the conversation over.  So Ja’mari’s not a model of any kind?  JAMES says no, but he DOES take nice pictures of himself.  HA HA HA!  And about the fake name?  James had gone through a lot and wanted to distance himself from his troubles, so he started going by something else.  Rico wants some time to think about everything - as per the usual catfish episode timelime.  He goes to smoke a cigarette and Nev sits down with James.  James says he never wanted things to happen this way and he blames himself.  But there was just never a good time to tell Rico the truth, you know? IN THREE YEARS!  We’ve heard this story before, James.  It’s bogus.  There were plenty of times to tell the truth.

Back at the hotel, Nev and Rico google James.  The real James, not Ja’mari.  What they find is a police record.

Nev:  "So here we can just Google Image Search his mugshot and voila!"

Apparently James stole three different buses and drove them around on their routes.  So he impersonated a bus driver.  Rico says that’s psychotic.  Who puts on a bus driver’s uniform and drives buses around then brings them back?  Just now James calls Nev’s phone.  Nev tells James that they found the bus driving story online and James says that it’s all bull, and that he “won that case.”  Nev says no one knows what to believe since James has proven himself to be a liar.  James just wants a chance to win Rico over in person, so they decide to get together in about a half hour.  Rico says he will hear James out.

They all sit down at a restaurant and James starts right out with, “It was never my intention to deceive you.”  Uh... yes it obviously was, James.  I don’t know why they say this every single time.  If it hadn’t been their intention to deceive anyone, we wouldn’t be here having this conversation.  Anyway, James has brought along an entire file of paperwork that he says will help explain what’s been going on.  He grew up in the ghetto and there was no access to public transportation in his neighborhood, so he petitioned his county government and got buses to service his area.  This was at age 14.  A few years later, some guy stole some buses and drove them around and everyone remembered James from his bus crusade and associated him with buses, so he got blamed as the guy who stole the buses.  Huh?  That sounds like a stretch to me.  He spent two years in county jail trying to clear his name... and finally did.  While in jail he passed the certification to become an actual bus driver, which he is now.  That’s an odd career choice considering what he’s claiming to have gone through and why.  When he was released he stopped going by James because he didn’t want to be associated with the bus debacle anymore.  He didn’t want everyone googling his name and finding out about his police record.  Rico points out that he’s not “everyone.”  James assures Rico that his heart never lied.  Whatever that means.  Only his mouth did?

The next day we all meet up again at another park.  James is frantic to get Rico to tell him everything is okay.

"I'll still help you become a model.  You can take my bus to your castings. "

He talks about worrying all night that Rico was mad at him, then he thanks Rico for giving him the strength to be free from what was holding him back.  He finally asks Rico to forgive him.  Rico says that yes he’ll forgive him but he won’t forget what happened.  And he needs to go to his mother in England now and make sure she’s okay.  And if he loves it there and decides to stay, maybe James can come with him!  I don’t know, what would James do for work?  They drive on the other side of the road in England.  Nev has to wrap things up so they hug and noisily kiss several times goodbye. 

A month later Rico’s mom has improved.  And Rico has decided to stay in the US so that he can be with James.  And James is happy to leave his past in the past and move on.  They plan to get together again soon.  Awwww.

This episode wasn’t nearly as shocking as some we’ve seen, but we still got that ever-present phony modeling story.  What’s with everyone pretending to be a model and everyone believing that everyone else IS a model?  How did you guys like this one?

Thanks for reading!
-Honey Gangsta

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