This week’s Catfish premiered on Sunday before the VMAs but I was deep in a Friday Night Lights marathon and didn’t watch it until last night, but I fully understand why they saved this crazy episode for the special pre-VMAs slot. It begins when Nev and Max get an email from Artis, who has been talking to a girl named Jess online for a couple of months. Jess only lives 30 minutes from Artis, but they haven’t met or talked on the phone yet. This is in part because both people have live-in significant others who they haven’t told about their extracurricular online activities. And to top it all off, Artis already has 3 kids, but it is okay because Jess is cool with it. Nev and Max immediately establish the new Catfish rule that you have to be single to get some catfishing help, or as they later amend, you at least need to let your significant other know what is going on.
Nev and Max talk to Artis via Skype and he tells them that his relationship isn’t great at the moment, but he has kids with the GF and he wants to make sure what he has with Jess is for real before he ends things with his girlfriend. Nev and Max tell him that they won’t sneak around with him behind his girlfriend’s back. He will have to tell her if they come out to help him out. But before they could meet him, Nev gets a little work out injury that he tells us about while brushing his teeth. Was time tight? Could he really not sit and show us the giant grapefruit on his foot with a clean mouth? Anyway, Nev ends up hobbling around on crutches for the rest of the episode.
Despite the injury, the show must continue for true love’s sake and the guys meet up with Artis at a diner. He explains to them that his current relationship is more out of financial convenience than love. He doesn’t even sleep in the same bed as his GF! He wants to pursue things with Jess, but he needs to learn more about her first. As the first sign of something being up, Artis tells Nev & Max that Jess only has one picture on her FB, and it looks like a professionally done model shot because of course a protective boyfriend would be cool with that. Totally seems completely legit. Nev & Max tell Artis that they will do their little detective schtick for him, but he will have to sit down with his GF and explain what is up before they will set up a real life meeting.
When Nev and Max do their research, Jess’s profile is full of red flags. She says she works at Hooters (number one fake job, according to Max. Perhaps he has been scorned by a ‘Hooters’ girl in the past?) and she lists herself as single, even though she supposedly has a very possessive/jealous boyfriend. Nev finds a post with someone calling out the profile as false, so they decide to send that commenter a message. The guy, named Kevin, IMMEDIATELY calls them up. He says that the town Jess claims to be from is really small and everyone knows each other and he has never heard of this girl before the profile popped up. Then Nev and Max do their patented reverse image search and find that the single picture of Jess is from, of all things, a porn site. OF COURSE IT IS. This is pretty much the most obvious case of a lying catfish we’ve had this season.
They go to share their findings with Artis, who has already had a conversation with his girlfriend. They decided to stay together until they get financially stable enough to separate completely. So basically, this kid has broken up with his girlfriend, only to find out that the profile of his online lover is most definitely a fake. Artis is a little depressed about it but Nev, always the optimist, reminds him that even if the profile is fake, his connection with the person behind it is still real.
Nev and Max try to call Jess up to set up a meeting, but when they call, the voicemail box isn’t set up (to quote Max: *eyeroll* sketchy). They message Jess on Facebook instead, and she doubts that they are really who they say. They send her a picture of themselves holding a sign with her name, but that isn’t enough. Max starts to lose his cool, but Nev reminds him that this is all part of the game Jess has been playing. Jess seems overwhelmed to learn that Artis has really ended things with his GF, but she needs time to think things over before agreeing to meet.
Jess finally agrees to meet them in a nearby park, and she is very excited to meet Artis. They arrive at the park and wait, and wait, and wait, but finally a car pulls up. Inside the car is a fratty bro with a beard who walks over like a chump and claps right in Artis’s face. Nev tries to get the guy to back up, but this guy is legit psycho. He says Artis can still ‘be his chocolate kiss’ and he gives Nev some philosophical crap about things not being what they seem and putting himself out there. Guys, this meet up was intense. I think Nev almost crapped himself. I’m sure MTV had security waiting in the wings or else there is no way crippled Nev ever would have been so brave. We all know he is a lover, not a fighter.
They guy finally tells them his name is Justin and he claims to not be gay. The profile started as a joke, but then he decided to start messing with guys who were already in relationships and trying to pursue ‘Jess’. So this guy is basically an infidelity vigilante. Trying to change the world one cheater at a time!
Nev goes to digest this all with Artis and leaves poor Max to talk to the crazy man. Basically Justin has a problem with cheaters and he takes it out on dudes on the internet. Nev and Max tell him he has some serious issues while poor Artis just wants to go home and forget this ever happened.
The next day Nev and Max meet up with Justin to try to really figure out what his deal is, but the kid is still a weirdo. Justin said he doesn’t care if Artis hates him, he was doing it as a sort of sociological experiment. He got into this situation after he found his dad dead and was homeless. He moved in with his girlfriend and his life isn’t so hopeless, which Nev and Max want him to see. Justin seems to be pretty depressed, which is sad, but there really isn’t anything Nev and Max can do for him. The kid seems a little mental imbalanced and hopefully he has gotten some help from someone with more professional training than our two favorite catfish detectives. Nev and Max decide not to tell Artis about Justin’s back story because ‘he has to learn his own lessons’. Harsh words! But true all the same. I think Artis already knows he was dealing with a crazy person. They won’t provide him with any new information there.
At the one month check up, obviously Artis and Justin aren’t keeping in touch and Justin has taken down the profile because he was able to ‘retire on top’. He doesn’t care what anyone thought of him and peaced out without giving out any more details. On the flip side, Artis told his baby mama about all that happened and their relationship is better than it has been in a long time! I guess Justin’s meddling didn’t have quite the impact he was hoping for, huh?
Next week in a twist, Nev and Max help the catfish come clean to the boy in love with the fake identity she has created. I wonder how that will work out for her…..