Thank you MAFS for not making us wait too long to pick up where we left off last week with the Sonia and Nick cliff hanger. I definitely did not have the patience this week. Sonia has moved out because, as Nick puts it, “sometimes things get a little overwhelming and things get said that probably shouldn’t. Understatement of the year. Did Nick intentionally wear that “Ship happens” shirt as a subtle message to pastor Calvin? Like he’s trying to ship the blame?
Pastor Calvin appropriately calls him out for acting like a punk, but an interview with Dr. Pepper reveals an interesting perspective on Nick’s behavior. She explains that both Nick and Sonia were much more open during match making interviews than they have been with each other, and feels that the pressure of being filmed may explain some of their challenges.
“We saw Nick’s sincerity in wanting to do the experiment, and we also felt that he was far more affable with us than he was when pressed during the documentation,” Dr. Pepper explains. “Having a crew asking you to think very deeply about who you are and who the other person is, is very hard for some people – and I think it was especially hard on Nick.”
Nick’s meltdown absolutely has given us a glimpse into the fourth wall of reality TV, as Sonia commented that he yelled to “everyone” while she could still hear. Everyone being the film and production crew. This is also evidenced in their efforts to cover up the fact that they’ve had sex. They craved privacy so much that they hid the one single thing that they could actually keep between them. It was obviously really important to them, given how many lies they had to tell. So we are left with some unanswered questions. Like, did this all go down before the tantric massage date? Did they not even need all that help from expert Rachel?
Not to excuse his behavior, but Dr. Pepper makes a great point. Living out intimate conversations and moments with a film and production crew in your face, asking repetitive questions really dogpiles the stress. Hopefully Dr. Pepper figured this out during the six weeks of the experiment and was able to talk to them about it – it could have been just the kind of self-awareness they needed.
Tom and Lilly, on the other hand seem to either barely notice or totally ham it for the camera, as Tom did when he was squishing Lilly’s toothpaste. Wonder how many times he’ll be able to get away with that before Lilly stops laughing it off as cute hijinks? Please Tom, don’t be that stupid.
In the beginning, it felt like every episode opened with Tom and Lilly snuggling and lovey dovey. Now these two feel like they are always cleaning the house together. Talk about quickly becoming an old married couple. Hopefully not so too fast… they definitely need to keep that spark alive.
These two have no qualms about fully opening up to each other and all of America about their fears, insecurities and abandonment issues. Insecurities like Tom’s hairy ass hobbit feet. And his ex girlfriends. Tom takes Lilly to a place which (at least it sounds like) has previously been somewhere he went to escape the challenges of a faltering relationship. It’s so sweet that he’s already comfortable enough with Lilly that he no longer needs this place as an escape. He trusts her enough to give up his solo retreat and share it with her.
Things are going so well for Lilly and Tom that Pastor Cal has to give them a reality check. “They want this so bad that they are starting to magnify things that aren’t that major and sabotage their marriage.”
Pastor Cal’s homework to the couples – taking each other to a meaningful location – definitely seems to be just what Nick and Sonia need. Because good Cuban food makes everything better. Sonia is so relaxed at home that she even lets it slip that she kinda misses Nick’s dogs. Nick speaks for all of us that he never thought he’d hear her say that.
This “homework” reminds me that we never really saw how Nick and Sonia did with their assignment to start and end each day with a physical gesture. Now we know that this homework would have felt a little unnecessary… or was it actually something that helped them get to the point of getting intimate? Anyway, the fact that they actually did seems like a good sign. Previous seasons have seen couples remain chaste for the entire six weeks. (or maybe they didn’t… maybe they were lying too? My world is rocked.)
Speaking of couples staying chaste, we conclude this episode with a Heather & Derek reunion cliff hanger. Hopefully Heather read the details of her contract and realized that choosing divorce doesn’t mean she gets to ditch the production crew and return to real life. Nope. Nope. Nope. Instead she gets to spend four weeks rehashing her two week marriage ad nauseam. And giving us just enough teases (“makes me wonder, did I jump the gun?” “I wished we could have lived together”) to give us some hope for them. Nope, not going to happen. Even Derek has lost hope for reconciliation.
Going back to Dr. Pepper’s comment about the stress of the film crew. That could also have factored into Heather’s behavior, as she seems just as private and uncomfortable in front of the camera. Just like Nick, she feels she has to drink in order to relax enough to be herself. This is a really unfortunate aspect to the show because part of what makes it so engaging is that it attracts personalities like Nick and Heather who aren’t seeking their 15 minutes of fame.
What do you think, what will be the outcome of Heather and Derek’s reunion next week – what is Derek talking about that’s “worth a try”? When will Sonia move back in with Nick?