Someone please make it stop. Tonight’s episode is more than I can wrap my brain around. Let’s see what Nev has up his sleeve for us, shall we?
It’s a girl named Kya who’s been “dating” a guy from Switzerland named Alyx for eight months. She started out by catfishing him with a fake profile on a website called Vampire Freaks. Exhausted yet? Me too. When Alyx miraculously moved to California, Kya came clean and told him who she really was. Alyx said it was fine; he loved her anyway. Already this story is SO messed up. Nev can’t get Kya on skype fast enough. Keep in mind, Kya and Alyx have still never met or skyped. But they say “I love you” 50 times a day. Kya thinks she could marry this guy. Here's Kya:
Nev and Max fly to Mexico, Missouri to meet Kya. Population: 6, of course. We meet Kya and her mom, Lisa. Nev wants to know what Lisa thinks about all of this and Lisa says that Alyx seems like a really nice guy - she spoke to him once - and that as long as he treats Kya with respect, that’s all she cares about.
Okay, my parents would have been bouncing off the walls if I were getting ready to marry someone I’d never seen and only talked to on the internet. There would be a serious intervention. Nev sits down with Kya and she takes him through the events leading up to this. First of all, Kya met Alyx on Vampire Freaks using this as her profile picture:
Here is Alyx:
He’s pansexual, by the way. Meaning he doesn’t discriminate against any gender, sexual orientation, or... what? Where does bisexual cross over into pansexual? Number of partners at once? Come on. Kya says she’s also pansexual. That’s just precious. Oh, and Alyx has his relationship status listed as “engaged,” which Kya says is to her, but that they just decided to put that on their profiles. Like they’re not actually engaged. Um... ok? Kya shows Nev the message she sent Alyx breaking the news that she’s not the girl in her pictures, and including an actual photo. Alyx just responded that he doesn’t care and she’s beautiful. Wow, that is one generous guy. I mean, guys tend to place the importance of looks above everything - especially in the beginning of a relationship. This is either the nicest guy on the planet... or something is catfishy. Kya says she’s never been in love like this and she wants to meet Alyx no matter what.
As soon as Nev and Max get into the car Max hits the nail on the head by saying, “Alyx must have something equally big to hide. I don’t think anyone would just, without skipping a beat, accept as big of a lie as the one she told.” EXACTLY. Nev is just caught up in the romance of the whole thing. He’d like to write a poem.
This next segment is brought to you by Google Image Search. The guys discover that Alyx only has 10 friends on Facebook, which is, of course, a red flag. Even hermits have at least 100 Facebook friends. Also, Alyx is doing an internship at Century Media Records, so Max calls them for a reference. Wouldn’t you know it? They’ve never heard of Alyx. Google Image Search to the rescue. Alyx’s pictures match with a guy named Chris who DOES actually live in Switzerland. Nev is devastated. He says this is the one time he actually wanted this person to be legitimate. Geez, Nev. How do you think that makes all of your past suckers feel? Sunny wanted Jamison to be legitimate. Jasmine wanted Mike to be, too. And what about Scorpio? Had you no hope for him? Anyway, Chris has 500 friends, tagged photos, and comments on those photos. His profile is real. “Alyx” has no tagged photos or comments. Next question! Who is Alyx? Somehow I don’t think Google Image Search can tell us. The guys are out of ideas, so they go back to their hotel to sleep on it.
The next day Nev runs a phone number search through the Yellow Pages online. He has Alyx’s number from Kya.
They find a blog with the tag @beneathskylines, which reminds them of Alyx’s name from Vampire Freaks, Burning Skylines. The blog they’ve found is basically a suicide note, inviting people to call Alyx’s phone number if they want to say goodbye. Okay, so not only do these catfish people have to live in some kind of makeshift shelter, they also have to be (or have been) on the verge of suicide. These are severely at-risk people we’re dealing with here. Wouldn’t you want to be in a relationship with one of them? Well, as luck would have it, this suicide note includes an actual name, which the guys pull up on Facebook, where the profile is not set to private. And guess what. It’s a girl. Named Dani. This is eerily reminiscent of Chelsea, aka Jamison.
You know, this is the first time Nev’s made any effort to find out who the catfish ACTUALLY is. He usually just goes back and tells the (willing) victim that their online love has been lying. Then the big revelation is in person. I wonder why they dug so deep this time. Anyway, Dani - not Alyx - is a woman, but identifies as a man, making him/her transgendered. Well, that shouldn’t be a problem since Kya’s pansexual, right? We’ll see if she’s also pan-honesty.
When Nev walks Kya though his series of discoveries she’s a little rattled. Mostly she’s annoyed because she’s gone out of her way to ask Alyx if he was hiding anything from her, and if anyone would understand, Kya would because she used fake pictures too. Kya says she’s never really had a preference between men and women, but her brain is on overload because she doesn’t know what to think about being deceived. Exactly. The issue here is the dishonesty. Actually on both sides. If everyone had been honest up front, then everyone would be entitled to make their choice on whether or not to participate in the relationship. But since everything is buried under 8 months of lies, there is very little substance here. I mean, these people don’t even use their real names for crying out loud. What is there to hold on to? Text messages? But Kya still wants to meet Alyx. Or Dani. Whoever it is. Does it matter? Apparently not! SOMEONE is paying attention to her.
Nev calls Dani, who tells him that Kya is his soulmate. Dani sounds slightly more like a guy than Jamison did. At least he sounds older than 12. He says yeah, bring Kya out. We’ll meet up and hang out, yo. So it’s off to the airport, and wouldn’t you know it? Kya’s never been on an airplane. I’d be surprised if she’s ever been outside her computer room.
Later in Los Angeles after Kya has sufficiently flat ironed her hair, they all drive to a normal looking house. What? That can’t be right. Oh, they have to go around to the back - that’s more like it. They knock on the back door and no one comes out, so they find a side door to knock on, but finally Dani comes walking out from behind the house, where he’s probably living in a tent of some kind. With internet access, of course. Kya and Dani look at each other, kind of hesitate, and then hug. Nev can hardly contain his joy.
Kya wants to know why Dani didn’t come clean when she (Kya) did. Seriously. Dani has little to no excuse. He just says he was too scared. They all go sit on a patio to chat and after an awkward pause, Kya goes, “So, you’re transgender?” Ha ha ha ha! THAT’S not something you get to say every day. Dani says he’s known since he was six. And he just started hormone replacement therapy last week. And he has big plans for a hysterectomy and a mastectomy. GEEZ. Dani talks about the bond he has with Kya and the need to continue lying to her to keep her in his life. Again, we have this recurring theme of TRICKING someone into loving you. Is this supposed to be flattering? The way Dani talks it sounds like he wanted to lie to Kya until she was so caught up in things she COULDN’T leave. Even better - your romantic partner is a hostage in your relationship. Luckily for Dani, Kya has Stockholm Syndrome and doesn’t mind being a hostage. In fact, she says she has no problem with it. Oh dear. I’m just curious as to at what point honesty WILL be required in this relationship. I mean, I would think Kya has carte blanche to lie whenever she wants and just point to this whole incident for justification. Dani too, for that matter. Are they really going to draw a line today? I guess so, because they profess their love for one another. These people must be seriously lonely. You’re a completely different person from the one you’ve been pretending to be? No problem! Just don’t stop talking to me!
Later Dani takes Kya on a walking tour of his town, Pomona, and they sit down on a curb to make out. You can practically hear Nev’s shrieks of delight. The next day he knocks on Kya’s hotel room door and she lets him in to tell him that all systems are go for her and Dani. She DOES want to call her mom and fill her in on the latest information. Max gets his 12 cameras ready. Kya’s mom takes the news shockingly well. Apparently the eight months of lying matter little as long as Dani treats Kya with respect and dignity. So... is lying respectful now? Or is everything forgiven once the truth is forced out by a camera crew?
And like last week, we head to the beach to spend time together and let Nev conduct a round of interviews. Dani tells Nev how hard it was growing up feeling so out of place and how mean the other kids always were. It’s a relief to have Kya with him to refer to him as “he” because that helps him to feel more confident. Kya says this has been like unwrapping the Christmas present she’s always wanted. Really? Wouldn’t it be like expecting to receive the Star Wars movies on DVD, then unwrapping the Star Trek TV series? Like, you don’t really prefer one over the other, but you’ve been told all year you’re getting Star Wars, so that’s what you’ve gotten excited about? You’re going to be just as happy that Santa Claus deliberately gave you a whole different franchise? With no intention of ever giving you Star Wars? Just tell me why, Santa. At least Nev gets to snap a BFF photo for the Friendship Patrol scrapbook.
So six weeks later Kya and Dani are still going strong - back to their cyber status, but I guess with real names now. Dani has continued hormone therapy and has a deeper voice to show for it. He’s saving up for his big surgery. He’s also flying to Missouri in a couple of weeks to meet Kya’s family. They admit that their relationship is better now that they’re both being honest. You don’t say.
I’m really having a hard time understanding how BOTH of these people could be SO willing to overlook being lied to - about very important things. It seems like being with a pretend someone is preferable to them than being alone. But for how long? Even in a situation where both parties are 100% honest 100% of the time, an internet/phone relationship is not sufficient to really know or love someone. There is no substitute for time spent together. And in this case the entire relationship is founded on DISHONESTY, then carried out on a virtual basis. And no one cares! What do these people think love is? Getting on TV? What are all of your thoughts on this?
Thanks for reading!