Last night’s episode of MTV’s “Catfish” had all the elements of suspense and surprise of prior episodes. But last night’s show had what previous episodes lacked: a happy ending.
Lauren, 22, met Derek, 24, on Myspace when she was 14. According to Lauren, they dated online for 8 years and fell in love, although they’ve never met or video chatted with each other. Lauren lives in Texas, and Derek lives in Maryland. In between their long distance text messages and phone calls, Lauren managed to get pregnant by another man and had a son, Mason, 2.
Nev and Max do their routine online investigative work to determine if Derek is real or fake. They learn that Derek’s phone number is registered to a “R. LeVourne”, a middle aged black man with kids (more on that in a minute).
Nev and Max accompany Lauren and Mason, and Lauren’s guy friend Ryan, to Maryland to meet Derek for the first time (or so MTV wants us to believe).
It turns out that Derek is who he says he is — and not a middle aged black man pretending to be him. There are lots of tears and hugs, and all is right with Lauren’s world — except for a few glaring red flags.
But why let a few red flags interfere with the pursuit of TV ratings, right?
Red flag #1: why didn’t Derek video chat with Lauren in 8 years? Derek claims he was “scared” to meet his dream girl.
Red flag #2: Who paid Derek’s phone bill if Derek’s phone was registered to R. LeVourne? Derek simply shrugged off Nev’s question when he asked him why his phone was registered in another man’s name. But the answer is simple: Nev and MTV needed R. LeVourne (whom we never meet) to build suspense for the “happy ending.”
Red flag #3: What woman would introduce her toddler to a man she met just hours before?
It’s obvious that Nev, who is the show’s producer, knew all along that Derek was real (MTV would not fly all those people to Maryland, only to have Derek refuse to sign the release waiver when they get there).
Last night’s episode satisfied the public’s hunger for a happy ending, if only to reinforce the fantasy that if a woman is patient long enough, prince charming will eventually arrive to sweep her off her feet.
Hopefully MTV will air a follow up show in about a year when the Dopamine wears off and Lauren and Derek start getting on each other’s nerves.
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Video courtesy of Yardie