Love Is Blind
‘Return to Reality’ / ‘Impress the Parents’
Episodes 6 and 7
Photo: COURTESY OF NETFLIX
It’s impossible to start talking about these episodes without mentioning the bomb that Raven drops right away: She and SK are apparently waiting to have sex until after marriage. That’s all I’ll say about that. Moving on.
Cole drops a bomb of his own as well: His family is not supportive at all and doesn’t even want to meet Zanab. This is understandable. Many families would be concerned if a family member decided to sign up for Love Is Blind. But I have questions. Were they supportive of his first marriage, when he got married to his girlfriend after dating for only two months? What was their reaction to that? Did he even tell them he was going on this show?
The couple does meet Zanab’s stepmother, Beverly, who asks Cole if he sees Zanab being his queen. She also grills him about his parents’ faith and prays for him. This boy needs all the prayers he can get, especially after seeing his apartment. I don’t know what’s worse: the crossbow hanging up on the wall, the flies in the toilet, or the leopard-print rug in the entry hallway. He even keeps his baby capsule in his kitchen cabinets. Odd but sweet. We get a glimpse of the real Cole here. He opens up about his family and criticizes their hypocrisy. “I thought a relationship with Jesus was supposed to make you love people deeper and not make you become more religious and more entitled and more self-righteous … It’s pathetic,” he says. Even a broken clock is right twice a day. And speaking of clocks, thank you to Hunter Harris for clocking the copy of The Shack in his suitcase.
Raven’s parents are also unsupportive, but we at least get to meet her friends, who are amazing. Macole and Aliyah grill SK on how a long-distance marriage is supposed to work and accuse him of robbing their friend of a fairy tale. At the end of the meeting, they’re not sold on SK. “She’s a beautiful woman, and he’s just saying ‘yes,’” Aliyah says. I am obsessed with how her friends ride for her. If only they knew how she was working out while Bartise spilled his guts to her.
SK’s mom loves Raven and assures her that she’ll be accepted into the Nigerian community but is concerned about her parents not being onboard. SK’s apartment is nice, at least compared to Cole’s, but I have some questions about his home décor. I also couldn’t stop cackling over Raven’s securing that SK, who will soon be an unemployed student, will be paying half her rent. Incredible finesse.
We learn that Nancy is an Airbnb landlord and that she owns a couple of properties with her ex. I don’t believe Nancy when she says the place would rent for at least $6,000 per month. Can someone fact-check this? Bartise seems pretty jealous about the whole ex thing for someone who regularly tells his fiancée that Raven is a smokeshow, but that jealousy dies down and turns into dollar signs in his eyes when he talks about growing his financial success with Nancy.
I wish I could dedicate this entire recap to Nancy’s family. I am obsessed with these people. From the moment Nancy says that the worst thing that could happen is one of her brothers punching Bartise, I knew we would be getting a phenomenal cast of characters. Her brother Jesus says that he’s younger than Nancy, but older than Bartise, and needs to get to know Bartise a little better so that he doesn’t feel like he’s talking to a little kid. Hysterical, 10/10, no notes. Her brother Steve doesn’t buy Bartise’s reasons for loving Nancy, calling them “bland.” Then he asks Bartise point blank if he would still love Nancy if she gained 400 pounds. To be clear, this is an insane question to ask because obviously one doesn’t gain 400 pounds overnight. There is only one correct answer, and it’s a resounding “yes.” Bartise manages to fuck this up. He says that he hopes he’d be connected enough with his future wife that he could put her on a diet before she gets to 400 pounds and that he’s not attracted to someone that fat. So not only is Bartise dumb as rocks, he’s also fatphobic.
Oh, and anti-abortion! In one of the most surreal conversations I’ve seen on this show, Bartise says that when it comes to unplanned pregnancies, people should only be allowed to have one abortion. One pass. Nancy disagrees, and honestly? I applaud her for going up against Bartise on this issue. She challenges him and makes her stance clear: “I have no say in anyone’s body. If you need to have an abortion, have it,” she says. Just wondering if anyone asks about this type of thing in the pods? Seems mildly crucial. While refolding the laundry that Bartise is “folding,” Nancy asks if he’d want to keep their hypothetical future baby if they found out that it had a birth defect or disability. Bartise says absolutely and claims that he’s mentally tough enough to handle any challenge thrown his way. Okay, we get it. You rise and grind. Nancy, however, admits she would probably abort the baby. This rattles Bartise. Nancy cites working with disabled kids and witnessing how raising a child with birth defects or disabilities can affect and strain a family. We are veering slightly into eugenics territory here, but okay.
Bartise brings this up to his family when they come over to meet Nancy, and his sister starts sobbing. Like, for real. Nothing this man does surprises me anymore. He had to know how his family would react. Even though I think Bartise has fewer brain cells than a couch, I have my tinfoil hat on about this one particular move. I think he brings up a knowingly controversial topic so that his family disapproves of the relationship and he then has an out that he can blame on them. He doesn’t have to marry Nancy, and he doesn’t have to be responsible for it! Win-win!
Brennon and Alexa are also having some serious conversations. Brennan quickly realizes that Alexa’s family has a ton of money and says he’s willing to sign whatever prenup Alexa wants. The only promise she needs to make to him? Love him. I am fully pro-prenup, but for his sake, I hope he has a lawyer look it over! His realizations about her family’s wealth are confirmed when they go to Alexa’s father’s house to meet the family on his birthday of all days! This man is a keeper.
I notice two things right away. One, Alexa’s stepmom can’t be more than ten years older than she is, and two, Brennon truly loves her. He explains why he loves her in such beautiful and specific ways; Bartise could never! Alexa’s brother Alon asks them how they’ll handle religious and cultural differences, and we find out that Brennon told Alexa he’ll convert to Judaism. Alexa also informs her family that Brennon’s favorite dish to cook is shakshuka. This is a crowd-pleaser. Alexa’s dad pulls Brennon aside to ensure that he’s not a chump and then jokes that since Brennon is planning on converting anyway, they should just circumcise him now, unveiling a collection of knives for Brennon to choose from! Brennon plays along, and it clearly pays off. Her dad gives the couple his blessing and says it’s the first relationship of Alexa’s that he’s approved of.
The meet and greet with Brennon’s family is positive, but fairly uneventful … except for when his own mother exposes his ass to Alexa and says that her son has a tendency to get scared and run. I’m sure this won’t cause any problems for the happy couple.
Matt and Colleen barely make an appearance in episode six, and, I’ll admit, I thought they had broken up behind closed doors and left the show. When they reappear in the seventh episode, we only meet Matt’s family. It’s not unheard of for families to refuse to be on-camera, but at least Raven and Cole explain why we don’t meet their parents. Colleen? Not a peep. Matt’s mom has exactly the haircut I’d imagine, and it’s triggering. I don’t like her implications that Colleen is only doing this for the clout and fame. It’s a fair question, but your son is on the show as well? It takes two to tango.
Flash forward to the end of the episode and Matt is going off the deep end. Colleen is out and about at the club, and Matt is livid. He starts to pack his bags once again before Bartise talks some sense into him. Let’s rewind: The pod squad reunites for drinks, and it’s safe to say that everyone gets way too drunk. Andrew — yes, that Andrew — shows up, and Nancy confides in him. Andrew, to be clear, can’t be trusted (do I need to remind us all of his fake tears?), but his face says it all. Nancy deserves better! This, plus Nancy crying because Bartise is making her feel needy for asking for a single hug, makes me so deeply sad. Bartise comes over, swaying and feeling defensive. He’s wondering what they’re talking about. I don’t like this energy. You know what you’ve done, Bartise.
While this little heart-to-heart is happening, Zanab learns more about the pool party from Colleen, then rehashes it with Matt, who tells her not to settle for less. Zanab and her self-esteem have had enough, and she goes to confront Cole. There is some real resentment here, and I don’t think that this couple will ever be able to fully get over this issue, because it’s not about Colleen: It’s about Zanab’s insecurities and Cole’s disrespectful tendencies.
At least Cole doesn’t throw Colleen under the bus when discussing the incident with Matt. He takes full responsibility, which I appreciate, and reassures Matt that Colleen was just appeasing him. This doesn’t stop Matt from bringing it up once again with Colleen. I know Matt has trauma from his previous relationship, but sometimes people just be saying shit! It wasn’t that deep! Colleen loves you! And to be honest, I am glad she makes her way to the club with her friends instead of going home with Mr. Grumpy Gills. How any of these people, besides Alexa and Brennon, plan on getting married in less than two weeks is beyond me, but just like a car crash, I can’t look away.