The host of the show arrives the next morning to tell them all how badly they suck at dating and to introduce the Fate Button. What is this Fate Button, you ask? Well, I’m actually not sure because it involves technology and gibberish that means absolutely nothing, but it ends with spinning pictures that then determine which four people go on the out-of-the-house date. Chosen this time are Zak, Tomas, Cali, and Maria, but there’s no real time to celebrate or even figure out who Maria is, because it’s time to cut back to Bria and she is pissed. She doesn’t know these females and nobody born with a uterus should even be allowed to share f*cking air with her boyfriend of ONE WHOLE DAY. As for the date that should probably have come with bulletproof vests, they head out on a boat. Zak stares at Maria, Tomas is interested in Cali, and they all swim with dolphins in a setting made even more idyllic because we know what they’re going home to. And Lord only knows what will happen when they get there, because Zak tells Maria he’s not locked down with Bria and the two of them kiss – and I don’t know about you, but I’m going to miss the days Maria had a larynx. I’m quite sure Bria will soon yank it clear out of her body using only a rusty melon baller.
Back at the house, those left behind have two tasks: to decide which people on the date should go into the Truth Booth and to get to know one another better in the light of day. Tevin and Kenya sit on a rock and have a quiet and emotional conversation and they really hope they turn out to be actual matches; they feel a true connection. They won’t find out tonight, however, because first Zak admits to the entire group that he and Maria kissed and Bria’s head almost spins off. Then it’s revealed the two who are heading into the Truth Booth are Tomas and Maria. They’re both stunned and think there’s no way they could be a match and they’re completely right. But all this really means (you know, narratively speaking) is that this lack of match keeps Maria in the house with Bria and Zak and Bria is reacting to the news of their kiss with tears and by screaming at Zak, and if this guy thinks she’s going to become more normal over time, he will end up very disappointed.
Zak isn’t the only guy in the house getting action. Daniel tongues at least five girls in a single afternoon. He also giggles so lasciviously that it causes my insides to clench. Seriously. I think one of my ovaries stopped functioning during his final giggle. Oh! And one of the girls he smooches is Kenya and Tevin sees it.
When the first Ceremony begins, Terrence J greets the contestants, explains the rules, taunts them with the repercussions of a Blackout (if they don’t end up with any matches), and then he calls Zak up first to pick his potential match. Zak selects Bria; nobody has to die. Next up is Tevin and he announces that he knows about the kiss he stumbled upon earlier. Kenya apologizes for her actions and it’s enough for Tevin to choose her as his match. The rest of them then lock in their matches and the beams of light confirm that on this, their very first Ceremony, three of them are already matched correctly. Yes, a million dollars is in their sights and that’s a very good thing because therapy is not cheap and some of these people could seriously benefit from some heavy analysis.
After the Ceremony, Tevin and Kenya argue a bit so Tevin invites Jasmine into the pool so he can stick his tongue down her throat. She seems to enjoy it! Also is a good mood is Brett. He and Cali have been spending a lot of time together and things are progressing well. Shamoy and Maria are bonding. Lewis and Asia start hanging out – and I think I like Asia. She’s looking for someone smart. My hopes aren’t high that there’s a MENSA member hiding in that house, but I wish her luck anyway. As for the rest of the girls, they’re all terrified of Bria. A girl simply talking to Zak in the kitchen is something that causes her to pace back and forth like a caged animal and then head to the gym where she beats the living sh*t out of a punching bag. And when she finds out Zak and Morgan are talking in the confessional, she pounds on the door and announces, “I’m not here for that sh*t! I’m not here to look stupid!” Morgan is scared out of her mind, Zak is probably thrilled because he believes verbal abuse paired with threats of physical abuse means he’s really wanted, and Bria is doing nothing except proving she’s legitimately unbalanced and that she will one day have her very own spinoff show for which I hope the producers take out a ton of insurance.
Morgan eventually leaves the confessional room. Zak tries to leave also, but Bria demands that he stay so she can yell at him some more. The only things this latest chat illustrates is that Zak is as insane as she is because he doesn’t run fleeing into a volcano. He thinks her rage is fun. At some point, Bria pulls Morgan aside to cry at her and explain why she behaves so psychotically. She’s fully aware of exactly what she’s doing wrong and she wants to change. I hope she does, but I’m gonna crawl out on a limb here and say a house stocked with booze, scantily clad people, and a camera crew is probably not where a sh*t ton of personal growth is going to occur.
Also: Nutsa has a crush on Zak, but she initially chooses not to pursue it because she doesn’t want to end up buried in a ravine.
And now it’s time for a luau! Kenya humps every single guy on the dance floor in so graphic a way that there’s a chance I got pregnant just watching it. Tevin takes it all in and decides he should just go for Jasmine. In retaliation – which is a very healthy way to live –Kenya pulls Lewis into some room where he declares her to be freaky. And then Nutsa pulls Zak over to dance and the two of them start kissing. The moment their lips touch, Lewis begs them to go somewhere private because of The Impending & Totally Predictable Wrath of Bria, and indeed, she barrels right over. She screams at Zak that he is a bitch, she needs to be held back by three people so she doesn’t smash in someone’s face, she cries in a heap in a corner of a closet, she bellows that she wants to leave the house, and she quivers with fury about a guy she’s known for about a minute and a half. All of it is sad to watch, but you know what’s even sadder? Knowing there’s an excellent chance Zak will dive right back into this pool of psychosis for more because being threatened makes him feel alive.
Nell Kalter teaches Film and Media at a school in New York. She is the author of the books THAT YEAR and STUDENT, both available on amazon.com in paperback and for your Kindle. Also be sure to check out her website at nellkalter.com. Her twitter is @nell_kalter.