Are You the One?

“Are You the One?” – Nell Kalter’s Episode 13 Recap

Seems the entire house is trying to shake things up when it comes to making new matches for the Ceremony. The guys will pick tonight and their selections are as follows:

Brett decides to kick of the trend of choosing someone new. He admits that Nutsa’s a “good girl” and “still an option” for him, but he also announces that the two just lack a spark. (Women love when men declare publicly that they’re just not attracted to them!) After murdering Nutsa’s self-worth while wearing a microphone, Brett then proclaims that Bria is full of substance and I am officially stunned that nobody on that set – not even some production assistant – burst out laughing after that remark. But when Brett picks Bria, Bria explains to Terrence J that, for her, this pairing is merely about strategy. She doesn’t mention that the reason she cannot invest in Brett is because she’s a psychopathic she-devil who still fantasizes about crawling into Zack’s soul and squatting there forever, but I think we’ve all gotten pretty adept at reading the blazing subtext that comes shooting out of her retinas every hour on the hour.

Kwasi, the self-proclaimed One Chance Guy, could not possibly pick some girl who had the audacity to kiss someone else while participating on a dating show where she’s plied with alcohol, so he chooses the now-ditched Nutsa. Kenya shakes her head at this selection because it’s her (probably very accurate) belief that the only reason Kwasi is choosing Nutsa is because Nutsa is Jasmine’s best friend and Kwasi cannot help himself from acting like a Petty Monster when he’s not very busy acting like a Kwasi Beast. When Nutsa walks up to lock in her vote, Terrence J asks if she’s done with Brett and she swears she is because she’s given that guy everything and all he did was toss her scraps of bullsh*t so she’s over it. Then she makes some sort of analogy involving a juicy peach, but I didn’t pay close enough attention to describe it to you because we’re in episode thirteen and I’ve just about reached my limit on nonsensical analogies at this stage of the season.

Andrew comes up next and he picks Cali because they both enjoy their families and they both breathe air.

Moe chooses Kayla. These two are so boring that there’s a chance they could last forever.

Daniel decides to be one of the mix-it-up guys this week and he picks Lauren. Lauren is wearing an outfit that can only be described as Minnie-Mouse-bolted-from-Disney-World-after-a-bender-and-her-first-stop-was-Frederick’s-of-Hollywood.

Tomas selects Jasmine.

Lewis chooses Asia. He sweetly refrains from reminding her that he finds her unattractive as they press their hands on the screen.

Cam picks Morgan and suddenly Maria cannot sit there silently and take these random selections anymore. Why, she asks, is Jasmine sitting next to Tomas? Jasmine’s match is probably Kwasi! So what if she kissed someone else? This is a game and Kwasi should give her another shot, even if that means just picking her for strategy’s sake. Into this discussion lopes Zack, Emotional Neanderthal. Zack sticks up for Kwasi because Zack is just so grateful that someone else is behaving like the moron Zack prides himself on being. Then he blurts out that perhaps Kwasi picked Nutsa tonight because Nutsa is just “a better version” of Jasmine. This comment results in Jasmine bursting into tears. Nutsa gets up to hug her and Kayla tells Zack that what he just said was needlessly disrespectful. Zack stares at her with his mouth open because he hails from the species of Garbage Person and Garbage People in general tend to respond to things like the truth with only a gap-mouthed silence.

Zack is up next and he picks Samantha. Since Samantha does not hail from The Garbage People, my guess is their pairing will not result in any sort of light beaming through the night sky.

And now it’s time to see how many matches they got this time. With all the new couples sitting together, the group is hopeful they will make some progress, but they again only snag four beams. They are stunned, Terrence J is horrified, and now they only have one chance left.

Back at the house, the group deals with their frustration in a myriad of ways:

• Kwasi stalks around the grounds holding a stick while muttering the word “Losers!” over and over again. Then he hits chairs with that stick like a normal person most definitely would and screams, “I don’t f*cking lose!” Who wouldn’t want this guy to be her soulmate? Look how well he handles a crisis!
• Bria sits in the confessional and cries because she’s very stable.
• Asia politely asks Kwasi to put down the stick.
• Andrew kicks something made of glass. Then he punches walls and a cabinet. Quick question: after telling the matchmaker how badly he wanted to find a woman who likes her family, did he then also mention that he abuses furniture and tchotchkes when he’s angry?
• Nutsa calmly suggests that they all sit down together and share their vulnerabilities. And listen, Kwasi would so be a part of Nutsa’s Sharing Circle, but he’s still very busy pounding the f*ck out of the lawn furniture so they will have to start without him.

Since she was the one to suggest they get honest with one another, Nutsa is the first to share. She explains that she suffers from depression and anxiety and that’s why she wears a mask of always being so happy all the time. Her admission opens up the floodgates and suddenly everyone is being honest. Brett admits that his tendency towards stubbornness is the reason he’s single. Cam says that he always tries to appear confident, but what he’s really looking for is someone who allows him to feel weak sometimes. Morgan has had no strong male presence in her life and she knows it’s impacted her profoundly. Lauren was cheated on by the only two men she ever loved and now she’s afraid to be vulnerable. Samantha expects even her friends to one day disappoint her. Moe is terrified people won’t like him. Cali and Jasmine both reveal they were abused as children. This is heavy sh*t they’re talking about while Kwasi continues to slam sticks into furniture and maybe it will be the breakthrough they need. Maybe it won’t, but I can say this is the first time I find myself actually rooting for these people, and I’m not just rooting for them to get the money; I’m hoping they’ll all someday find a modicum of peace.

After hearing what Jasmine said about the pain she’s endured in her life, Zack pulls her away to apologize. It’s a decent apology and I’ll always give credit where credit is due. I mean, I still think Zack is terrible, but because he showed some kindness here, I will refrain from capitalizing the “T” in “terrible” this one time. I’m sweet like that.

Brett wakes up the next morning wondering if maybe he’s made a gigantic mistake. Is Nutsa his match? Looks like he’s about to find out because the four people selected to go on the date this time are Brett, Moe, Nutsa, and Lauren! They all go jet skiing and later in the day, Lauren sits down with Moe. Her only goal here is to give him advice on how to secure things with Kayla. As for Brett, he’s suddenly all in with Nutsa, but that commitment is coming at the very same moment that she’s chosen to emotionally distance herself. He’s hurt her. But then they have a conversation about vulnerability and he promises he won’t hurt her going forward and they kiss. The only question now is whether the phantom matchmakers believe these two should be together.

To nobody’s surprise, Brett and Nutsa are voted into the Truth Booth.

Also to nobody’s surprise, the episode ends before the results are revealed. My frustration by this cliffhanger is intense and it’s real, so should you need me, I’ll be outside hitting my porch swing with a mallet.

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.

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