'90 Day Fiancé: Before the 90 Days': It's All An Illusion (RECAP)
[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for 90 Day Fiancé: Before the 90 Days Season 4, Episode 2].
From criminal records to music videos, it seems like this season's cast of couples might be hiding more than what meets the eye. In the immortal words of Jesse Meester, it is just an illusion after all.
In the premiere, we learned about the death of Geoffrey's son and his fear of sharing his full history with new love Varya. (After the episode aired, it became clear what Geoffrey meant by his "past." He is currently facing serious charges.)
Geoffrey and his two sons take off to the airport in a hideous yellow sedan. Geoffrey talks about his divorce and again brings up the death of 13-month old son. "I really hope Varya can help me find happiness," Geoffrey says. "I'm really worried Varya will not accept me for who I am when she finds out everything about me."
Geoffrey begins to tell his story about dealing drugs and his impoverished upbringing. He was sentenced to 30 months in prison for a drug bust years ago. "I'm not proud of my past, but it is my past," Geoffrey explains.
"Just be safe and watch yourself," one of Geoffrey's sons tells him as they drop him off at the airport.
"After everything I've gone through, I need this to work out," Geoffrey pleads as he boards the plane to Russia.
Love Is a Battlefield
Like a soldier going into battle, we see the triumphant return of the one and only Darcey. The queen is trying on wedding dresses with a third person commentary ("this is definitely a Darcey dress!") for essentially no reason. Last season, we saw Darcey connect with British beau Tom, yet their relationship seemed to be put on hold due to his lack of commitment.
In the bridal boutique, Darcey wiggles in her sequin-encrusted gown like a prime trout caught in a fishing net. We love Darcey; she is a true gem with a good heart, but sometimes her delusions get the better of her. In other words, she's fantastic television.
"Something about a foreign guy feels right. You have to keep your eye on the prize and achieve what you want," Darcey explains in reference to both Tom and her Amsterdam-based ex, Jesse. Tom was her friend throughout the tumultuous two-year relationship with Jesse, and last season Darcey finally acted on her romantic feelings towards her "sexy James Bond."
Apparently after the previous Tell All episode, Darcey and Tom reconnected. Darcey says she's just trying on the wedding dress "for business," and her twin sister Stacey steps out of the dressing room, too. The duo run clothing brand House of Eleven, named in honor of their deceased brother. They're expanding into bridal wear, hence the wedding dresses.
Afterwards, the sisters discuss their love lives at a café. Stacey is engaged to her longtime Albanian boyfriend, and Darcey laments over Tom's cold demeanor towards her. "Maybe I'm just needy," she says in a confessional.
In her defense, Tom apparently only texted her for her birthday, which is literally the bare minimum. "It just made me feel unloved. He said he was going to call," Darcey says through unnecessary tears.
It's SojaBoy, Not SouljaBoy
Lisa calls Usman to check in ahead of her trip to Nigeria. She asks to see his music studio while she's there, mainly to find out if there are any other girls hanging around. "I want us to be married as soon as possible so everyone knows he has a wife," she says.
Yet Lisa is worried about getting his mother's blessing for marriage. According to Usman, his mother hopes he will marry a Muslim Nigerian woman instead.
Lisa then meets up with some friends, who wonder why Usman would want to come to the U.S. if he's an established celebrity in Nigeria. She points to her Valentine's Day present, the song "I Love You" that SojaBoy wrote for her, as proof of their romance. But Lisa admits that she was upset that Usman opted to cast a different woman in the music video to represent her.
"The video should have had an image of me, like a shadow or a ghost appearing in his vision," she says in a bout of insanity. "But the director put a Nigerian woman in there posing as me. I told him that if this stays the way it is, I will no longer acknowledge that the video is written for me. The song means nothing to me at that point."
This is the woman who was in the video instead of Lisa:
Usman actually cut out all the scenes of the other woman, which was above and beyond what was necessary. He's a recording artist, for heaven's sake! This is all part of his art and his persona. Lisa took it more literally and basically wanted a hologram version of herself in the video.
Their conversation concludes with Lisa's friends expressing anxiety over her safety in the area of Nigeria where Usman lives, and her comforting them by saying if she does get attacked or killed there, it's ok because she'll be with him.
The Price of a Soulmate
Ed talks with his coworker about his girlfriend Rosemarie. While not being a photographer, he works as an interior designer. His coworker explains that Ed needs shots before traveling to the Philippines and he shouldn't expect plumbing in Rosemarie's small town. Ed also sent Rosemarie's dad a grill to cook with while he's there since he has dietary restrictions and most likely cannot eat the local cuisine.
Ed has only been talking to Rosemarie for three months, but already he has spent over $5,000 in gifts for her and her family. "My main concern is that she is using him," his compassionate coworker worries.
Ed reveals that Rosemarie's sister Maria recently asked him for money to help her business. "I don't want this to be a shakedown," he confesses. "I pray to God that Rose is my soulmate. I just hope that I'm not making a mistake."
Speaking of soulmates, Avery adamantly believes that the Melbourne-based relationship coach is her forever love. She videochats with Ash, who throws out whimsical phrases like "if our souls connect then all will be great" and it just seems too magical to be true. Where is 90 Day Fiancé Tania's at least more honest take on fate?
Ash has a ten-year-old son from his first marriage and shares joint custody with his ex-wife. According to Avery, he hopes to move to the U.S. with his son there full-time. Not sure how that would work out with the custody agreement, but he just says that his ex "has a positive outlook."
Ash and his former wife apparently broke up because they "grew apart" due to his profession. Maybe she does have a reason to be skeptical.
I See London, I See France, I See So Many Airports
Yolanda looks at hotels in Manchester for her trip to see internet boyfriend Williams. This will be her first trip outside of the U.S., and she's unsure of which airport to fly into when she travels to the U.K. Williams tells her London but Yolanda asks for the exact name of the airport. Then he says she should fly to Manchester instead. Exciting stuff.
"Don't Be a Fool, Wrap Your Tool"
This delightful quote about safe sex is courtesy of the adorable Ed, who is packing "protection, not guns." Also we get that he is a photographer, but his bedroom is covered—and we mean, COVERED—in suggestive photos of women.
Check out the wall behind Ed's friend:
Ed shows a friend the engagement ring he bought for Rosemarie. He's also bringing toys for her son. She apparently wants to have another child, ideally a daughter, but he prefers to "get nipped" with a vasectomy. Ed doesn't want to tell Rosemarie though because he's "afraid of losing her." Well, miscommunication and deceit is not going to you get too far either.
What Are the "Right Reasons" Again?
We finally are introduced to Geoffrey's girlfriend, Russian radio host Varya. The 30-year-old lives outside Moscow, but originally grew up in Siberia. She meets up with a group of friends before he arrives, and apparently no one told her pals that she was going to be on a reality show because they immediately laugh that Varya is obviously with Geoffrey to get to America.
"Why not? What's so bad about that?" Varya agrees. So maybe Geoffrey's sons were right in being worried. Her friends preemptively make sure that she's meeting him first in a public place, and urge her to get her own hotel room.
The Magic of Manipulation
Avery tells her family that her relationship with Ash is the reason for her trip to Australia. There literally is a black dog — it's basically a cat with how it hops — behind her when she explains their love story, so talk about omens.
"Aren't there any fellas in Washington?" Avery's grandmother asks. Her parents agree that it sounds "silly" but they are supportive of her meeting him in person.
"You'll find out when you get there, unless he's a total manipulator," her mom says to perfectly sum up Avery's fears.
Let's Be Real, It's a Booty Call
After a year of dating on and off, Darcey sits down to videochat with Tom to get some answers. He starts their conversation off by saying that he's been swamped at work but is "having a lot of fun," which is not something a woman who lives thousands of miles away wants to hear.
Tom is traveling to New York to meet with a wine distributor, and asks if Darcey would like to meet. "It feels a little off to me," she says, remembering ex-boyfriend Jesse's request for a sit down talk to break up with her. "If you're coming here to break up, then you can just do that over the phone," she tells him.
"Exactly. I'd like to come to spend some time with someone I shared a romantic notion with," Tom responds. "I want to see how the land lies." Um, Darcey, he's using past tense. And 'land lies' means 'do you still look good enough for a rendezvous when I'm in town?' Come on.
Tom hops off the phone, citing an incoming work call, and Darcey considers herself a "pawn" to him. "I don't want any bad blood. I just don't know what I'm going to do," she sighs.
Bad First Impression
Geoffrey lands in Russia, and Varya embraces him at the airport. "She's everything and more," he gushes. He says in a confessional interview he's nervous, but it's OK because she "smells really good."
Whatever kind of game this is, Varya is catching on quickly. "I hope the awkwardness will dissipate," she says.
They take an uncomfortable selfie for her friends, and then the unfit pair take off in a taxi.
Ash buys flowers for Avery before she arrives in Melbourne, and the talkative florist from the Australian Sopranos spinoff gives the production crew a tip off that Ash is a player.
"I don't know man, he has a lot of girls," the anonymous florist teases.
The last remaining couple is shown, with 29 year-old Stephanie revealing to her parents that she's bisexual and in love with 24 year-old Erika who lives in Australia.
Varya asks about Geoffrey's last relationship, and Yolanda is still confused about the plan with Williams. Darcey receives images of Tom with another woman, plus Rosemarie finally meets Ed in person.
The drama is truly just beginning.
90 Day Fiancé: Before the 90 Days, Sundays, 8/7c, TLC