’90 Day Fiancé’: New Year, Same Fear (RECAP)
[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Season 8, Episode 5 of 90 Day Fiancé.]
2020 may be over, but the drama for these couples is nowhere near done. As some fiancés try to set wedding dates, others are looking for the nearest exit. Be it Belize or the Ukraine, some return flights may be landing sooner than we thought. Let’s take off!
A Coop Coup
We get a glimpse into Brandon’s daily routine, which includes leaving for work as an exterminator at 4:30 a.m. While he worries that Julia won’t be ready to spend the day on her own, he admits that she snuck into his room the night before for a “little alone time.” Regardless, they’re still confined to separate living quarters at his parents’ house.
Maybe it’s for the best, because at least Julia gets to sleep in! Hours later, she wakes up to an empty farm. She’s tasked with feeding the chickens and retrieving their eggs, but she doesn’t remember how to do it. Julia resorts to bargaining with the chicks before Brandon’s family friend Aspen wanders over to instruct her.
“When the sun comes up, that’s when all the animals get fed in the morning. They’re used to eating at 7 a.m.,” Aspen explains to a dumbfounded Julia. Aspen calls her “slacking” in a confessional since Julia didn’t get out to feed the animals until noon. She’s used to going to bed at the time she’s now expected to farm.
“I don’t want to stay here and take care of animals,” Julia sighs. “We need to leave.”
The Stephanie Stimulus Check
Stephanie shows off her weight loss and de-aging spa. She boasts about helping her cousin lose 80 pounds, and over plastic surgery injections, she explains to her family that she plans on going back to Belize as soon as the borders reopen. Stephanie hopes that Ryan will finally propose, and she’s even bringing her mother’s ring.
But her cousins remain unconvinced. Even Stephanie’s employee Pam has concerns! “This is a complete shock,” Pam tells the camera about lifelong bachelorette Stephanie deciding to settle down.
Stephanie implies that she’s financially strained due to helping Ryan and his family. On a monthly basis, she says she’s spent between $500 and $1300 to pay for their food and rent.
Her cousins try to clarify the situation, since Ryan works at a resort and should have income coming in. But there’s a twist: Stephanie got her friend who owns the resort to give Ryan the job, and she pays his wages secretly…because it “helps his self-esteem.” OK, so to what great lengths is Stephanie planning on going to protect Ryan’s masculinity? Oh, wait, yeah, she cheated on his with his cousin. OK, Stephanie, whatever floats your boat in Belize.
A Nasty Village Full of Selfish People
Back in New Orleans, Yara and Jovi are taking baby steps to learn how to compromise. “There’s a lot of selfish people in the world. I don’t think we’re the only two,” he somewhat jokes to the camera.
Yara’s beloved new rug arrives, and she starts lecturing Jovi about wearing shoes in the house now that their apartment is “not disgusting.” Jovi asks what else Yara wants, and she lists off being friends with Kim Kardashian, dating Christian Ronaldo, and a $27 million penthouse. She also calls New Orleans a “nasty village.”
“I don’t want to spend my life where I’m unhappy,” Yara explains. “So, if you don’t want to make me happy, I will just go.”
“Welcome to my life,” Jovi shrugs.
Jovi gifts Yara a new phone, and she says that he’s “now the best boyfriend in the world.” They kiss, and she asks Jovi to resume his status as Instagram boyfriend of the year.
Like Fish in a Barrel
Mike revels in his last day off work. He is a branch manager for a construction supply company, and before he returns to the office, he does stand by his word and takes Natalie to the waterfall that she was literally crying about last week. They also light super small fireworks in the front yard supposedly to kill fish, and Natalie reveals that she is learning new things about her fiancé — things she’s not even sure that she likes.
The following day, Natalie settles in to being home alone. She acquaints herself with their laundry setup, but she’s unsure what the bleach is for. All she needs to know is just not to drink it. Basically the whole setup is far more complicated than what she’s used to in the Ukraine.
Natalie takes a break from not doing laundry to call her friend on FaceTime. She opens up about finding Mike disrespectful to the fish and other “not positive news” about living with him. Natalie clarifies that she does trust Mike, even after their communication issues and her paranoia about possible infidelity. But she doesn’t trust him enough to ask about the status of their nuptials. Perhaps their relationship is not as easy as Natalie hopes it would be.
Tarik and Hazel kick off their first day together in Virginia Beach. After a quick misunderstanding about a restaurant named Hair of the Dog, Tarik introduces Hazel to American breakfast food. She prefers her traditional Filipino rice.
Tarik starts to discuss wedding venues, but Hazel is feeling overwhelmed. “I wish Tarik can do it slower. Living here now, I need to adjust to a lot of things, especially being away from my son, my home, and my family,” Hazel admits to the camera. Her parents want her to get married in a church to please them, and Tarik calls it too boring.
They move on to talk about Hazel meeting Tarik’s daughter Ari. “This is my two worlds colliding,” Tarik explains. Ari has high-functioning autism, and he tries to prepare Hazel.
Rebecca did decide to move out from living with her daughter. She hasn’t seen Zied in over a year, and she stresses what he will think once he sees their new apartment. Turns out she had previously lived in the building with her Moroccan ex.
Zied is officially on his way to America, and Rebecca is both nervous and excited to see him. “It’s starting to get real,” she holds back tears. “I am so excited for him to be here, but I am worried about him because he’s never left his country before.”
Back from his first day away, Brandon doesn’t hug or kiss Julia when he arrives home. Julia points out that she took care of the farm animals, and he’s not giving her enough affection in return. “I hate this,” she pouts. “I think about it, I really want to go home.”
“I wish she would see this as an opportunity and just give life on the farm a chance,” Brandon stresses in a confessional. The couple get ready to go to dinner with Brandon’s extended family, and things are already tense.
Steak Your Claim
Natalie still bumbles around the house while Mike is away. She complains that she wants to move as soon as possible, but Mike is too poor to live in Seattle.
Finally, Mike picks her up to stay at a hotel while viewing the waterfall. Even though he is treating Natalie to a nice dinner, she loves to point out how complete opposites they are: he loves wine, steak, and arguably the best things in life. She is vegetarian, more health-conscious, and looks down on alcohol. Mike asks Natalie what he can do to be better for her, and she responds in such a cringey, over-the-top way that it’s hard to watch Mike still call her his fiancé.
“Somebody’s lives were taken for you to have dinner, because the animal that you are going to eat gave his life,” Natalie chastises him.
“It’s like I’ve always told you, I love it,” Mike reminds her that he’s always been upfront about eating meat. She pushes for a half-vegetarian lifestyle as a compromise. He agrees to “give it a whirl.”
Have a Little Faith
Tarik shows Hazel his spiritual venue, the A.R.E. “I guess you would kind of call it a cultural center for the enlightenment,” Tarik explains. The non-denominational setting has stained glass windows and pews but is not linked to a specific sect. A small sidetone, the A.R.E. was founded by “the most documented psychic” Edgar Cayce. In her own crystal ball, Hazel cannot see herself getting married there.
“This is my church that’s not a church. That’s all,” Tarik kindly opens up. Hazel refuses, and the search for a new venue continues.
Moaning About Mother’s Day
The awkward dinner commences between Julia, Brandon, his parents, and his grandfather, “Pop-Pop” Joe. Grandpa Joe already has views of his own about Julia.
“She’s a lovely young lady but a lot of Russian women like to come to America and they promise marriage, sex, everything that goes with it to attract them, and then later they find themselves in trouble,” Joe warns, wide-eyed, to the camera. “You have to have your eyes open, your ears open. You don’t want to be hurt.” He believes that Julia may be scamming Brandon.
Later, Brandon’s mother Betty inquires about a strange mark on Julia’s neck. Guess what? Her oh-so-smooth son left a hickey on Julia for all to see. So much for that sneaking around plan. Brandon’s parents say Brandon needs to grow up, but Pop-Pop steps in to add that he would still love to give hickeys. Yum.
Brandon and Julia announce they’re planning on getting married on May 9, which Betty is quick to point out is Mother’s Day weekend. What, is this an audition for I Love A Mama’s Boy? Turns out their anniversary is actually May 9. Betty says they need to “separate” their anniversary from Mother’s Day. What, like in a time machine?
To Julia, this is just another example of Brandon’s family railroading her wishes.
Natalie finally got her scenic waterfall. Of course now that she got what she wanted, she calls their relationship “real.” Mike treats Natalie to drinks…or tries to. Natalie complains that they’re at a bar and scolds him for ordering a beer when they just had wine the night before. Mike orders a meat-centric dish for lunch, and Natalie gets angry.
“I was really happy last night because he agreed to make a change for me. If during the 90 day period, Michael would not make any changes for me, I would feel like he does not respect me,” Natalie says in a confessional.
Natalie pushes Mike to set a date for the wedding, mostly because she wants to feel secure in their nuptials but also to have her mother fly out for the event. They split a root beer float, but Natalie won’t trust Mike that it’s not alcoholic.
After being together already for four weeks, Jovi has to leave for a month for his work trip. Once he gets back, they will have just 45 days to tie the knot. Yara and Jovi go out for dinner, and Jovi reminds Yara that she can rely on his mother to keep her company. But Yara prefers to make friends her own age.
Yara opens up that she feels neglected by Jovi. “Of course it’s not easy. I need somebody’s help,” Yara pleads, thinking about their future children. Jovi works four weeks at a time, and he views that as a positive to be able to spend four weeks one-on-one with his kids. Yara reveals that when she miscarried, Jovi left to go back to work and she was alone when she had the operation. She cries remembering the traumatic experience.
“How can I trust you after what you did?” Yara screams. “How can I born your kids if I know that you can leave me alone?”
Jovi has no emotion. He says sorry but asks what more she wants. They argue about the details of her miscarriage, and Jovi acknowledges that a year and a half later, he didn’t realize she still resented his decision at the time.
Next week, Natalie reveals that she hasn’t even unpacked and is no doubt still struggling to do laundry. Hazel meets Tarik’s daughter Ari, and Yara hangs out with Jovi’s friends while he’s away. Plus, Andrew tries to get more information on fiancé Amira’s detainment in Mexico. And finally, Rebecca and Zied are reunited.
90 Day Fiancé, Sundays, 8/7c, TLC