If "Catfish" were a public school, its Season 4 substitute teachers would have received rave reviews from the district's superintendent. Still, there's no replacing the homeroom lecturer you've come to know and love.
On tonight's episode, after a multi-week hiatus, show host Max Joseph finally returned to the MTV digital detective series to help Nev Schulman take on his newest case: a 23-year-old named Felipe who wanted to get to the bottom of his online relationship with a stunner named Jasmin, with whom Felipe saw a real future (he'd already bought land for the ideal family he'd pictured having). Unfortunately, though, Felipe's fantasy proved to be just that, and Jasmin, who'd never committed to as much as a phone call, amounted to a piece of fiction.
After some digging, prodding and probing, Max and Nev discovered that a man named Luis -- the best friend of Felipe's ex-girlfriend Alex -- was behind the profile. Worse, when pushed to volunteer a motive, Luis insisted he didn't even know why he did it. He had no specific vendetta against Felipe, claimed the profile wasn't a covert means to meet men online and, finally, Luis didn't seem to be an especially sadistic guy who got kicks from upsetting strangers. Frustrated, the group agreed to take some time to think and reconvene the next day.
During the follow-up meeting, Max, who was equal parts stern and sympathetic, managed to extract from Luis that Luis' memory of being molested of a child -- which he'd admitted to the day before -- had unknowingly raised an impenetrable guard in him, and the online liar said he used "Jasmin" to socialize more aggressively than he felt able to do in his real life.
"Accepting who you are is a major part of the answer," Max said. "That's hard to do. Nothing else is going to be as scary as what you've just done."
And when Max, Nev and Luis finally parted ways, it was clear Luis was on the path to understanding his actions more thoroughly.
"You're allowed to be who you are now," Max insisted.
See reliable Max back in action above, tell us what you thought of the story of Felipe and Luis and be sure to tune in to the next "Catfish" episode Wednesday at 10/9c!