Catfish romantic dreamers are known for being diverse, and it feels like we’ve seen every possible type of person or outcome — but up until tonight’s episode, sleuths Nev and Max had not yet aided any grandparents. Let’s recount Jeanette’s tale — and remember the show’s first-ever grandmother.
It all started when Jeanette’s daughter Shuntay asked the diligent detectives to help uncover the case of Derick. The short story: Jeanette made the first move when she discovered Derick’s profile on the dating website Plenty of Fish. Even though it took him some time to respond to the Orlando native, the two instantly hit it off and even talked about getting married as well as having kids together (despite a considerable age difference).
But then the trademark suspicious behavior synonymous with this show began to emerge: Excuses for why meeting face-to-face wouldn’t work (not just because of the six-hour drive from her Florida hometown to his home in Atlanta) and failed video chats.
And the concern about Derick’s identity was absolutely warranted: Nev and Max, with Shuntay’s help, soon discovered that the photographs Derick was using actually featured a high school student. That was only the tip of the iceberg: The phone number was registered to a Georgia resident named Derica — with the same last name as Derick’s.
“Your mom could be talking to a woman,” Max stated to Shuntay, before adding that this was not the first time the duo had encountered women posing as men online.
When the trio showed Jeanette the results, she was understandably devastated that she could potentially be talking to “a baby.” But Max was quick to point out that she probably wasn’t speaking to a minor, but rather someone who was using these photos.
And Max was right: The person behind Derick was a woman named Derica who used the Derick account as “something to do” because she was bored. But Derica, who admitted she dated women, was adamant that everything she said to Jeanette was true (name, age and gender aside). But Jeanette was not buying this explanation and exclaimed that Derica “pissed all over her feelings.”
But after cooling off and having some time to think, a more subdued Jeanette got some answers from Derica. Specifically, why Derica kept up the charade for such a lengthy period (she admitted her selfishness and apologized) and whether or not she actually wanted to settle down and start a family (she did). From there, Derica opened up about her painful past — specifically, losing her mother and grandfather, being in prison for dealing drugs, being homeless and beginning sexual relationships with older women.
Even though Derica wanted to continue their special connection (and even admitted to loving her cyber partner), Jeanette made it clear that there was someone out there for Derica — but it wasn’t her. During the catch-up, both women revealed that they were still in touch, but their bond was not the same as it used to be.
What did you think of our very first Catfish grandmother? Sound off in the comments, and be sure to keep watching new episodes on Wednesdays at 10/9c!