More often than not, Catfish do not use photographs of themselves for their digital profiles. But when they are the guy or gal featured in the images, it's a surprise for not only the love hopeful but Nev and Max -- and the authentic physical appearance can either be met with enthusiasm or complete confusion. And the latter sentiment is exactly how love hopeful Jaylin felt tonight after discovering his "girlfriend" Ja'la was in fact the young woman in her images.
Let's recount J-squared's journey: The 20-year-old met the gifted athlete online three years ago -- but felt he needed some answers about his longtime love's identity in order to make a big step and move to another state to be with her. But, before he could pack his bags and leave his roots, major questions needed to be answered since he had never even heard her voice.
When the detectives got to digging, they immediately began to suspect that Jaylin was not speaking to the girl who claimed to be Ja'la. But when her named checked out with some track and field statistics, the tides began to turn when the sleuths located an image of the girl featured in the photos during a competition. Soon afterward, they found the real Ja'la's social media accounts -- but Max concluded that it didn't necessarily mean Jaylin was speaking with her for all of this time.
But the real difficult zinger that was uncovered: Lots of photographs of Ja'la kissing another man -- a relationship that was a complete surprise to Jaylin. However, a bigger issue loomed: Calls and texts to Ja'la were not returned. But that didn't derail the trio from going to Ja'la's native Wyoming to get clarity and track (pun intended) her down.
And that they did: Soon after they arrived in the Equality State, they found an Instagram photograph of Ja'la tagged at a local restaurant. Soon enough, they found her at the dining establishment, and she confirmed that she was in fact communicating with the Ohio native. Shortly after this revelation, Jaylin looked like he got the wind knocked out of him and was visibly upset. Why was she mysterious about her identity?
"Three years ago, I was still in high school," she softly explained. "I felt like I loved you, but my parents wouldn't have approved of it. You're older than me; I met you off of the Internet."
Even so, Jaylin felt deceived and disappointed that she couldn't just be honest with him. And the scenario featured in this episode begs a certain question surrounding those who find themselves on the long-running MTV series: Would you rather meet the real person and be forced to deal with the excuses and runaround about why a face-to-face was not an option? Or is a blindside by someone completely different than the person you thought you were communicating with an easier pill to swallow because their reasons for avoiding uniting in the flesh make more sense?
Share your theories in the comments, and be sure to catch a brand-new episode of Catfish next Wednesday at 10/9c!