Catfish victims are sometimes not what they seem. But during tonight's premiere, the roles actually flipped between the two featured subjects: The love hopeful was the crook, and the person who was portrayed as the conman was actually innocent. And yes, Nev and Max were just as surprised when they learned the truth about this crazy and captivating case featuring a newly divorced couple.
Shawny, who turned out to actually be named Ebony, claimed to be in dire need when she sought out the MTV co-hosts -- but the Rochester native was actually duping her ex-husband Brandon (who used the name Jack when communicating with the mysterious woman). At first, Shawny's account to Nev and Max seemed legitimate: The mother of three told them that she had gotten a random phone call from a number she didn't recognize five months ago. Instead of picking up, she sent a text message reply and the conversation quickly turned flirty. However, Shawny and her suitor never actually spoke on the phone or met in person -- even though they lived in the same town. To make matters even weirder, Shawny didn't know Jack's last name. When asked if she would be okay if the person was a female, Shawny claimed it would not be a deal-breaker and was open to the idea of being with a woman.
When the guys got to work, they matched a phone number to a woman named Angel -- and this immediately drummed up something in Max. Specifically, he believed that Shawny knew Angel and they might be getting tricked. When asked, Shawny refuted Max's theory and insisted she was being truthful (relive some of their exchange below).
Turns out, she had a tremendous poker face. When Jack approached the mother of his children for a face-to-face meeting in a local park, he was completely shell-shocked -- and she immediately shrugged and put her face in her hands to signal she was guilty as charged.
"So you were lying to us!" Nev exclaimed, while Max interjected with "You did catfish us." Yup, yup and more yup.
Moving forward, we'll use their real names: Brandon explained he had no idea he was chatting with his erstwhile partner and was royally confused to see Ebony. Ebony, meanwhile, confessed that she had bought a new phone to call Brandon; she also explained her motivation was "to try to get [her] family back together." Conversations between the two IRL had been going nowhere, and that is why Ebony took it to the extreme -- and that's why the foursome was standing awkwardly in a local park with the truth exposed.
In the end, though, Ebony and Brandon reached common ground thanks to a heartfelt wrap-up conversation. They tearfully admitted they have always loved each other since they were little and both apologized for their actions.
"You've always been a good friend to me -- and you've been two friends to me," Brandon stated, as Ebony cracked a smile. You can say that again.
What did you think of this unique installment? Sound off in the comments and keep watching Catfish on Wednesdays at 8/7c.