In the course of eight years, a U.S. President can serve two terms. A student at Brown University can complete the institution's Liberal Medical Education program and become an MD. And, as evidenced by tonight's episode of Catfish, a man can be in an online relationship with a mystery woman who only Skypes in the dark.
The dude who spent 96 months romancing a shadow: Michigan resident Alante, who first met his beloved Nevaeh after she sent him a friend request on Facebook way back in the day. Their online romance blossomed, but Alante soon ran into some classic Catfish-like roadblocks: In addition to refusing to turn on the lights during video calls, Nevaeh blew off several in-person meetings and disappeared for months on end.
Before long, the sleuths discovered that the photos on Nevaeh's Facebook page actually belonged to a Brooklyn-based blogger. Even more fishy (lol, get it?), Alante and Nevaeh had 46 Facebook friends in common.
"That's a lot for someone he doesn't know," Max noted, as he and Nev sent messages to every single one of those "mutual friends" asking about Nevaeh.
The two later broke the bad news to Alante as the 25-year-old hosted a family barbecue. There, Alante's godsister Ericka, expressed sympathy for the situation.
"I can't wait for him to finally meet her so he can get the closure he needs," she said.
That closure seemed imminent when Nev and Max got a call from a girl named Seiairah, who claimed she was close pals with Nevaeh. Later, when the three met, Max asked the question on eeeeveryone's mind -- "Are you Nevaeh?" -- and Seiariah insisted she wasn't. In fact, she walked a few feet away and seemed to place a call to Nevaeh, asking her to meet with the sleuths. Nevaeh supposedly agreed, and within an hour, Nev, Max and Alante were at a park approaching the mysterious catfish.
So was it Seiarah after all? Not quite. It was -- wait for it -- ERICKA. Why'd she do it?
"I actually liked [the hoax]," Ericka admitted, "because I've been told, 'You're pretty for a dark-skinned girl. You're pretty to be kind of chunky.' But Nevaeh's confident. She's pretty. She's light. She models. It wasn't necessarily about [Alante] -- it was the inner issues that I needed to work on."
Alante's response? "There's definitely no friendship now."
Except there was. The two went there separate ways but, five months later when Nev and Max followed up on the case via video call, Alante was happily sitting beside Ericka.
"I'm not the type of guy to be mad at someone forever," he said. It didn't hurt that Alante had recently lost his father, and Ericka provided comfort. "When my Pops passed, I needed a shoulder, and she was always there."
But is that enough reason to rebuild a friendship? One on hand, Ericka is (kind of) family and -- as Alante added during the video call -- she's "always" been in his corner. On the other hand, the woman lied to him for eight friggin' years. Would you have been able to forgive someone who betrayed you for so long? Tell us your thoughts, then catch another Catfish on Wednesday at 8/7c!