Take Fifty Shades of Grey, cross it with your preferred heist film and you’ve got the latest episode of Catfish, the very first to feature a straight-up marriage hanging in the balance…kinda.
As part of the show’s latest adventure, and with the help of Diddy heir and Bad Boy Vice President Justin Combs, the crew took on the case of Cherie, a 26-year-old cellphone sales representative who lived outside Baltimore. Cherie explained that she was seeking clarity for a “super messy” relationship that had developed with a 29-year-old named Avion Whitaker, who first reached out by texting Cherie after claiming she’d sold him a tablet. Strangely, though, Cherie said Avion made their connection a game of cat and mouse in which he’d give Cherie clues that she’d have to use to unearth his identity.
So, yeah, not typical dating maneuvers. Still, Cherie, who was feeling flirty at the time, said she was “into it.”
After extensive texting (Cherie said she’d never spoken to Avion), Avion asked Cherie to meet up at a hotel. But he never showed, and Cherie told Nev that the ghosting made her think the whole thing was a prank. And, because she and Avion had exchanged NSFW photos, she became especially determined to uncover his identity to prevent any exploitation.
But when Cherie tried to get to the bottom of “Avion Whitaker,” the name didn’t drum up a single social media profile. Nobody at work knew who he was either, but Cherie was sure that she must have previously met Avion in some capacity, as he was privy to personal information — like her mother’s real name — that no stranger could know.
Upon meeting Cherie, and after some sleuthing, Nev uncovered a woman named Monica Whitaker, who called Nev and said she was married to the man. She said that she’d previously caught her husband texting a woman named Cherie (yup, the very same!!!) while using the alias “Avion” and fake photos.
And though Monica asked Nev and Justin to meet, she backed out at the last second, saying she wasn’t prepared for her marriage to implode on TV. Without many moves left to make, Nev finally texted Avion from his own phone, and Avion responded by saying he was, at last, prepared to meet Cherie.
After some additional hiccups, Nev, Cherie and Justin traveled to an address Avion had provided and found something completely unexpected, initially described by Cherie as “an old friend of mine who doesn’t know his place.”
The man was named Buddy, and he said Cherie — whom he’d known about five years — owed him money. Further, Buddy admitted his scheme boiled down to one absolute: He wanted his money back from Cherie, whom he called a “bad person” he wanted to punish.
But Cherie said Buddy had paid her bills without her knowledge and argued she didn’t owe him a thing.
“You know what I owe you? A goodbye and ‘Have a nice motherf***ing day,’” Cherie spat back.
Cherie and Buddy went back and forth about their initial exchange — Cherie said Buddy had fished for explicit photos, while Buddy said Cherie had volunteered them. Either way, Buddy said he never expected the charade to go as far as it did. Still, the damage had been done, and reconciliation didn’t seem to be on the table. So, after Buddy assured Cherie that her NSFW photos had been deleted, the group decided to call it quits.
So: sex, scheming, falsified marriage — this Catfish episode put any Scandal arc to shame, so where do you think it fits into the Catfish pantheon? Share your thoughts, then tune in to the next episode Wednesday at 8/7c!