Catfish just aired its very first episode featuring a DNA test, and the results would leave even Maury Povich gobsmacked.
On the show’s latest episode, detectives Nev and Kamie took on the case of Sparkayla, a Los Angeles resident who’d been confronting a potential case of mysterious half-sisterhood. Sparkayla told the duo that two years earlier, a Las Vegas resident named Maritha slid into her Instagram DMs and claimed that she was Sparkayla’s half-sister and that they shared a father.
Sparkayla, who’d had a tense relationship with her only other siblings, welcomed the idea of a sister with whom she could truly bond. And so, Sparkayla and Maritha started talking every day, sharing intimate goings-on and sisterly secrets.
Still, Sparkayla’s wife Kiana was skeptical about Maritha’s intentions. Firstly, she said, every time Sparkayla and Maritha had tried to meet in person, Maritha had bailed. And while Maritha had once conceded to a video chat, the line was shaky and her visage was veiled in darkness. Mostly, Kiana was convinced Sparkayla was going to get hurt.
“I have to pick up the pieces,” Kiana said. “It affects our relationship.”
Once Nev and Kamie began to do some sleuthing, things didn’t look good. For starters, Maritha’s Instagram profile only had nine posts and a scant number of followers. Then Nev got in touch with Sparkayla’s sisters Mika and Dajanay, who both said Maritha had reached out to them too. Dajanay said she even proceeded to ask the women’s father about Maritha’s identity, and he denied she was his.
Sparkayla, naturally, was crushed.
“Family is everything,” she said. “I was hoping [Maritha] was my sister because she’s a really nice person. We communicate.”
Finally, Nev got Maritha to agree to meet Sparkayla -- but the former offered an ominous admonition.
“I never meant to hurt her,” Maritha said. “There’s a lot more to this that you don’t know. I don’t know if I’m ready.”
Ready or not, Maritha drove from Las Vegas to meet the Catfish team, and when she arrived, she was — to the shock of Sparkayla — the woman she’d been claiming to be.
“I was just shady because I had a lot of disappointment in my life when I tried to meet my family members,” she said, adding that she’d looked for Sparkayla for many years but had only ever known of a potential sister named “Sparkles,” which didn’t lead to successful search results.
Finally, one day, Maritha got Sparkayla’s contact information from an uncle, inciting the final search.
So Maritha was real, but was she, indeed, Sparkayla’s half-sister?
Just when things seemed promising, Maritha dropped a bombshell: Her fear of hurting Sparkayla stemmed from the fact that her father had told her it was actually Sparkayla — not Maritha — who wasn’t his child.
Understandably, Sparkayla looked like she’d seen a ghost. But she then decided to play her final hand: She and Maritha had to take a DNA test to see if they were, indeed, half-siblings.
After some serious nerves, a mouth swab and a difficult 24-hour wait, Nev and Kamie sat down with Sparkayla and Maritha. And the verdict was in: They were half-sisters!
The ladies broke down in tears, and when they took a photo, side-by-side, with the results of the test in their grasp, Kamie had one suggestion: "Be sure to send it to your dad."
Two months later, during a followup with Nev and Kamie, Sparkayla and Maritha said they’d begun seeing each other more regularly and were even celebrating birthdays together. But what do you think of Catfish’s twisted-sister story? Were you surprised by the DNA results? Share your thoughts (after you wipe away your tears), and hang tight for the next episode!