In four seasons, something unheard of happened during tonight's episode of "Catfish": a woman named Sara had the opportunity to come face-to-face with the person who'd been using her photos to make a phony profile -- despite the fact that she never contacted Nev and Max at the outset. And by show's end, she realized she had more in common with her internet impostor than she ever could have imagined.
The man who did reach out to the online sleuths -- Thaddius, a corrections officer -- had met the fake Sara while seeking comfort online because he was going through a rough patch in his marriage. And while his digital companion offered good advice initially, her behavior quickly turned sketchy when she didn’t show up to meet (on one occasion, she claimed she had a seizure; on another, she said her ex had kidnapped her). Eventually, Thad took matters into his own hands and found his internet pal’s true identity (her name is Ashley) and also got in touch with the real Sara. When Sara told him that Ashley had deceived men for quite some time, Thad decided to put an end to Ashley’s activities -- and seek closure for what had occurred between the two.
Soon enough, the super sleuths got in touch with Sara, and Nev invited her to come along on the trio's road trip to Oklahoma (Ashley's location) and stage an intervention to help A realize the damage she had done by using Sara's pics. Sara initially admitted she was "scared" to meet Ashley but eventually agreed to go along for the important ride and, before long, they got the opportunity to hear a remorseful Ashley express her reasoning for her fake Internet presence.
"This has been a way of not owning up to my own problems," a visibly upset Ashley stated. "Most of my life I've had a weight problem, and I wish I could be someone almost completely different. I am lonely, ninety percent of the time," she continued while wiping her eyes. "That's not anyone's fault but my own."
The revelation sparked an unexpected emotional reaction in Sara: Shortly afterward, she declared she "needed a minute" and left the room. She then admitted to Max that she "struggles with similar things."
"I know we look like two different people, but I want to tell her, 'I know how you feel,'" S told M in the car.
And when Sara got the opportunity to tell Ashley that she shouldn't think of herself as "not enough" -- and that she wasn't there to make her feel bad about her past -- what followed was a profound moment between the two women. Unfortunately the good relationship between the two was short lived because the catch-up conversation revealed that Ashley did not stop her unacceptable behavior (she's still using the Sara profile). But focusing back on the ladies' admissions: It's an important reminder to not judge a book by its cover, and while it's safe to assume that someone may not appear one way, they can have similar hardships and struggles as much as the next person.
How did Sara, Ashley and Thad's story touch you? Sound off in the comments, and be sure to keep watching "Catfish" on Wednesdays at 10/9c.