Would you risk your life for love? The latest episode of Catfish, which explored the complexities of dangerous, political turmoil in Venezuela, posed the question in black and white, but the results had a woman who was looking for love ultimately seeing red.
As part of MTV’s latest online love investigation, Nev and Kamie met a woman named Dianela via Zoom (Catfish: Quarantine Edition remains in full swing), who said she’d been in a back-and-forth relationship with a man named Jose for nearly four years. Dianela, who first came in contact with Jose while they were both playing Black Ops 3 in their native Venezuela, said they lived in different cities, but their online connection made her feel at home.
“This is like a wild international love story out of a movie,” Nev said as Dianela chronicled the couple’s tug of war.
Still, there was trouble afoot — Dianela routinely bought into Jose’s declarations of love only for him to pull out the rug from underneath her, including once when she traveled 10 hours by bus to visit him, only for him to ghost her (the act was particularly dangerous in Venezuela). Dianela said she had no choice but to turn around and travel 10 hours back home.
Now both in the United States having sought asylum — he in Miami and she in Nashville — Dianela said she was willing to give the relationship one last shot.
She explained that, because of Venezuela’s notoriously low standard of income, it was conceivable that Jose was telling the truth when he claimed he couldn’t afford a new phone with which to video chat. But Nev and Kamie still had doubts, and upon kicking off a bit of research, they unearthed a man who bore absolutely no resemblance to Jose named Raumir. Then there was another man named Rey, who had suspiciously blocked Dianela from peeking at his account.
“I feel really upset,” Dianela said after getting the news. “I feel so heartbroken right now.”
With few additional moves to make, Nev cold-called the number Dianela had for Jose and asked for Rey, who — spooked — hung up after saying he had no idea who Dianela was. Refusing to accept the lie, Dianela followed suit, calling the man herself and digging into him for his lies.
“You know what? Just go f*ck yourself,” she ultimately spat before hanging up.
Dianela said she felt like she had finally reached the end of her rope, but — with some time to consider his actions — Rey suddenly joined the group’s Zoom call.
He confirmed it was he who’d been in touch with Dianela for the duration of their chatting and that he’d grown up in the same Venezuelan city; he'd since moved to Florida and, finally, Texas.
Rey explained that — because of danger that persists in Venezuela — he was afraid of being “kidnapped or killed” as a consequence of revealing too much about himself. So he hid behind the invention of Jose, and the deeper he got into the lie, the more difficult it became for him to tell the truth.
After a fiery conversation, Rey finally apologized, and, for the first time since the Catfish caper began, Dianela felt hopeful.
“You talking right now -- you’re the person I met four years ago,” she said.
She and Rey said they’d keep in touch and give their relationship another shot, but after filming wrapped, Rey went silent once again. Surprised? Tell us your thoughts, then catch another Catfish Wednesday at 8/7c.