Before we get into anything else, we need to tackle this episode’s most surprising revelation: Jenny said she took Sumit’s virginity. When Jenny said that Sumit’s parents would need a good reason to oppose their marriage, she said taking her virginity was not a crime. This is only surprising because, as viewers know, Sumit was married when he met Jenny. This means that he had been seeing Jenny since before his marriage or that he was in a sexless marriage. I wish we could see more of their relationship history because their dynamics are interesting.
They both act like they don’t mind how people judge their relationship, but I think Sumit is hiding what he feels. Jenny is used to it and isn’t worried that Sumit’s friends’ wives haven’t shown up, but what does Sumit think of this challenge? I think Jenny is right to fear that she might be able to return to her parents. Even though he’s not lying about the divorce, I don’t think he’s realistic about how difficult it is for Jenny to live in India without friends and family. It’s great that they have and really love each other, but I don’t think it will be enough for them to start a new life together.
There is a surefire way to determine if a 90 day fiancé couple is actually in love: their relationship title card. This is the most informative part of the 90 day fiancé experience. Typically, each couple makes two: one where they are happy together and smile, and the other when they argue and get angry with each other. As the episode goes from couple to couple, you know whether or not you’re going to see a couple fight or not depending on the title card used to feature them. You can also tell when a couple is really sick of each other because they really let the eye and contempt in their “angry” title card slip. You can also tell which couples are not really in love with their insanely fake and staged title cards. Take a look at Brittany and Yazan. She poses hard, and he just looks uncomfortable. There is no shared, loving gaze or grip. After last week’s explosion between Brittany and her family, Yazan finally shows some affection to Brittany and comforts her, but there is still a disconnect between the two. Brittany doesn’t realize that Yazan is happy to follow her parents’ rules. Yazan still believes she was cheeky and the rose petals are not going to change her mind and convert to Brittany. They may have forgiven each other, but it’s just another moment of calm before another inevitable storm.
Compare that to Kenny and Armando’s title card. Kenny is finally in Mexico and it looks like their faces are about to burst into smiles. As much as I encouraged Kenny and Armando, I think I gave Kenny too much credit. I thought outside factors would be the biggest issue this couple would face, but Kenny’s culture shock is a bit too ignorant for me. The man knew he was moving to Mexico and didn’t learn basic Spanish? It was like Kenny and Armando were preparing for anything, but Kenny couldn’t even take a few sentences of conversation to order in a restaurant? He also makes a little judgment on the conditions of the new city in which they live. To his credit, Armando can’t stand it, and I love it. He’s the youngest in the relationship, but he doesn’t let Kenny intimidate him. He has no problem telling Kenny that he just needs to adjust and learn Spanish.
We also meet Melyza this episode, and I also don’t worry about Tim steaming her up. Melyza and her mom don’t play any games, and I don’t think they’ll have much patience for Tim if he doesn’t get through the schedule quickly. His mother doesn’t even want to go to the airport to greet him. Seeing the relationship from Melyza’s perspective was sweet, however. Before Tim cheated, it looks like things were going well. It doesn’t look like Tim cheated because of the distance, since she was moving to America when this happened, so it must be something else. I wonder if that was just his ego or if there was something wrong with their dynamic that made him want to blow everything up.
And then there’s Jihoon, who blew up his relationship with Deavan and his parents. It’s sad that Jihoon’s mother tells her to convince Deavan to accept his lies, but she might lose her grandson. There are consequences at play that Jihoon didn’t consider, and all he can do is sit down and cry about it. I thought Jihoon’s mother was uncomfortable because she didn’t want to see her injured son, but it turns out that she is also tired that he is gentle and does not make an effort to change his situation. Jihoon is almost 30 years old and his mother still has to keep her money because she cannot be trusted to save it. He knows he needs a change since Deavan was last in Korea, but he refuses to grow up. Hopefully Jihoon’s parents will be more angry with him than Deavan if she chooses to return to America.
Overall, “Rude Awakening” doesn’t feature a lot of rude awakenings. Outside of Kenny’s culture shock, this is a pretty standard placeholder episode. We already know that Jihoon must change. We already know Brittany made a mistake in going to Jordan. We already know that Sumit and Jenny are going to have a hard time being accepted. We already know why Tim is going to Colombia. As “Rude Awakening” describes the season’s most interesting conflicts, it feels like things are just beginning.