Are You The One? Season 3 Episode 7 Review
Episode 7 of this season of Are You The One? is titled “Peanut Butter and Jealous.” It’s a reference to a “hilarious” quote from Zak, but a more fitting name would be, “Devin: King of Asshole Mountain.” We knew he was shitty, but this is the episode wherein he reveals that he isn’t so much a douchebag as he is a complete sociopath.
The episode begins the same way as every other episode this season: the cast recovering from a disappointing matchup ceremony. After six truth booths and matchup ceremonies, they’ve managed to find one confirmed perfect match, and they have never had more than three beams in a given matchup ceremony. With only four chances left, the cast seems to be feeling the pressure for the first time. Normally in the wake of a disappointing ceremony, there’s some light-hearted, self-deprecating humor about how much they suck. This time, the elbow-nudging remarks about “figuring it out by next year” take on a note of resignation. A few members of the house – notably Kayla – try to dismiss the negativity, but the dinner conversation remains muted. The whole thing is rounded out by Hunter talking about how they need to be each other’s family, because when shit goes wrong in the real world, you go to your family. It’s a nice point, although the fact that they’re all trying to fuck each other undercuts his message.
There’s no mistaking that Hunter is the star of these early scenes. After his declaration about the importance of family, we cut to him outside, opening up to the other cast mates. He tells them that he went to school for journalism and worked on the school newspaper and yearbook because he likes to write. Good job, Hunter. These are the kind of details that people should be sharing – along with whether they want children and believe in God. The contestants seem to believe that the matchmaking system is completely opaque, when in reality, some important questions must shape their choices. Opening up about things like, you know, passions and interests is a good place to start. It’s a marked improvement over his early attempts to open up, which involved helicoptering his dick.
The discovery of Hunter’s literary aspirations leads Cheyenne to ask if he’d perform a poem. He accepts and a house event is born: the talent show. With lightning speed (maybe, I mean, I know it’s edited, but it seems fast), the house arrays themselves in the living room in preparation for the only non-alcohol-based entertainment they are likely to receive in the next four weeks.
Zak starts things off with a pretty strong George W. Bush impression. There’s some nervous titters, but some members of the crowd seem to be uncomfortable with something that is within 8 years of political relevance. It’s also possible they don’t know who George W. Bush is. Tyler follows this performance with a Cosby impression. I don’t know how to feel about this because:
- Are Bill Cosby impressions still funny? I don’t really find him very hilarious anymore.
- If Bill Cosby impressions are funny, do they need to be good? Because this one isn’t.
The most amazing thing about the talent show is that there’s a three-way tie between who has the least impressive talent: Devin’s rap, Hunter’s poem, and Amanda’s ability to hit a wall. These will be explained in detail below.
Devin’s rap: You know that time in ninth grade when you decided you liked rap, and then in the shower you decided to try your hand at freestyle? But instead of lyrical brilliance you rhymed cat with mat with cat? That’s what Devin’s rap was like.
Hunter’s Poem: I have copied the poem below, for posterity:
I’m really a poet, but you just don’t know it,
In this house we have drama, we fight.
Alcoholic tears controls our emotions at night,
We tend to say things we don’t mean out of spite,
But we’re all just trying to get the ten beams of light,
I can guarantee you can all come to me as a friend,
I will be here for each and every one of you until the end,
And when I say the end, I really mean forever,
You guys, these last four weeks, let’s please come together.
Halfway through the poem, we’re also treated to this soundbite: “I’m not Edgar Allen Poe or I’m not Shakespeare or anything like that. But I guess you could say I’m the country version of that.” I disagree with that assessment with every fiber of my body. However, I will give Hunter this: He believes that his poem is awesome. As he delivers the final line, he flips a ladle out of his hand, stands up, and starts to strut out of the room. Everyone goes apeshit.
Amanda’s Talent: She beats a wall like it owes her money while Rashida sashays around in front of her.
The race is too close to call. But I’m going to call Devin the ultimate loser because he’s the biggest shithead.
Unfortunately, nothing can last forever, and the cast soon has to leave the warmth and love of their community talent show to compete in this week’s challenge. We see the return of horrible puns this week, with a challenge called “You Guys Realllly Need a Helping Hand.” These names are inconsistent enough that I’ve formed a new theory: they are the writer’s way of punishing Ryan Devlin whenever he displeases them. They know that every ridiculous name they make him utter reduces his chance of ever working anywhere else ever again. Obey your Viacom masters, Devlin.
The challenge is consistent with the rest of the season in that it’s difficult to explain and not that much fun to watch. Basically, everyone splits into couples. In each couple, the boy is blindfolded and wraps their arms around their partner. The partner holds a pole attached to a sort of table between their legs. In front of the girls is a stack of multi-colored blocks with hearts facing in various directions. The girls have to direct the boys in how to stack the blocks properly while holding them steady. The first two teams to build the complete, correct tower get to go on the getaway date.
Unfortunately for the house, the teams that excel at this challenge are NOT strong couples. The overall first place winners are Alec & Melanie, whose relationship is exceptional only in the way that it didn’t exist at all before this challenge. The runners up are Hunter & Rashida, who have also had zero connection so far in the house. It’s true that these people don’t know what they’re doing, so at this point a lot of weird combinations might be fair game. However, these no-previous-match couples provide very little information to the house if they are confirmed, and, since they’re basically blind guesses, are probably just wrong.
For better or worse, these are the challenge winners, so they’re the ones that get to gallop on horseback across Hawaii.
Alec and Melanie are determined to explore their connection, so they spend some time talking about what they see in each other when they get back in the house. It starts off sweet, with Alec telling Melanie how excited he is to take her on the date, but he then reveals his true former fat kids colors: his next topic of conversation is favorite flavor of ice cream. If this sounds like a non-sequitur, that’s because it is. Melanie is momentarily caught off-guard but eventually goes with it, diving headlong into Alec’s delicious daydreams.
Meanwhile, Stacey stands a short distance away, staring daggers. I believe she is trying to kill Melanie through sheer force of will. “I can’t believe Melanie is all over Alec. I’m just kind of like, what the fuck are you doing? This guy might be my match. Why would you disrespect that, y’know?” Stacey is right that they might be a match, but wrong that it gives her any claim to Alec. He’s made it clear that he wants nothing to do with her, but she simply refuses to be deterred.
Tyler is taking Melanie’s new “relationship” equally hard. He’s had his eyes on Melanie for a while now and feels that he’s been sidelined without ever being given a chance. In other words, he’s been “friend zoned”. Zak consoles him, telling him that he’s “too good for her” (probably not true; Melanie seems great) and that Tyler shouldn’t put himself out there for a girl that doesn’t feel the same way (this is true; way to go Zak).
At the same time, a third couple is coming into bloom: Kayla and Mike. The two have limited their interaction so far to harmless flirting, which might be for the best. After all, Kayla’s main problem is jealousy and Mike is a male stripper. It is impossible to deny that he’s got some smooth moves though. Exhibit A? When he shoves an egg into the back of Kayla’s pants. Kayla responds in kind, lobbing an egg at Mike’s face.
Amanda takes a stand against this behavior. She wants to be clear that this has nothing to do with her former romance with Mike – she just can’t stand to watch anyone waste food. Her tirade begins with, “grow the fuck up. People in the world are starving and you guys use eggs as a fucking prank?” Nelson, assuming the role of truth-teller, responds with “let’s be real, this has nothing to do with eggs.”
Cut to Amanda’s confessional: “I’m not even mad. I don’t even think they were flirting.” (Reminder: He literally shoved something into her pants.) “I’m just mad that food is being wasted.”
Back in the real world, Amanda escalates the egg situation into a full-blown social issue, screeching at Mike that “not everyone comes from money.” The situation is only defused when Mike and Nelson begin to scream at a volume that exceeds Amanda. Using this auditory club, they eventually beat her into submission, causing her to slink away to write campaign ads for Bernie Sanders.
The Date: Riding and Killing Animals
This date was made for Hunter. He gets to wear a cowboy hat and ride a horse and generally be more in his element than he has been the entire show. Rashida loves it. To be clear, Rashida seems inclined to love almost anything that anyone does, but the livestock country angle does play well.
After the initial ride, Hunter and Rashida take a walk through a livestock area, feeding pigs and admiring the captured wildlife. Hunter takes a deep approach as he looks out at the buffalo, commenting that “there used to be a lot of them and now there’s hardly any left. They’re endangered. They taste good though.” Rashida, in an effort to keep the conversation going, makes the mistake of asking Hunter what he does when he goes hunting. He proceeds to describe in great details the process of catching, skinning, and bleeding out a deer. He loses her. In a sound bite, she declares, “this is not a romantic, intimate, sexual connection”
Alec and Melanie’s date goes better. They lounge around together in a field following the ride, and tell each other that they’d be happy to get sent to the honeymoon suite together, eventually leading to a kiss.
The Truthiest of Booths
The house gathers, once again, for what feels like inevitable disappointment. Alec has high hopes though. He proclaims, “My bags are packed,” which elicits what can only be described as a homicidal rage glare from Stacey. Ryan Devlin asks Alec if he and Melanie kissed. We get it, Devlin – you watch the live camera feed. Let’s not be so obvious about it.
Ryan Devlin reveals that the house has voted in Alec and Melanie. Despite a heavy build-up and the annoying last-second commercial break, the cast receives the dreaded “No Match” sign. Melanie says that following her heart led her nowhere, which is only painful to see because she is one of five halfway decent people in the house. Meanwhile, Alec begins to accept that Stacey may very well be his match the same way a 25-year-old accepts that his childhood puppy probably didn’t go to a farm full of other dogs and live forever. He’s sad, but he’s also numb because it’s a truth he knew all along.
Speed Dating and Sociopaths
Out of the flames of another wasted truth booth emerges a phoenix in the form a newly rational Kayla. Kayla rightfully points out that nobody is actually trying to get to know one another, observing the house’s divide along traditional middle school “boys over there, girls over here” lines. Thanks to some ridiculous editing, it looks like Kayla’s speech made a real difference. All of the cast mates IMMEDIATELY begin conversations with potential partners they had previously overlooked. Like, all of them. I’m willing to accept that Kayla’s transformation from insane, egg-covered maniac to sensible human might have inspired a few people – but the whole house? MTV, please hire better editors.
Rashida pairs off with Alec, Austin connects with Stacey, and Chuck fawns over Cheyenne (for good reason: She admits that her first job was working as a costumed rat at Chuck E Cheese. Readers, National Ave will pay you for footage of this. REAL MONEY). While this montage of new love is nice, it also comes with the literally unbelievable sight of Devin claiming to be an avowed Buddhist. It feels like watching someone claim to be vegetarian moments after seeing him or her murder a baby goat. Sure, that person might think they’re being sincere, but only because they’re fucking delusional.
Of course, delusional is exactly what Kiki is looking for in a match. It’s her third most important trait for a man to possess, right behind “is an asshole” and “is named Devin.” She tells everyone she talks to how much she wants to be with him until Nelson tells her to stop. She silently obeys, likely trying to save the house apples from the wrath of his rage.
Unfortunately, Kiki’s desire to be with Devin isn’t just a temporary moment of weakness. Late in the night, she confesses to Devin that she only wants to be with him – citing the amazing experience that they’ve shared together thus far. It’s not only painful to watch, but it’s also very confusing, since a montage of the time they’ve spent together would look more like Rocky 4 than The Notebook. This, of course, plays right into Devin’s hand. He celebrates that her love of him will give him extra fodder to make her look like an idiot. “She just doesn’t get it yet – that I’m full of shit.” Devin has gone full sociopath. The next moments play out like a horrifying movie. Devin, avoiding eye contact and speaking in complete monotone, says he is sorry for his outburst and asserts it was only fueled by the speed of their romance. Kiki tragically buys into this. As Devin torturously fondles her hair, Kiki admits she has been falling in love with him. Devin’s response is just as terrible as you would expect from a future murderer:“She is a puppet. She will sleep with me, do whatever I want.” I understand this is “reality” television and the producers “have to” let the show play out, but JESUS. This isn’t normal casually fucked up MTV drama – this is premeditated emotional abuse. Don’t the producers have some responsibility to keep their employees from not being tricked into having sex with someone who plans to cripple them?
Where Do We Go from Here? No, Really. Somebody Help.
In a textbook display of victim blaming, the women of the house turn on Kiki. They berate her for believing the Norman Bates of the AYTO house, driving her to tears. This pushes Kiki further into Devin’s clutches. It’s horrible to watch, especially after Kiki delivers the most sobering quote of the series to Devin: “You’re getting off so easily, and I’m the one who’s getting the brunt of everything.” It’s not just an indictment of the cast or Are You The One? as a whole, but an indictment of how female reality stars are treated compared to their male counterparts – and also an accurate assessment of how social power is distributed in male-female relationships under the gaze of outsiders. There could be an entire dissertation written on Kiki’s statement — but we don’t have time for that. Back to petty bullshit it is!
Alec and Stacey serve up some necessary levity as Alec prepares himself to visit the grave of his dead dog (i.e. his self-respect). Of course, as Alec tries to give Stacey a chance to forge a real bond with him, she immediately moves to kiss him. In comedy, this would be a clever “callback.” In this situation, it’s a friendly reminder that Stacey is batshit. However, Stacey admits that she knows she is a little nuts then shares a sweet moment of silence (FINALLY) with Alec. It looks like this might be going somewhere.
THE RETURN OF CONNOR: THE ONE TRUE KING
Yes! We finally get a peek into the lives of this season’s likely only perfect match, Connor and Chelsea. They look happy and compatible. It’s a lone light of happiness in an otherwise bleak episode and season. They also predict the house will get three beams in the upcoming matchup ceremony. It’s played as a joke, but they definitely mean it.
The Matchup Ceremony
The segment begins with Kayla saying she would like to see a “minimum” of six matches for the night. Well, there goes Rational Kayla. It was nice while we knew her. Let’s all smash eggs on our butts in mourning.
It’s Ladies’ Pick this week, which is good because that means we don’t have to watch actively bad people be horrible at this. We can watch decent people be horrible at it while selecting bad people.
The matchup ceremony proceeds as follows:
Rashida receives the first pick…and immediately fucks up the entire ceremony. Rashida selects Alec, beginning a cascade of random matches. This one should’ve been a no-brainer. Between the numbers and Alec’s weakening resolve, Alec should’ve been Stacey’s match. Of course, the cast this season is anti-brain, so they just had to spit in the face of this obvious pairing.
Kiki is up next. Devin asks Kiki what’s going on with Devin, and she lies like a lying liar full of LIES. “I really don’t know right now,” she FUCKING LIES. Thankfully, Cheyenne, resident truth-bomb maker, points this out and announces their coitus to the world. However, the true golden moment comes after Devin tries to play innocent in the whole affair. Connor, the Honorable Thor of AYTO, looks Devin dead in the eye and says, “Just because you have the power to manipulate people doesn’t mean you fucking should. You treat this woman like a piece of meat.” Devin is visibly shaken, but eventually regains his composure enough to try to mock Connor and save face. Unfortunately, Ryan Devlin serves as his protection and proclaims, “There are no good guys and bad guys – there’s just the house.” In most situations, this is a harmless attempt to ground the show in sentimentality. In this situation, in which everyone is trying to protect someone being actively harmed by a bad person, it’s offensively obtuse. Kiki picks Nelson. Whatever. Fuck all of this.
Amanda picks Hunter. No feelings on this. Amanda is terrible and Hunter is strange.
Britni picks Devin. Nobody deserves Devin. However, Britni does have the most flexible morals of the women in the house, so this may be the closest thing to a perfect match he has.
Melanie picks Chuck. Another random matchup spurred by God knows what. The only reason this is remotely interesting is that it highlights Chuckles has played a minor role in the show for the first time in weeks (though he was prominently feature over-the-pants fucking Britni in the background of Alec and Melanie’s chat earlier in the episode).
Hannah picks Zak. The first match that makes sense. They will make beautiful babies.
Stacey picks Mike. Why? Do these people not talk to each other before matchup ceremonies? Once again, a missed opportunity for a pair with a real connection (Kayla and Mike) to be matched up.
Kayla picks Austin. Sorry, Kayla. Austin’s match is probably Devin, or a palm tree.
Cheyenne and Tyler are matched by default. Should we even care anymore?
Connor and Chelsey, our perfect match, round out our ten pairs.
Surprise, surprise. Connor and Chelsey’s prediction comes to fruition: Three total beams. The cast is understandably frustrated, but they shouldn’t be at all shocked. Going into the ceremony, four pairs expressed vocal mutual interest: Cheyenne and Chuck, Hannah and Zak, Alec and Stacey, Kayla and Mike. Of those four pairs, only one – Zak and Hannah – wound up together in the matchup ceremony. While it’s clear that the cast members want to “follow their hearts,” the few people who don’t know what they want seem content to follow a random guessing system and ruin things for the rest of the house. At this point, it seems likely this will be our first season that ends with out ten perfect matchups and a celebratory orgy. Instead, it will have to be a sad orgy.
Join us next week to find out whether MTV continues its criminal negligence!