Last month, 90 Day Fiance: Before The 90 Days watched with horror and confusion as Mike Berk’s castmates practically fawned over him.
After everything that viewers had seen, it was perplexing that the cast was almost universally Team Mike.
Now, Mike has been spotted trying schmooze and ingratiate himself with new cast members.
Fans of the series are repulsed … and are wondering what tricks Mike may be pulling to hoodwink other 90 Day Fiance stars.
On the Season 5 Tell All, which aired in April, Ximena was practically demonized while everyone seemed to want to be friends with Mike.
The special filmed in January, months before Mike’s racism scandal was exposed, and before much of the season had aired.
But the cast had seen at least some of the footage in their hotel rooms, right? So how did they miss this:
When Ximena broke up with Mike, one of his first responses on screen was to tell her that he wants to take back everything he’s bought for her.
While an angry Ximena told him that this was fine, it’s anything but — a gift is a gift.
Mike wasn’t talking about an engagement ring (which she happily returned), but essentially all of the furniture in her home.
Giving someone nice things while dating them is great, but those things then become theirs — not conditional possessions.
We get that Mike was angry, but it looked like Mike was trying to lord his past gifts over Ximena (which he was).
No one blames him for feeling hurt, but it was his response to the breakup that fans felt showed his true colors.
That’s not to say that people are defending Ximena — even her former fans.
Both on social media and on screen, she seems to be a fickle individual … even though we all know that there may be much more to the story.
But a lot of pity for Mike dried up the moment that people saw how he treated Ximena when it was over.
First, even when she tearfully pleaded for Mike to leave, he refused to depart from her house.
It wasn’t a matter of needing to pack his bags — he insisted that he was just going to spend the night in another room.
Mike suggested that he didn’t have to leave Ximena’s home because he paid the rent, which is not how that works. He did eventually cool off enough to leave.
Mike also fired off insults at Ximena, including her entire family in the process.
Ximena’s family had been kind to him, and her mom was one of his biggest fans.
Mike later apologized publicly for insulting Ximena’s mom, but it was unbecoming.
When Ximena returned the engagement ring to him (still eager for him to leave), Mike again tried to lord his money over her.
She fired back that she can work again — and it has since been explained that Ximena only quit working long-term when Mike wanted to pay her to stop working.
Why? Because, as Mike revealed on camera, Ximena had worked as a cam model. (It was, after all, how they "met")
Mike’s jab didn’t rattle her, but the entire exchange was deliberately cruel and stressful.
It also took place in the same house where Ximena’s kids were.
There’s no excuse for a grown man with other places to go to refuse to leave someone’s house.
Then of course came the offline side of things, where Mike had posted numerous deeply bigoted posts.
Some were bad jokes — using slurs as punchlines — but others, like the example listed, used slurs and white supremacist talking points.
We all know that internet humor has evolved for the better in the past decade, but some of Mike’s posts were more than just a "product of their time."
Now, Mike has been sliding into Bilal Hazziez’s DMs.
He also gave a shoutout to larger-than-life South Dakota resident Jibri Bell.
Mike likely filmed another season of the show with Ximena (though they had an intense breakup in February), but is he a master manipulator who can make anyone his friend?
Maybe … but probably not. We think that Mike had a very likeable and sympathetic early run of episodes, which won him a lot of points with cast members.
We also think that the show made sure that his castmates saw exactly what they wanted them to see ahead of the Tell All (probably highlight reels and not full episodes).
90 Day Fiance editors and production probably worked to preserve Mike’s image to make him just palatable enough for another season.