Sunday night's 90 Day Fiance: Happily Ever After? was a particularly divisive episode.
On Season 6, Episode 8, Betty Gibbs returned to her role as the villain of Brandon and Julia's storyline.
Angela admitted that she was still smoking heavily, and desperate enough to try something new.
Elizabeth had a less violent confrontation with her sisters following the yacht incident.
Kalani and Asuelu head to a sex toy shop to get supplies for their romantic getaway.
Natalie ends her Thanksgiving visit on a sour note, but this time, she's not the main villain.
And Tiffany has great news, but Ronald's expectations are downright unrealistic.
Brandon Gibbs and Julia Trubkina
Brandon and Julia headed for what they believed was going to be a family party for Brandon's dad, Ron. He turned 70 last year.
While it is baffling and upsetting to see a bunch of people gathering indoors (in 2020, no less) during the COVID-19 pandemic, if we pretend that this whole thing wasn't a massively irresponsible risk that didn't need to happen at all, it looks sweet.
Half of the decorations are for a birthday party. Half of them are decorations for a wedding.
IT'S A TRAP
Brandon and Julia specifically shot down the idea of any kind of wedding celebration for them. They already got married. They're not looking to do a wedding 2.0. And if they did, they would want to plan it -- and it would likely be in Russia.
"Just grin and bear it"
Brandon and Julia's expressions say it all, but extreme social pressures that encourage people to be polite when there's a gathering make it so hard to confront villainy when it's right in your face. Betty's controlling, narcissistic behavior is nothing new -- we've seen it since literally the first episode of last season. But this is the first time that we've seen her rope a whole roomful of others into an unwitting role like this.
Brandon sees Betty for what she is
He correctly notes that this wedding party isn't for them -- because he and Julia didn't want it. This wedding party isn't for Ron -- it takes the spotlight away form his birthday. Instead, the party is for Betty. It's what Betty wants, and she either cannot or does not wish to value the wishes of others. It's pathological.
The officiant who married them is there
When Julia notices that he's there, she begins to worry that Betty has more planned than just some tacky decorations. We may never know the full extent of the ambush that Betty had planned for them.
This cannot go on
When narcissists steamroll over people's boundaries in order to get what they want, they rely upon people being too "polite" to stand up for themselves. The only way to put a stop to it is to stand up to it. You're not being rude to the guests -- Betty did that, by roping them into being her unwitting accomplices.
Anyway, happy birthday Ron!
Ron was born in 1950, and his 70th birthday is a major milestone. It's a shame that this party had to take place during a pandemic, and couldn't be just about Ron.
There are TWO cakes
In addition to Ron's birthday cake, there is another ... a cake with a misogynistic wedding topper! HOW FUN.
Not even three decades of living under Betty's thumb are enough to make Brandon ignore that Betty is walking all over his boundaries with a smile. It's hard to realize that someone close to you doesn't care about your feelings, but when you're dealing with a pathological control-freak, you have to face some hard truths.
Brandon takes Betty aside and confronts her
Betty of course is indignant, because she simply cannot understand why other people don't want the things that she wants, and she also thinks that she knows best. Brandon and Julia aren't playing along with her narcissistic fantasy, and that makes her angry. It's a familiar pattern from last season, frankly. Meanwhile, the officiant from their wedding also stood up and made a speech, setting off alarm bells in Brandon and Julia's heads.
Julia says it best
Betty simply did not respect their wishes. If it were possible for Betty to understand that what she's doing is wrong, it would have happened a long time ago. This is simply who she is, it seems.
GOOD FOR JULIA
At Julia's instigation, she and Brandon courageously walk out of the trap that Betty had set for them. They didn't yell, they didn't make a scene, they simply removed themselves. It takes a lot of bravery to stand up to people like that.
Julia is so proud of Brandon
We are ALL so proud of both of them for standing up for themselves.
Sitting outside by the fire, Betty is still steaming that her fantasy of Brandon and Julia going "gee Mommy Dearest we just loved that party you threw for us! We're so glad that you didn't listen to our desires or boundaries because you know best!" didn't come true. Julia and Brandon try to explain but, again, it's pointless. You don't wake up one day in your sixties and go "oh, other people have feelings and autonomy?"
Brandon and Julia want to move out ASAP
Betty expresses that she always hoped that Brandon and Julia would also be imprisoned in the unending cycle of toil on the farm that she and Ron enjoy. That is not Brandon's dream and it's not Julia's dream.
Ron is mad
Brandon hasn't paid a light bill in his life, Ron says, as if that isn't the case for everyone until the first time that they pay a power bill. It's unclear how they think that Brandon is just going to magically wake up Ready(TM) to move out if he stays on the farm for a few more years. In reality, he has a full-time job and a wife -- one who has a work visa now -- and they're ready to live like the almost-30-year-old adults that they are.
Angela Deem and Michael Ilesanmi
Angela has lost 40 pounds so far following her weight loss surgery.
But she feels worn out
Surgery takes its toll on you, especially when you are starving (which is how the weight loss surgery works). Her grandchildren are in pandemic homeschooling so keeping up with them as they keep up with their schoolwork is exhausting.
It's time for her surgical check-in
First, Angela is showered with praise on how she is looking as she continues to recover from her first round of surgeries.
But she's still smoking heavily
Angela admits to smoking about "10" cigarettes per day. Many viewers suspect that she is smoking even more than that, but even if she's being truthful, 10 is a LOT -- when the amount that she's supposed to be smoking is 0.
This isn't just about quitting for its own sake
Angela spent 40 years not caring if she was committing olfactory terrorism to everyone around her, but this is about her health as she recovers from weight loss surgery and prepares for her facelift. If she doesn't pass the nicotine test, she can't get the facelift.
Angela is desperate
While we cannot explain why she is dicknosing -- sticking her nose out above her mask and thus rendering it useless -- Angela meets with a hypnotherapist because she claims to have tried "everything" and been unable to quit smoking.
Angela is almost ready
Of COURSE she has one more cigarette before trying. She claims that it will be her last, though of course months after this, she was photographed smoking at a party.
Angela tries the hypnosis treatment, nose again sticking out of her mask.
Elizabeth Potthast and Andrei Castravet
While Andrei reminds viewers why Libby stays married to him, she talks about her plans to meet up with Becky at Jenn's house after the two had a physical altercation on a yacht.
She's always going to stand by Andrei
This explains why, even when Andrei is antagonistic or even clearly in the wrong, she always sides with him against her family.
Jenn feels caught in the middle
She's playing mediator, but she also sympathizes more strongly with Becky. But ultimately, she wants peace between her sisters.
They rehash all of the conversations that they've had -- Andrei didn't work, now Andrei's working but it's with the family business, etc etc. There are a lot of hurt feelings and no one solution would make everyone happy.
The conflict only takes a break after Libby breaks a glass
After the mess is cleaned, they keep going. They don't agree on anything ... but resolve to try to be better on the upcoming RV trip, for the sake of their father.
Kalani Faagata and Asuelu Pulaa
In this episode, we get to see the two of them actually enjoy each other's company -- something so rare for this very dysfunctional couple. In fact, they sing a cute little song about having time away from their kids and going to a sex toy shop. I'd stream that song.
To the sex toy shop!
Their purchases are super tame (not judging them for being vanilla -- they're parents who are buying sex toys on reality TV. If they would normally be buying bunny tail plugs and sounding rods, it's perfectly fine for them to keep that to themselves. Plus, nobody has to be kinkier than they want to be), and they're all supplies for their surprise romantic getaway.
ASUELU planned the trip
And of course, Kalani's mom and kids are along. The kids are still nursing, and Kalani's mom is there to provide childcare. Most vacations are "to get away from it all," but in this case, it's not clear what they're getting away from ... especially once you see the destination.
It's a literal cabin, like you'd see in a coloring book
So Asuelu's grand romantic getaway plan is to surprise Kalani by taking her to a small, worse house.
The inside is not impressive
It looks dirty in multiple places, Kalani shares, and she says that it reminds her of when she was a Mormon doing group activities.