Brandon Gibbs and Julia Trubkina
Brandon ends his long car ride with his parents and picks up Julia at the airport. They excitedly embrace and make out for a long, long time. We know that the cameras can edit anything to make it seem like it goes on forever, but his parents are standing like two feet away.
Julia is excited
While we're sure that some more xenophobic viewers are going to latch onto Julia's "green card" joke, she is genuinely excited to be in the US and is clearly enamored with Brandon.
Those meddling producers
Brandon is totally put on the spot when he's asked who the most important woman in his life is: his mother or Julia. Look, that's a normal thing to feel torn about for many people, not just young men with overbearing mothers why try to micromanage their lives.
Brandon's mom made a lot of plans
With Brandon seemingly having no agency of his own, his mom has this whole thing set up, including having Julia -- who has just gotten off of an intercontinental flight and is reunited with her fiance -- sit down to dinner with his parents so that she can talk. Julia, very relatably, would rather bang the person she loves and get some sleep than sit down for a nerve-wracking dinner right away.
No sex for you!
Brandon admits that he's gotten "blocked" by his mom. And as everyone but Julia knows, this is just the beginning.
Julia is already feeling the pressure
Brandon's mother's extremely hands-on approach probably looks very reasonable in her eyes, just as she imagines that her "house rules" are fair and reasonable. She's wrong on both counts. And speaking of those house rules . . .
Time for some bad news
Brandon's mom brings up that Julia will have to sleep in a separate bedroom from Brandon, like a girlfriend brought along on a family vacation when she's 15 and not like a grown adult engaged to a grown adult son.
And Brandon just ... sits there
Brandon tells the camera that he feels that he and Julia "owe" his mom for paying for Julia's flight. If so, just pay her back, don't let your mom use it as blackmail to run your life into the ground. Anyway, Julia is marveling at the fact that Brandon just sits there and nods away at his mother's controlling nonsense.
Things got downright invasive
Over dinner, on Julia's first night in the US, Brandon's mother starts talking to her about birth control. As we said before, if she wants to prevent a pregnancy, she'd be much smarter to just offer to pay for a vasectomy -- much less invasive or a hassle or a pain than being on hormonal BC, let alone trying to talk Julia into it. Julia is offended by the questions, as anyone would be, and by the entire conversation.
Comically, Julia explains how overwhelmed she feels by Brandon's overbearing mother.
Brandon explains his attitude
Up in the hotel room, Brandon tells Julia that he has tried saying "no" to his mother before, with very little success. Julai counters that she didn't hear him trying to stand up for him with his mom just now.
It's a fair point
Thinking back to my 20s, I find the "my mom will just override me or wear me down" aspect of what Brandon is saying to be relatable. But how he lets his mother micromanage his own life is NOT the same thing as how he lets her treat his fiancee. He needs to stand up for her.
"Your parents don't have to worry about [me getting pregnant]," Julia warns him in the beginning of a truly epic line.
... and chaser
"... Because we're not tonight," Julia decrees. Brandon looks crestfallen. Will this change anything? That feels doubtful.
Tarik Myers and Hazel Cagalitan
Tarik and Hazel are fan favorites, but this is their first episode this season. As such, Tarik offers a recap, from his life-changing visit to Thailand to his autistic daughter to his passion for rap (we all remember his rapping proposal) to how he fell in love with Hazel.
Someone (the producers!) let this grown man play with his sword on camera like a very excited 17-year-old. I'm not saying that swords don't have many uses (there are viral photos of people using swords on watermelons and coconuts), but nobody needs one to chop cilantro in a fully stocked kitchen. Come on. Also, he talks about the sword being from Thailand, and we're sure that it is, but it appears to be a Thai-made katana, not something more traditional like a dhaab.
But it's all about Hazel
Now, she's finally going to be able to come to the US. Hazel has a young child of her own who does not live with her, but Tarik is hopeful that the whole family can one day be united together.
He calls Hazel
She is of course excited ... but there are things that we the viewers don't know yet, and one thing that Hazel doesn't.
Bi the way
Hazel is bisexual, but has effectively been closeted for her whole life due to the conservative area where she grew up. When she felt comfortable sharing this with Tarik, he was surprised but didn't get weird about it, embracing his fiancee for who she is. Now, he jokes that she'll feel like a kid in a candy store looking at beautiful women when she comes to see him.
But also ...
Tarik reveals that, due to a misunderstanding about a pregnancy scare (he was definitely in the wrong here at every step for making huge assumptions and reacting to them as he did), the two of them temporarily broke up. In that time, he began talking to a new girl, Minty. When he and Hazel got back together ... Hazel didn't initially have a problem with that.
They tried out being a throuple
However, possibly because Tarik and Minty had begun talking on their own during their breakup, Hazel quickly shut things down. This could mean that she's not really up for a polyamorous life with Tarik like they plan on having, or just that Minty wasn't the right third for them. Also? Tarik admits to the camera that he has gone behind Hazel's back and reached out to Minty, just to see how she's doing. He needs to tell Hazel eventually ... and is afraid that she will feel betrayed.
Jovi Dufren and Yara Zaya
Yara is now on the car on the way to Jovi's new apartment, where she marvels at having seen "fat people" on her connecting flight. Like, we get it, different countries have different cultures and some people come from backgrounds where it's considered "normal" to talk about other people's bodies even though it' snot their business at all, but Yara is going to need to change in that regard if she wants to be seen as a good person.
Yara has realistic expectations
She told Jovi about what kind of apartment she would like to live in. Jovi, for his part, moved to a nicer, safer part of New Orleans than he was living before, and considers this to be a very nice apartment. Yara knows that Jovi doesn't have standards like she does ... and she's right.
Yes, that is a broken stool on the floor
Jovi's apartment is genuinely nice for one person. It's a great place to bring someone back, have them go "wow, what a nice little upscale apartment," and then get laid. It doesn't look like enough room for two people to live comfortably, though of course millions make due with much worse every single day.
Yara observes that Jovi poured them both champagne in plastic champagne flutes, which is ... a choice for a guy who knows that his fiancee likes the finer things in life and just moved to a new apartment. Like, order a pair of real champagne flutes for $25 to welcome your new girl to the country, dude. Jovi's the one who planned the champagne. He and Yara are on TOTALLY different wavelengths.
Jovi's grumpy about not going out
As you may recall from the premiere, he had this whole fantasy of taking her out to see New Orleans at night and meeting all of his friends, but Yara just finished spending basically all day on a plane. She wants to sleep. She's even wearing a set of super cute pajamas, and has to lure Jovi to bed.
The next day ...
Yara is trying to unpack, and Jovi's just like "just leave it, you can do it later." Again, they are extremely different people who don't seem to at all be in touch with what the other wants.
Yara needs to get situated
She needs to make this room not feel like a place she's crashing to sleep, but like *her* room. She wants to rest and feel comfortable. If she married Jovi, she'll have decades to explore New Orleans, but right now, for her own peace of mind, she needs to unpack. Jovi doesn't get it at all.
He takes her to tour New Orleans
First of all, they're doing this during the day, which is not when you're going to see New Orleans at its best. Yara is taken aback by the city's vibe, from people drinking on sidewalks (not legal in many, many US cities or in Ukraine) to the smell (okay, but what major city doesn't reek?).
She and Jovi are just different people
He's thinking "wow, what a fun city that I love" and Yara's just ... not super impressed. Keep in mind that there are US cities where Yara would have a better time, but New Orleans' whole brand -- from a tourism perspective -- is that it's old, historical, and festive. Yara is fancy, not festive. And no one from Europe is impressed by the age of a city that's just a few centuries old. Jovi seems to be struggling to understand Yara. It's not that hard, dude.
Then, Jovi wants to visit his mom
He even suggests that Yara come with and spend the night in the home of this woman she's never met, and Yara -- who is honestly still recovering from the flight and wants to get her bearings -- turns that down, saying that he can go himself because she's not ready to have a sleepover at his mom's. Similar situation to Brandon and Julia (albeit only vaguely), but handled very differently.
Rebecca Parrott and Zied Hakimi
Zied isn't here yet in the flesh, but he's already with Rebecca in spirit ... also, on her shirt. Honestly? This is amazing and the fact that Rebecca just goes around with Zied's face branded across so many things while acting totally normal is ART. She's doing it to get a reaction from fans and it's working beautifully.
That said ...
Rebecca, taking some time to box, claims to have some lingering concerns about Zied's intentions. Whether this is true or just her playing along with what producers want to hear is up in the air. It may be a little of both.
Rebecca is a smart woman
How many times have we watched 90 Day Fiance couples get together, only for the American partner to go to work while the other partner sits at home for MONTHS unable to legally work at all. It can put a real strain on marriages very early on, and that's for the people who even make it down the aisle. So Rebecca goes to buy a gaming system for Zied so that he'll have something to play. Some fans were kind of weirded out by this on social media, but the average player of video games is like 35 last I checked. The only thing "weird" is that Rebecca is buying it for him instead of him buying his own.
She buys a system
Just as they often have to blur branded things, we don't see what kind of game system it is, but I'm guessing that it's the absurdly named X-Box One X (to be fair, all X-Box systems have gibberish names). This is also where the store clerks see that Rebecca's card has Zied's face all across it. The goofiness is unparalleled.
Rebecca made an impression
These clerks obviously signed off on appearing on camera, so like a bunch of weirdos doubtless do every day, producers made excuses to talk a little extra to the super stylish woman behind the counter. She admitted to wondering how Rebecca's kids feel that her fiance is about their age. It's a fair question.