90 Day Fiance is back with Season 8, Episode 11.
After weeks of hitting it raw, Brandon Gibbs and Julia Trubkina face a major pregnancy scare.
Brandon's first instinct is to tell Mother Dearest, but Julia is appropriately baffled, wanting to wait until they take the test.
Content warning: one of this episode's storylines includes an allegation of sexual assault.
That relationship is Stephanie Davison and Ryan Carr, which is fortunately over as of this episode's filming.
Tarik Myers and Hazel Cagalitan are on the path to their wedding.
When they open up to Tarik's friend about their plans to find a girlfriend, his friend has some valid concerns. It's a touching moment.
Yara Zaya puts on a brave face for an engagement party with Jovi Dufren's family.
But Jovi keeps blowing her off ... even on the same night that they tell his parents that they're expecting.
Rebecca Parrott is still grappling with her jealousy issues and a bewildered Zied Hakimi.
Visiting family mostly helps ... but it also brings up another sore subject.
Finally, Mike Youngquist and Natalie Mordovtseva have what may be their worst fight yet.
And Natalie admits that a lot of her behavior stems from one thing from the past that she may have totally imagined.
Brandon Gibbs and Julia Trubkina
It has been a couple of weeks, Brandon says, since things changed for the better for him and Julia. As you may recall, Julia was miserable with her 90 Day Farmhand experience. When Brandon shared that they were going to move out (you know, so that they could live with dignity and respect), Betty responded with tears and Ron exploded with anger. Terrified of stretching the umbilical cord past its limits, Betty agreed to let the two share a room in order to keep her "baby" from leaving. This will, on the positive side, help Brandon save money as he continues to work full time.
Julia tells Brandon that she is feeling nauseated. She then confides that she was sick all morning and fears that it is morning sickness -- a tell-tale sign of pregnancy. It is implied that Brandon's pull-out method (not a reliable method of birth control, even if you pull out every time -- JUST GET A VASECTOMY, BRANDON) was even less successful than usual about a week earlier.
Brandon Gibbs wants to tell his parents about morning sickness
Brandon's first response is to tell his mom
Julia's face says it all. Literally the last thing that you do when someone could be having pregnancy symptoms is blab to people -- least of all to controlling people like Betty and Ron.
They don't even know if she's pregnant -- they haven't taken a pregnancy test (and for some reason don't opt to pick up one on the way home), but Brandon wants to alert his parents over what may be a scare?
Julia understands all too well
Years of controlling behavior have left Brandon emotionally and psychologically bound to his parents. He genuinely believes that he needs their advice and approval, and so going to them is always his panic response.
Julia knows how HER parents would react
Brandon's? She doesn't know, and all of this is compounded by the ridiculousness brought on by uncertainty.
This can't go well
If they wanted to tell Betty and Ron right away after a positive test -- if they decided to go through with becoming parents -- that would be one thing. But now? It makes no sense.
Oh, how on the nose!
They sit down with the parents on the porch to play Jenga, a game that is all about ... pulling out. This is when Brandon imparts the news that Julia could potentially be pregnant.
After weeks of inappropriately nagging Julia about her lack of birth control, Betty still seems stunned by the maybe-news.
Ron's response makes more sense
Upon learning that they haven't taken a test yet, Ron notes that they should do that, and should have taken one right away. Brandon vows to get one on his way home from work.
Julia had to wait all day
Brandon went to work and Julia was anxious all day, unable to simply go out and get her own test. When Brandon comes home, it's time to take the test, and she's nervous.
Julia is not pregnant, she discovers upon taking the tests.
Julia is concerned for the future, though
Even with this being just a pregnancy scare, what if Betty and Ron use this to impose more control over them as a couple? It's not an unrealistic fear.
Stephanie Davison and Ryan Carr
Content warning for this segment of the recap: Stephanie describes having been sexually assaulted through what is sometimes known as reproductive coercion or, as predators call it, "stealthing." This is an upsetting topic and should never happen to anyone.
Ryan is leaving and Stephanie is yelling
She is clearly angry but also desperate to talk to him, presumably about what has upset her so much in this moment.
"Are you afraid of the truth, Ryan?"
Ryan seems afraid of something, as he quickly flees the area without explanation to the cameras -- though they do catch up with him.
"With no condom?"
Stephanie made a show of having brought glow-in-the-dark condoms with her to Belize on this trip, and she also explained that she simply doesn't trust him after 10 months apart, given his history of "talking" to other women.
She sounds hurt, betrayed, and devastated
Many viewers also observed that Stephanie sounds as though she still may have been under the influence of the drinks from dinner.
Then, Stephanie explains
She says that Ryan crinkled the condom wrapper and told her that the condom was on, but that when she said that they needed lube as they began having sex, he told her that there was no condom on -- meaning that he allegedly tricked her into unprotected sex, to which she did not consent.
That is a crime ... but maybe not in Belize
A number of countries have successfully and correctly prosecuted sexual predators for "stealthing," which is precisely as Stephanie described -- covertly removing or not wearing a condom without their partner's consent. It is a type of reproductive coercion -- which is sexual assault -- just like sabotaging birth control pills or poking holes in condoms. While all sexual predators deserve to be prosecuted, a look at Belize's laws sent a chill down our spines when we researched it. Given that spousal rape is legal on paper in Belize, we are very afraid that reproductive coercion may not be prosecutable there.
Stephanie's feelings are clear
"F--k off and die, Ryan," she says to the camera, after explaining what happened. Clearly, she is still processing her emotions, and at this point the cameras should not have been filming her, or the footage should never have aired. But it often seems like 90 Day Fiance does not care about right or wrong, and thus cameras continued to film a woman just minutes after her alleged assault.
Ryan Carr speaks
Ryan doesn't go into detail about his decision making in explicit terms, but only stops just short of a confession. He says that every trip, Stephanie brings condoms.
But then he says "we never use them"
Ryan says that Stephanie has a history of trust issues with him, which is true. Is he saying that this is why he felt entitled to violate her trust and have unprotected sex with her without her consent?
Stephanie, having processed how little Ryan seems to care about her well being, is suddenly hit with the fear that he has stolen her mother's ring to get revenge on her. She searches the apartment.
She does find it
It is clear that there are many serious, toxic elements to their relationship -- some of which included a lack of trust, some power imbalances, and what appeared to be potential mutual exploitation. We're glad that it's over, but horrified by how it ended.
Stephanie is desperate for answers
She calls Ryan and asks him why he would do this to her. It is difficult to write about this without seeing the raw footage, which we likely never will, so we only have the version that production decided to show -- where Ryan seems to imply that he disregarded Stephanie's condom requirement because he dismissed her "trust issues."
Well, that's it
Stephanie affirms to the confessional camera that she is absolutely done with Ryan.
But wait ... oh, no
Desperate for a friend and not really knowing anyone else there except for Ryan and those close to him, Stephanie calls the one person she knows in Belize who is not on speaking terms with Ryan: his cousin, Harris.
Stephanie realizes how bad Ryan was
Harris assures her that he knew this and notes that he had warned her that Ryan was just using her.
Stephanie makes another call
She calls her friend, Maria, and relates her traumatic story. Maria is rightly horrified by what happened. She gives Stephanie her blessing to spend time with Harris if that's what she needs, but warns her friend to not be too trusting. (Real talk, Stephanie should have looked into whether she could file a police report and then, if the answer is no, flown back to the US the next day ... not entertaining television, but better for her mental and emotional health in the short- and long-term)
Tarik Myers and Hazel Cagalitan
Despite major setbacks by the COVID-19 pandemic, things are going well for these two. Hazel's son, in the Philippines, is doing much better. Tarik pours champagne for himself and Hazel (very little for her, on the grounds that she is a lightweight) and they are looking forward to their wedding date.
This is such a cute moment
Hazel does seem to be one of those people who starts getting giggly the moment that a bottle opens (it's not dishonest, it's a human social instinct), but it's so nice to see them together like this. They really are in love.
They video chat with Tarik's friend, Angela
Angela was one of those who was so welcoming to Hazel when she arrived in the US, which was a really touching moment for Hazel.
They open up about their relationship goals
Specifically, Tarik and Hazel are searching for a girlfriend. They will both date this woman when they find the right one, in a polyamorous relationship known as a "throuple."
Angela has such a good response
Right in front of Tarik, she makes sure that Hazel is good with this. There are some men who will pressure their girlfriends to be open to a threesome or an open relationship or to finding a girlfriend. In light of that knowledge and the obvious power dynamic between an American man marrying a woman who comes from poverty, Angela wanted to check with Hazel -- even though she knows Tarik -- and make sure that it's okay with her. That is really very sweet.