90 Day Fiance continues with Season 8, Episode 12.
Wedding bells are ringing in the near future for multiple couples ... but some of them have cold feet.
First up, Brandon seems to feel like the 90 days of the K-1 visa are just a suggestion.
Natalie phones a friend for some very good, much-needed advice about making peace with Mike.
Yara puts on a brave face for Jovi's parents, but her desire for a low-key wedding continues to rub Gwen the wrong way.
Amira and Andrew are once again trying the same bad plan in a new country.
Rebecca takes Zied for a surprise trip, but Zied's the one who drops a bombshell.
Tarik and Hazel decide to tempt fate by chatting with their mutual ex, Minty.
Finally, Stephanie is completely done with Ryan ... so she calls Harris, who comes running to take his place.
Brandon Gibbs and Julia Trubkina
Betty is showing Julia how to make lasagna, a dish with which she is unfamiliar as it is not common in Russia (the part of Russia that is in Europe is the part that uses potatoes in everything, not tomatoes in everything . . . there's a pretty clear line). Unfortunately, Betty is teaching her to put WHOLE SLICES of tomato in the lasagna. Maybe some people make it that way, but to me, that would be inedible.
They're eating outdoors
While none of them have said anything about lockdown yet, it's clear that COVID-19 is on everyone's minds by this point in their storyline. Remember, this was likely filmed in early March -- planes were still flying, no one was sure about masks, and people were still eating in restaurants.
Brandon and Julia's wedding is approaching
At this point, they're what, two months away from their intended (on, gasp, Mother's Day weekend) wedding date, and Julia is looking forward to married life with Brandon ... and a little independence.
COVID-19 is impacting Brandon's job
He shares how a lot of places were rescheduling appointments. Brandon has a full time job as a pest control technician, but many places did not want anyone coming into their homes or offices. Honestly -- in retrospect, it's better to let someone spray your home in early March with the understanding that you won't have anyone at your house for the next year. But at the time, what we knew about the virus was very limited.
Brandon had some funny moments
He described how one woman followed him everywhere, spraying disinfectant in the air. That ... isn't a product of it being early March, 2020. That's about a woman being goofy. (I had to have someone come over to work on the air conditioning, indoors, around that time, and I just avoided contact with him -- if you want to spray disinfectant, do so after the person leaves)
Julia brings up something important
She wants to get the paperwork in order for them to get married, and she wants to do it now -- before things, potentially including courthouses, close.
Julia wants to marry in a church
She says that it's good luck and a good beginning to their marriage, as things are reckoned in Russia. Brandon promises to take her looking at churches ... but he does have to be persuaded by his parents to take the paperwork seriously, because initially he wanted to shrug off the "90 days" limit due to the pandemic -- specifically, Brandon figured that they're not deporting anyone right now, so why rush. For once, I'm thankful that his parents were there to tell him what to do.
Time for DRESS SHOPPING
Betty says that she is excited to go dress shopping with Julia, effectively inviting herself along as the future mother-in-law to an activity that Julia already had her own ideas about.
"I'm scared to say no"
Julia is the first to admit that she's not eager to stand up to Brandon's mother, who clearly has control issues and sometimes uses tears to manipulate her family.
Julia just wants Brandon there
She explains that in Russia, your best friend traditionally accompanies you to help you pick out your wedding dress. Locally speaking, Brandon isn't just her husband-to-be, he's her best friend.
"Betty do what she want"
Sure enough, Betty accompanies Julia and Brandon to go dress shopping. That said, Betty is -- almost for the first time this season -- not the bad guy in this storyline. It's Brandon's turn for that.
First, Julia looks GORGEOUS
She's a strikingly beautiful woman, so of course she looks great in all of the dresses, but she's heart-stoppingly stunning. Just acknowledging that.
Brandon doesn't seem interested
He literally yawns during all of this, and spends a lot of time spacing out. At first, I was inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt -- people with controlling parents learn to not get invested in or have opinions about things because their parents are making the choice. But ... in this case, Brandon just wasn't being considerate.
Julia called him out
She wanted Brandon to be invested in this and care, not just to just give vague praise to every dress.
Brandon doesn't get it
At one point, he compares dresses to cars by talking about the difference between a "coop and sedan," and I don't know enough about cars to understand that analogy so my annoyance was only furthered. Dude, this is your future wife trying on outfits for your wedding day. As so many people on social media say: "Why are men?"
Mike Youngquist and Natalie Mordovtseva
Last week, Natalie and Mike took turns being the bad guy. First, Natalie was CERTAIN that Mike had cheated on her with his friend, though her explanation of her certainty makes no actual sense. Second, Mike told her that he's just not sure that they're right for each other and need more time, and Natalie was absolutely right to call him out and tell him that he shouldn't have brought her over if he wasn't ready. That said, she's not ready to give up.
Natalie calls her friend, Svetlana
As we covered thoroughly in our preview for this episode, Natalie related her problems, including that Mike told her that he doesn't love her quite like he did before their troubles.
Svetlana offered good advice
And Natalie is more than willing to admit that all of her suspicions and insecurities are making life a nightmare for them both.
"Forget and forgive"
Natalie expressed on her call to Svetlana that she wants to move forward with Mike instead of moving on by herself.
Time is of the essence
Some of the couples are just a few weeks into filming, but Natalie and Mike only have 22 days remaining. Three weeks before the wedding is ... not a good time to be figuring out if you work as a couple or not.
Natalie knows that it hurt Mike, too
Natalie's spiraling and at times obsessive thoughts have hurt her a lot, but she knows that they hurt Mike also ... while Mike's apparent indifference and insensitivity also hurt Natalie.
Mike appreciated the apology
That said, he did not say much ... and really didn't do much in terms of communicating how he really feels. They HAVE to bridge this communication gap if they have any hope as a couple.
Natalie wants a clean slate
Some idioms don't translate exactly but we all get the idea. The question is if this new page will show their wedding photos ... or a printout of Natalie's return ticket.
Jovi Dufren and Yara Zaya
Jovi doesn't think that he did anything wrong by getting drunk with his friends and blowing off Yara ... his pregnant fiancee ... at their actual engagement party.
Yara was uncomfortable
She knows almost no one there and Jovi wasn't by her side to introduce her to people or just to be the one person she truly knows there. It's rude.
And it's part of a pattern
As Yara has said before, Jovi can have issues with drinking and partying, and it makes her worry about his general attitude towards her as his wife and towards their future baby.
Yara says none of this to Jovi's parents
Because she is a polite person, Yara tells Gwen that she had fun at the party, even though it was vastly larger than anything that she had imagined or wanted.
Monty breaks the tension
Jovi's dad admits that he doesn't really remember much of the party, but does share that he remembers the pregnancy announcement. It takes some nudging from Gwen before he tells the camera that it is "exciting" news.
But Gwen is unhappy about one thing
Yara still wants a simple Vegas wedding -- no frills and no guests, out of consideration for her family back home who cannot attend. Gwen is still objecting to that.
Jovi and Yara have to marry soon
It comes down to the numbers. They have to get married in 44 days ... but Jovi leaves for work again in just 20 days. That's not even three weeks.
And where should they live?
Yara acknowledges that New Orleans has its appeal for certain things (she has previously described the city as a "nasty village"), but it's no place for her and Jovi to raise their baby.
They need to look for a new home
Ideally, some place in the suburbs where their child could make friends, play in parks, and go to a good school -- all without encountering drunk people in sidewalks every day.
It's time to reevaluate priorities
Yara makes a lot of sense here, and Jovi's job means that he could live anywhere.
"Maybe I will be in Ukraine"
Though Yara is likable and sympathetic in many ways, using threats to return home instead of marrying Jovi is not a way to seek conflict resolution. They both need to work on their communication and sensitivity.
Andrew Kenton and Amira Lollysa
In France, Amira explains to her father why she's not searching for a new job -- it's because her plan is still to go to America and live with Andrew.
They have a new plan
She tells her father that the new plan is the same plan -- this time, they meet up in Serbia, she quarantines in place, and then she goes to America.