Meanwhile, Mike is very different
Mike loves big, juicy steaks. He enjoys wine and beer with dinner on occassion. And he is not religious. Instead of going "gee, maybe we're not suited for each other," Natalie seems to want to change him.
Natalie says that somebody died for Mike's steak, which is ... just weirdly confrontational. Meanwhile, Natalie ordered scallops, which ... whatever.
Natalie pesters him to change
Mike says that he likes veggies just fine and is open to trying a half-vegetarian lifestyle for Natalie. She is beyond thrilled.
Natalie gets her wish
The next day, they go and view a waterfall.
And now all of us have seen it, too, so Mike and Natalie spared the rest of us the trip!
Then trouble starts again
Mike enjoys a beer with lunch, at a restaurant that is also a bar. Natalie is annoyed.
Last night, she was so happy
She was thrilled that Mike was changing for her (notably, he agreed to try a half-vegetarian lifestyle), but since he's not asking for raw carrots and water with lunch, she seems worried that it was all talk.
Despite misgivings, she wants to nail down a wedding date
They don't know yet, but Natalie wants to have it in advance so that her mother can fly out and see. Then, trust issues flare up yet again when Mike orders a root beer float for dessert, and Natalie seems to think that he's trying to ... trick her into drinking alcohol? I have real questions about what Natalie has been through in life, because I don't understand why she is SO suspicious.
Rebecca Parrott and Zied Hakimi
Rebecca is beside herself and counting down the days (more like hours, at this point) until she and Zied are reunited.
Wisely, Rebecca got her own place
She was staying with her daughter to save money, which is great. But between Zied's cultural reservations about her sharing an apartment with another man (even if he's in a relationship with her daughter) and the natural conflicts that could emerge, she opted for her own place.
Most of her things are still in storage, but Rebecca's studio apartment looks spacious enough for two people, and like a comfortable place for Zied to live while Rebecca works (he of course cannot work until he gets the documents for that, which will take months). Right now, it's huge and empty. Oh ... and Rebecca lived in that same building with her Moroccan ex, which adds a needless complication to the whole thing.
Still, Rebecca worries
She wonders if Zied, who has never left Tunisia before, will get cold feet and balk at flying out.
But he does it
He says his painful goodbyes to his family and flies out to be with her.
Tarik Myers and Hazel Cagalitan
It's day one! Tarik has shown Hazel his home, which she finds intimidatingly large and a little untidy, his dishwasher, which she does not trust even though it's MUCH better in every measurable way at washing dishes.
Hazel is overwhelmed
It's a new place and a new culture. She does remark on how everything is "clean" and how there is "no traffic." There is traffic, but not the clogged chaos to which she is accustomed.
Also, some little misunderstandings
"Hair of the Dog" is a contextual name for an establishment. If you don't know the phrase "Hair of the dog that bit ya," referring to drinking alcohol to treat a hangover, then it sounds unappetizing. Hazel jokes about imagining dog hair being used as seasoning.
Hazel recalls taking Tarik to church with her
Seeing someone else's religious practices can be alienating or intimidating. We are treated to a flashback of Tarik, head bowed and visibly uncomfortable as people scream, speak in tongues, and move erratically in a small, beige room. As Hazel puts it, Tarik did not "like it," but she wants to get married to him in a church because it's important to her and to her family.
Also, she's trying new things
Like Natalie, she tries French toast. Like Natalie, she doesn't especially like it -- she is totally unfamiliar with American breakfast food and is more accustomed to rice. Unlike Natalie, Hazel does not throw it away and start chopping carrots. This is the difference between food preferences and having an eating disorder.
Hazel is also anxious to meet Ari
Tarik's daughter (I am begging fans to stop referring to her or anyone as having "high-functioning autism," it's ableist AF even if people on the show say it to spell things out for viewers) and Hazel have not met, and Hazel is worried. Tarik notes that it's his two worlds colliding.
They visit a spiritual center
A non-denominational place founded by a psychic, it accepts all beliefs, denominations, and more. Tarik and Hazel tour the place as a possible place to have a wedding, as it is Tarik's church-but-not-a-church.
It's not a church, she accurately notes. Honestly, a lot of people with religious differences can lead happy married lives together, but the "church wedding" question when one of them is a Christian can make-or-break a whole relationship.
Jovi Dufren and Yara Zaya
Jovi was so cranky at the furniture store previously that even the clerk helping him was taken aback by his piss-poor attitude. Since then, he and Yara are getting along better, and he ordered the rug that he promised. It is white and fluffy.
Yara does point out how lovely it works. (Meanwhile, I'm wondering about how hard that is to clean, but Yara is also thinking of this)
New house rule
Apparently, Jovi is one of those wild animals who will just walk around in shoes, as if they were not unbearable foot coffin nightmares, so Yara has to actually explain to him that he should not be doing this.
She makes some sound points
Maybe I'm a little biased, since as a preschooler I thought that Mr. Rogers was super weird for putting on indoor shoes (I still think that), but it's good that Yara is civilizing Jovi. He protests that no one ever pees in the street in New Orleans, which is categorically untrue.
It's a nasty village
"It's a nasty village, which I think about New Orleans," Yara observes. I immediately sent this quote to multiple friends because it had me rolling around with laughter.
Yara explains why she is speaking up
Very sensibly, she says: "I will not let myself be in unhappy situation."
Yara says that she'll avoid misery "because I love myself."
This is a great approach to life, honestly
"I don't want to spend my life where I'll be unhappy," Yara explains.
Jovi gifts her a new iPhone
Yara is over the moon, quickly photographs herself, and then worries that she looks "fat" in the photos. Ma'am, you do not.
Jovi has to leave soon
He will be gone for four weeks for his job. He reminds Yara that his mom is just an hour away.
Yara also wants normal friends
Getting along with your future mother-in-law is great. But she also wants to make friends with people her own age, which is profoundly reasonable.
Yara worries for the future
She sees this repeating itself -- Jovi being home for weeks but then gone for weeks, even one day when they have children.
This is a sore subject
When Yara had her miscarriage, Jovi went back to work and Yara had to get medical treatment alone. She felt abandoned. Even now, so much later, she still feels hurt and resentment over his choice to go back to work. Jovi apologizes for touching on something so painful for her, and it looks like he really didn't realize how much he had hurt her.