This season of 90 Day Fiance: The Other Way is winding to a close.
On Season 2, Episode 20, Sumit and Jenny get good news.
But is Sumit getting cold feet?
Kenneth and Armando explain to Hannah that they have not yet been allowed to marry.
The contents of the formal, government document that they receive are shockingly homophobic.
Tim and Melyza are both feeling good after his mom's visit.
But Tim has a confession ... at least, this time, it's not cheating.
Deavan is excited about her family coming to visit ... but Jihoon is fearful.
Ariela's parents tour her "luxurious" apartment and try to talk to her and Biniyam about why they need a larger home.
Biniyam's sisters get into a heated confrontation with her and her parents at dinner, even though Ariela has agreed to the baptism -- shocking her parents.
And last week, Brittany had drunk-dialed Yazan who came to pick up her and her friend Angela ... who is truly worried about her friend's choices.
Jenny Slatten and Sumit Singh
Jenny and Sumit start off having a bit of a disagreement. While they're in Delhi, Jenny wants to see what they can do to get married. Remember, the clock is ticking on her visa. Lockdown has been lifted (we don't know which stage of "unlock" it was, but our guess is that this was from early in the summer of this year) so they're able to leave the house.
Speaking of which
Sumit gifts Jenny what we can only describe as some sort of amulet of protection against COVID-19. It looks like a lanyard. If it were a religious thing, we'd say "okay cool, they're also wearing masks and washing hands and social distancing so it's no problem," but it's unfortunately fake science, so we should call it out. These cards obviously do not work as claimed. They do not create a magical bubble around you to repel COVID-19. They may contain chlorine dioxide, which is toxic to humans and which will not prevent the spread of COVID-19. The only thing that you could wear around your neck that would prevent a virus from infecting you would be something radioactive enough to kill any virus near you and also, well, you. Jenny is very diplomatic about the snake oil pendant that Sumit has gotten for her.
Sumit wants to figure out their next move
Jenny is impatient while Sumit -- motivated in part by his desire to not lose contact with his parents -- is dragging his heels, but they resolve to speak to an attorney.
The attorney with whom they meet acknowledges that under the Marriage Act, Sumit's parents can object, there is a lengthy waiting period, and there are a number of possible expenses.
But there is another option
He suggests the equal and opposite to what we in the US would call a Vegas wedding -- getting married in the Arya Samaj Mandir.
This would cut through the red tape
Basically, they would go and could get married almost immediately. There would be a religious ceremony, but Jenny would not have to convert (I'd heard that an Arya Samaj marriage entailed that the couple is usually Hindu, Jainist, or Buddhist, but I'm not going to try to second-guess an Indian marriage attorney), and so long as everyone involved is of sound mind and an adult, no one has any legal authority to object.
Jenny is SO excited
Finally, after fears that she might have to leave India and try to reenter during the pandemic, she sees hope on the horizon.
Sumit ... wants to wait
He wants to talk to his parents first, which was Jenny worried. She knows the kind of influence that they have over him.
Jenny calls her daughter
She video chats with her daughter, Christina, and Christina's wife, Jen.
There's a lot riding on this
Christina shares her mother's concerns and hopes that Sumit does not disappoint her.
They meet with Sumit's brother and sister-in-law
Amit has no encouragement to offer, assuring Sumit that not only will his marrying Jenny prompt his parents to cut him out of their lives, but that they will never, ever change their minds about this.
Jenny bursts into tears
She is so tired of all of these unforeseen and unreasonable obstacles. She has been in a relationship with Sumit, at this point, for what, 6-7 years? That's a long time, at any age.
Kenneth Niedermeier and Armando Rubio
They are heading back to the marriage office, this time with Hannah along for the ride. This time, they know that they're getting denied -- but are going to get an official letter of denial that they can then use to challenge the denial -- noting that same-sex marriage is legal not only in Mexico on the national level but also on the local level.
Armando explains to Hannah what happened
When he tells her that right now they're being prevented from getting married, Hannah's adorable gasp and "NO!" are just the beginning of her response.
"What bad men!"
Hannah adorably lays into the unseen villains preventing her father from getting married.
Folks, this is what allyship looks like. Also? I'm personally stealing "ugly trickster" and plan to use it from now on.
They get the letter
It's not just a form letter saying "marriage DENIED because GAY" or whatever. It's much worse than that. The letter is explicitly and viciously homophobic.
Armando translates for Kenneth
The letter basically says that monogamous heterosexual marriage is the only acceptable form "for the survival of the human race." We here at THG would never advocate violence, but we hope that whichever homophobic beaurocrat is responsible for this both immoral and illegal obstruction faces untold misery.
Hannah is so sweet
Not understanding any of the English part of the conversation, Hannah then excitedly asks Armando if they're able to get married yet. The answer is no, but you can see how excited she is, and how enamored the clerk (who is not responsible for anything that's happening and has been both courteous and very helpful the entire time) is.
Tim Clarkson and Melyza Zeta
Tim's mom Robin is about to leave Columbia after her visit, so the two of them sit down to chat about all of the pros and cons of the choices that Tim has to make.
Robin is very supportive
Tim is a little taken aback by how much Robin is supporting him no matter what he chooses. She loves the area where he is now living and she wants him to be happy, whether that means moving back to Texas or remaining in Columbia.
Melyza adds her commentary
She notes that she enjoyed Robin's visit more than she had imagined. She and Robin were able to get some closure on their previous issues, and it looks like she is feeling encouraged.
But there's a lot that they need to work on
So the two of them attend couples' therapy -- which is a great idea. Unlike Happily Ever After?'s quest for a male Samoan couples counselor in Utah, Melyza and Tim seem to have had an easier time of it.
Tim has a confession to make
He is considering leaving Columbia, not because he doesn't love Melyza, but because, for financial reasons, he may need to. Right now, he cannot work in Columbia. Marriage to Melyza would fix that, but she's not going to marry him *just* so that he can get a work visa. It's a bit of a Catch-22 in some ways, as both of them see the other in a state of wavering commitment.
This is news to Melyza
She was not aware that he's considering leaving. They ... have a lot of relationship work ahead of them.
Deavan Clegg and Jihoon Lee
Deavan (whose hair is looking amazing in this episode) chats with her family -- and especially her mom -- to touch base, since they will soon be coming to visit her and Jihoon and Drascilla and Taeyang. And ... Deavan wants to know if Jihoon is still on Elicia's bad side.
Yes, Elicia is still furious with Jihoon
Cameras didn't show it and editors, hoping to elicit a reaction from the audience, never explained it, but there was a moment when Jihoon spaced out looking at his phone and Drascilla was in the street and could have gotten hit by traffic. She was okay, thankfully, but it was wildly irresponsible and why Deavan and Elicia chewed him out.
Jihoon makes a joke about having "EP"
He explains that he has "Elicia Phobia," and is afraid of Elicia's visit.
More to the point
They are both anxious about the visit because they want Elicia's blessing on their marriage ... even though they are already married and have been for some time.
There are hugs and tears, with Drascilla sobbing happily. It's a sweet moment ... though honestly, knowing what we now know about what Jihoon is accused of doing, it's hard to watch any of these scenes. I always feel "closed off" emotionally because, well, it's upsetting to think about.
Ariela Weinberg and Biniyam Shibre
Ariela's parents, Fred and Janice, are visiting them in Ethiopia, and they are about to see Ariela's apartment for the very first time.
Biniyam wants to make a good impression
He admits that he is nervous and he hopes that Ariela's family will approve of this as a place for baby Aviel to grow up.
They see the sights
Like Janice before him, Fred is very diplomatic as he describes the local area as "underdeveloped." Literally, the stroller is moving over bits of rock because the ground is uneven. This is not the fault of the people who live there, but the result of centuries of colonial oppression by European countries, taking away resources and creating an economy that was never designed to serve the people who live there. But that doesn't mean that it's a good or safe place for anyone to grow up, and Aviel -- unlike most children there -- has other options.
Insert rooster jokes
The first that comes to mind is "Biniyam not being able to control a rooster is how Ariela got pregnant in the first place." Point is, Biniyam wants to show off so he goes to buy a living rooster for $15 (is that good or bad by American standards? I have never bought anything that was alive. Research tells me that a rooster would be similarly priced in the US). He loses control of the rooster, snatches it up again, and is quickly embarrassed. The Weinbergs beg him to not buy it (and Janice reminds him that he must wash his hands before touching Avi again), but as is so often the case, Biniyam ignores them and does what he was planning to do anyway.
They also talk about cultural differences
Ariela is constantly wondering where Biniyam even is, because he'll get a text and then say "okay, I'm going out" like a moody teenager and then he'll be gone for an indeterminate amount of time. Most of us wouldn't take that from a roommate, let alone from our partner and fellow parent. Biniyam claims that this is normal in Ethiopia because Ariela is "just the wife" and knows that he's going to his job.
Then it's time to see the apartment
The one with the hideous couch, a fridge smaller than you'd find in most dorm rooms. Biniyam breaks our hearts by describing this tiny apartment as not only "luxurious" but as the biggest place that he has ever lived in his life. He -- and everyone else on the planet -- deserves so much better than the standard of living that he views as normal.