90 Day Fiance: The Other Way is back for Season 3!
The premiere of one of the franchise's most beloved and refreshing spinoffs is here.
Series OGs Jenny and Sumit's story absolutely stole the show.
Sumit's perpetual heel-dragging and inability to make a decision on his own threatens to doom their relationship.
Ariela and Biniyam return, still living in Ethiopia.
A lot of the existing problems in their marriage haven't gone away, and they're about to add a new one.
Season 3 introduces new couples, including Ellie and Victor.
But all of the uncertainty in the set-up of their story takes a back seat when a devastating hurricane leaves Ellie wondering if he has died.
Another new couple is Steven and Alina.
In the premiere we meet Steven, who is clearly quite a handful.
The ever-contentious Corey and Evelin are back, dealing with the aftermath of a one-month "break."
COVID lockdown saved their relationship, but the lies that Corey has told about his time in Peru could break them up all over again.
Jenny Slatten and Sumit Singh
Their third season on the show (yes, they are three-for-three OGs on 90 Day Fiance: The Other Way, having been on every season since the start) begins with Sumit very sweetly waking up Jenny and presenting her with flowers.
They recap their history
They met nearly a decade ago after Sumit, working in a call center, catfished Jenny -- though she praises that he is more handsome than the image that he used to deceive her. She flew to India in 2013 and deflowered Sumit before returning, and they kept a long-distance relationship for years despite their 30-year age gap. Many years and one secret marriage (Sumit has since gotten divorced) later, they are still not married -- because Sumit's parents object, and will cut him out of their lives if he married Jenny.
Sumit has a surprise for Jenny
They leave their home to go visit Sumit's astrologer. This isn't a hobby for Sumit; he looks to astrology, the mystical analysis of people and events through the movements of planets and constellations, for guidance in his life with total sincerety.
Jenny does not believe in star magic
Honestly, it's downright progressive for the middle-aged white woman from California to not be the one in the relationship who takes astrology seriously. (By the way, the cards that they're wearing aren't IDs ... they are some sort of placebo/talisman that were apparently popularized in India at the start of the pandemic as repelling the virus. They don't, but people in our country are taking horse dewormer and refusing a free vaccine, so it's not like we American viewers have any high ground when it comes to nonsensical responses to the pandemic)
Sumit isn't kidding
For the record, astronomy is a science, astrology is a spiritual belief and practice. It's totally fine for Sumit to believe whatever he likes. As with other spiritual beliefs, he only runs into trouble if he demands that others share or act on those beliefs ... or if he insists that those beliefs are scientifically proven.
Khalid the astrologer has some advice
He assures Sumit and Jenny that, not to worry, they don't need to rush into marriage. (Is it "rushing" to marry after nearly a decade of being in a relationship together?)
Jenny is not having a great time
It's not the astrology aspect so much as that she just wishes that the man she loves were capable of making decisions on his own. Wherever she turns, it feels like he's looking to someone else -- be it an astrologer or his parents -- for advice.
Apparently further delay is "for the best"
Obviously, since Sumit does not wish to rock the boat by taking any actions (seemingly ever), this is exactly what he wants to hear.
Jenny is considerably less happy
She doesn't believe in astrology, but she knows that this is exactly the excuse that Sumit wants to maintain the unsustainable status quo. She has been in India an extra 120 days by extending her tourist visa amidst the pandemic. That can't go on forever.
The time of visa extensions is over
Jenny receives an email telling her that her request to extend her visa has been denied -- or, more specifically, that India is simply no longer providing any international tourism services of any kind.
Sumit is "a little worried"
She has spent an extra one-third of a year there, but she's going to have to return to America -- for at least six months -- unless they find a solution.
Should they just move to Nepal?
Sumit suggests that they could move to Nepal, as there is a lot of cultural crossover with the country and he expects it to be their easiest option. We're sure that it would be ... sort of.
Nepal's borders are closed
That leaves Sumit scrambling for alternatives.
What about other countries?
He gets a short list of countries that might allow Sumit and Jenny to travel there ... but it's not especially promising.
There's a catch
Sumit "lost" his passport. What he really means is that his former in-laws, the family of his ex-wife, stole his passport and are keeping it from him. That means that he cannot travel to any countries that would require a passport. If their borders weren't closed due to the pandemic, Nepal would be an option, but ... that is not the case.
Sumit promises that he will do anything
He loves Jenny and does want to be with her forever. He'll do anything to keep them from being apart, he assures her.
Well, ALMOST anything
Jenny suggests the common-sense solution, which is to get married. They are two adults in a long term committed relationship. And if Jenny marries him, she won't have to leave. Also, they have found a marriage option that his family cannot legally prevent them from taking.
Sumit claims that it's out of his hands
But actually, no, that's not the truth, Sumit. He thinks that because his parents have threatened to cut off contact with him, he doesn't have the power to choose to marry Jenny. In reality, he is the ONLY one with the power to make that choice.
This could make or break them
Jenny warns Sumit that if she leaves again, for another six months in America -- where she no longer has a house or furniture -- she's not planning to return. She's not a yo-yo.
She's tired of being strung along by empty promises
Jenny is in her early sixties. She has been in this relationship since her mid-fifties. Sumit has promised to marry her ... and the absurdity and pain of him refusing to because his parents think that it's their business only grows worse over time. This is a grown man who was talking about moving to another country during a pandemic solely to avoid having to marry the woman he loves.
Jenny yells -- a totally new thing for 90 Day Fiance viewers -- telling Sumit that she's not going to be strung along anymore, she's just not. She stands up and even throws (or kicks) a lightweight plastic chair to the side as she storms off to go buy a ticket to return to the United States ... for good. (Yeah, we'll see)
Ariela Weinberg and Biniyam Shibre
These two were introduced on Season 2. Ariela met and was instantly thirst trapped by Biniyam when vacationing in Ethiopia. Despite her family's comfortable financial situation, she decided to have their son, Avi, in Ethiopia so that Biniyam could be there for his son's birth. It was a hard time, especially when that birth turned out to be an emergency C-Section. Things grew even worse as cultural differences and Biniyam's habit of spending hours or days away from the home without explanation put a strain on their relationship. Now, they're living in a three-bedroom home.
Now, their story includes the pandemic
Biniyam was previously praised by viewers for working hard, something that SOME of the men on 90 Day Fiance have failed to do even when becoming fathers. Biniyam had multiple jobs ... but singing, dancing, and choreography are among the first jobs on the chopping block during a pandemic, so he is out of work.
That doesn't mean that he's home more
Apparently, Biniyam still leaves the house to go "work on his music" with his friends. We know from past interviews that apparently there was a lot of drinking and goofing off at these get-togethers. Biniyam is gone for hours and is sometimes gone overnight, just like before. They have a baby together.
At least Ariela has Mimi
Not to be confused with Mimi, Biniyam's sister, this Mimi is Ariela's nanny for baby Avi. She also helps Ariela learn the culture, the language, the food preparation, and more. There is clearly a lot of emotional dependence going on, too, because Ariela feels so isolated since her fiance is frequently absent (and, as we saw in Season 2, not exactly emotionally supportive in meaningful ways).
Fortunately, Ariela will soon be less alone
Her ex-husband Leandro is coming for a visit. Ariela met Leandro when she was 19 and in Argentina. They ended up being married for many years, and only divorced because they had different interests -- Ariela wanted to travel, while Leandro wanted to focus upon his education. They are still best friends, and he is going to come visit her.
Biniyam is uncomfortable
Though we have all watched Biniyam "play" his ex-girlfriend's butt as if it were a set of drums while Ariela and her mother sat in the audience, Biniyam says that this is "weird" in his culture -- seemingly because of the genders involved. In his culture, a woman would not have contact with her ex-husband, even if the divorce was amicable.
He has some serious insecurities
Remember, Biniyam met a different American woman who was vacationing and came from an affluent family. That woman also became pregnant. Biniyam did marry her (we even reported on their leaked wedding video) but eventually, she accused him of cheating (this part is sort of vague, as we have only heard Biniyam's side of things) and divorced him, and he has not seen her or their child since. Apparently she went back to her ex.
Biniyam's sisters visit
Biniyam sanitizes Wish and Mimi's hands and Ariela tells them that she has good news -- Leandro is coming to visit.
He's staying HERE?
Leandro will be staying in one of their bedrooms during his stay. While that's normal for international guests, it's awkward because Leandro is Ariela's ex, because of Biniyam's insecurities, and because of some cultural attitudes.
Wish is cracking me up
This is actually a great line, if in this case, a little off -- because plenty of Black, brown, Asian, and indigenous people are friends with their exes. That might not be the norm in Ethiopia, but this may have more to do with Ariela being American than with her being white.
They're dreading what's coming
Meanwhile, Biniyam is just nervous that he could lose his family ... but apparently not so nervous that he's willing to stay home and spend time with them.
Ellie Rose and Victor McLean
One of the new couples for Season 3, Ellie and Victor are an age-appropriate couple (he's in his late 30s, she is 45). She is an American from Seattle, and Victor is from a small island in Columbia that has, as he explained to her, a lot of Jamaican culture and vibes. However, we first see them as he warns her of a tropical storm (Hurricane Iota) that is heading his way.
Ellie listens with concern
She knows that his home is very vulnerable to a devastating hurricane -- as islands tend to be. Yes, this will be relevant.
Hurricane Iota took no prisoners
We see the absolute devastation and widespread flooding that Iota caused.
After the storm, Ellie cannot reach him
She breaks down in tears while trying to reach him, afraid that he is dead. Some viewers may think that this moment was hyped up (grotesquely) by production, but this came weeks into filming -- and obviously, TLC did not create the hurricane. Sometimes, the cameras do catch real, raw moments, and this was clearly one of them.