Monsters and Critics columnist Liz Long recaps Married at First Sight, Season 12, Episode 17, Real Life Starts Now (Decision Day), with a little help from a glass of pinot (or two) …
Well, folks, I originally had titled this post “we all need to thank that producer who talked sense into Paige,” but I changed it after seeing the preview for the reunion episode. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves …
It was Decision Day for our couples, and somewhat surprisingly — 3 out of the 5 couples chose to stay together! Paige and Chris and Haley and Jake are our ones who decided to get a divorce … or at least I THINK Paige decided that … she might be weakening as we speak. Someone please go check on Paige. (Producer!)
Yes, the whole time throughout Paige and Chris’s segment, I found myself silently saying … come on Paige … stay strong Paige … don’t succumb to the manipulation Paige. And the whole time during the other segments (even the ones who decided to stay together), I found myself realizing--there weren’t that many cutesy moments this season.
In fact, that little voiceover thing they do where they talk about their spouse just before walking into D-Day consisted of a lot of nit-picking. All I could think of was Woody and Amani’s words (“Amani’s my sweets … now THAT’S deep”) this time last season … a stark difference!
But let’s focus on the positive. Clara and Ryan are together (yippee) … and so are Erik and Virginia (Erik even proposed with a pink ring), and Vince proposed to Briana with a cheesecake. Realist Jake is still keeping it real — even throughout the whole “we are a family” Kumbaya segment at the very end. So all was not lost. But first, let’s get it out of the way and talk about Paige and Chris.
Chris & Paige – Is it over yet?
Oh Chris and Paige … You guys, I thought this was over, but I’m afraid it doesn’t appear so. Chris pulled his same vanishing act the minute his toes got pressed to the fire, and Paige did her same old stunt of chasing after him to comfort him.
You see, last night, Paige began saying the reasons she doesn’t want to stay married, and boom. Chris drops the news that Mercedes miscarried (and trust me, this is a sensitive topic and I get that). But the minute — or even second — Chris senses danger, he manipulates the situation. He walked out crying and Paige--being the way she’s been all season long--feels it’s her wifely duty or something to go chase after him.
It feels as though she desperately wants to be on his team and will find any chance to make this so. Chris “affirms her” – which, apparently means telling her that he took her for granted or some B.S. like that--and this is music to Paige’s ears.
She then lets out this huge white-toothed grin once she and Chris are back in front of the firing squad--I mean, experts, and I’m left in the fetal position on the floor crying at my TV in despair.
Dr. Viviana? What you got, girl?
Ah, yes. Dr. V, a woman after my own heart last night. Her face said it all and she wasn’t letting Chris go as easy as Paige often does. But Chris fires back and asks--or rather tells--Dr. V., Pastor Cal, and Dr. Pepper that if two people (he and Paige) are undecided about what to do, well then are you going to force us into a divorce, good experts? Ugh. Double ugh. Triple ugh to the tenth degree.
Paige is all undecided … I’m all nauseous … and thank HEAVENS for the person that is this producer:
Now I don’t know everything ol’ homegirl said to Paige, but she talked some sense into her, which has been severely lacking all season. Paige comes back--a new woman--and says she chooses divorce and all of MAFS-Nation rejoiced.
But are we in the clear? Folks, I’m afraid we aren’t. Paige is weakened by and blind to Chris’s manipulations. She interprets it as love and I continue praying that she sees what we see on playback. But in the meantime, she still looks like she’s clinging to hope. Previews for the reunion look like the same ol’ song and dance aside from Paige looking somewhat unrecognizable. Jesus, just take the wheel, because I can’t. I just can’t anymore.
The couples plus Haley, Jake, Paige, and, oh hey there, Chris, have a Kumbaya moment
All the couples sit around and awkwardly discuss who succeeded and who failed miserably. Again, Bri & Vince, Clara & Ryan, and Virginia & Erik all said yes.
The highlights of that were Vince proposing to Bri with a cheesecake (cute) but then they talked about it way too much (probably because it’s the only cute thing going on right about now). Erik proposed with a pink ring (?) and told the group that he asked Virginia’s dad’s permission this go-round (aw).
The experts gave Ryan marching orders to “go do what married” people do, and, yes, Ryan, I’m afraid this means sex. Clara is all “oh, okay!” and I hope it works for ya, honey.
Jake tells the group he learned nothing from this experience, and please someone appreciate this man. He is not going to sit around and have a Kumbaya moment with you all no matter how much you want to act like Chris has redeemed himself for this entire season through one handshake with Erik. Haley is putting on airs that everything is great with her life and discusses how much wiser she is now. And please somebody realize that Jake is the only realist in the bunch!
So, yeah, Chris busted in on the group moment as he carried an unexplained cardboard box. He manipulated the situation… I mean told the group how much he wronged Paige. This, of course, flies directly in the face of Pastor Cal’s marching orders to him to “do what’s right (i.e., not talk to her anymore) because she’s vulnerable.”
If Paige is in earshot of a “compliment,” she’ll go right back into that trap and we can’t have that. But, you know what, I’m done. And I think so are the experts. C’est la vie, folks. The “family” all walk off together, and I’m on my way to catch some drinks with Jake. I don’t care if he is monotone. He’s the only one I can pretty much stomach right now.
Til’ the reunion, folks! In the meantime, catch my little video of Clara and Ryan’s journey to D-Day below.
Married at First Sight airs on Wednesdays at 8/7c on Lifetime.
Married at First Sight airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on Lifetime.