‘Catfish’ Season 7, Episode 8 Recap – “Mandy and Jose”
I went into this week’s episode of Catfish with big expectations because I saw Nev, Max, and Laura Tweeting some very interesting GIFs and questions out during the episode. I had to close Twitter to avoid spoilers, but I had high hopes that it was going to be a good one and I was not disappointed! This ended up being an extremely confusing episode, so pay close attention!
Right off the bat we are treated with some prime Nev and Max footage of the two of them having a Nerf gun fight in their hotel room. This is the first time in the last three episodes where they haven’t started the episode at the Catfish Headquarters, and it looks like they’re enjoying the freedom!
They receive an email from Quentin titled, I Need a Hail Mary. The email starts off with, “Hey Nev and Max, how’s it going?” Nev and Max stop reading to comment about how nice that is and that nobody ever asks them how they are in the emails. I never noticed that before, but I’m going to check for it next episode and report back. Quentin explains that he’s 18 years old and lives with his mom in Pontiac, Michigan. He overheard his mom talking about a guy his mom is dating in Detroit, and learned that they’ve been online dating for two years. Quentin adds a SMH at the end and Max comments on how that’s Nev’s favorite expression: shaking my head.
Quentin says the guy, Jose, and his mom live an hour apart and have never met. His mom thinks that she’s in love with him. He says, “You’re probably thinking, ‘What’s the big deal? She’s a grown up.’ But I don’t love the idea of my mom going out alone in Detroit meeting some random stranger off the internet.” He’s asking for Nev and Max’s help to show his mom that this guy’s probably a Catfish. Max says he likes Quentin already, and they video call him to get some more information.
Quentin tells them a little bit about himself after Max’s prompting. He’s a big guy, and he puts that to good use playing football at a college in Ohio. He wants to be an athletic trainer or a physical trainer. He seems like he has a good head on his shoulders. He tells them his mom’s name is Mandy, and that he found out about her online relationship when he heard her talking on the phone about somebody named Jose. The first crazy twist of the episode is that Mandy told Quentin that she was using a fake profile with her sister’s picture to talk to Jose!
Nev asks, “So are you trying to get us to help your mom come clean or are you concerned your mom’s getting catfished?”
Turns out the answer is both.
“This situation is just all trouble and she doesn’t need that. I don’t want to see her get hurt,” Quentin answers.
The million dollar question that I was wondering about gets asked by Nev next. “Does your mom know you’ve reached out to us?”
Quentin says she does, and Nev and Max end the video call after telling him they’re going to come to Michigan to help them both. Nev tells us that his wife, Laura, is from Detroit, so they decided to take the whole family on this road trip. We get a short clip of Laura waving excitedly to the camera, see baby Cleo strapped into her car seat in the back of the Catfish SUV, and Nev takes a video of Max with Cleo on his shoulders getting on the plane.
The next day they’re in Pontiac (sans Laura and Cleo), and Nev’s talking to Max about how weird it is for Mandy to use a picture of her sister to lure in men, and he raises some good points. Does the sister know Mandy is doing this? If she doesn’t, will she still talk to her after this or is this going to cause some kind of family feud? I have to say, I have a sister, and I’d be majorly creeped out by this. I wouldn’t stop talking to her, but I’d definitely give her a piece of my mind!
They pull up to Mandy and Quentin’s house and they both immediately notice the beautiful flowers in the garden. For some reason, Nev questions their authenticity, and finds out he was right! “First lie! Buy fake plants, you make fake profiles,” he jokes.
They are invited into Mandy and Quentin’s home and they notice photos of Mandy and another woman on the wall almost right away. The two women look incredibly similar. Max asks Mandy if that’s her sister and Mandy says that it is and that they’re only a year apart.
Wait – what?
Why use a picture of somebody who looks just like you if you’re going to pretend to be somebody else? That doesn’t make much sense!
They sit down to talk with Mandy and she tells them a little bit about herself. She’s a housekeeper at a hotel, and she says that she’s just taking everything one day at a time because she kind of lost herself when she was in her last relationship. Quentin adds that it was a very toxic relationship, and Mandy explains that they were together for almost eight years, but that they have been broken up for three years after they were off and on for about a year after that.
Nev quickly does the math and says, “So right about the time you finish-finished with him was around the time you met Jose?”
She says that she met him on Facebook through her ex, who she found out was going behind her back and sleeping with her sister. She created a Facebook page using her sister’s picture and name pretending to be her and that’s how she found out for sure they were sleeping together. She talked to her ex using the fake profile, and found out the date and time of when they were supposed to meet up next and went there and actually caught them in the act!
All of that makes perfect (icky) sense, so now the question is, how did she go from pretending to be her sister for that reason to still talking with Jose pretending to be her two years later?
Mandy says that she was at a low point in her life and that she was thinking that her sister was prettier than her since her ex chose her over Mandy.
Max says, “So you put yourself out there on your own Facebook page. You post pictures that you think you look sexy in…”
“Yeah,” Mandy agrees.
Max cuts in with, “Quentin is dying a little inside,” and everybody cracks up laughing.
I was thinking the same thing though. Imagine how awkward it would be to hear that your aunt slept with your mom’s boyfriend! Another whole new ick factor was introduced and I’m having a hard time shaking it off.
Nev pushes through though, and asks Mandy to talk to them a little bit about Jose. She says he sent her a Friend Request on Facebook and since he lived close, she accepted, and they started making small talk back and forth. He was one of the first men who told her that she doesn’t need to settle for jerks like her ex and that she can do better. To a woman recently scorned, those are like the magic words, and she lapped them all up. She says she can talk to him about anything and doesn’t ever feel judged, and when Nev prompts her, she admits that she’s told him she loves him in the past.
She said she sent him a few pictures of herself instead of her sister and he’d comment with something like, “Oh, have you gained a little weight? That’s okay though! It’s hard!”
Apparently he isn’t so good with the magic words after all. Who says that to a woman!? Sheesh!
Then Mandy drops the bomb that she’s never spoken to Jose on the phone, and she doesn’t even have a phone number for him!
Immediately, I draw upon my Catfish pool of knowledge and know this probably means she’s talking to a woman.
Then she says he’s stood her up three times altogether, the most recent time being four months ago. She says he’s very secretive and the only other thing she knows about him is that he works at WalMart.
This is not looking good, folks.
Quentin says, “This is why I feel like it might be a catfish.”
“Oh, it’s a catfish,” Nev declares.
“You’re right,” Max agrees.
They ask Mandy to send them an email with Jose’s Facebook page link and anything else she can think of, and then they take off back to the the truck. At this point I’m on board with Quentin, Nev, and Max. This guy’s definitely a catfish. It’s actually probably not even a guy, most likely a woman, most likely somebody she knows, and probably related to the whole ex sleeping with her sister thing. I just don’t know how yet.
They bring Laura into the loop and the three of them start to try to make sense out of the information Mandy sent them. They basically have nothing to go on from Mandy except for a couple of pictures which come up empty in the reverse image search. They go check out his Facebook page and start scrolling through the posts on his Wall. They see a post from a girl named Rachel asking if she’s going to see Jose at a local bar which is right down the street from Mandy’s house(!), so they send her a message. At this point they’re just trying to see if they can find somebody who knows Jose in person. They see another comment on Rachel’s post from somebody named Shawn and send him a message as well.
Shawn calls them back almost immediately, explaining that he doesn’t know Jose personally, but Rachel does, and that he’ll call her and call them back. Shawn talks to Rachel, and apparently she doesn’t believe it’s actually Nev and Max, and tells Shawn to pass on the message that if they want to talk to her they can come to her house. So they leave Laura behind to stay with Cleo, and leave to go to Rachel’s house. Everything is covered in snow, and when they pull up, they notice there’s no footprints or tire tracks. Rachel isn’t home.
Max says, “Why would she say come over and then not be home? Rachel’s suspicion level is now elevated.” Agreed.
With nothing else to do, they call Mandy and make plans to meet up with her and Quentin at a cafe. They walk her through what they’ve found so far (which is pretty much nothing), and as they finish, they get a text message from Rachel explaining that she never made it home. Nev invites her to meet them at the cafe and she says she’ll be there soon.
Rachel arrives and Max and Nev explain what’s going on. Rachel says she is friends with Jose and she met him at the local bar she mentioned on his Facebook page. Mandy shows Rachel the picture she has of Jose on her phone and asks her if that’s him, and she confirms that it is.
Who would’ve thought?
She also says that Jose has mentioned Mandy before and that he’s really into her.
They get a bunch of random information from Rachel: Jose doesn’t have a girlfriend, he does have a phone (even after telling Mandy that he doesn’t), and he travels a lot and is currently in Tennessee. She says he really likes it in Tennessee and he pretty much told Rachel that he moved there.
Then she starts getting a little weird and says, “So I think you just need to move on from him because he’s starting a new life out there. Like, I don’t think he’s coming back.”
You can see that Max, Nev, and Quentin all agree that Rachel is starting to come off as a little weird and this whole episode is getting very confusing!
Rachel sends Nev Jose’s phone number though, so they have more than they did before they talked to her, and then she takes off to go to work.
Quentin says she was lying, that she knew too little and too much at the same time, and I agree with him. They don’t waste anymore time and give the new Jose phone number a ring… which immediately goes to voicemail with nothing more than a generic recording of the phone number on the voicemail message.
But then they get a text message from that number almost right away, saying that he’s at work and wants to know who’s texting him. Nev explains who he is and Jose responds with almost word for word what Rachel said.
“I’m in Tennessee. I don’t think I’m coming back. I should have told her. Please tell Mandy I’m sorry.”
Yeah, I’m going to have to call BS on that one.
Nev is on board with my thoughts and says he has a new trick up his sleeve. There’s a new website, Grabify that he wants to try. He copies Jose’s Facebook URL into the website, which creates a new URL. He sends the URL to Jose in a text message and says, “Can you confirm this is your Facebook page?” When Jose clicks on the link, it will send Nev a notification with Jose’s IP address which will tell them where he is!
This is a Catfish game changer!
It’s very sneaky and it’s kind of invading the person’s privacy, and I don’t even really know what I think about that, other than in this situation, I’m anxious to see if Jose is actually in Tennessee or not (and I’m thinking not).
Jose responds, saying yes it’s his Facebook page… which means he clicked on the link! The notification comes up for Nev and it turns out we were all right: Jose is in Royal Oak, which is close by, and not in Tennessee! Busted!
Max raises an interesting question though. “How do we tell him we know he’s lying?”
Nev says he thinks they had better just tell him the truth, and he types out a message explaining what they know. He doesn’t respond right away, so they decide to call it a day and make plans for tomorrow once they hear back from him.
Talk about leaving me on the edge of my seat!
There’s so many questions! At this point we can basically forget everything Rachel said because she’s obviously in on it. Jose probably doesn’t look like Jose. He definitely isn’t in Tennessee and he probably doesn’t travel a lot either. Is this actually Jose’s phone? Who knows! My best guess at this point is that Rachel is Jose.
They get a text from Jose saying, “Okay, I’ll meet you guys. This is going to be tough, so PLEASE, only you guys. No Mandy!” Then he gives them the same address Shawn gave them yesterday where Rachel was supposed to be but nobody was home! What is going on!? Was that Rachel’s house? Was it Shawn’s house? Is Shawn Jose!? Was it actually Jose’s house all along and he chickened out? None of us have any idea what they’re about to walk into and I am flailing in front of my keyboard!
This time when they get to the house there’s at least a car there and plenty of footprints leading up to the door! Nev knocks, and let me just say, I can’t remember an episode when I was this caught up in who the heck is behind that door!
It finally opens, and before we see who it is, we hear Max say, “Wait! What? Do we know you? You’re from the Derek episode. With the hair, half shaved?” We get a look at a girl’s face and I have no idea who it is, but Max is trying to work it out.
“What’s your name again?” Nev asks.
Ohhhkay, now it’s ringing a bell. We get a flashback all the way back to Season 2, Episode 13: Derek and Kristen, and now it’s starting to come back to me. In that episode, Kristen was pretending to be Chasity because she was trying to get information on her baby daddy for court. Still doesn’t explain much about what’s going on right now, though.
Nev’s just as confused as I am, and asks, “Are you a catfish?”
She confirms that she is, and Max and Nev are both still thrown. I definitely related to Max when he started getting all high-pitched as he asked, “What are you doing!? How did you get mixed up in this? Do you know Mandy?”
Then, just when you think the episode can’t get anymore confusing, Chasity says, “I’m actually Mandy’s cousin.”
“We’re not really close. We didn’t grow up together.”
“Why are you catfishing her?” Max asks her.
“I thought it was her sister’s page.”
Nope, doesn’t help. Everybody’s still thinking… WHAT?
“Okay… why are you catfishing your other cousin?” Nev asks.
Turns out, she’s still trying to keep tabs on her baby daddy and there was some connection between Mandy’s sister’s ex and Chasity’s baby daddy. I am still not getting any of this though. Why on earth would you pretend to have a romantic relationship for two years with your cousin!?
Max is obviously thinking along the same lines. “You’ve really done it this time, Chasity. This is not cool! Why would you do this to your cousin?”
She doesn’t look the least bit apologetic though, if you ask me. She said Mandy needed to talk about so much and she obviously had no one to talk to.
Max brings up the awkward part and says that Mandy thinks that she’s in love with Jose – which is actually Chasity – and that she’s said that to Chasity, so why would Chasity let it go so far? Chasity says that she thought Mandy might be depressed and she didn’t want to just leave her hanging. Max and Nev look as skeptical as I feel, and they ask her if she actually cares about Mandy, and she says that she does and that she would love it if they could be in each other’s lives as Mandy and Chasity and not pretending to be other people.
Nev asks her why she didn’t just stop the Jose thing and reach out to Mandy as herself and try to get to know her that way, and Chasity says that there’s a big rift and family drama in their history and she doesn’t know if Chasity will even be willing to talk to her or how she’s going to take the news of who she is.
They take her to see Mandy (even after she says she doesn’t want to) and I am so ready for the shit to hit the fan. Mandy takes one look at Chasity and says, “What the hell is she doing here?” So this is obviously going to go well.
“Who is that?” Quentin asks his mom.
His mom replies with, “Holy… crap.”
Nev intervenes and says, “Why don’t we discuss what’s going on here?” Good luck finding a place to start, Nev!
Nev explains everything to the two of them far better than I would ever be able to, and once it all sinks in, Quentin made me crack up again when he says, “This is a very awkward situation.” That’s putting it mildly!
Nev asks Mandy how she feels about all of this, and Mandy answers that she’s very confused and that she’s been hurt by her family again. Between her sister and her cousin, I’m thinking Mandy needs to find herself a new family.
We finally see a glimmer of emotion from Chasity when Max asks her again why she kept this going so long. He points out that she had to have been getting something out of the relationship or she would have stopped a long time ago. Chasity admits she felt good about potentially helping Mandy, and she enjoyed having somebody to talk to. She felt like she was already in too deep and she didn’t know how to get out.
Mandy says it’s awkward for her to talk about everything in front of Quentin, so Mandy, Chasity and Nev exit to another room.
Quentin shakes his head and says, “A family full of catfishers.” This kid totally made the episode for me!
Nev leaves them alone and they have a bit of a heart to heart, and I have to say, Mandy is being a heck of a lot nicer about all of this than I would be! Chasity apologizes and says that she hopes they can continue their friendship but Mandy says she just wants this to be over with and goes to find Nev. She tells him she doesn’t want to see her, she doesn’t want to talk to her, and she’s done.
Nev leads her back out to the living room with everybody else and Mandy tells Chasity that she doesn’t accept her apology, she doesn’t want to talk to her ever again, and if she would just leave that would be really nice.
Chasity says she understands, and Nev and Max leave to help Chasity find a way home. Quentin is, once again the voice of reason, when he says to his mom, “I’m just really glad it’s over and now you can move on.”
Nev and Max leave, and Max confesses back in the car that he would like to see Mandy and Chasity become friends at some point, but I have to say I definitely disagree with him on this one.
They check in with Chasity via video chat three months later and she tells them her and Mandy have been talking again and have even hung out at the gym a few times. For some reason, we don’t get a video call with Mandy, but a caption on screen says, “Mandy continues to grow her friendship with Chasity. While she hasn’t completely forgiven her, she feels family is important and is willing to try. Mandy is not dating yet, but wants to make room for the right guy.”
This was an insane episode! There were so many twists and turns, and I had no idea what was going to happen from one minute to the next, but I definitely didn’t think the catfish was going to end up being Mandy’s cousin! And I guess that’s part of the beauty of this show. Even after six seasons, you literally never know what’s going to happen.
I can’t wait to see what they come up with next week!