90 Day Fiance: The Other Way just aired their midseason finale for Season 2.
The show is on a break for a few weeks, but you can see the trailer for the drama that has yet to come at the end of this recap.
First up, Ariela and Biniyam have their first real argument on the show, and it’s not pretty.
Kenneth says goodbye to his girls just before he and Armando embark upon a tense but important road trip.
Brittany has to abruptly fly home to America to handle her divorce … but she didn’t tell Yazan that.
Deavan says goodbye to Elicia, who worries that Deavan and Jihoon are headed for a disaster.
Melyza’s cold reaction to Tim’s struggles to get a job in Columbia lead to conflict … but one of them is hiding something.
And for the first time, we hear how Jenny deflowered Sumit right before Sumit’s parents make their debut — and tell their side of the story.
These two ended up having their first real confrontation and easily one of the most dramatic storylines in the episode … but the tension slowly built. Their segment started with Biniyam doing laundry by hand.
Ariela explains that she’s not sad, but that her resting face just looks that way. That’s not really the truth, though. She does have some misgivings. Her mom has just left and this is all feeling so “real.”
Ariela explains that she has a lot of concerns about staying in Ethiopia. Some things get lost in translation, because if you miss the “if” in a sentence, it sounds exactly like she’s announcing her departure.
Biniyam hopes that Ariela will, with some patience, adapt to the unthinkably lower standard of living that he thinks of as “normal.” (Again, it is NOT Biniyam’s fault or even Ethiopia’s that the standard of living is what it is; centuries of exploitation and European colonialism inflicted this upon many parts of Africa)
They’re going to have a baby together and, he hopes, start a life together.
Remember, his ex-wife was an American who had his baby, married him, and then divorced him. He is very afraid of doing that again. His family also fears that it will happen.
They find an apartment that is nice — even by American standards, aspects of it are genuinely nice (not everything, but more than enough). Ariela is delighted to find working indoor plumbinb and, gasp, hot water!
The cost is $1,400 a month, which is what you might find for a two-bedroom apartment in a small or mid-sized American city. To Biniyam, that price sounds like a joke.
We counted, what, four different jobs? All told, he’s making about $500 a month. That is … not going to cover it. This is also another reminder that Ariela should have spoken to him extensively about money, religion, and standard of living BEFORE she decided to have his child.
The cousin’s apartment — the one that Biniyam is determined to fix up himself — is $170 per month. Of course, they can’t move in now, since it doesn’t have safe wiring … or furniture … or a floor. Not yet.
When Ariela calls him out on this, he gets defensive and they have an actual, full-blown argument in the back of this taxi. (Also, you can really hear the New England in the way that Ariela says “yesterday”)
Biniyam’s timetable for fixing the apartment is not realistic, and Ariela knows this because, well, if Biniyam could fix it up that quickly, he would have before she even arrived in the country.
Honestly, I did not have “Biniyam says I’m Done” on my 90 Day Fiance bingo sheet this season.
Kenneth braces himself for his adult daughters, Taylor and Cassidy, to say goodbye and fly back home. He regrets that, on their last night there, they were there to witness him and Armando be called a homophobic slur. It’s not the impression that he wants them to have. And he knows that they worry for him — slurs are often a prelude to violence, and they always serve as a reminder of that threat.
But Taylor and Cassidy gush about what a good dad Kenneth is, how good they already know that he is with Hannah (he’s met her before), and they’re excited for his future.
Having seen Kenneth’s daughters off, they begin their drive down to not only pick up Hannah but also to meet Armando’s parents … if they’re even willing to meet Kenneth.
As much as we might like to tell people with unsupportive parents “eff these people and don’t interact with them again,” that can be more easily said than done because a lot of cultural pressures encourage maintaining contact with one’s parents. Armando would much prefer if his parents can just love and embrace him for who he is.
Brittany greets Yazan at the door. She isn’t quite put together because she is preparing for a long, long flight.
Long before the spoke to that attorney in Florida, she sought a divorce in Chicago (gosh Brittany is such a mess — which is AMAZING for reality TV) so she has to fly home for a hearing after suddenly, years later, getting an email about a hearing.
To him, she simply shared that she needs to go home and see her sister’s baby. That’s not untrue … but it’s not the whole truth, either.
He doesn’t say this directly to Brittany, but he cannot help but notice that something is a little weird here with her sudden and abrupt need to fly to Chicago
Yazan suspects that Brittany could be deceiving him … either that, or the producers maneuvered him into saying this to build up tension. Either way, he’s at least open to the idea that she’s not being honest with him. To be fair, he hasn’t exactly been honest with her, either, when it comes to his family’s expectations or his own.
Deavan sits down at a tea shop with Elicia (gosh this scene made me CRAVE dumplings) because Elicia is heading home. She is not comfortable leaving Deavan, Drascilla, and Taeyang behind, and she lets Deavan know it.
Deavan and Elicia joke that Drascilla is probably “bullying” Jihoon at this moment, which makes it a perfect cutaway. If anyone ever wonders what it is like to be a caregiver to two small children, this is exactly it. Holding one while the other plays your shoulders like the drums. Actually, this is almost a best-case scenario.
Her analogy eventually gets away with her (like a runaway train), but Elicia feels like Deavan is on a train and Elicia can see that the tracks abruptly end in the distance but she feels powerless to do anything about it. That is … a very accurate description of what it is like to watch people make mistakes.
Jihoon very politely tells Elicia that he will miss her.
Jihoon literally fistbumps and says “nice,” which … it’s cute, because a lot of people have conflict with their mother-in-laws, but it’s non-cute because the reason for their conflicts are his doing, and because it feels like confirmation that Elicia was right and that Jihoon is about as mature and responsible as your average 16-year-old.
Elicia reminds Deavan to stand up for herself. Deavan is sad because her mom’s leaving, and because she will essentially be alone without anyone to speak to (a common reality for half of all 90 Day Fiance couples, given the nature of the show)
Jihoon gets a call from his mom, who needs her credit card back. Why? Because he borrowed it to pay for gas. Deavan is not exactly encouraged that Jihoon is so reliant upon his mom for financial support.
Tim and Melyza meet up, where they are so much like a couple … in some ways. See, Tim tells her how his job search went, and explains that getting a company to sponsor him for legal work is unlikely.
After the way that he cheated on her, he knows that it’s not on Melyza’s mind … and he’s absolutely right, which she confirms to him.
Don’t get us wrong — couples choose to get married for pragmatic reasons all of the time. But Tim moving to Columbia is supposed to be about them as a couple and proving his commitment to her. It would make zero sense for her to go “never mind the cheating, let’s just get married!” Some 90 Day couples would do this, but she is not among them.
He is a little unsure of what to do … and at this point, he reveals that he technically still has his old job in the US, which is news to Melyza.
Was him keeping his old job open for a while smart? Of course. But at the same time, it’s a sign that he is leaving the door open for him to go back if things get tough for him here. It’s not exactly the grand romantic gesture to win back her confidence.
But Melyza does admit to the camera that she has been concealing something from him.
The two are seated and chatting and bracing themselves for the important and difficult conversation to come — a conversation between Sumit and his parents.