Rachel and Jon
The episode begins with Rachel landing in London, to meet her karaoke dream, Jon. She’s hoping for a ring, but instead is greeted by the news that Jon passed on the airport pickup. He directs her onto a train, and Rachel is understandably exhausted and disappointed. Baby Lucy is already throwing side-eyes. We rewind 24 hours and catch up with Jon, a waste management worker, who lives with his mother. He’s seemingly thrilled about welcoming his future family, but Jon’s sister knows that her brother is clueless about what’s ahead.
Jon has prepped a space for Lucy, but his sis wonders if he can really ditch his playboy ways for his American insta-family. We see Jon interact with some pals, who all take turns weighing in on all that could go wrong. Jon has already tried to nudge his way into the U.S., but due to his criminal background, he was denied. Fast forward, and Rachel is stranded at the station, and Jon is puking up anxiety on the sidewalk. The couple finally connects, and have immediate post-barf chemistry. Lucy isn’t so sure, and looks mildly alarmed by the hairy stranger hovering over her stroller.
Paul and Karine
Paul is on his way to Brazil, to reconnect with his future bride, Karine. Paul is worried about Karine’s kissy-face internet shares, and that he might be in love with an online hussy. Karine is more worried about the ongoing language barrier, and how her father will process jabber from an accused arsonist/stalker. Paul lands, and immediately launches into a spin about his truckload of missing luggage. The couple reconnects at the airport, and Paul is thrilled to snuffle and sniff his future bride.
They swap gushy niceties, before checking into a hotel for the night — their love nest until they move into a three month rental. Karine has stocked the room with Pepto, stuffed animals and mosquito netting — all of their favorites. His luggage finally arrives, and Paul hands Karine a poop emoji pillow — a reflection of how he feels about her online hijinks. Paul calmly requests a repeat pregnancy test, to keep things in sterilized order. Karine doesn’t take it well, and is upset and angry. She wonders if Paul is aware that a girl can’t get pregnant by an online winky wink.
Tarik and Hazel
We meet Tarik, a devoted single dad of a highly functional autistic daughter, named Ari. His little girl is his whole world, but his baby mama is out of the romantic picture. Tarik took a trip to Asia awhile back to meet hot women, and after a few duds, he decided to hunt Asian women online. Tarik, 43, finally landed a ringer, a Philippine spam-girl lookalike named Hazel, 25. Tarik is planning a trip to the Philippines, to meet the photo beauty in person. Hazel claims that acute shyness is behind her reluctance to communicate in person. Tarik plans to pop the question anyway. Hazel asks to bring gawking family members to the airport pickup, and Tarik is thrown for a loop.
He thinks that Hazel might be getting cold feet, and hopes that he isn’t wasting his time. Tarik’s brother, Dean, weighs in, and believes that his bro is being sold a bill of goods by a con artist. We learn that his brother is going along on the wife hunt, to play emotional bodyguard. Tarik sets out on his 36 hour journey, and Dean will follow the next day. Hazel’s texts are getting skittish, and Tarik assures viewers that he’s well aware that the whole trip could go south. Tarik is ready to put a ring on it, but knows that the whole thing is kinda crazy.
Angela and Michael
Angela reports that her passport and visa have not arrived, and the glitch might wreck her trip to Nigeria, which is set to take off that day. She’s determined to meet her soulmate, but her attention to detail obviously needs work. Her paperwork finally comes through, and she’s able to cough up more cash and book a later flight. Angela’s daughter, Scottie, helps her pack for the trip, and her mom includes a monstrously tacky bag as a payoff gift for Michael’s mother. Angela is ready to pop the question, and Scottie is horrified, because she doesn’t want a junior stepfather. Angela lands in Nigeria, while TLC rewinds to give viewers their first peek at Michael, at home. He admires President Trump, aspires to become an American businessman, and can’t wait to get started. His friends think he’s nuts to want a bossy old white lady, and Michael happily confirms that Angela is all of the above. He adds that he always respects his elders.
Ricky and Melissa
Ricky begins his segment by sharing that communication has been spotty with spam-bot Melissa, but if she ever calls him back, he plans to propose. He arrives in Colombia, but surprise — Melissa cannot pick him up at the airport. He reveals that their first date has been scheduled for that night, but Melissa has not confirmed that she plans to show up. Ricky later preps for dinner, excited to meet the love of his life. Melissa isn’t communicating, but as Ricky straps on his fanny pack, he’s confident that she won’t be able to resist his charms forever. Ricky arrives at the restaurant, and Melissa finally texts confirmation that she’s alive, but only via text. The minutes tick by, and 90 minutes later, Ricky is still flying solo.
Darcy and Jesse
We check in with the messy repeat lovebirds in their NYC hotel, busily getting ready for dinner. Jesse resists flexing in his underwear, while Darcy reminds us of her tireless efforts to earn her way into Jesse’s heart. Jesse is bugged that Darcy airs their dirty laundry on social media, but she believes that their love is worth fighting for — preferably in public. The couple attempts to share a meal at a restaurant, but immediately begins squabbling over previous online squabbling.
Jesse is all about perfectionistic public perception, and claims that he loses business when Darcy dishes to the whole world, off the TLC clock. Darcy believes that every girl is entitled to a rant or two, so she storms out of the restaurant, in protest. She throws a mini curbside tantrum, shading Jesse’s motives before crawling back for more. Jesse hopes that Darcy can adequately adjust her juvenile personality before the bell rings for the next round.
Next week, things get dirty for some, and desperate for others. My pick for sideline MVP? The Colombian bartender, who instantly knew that Ricky was there to meet his “future wife.”
Who was your favorite 90 Day Fiance: Before the 90 Days sideline player?