Today’s episode finds the couples just past the halfway point. (And finds me despairing that it’s only just past the halfway point because omigod how is this season not over yet??) Anyway, that means it’s time for their check-ins with Dr. Pepper.
Dave and Amber kick things off. Dave tells Dr. Pepper sometimes he doesn’t know how to react to Amber’s emotions, like this morning when she became upset because she didn’t have any clean socks. (I guess this means she hasn’t been doing her laundry, even though she’d volunteered to be responsible for wash when they were divvying out the chores some weeks back, and had a subsequent fight about it because she wasn’t doing Dave’s wash.) Amber admits she is quite transparent with her emotions, while Dave is more subdued. She feels like she annoys him. (I’m pretty sure she’s right. Also? She is starting to annoy me.) Dave shares that while the 5-minute-sock-debacle was “on Amber,” the next two hours were “on him” as, evidently, he didn’t react well to her spazzing out. Dr. Pepper suggests that in the future, if either one of them feels too angry and/or reactive in the moment, they should stop, say, “I’m too angry to discuss this right now but let’s revisit it at X time,” and take a break. The couple feels duly counseled and thus ends the good doctor’s visit.
Next, Dr. Pepper heads to the high rise where they obviously keep the AC way too high as both Tristan and Mia are hunkering down in blankets. Jay-T is good enough to remove his animal-skin-rug covering when Dr. P arrives, but Mia seems contented to channel her inner Violet Beauregard and, thus, remains in her blue body bag. Shocker: the couple is not in crisis at the moment (though never fear, the episode is young), so everyone is in fine spirits. Tristan shares a sad tale of dire losses at his Houston business as a way to broach their need to move to Houston. Luckily, the risk-benefit chart seems to have helped Mia get on board so they’re both excited to move. Dr. Pepper says picking out a new place together will be good for them.
Finally, Dr. Pepper visits Danielle and Bobby. She wants to know what their biggest trial has been and Danielle explains how she didn’t grow up in a touchy-feely household so not seeming cold and aloof has sometimes been challenging with Bobby. But she feels like she’s been making great strides in that regard. Dr. Pepper says that’s great, then informs Danielle she’d like her and Bobby to go do a tantra lesson. As in tantric sex. Danielle admits to camera how that is past her boundaries, but says she’ll try to keep an open mind because she wants to be able to say she’s done every task she’s been assigned. A dog barks outside which introduces the issue of their pet fostering. Danielle shares how Bobby has graciously taken on Dog-Doodie Duty. Dr. Pepper says, “Wow, are you going for sainthood? Do you have any issues with this?” And Bobby says he’s okay with it. Then admits it’s a “beatdown” every time he’s had to do it. Dr. Pepper says she’d usually be concerned when one spouse does so much more than the other, but in Bobby’s case, she feels he’s just trying to show his love. He notes, “If the worst thing I have to do in a day is clean up dog poop, it’s a good day.” Hmm. There’s some zen in there, for sure.
Next up: the phone swap exercise. It tests personal boundaries and trust. Mia and Tristan both opt not to swap phones. Tristan claims he trusts Mia (how that’s possible, I don’t know) and doesn’t need to look through her phone. I suspect he simply doesn’t want to stumble upon another of her lies. Regardless of the true reason, Mia responds in kind and opts not to look at Tristan’s phone. Danielle and Bobby dutifully swap phones because the experts assigned it as an exercise, not because they seem at all concerned about or particularly interested in anything they might find on the other’s phone. Danielle likes Bobby’s photos of the dogs. Bobby remarks that Danielle has a lot of apps. After those inane comments, they replace the phones on the table. Bobby yawns. So do I. Finally, it’s Amber and Dave’s turn. Amber says she’s ok with Dave going through her phone, though she thinks it’s weird and isn’t sure what’s even in her phone. Dave tells Amber he has no desire to look through her phone as he trusts her and doesn’t believe there’s any cause to look through it. He adds that he hopes she feels the same. Amber admits that she’s had trust issues in the past and, with any other guy, she’d jump at the chance to nose around in his phone. But with Dave, she gets the sense he’s loyal and trustworthy and feels no need to swap phones. He’s the first man she’s ever trusted like this, she says. She’s happy to note the difference and feels it’s a great sign for their relationship.
Dave, however, is concerned that she’s never been in a relationship before where she felt she could trust her partner. Amber tells camera Dave is judgey (he is!), and asks Dave in a world-weary voice why he’s concerned. He explains that he doesn’t like that his wife has been so consistently drawn to this wrong type of guy. He tells camera that he knows he’s being negative, but adds that it’s in the past so he wants to focus on the future instead. Someone needs to tell Dave to get off his high horse.
Danielle and Bobby go to their tantra lesson. They’re uncomfortable but I give them props for hanging in there as the instructor repeatedly says the word “orgasm” and asks them sexual questions. They participate as well as they are able and are almost as relieved as the viewers when the experience is over.
Obvs MAFS is wise to their ratings GOLD, because Reverend Cal explains to camera the next activity: a cooking class! Yessss. Show me some inept cooks, please! All three couples are participating at the same time. In all three relationships the wives are the non-cooks. That becomes quickly evident as all three of them seem challenged to do the tasks being asked of them (Mia is cutting up chicken; Danielle is scraping cut green onion into a bowl; Amber is attempting to smash garlic.) Amber starts freaking out a bit because she gets in her head and worries her kitchen ineptitude will make her “not good enough” for Dave. Her frustration bothers him a lot, but he remembers what Dr. Pepper told them and so he helps guide her through it and she successfully crushes the garlic. She’s excited, but even more excited when Mia lights a towel on fire because now Amber is no longer the biggest disaster in the kitchen.
The couples enjoy the fruits of their labor and eat dinner. They take turns sharing their marital struggles—well, everyone but Bobby and Danielle who, of course, have none. The other couples look at them sideways, Dave jokingly asks them to make up a problem just to make the rest of them feel better, and the party breaks up soon after. (One thing of note: After hearing how Tristan and Mia are moving to Houston, Danielle tells camera if Mia wants to go with him, ok, but she better have a Plan B in case it doesn’t work out. Ouch. But also true, especially as there’s NO WAY this is working out!)
Bobby and Danielle go out to dinner alone. They stare at each other like robots, then delve into the scintillating top of dog poop. It’s amazing how much of their marital conversation revolves around shit. Danielle tells Bobby please not to hold in feelings if he’s getting frustrated. He says he’ll let her know if he needs a break, but he has no plans to interfere with her passion for fostering. Danielle promises she’ll wake up with the dog tonight. Bobby tells camera that Danielle is a pretty heavy sleeper and likely won’t hear the dog, and he’s not going to wake her to do it. And so it goes.
Amber and Dave talk about their future. Amber is feeling good about their relationship in the wake of the cooking class, and she hopes Dave is on the same page. Amber asks what he envisions and Dave admits he wants them to have experiences as a couple before starting a family. But Amber wants to have a baby ASAP. She makes the requisite comments about losing more eggs by the year. Dave reminds her that people are safely having babies older and older these days. He asks what she’s most concerned about (I guess with having a family?) and she admits it’s the lack of sleep. Then she jokes that she’s not so much looking forward to the hard work of babyhood but can’t wait until their child turns 5. Dave is put out by that statement. He doesn’t think it’s funny. He is looking forward to holding their infant and thinks Amber wanting to skip past a big portion of a kid’s life is not a good sign. Further, he notes that she’s not great at dealing with stress and sleep deprivation, and that’s a big part of having babies. Amber notes those are things everyone struggles with and it’s unfair of him to judge her. He says he’s not judging her. (He clearly is.) I’m thinking this isn’t how Amber pictured this discussion going.
Mia and Tristin are frolicking on the bed. Tristan says he’s feeling very optimistic about their plans. Mia is clearly not as optimistic, but she is trying to keep a positive outlook.
Danielle and Bobby are kissing. It’s bedtime again. It seems like the show closes the same way every week. Zzz… Bobby tells Danielle how happy he is with her and how he’ll do anything he can to make her happy. She’s smiling at him. He tells her he loves her. She kisses him but doesn’t say it back.
Next week, there’s some drama resulting from the characters showing no growth whatsoever. Danielle is a cold fish. Tristan discovers something else about Mia’s past he didn’t know. Amber is insecure when one of her friends is more Dave’s “type.”
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Thanks to all for your thoughts.