Last night’s episode of MTV’s Catfish was one that had everyone’s jaw dropping as Nev and Max uncovered who the catfish was.
The episode starts off with an email Nev and Max receive from a girl named Carmen living in Cincinnati, OH. However, she isn’t writing to them about her own catfish love story, but rather on behalf of her cousin, Antwane. But this isn’t the only twist of the night, as the episode continues to go down the tracks of a never ending, quick-corner-turning rollercoaster. Nev and Max connect with Carmen to learn more information about Antwane’s relationship with a guy named Tony.
She says that the two have been in a very awkward relationship for three years now, which started on a chat line. Antwane’s love for Tony is so strong, Carmen says, even though he has never seen a photo of Tony or gotten a number to call him. He has to wait for Tony to call. I guess the line, “love is blind,” can justify this relationship, but in the twenty-first century, it’s hard to imagine anyone not having a Facebook or at least a photo of someone they are falling in love with. But anyway …
Nev and Max head out to Cincinnati to meet with Carmen before they meet Antwane and get a lesson in Chat Lines 101. Carmen demonstrates how a chat line works by listening to a recording of someone, and then leaving a message replying to them. Because it’s so easy to do that, it’s also clearly easy to be catfished by someone on there. While Carmen was leaving a message, she even disguised her voice, and when questioned by Nev and Max, she said she has a deeper voice and doesn’t want that to repel the guys. She then makes the comment that about 90-percent of the people on these chat lines are probably lying, just like her.
The three finally head out to meet Antwane and get his side of the story as to why he is so in love with such a stranger. Antwane’s answer is simple: He heard Tony’s deep voice and fell in love with it. I like deeper voices and certain accents too, Australian being my favorite, but I don’t think that just a voice would make me instantly fall in love with someone that’s still a stranger. But, in Antwane’s defense, Tony called him first. The number he used had a Cincinnati area code, but Antwane questioned why Tony said he lived in Atlanta. To make Tony even more of a mystery man, ever since that first phone call, he uses a private number when calling. He says he can never meet up because he has too much work in construction. Somehow, Antwane is able to overlook everything — including not knowing his last name — for three years and fall deeply in love.
Since even Scooby-Doo and the gang might have trouble unmasking this mystery man, it’s up to Nev and Max to set up their investigation and get some answers. The only thing they have to work off of is the first number that Tony used to call Antwane. Luckily. Antwane remembered it and can tell the guys.
When they first look it up through Spokeo, they come up with nothing, so they decide to use Google and get their first break. They find a Diana Thomas registered to the number and look further down the page to see a list of relatives. One name that piques their interest is Anthony Thomas, who — surprisingly — has a street address listed. To try and put a face to the name, the guys type “Anthony Thomas” into Google and the first thing that pops up is a mugshot photo. Oh oh.
The time of the photo is right around the time when Tony and Antwane started talking, so Max comes up with a theory. He says that it’s possible that the pair started talking through that number before Tony went to jail, and he is now in jail and using the phones from inside the clink to explain why the number comes up as private. When they check to see if a number in jail will pop up as private, it secures their theory. Nev tries to call the number they have and finds out it’s been disconnected, only to further support their increasingly convincing theory.
When Nev and Max come back to Antwane and Carmen with their discoveries and emerging theory, surprisingly Antwane acts how any normal person would: He’s afraid and says he wants to change his number. He doesn’t want anything to deal with a criminal and says that he doesn’t need the stress of this. Max reminds Antwane of all the time committed into this relationship and that this is only a theory and that to truly find out what’s going on, he needs to talk to Tony.
Tony never calls Antwane that night — which is not like him. Nev and Max say they need to be more upfront with this and remember that they found three addresses when they were looking for Anthony Thomas. Nev, Max, Antwane, and cousin Carmen head out on a search for this unknown Anthony Thomas person.
The first address is an apartment complex, where they get told multiple times — angrily — “You got the wrong door.” At the second address, a house, they can hear people inside. Once the door opens, a women named Diana is very confused by their questions about an Anthony Thomas. She says she doesn’t know anyone by that name and that her father’s last name is Thomas, but not hers.
With no luck at the two previous addresses, the group can only hope the last one is The One. When they arrive, the house is a very scary abandoned-looking house that no one would want to go up to, let alone live in. Still hopeful, they get to the door, anyway, and Nev finds a letter that addresses a violation and issue for a serious building code. The door is padlocked, but Nev still bravely checks out the house. Unfortunately, he finds nothing and they head towards the cars to leave.
In a split second, Carmen makes a comment to Antwane, saying he’s stupid and couldn’t find Tony because she is him. It’s so quick and unbelievable that it’d be easy to miss it — but once you hear and understand what’s going on, your mouth just drops with shock.
Her reasoning is because Antwane called Carmen “a fat Kelly Price” over three years ago and embarrassed her in front of a house full of people. Antwane may have thought was a joke, but to Carmen, it meant the launch of a long and cruel war of payback.
Nev and Max have no words for her rather than, you’re welcome and congrats on getting yourself on TV. Carmen rides back with the producer telling her that she wanted to make such a shocking impact on someone’s life like this and didn’t care it was messing with someone’s heart. Nev and Max try meeting up with Antwane later, but he doesn’t want to be followed and disturbed and never answers the door, so they head over to Carmen’s house to hear her side of the story — and things get heated like I’ve never seen before in Catfish history.
At first, this meeting that seems to be neutral. Carmen explains to Nev and Max that she catfishes people regularly and is very proud of it. She disguises her voice just like she did to Antwane to become Tony. She loves how she can manipulate people and trick them into thinking her lies are the truth.
Nev’s blood starts boiling as Carmen keeps talking like she’s queen of the world and everyone else is below her. The two get into a shouting match once Carmen explains that the people that she catfishes really want to feel like crap. She explains that they are nothing, so they are already crap and are going to continue being this way and feeling this way.
Just as I’m rooting for Nev, the producer steps in and says they need to take a break and Nev and Max need to step outside. He tells them that they’re sabotaging their own show and need to hear her side of the story. Even though Nev makes it quite clear he’s not interested in doing that, he takes the high road and steps back inside to apologize. The interview doesn’t carry on much further because Carmen says that she wanted to be on TV, and only slightly hints at an apology when asked if she felt bad.
Nev and Max check in on the two a month later, and Antwane tells the guys that he has a new job in custodial work that pays well and he is doing great. He still doesn’t talk to Carmen and doesn’t know if there will ever come a time when he is fully healed because it was not only his best friend, but his family who betrayed him so badly. He mentions that he is talking to other people, but not on any chat lines.
Meanwhile, Carmen is trying to better herself by going to the gym three times a week, but she sees no reconciliation between her and Antwane anytime soon. She says that she tried calling him a couple days after filming and never got an answer, so she was done trying. Because of her lack of commitment and persistence in mending fences with her own family member, it’s hard to believe her when she says that she no longer catfishes anyone.
What are your thought on this explosive episode? Would you ever get into a relationship without knowing what someone looks like, their full name, a number, or having to wait around for them to call you? Could you believe it that Carmen was actually Tony this entire time, and could you forgive her if you were Antwane? Some people will do anything to get a little piece of fame, would you go this far-what’s your price? Tell us in the comment section below!
New episodes of Catfish air Wednesday nights at 10/9CT on MTV