We are three and a half weeks into the “Married at First Sight” experiment and Sam and Neil are still living separately. Neil feels like a guest at Sam’s house so he doesn’t want to stay there. Meanwhile there are only 2 ½ weeks to go. Besides a hotel, who rents out for 2 ½ weeks? Sam goes to eat with her mom, Lidia, and Neil sits on a red couch with a buddy to each get advice. Sam’s mom provides helpful clichés to her daughter like, life has ups and downs, but Neil confesses something kind of shocking – his attraction to Sam hasn’t grown since the wedding. Wowza!
Tres and Vanessa take Nola to a dog training session. Apparently she’s been acting like a real bitch lately. Through the lesson, Tres can tell that someday Vanessa’s going to make a good mother. And he wants to be a good father, just not anytime soon. They discuss the importance of academics with children, and obviously they agree, just look how seriously they take Nola’s education.
I used to love going to David and Ashley’s house, now I almost dread it. We are all walking on eggshells all the time. David is still very hurt about having to hear from Dr. Cilona that Ashley isn’t attracted to him. She apologizes again for not wanting to hurt his feelings. Personally, I don’t know why the “experts” didn’t pick up on Ashley’s extreme hesitation for life. And like David says, he didn’t sign up for “Best Friends at First Sight.” Because let’s face it, if they had, they’d suck at that, too.
Over at Sam’s place, Neil stops by to do their homework assignment. They have to sit facing each other with knees touching, holding hands and looking into each other’s eyes for one minute. Yeah, this sounds like agony, but Sam is resorting to her silly-girl skills by sticking out her tongue. In a private testimony, Neil says he was disappointed that Sam wasn’t taking it more seriously. Hey, Neil, why didn’t you say, “Hey, Sam, take this seriously for sixty seconds.”
Ashley and David are conducting their homework assignment, sitting on the couch, facing each other, but they aren’t going to hold hands for a whole minute, are you kidding me? Instead, they have to name three things they like about each other. David goes first and lists: loyalty, caring, and kind heart. Ashley’s turn…hang on a sec…she just needs a few seconds to ponder…it’ll come to her…nothing. How about he is smart, he is kind, and he is important. Geez, have you not seen The Help Ashley? A very frustrated David points out that Ashley can’t even let her knees touch his. With only 2 ½ weeks to go, it’s going to take a lightning bolt to light Ashley’s fire.
Tres and Vanessa have no problems holding hands and gazing into each other’s eyes. I’m pretty sure they are the most smitten couple out of all three seasons. By now other smitten couples have gotten into their first big argument. (Maybe next week.) In the meantime, they are lovey-dovey and count the ways they appreciate each other. Then they go have sex.
This week Greg Epstein will visit the couples to judge and give them guilt. Just kidding, he’s a spiritual advisor, not my Jewish mother. He starts with Neil and Sam first, since they are not bonding if they are not sleeping in the same bed. Sam points out the mezuzah on her doorframe and bonus points are given to Sam. Greg asks Neil to name something he’s learned about Judaism, and before he can answer, Sam barks that she was going to make him matzo ball soup. Greg or Neil? Not sure, but so far, Sam and Neil are still committed to the process.
Nest stop, Tres and Vanessa’s place, and Greg is so relieved because they’re a happy couple and that makes his job so much easier. They talk about prayer and Vanessa is happily surprised that Tres quietly blesses their marriage every day. They talk about communication and compromise and learning each other’s hobbies. Greg reminds the couple to leave room for spontaneity – when they’re not getting Nola schooled, that is. He leaves the couple with their wedding album.
Back at David and Ashley’s house of pain, since Ashley couldn’t come up with three things to say about David, he wants them to write their marriage mission statement and then recite it to each other. Here’s Ashley’s, “I want myself to want to keep working on our challenges, but I’m exhausted.” I mean, why didn’t she just say the dog ate her homework? David’s turn, “Romantically speaking, blah, blah, bah, more serious stuff, blah, blah, blah.” And on and on and on. In frustration, David asks Ashley, what did she expect this process to be like? But she can’t answer, #shocker, and asks him the same question. David says he expected someone who tries. Ouch! Words sting when they’re bitterly true. Ashley feels as if the odds are stacked against them. Ya think?
David really wants to fight to save his reputation marriage and is thrilled Greg has arrived so he can spiritually guide them to happiness. Greg explains to David and Ashley that all couples have ebbs and flows with attraction. David says he wants to be the best husband ever. When Greg asks Ashley how this makes her feel, she says, “Okay.” Really? Okay? If your response is anything other than “Great” pack up and call it a day. Greg advices the couple to go out and share an experience. When Greg hands over their wedding album, Ashley smiles, but doesn’t open it.
It’s date night for Tres and Vanessa at the Sip & Stroke where you drink alcohol and paint a picture. This is fun. David and Ashley should do stuff like this. Tres is more interested in sipping that stroking and thinks the guitar they are painting looks like a penis, but at least he’s there and they are having fun. They are becoming – Tranessa.
David and Ashley finally have a few good scenes. First, they look through their awkward wedding alum and laugh. And second, the play kickball with a group of friends. Finally, by getting out, they get rid of the heaviness. Now if Ashley could just keep this up for approximately 2 ½ weeks, she’ll be home free.
Over at Tranessa’s house, Tres cooks Vanessa his specialty taco salad. The recipe is hamburger meat, lettuce, tomatoes, lots of cheese, and Doritos. Vanessa says it’s not bad (and makes a face) and laughs that this would be Tres’ final meal request if he were on death row. None the less, she’s happy that Tres made the effort. They look at the wedding album and reflect fondly.
Sam and Neil are making a Jewish meal together. Neil is in charge of the potato latkes which isn’t too hard to screw up unless you shred your knuckles while grating the potatoes. The evening is a success and the two open up to each other over dinner about how you never have as much time as you think you have. Sam talks of her grandmother dying in her arms and not be able to say everything she wanted to her g-ma. Neil is encouraged to try and rekindle a relationship with his father who has been out of the picture for years. Sam and Neil both feel like they are on the right track, even though they don’t seem too motivated to find a new place.
Tune in next week when the couples face even more challenges. Poll question: how many divorces will occur this season? I think two, but tell me your thoughts.