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On Sunday night, MTV aired a new episode of Catfish at a special time/night. It was a smart decision—packed in after a catchup marathon of previous Catfish episodes and before the VMA pre-show (the episode was interspersed with red carpet happenings)—and a great way to introduce uninitiated viewers into the weird world of Catfish. It was also, without a doubt, the strangest and most fucked up episode of Catfish thus far. “Artis & Jenny” starts off like most other typical episodes of Catfish: Artis “meets” a girl named Jenny via Facebook and the two begin talking, bond with one another, form a sort of romantic relationship (in the Catfish world, this means they have been sexting each other), and Artis decides he’s ready to meet Jenny and make that relationship real. Jenny is being shady, as the catfish always are, and refuses to talk to him via video or phone, her reason being that she has a very overprotective and controlling boyfriend. By the way, both Artis and Jenny are in relationships—Artis even has three children—but say they are each unhappy in them and would rather move on to each other. Nev and Max are hesitant to help Artis and urge him to talk with his girlfriend and set the record straight before pursuing another girl. Always the moral compasses, those two!

While Artis has the talk with his girlfriend, Nev and Max begin their investigation of Jenny. It’s worrying from the beginning. She works at Hooters, she doesn’t have a school listed, and though she’s friends with people from her town/high school, one guy informs Nev that no one in this small town has ever heard of her. She randomly joined Facebook and began friending everyone in town. Also, her Facebook photo (she only has one) is so obviously a fake photo that I can’t believe Artis believed for a second she was the real deal. Sure enough, the photo is lifted from a porn site. Artis reveals that he broke up with his girlfriend; Nev reveals that Jenny is surely fake. Great timing! But that’s not the weird stuff. The weird shit is when they go to finally meet Jenny (after twisting her arm) and instead of a buxom porn star, it’s a shaggy-haired bro that is batshit insane. 

No, really, he steps out of the car with a slowclap (who does that??) and immediately picks a fight with Nev, Max, Artis—the whole lot. There’s a lot of macho posturing on his part (well, macho in that “I-wear-gym-shorts-and-listen-to-Dave-Matthews” way) and he refers to Artis as his “chocolate kiss” (??) and starts shit with Nev. It’s all very weird and very uncomfortable. With Artis out of the way and silently freaking out in the car, “Jenny” who is actually Justin explains that basically he’s some sort of psychopath who pretends to be a girl on the internet and starts relationship with men (“Obviously I’m not gay,” he tells Nev). His goal? To expose cheaters. Because that’s what normal people do: they create fake profiles to catch strange men e-cheating on their girlfriends. He says that his girlfriend is okay with this, he claims it’s because his father died and because he used to be homeless. Which is a logical progression, I guess? “My father died and now I pretend to be women on the internet.” Justin often comes off as some sort of drama student really playing it up for the camera.  None of this makes any fucking sense and it’s all hard to describe without just yelling THIS IS FUCKING CRAZY over and over again. I’m pretty sure the only way Catfish can top this is if the next catfish is just three dogs on each other’s shoulders wearing a trench coat. MTV’s replaying the episode tonight at its normal time (10pm) so if you haven’t seen Catfish, I highly suggest this is where you start. 

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