Through Jeanette & "Derick," 'Catfish' Proves That Just About Anyone Can Get Tricked Online
When you think about it, of all the episodes and crazy stories we've seen so far on Catfish, the victims are almost always the same: People who are in their late teens or early 20s, trying to figure out if the person they've fallen in love with online is the real deal. But this week, we get to see another first for the show — a daughter who wants to help her mom find out if the guy she met while online dating is actually the man he says he is. And in a story that's both heartwarming and heartbreaking, Catfish brings Jeanette and "Derick" face to face for the first time, but the results aren't even close to what she hoped they'd be.
It all started when Shuntay, Jeanette's daughter, emailed Nev and Max to find out if they could help unite her mom and the guy she met on PlentyOfFish.com, Derick. Things have been getting serious between them, and they've even been talking about marriage... except they've never met, and Derick refuses to show his face when they video chat. It's just par for the course on Catfish, so once Nev and Max become involved, getting down to the bottom of the situation is easy.
Thanks to the trusty old Google reverse image search — seriously, why are more people not doing this?! — they quickly find out that Derick's photos are coming from the Instagram of a guy named Jeremale... who happens to be 19 years old. And after searching for his phone number, Nev and Max also realize that the number Derick uses to talk to Jeanette belongs to a woman named Derica — pretty shady.
There's good news, though: Derick doesn't put up much of a fight when Nev asks if they can come see him. Jeanette is a little apprehensive about the whole thing, but ultimately, she decides it's better to find out the truth than to spend the rest of her life wondering.
When they first arrive at the house, they find out that Derick does not live in the same part of Atlanta he said he did. But that's nothing compared to what they find out when they actually go inside — "Derick" is actually the woman named Derica who the phone number belonged to. Derica had been lying to Jeanette about who she is the whole time, using the fictional "Derick" persona, but her feelings are real, and she's truly in love with Jeanette. Unfortunately, Jeanette is incredibly hurt by the lies and doesn't feel the same way, but they do end up parting ways on relatively positive terms.
It's a pretty typical story for Catfish, but the twist is that Shuntay contacted the show to help her mom, instead of Jeanette asking herself. Even though things didn't work out with Derica, it's obvious that Jeanette is lucky to have a daughter who loves her so much, and Derica seems to be learning how to accept herself for who she is. And that's about as close to a happy ending as Catfish gets.