What happens when your potential Catfisher turns out to be a semi-YouTube star, has dozens of imitation Facebook pages, and seems more likely to be pulling a full-fledged Catfish scam on you than ever before? Well, in the case of Solana & Elijah on this week's Catfish , that’s when the online love you've been doubting ends up being the real Emo Pixie Dream Boy of your wildest hair fantasies. And, what happens when a Catfish duo proves to be what they claimed to have been the whole time? Well, then Nev forcibly makes you sit through a half-hour of Chatfish, a 30-minute segment with no less than three hosts. To be fair: Chatfish pulled its weight in weirdness, and then some.
For an episode of Catfish where, in the end, everyone seemed to actually be telling the truth, Solana and Elijah’s story had a lot of twist and turns, including but not limited to: a real-life boyfriend, a disappearing man, and a catfish within a Catfish. Let’s start from the beginning of Solana’s road to a seemingly happy ending, shall we?
Catfishee: Solana, 18, already holding down a profession as a hairstylist
Catfisher: Elijah, 20, somehow managing to still hold his head up under what can only be described as a leaden sheath of emo helmet hair.
Social Media Platform of Choice: MySpace
Curveball: the most understanding boyfriend in the world, Danny
Things That Get Nev Overly Excited: the opportunity to say “Copy-Catfish” over and over, the visual gag of matching tattoos, Max touching his arm for an extended period of time
As much as I know we all love the soothing, sleuthful stylings of Nev, Max, and their good pal, Google, Solana and Elijah’s story is really all about the end game. So, in short: Solana met Elijah on MySpace when she was 13 and her parents were going through a divorce. Elijah helped her through a tough time, and continued to be there for her as her internet boyfriend, until she logged on one day to find that Elijah no longer had a MySpace account. After not hearing from Elijah for two years, he got in touch with Solana from a Facebook account and said he used to talk to a girl named Solana, and if it was her, he wanted to reconnect.
Around that same time, Solana started dating Danny, a man of many oddly decorated shirts, IRL. Though they used to talk on the phone, Elijah claims that his strict mom took away his MySpace, and he no longer has access to a phone or webcam to communicate with Solana in any way that isn’t through the “texting app” on his iPod. Ready to to decide if she can fully let Elijah go in order to commit to Danny like she wants to, Solana calls Nev and Max onto the scene, who promptly inform her that everyone has a phone. They’re right. Everyone has a phone…except Elijah, but we’re getting there.
Nev and Max settle in at whichever local coffee shop doesn’t mind hosting eight men filming one man filming another man and start in with all they have: an old phone number and Elijah’s pictures. The phone number brings up a woman’s name, which could be something, but the pictures bring up a YouTube channel, AKA the Catfish jackpot. The guy in the pictures is definitely Elijah Prok, who has videos with upwards of 50,000 views. But Elijah Prok also has a whole heap of Facebook profiles, which tends to be a bad sign. Nev and Max let Solana know that the person she fell in love with as a tween is likely someone pretending to be Elijah Prok, because, uh, that dude seems to have as much access to a webcam as he does to hair straighteners, which is to say unlimited.
After informing him that she’s on her way with a few slightly judgmental, slightly supportive older brother-types, Solana heads to Minnesota to finally meet whoever the hell has been pretending to be Elijah Prok for six years. When they arrive, something great happens. As Nev is raising his hand to knock on the door, it opens to reveal a blonde man. That man’s name is Joshua and he asks if they want to meet Elijah. Joshua ushers the group inside, disappears down a set of stairs that are directly behind the front door, and Solana says, “We’re all going to die.”
But spoiler alert: they don’t die. Joshua doesn’t come back up the stairs—but Elijah does. The very Elijah that Solana has been pining over pictures of for one third of her life. She can’t believe it; Nev and Max can’t believe it; I can’t believe it. No asks if it’s just Joshua in a wig, but we all collectively consider it, and decide to let it go. He was down there for a really long time, but Solana seems so happy.
Then, because the person on the other side of the MySpace screen and “I don’t have a phone, just this second generation iPod” is so rarely who they claim to be, we’re treated to an abnormally long segment of watching these two people interact. It’s terrible! Do you remember what it was like to flirt as an 18 year old? Of course not, you blocked that part of your life thoroughly from your brain. For Elijah and Solana, it means sitting in his basement for a while, going to the skate park for a while, and considering getting matching tattoos for a while. AND THEN DOING IT. Elijah’s winning sales pitch: “Basically, yours is a lioness, like a female lion…and then I’m going to have a male lion, and the expression is, he’s real attentive. I just wanna know how you feel about getting tatted.”
THE MTV-MANDATED CHATFISH
Perhaps you’ve forgotten about Danny, Solana's real life boyfriend. It certainly seemed like Solana had when she was getting a noble lioness tattooed on her back. But in a twist possibly bigger than two humans being capable of telling the whole truth to each other online, Solana revealed on the Chatfish after show, that two weeks after she returned from meeting Elijah, she and Danny got married. Even compared to the eclectic group of former catfishees, Solana is a wildcard.
But let's not judge and instead be happy with this happy Catfish ending. Two people with insane hair found a glimmer of something special in each other, tattooed that something special in jungle cat form in permanent ink on their backs, and then decided they were better as friends, paving the way for a marriage.
So keep your chin up, you never know when you might meet your soulmate, and you never know when your future wife might be texting some guy she met on MySpace 18 years ago, just to make sure you're truly "the one."
By Jodi Walker