During the show's premiere, viewers met the first "Catfish terrorist." In episode two, Catfish is giving us its first intervention. Nev Schulman and Max Joseph packed their bags for Cincinnati, Ohio, to explore this unusual request, and things only got stranger from there.
Read on to discover the bizarre true identity behind this episode's slippery mystery dater. Don't worry, we did the detective work for you. Here are the "three red flags" that led to "the big reveal," and "the silver lining" that followed. Let's get fishing, shall we?
The Catfish: Tony, an all-around mystery man who is lax on the personal details but quick with the compliments.
Three Red FlagsUnlike other episodes of Catfish, Antwane did not write in to Nev and Max for help; instead his cousin Carmen contacted the pair for an intervention. Worried that her family member and best friend was in too deep, Carmen convinced the Catfish crew to find out Tony's true identity so Antwane could move on. Here's why she's worried:
1. Antwane and Tony connected through a phone chat line: You know those slightly sleazy late-night commercials, urging you to connect with local singles in your area? That's where these two first "met" three years ago. It's hard to believe love can be found through a service that charges $2.99 per minute, but that could be the inner cynic talking.
2. Tony has provided Antwane with zero personal info. Even though the pair have been talking for three years, Tony has refused to share a photo of himself, his last name, where he lives, his phone number and just about any other personal detail – except that he is tall and buff. Antwane is literally blind to who Tony really is, waiting by the phone for him to call each day from a private number.
3. Tony could be in jail. After doing some research, Nev and Max discovered Antwane's phone buddy could be more of a prison pen pal. Using a number that Tony once called from before blocking his digits, Nev did a reverse number search, which led to three addresses in the Cincinnati area and a mugshot of a man named Anthony Thomas.
The Big RevealHit with the news that he is possibly being conned by a con, Antwane agreed to visit the three addresses for possible information. The trio, along with Antwane's cousin/interventionist Carmen, stopped by all of the locations and found nothing. Until, like a bolt of lightning on a summer's day, Carmen shocked everyone by admitting she's Tony. Yep, that's right, this supposedly concerned cousin had been playing phone games with Antwane using her "Tony voice" for three years because ... he once made fun of her weight in front of their family.
Or, as Carmen put it, "There was a house full of people when he did me, so there's a world full of people when I did him." Way harsh, 'cuz! But Carmen's confession didn't stop there; she went on to boast about catfishing others because she's so good at it.
The Silver LiningWell, it's hard to find perks in a family member vengefully manipulating you for three years, but Antwane managed to do it. He has cut Carmen out of his life for now, seeing her as a toxic influence, and has used the situation as a wake-up call. One month after the reveal, Antwane is working at a job he enjoys and making an effort to meet people in the real world. As for Carmen, she claims that her catfishing ways have stopped as a result of Antwane cutting off contact.
Hopefully viewers learned something from this episode, too. Namely, catfishing existed before the Internet, and be wary of late-night chat lines. You really don't know who is waiting to connect with you ... or maybe you do.