Love Is Blind Season-Premiere Recap: A Walking Red Flag

Love Is Blind

Week 1 (Episodes 1-4)
Season 5 Episode 1
Editor’s Rating 4 stars

Love Is Blind

Week 1 (Episodes 1-4)
Season 5 Episode 1
Editor’s Rating 4 stars

There’s a chill in the air. The leaves are starting to turn. The pumpkin-spice Munchkins are being blended into the Ice Spice Munchkin drink. Grab a fuzzy blanket and your gold goblets because THE PODS ARE OPEN!! After a particularly lackluster “After the Altar” special, I wondered if Love Is Blind could bring the delirium that it’s given us in seasons past. I mean, how many marketing professionals in a major metropolitan area can there possibly be? But Love Is Blind promised us a first so bonkers that it would make it all worthwhile. Let me be the first to say it: They fucking delivered.

The theme for this season is “Love me for me.” I could do a CTRL+F for “love me for me” in my notes and get no less than sixteen results. And who are these “Me”s looking for love? More than one geologist, a man who genuinely believes that pictures of you holding a fish on dating apps are hot, and A PAIR OF EXES. HAHAHAH! That’s right. The producers somehow found two people willing to date, get engaged, and get married in these Cost Plus World Market cubicles who had dated each other. They revealed it to us in a The Prestige–level flashback and conflicting information from all parties involved. Just when I think I’ve seen it all, and I’ve certainly seen A LOT, we’re getting something so truly unhinged and messy that I was screaming in my living room at every twist and turn. We are so back, baby. Let’s get into it.

The first significant person we meet is Lydia. She’s one of two geologists and she’s from Puerto Rico. She’s 30 years old and she wants this too much. She needs this too badly. I’m very worried for her. She hits it off in the pods with Izzy, who was engaged but will reveal zero information about it, and Milton, a 24-year-old metamorphic rock enthusiast. Everyone in the comments, sound off about your favorite rock type: igneous, metamorphic, or sedimentary. Lydia tells Izzy she’s emotionally stable, and I have never believed a person less.

Izzy is spoiled for the choice between Lydia, Divorced Johnie, and Cool Girl Stacy. But a few days in, he realizes Lydia is not the one for him and breaks up with her. He keeps repeating that he’s looking for a woman who has mental stability and emotional intelligence. He repeats it so much that I get suspicious. I’d like to ask his former fiancée a few questions and for her to rank Izzy’s emotional intelligence on a scale from one to ten. Johnie is also drawn to Chris, who fosters dogs on the weekend. Johnie mentions that she’s a lawyer twice in as many minutes.

There is also Firefighter JP and Kindergarten Teacher Taylor, who exist in their own pocket universe. I don’t think I see him talk to another woman the entire episode, so we can’t confirm or deny that he isn’t a producer plant just for Taylor. Or a ghost! We can never rule out “folksy ghost.” They start calling each other “Sugar” and “Sugar Butt” by their second date, and that’s it for them. They get engaged. Let’s all just move on.

And we need to move on to Uche. Ooooh, Uche, Uche, Uche. He blankly tells us during an early montage that the danger zone for marriages are years one and two and then again for years five through eight. He’s a lawyer but also a businessman. If an educational podcast could come to life, that’s Uche. Uche gets close with Nerdy Nurse Aaliyah when they realize they both like spoken-word poetry, but he manages to almost sabotage their whole relationship multiple times.

Aaliyah and Uche are talking about their deal-breakers for marriage, and both agree that dishonesty is a huge deal-breaker. Uche asks Aaliyah if she’s ever cheated in a relationship, and she says once, two years ago. Then Uche says, “Oh, so you’re a recent cheater.” Two years is recent?!? Anything from before the Great Sickness doesn’t count as “recent.” If the events happened before someone tickled your brain stem through your nose with a cotton swab, it happened in another lifetime. Uche barks questions at Aaliyah about the circumstances of the cheating. She was in a two-and-a-half-year relationship where they weren’t having sex; she slept with someone else once and broke up with her boyfriend a few months later and never told him. Uche wants verbal confirmation that she feels ashamed and guilty, and somehow not telling her boyfriend meant she never had to confront that guilt. Oh, before we go any further, it’s important to note that Uche cheated on his girlfriend when he was 18. But it was just a kiss, and he was 18, so it’s okay. Aaliyah breaks down and Lydia comforts her and tells her she sees so much of herself in Aaliyah. And that, my friends, is foreshadowing. Later, the episode description promises that someone delivers a “heartfelt apology,” and as Uche was explaining himself and justifying why he reacted the way he did, I realized, “Oh, this is the heartfelt apology. Yikes.”

We’ve met all the major players. We’ve set the scene. So now, let’s follow the major dramas and see where all these doofs end up.

Johnie finally breaks up with Chris to pursue Izzy. She tells Izzy about her ex-husband, who was a rebound from another ex who was addicted to drugs and died of an overdose. That is a lot of relationship lore. Johnie describes herself as “a walking red flag,” and I’m struggling to figure out what she’s done wrong in her past relationships. I guess the fact that she’s a human woman who has lived through a past era is the problem? Regardless of the reason, Izzy can’t handle that the only person Johnie has ever been in love with was her ex who died, and wonders if any man can ever fill the role in her heart. Dude, he’s no longer on this mortal plane. I think she’s fine. Johnie immediately thinks she fucked this up because Chris was distraught when they broke up, and Izzy is getting distant.

Her instincts are fully correct, because Izzy breaks up with her because “it has to make sense to him.” She tells him that picking Chris would be the safe choice she’d be making out of fear and that if he leaves here without her, Izzy will always think about her. She realizes she picked someone emotionally unavailable again and she has to figure out a plan to win Chris back. Chris and Izzy cross-reference Johnie’s story and realize she’s telling them the same data but drawing different conclusions. Chris doesn’t buy Johnie’s Hail Mary because it turns out telling a guy, “You’re less exciting and that’s what I want” isn’t the way to his heart. Meanwhile, Izzy and Stacy get engaged.

Now, it’s time for the main fucking event. Aaliyah and Uche have healed their relationship and Aaliyah is back to feeling good, but Uche has to tell her something … he dated someone in the pods and it’s Lydia.

Lydia recognized Uche’s voice and name in the pods instantly and asked him if he wanted to start at zero and still pursue each other in the pods because Lydia is thirsty for love. Uche told her that it would betray the experiment and thinks it’s better to just be friends. Uche says they weren’t compatible. I do not believe this story, because no man has ever broken up with a woman because they weren’t compatible, and considering we find out they broke up three months ago and hooked up at that time, we can trust none of this information.

Aaliyah has a full-on meltdown because Lydia is her best friend in the house, and she tries to go to her to get some answers and comes away with way too much information about Uche that she wants to learn organically. She’s also worried about “always looking over her shoulder” for Lydia. Aaliyah goes back to Uche and says that she would never date a friend’s ex outside the pods and this is all just too much. Uche says it’s happening to him just as much as it’s happening to her. Is it, dude? Because you’ve known for days that Lydia is there and have had time to process it. Aaliyah is hearing from Lydia about what your drink of choice is and what color your bedsheets are. Aaliyah is going through it. They somehow get past it when Uche asks Aaliyah what kind of wedding ring she wants.

Lydia also has to tell Milton about dating Uche, and we get a third version of this story. None of this adds up, and Milton summarizes it with “This is just messy.” Truer words, Milton. Lydia tells him that she wants him so bad and after asking her a series of hypotheticals that make it sound like he’s going to break up with her, Milton proposes. He says, “It’s that easy. This is supposed to be way harder.” Do not curse yourself, sweet summer child.

Finally, it’s time for Uche to propose to Aaliyah. They’ve worked through all of their (read: his) problems, and he’s ready. He heads to their pod and is met with silence. Aaliyah? A producer speaks from behind the camera: “Aaliyah has decided not to continue with the experiment.”

Reader, I screamed again!

Misc. Pod Goss

• Shout-out to Miriam, who refuses to say what she does for a living, and “not dermatology but offering a distinct composition” is as specific as she gets. I think she raises snails for Korean beauty products.

• A man we never see again says his God-given talent is “cunnilingus.” Get cameras to follow his post–Love Is Blind Raya swipes.

• JP is SO SWEATY during his reveal with Taylor. He is so nervous and so happy and keeps kissing her so deeply, and his forehead is GLISTENING with sweat.

• One of the questions Aaliyah wants answered in the pods is if the guys have any weird fetishes. Is she going to have to be sucking toes every day? She also wants to know if softer moans turn Enoch on. We never hear his answer. He is a mystery to us.

• Uche writes a poem for Aaliyah that begins, “I walk in nervous, I hear your voice, you say my name, you are my choice.” Not all poems have to rhyme, America.

Love Is Blind Season-Premiere Recap: A Walking Red Flag