updated 07/02/2014 AT 3:00 PM ET
•originally published 07/03/2014 AT 9:15 AM ET
The waters of the web are still wriggling with new catfish; some are just harder to catch than others.
This is one of those extra tricky cases.
The story starts off the same as in many of these MTV tales. Jeff is an average guy who is enlisted in the Navy, and, as a result, doesn’t have too much time to date. By accident he becomes Facebook friends with a girl named Megan, who shares his love for animals and has Dallas Cowboy cheerleader good looks, to boot.
Their online friendship blossoms into romance, complete with daily phone calls and the usual suspicious absence of videochatting. Now that things are getting serious, Jeff is contemplating whether to re-enlist in the Navy or take a step towards starting a life with Megan.
Nev and Max are once again called upon to work their magic and untangle Megan’s truths from her lies. The only issue is, because of his place in the military, Jeff doesn’t have the time to travel out to meet Megan. Is Megan really who she says she is? More important, can the guys convince this episode’s mystery dater to not only reveal herself, but fly from Texas to Florida to meet Jeff?
Read on to see what happens, and check out the “three red flags” that led to “the big reveal,” and “the silver lining,” that followed.
Let’s get fishing, shall we?
The Catfish: Megan, a Texas nurse who supposedly shares Jeff’s interests and never has a mean word to say about anyone.
Three Red Flags
Jeff and Megan’s romance allegedly started by accident, when Megan friended Jeff on Facebook by mistake. A quick chat about the misunderstanding turned into frequent text messages, which eventually became nightly phone calls. They both love animals! They both have huskies! They both are looking for a generous and empathetic soulmate!
Everything seems to be all lined up for a life of eternal bliss. But Nev and Max know better. Instead of assuming Megan is exactly who they say she is, they start digging. Here’s what they found:
1. Megan stood up Jeff on their first face-to-face meeting.
This isn’t Jeff’s first attempt at meeting Megan. Jeff planned a trip to Texas, bought a ticket and flew out to where Megan lives, only to be stood up by his online lady with little explanation. Jeez, love is strange.
2. Megan’s account is lacking activity.
While Megan’s account is fully filled out and includes plenty of personal info, there are very few photos of her. Most of the photos she posts are of animal memes, and the only person commenting on or liking her content is Jeff. With cheerleader looks and a job that requires lots of human interaction, shouldn’t her Facebook have a little more love?
3. There is another Facebook page just like Megan’s.
Here’s the big one. When Nev and Max look up Megan’s phone number, a girl name Brandy pops up instead. A quick search of Brandy’s full name on Facebook reveals an account with no profile photo, but all the same information, videos and memes found on Megan’s Facebook page.
The Big Reveal
Nev and Max unveil their findings to Jeff, and everyone agrees this faceless Brandy account is probably the real Megan. Unable to make the trip out to Texas to confront Megan, Jeff is relying on Nev to convince Megan to fly out to Florida to reveal herself. Nev calls and gently tells Megan they have uncovered the truth about her identity and want her to come out and tell them her side of the story. Megan/Brandy doesn’t deny it, but she refuses to fly to Florida, finding it too uncomfortable of a situation, and she hangs up on Nev.
Because they are two men accustomed to hours of Googling, Nev and Max don’t give up at the first roadblock. Instead, Nev stays behind with Jeff, while Max and his camera are finally allowed to fly solo. He heads out to Texas to try to convince Megan/Brandy to come back with him. The guys are able to encourage Megan/Brandy to meet with Max, who is pretty much stalking her outside her apartment. Our Catfish owns up to being Brandy and to creating a fake account, but claims all the other information – aside from her job and image – she shared with Jeff is the truth. Max proves Nev isn’t the only one who can work Catfish magic, and he convinces Brandy to travel to Florida and finally meet Jeff.
Aside from a little rain, what could have been a horribly uncomfortable situation goes fairly well. Brandy apologizes to Jeff, explaining she was never out to hurt others, just to get rid of her own pain. Prior to creating her Megan identity, Brandy was in an abusive relationship that left her feeling worthless. Megan was a way to escape and cope. All the insecurities, hopes and worries she shared as Megan were Brandy’s real hardships. Still seeing the woman he fell in love with in Brandy, Jeff accepts her apology and suggests starting over. Brandy heads back to Texas with a hug from Jeff and a promise to talk again soon.
The Silver Lining
One month later, Nev and Max find Jeff and Brandy full of good news. Jeff was able to fully forgive Brandy, and he is talking to her every day. The pair are closer than ever and it looks like a true relationship could happen. The only thing standing in their way is Jeff’s upcoming deployment overseas. But after waiting months for the truth, Jeff doesn’t seem too concerned about waiting a little while longer before getting serious.
Brandy is working on repairing her relationship with herself, as well. During her Catfish check-in, she tells Nev and Max she has started counseling to work through the feelings that drove her to create the Megan account.