”Beauty is in the ‘EYE’ of the Beholder”
Michael is a 25 year old from Sterling Heights, Michigan. He started chatting with a girl, Kristen, a 22 year old, about 40 miles north of him in St. Clair. She’s in beauty school, and after only a month of talking to each other, they started to say the ‘L’ word (I love you) to each other. He considers her his ‘girlfriend’ and they’ve even talked about having kids together.
He has tried to meet her in person but it’s been futile so far. He thinks it’s because of a ‘physical handicap’. They’ve only chatted and spoke on phone, never video chatted. (The infamous ‘never video chatted’ line). He hopes the guys can help him finally meet her.
Nev starts the video chat with Michael where he gushes over all the great qualities of Kristen.
Nev then asks about the physical handicap Mike spoke of, so he can fully understand why they’ve never met even though they live so close.
Mike explains that about they time the first started chatting she had been in a car accident, being hit head on by a semi truck, windshield shattering, with glass getting into her eye. The doctors couldn’t save her eye, so she has a fake/glass eye.
He feels she might be apprehensive to meet him because of her eye, that she feels he’d reject her because of it, and he’s told her repeatedly that that is not the case. It’s been enough time passing, it’s time to actually meet up. It’s been 3 and a half years. What?
Off to Michigan they go. Mike owns his own house. In the living room he tells Nev and Max more of their story. They have considered themselves ‘together’ but would split apart now and then. If he was dating another girl, Kristen would convince him to break that off as she would say that ‘they’ are meant to be together. He has told her he loves her numerous time and indeed does feel that way towards her.
He’s drawn to the mystery of her, of how she’s alluded him so far. And believes what she has said to him.
Mike shows the guys the pics he has on his phone that she’s texted to him. Nev zooms in on one pic supposedly somewhat recent and points out that both eyes appear normal, that the pupils are equal, whereas a glass eye could be more apparent.
When Max asks if he’s physically attracted to her, Mike says yes and says he has other pictures that he won’t share that are more provocative. Max followed up asking if he has returned the favor and Mike confesses that he has sent similar ones, as well as, full frontal nakeds including his face. Yup, ‘those’ kind.
Max says “wow, you do trust her” and Nev is kind of surprised he would do that, altho he then realizes many people do in fact text/sext pictures.
Back at the hotel, Nev and Max try to figure out why Kristen can’t even get free for an afternoon when they live under an hour apart.
Mike sends them all the pertinent info he has on Kristen…full name, age, pictures, things she’s said (lives with horses, etc), where enrolled in beauty school.
They call the beauty school and no Kristen Parkers is enrolled. There is a Kristen but the school can’t give out her last name.
Max says to do a Spokeo search on her. They start with the phone number and it comes back to a ‘Hillock’ in St. Clair. Right town, different last name. They then plug in the address that attaches to the phone number and the aerial map view shows a farm with a barn, horse corral, and horse.
A Facebook comes back to a Kristyn Hillock..who is 57. Not likely her.
A new search finds a Kristyn, with a ‘Y’ that matches the birth date Mike gave them, March 27, and living in St. Clair. A click on ‘Kristyn Nicole (H)’ on Facebook brings up a picture of a horse. It seems everything matches, except for the spelling of the first name by a letter and the last name.
Nev calls the beauty school again and a ‘Kristyn Hillock’ IS enrolled.
Max calls it the fastest investigation with so many results they’ve ever done.
The boys now meet up with Mike, who is at golf range with his buddies. There is some mindless babble with each of the guys (one is his brother) saying what a good guy he is, how they don’t know much about this girl, yet he is really into her.
They then go over with Mike what they found so far. Nev retells how they found out the beauty school info and how the phone number came up to Hillock. Also how the address shows it is just how she described to him, down to the horse. Everything checked out except for her last name and the spelling of her first name.
Mike is pissed and aggravated. He wants to walk away from it all now. Nev points out that most of what she said IS true, they confirmed it. Just the last name is different. Nev is surprised he’s reacting so strongly. Mikes says he’s ready to walk away. He’s way too offended by it all.
Eventually, he realizes he would want answers from her so Mike agrees to go the whole way and meet up so he can at least ask her why.
Back at the hotel, the boys search for a picture of Kristyn. This is the first time they’ve had an address and so much info on a Catfish before meeting them. They think of finding a yearbook and a search reveals that one is available at the local Historical Society in St. Clair. Mike joins them and they pull the yearbook out. Kristyn is in the book and they compare the picture in the yearbook to the one on Mike’s phone. He’s disgusted as they don’t look alike.
Nev then decides to call her. They’ve come all this way and tell Kristyn they are in town. She is taken by surprise and you can tell by the tone of her voice she is nervous to meet up Nev hands the phone to Mike and he says that now is the time to meet and talk and get answers. She eventually agrees to talk face to face.
Nev, Max and Mike all drive to her home. Nev goes to the door while Mike stays back in the driveway with Max.
Knock knock…out walks Kristyn. She is totally different from the pictures sent to Mike. She has shorter hair and is heavier. She apologizes over and over to him, so sorry, but Mike isn’t having any of it.
His face shows disappointment and he’s mad. (and probably thinking ‘I sent my full nudes and peen pics to her!)
The glass eye is real, everything she said was true and real. Just her name and appearance were not.
Kristyn says, “I had nightmares of dying in car accidents. I never used to be the fat girl, I was the skinny chick who got what she wanted. Then the accident changed everything.” “People who I thought were my friends weren’t there.” But Mike was.
She adds that he was the only one to talk to her about the eye and how he saved her from killing herself. He said he is glad he could help her with that and that he doesn’t hate her.
The meeting ends and …they shake hands (???) She says ‘good night’ which prompts him to ask her why she always says that, even at the end of all their phone calls. she says since the accident she can’t say ‘goodbye’ because to her that’s forever.
Back in the car, Mike says it’s kind of like a break up but he’s mainly disappointed. They talk of how Nev & Max will talk to her again tomorrow. Mike asks if he needs to be there…they say no…he says good. He then deletes her number and contact info from his phone…right then and there.
The next day Max & Nev sit down with Kristyn at her home. She says she was kicked out of school for missing too many days from all the surgeries. The steroids she had to take added the weight: 130 pounds. Her boyfriend at the time was the driver of the car when it got hit. He had minor injuries and still didn’t show up to visit her for two weeks after the accident. They also broke up and with it all she had thought of suicide, which Mike talked her out of doing and that mindset.
Mike was only one who was around to talk to her.
She adds she’s now starting to get back to being her goofy self… being wacky…like when she will take her fake eye out in front of people.
Of course that prompted Nev to ask if she would take it out now. She does and hands it to him. Yes. She. Did. Then she pops it back in her socket. mmmkay … rising, washing it off before putting it back in isn’t necessary? Really?
As Catfish heads to commercial, this useful information paused on the screen:
“If you or someone you know is feeling hopeless and alone, head to www.halfofus.com for resources and help.”
Nev & Max stop by Mike’s house again, where he is just hanging out with some buddies. There is a quick review of the events, his friends commend him for helping save her life, were not laughing at him as he had feared and Nev ends with telling him it was the right thing to do. Mike jokes that although he deleted her phone number from his phone, he still has it memorized after all this time. All is good.
Finally we have the 2 month followup. Mike tells them that he is is again talking to Kristyn, but he’s single and looking.
Kristyn, meanwhile, has a new boyfriend already and springs the news that her family is moving to Orlando, Florida and that her parents are buying her a salon.
‘The Other Side’ – hear what Kristyn and Mike are up to now with this bonus clip.
If you missed it, here is the full episode.
This episode and more Catfish extras can be found at MTV.
Catfish: The TV Show airs on MTV, Tuesdays at 10 pm|ET
All photos courtesy of MTV
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