Somehow, it took half a dozen episodes for 90 Day Fiance: Before The 90 Days to introduce part of its cast.
But the introduction of Ben Rathbun and his wild backstory was only part of the drama on Season 5, Episode 6.
Gino and Jasmine are still recovering from Gino’s aggressively thoughtless lack of gifts.
It’s Jasmine’s turn to be the villain, as she works herself up into a tearful screaming fit over … paint colors.
The show introduces Ben, a 52-year-old fitness model and a cult survivor who believes that he is dating a 24-year-old.
However, he seems to be the only person who doesn’t think that he’s being catfished by Mahogany.
Caleb and Alina wake up the morning after, discussing how their sleeping together was fun but also a learning experience.
Alina dishes to Elijah, who then reminds her that she has something important to tell Caleb — or he will.
Kimberly goes with Usman to where he’s going to film the music video for “Zara,” and he still hasn’t confessed who the song is about.
But issues arise on set, and Kimberly is not the cause of the problems. In fact, she helps fix some of them.
Memphis opens up to Hamza about her tragic childhood story.
She then learns that he has been lying to her about his age, and wonders what other nasty surprises are in store.
Finally, Mike and Ximena are still processing their last conversation, and she asks if he regrets coming to Colombia since she can’t have more kids.
When they finally get some real alone time, however, she has some scary news to share.
Gino Palazzolo and Jasmine Pineda
In the aftermath of Gino visiting Jasmine for Christmas but not actually having any gifts for her (except for an electric toothbrush and a pregnancy test), things are tense. Jasmine has a very fit body and goes to work out while Gino, as instructed, sits and watches.
Jasmine knows how Gino can redeem himself
She has planned a romantic vacation for the two of them, and everything is set … except for the money. She wants Gino, who has been out of work for about seven months, to pay the $2,500.
Jasmine brings up his exes
Apparently, he took various trips with his ex-wife and others. Jasmine is wildly insecure that Gino has ever been in any relationship, ever, and clearly feels like she is still competing with these ghosts from his past.
Gino agrees to it
Whether they had planned this beforehand or Gino really was that desperate to please her, he agrees … at which point, Jasmine praises him for being “obedient.”
Jasmine wants something else
She wants Gino to purge his home of every trace of his ex, right down the paint on the walls.
SHE wants to pick the wall color!
While it is not unusual to want some input in what color the walls are, Jasmine’s argument is pretty unique. She thinks that she has earned the right to paint his walls because she has fellated him more times in the past few days than his ex did in seven years. Yes, that’s what she says.
Whoa . . .
Gino reminds her in the gentlest possible way that she doesn’t need to bash his ex or anyone else. He also defends his home’s decor, noting that he and his ex picked the wall color together.
“You always make me look crazy!”
Jasmine accuses Gino of making her look crazy, working herself into a state of tears and screaming at him. Apparently, she felt that he was taunting her by mentioning that he and his ex had picked out a color together. She storms out of the room, finds a chair, and sobs.
Jasmine wonders if it’s time to give up
Back at the hotel, she feels that Gino (whom she has accused of still boning his ex) is too attached to his ex’s decor. She announces that she is just going to leave.
Unless … ?
Jasmine is clearly one of those people who actually want to be followed when they storm away, and when Gino approaches her, she asks what hope she should have that this problem (his house having paint on its walls?) won’t haunt them forever.
Jasmine delivers an ultimatum
From now on, he is forbidden from even acknowledging that his exes exist. That is wildly toxic and totally unreasonable, but Gino agrees to her terms.
Jasmine has a confession to make
She reveals to him that he, who had hoped that she might get knocked up during this trip, has been taking birth control since this is their first time actually meeting. Gino is disappointed and surprised but seems to take it in stride.
But he’s worried
After seeing how unhinged Jasmine can be at the drop of a hat and with no good reason, he’s afraid of seeing that side of her again. So are we.
Ben Rathbun and Mahogany
Ben Rathbun makes his debut on the show. He is a 52-year-old fitness model who takes great pride in his body, noting that it’s so different from how he was raised — to believe that his human body was inherently wicked.
Yeah, he was in a cult
Ben is a cult-survivor. He and his ex-wife left the cult in an effort to save their marriage, but it was too late. Though they did escape from that toxic environment and lifestyle (which was also the only way that they could get divorced), they no longer worked as a married couple.
Ben insists that he’s not in a midlife crisis, but …
… He is a man in his 50s who rides a motorcycle and dates much younger women. He does admit that he found dating in the real world to be almost impossible to navigate after growing up with no socialization and no choices within the cult.
But several months ago, he found Mahogany
Mahogany is a “very real” girl who lives in Peru. They have never met or video chatted, but he says that their bond and rapport is unlike any that he has experienced. Additionally, she’s one of the only women he’s encountered who is still willing to date him after he tells them that he wants to remain chaste until they are married.
Mahogany’s photos — and she does send him photos — are very clearly heavily filtered. And that, of course, is assuming that it’s even her. According to Ben, they started talking after he began posting his fitness photos on social media, and they have built up this amazing bond that he has never experienced before.
Ben has to break this news to his friends
His friends have a certain vibe (in terms of politics and lifestyle) but it’s possible that this is simply how they styled themselves for the sit-down with Ben, so we’ll try to not jump to conclusions. One of the friends, Ben shares, was actually in his youth group when he was with the cult, but seems to be a fellow cult survivor.
Ben tells them that he’s online-dating a 24-year-old
Jessica’s reaction says it all (her facial reactions are everything in this scene, honestly). Ben is 52. While a 24-year-old is certainly old enough to date and this doesn’t make Ben a predator, one wonders what — aside from Jesus — they have in common, and how compatible they could possibly be.
Ben insists that she’s real
The obvious questions of whether he’s being catfished — again, because he admits that he has been catfished in the past by someone who turned out to be a Nigerian man — are bogus, he insists, because she sent him a video at his request to prove that she’s real. It’s just a few seconds long and tells us nothing. Ben says that she doesn’t video chat due to being “shy.”
As Jessica says, what Ben is telling them doesn’t really add up and there are a lot of alarming red flags.
Has she asked for money?
Ben says that she asked for a loan of $1000, which he gave her, but tries to say that this is different from asking for money … because it’s a “loan.” All of Ben’s friends seem to realize that he’s lonely and desperate and can’t be talked out of this.
Later, Ben is practicing his Spanish
Having not taken a Spanish class (and thus not spoken it regularly) since high school, it’s kind of reassuring to be reminded that some people are much worse at it.
Ben’s kids and ex-wife come over
His ex-wife, he warns, is still kind of bitter about their marriage and divorce. His kids also immediately notice how dramatically fake Mahogany’s photos are, how sketchy all of this sounds, and they worry to the camera that their dad will — once again — forget about everything else in his life except for this new girl, whom he’s only known for about 115 days. He’s done it before.
Ben says that this was God’s plan
His ex-wife (who, in the nicest terms possible, absolutely has the hair of a woman who was in a fundamentalist cult) tells him very bluntly that there’s no way that boning a 24-year-old is God’s plan for him.
Caleb Greenwood and Alina Kasha
The morning after having sex with each other for the very first time, the two cuddle in bed. While deliberate editing choices subjected viewers last week to an unnecessarily and awkwardly long makeout session, this week, the cuddling is sweet.
Was it everything that Alina had hoped for?
Yes and no. There were, she admits, awkward moments. She has a disability, and Caleb had to learn to navigate that with her just as many other couples do.
Caleb more or less agrees
Between his desire to be respectful (is she down for being moved around a lot?) and her needs (in addition to the height difference, her legs are bent), there were a lot of things to consider. He is also a guy who thinks and overthinks a lot of things, which is relatable but also makes him seem a little analytical in passionate moments.
After some sightseeing, Alina spends time with Elijah
One-on-one, Elijah is eager to hear all about how Alina and Caleb spent the night before, because there have already been hints that things went down.
First, they were making out
Likening the “spicy” kissing to Tabasco (so, vinegary?), Alina shares how things got hot and heavy with Caleb.
And then some
They also boned. In fact, when she says “literally,” the implications is that she may have been on top. Obviously, Elijah congratulates her.
Alina has a secret to tell Caleb. Elijah warns her that if she doesn’t tell Caleb soon that she was still living with an ex when their relationship began to spark, he might have to tell him himself.
Kimberly Menzies and Usman Umar
Kimberly and Usman still have not spent the night together. They have not even kissed. Today, however, they are going to where Usman’s music video will be filmed. Kimberly is up and ready before Usman and his team, which she finds odd.
Usman hasn’t told Kimberly what “Zara” is really about, yet
The song is about his ex, another American woman, who had that name. He says that he loved her, but she couldn’t handle his thirsty fans messaging him, so they broke up. As far as Kimberly knows, the song is just about lovers in general.
On set, things start going wrong
The outfits aren’t chosen yet. The trimmer has no power and Usman needs a haircut before the video begins. Things are a bit of a mess.