How This Love Hopeful
Trying to find a meaningful and honest romantic connection on the Internet is a daunting task -- but if you're coping with difficult circumstances (like a divorce) or are having trouble finding acceptance in your close-minded town because of your sexual orientation, it's a real recipe for a ' Catfish ' disaster. Just ask Brittany...and the person posing as Bryon.
A bit of context about B-squared's history, which was showcased during tonight's season finale: The 24-year-old single mother of three first met the 27-year-old Marine on Facebook after he sent her a friend request. From there, the duo bonded quickly: Bryon was accepting of the Phoenix resident's familial situation, and Brittany understood his PTSD diagnosis. In fact, Brittany felt completely at ease with Bryon -- so much so that she even integrated her children into the cyber relationship. But she soon began to experience doubts about her crush's identity: While they spoke on the phone daily, Bryon refused to video chat. In addition, the young parent wasn't sure that the 'country voice' she heard on the other end truly matched the man in the photographs. However, Brittany was determined to interact with Byron IRL -- before he faced another possible deployment.
Enter Nev and Max -- who quickly confirmed that Brittany's fears were completely valid. N and M scoured Bryon's Facebook page and found an image of him out at a club, sponsored by a company called Thirsty Entertainment. The guys then checked Thirsty's page -- and sure enough, there was a man named Joseph who had all of the same images as the Bryon profile. And the number Brittany was using to text her beau? The MTV pair figured out it was associated with someone named Heather, who lived in Kentucky.
When the sleuths told Brittany what they had discovered, she was devastated and felt 'like an idiot' for trusting someone so easily. But that didn't deter her from wanting to meet the guy, or girl, behind Bryon. When Nev called the digits Brittany gave them, a woman claiming to be Bryon's sister -- interestingly, named Heather -- answered. She insisted that the family phone plan was in her name -- and expressed that Bryon's PTSD might make it impossible for him to interact face-to-face. But her explanation didn't stop the trio from hopping on a flight to Kentucky in order to get some much-needed answers.
Sure enough, the puzzle pieces came together: Bryon was actually Heather, a 25-year-old security officer.
'If you were honest and real and you wanted a friend, I would have been your friend,' a hurt and teary-eyed Brittany declared. 'I'm okay with everybody. You went too far -- especially with my kids.'
Heather's explanation for the fake profile? She had never been accepted for being a lesbian, and 'Bryon' served as an escape. Several years back, peers bullied her at school -- even before Heather realized she liked women -- and she decided the best route would be receiving her education at home.
But Nev made a poignant point about Brittany and Heather -- and why they were both to blame for this series of events.
'What we have here is a classic case of two people who desperately needed something and kind of went looking in the wrong place for it,' he told the duo during a sit-down with Max. 'It's not necessarily anybody's fault. Yes, you lied [to Heather] -- but you're both equally responsible for yourselves.'
And this is an important takeaway: Both women used the relationship as a way to mask their deep-rooted issues. Heather felt ashamed about her true self, so she used Bryon was a way to open up and protect herself. And Brittany trusted someone too quickly shortly after a painful divorce -- and integrated her kids into her love life when maybe it was a bit premature.
What did you take away from Brittany and Heather's tale? Sound off in the comments, and be sure to stay with MTV News on the upcoming season of 'Catfish.'