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Tara Ariano

S03.E08: What Do You Know About Love?

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How soon til Mark pulls his ex-wife's wedding dress out of the closet and suggests Nikki wear it?

 

A little worried it is in the closet, next to the mummified remains of the ex-wife.

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I bet he kept the ex-wife's ring, too. There's a reason he hasn't upgraded the zip tie ring, yet. Any idea of the date of marriage to Mrs. Specimen 1.0? It would be even more creepy if they were to get married on her birthday or the original wedding date.

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He is absolutely an emotional abuser and just a flat out asshat.  He treated the trip to NYC like it was going to be this big exciting day where she could do some wedding planning, told her to try on dresses and if she found one she wanted to let him know and they'd get it.  Then he immediately questions her choice and really even ability to make one on her own by pointing out all the reasons her choice was wrong.  He is systematically tearing down any sort of independent thoughts or opinions she attempts to have.  In the future she will not bother forming her own and will instead always defer to him on everything.  To condition a previously free thinking person to rely on you to tell them what is acceptable is absolutely mind control and emotional abuse. 

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Well, Mark isn't in love with Nikki. Me thinks that he's trying to relive his youth with a Filipino wife, but without children-HIS WAY. Sick. Most older men cherish the ground their younger girlfriends walk on. If he were, he wouldn't treat her the way he does. That is why all the people in the last episode couldn't believe that he wouldn't buy her the dress, or make her sign the one sided  prenup, If you love someone, you care about their welfare. Mark doesn't. He's what I would call a personal sex trafficker. He has a thing for Filipino women....and she happens to be one of THEM. She had no clue that he's a user and an abuser....and it is for those reasons that I hope she sticks it out a little longer (K-1 stipulation time)until she can leave.

 

Being 19, she may not know how to cook. I'm sure he's working on training her....

 

He must have been selling himself hard online to her over the past couple of years. He reeled her in. She probably thought that he would be her prince charming, but once she got here she saw the controlling, selfish *rick that he is, and now it's too late. She left her country, her family, friends, and has no one to talk to. I would be more than sullen....Yep, men accuse women of nagging, being bitchy.... BUT what is their part IN IT?  

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A little worried it is in the closet, next to the mummified remains of the ex-wife.

Perhaps Mark made a skin suit out of the ex and is working on having Nikki try it on. She can even wear it to the wedding.

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I have to say I was deeply disappointed at the lawyer Nikki was taken to see. Last season TLC set the bar really high with this guy. Yet all we got this season was Mr Straight-Lace Attorney. C'mon, TLC, this is meant to be entertainment, for God's sake! Give us weird, small-town lawyers, not sensible corporate guys.  Sheesh!

 

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One thing I would like to know...how did the couples get on the show?

 

did they apply? scouted? friend suggested?

 

I answered elsewhere too but scouted is how, I believe. Before last season had even finished airing, TLC had a bot posting recruitment threads here.

Edited by KarmaG
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I agree with mark that buying a $2500 dress for ONLY them for 15 minutes on the beach in Hawaii would be a massive waste of money. I don't agree however with the whole trip and getting her hopes up. He could spend that money else where like getting Nikki clothes other than M tank tops.

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It was also the nasty way he belittled her while saying no. Not telling her she looked beautiful. Asking the salesperson crassly "how much is this going to set me back"? Basically making her look foolish and embarrassing her the entire time in the dress shop.

 

Granted, that much money might reasonably be out of his budget. If he had said, "Nikki you look so beautiful! But the dress is a little outside of my budget. Maybe we can find something in the $xxx range." It would have been so much more comfortable. His indirect and passive aggressive way of saying EVERYTHING just makes me squirm.

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One thing I would like to know...how did the couples get on the show?

 

did they apply? scouted? friend suggested?

 

They were found by TLC themselves. 

Noon tells the fans that a representative from TLC called (them twice I think) one day while she and Kyle were on a bike ride in Thailand.

Fernando has talked about TLC calling them as well. That they did not go apply for the show.

 

You get one crazy couple from a previous season and now people believe anything a person says online and goes with it. 

Kyle and Noon are in love. It comes through the tv screen and makes us all feel good about the K1 visa process.

I laughed when Alexaska / said something like this after marrying Josh "Now I get to give all this to him"

When they showed Mark & Nikki signing that paper, my thought was "This  cannot be a real document."  Why did I think this? I think she was asked to use this English name for tv or to better her chances to get out of the Philippines.  There were couples from the past seasons asked to change their names for the show. What doesn't make you think TLC asked Nikki to do the same thing?

"But she is all over with that name...." you say. TLC knew what a big hit they had with Mo & Dani. They revamp their way of getting views this year by asking the couples to go onliine and talk about the show, show themselves during the show. etc. 

 

Why didn't Mark & Nikki walk out of that shop without a dress? Maybe he did pay for a dress and had it shipped back home.  I still think they were in NYC because Mark had a job in the city at the time and when TLC called to check up on them, Mark informed them & that is why we saw that funky exchange. A man like Mark would not just go to NYC for a dress.

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I don't think it's a far fetch that Mark had no idea that an average cost for a wedding dress is $2500.  I know he was a bit shocked at the $10 ones but he was probably jumping up and down inside that she found one THAT cheap.

 

The dude is a HUGE cheapskate. End of story. Could he have been a little nicer about telling Nikki no? Well yea but he's also incredibly socially awkward.

Maybe he went in thinking she would find a nice one for a couple hundred.  The shop they went to wasn't anything fancy. 

 

Not to mention we should also realize the whole thing was just a setup for the show.  So there's also that.

 

The car he gave her was a nice little car.  But yes a little weird it was the exact model his ex had. I would take that car!

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I agree with mark that buying a $2500 dress for ONLY them for 15 minutes on the beach in Hawaii would be a massive waste of money. I don't agree however with the whole trip and getting her hopes up. He could spend that money else where like getting Nikki clothes other than M tank tops.

She tried to ask how much she should spend.He didn't giver her a budget, just told her that if she found something she loved, he wouldn't say no.  He knew it would be 15 minutes on the beach before she went upstairs to the salon. And I contend that he knew all along that she wasn't getting a dress that day. He could have taken her to David's Bridal at the local mall and gotten away with a few hundred bucks. But he didn't. He wanted to twist the knife.

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Yup. Just like you could see the coldness in his eyes and the cruel set to his mouth when he told Nikki to sign the prenup. He's getting a do over with his ex wife all right. He's probably spent years plotting this. "NEXT time, I won't be snowed! no diamond ring, no expensive wedding dress, no car, no nothing! She will be obedient and cater to my every whim."

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This episode sealed it that she's stuck. No money to go anywhere if she wanted to, cannot go to school or get a job. Trapped.

But at this point in the show why can't she go back home? Wouldn't TLC fly her home? I think they would eat up the drama of one of the participants backing out and going home.

Where the hell is Nikki's family, why can't they help? I'm also guessing Mark would pay for her ticket home if she refused to sign the pre-nup.

Nikki is in a shitty situation but she isn't being held hostage in America. She might be young but she chose to come to America and she should have had a backup plan in case she changed her mind.

I do feel sorry for the girl but I don't see her as a complete victim.

Edited by grumpypanda
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TLC won't pay for her to fly home, that's on Mark. They barely pay these couples anything to appear on the show. When they had one couple who decided not to marry in an earlier season, they relegated them to online-only viewing. There's been not a single mention of Nikki's family, no Skype sessions with them... nothing. She could be totally on her own for all we know.

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TLC won't pay for her to fly home, that's on Mark. They barely pay these couples anything to appear on the show. When they had one couple who decided not to marry in an earlier season, they relegated them to online-only viewing. There's been not a single mention of Nikki's family, no Skype sessions with them... nothing. She could be totally on her own for all we know.

I didn't realize that there was a couple that backed out already. I've watched every season of this show but I've never watched anything online.

Mark is a cheapskate but I believe that he would pay for Nikki's ticket home if she backed out. If she refused to marry him he would really have no choice.

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TLC won't pay for her to fly home, that's on Mark. They barely pay these couples anything to appear on the show. When they had one couple who decided not to marry in an earlier season, they relegated them to online-only viewing. There's been not a single mention of Nikki's family, no Skype sessions with them... nothing. She could be totally on her own for all we know.

 

She did mention (sadly and kind of questioningly) that her family couldn't come to the wedding in Hawaii when they were looking at the dresses online.  So I guess she has one.

 

She also claimed on one of her online profiles that she was a student at a university in Cebu, so, unless she was lying, she has some brains and had some financial resources. 

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RCharter-That's exactly why I think he would buy the ticket. Not because he's a nice guy but because Nikki could be a real pain in the ass for him if she stays. I don't think he wants that kind of trouble.

I actually wouldn't be surprised if he had another girl on the backburner just in case things don't work out with Nikki. He strikes me as the kind of guy that's always planning ahead and plotting his next move.

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It was also the nasty way he belittled her while saying no. Not telling her she looked beautiful.

Exactly. If my fiance sees me wearing ANY kind of wedding dress, there has to be some kind of positive reaction. Come on. She doesn't even get the smallest crumbs of comfort.

 

He doesn't love her. Of late, he doesn't even seem to like her.

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I moved some posts that were strictly about Mark & Nikki, not this episode, to their thread. And we have a K-1 Visa thread, too, if you want to speculate about people going home, how, when, why, etc. Thanks!

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I cut Nikki a ton of slack because she's 19. A lot of us made dumb decisions when we were 19. Throw in the total lack of economic power, and the stakes of the decisions get magnified. If she were a middle-class American like Mark, she might do something short-sighted like pick a college based on proximity to her boyfriend, or pick a major because it sounds easy. Instead she took a shot at a new life in America, and it turned out to be a mess, but she told everyone back home that she was leaving forever...she's in a terrible position, and she didn't know any better, and she doesn't know how to fix it. My take on the car window scene is that Mark didn't show her any of this control freak side until after she landed. That's a dark scene she's living in.

 

Agree. Even if most smart 19 y/os would immediately realize that dating a 60 y/o is a bad idea and most certainly not true love. She is still a teen. He knows better. She has no perspective nor experience. He knows better. No excuse.

 

I like this post a million times.  See, Alexi asked Loren not to go to a strip club, that's it.  He even told her he wouldn't have minded it if she went to a club.  To some people, and in some cultures, strip clubs are seen as nasty, seedy places; to others they've become mainstream.  If you're going to marry someone and something bothers them, then talk about it together.  That's what you do.  It's disrespectful to think, "well, I think it's okay, fuck what he thinks," that's what Loren did.  She really didn't get why Alexi was upset.  It wasn't the strip club honey, it was that he asked you not to go to one and you did it anyway.  

 

 

Agree. At least in my scale of values, husband first, friends second. A true friend would not disrespect your husband to be and your relationship. Her friend did not care at all. And L. is (or should be) mature enough to stand up for herself and loyal enough to give his feelings priority.

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Whoa -- Kyle's mother has a problem with "drinking?"  Is she drinking meth?  I like how the first words after not seeing her son for 10 years are about how he isn't tall enough, she doesn't recognize him so she can't hug him and she is glad his hair doesn't look crappy anymore.  

 

Loren should get rid of Sarah ASAP.  Whoever said she will be a toxic friend is absolutely right.  Sarah wants someone to commiserate with....as they say, misery loves company, and I suspect Sarah is a miserable person who wants to be miserable and lonely with someone else so she will do what she can to undercut Loren's marriage in the future.  Whenever Loren tells her about a fight, Sarah's first words will be "you're too good for him...leave him!"

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Here is the one thing I don't like about Loren....she doesn't fight a fair fight.  She knows that Alexi is mad at her, and instead of just talking to him about it, she gets her friend Sarah on her side and sends her bitch of a friend to talk to him.  Then she gets her dad, and sways her dad to her side to convince her dad that Alexi is crazy.  So now Alexi has two people telling him that his feelings aren't valid and he should just "get over it."  If thats what Loren wants to say to Alexi, SHE should have the strength to say it, not try to get everyone on her side and say it for her.  I just feel sorry for him because I suspect that will be his life.  He will have a valid concern, get upset, and Loren won't talk to him or engage him....rather she will run to all of her family members and convince them she is right and make them talk to Alexi on her behalf or to make him think that whatever point he has is crazy.

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Kyle's mom was wearing a Marine Corps veteran hat.  My mind immediately went here: https://maketheconnection.net/conditions/military-sexual-trauma

I'm a Marine Corps vet too. I'm 45 , so  i'm not sure how close I am in age to Kyle's mom. Yes, the above is possible, but it's also possible her drug problems started in the Marines. There was A LOT of drug usage when I was in.

Kyle's mom was wearing a Marine Corps veteran hat.  My mind immediately went here: https://maketheconnection.net/conditions/military-sexual-trauma

I'm a Marine Corps vet too. I'm 45 , so  i'm not sure how close I am in age to Kyle's mom. Yes, the above is possible, but it's also possible her drug problems started in the Marines. There was A LOT of drug usage when I was in.

Kyle's mom was wearing a Marine Corps veteran hat.  My mind immediately went here: https://maketheconnection.net/conditions/military-sexual-trauma

I'm a Marine Corps vet too. I'm 45 , so  i'm not sure how close I am in age to Kyle's mom. Yes, the above is possible, but it's also possible her drug problems started in the Marines. There was A LOT of drug usage when I was in.

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Mark, The Specimen is a vile piece of humanoid garbage that with every passing episode convinces me more and more that he hates women. Filipino women in particular. It is like ever since Nikki stepped foot in America he has steadily been withdrawing his affection. Nowadays, he seems like he can barely tolerate the sight of her. I sense no love or affection on his part. Yet I bet his ass will be like "she changed when she came to America" as soon as things go South, which they will.

 

<snip>

 

Dear Mark, You don't send your fiancee into a NY bridal boutique that you have to be buzzed into without a clear budget.

 

<snip>

 

I don't think Alexandra has a problem with living in a America, more of a problem of living in that one horse town. I bet if she was in a more cosmopolitan city like NYC, LA or Chicago her trepidations would be lessened.

 

I'm a little late replying, but I just watched the whole marathon the other day and man, I agree so much with everything in your post. I snipped out some stuff just to shorten it but these were the things I wanted to reply to. 

 

Especially this: "It is like ever since Nikki stepped foot in America he has steadily been withdrawing his affection."  - even Mark admitted that HE in fact has changed since she met him, so what the hell is his deal?  He's worried SHE is going to change?  (because, you know, his ex-wife changed)  That bridal shop incident made me so, so angry. I will be the first to agree with anyone who says bridal gowns are outrageously overpriced, but to send her into what seemed to be a fairly high end bridal shop in NYC with no idea of budget - and apparently no idea about the likely cost - then tell her that basically she wasn't worth it, was cruel IMO. It's been interesting for me to read here that some think she's using him as much as he's using her because I never got that vibe, but even if she is that was still cruel.

 

I completely agree about Aleksandra, too. Actually I've thought that about a number of the people who come over on this show. It's funny to me because the show kind of makes it seem like "America is America" when really, no. I'm in California and within a 2 hour drive in any direction I can find completely different types of people, lifestyles, cultures, etc.

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On 11/29/2015 at 10:25 PM, autumnh said:

Oh Mark....run, run....run far away....

I know I am years late to this discussion, but I just found out about this golden dumpster fire. When she said something along the lines of "so I do not get a reward if we are married for a few years and then get divorced?" Who thinks like that???? A reward? You're not helping Crime Stoppers solve a mystery, sweetheart. He seems kinda harsh but he makes sense. He was burned once, he raised four children on his own, and he had to still pay his ex somehow (that part I do not understand). He is simply saying "if it doesn't work out, we part ways and have no obligations to each other, but I hope it works out this time". 

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