While parents often worry about the safety and well-being of their children online, in the case of Season 7, Episode 1 of Catfish on MTV, a son’s concern over his mother’s online boyfriend is the precipice for taking action.
Catfish hosts Nev and Max start Season 7 with excitement, recollecting that they have been on the road uncovering catfish for six years.
Nev explains they are about to have their 100th episode, during a time when many shows get canceled far sooner. Not only that, but he married the love of his life and had a child. Admitting that people are getting better and better at hiding the truth, Season 7 boasts “extra secrets” that will shock the viewer.
Le’ Vonte is a 17-year-old teenager from St. Louis Missouri. When he writes to Nev and Max, he says that his mom will “kill him” for reaching out to verify or debunk who her online love claims to be. Sheklia was a young mother, and Le’ Vonte wants to protect her, as they’ve always been very close. According to him, his mother has been through a handful of “crappy” relationships, but now has starred in her eyes since talking to a gentleman named Talli.
It seemed okay that she and her online beau were talking all the time, until Le’ Vonte said he wanted to meet Talli. His mother made excuses that Talli was too “busy to meet”, after moving from Missouri to Texas just 6 weeks ago. Shekilia hopes to move to Talli, regardless, as he has promised to take “care of her” Because of this, Le’ Vonte is more convinced than ever that Talli is definitely a Catfish. His mother has only spoken to him by phone and through photos, and they’ve never video chatted. Though Le’ Vonte feels awkward invading his mom’s personal life, he doesn’t like that Talli might be stringing her alone.
As the episode starts, Nev and Max arrive in St. Louis to begin their sleuthing and catfish reveal. They talk with Le’ Vonte over Skype, to get more of the detail,s and he explains that his mother mainly wants him to stay out of her business, raising the potential that his mother is also keeping secrets from him. Enter, a surprised Shekilia, who didn’t totally believe that the show Catfish would actually get involved. Yet, she explains to Nev and Max that she and Talli have been “dating” for a year, even calling him her boyfriend. They talk on the phone, which makes Shekilia feel really secure, as he wants to hear her voice and seems really open.
Next stop, the hosts go to meet Le’ Vonte and his mother in person. After exchanging some jokes and an interview on the couch, Shekilia admits that her past boyfriends were very disrespectful to her, which has put her son on the edge. Le’ Vonte counters that Talli just tells his mom what she wants to hear and is too trusting. It is then that Shekilia pulls Nev aside to tell him a secret that she never told her son.
Apparently, SHE IS the one who started texting Talli from a fake profile she had created to spy on her ex boyfriend. Therefore she wasn’t trying to meet him, as she didn’t want him to find out who she was. She called herself Kerry Taylor, used a fake, more high pitched voice and gave him several fake photos of herself. She pretended to be younger and ultimately means she was Catfishing him. The question is, is he Catfishing her as well.
The hosts look over Talli’s Facebook page and realize his name has changed several time. Not only that, they find multiple profiles with the same name and photos he’s used with Shekilia. They speak with a woman whose Facebook comment indicated she knew Talli in real life, but his real name is Dartallius. After connecting with her, they find out Talli has been in and out of jail. The question remains: Is the person Shekilia is talking to actually that real life Talli … or is Shekilia connecting with someone Catfishing the real life Talli.
Nev and Max meet with Sheklia and her son and explain their findings, explaining that maybe it’s easier to tell her fake persona to Talli, if he might have one too! Le’ Vonte says everyone lies and he seems forgiving, while his mother is less sure as Talli told her he’d never been to jail a day in his life. They look at his mug shots, online, and Sheklia is shocked and wants to get to the bottom of all the secrets.
Nev calls Talli directly and explains that Kerry wants to meet him, as they also need to get to the bottom of something. Talli illustrates his multiple profiles as being from an ex-girlfriend who hacked him. When asked if he has feelings for Sheklia, he hesitates but admits he wants to meet her. Le’ Vonte says he will stay behind as the rest of the group makes plans to go to San Antonio Texas to meet Talli, who seemed very polite on the phone. They are all excited until they get back to their hotel and see the man in the Shekilia’s photos standing outside. It’s the real Talli and probably NOT the gentleman they just spoke to on the phone … nor is it the man Shekilia has been talking to. Nev lets her know. Which means that their trip to Texas will be to meet a stranger, who WAS catfishing Talli.
After going on Shekilia’s first airplane ride, they go to the Catfish’s house. When he walks outside, Sheklia is shocked for the umpteenth time. It turns out she KNOWS the man standing in front of her … his name is Terrance, and they dated ten or eleven years ago. They had a bad relationship as he had multiple children, with other women, while they were dating. Terrance admits his friend started the fake catfishing profile under the name Talli and then he took it over. Shekilia begins crying in disappointment and heads back to the car, as they dated for five years and he also seems upset that she was his real catfish.
Once Sheklia is in the car, Nev asks if Terrance would ever consider dating her again and he scoffs, saying no. Minutes later Terrance admits to him that he loved her, but begins venting about their past relationship drama when she found out he was cheating on her. He claims she cheated on him. Meanwhile, Sheklia sobs to Nev about how much Terrance hurt her by cheating on her and how she wanted to marry him.
The next day they meet up again, and they share what they loved about each other’s persona when they were catfishing one another. Tensions still fly, but the meeting ends with a smile between them and Sheklia saying they will see where things go.
Fast forward TWO MONTHS: Nev and Max talk to Sheklia on video chat to get an update. Apparently, she and Terrance still speak every day, and he’s coming to visit her soon. Next, they talk to Terrance. When they ask how it is going, he says he’s waiting for her and is happy being friends first. Despite their wild and surprising reunion, it seems love might still be in the air!