[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Married at First Sight, Season 14, Episode 13, “Popping the Questions.”]
Married at First Sight Season 14 continues its social experiment of matching singles in marriages that may or may not last beyond the designated two months and the latest installment, “Popping the Questions,” sees the couples thinking through their unions.
While they look inwards, the newlyweds are also getting help from experts Pastor Cal and Dr. Pepper Schwartz who are guiding them through the process. Below, we’re breaking down all of the ups, downs, twists, and turns from the episode, but beware of major spoilers ahead.
First Times & Old Fights
The episode opens with Olajuwon and Katina making their first grocery trip together as they contemplate what to get for dinner. While she has some ideas, he picks on her cooking abilities, teasing her for the most part. Ultimately, it’s a positive experience for the pair who saw some hurdles in one of the most recent episodes. Meanwhile, things aren’t going as well for Lindsey and Mark who are having the same old fight. She complains he’s inconsistent and argues that her tone isn’t conducive to a healthy relationship. Is there any hope to be had with these two?
Noi & Steve
The couples also meet one-one-one with Pastor Cal and Dr. Pepper, and first up are couple Noi and Steve. Kicking things off is Noi meeting with Pastor Cal, during their session, he brings up the negative impact of social media on her and Steve’s relationship. He says that’s never the way to deal with a problem and advises against it in the future, instead, he asks what she needs to feel supported in the relationship. She says that financial stability is key considering her poor upbringing. Meanwhile, Steve chats with Dr. Pepper about his feelings towards Noi’s social media use and is advised to be direct about his feelings when around Noi and perhaps ease some of her concerns by making a financial plan.
When the couple reconvenes, they bring up the topics discussed in their meetings and while Steve agrees to sit down and map out a financial plan, Noi is resistant to taking Cal’s advice about social media, saying she’s perfectly capable of making her own choices. Later on, the couple finally does sit down to organize finances, and Steve reassures Noi that he’s willing to work at whatever level she feels comfortable with. The pair even talk about family planning, agreeing that they’d want to have a baby within the next year if they stay together. Who will be changing diapers remains a point of contention though.
Katina & Olajuwon
Katina is nervous when it’s time for her to meet with Pastor Cal who listens as she opens up about the dating app debacle in which Olajuwon found an unused app on Katina’s phone. Cal suggests that when it comes to things like that, Katina should ask Olajuwon about his triggers to better understand the waters she should steer clear of. As for Olajuwon, he sits down with Dr. Pepper, but isn’t pleased when she suggests that he talks down to Katina, defending that they have a specific way of communicating and that everything is good between them.
Mark & Lindsey
As for Mark, he meets with Pastor Cal and they discuss Lindsey’s aggressive approach to conversations which Mark admits reminds him of his parents’ arguments. This pushes Cal to ask if Mark is like his father and if he freezes in tense situations or not. Mark has a breakthrough moment when he discovers he is like his father. Cal suggests that he look at Lindsey as her own individual instead of applying the mom lens he’s clearly implementing. Lindsey also opens up to Dr. Pepper about her frustrations with Mark’s inconsistencies.
She tells Dr. Pepper that she’s sad all the time and that aggression and anger are used to cover it. Ultimately, they’re both told to work on their communication skills and when they reunite following the meetings there appears to be a breakthrough as they talk about what needs to happen in their relationship before sharing a sweet hug.
Michael & Jasmina
Both Michael and Jasmina are in a positive space when they meet separately with Pastor Cal and Dr. Pepper. Michael mentions to Pastor Cal that he had been doing things out of obligation at the beginning of the marriage, but now he’s doing the same things because he wants to. The expert wants Michael to recognize the progress that’s been made, but there are still concerns about intimacy, so Pastor Cal tells Michael to initiate touch, even minimally to build a new connection with Jasmina.
As for Jasmina, she shares with Dr. Pepper that she’s getting more vulnerable but wants to feel a deeper connection and wishes Michael would be more open about his past. Dr. Pepper advises that she be direct and ask for Michael to open up. When the couple reunites, they discuss the topics explored and while there’s certainly promise, it feels like there’s also a little hesitation to go deeper into their relationship.
Group Volleyball Game
The couples go out for a group activity of volleyball sans Noi who is sick at home with a headache. While they think this is a regular group outing, Pastor Cal and Dr. Pepper are also there, sitting in a separate room and observing them through monitors. As the couples play, the experts notice how Olajuwon and Katina do seem to have a special communication on the court. Once they sit down, the questions about their meetings with the experts begin, leading to some interesting revelations.
While Michael and Jasmina open up about their improvements, Lindsey and Mark agree that they’re at odds mostly regarding their relationship. And then Olajuwon takes a moment to apologize to the group for calling out Katina’s dating app blunder publicly before sharing his thoughts on his “pointless” meeting with Dr. Pepper. He tells the others how annoyed her was because he felt like Dr. Pepper just wanted to call him out.
Unaware of the experts listening in, Olajuwon’s face goes into shock when they round the corner to greet the couples. The experts address Olajuwon with Dr. Pepper saying that regardless of his feelings towards her advice, the success of his marriage to Katina is always the goal. But before moving onto anyone else, they question Olajuwon’s own feelings for Katina, and he admits he can’t drop the “L-word” quite yet.
Dr. Pepper then directs her attention to Lindsey, asking for her to let the aggression and anger towards Mark go, and for Mark to show he’s present and caring by connecting with Lindsey in ways she needs. Michael and Jasmina round out the evening’s advice as they open up about their new vulnerability with each other, but the experts want them to start connecting physically as well as emotionally. Can these couples take the advice and make it work? Only time will tell. Don’t miss the next episode when Married at First Sight returns next week.
Married at First Sight, Season 14, Wednesdays, 8/7c, Lifetime