Pardon our French, but shit has been hitting the fan on “The Ultimatum: Queer Love.”
In episodes 5 through 8, the couples have their final days in their trial marriages before returning to their original partners until decision day. Xander and Mal are fighting for Yoly’s love while Vanessa love-bombs Xander. Meanwhile Lexi and Rae struggle to get on the same page.
As always, we had a lot to say. Tap in for Taryn Finley, Ruth Etiesit Samuel, Elyse Wanshel, Kelby Vera and Nathalie Baptiste’s commentary.
Our 'The Ultimatum: Queer Love' Predictions For The Finale
I hate to say it, but Yoly and Mal probably will break up, too. Yoly will choose Xander, but it’ll be too late because she drank Vanessa’s Kool-Aid. Xander will continue to DM Yoly on the side and Vanessa will become even more of an atrocious partner so the engagement will end up called off.
Rae is going to choose herself and walk away from Lexi because she’s tired of being controlled. — Taryn
Here are my predictions: Yoly and Xander will choose each other, Mal will go home alone, Aussie and Sam won’t make it, Tiff and Mildred may say yes at the engagement — but won’t make it long-term. I pray Rae chooses herself. No shade to Lexi, but she needs a moment to figure things out. — Ruth
I think that Xander will choose Vanessa, leaving Yoly brokenhearted and Mal alone. I hope Sam and Aussie break up, but honestly they seem like they’ll just keep going because why not? Same with Mildred and Tiff, they’ve broken up about fiftyleven times and I think it’s going to take more than the experiment to change up their dynamic. At the reunion, we’ll hear about how they actually broke up several more times before they finished filming it, but they’re still engaged! I’m with Taryn and Ruth — Rae will realize that maybe she could date around a little bit before settling down and so she’ll break up with Lexi and sail off into the sunset. — Nathalie
Mal or Xander really is the core question here, as I think all of the other duos are doomed. At the end of it, I’m just not sure if Xander will be able to kick the Vanessa habit, which will obviously break Yoly’s heart. Mal deserves to be loved wholeheartedly, though, and I’m sure as genuine and charming as she is, she’ll have zero problem finding that person.
Rae needs to do Rae, but Lexi will act like she is the victim of the experiment. Sam and Aussie won’t get engaged, but probably won’t break up either. And Tiff and Mildred’s hot-cold thing seems like a recipe for a broken engagement. -– Kelby
Honestly, I don’t think any of these couples should get engaged with the exception of Xander and Yoly. I think their connection is special — and I think Xander knows this, regardless of how they feel about Vanessa. Xander continuously surprises me throughout the series. It always seems like they’re buying into Vanessa’s BS, but their feelings for Yoly are so potent and Xander is so eager to express them whenever Yoly’s around. I think they’re going to get engaged! I’m looking forward to bawling my eyes out when it happens and scrawling “Yoly + Xander 4eva” in a public bathroom stall in the very near future.
Although I don’t think any other couple should get engaged, I think Aussie and Sam and Mildred and Tiff might, but it won’t last. I think Rae might choose herself, and if so, I’m looking forward to Lexi’s eventual and likely epic meltdown. — Elyse
Why Does Sam Want To Marry Aussie Anyway?
A lot of things came into place when Aussie revealed they aren’t out to most of their family. Since Aussie has so many steps to make in their personal journey, I don’t think Aussie is able to show up in a relationship in any meaningful way for Sam. And agreed, it feels like untangling those things in therapy is the best (only?) option. — Kelby
I want better for Sam and I want therapy for Aussie. There’s so much to unpack emotionally within their relationship and I think a lot of that burden is falling on Sam right now. — Taryn
Honestly, I don’t quite understand why Sam wants to marry Aussie? Aussie isn’t Vanessa or Lexi, and other than Aussie's knee-jerk reactions to confrontation — which are alarming — Aussie seems like a pretty delightful person. But Aussie is clearly so traumatized by her past that Aussie doesn’t know how to deal with her emotions in a healthy way. I don’t understand why Sam wants to sign up for a life of that? The only thing I can think of is something that we haven’t really discussed yet, which is women who want to be mothers feeling like they’re running out of time in their 30s. It isn’t necessarily true, but it’s definitely something a lot of women at that age feel. I’m not sure if Sam has spoken about wanting to have kids, but if she does, she may want to start trying before that ship sails, which may be why she’s tolerating this behavior. I feel like that’s one of the reasons Yoly proposed to Mal, to be honest. — Elyse
Lexi And Rae Simply Aren't Compatible
What’s unfair is the way Lexi is treating Rae. I feel bad for her, to be honest. It feels like Lexi hangs every misstep and off moment over Rae’s head. And for her to bring up Rae and Vanessa having sex in front of her parents, almost expecting them to gang up on her, was one of the ugliest things I’ve seen on this show. More than marriage, these two need solo therapy because they’re hurt in their own ways and traumatizing the hell out of each other. — Taryn
Hot take: If not for Vanessa, Lexi would’ve been the villain. I think she became so fixated on Vanessa and Rae’s relationship that it seems as if she didn’t spend enough time working on the one with the person she came with! If Rae is even more apprehensive about their future together now, it’s because all she’s learned is that if she does something Lexi doesn’t like, it could completely derail their relationship. — Nathalie
Oh my. I’m going to co-sign that, Nathalie. Once Lexi’s obsession with Vanessa-hating really began to take hold, it became clear she was more focused with how she was wronged than how to go forward with Rae. In another world, that outlook would have probably translated into another feud. — Kelby
I honestly think Lexi is more in love with the idea of getting married and feeling validated than Rae herself. No wonder Rae is so hesitant. Rae throughout the series seems to constantly question why anyone would love her, and if someone wants to marry her, she shouldn’t question this. Also, is it fair to say that I like Lexi’s parents way more than her? I’m so glad they didn’t decide to gang up on Rae family-style when they were all at the restaurant together. — Elyse
Yoly And Mal's Relationship Was Painful To Watch
Ding, ding, ding! The reason I’m a Mal apologist is because I knew there was some truth to her concerns. The “growth spurt” analogy showed me that there were some underlying issues, though, with regards to Mal’s consistency. These two have me on edge, because with the way that Yoly and Xander were stuck like glue at the final group outing? Sheesh ... — Ruth
When Mal said, “Do you want n***as to die over you, Yoly,” I yelped. She’s reaching a breaking point that it seems like she knew was coming all along. She’s being very patient with Yoly in a way that makes me want to root for them to come out of this together — though watching her keep her cool at the party while Yoly canoodled with Xander made me realize how much that just could be me. That love is real and you can tell Mal has read her bell hooks.
Mal really does love Yoly, and I do think she wants to marry Yoly. But Mal’s right to want to be chosen without a doubt like she’s chosen Yoly. — Taryn
Oh, I hurt for these two because as in love as they are, Mal knows she deserves her “hell yes” and not someone whose heart is torn, like lovergirl Yoly’s. It’s totally unfair for Yoly to be upset that Mal figured out what she wants after the trial, too. Isn’t that what we’re here for, folks? — Kelby
Watching their relationship play out post-Xander is so painful to watch. Could we get some therapists for the cast to talk to during shooting? Having these couples switch from relationship to relationship without letting them digest what just happened seems emotionally cruel. — Elyse
This 'Ultimatum' Couple Has Broken Up 50 Times — And Needs To End It For Real
To be honest, they need to make it 51 and leave each other the hell alone FOR GOOD. — Taryn
Time to pack it up over here, honestly. These two need to call it quits. — Ruth
I don’t even want to start on Mildred using “I’m a Latina” as a blanket explanation for anything. You two, please, go in the opposite direction. – Kelby
I thought it was interesting that when they were shown reuniting again the first thing they did was have sex. No talk, just sex. They seem to do that well; the talking part, not so much. — Elyse
Vanessa's Ego Swept In For Its Grand Finale On 'The Ultimatum'
Vanessa’s ego swept in for its grand finale when she and Xander got back together. It was sad, really, to see the sudden “realization” that she was ready to get married all of a sudden after seeing Xander fall in love with Yoly. The love bombing, disingenuous compliments and demands for Xander to tell Vanessa “I love you, too” made me sick. Vanessa is toxic, and I fear that her manipulative claws are going to sink right back into Xander and suck the life out of them ... again.
Also, look at that shoe on the other foot. How’s it feel to get your girl taken, Vanessa?! — Taryn
Come on, Ms. Steal Yo Girl! Demanding your partner says “I love you” back is actually wild. I remember just looking at Xander’s face in that moment, like, “Girl ... you don’t have to say it…please don’t say it. Blink twice if you need help!” Watching them made my stomach churn. — Ruth
Literally queasy seeing Vanessa scramble to win Xander’s attention back. And almost as soon as they reunite, Vanessa is now setting the rules? Her inability to comprehend that actions have consequences and that things have changed is MINDBLOWING. But yikes, Xander still seems to fall prey to her oh-so-transparent manipulations. — Kelby
The part that really made me cringe with these two happened before Vanessa’s superficial grand gestures of love. When the two initially reunite, Vanessa hounds Xander about whether or not they had sex with Yoly, and Xander is clearly uncomfortable sharing. But they finally open up and say they decided to ultimately “let go” and just surrender to the experiment, and that it felt “good to be real with myself” and “figure out” what they wanted. And Vanessa’s response to that vulnerability is: “I’m going to sit in your lap, OK?” WHAT?
Vanessa seemed to assume while she and Xander were together that anyone and everyone would shower her with the same kind of respect and kindness that Xander gave to her. That’s a rarity, girl! You had four years to figure out that you had a rare gem, and you just tossed them aside like they were a freakin’ pebble. Have fun hitting the mines, Vanessa! — Elyse
Mal And Lexi Are A Friendship — Not A Relationship
Lexi is really showing her age. I mean the girl is gone. Despite spending most of their trial marriage complaining about Vanessa, she’s somehow found herself making a connection with Mal that doesn’t seem reciprocal. Mal is decisive, has open communication and is overall just generally a good person that we can tell. Lexi’s ex, Rae, can get easily blown away in the wind and is a lot more needy. Lexi has built up a resentment toward Rae that has led her to jump the gun with Mal. On top of that, Mal comforted Lexi when she needed it the most (Vanessa, body image issues, etc.). Lexi has not given to Mal what Mal has given to Lexi. It honestly feels more like a big sister-little sister dynamic more than anything that could truly be romantic. Even Mal’s body language on their last night together shows how disconnected she is from Lexi as she lies on the very edge of the bed, ready to get out of it and get to Yoly. — Taryn
OMG, when Lexi asked Mal if she believed you could be in love with multiple people. Like … y’all are essentially Sam and Tiff except you hug each other. Lexi was too distracted by her hatred of Vanessa to even invest in getting to know Mal, and Lexi’s parents were like “Mal seems nice, but what’s going on here?”
When Mal was like “I love that she didn’t ask to touch my hair.” MA’AM. That is basic respect, not marriage material. STAND UP!! — Nathalie
I loved these two’s connection at first, because it seemed like they communicated so well. But when Lexi stayed wrapped up in Vanessa drama, I think she confused a solid friendship with instant soulmate. I guess that was the 24-year-old in her really showing. — Kelby
Big sister, little sister is a great way to articulate it, Taryn. And yes, I agree, Kelby. *Sighs* Lexi was way too fixated on the Vanessa drama to allocate appropriate energy and investment into the trial relationship with Mal. As Taryn said, it was a bit one-sided. Sad my fellow Gen Zer lost sight of the prize here.
What sent me was Mal having to tell Alicia, “This isn’t ‘Get Out’ or anything.” I YELPED. To me, Alicia seemed more concerned with her own comfortability with Yoly, however, if this was as unexpected as Alicia let on, I get it. I genuinely wonder how or why people are able to go on these series without telling their loved ones. Do people have to sign an NDA? ’Cause if I’m on a show that results in marriage, it’s as simple as just saying, “Hey, I’m participating in this experiment. You may need to be on camera, blah blah.” — Ruth
I actually thought Alicia saw through Lexi’s grand platitude that she wants Mal to be “part of her life forever” regardless of whether or not they end up together. Alicia actually summed up the Lexi-Mal dynamic pretty well when she said: “I feel like a lot of people confuse Mal’s kindness for something else.” I think that’s what happened to Lexi here; it wasn’t that deep for Mal. — Elyse
I need the friends and family to be at the “I told you so” portion of the reunion because the way they’ve been showing up and showing out on this show should be applauded. — Taryn
Tiff Really Got The Short End Of The Stick
Sam looked like Tiff’s Uber driver when they were in the car. As if Tiff had opened the door and said, “Hey, is it cool if I sit up front?” So yeah, that’s what I think about them.
So happy Sam is feeling more empowered to speak her mind, though. — Taryn
Shoutout to Natasha for calling them out for half-assing the vulnerability of it all. When she reached across the table for Sam’s hand, I screeched. While both Sam and Tiff seemed to grow from their time together, their utter lack of chemistry needed to be discussed. Natasha was on point and *spoiler* she just gets better after the original couples reunite. — Kelby
Speaking of Natasha, I love how to-the-point she is. Could we petition for her to be the host of this show next season? I loved JoAnna Garcia Swisher in “Reba” but she’s giving nothing as the host of this show! — Elyse
Am I outta pocket to say that they were giving BFF but I liked it? I think they learned a lot from each other and maybe Tiff was the first person to tell Sam that you don’t actually have to let people talk to you any which way they please. I hope they end up with a text thread going where they can share memes and life advice. — Nathalie
Nathalie, the name-game in the car was pretty cute banter, though super platonic. I like how Tiff thought the name Gertrude wasn’t that bad, which makes sense because it seems pretty akin to a name like Mildred. — Elyse
This 'Ultimatum' Trial Couple Is Cute As Hell
And I’m not gonna lie, they’re cute as hell together. When the cast all links back up after moving back in with their original partners for a final group outing, Xander and Yoly couldn’t get enough of each other. They were literally at that party longing for each other, sneaking caresses and “I love yous.” These two have been planning out what their lives could look like if they got married and it’s not for play play.
The fact that Xander showed Yoly bank statements is still a wild concept considering this is a reality TV show. It honestly has the potential to get so much messier and I just hope they don’t let their love for each other throw practicality completely out the window. But anyway … *grabs popcorn.* — Taryn
Taryn, I thought they were going to run away together after the group outing. You could see those goo-goo eyes from 100 miles away. It’s a little wild to fall in love after three weeks, but they’re so cute together that I’m going to go ahead and support it! — Nathalie
I love them and I think Xander’s reaction to the Rae-Vanessa thing was so telling as well. While you can see her heart sink after Yoly reveals the hookup, Xander also seems calm. After years of Vanessa-ing, was this a moment of making peace with who her ex is and what she is capable of as a person? — Kelby
YES, great point, Kelby. The way Xander was so placid! But I also think Vanessa’s reaction when Xander shared that she and Yoly were intimate was really telling. It’s as though Vanessa realized that she no longer had power over her. I really wonder if Xander will be able to stand their ground, because that hot air balloon stunt at the end of Episode 7 was peak love-bombing. — Ruth
I agree! I love this La Croix-loving, ring-pop-gifting and tie-dye-making couple. They have so many cute moments together during their trial marriage, but the thing I like the most about them is that they have chemistry and compatibility. It’s not just attraction, it’s also that they want to lead the same kind of life and share a lot of the same values. I often found myself in awe of their innate ability to speak so frankly but kindly to each other. They had so many conversations in which their complicated feelings could have derailed their intentions, but they always spoke to one another with kindness on the forefront, and it was just a pleasure to watch. If they don’t get engaged, love is dead. — Elyse
We Need To Talk About Attachment Styles On 'The Ultimatum'
Mildred brought up their issues after the group date, yet again, and Aussie had enough. Aussie stormed out the door and didn’t look back until it was time to come collect Aussie’s things for a smooth and quick early checkout. When I tell you, I was in SHOCK. Aussie needs to go to therapy BADLY. Conflict is healthy and important to any relationship but I don’t think Aussie sees that. Aussie’s non-confrontational demeanor is actually a form of gaslighting and it’s disrespectful as hell. Aussie isn’t ready for a healthy, romantic adult relationship, let alone a marriage. Aussie needs to learn how to deal with deeper emotions before traumatizing anyone else, us included. — Taryn
I just can’t do it with these two, but really with Aussie. I’m at a loss for words. My mouth was agape when Aussie began packing up. In the words of Taraji P. Henson, Aussie said, “I gotta put me first, Lucious!” — Ruth
Also, not to go too therapy-talk on everyone, but that whole Mildred-Aussie relationship dynamic seemed like textbook anxiety and avoidant attachment styles thrown in together. Mildred is terrified of someone leaving her and becomes passive-aggressive in her desperation, and Aussie can’t stand any kind of confrontation. Am I totally off base? — Elyse
I totally agree, Elyse. Though Mildred can be aggressively direct, it’s clear she’s desperate to be honest and communicate how she feels. Aussie literally only has the capacity for five minutes of that before fleeing? I kind of sympathize with being that terrified of your feelings, though, if you’ve gotten all the way to 42 without cracking into that. — Kelby
Hey, in Aussie’s defense, I’m 41 and just cracking into my issues. Growth can occur at any age! So, I got a little empathy for Aussie not quite being there yet, but she needs to be in therapy and not thinking about marriage. I think Aussie knows this, and that’s why she doesn’t want to get engaged to Sam. — Elyse
I figured Mildred and Aussie would be a mismatch but I didn’t expect Aussie to have a meltdown at the mere implication of conflict. I felt really bad for both who clearly have a lot of personal issues they need to work through before they can really be a quality partner, but Aussie packing their bags and fleeing the scene because Mildred was like, “We need to talk” really soured me on Aussie. — Nathalie
Vanessa and Rae Should Never Have Been Shamed
The lunch with Vanessa’s dad told us everything. His key takeaway? Literally “be selfish.” — Kelby
I have nothing for these two, to be honest. Vanessa already said she doesn’t like Rae. Rae said she’s cool with their friend dynamic, but also it feels like she might’ve wanted to take this process more seriously but was robbed of that opportunity because of how Vanessa acts. But whatever, I guess. You like it, I love it girl. Y’all here for play play anyway. — Taryn
I agree with you Taryn, in regards to Rae seeming to want a little more out of her trial marriage with Vanessa. I think she wants to know why someone would love her in the first place, and Vanessa’s indifference towards her kind of just reinforced those negative feelings. I also agree that they shouldn’t have been shamed so much for simply experimenting with sex during a literal “experiment.” (Y’all were on a break when it happened, Lexi!) But I do have a little something for these two — call it a tiny slice of empathy. I think Rae struggles to express herself, and feels overwhelmed by Lexi’s domineering personality (which is probably why she felt so much guilt hooking up with Vanessa and told Lexi right away). I think Vanessa struggles to even identify her own emotions, which is probably why she comes off so selfish and inauthentic, which honestly makes me feel sad for her. — Elyse
While intimacy is paramount to marriage — data even shows that sex and money are the top two reasons for divorce — I really didn’t love how their hookup came about. Or rather, the aftermath, I should say. I agree that Rae shouldn’t feel so much shame and guilt, but I also wonder what boundaries the couples set before entering the experiment. (Example: I think Mal said that she didn’t want to cross that line, but Yoly did with Xander) I was so puzzled and annoyed by Vanessa saying so explicitly that she wasn’t attracted to Rae — but somehow fell into the coochie?! That was so madenning to me. Like, Vanessa, what are you here for? For tomfoolery and more Instagram followers? — Ruth