'Married at First Sight' Season 13 reunion: Johnny and Bao confront their issues, Gil has emotional breakdown, Zack dumps on Michaela, and experts discuss failed marriages!
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 11/26/2021
Married at First Sight's Part 2 of the Houston reunion featured Johnny Lam confronting Bao Huong Hoang and suggesting a spouse swap may have resulted in better marriages, Gil Cuero having an emotional breakdown over losing Myrla Feria, Zack Freeman admitting Michaela Clark soured his desire to be married, and the entire cast reuniting during Wednesday night's Season 13 episode on Lifetime.
The five Married at First Sight couples of Season 13 are Gil and Myrla, Brett Layton and Ryan Ignasiak, Zack and Michaela, Johnny and Bao, and Rachel Gordillo and Jose San Miguel.
The five couples were matched by Married at First Sight experts Dr. Pepper Schwartz, Dr. Viviana Coles and Pastor Calvin Roberson.
Below is what happened on the dramatic reunion, according to the Part 2 MAFS episode.
MICHAELA AND ZACK
Zack insisted he and Michaela had not been intimate -- not even a kiss -- on their one-month anniversary, and Michaela accused him of lying. Kevin pointed out how Zack was making Michaela sound like "a pathological liar," but Zack stood by the fact things Michaela had been saying were "insane."
Michaela attempted to join Zack onstage to defend herself, but then he stormed off. Zack would only continue his interview with Kevin once Michaela stayed backstage.
When asked if he allowed Michaela to move into his place for one week after "Decision Day," Zack replied, "Hell no! That's not what happened."
Zack recalled getting into a fight with Michaela in the street after "Decision Day" and telling her that he didn't even want to remain friends. Zack said Michaela was "a little tipsy" and broke the window in her car after a stressful workday.
Zack therefore said he wasn't about to abandon Michaela in that state and so he asked her to stay with him for a week and then part ways.
"And so, we got intimate during those four days," Zack confirmed.
Kevin asked how having sex with Michaela would help her, and Zack explained, "I felt like I kept rejecting her. I felt bad. I didn't know what to do, and that's what happened."
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Kevin suggested Michaela could easily be confused from that situation, especially because Zack had been saying "flowery" things to her, but Zack didn't seem to think so.
Zack, who didn't think he had led Michaela on, also said he didn't believe Michaela when she said, "I love you."
Zack told Kevin that it was funny to hear Michaela say he had "played" her and messed with her emotions because he insisted he wouldn't have benefited or gotten anything out of that arrangement.
Zack, feeling pretty angry, vented, "She said that I was the only one that didn't want the cameras on so I can act a different way when the cameras are off. I'm not going to get into an argument with her on TV. I am tired of it; I am done."
Zack insisted Michaela had "fabricated" stories and they didn't make sense, and he added how he didn't want to have any more "trivial or childish conversations" with his estranged wife. Zack also apparently didn't trust Michaela to react calmly and rationally if they were to speak face-to-face again.
On whether he was ready to begin dating again, Zack said he hoped to date a woman "soon" because he "loves love" and would like to find that perfect person for him.
"But I'm just focused on me right now. I don't know about the marriage thing anymore," Zack said.
"Wait a minute, this soured you on marriage?!" Kevin asked.
"Yeah," Zack responded. "I don't know. I still want the marriage, but I'm questioning it now. But I definitely want kids, so no matter what, I am having kids."
Zack told Michaela while she was sitting backstage that he didn't think she's a bad person and would always be there for her if she needs him.
JOHNNY AND BAO
Kevin told the couple that America seemed to think they were a perfect match, but Bao quickly rebutted, "I don't agree with that. There are some fundamental differences... I feel like in some ways, we were very similar in ways that were not complementary."
Bao said she and Johnny didn't understand each other well enough, but Johnny admitted he was surprised by how many "ups and downs" he and Bao had throughout their marriage.
"I think my expectations were unrealistic," Johnny acknowledged.
Bao assured Kevin that she's happy now, mainly because her marriage to Johnny is over, and Johnny also noted how he's in a good place and was happy to have left the show with some amazing new friends.
The pair also lost touch after the experiment, with Johnny revealing how they don't speak unless they get together with the Married at First Sight cast for certain events.
Bao said it's hard for her to pinpoint what exactly went wrong in their relationship because she really wanted it to work the entire time.
Bao admitted she felt "judged" early on and never protected by or safe with her husband. Bao recalled feeling very "anxious" while living with Johnny.
Johnny felt there was no turning back in his relationship after he and Bao sat down with Dr. Pepper and Pastor Cal individually.
"I felt like I could not speak my mind," Johnny complained of his marriage. "Because early on, I made an agreement with my wife that we would talk about things off-camera first. Bao very early told me that she has social anxiety."
Johnny wished he could have been open with producers and the cameras because now, looking back, "there is so much missing" from the footage.
Kevin asked Johnny to provide viewers with more "insight" into his relationship, and Bao volunteered how she didn't want to talk about their sex life with the world. Bao didn't want talking about sex on TV to affect her family or career, and she said she didn't think that was wrong or calculating or duplicitous.
"I don't want to air all of my laundry out there to the public because I feel that's something that we should keep in our relationship as private," Bao explained.
Bao said she and Johnny hid when they had consummated their marriage, and Bao told the cameras that she needed time before opening up about her sex life.
Johnny, however, argued that Bao allegedly felt the need to present herself a certain way in order to "look good" to the audience. Bao asked for specific examples and thought it was "mean and unwarranted" when Johnny called her "fake."
Johnny accused Bao of planning conversations to have on-camera, but Bao also didn't think that was being fake or insincere. She was actually surprised Johnny didn't think of talks to have on-camera.
"So much of our story is not there," Johnny complained.
Bao said her family didn't want to be filmed and so that affected what she wanted to film, but Johnny believes he "only got the real Bao" when he'd surprise her or catch her off-guard.
Johnny told Kevin that since Bao was allegedly so concerned about her appearance on TV, he wondered what Bao had been "hiding" from her. Bao insisted she never hid anything from Johnny but she behaves differently in different groups due to her varied interests.
Bao claimed she's multifaceted but not disingenuous, and then Johnny pointed out how he felt Bao always played the victim and pointed the finger at him.
"There were so many times that I felt I couldn't speak freely because I had yet to consult with my wife. I felt like Bao had isolated me. I was drowning. I was going down this path where I felt I was eventually going to lose who I was as a person," Johnny explained.
Bao assured Johnny that that was never her intention and she hoped they would come together. Bao said she never intended to put Johnny on an island and he seemingly put himself on that island.
When asked why he wanted to stay married on "Decision Day," Johnny explained that he and Bao slept apart during the last two weeks of the experiment.
Johnny said he was "breaking down," adding, "Whatever Bao was doing to me worked, because I was feeling like a broken man."
"Wow, you're making it sound like I intentionally broke you down," Bao noted.
Johnny told Kevin that the experiment didn't work for him but he wasn't convinced he and Bao wouldn't work out in the long run. Since a "no" on "Decision Day" meant they were completely done in Bao's eyes, Johnny decided to say "yes" and try to get to know Bao outside of this.
"[I wondered] if Bao outside of this isn't insecure, and if she wouldn't think about how other people are going to perceive her... As soon as the cameras are gone and we no longer have interviews, who are you really?" Johnny questioned.
Bao said that Johnny got "all of" her and he just didn't like what he got, and then Johnny added how he and Bao were missing chemistry and a feeling of "warmth" in his heart.
"It's never good enough," Bao recalled of her effort in the marriage. "I'm happier, now, honestly."
Bao concluded that she has a lot to give and it still ready to find her person, and Johnny said he's now going to relationship therapy and had already attended six sessions.
Johnny also revealed he's back dating again and has been dating one woman for about a month.
"The woman I'm dating now, she's very affectionate," Johnny said, before confirming that the woman is not a Married at First Sight cast member.
Kevin apparently heard rumors that Johnny and Myrla were dating, and while they are not a couple, Johnny confessed, "I love Myrla."
"I think if we had been matched [to marry], it would have been a really fun experiment to see how we bended to one another because I hang out with her the most probably out of everyone in the cast, and I don't find anything I couldn't accommodate to."
Bao said if Johnny is happy, she's happy -- and that she's definitely happy for him.
Bao also shared how she was dating again but didn't want to talk too much about it. Bao said she'll eventually find her happiness.
"Bao is a great catch for the right guy. I am just not that guy, and she is also not the girl [for me]. It's kind of a mismatch and that's okay," Johnny said.
Johnny wondered what it would have been like to have a spouse swap mid-season, but Bao joked about how it's not okay to trade someone's husband or wife "like cattle."
Johnny said Brett and Gil probably would've been a good match on Married at First Sight's thirteenth season and maybe Bao and Ryan because they both like to bake and enjoyed clay shooting. As for Johnny, he repeated, "And I wouldn't have minded Myrla... I did get along with Rachel too, come to think of it."
But Bao added, "I think me and Zack wouldn't be bad either."
Brett confirmed she's the only woman on her season who didn't consummate her marriage.
Although Brett went two years without having sex, Brett insisted that she doesn't fear emotional or physical intimacy.
Michaela pointed out how it was difficult to watch Brett struggle through her marriage. She flat out admitted, "I don't like Ryan, and I don't think I need to be shy about that. I felt like he was way more invested in Zack and I's relationship than he was in his own, and it was f-cking weird."
Michaela added, "If [Ryan] would have invested that concentration and those thoughts and that emotion into your own marriage, maybe it would have survived."
Rachel then updated the ladies on her brief breakup with Jose and shared, "We are officially together and working towards keeping the marriage. Now, we are not going to get a divorce, and we are really trying to make this work."
Myrla, who became best friends with Rachel during the season, announced, "This is new information to me!"
Rachel hoped the women would be happy to see Jose and herself together rather than worry about her or remain angry at and bitter against Jose.
Bao also revealed Myrla and Gil's split had taken her by surprise, and Rachel agreed she had been "completely shocked" by the news.
Myrla said it wasn't okay for Gil to call her "high maintenance" and "a diva" all the time, and she claimed that's the straw that broke the camel's back.
The girls agreed Myrla should be able to spend her money however she wants since she makes the money herself and has some extra cash to spend. Myrla, however, said that's not who she is at her core.
MAFS experts express shock over the failed couples
The experts were apparently shocked about the couples who broke up, explaining, "When we matched these couples, we probably felt the best about these couples and these matches going into [the season] than possibly ever before."
Pepper was surprised by Johnny and Bao's split the most because she thought they were a perfect couple, and she had also assumed Myrla and Gil were going to head off into the sunset "forever."
Pastor Cal said he had high hopes for Michaela and Zack but pointed out how Michaela had the tendency to "fly off the handle" and the process was "really a lot for her." Pepper also said Zack's reaction to Michaela was "horror instead of support her."
Pepper thought Michaela deserved more help and grace during her insecure moments or breakdowns.
On Brett and Ryan, the experts wanted Ryan to stop focusing on the physical and be less focused on the initial attraction.
Pastor Cal accused Myrla of "living in fear" and therefore magnifying small, insignificant issues and making mountains out of mole hills.
Pepper also recalled Myrla showing "huge disrespect" by coming into a serious meeting and interaction with her totally drunk. Pepper admitted she was offended and wondered why Myrla had approached their therapy session like that.
When talking about Bao, Viviana said she seems to have an "underlying anxiety" in which she's constantly calculating how she can make sure things go her way or be favorable to what she wants.
"She has systems in place to make sure it happens," Viviana said.
But Pepper and Pastor Cal disagreed with Viviana and didn't think Bao was manipulative at all. Pastor Cal said Bao is simply "logical and wants to think things out."
When Kevin asked the experts about Jose and Rachel, Pepper commended the pair on working on their relationship, but she admitted, "Jose has huge anger that he needs to work on, and he's very controlling. And I don't think he understands the extent of it."
Pepper thought it was "scary" when Jose locked Rachel out, and the expert said Rachel had every right to be worried and concerned about being married to him at that point. Pastor Cal said Jose must prove he can be the man that Rachel needs in her life.
Rachel and Jose later joined the experts onstage, and Rachel shared how she and Jose are still married and working on their relationship but she needed Jose to change after being "mean" and "passive aggressive."
Rachel also said Jose had a habit of "talking at" her rather than "to" her. She said she didn't appreciate Jose's "condescending tone" but her husband has "softened up a lot."
Rachel planned to gradually move back into Jose's place -- "but not tomorrow." Rachel explained how she'd like to eventually purchase a new home together as a couple.
"We are taking it slow. We are only seeing each other twice or maybe three times a week and spending the night together once a week. So I definitely want to increase that," Rachel announced. "Now, I feel like I really know him."
Rachel seemed optimistic she and Jose can stay married for a long time.
Myrla and Gil provide more answers on why they split
The special aired footage of Myrla crying about how Gil was a romantic, wonderful husband. Myrla commended Gil on being consistent and thoughtful.
Gil suddenly broke down into tears and admitted he had been "blindsided" by the end of his relationship.
"Obviously she felt a certain way, and I never knew it. I didn't know it until it was actually over, and I felt it was a little unfair to me because it was obviously something that we could've [worked on]," Gil cried.
Gil said he's perfectly fine with rejection but he wished his wife had warned him about how she was feeling and the fact she had some reservations about a long-term marriage with him.
Gil called the breakup "hurtful" and said, "I didn't shed one tear throughout this entire experience, and I can't even control myself right now."
Myrla said she had been honest with Gil about her lack of attraction to him and how their chemistry eventually grew.
"You made me happy throughout the whole process, but there were things that happened," Myrla said, explaining that things happened after the show that didn't make her feel loved.
Pepper asked Myrla if her decision to leave Gil had to do with money, and she asked for specifics on what made Myrla "flip."
Myrla insisted her problem wasn't just about finances and Gil's lack of financial drive.
"There were things that occurred after Decision Day where I didn't feel I could feel safe with him to make my natural decisions for us in our future," Myrla said.
Pastor Cal accused Myrla of being "terrified" and making choices based on "fear rather than logic." The expert pointed out how things had been going great and Myrla essentially sabotaged her relationship.
Myrla said ending her marriage was a combination of finances, values, attraction, and chemistry. Myrla admitted she wasn't happy and Gil deserved more.
"I think you're setting a precedent for failure if you continue to judge relationships by momentary feelings," Pastor Cal confessed.
Pepper added that Myrla must talk about these things with her partner instead of blindsiding someone, and Pepper called the demise of their marriage "a tragedy."
Pastor Cal told Myrla that marriage may simply not be for her, and he asked Gil to not let his past determine his future.
The 10 MAFS spouses reflect on their show experiences
Gil revealed how women -- and men -- have been blowing up his DMs on Instagram and one woman in particular has gushed about him on Instagram every single week. She apparently asked Gil to fly to her and give her a chance.
Myrla and Johnny revealed they had traveled to Cancun together because Johnny had to go for a wedding and Myrla flew to Mexico for a co-worker's birthday. Johnny said they just happened to be at the same place at the same time.
Kevin asked Myrla if she and Johnny were just "BFFs," and Johnny shrugged his shoulders, which made Myrla giggle.
"We're going to have to have a conversation after this, Johnny," Myrla said.
Michaela later announced that Zack probably "didn't give a f-ck" about her and it's "mean, hurtful and vindictive" when discussing her outburst at the couples' retreat.
Zack apologized for hurting Michaela, but then she snapped, "Shut up!... He lies a lot!"
Michaela didn't think Zack was sincerely trying to apologize to her, which resulted in Zack shutting down and offering no additional comment.
Moving on, Kevin asked, "Who do you think may have been better suited [as matches]."
Gil immediately stood up and left the stage, admitting, "I'm not feeling too good right now."
Michaela chased after Gil to help him and assist him through the difficult time, and Myrla just had a smirk on her face.
Gil struggled to accept the fact he's divorced, and he vented to Michaela about how it was challenging to remain a joyful and optimistic person.
"My energy was so crappy. I was feeling so negative," Gil lamented. "People are so nonchalant about this... I didn't go into this for [divorce]. I was a spouse... with [whom] I can grow and build a life together!"
Gil said the situation had really pissed him off and hurt and so he could no longer participate in the reunion. Gil and Michaela then departed the reunion early.