Oh, what a difference a year makes. It was around this time in 2013 that rumors were floating that Jenelle Evans' antics would cause MTV to pull the plug on Teen Mom 2. Instead this week brought the second episode of the show's fifth season and the first on-screen look at Nathan Griffith, Jenelle's baby daddy-to-be, who's taken a lot of credit for keeping the reality star on the straight and narrow (or as straight and narrow as Jenelle plays it anyway) since he showed up last spring.
So who is this guy, anyway? We've heard he was an underwear model and former Marine, but tonight we saw the couple's first date and found out a whole lot more about what drew Jenelle to him ... and what she's looking for in a guy.
Turns out Jenelle turned to a dating app to find a new man, and the computer matched her with Nathan. She liked the pictures of his dogs, so she reached out.
But she just had an abortion in the last episode, how long has it been since she and her husband separated? Not long. Not long at all. In fact, Jenelle was still bleeding from the chemical abortion at the start of tonight's episode, but as she told pal Tori, "I've always continuously been in a relationship since I've been, like, 14. I guess it's just I can't be lonely."
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Tori must have been getting some Dr. Drew coaching or something because she nailed Jenelle's problem -- she's never gotten much love and comforting from her mom, so she's made a habit of turning to guys ever since she was a kid. And it's become such a priority. Even if Jenelle had full custody of Jace, Tori said she'd still be out looking for some guy to love her because she craves what she didn't get as a kid.
Kind of makes you wonder what will happen with Jace one day if Jenelle doesn't figure out how to be a good full-time mom, doesn't it?
Somehow, though, something seems to have gone right here. We got to see the couple's first official date on a mini golf course, and Nathan is actually kind of ... nice? He talks about how much he loves family and makes a point to tell her he is not cool with hardcore drugs after dating a girl who used heroin.
It's pretty much the polar opposite of Kieffer, who was DOING drugs with Jenelle from the start of their relationship. Could Jenelle have avoided all that mess if she'd just picked a nice guy to start with?
It kind of makes you wonder. We're judged by the company we keep, after all. If you're surrounding yourself with losers, then people are going to think you're a loser too.
Of course, the episode wasn't just about Jenelle.
Chelsea Houska spent her first day at aesthetician school, after having to drag a sleepy Aubree out of bed. She's still got Adam threatening to take her to court, but she's bound and determined to finish this course and actually set a good example for her little girl. After all, as she told buddy Landon, she does NOT want her daughter going the GED route.
Leah Calvert and Jeremy took their family on a big vacation to Orlando, their last before Jeremy returns to work far from home. He hasn't even left yet, but you can already see the stress of his departure written on Leah's face. With an infant at home and two toddlers, one of them with special needs, she is NOT happy to have her husband leaving town, and it is already hurting their marriage. It doesn't help that Jeremy is not exactly the most demonstrative guy in the world; he doesn't reassure her when she's feeling lonely!
Speaking of lonely, Kailyn Lowry was feeling pretty bummed tonight with husband Javi Marroquin off in Delaware where he's been stationed by the Air Force. She's stuck back in Pennsylvania as her custody case continues to wind its way through the courts. She suffered a setback tonight when she arrived at court only to find out a jurisdiction snafu meant the case has to be heard elsewhere, adding at least a few weeks before she will find out whether she and Isaac can move out of state. Her ex, Jo, was pretty happy, of course ... ironic considering HE already moved out of state and away from Isaac! It's sad to see a parent act vindictive toward an ex instead of just trying to make things work for the best of a child.
Next week it looks like we're going to see more of Jo and Kailyn blowing up at one another, and what happens when Barbra meets Nathan!
What was your read on Nathan? Is he the guy Jenelle really needs in her life?
Image via MTV