“Couple to Throuple” Never Understood Polyamory

This recap contains spoilers for the Couple to Throuple finale.


The finale of Peacock’s Couple To Throuple is all about commitment.

Jonathan, Ashmal and Rehman are fucking in the morning. Ashmal announces, “Buenos días, novios.” Jonathan still has questions about their throuple relationship’s long-term viability, but who cares? He’s feeling the love upon waking up to presumably a double-handed handy.

Lauren and Dylan, two muscle heads who have grown on me, feel great about how Jess handled the surprise of meeting their parents. Ash and Maximo are happy Becca passed their friends’ vibe check. Rehman thinks they are full of shit and do not really like Becca.

The First Coming Out in Couple to Throuple Herstory

At breakfast, Brittne officially comes out as bisexual. Everyone is stoked! She cries and says, “I feel like we’re programmed to be a certain way and even though I’ve always identified as straight I would always like, talk to girls on the side but it was always secret. Coming here really opened up my eyes to being more accepting of myself and who I am.” It’s really lovely and probably the best part of this episode, if not the series. Brittne found what she was looking for at the resort: acceptance and safety in the queer community.

Sean cheers, “Not caring what nobody thinks!” In their solo interview, he says, “I’m really proud of Brittne. That was super dope and it feels amazing to see your partner learn and accept a new part of them.” Y’all, where is my Sean??? Does he have a sister? Or, hell, I’d take a play cousin at this point.

Couple to Throuple finale: Brittne looks emotional as she comes out

Turns out Darrien is scared of commitment and feels trapped in monogamy. Even monogamy in a throuple. Host Scott Evans says that tomorrow the couples must “commit to your three-lationship or go your separate ways.” The word “three-lationship” is never going to happen, Scott. It is so not fetch.

Then, a reality TV drama move happens that I actually think is great. The singles must leave the resort. The couples and their thirds will have the rest of the day and night away from each other to reflect on their experiences. Maximo says it’s good to separate and have reassurance of what you’re building.

He’s right. This is the correct next step. It gives everyone the chance to come down from the high of the close proximity pheromones. They really have the chance to slow down and think about the realities of being together. The couples get to regroup without having to whisper and without the temptation of looking their thirds in their beautiful faces. And the thirds get a second to breathe, and come back into themselves. What are they looking for away from their couples’ expectations and hovering? It’s very necessary.

Before the thirds go, they can have one last chat with their couple. Ashimo wants to be in this sitch with Becca for good. They threeway kiss. Lauren and Dylan want to keep going with Jess and move at the pace that makes her the most comfortable. Sex is a big deal to Jess and she doubts if L and D can let her lead on that. “Physical desires create issues,” she worries. Dylan says it’s cool and they can grow the friendship as long as she needs. Jess cries and calls them “magical.” Lauren assures her, “We’re in it together now and I’m excited to see what that can lead to.” Dylan tells them this is going to be so much fun.

In JAR-ville, Rehman cries and says he often looks at Ashmal and thinks how lucky he is to have him. Now, he feels that about Jonathan. He’s gotten very attached. What happens after the resort, when he can’t see J every day? “I’m just happy you have Ashmal there, when I’m not,” Jonathan says. And in my own experience, I can say that that is a wonderful benefit of polyamory.

Sean tells Darrien that if it gets serious with her, he and B expect seriousness. He asks D what she’s afraid of. What about commitment has her heart racing? She admits that her toxic trait is easy boredom.

In private, the couple says they wish they’d known that Darrien has problems with commitment before they were down to the wire. Why did she come here if she couldn’t be in a serious throuple?

Girlies, this is what I meant in my first recap for this show. Polyamory is an umbrella term. Throuple is one too. Darrien came on a reality dating program probably to meet hot people, vibe, and make out, not to embrace the show’s narrative of three person monogamy. A throuple working out has nothing to do with this narrow idea of partnership. B and S are allowed to want what they want, and Darrien is allowed to say that doesn’t work for her. The “Bachelor” finale-esque “stay or stop” ending the show is trying to make happen is not conducive to polyamory. It’s only conducive to reality TV.

D wonders if she’s polyamorous to avoid commitment. And that’s okay if she is! Brittne acts like this is due to avoidant tendencies. She shares that before Sean she couldn’t make it work with anyone past three months. It got to be too much pressure and she would leave.

Sean says commitment is just showing up for that person and being who you said you were gonna be. Darrien shouldn’t be afraid to try it. “You might find it’s not so bad,” he soothes. Sure. But again, her reasons for being poly are valid and “being scared of commitment” is not a character flaw she has to overcome. Is it something she actually wants, and the fear is keeping her from the kind of relationship she’s always secretly desired? Or is it simply that she wants to live her life without being tied down? That’s okay too!

Couples Without Throuples

Ashmal is worried Jonathan is gonna get in his head, but to me, it’s good that he does. The cloud of horniness around them needs to be poked. (Pun intended.) They need to take their hands off each other’s dicks and think this through.

At dinner, everyone talks about the lessons they’ll take away from this experience. Brittne says she’s always relied on advice from others to make decisions about her life, but now she knows can trust herself. Rehman understands Ashmal’s emotions more and wants to work on being a better partner to him in that regard.

Sean says seeing Lauren and Dylan’s marriage gave him ideas on how to be more affectionate with Brittne. He used them as role models for a good marriage. They had so many different dynamics to learn from.

How does each couple feel about the physical connections with their thirds? Rehman says it’s no secret that JAR have physical chemistry. (How thin are the walls in this place?) Maximo and Ash think Rehman’s comments are pointed at them. “It’s just messy,” he says, a word the queers love to throw around the resort at each other. Rehman is cutting down the happy lovey vibes a bit, but who is going to create the TV drama if not the gays?

The Couple cheers in the Couple to throuple finale

Maximo replies that he, Ash, and Becca want to rip each other’s clothes off, but they’re being respectful and cultivating emotional intimacy first. The longer they wait, the more excited they get and the better it’s gonna feel.

There’s a dramatic music sting. Rehman’s face says he doesn’t buy it.

How confident is everyone that their third will stay tomorrow? Rehman is worried Jonathan will leave them hanging again. Sean and Brittne are worried about Darrien’s ability to commit. L and D have considered whether Jess would want to be with a couple that is married, because there’s a bigger chance of becoming an outsider.

Maximo says he’s sure Becca is gonna stay. Ashmal and Rehman are giving each shady sideways glances. Rehman asks if the couples think the other throuples are genuine. Maximo looks like he’s going to slam his fork into Rehman’s throat. Ashmal takes it from hypothetical to real, saying yes, they’re talking about Ashimo.

In his interview, Maximo asks if Ashmal and Rehman are just looking for a reaction out of them. “So let me give you one,” he says.

At the table, Ash and Maximo say they think JAR are fake. Maximo says being with Jonathan for a little bit just confirmed that Becca was special. There was honest communication and it shifted how they saw each other. They’re better for it and their relationship with Becca is more real. I don’t buy it. They’re just trying to flex on JAR.

Ash and Maximo say they don’t believe the boys are going to last, but they wish them all the best. It’s the epitome of “love your hair, hope you win.” They do not love the guys’ hair and they do not hope they win.

Lauren and Dylan look at each other, concerned. Everyone was JUST having fun. Why are the gays doing this? For viral TV clips, Mary. This is why the Queer Ultimatum did so well. We know how to destroy each other on camera.

Maximo says how he sees JAR doesn’t matter. Who is he to tell them what Jonathan said about A and R behind their backs? “That’s not my place,” he says while absolutely sowing seeds of discord in his wake. “Period,” Ash replies.

The Ceremony

Unfortunately, in the morning, it’s Maximo who wakes up with concerns. Becca has been all sunshine and rainbows to their faces, but what has she been telling other people? Meanwhile, Sean hopes Darrien doesn’t embarrass him and B, and Ashmal puts foundation on his neck hickeys. It’s time for the “stay or stop” ceremony.

The couple walks up to the wooden platform together and their third comes in from the other side. They stand across from each other. If they want to stay together, they each can walk to the middle. I don’t love this. It again frames it like the couple is one entity and the third is another. It should be all three walking to each other from corners of the platform. I understand that it’s called “Couple To Throuple” but not only does this enforce “commitment” as the be-all-end-all of polyam life, but it frames the thirds as “additions” to the couple yet again. I miss Corey, Wilder and Denyse, who all left in episode six together as one unit.

On the platform, everyone is dressed to the nines like they’re about to open the sliding doors to the Love Is Blind hallway.

Scott tells them to ask themselves:

“Are we better as a throuple?”
“Is monogamy holding us back in some way?”
“Is Jess that third love you’ve been looking for?”
“Is polyamory not the lifestyle meant for you?”

Has the show been watching the show?? It’s not about whether this couple would be “better” (in what way?) with a third person. It’s not about if they, in general, want to break out of monogamy. And it’s certainly not about choosing ONE person to commit to or deciding you’re actually not polyamorous at all. How did a show about the ability to share connections with anyone in the world become about locking someone down?? It feels like the producers didn’t quite know how to end the show in a way that would satisfy a monogamous audience so they made the finale about monogamy.

Lauren and Dylan are first. They say they came into the resort looking to explore new territory but they found someone who was Lauren’s clone. Just kidding. They say they found someone who fits perfectly into their lives. They didn’t have to change who they were. Jess says they showed her stability and comfort.

Next, Scott asks them what their concerns are about each other. Jess breaks form and asks for a quick side chat with her couple. L and D are blindsided. Jess brings them behind production, away from the camera. Scott gestures to the producers, confused. Even he doesn’t know the rules of this part of the game.

Still mic-ed but away from the platform, Jess asks again about the physical touch aspect. Her past relationships ended badly over that and if she feels pressured, she’ll freak out. She’s scared of it happening again. L and D say they love that she shared that and they hear her. Lauren assures her they will respect her boundaries. In private, they say they do see something serious with Jess. Lauren wouldn’t want to start their polyamorous lifestyle without her.

They return to Scott and decide to stay. Dylan is grateful for Jess taking them aside. “It made that stay so much more meaningful.” Together in the interviews, Jess is delighted that she has her first girlfriend. Lauren says that made her heart jump. Dylan is also moved. It’s Lauren’s first girlfriend too. Dylan says he has his first two girlfriends… and a wife. Lauren and Jess are like, dude what? They’re all laughing and having fun.

Lauren, Dylan, and Jess embrace on the tropical ceremony platform

Maximo and Ash are worried about what Becca is really like when she’s not with them. (If I were the editor, I’d cut now to the scene where everyone encouraged Becca to confront her couple for going behind her back and instead she kissed them.) At the platform, Maximo reminisces about how Becca was the first person he and Ash met at the resort. Their first date was so great. There’s a flashback clip to Maximo saying, “Sometimes ya girl wanna suck a dick” about himself and Becca replying, “As long as we can watch.”

She says she just about broke her neck looking at them when they first arrived. Ash says even though they wanted to explore Jonathan, they felt weird that Becca said they couldn’t do that and stay with her. That’s a willful misunderstanding of the situation, Ash. It wasn’t the lack of ability to explore. It was the sneaking around so Becca had to hear it from third parties. B felt her deepest fears then: being rejected, being second best, and being lied to.

Maximo asks if they can trust Becca or has she been wearing a cheerful mask this whole time? My guess is she probably has. But so have A and M.

No one steps forward. Maximo and Ash seem to think Becca did them dirty somehow. If they thought she was gonna step forward, why didn’t they? This throuple just did not speak openly to each other at any point. Becca acts tough but in the end, she is just not confrontational. This is why the enforced time apart was so good for the cast. She needed a second to stop performing for her couple. Maximo tells Scott that Becca almost had them fooled. They think everyone can finally drop the act. Becca finally speaks honestly. When left alone with her feelings, she felt manipulated and betrayed. Now, she feels free.

In private, M and A say even though Becca didn’t work out, they love polyamory. NYC better watch out. Maximo says, “Call us.”

Maximo and Ash during the ceremony

Brittne is worried Darrien is going to break her heart. On the platform, Sean tells D that her being into Ash sucked for them because they hadn’t even kissed yet. It made B feel “not pretty enough.” Darrien responds that, “The whole point of being poly is that every single person has a different kind of energy that we get to experience.” She didn’t like that her transparency around that situation had backlash. Do they really see her and accept her for who she is? (I say no.)

But damn, people are finally getting real on this finale platform. Where were all these straight-faced, grounded conversations in the resort??? Did the thirds really need this time away to suddenly speak their peace? It makes me wonder how the show would have gone if every few days the thirds had to spend a night alone.

B and S immediately step forward, D does not. Sean tells Darrien that they do see her and hopefully, they can give her enough space within the throuple to grow too. Darrien smiles and then runs forward into their arms.

“I have two beautiful ladies over here,” Sean says. “They’re probably going to drive me crazy but that’s okay.”

“If you had embarrassed us,” Brittne tells Darrien, “I was going to delete my social media accounts and go ghost.” Darrien dies laughing. (Side note: B has like 2 million Instagram followers for her fitness videos.)

It all comes down to Rehman and Ashmal. J says now’s the time to tell the boys how he really feels. Is it??? On this platform and not in the days and days you had lounging by a pool??

Rehman tells Jonathan he showed him that he could have strong feelings for someone other than Ashmal but that it doesn’t take away from what he and A have. But it was a dagger to the heart when he saw J step down for Ashimo.

When they step into the middle, Jonathan asks Scott if he can say one more thing to the boys. Scott says sure because again, this show has no rules. He gets serious and then says, “Do you wanna be my boyfriends?” Rehman almost had a heart attack, but Jonathan runs into their arms. Rehman says they made it through this all thanks to Jonathan. Ashmal is ready to do some hands on learning in the real world. Rehman jokes they’ve been doing that the whole time. Jonathan went from zero boyfriends to two boyfriends.

Ashmal says, “You know what I’m going to say??”

Buenos dias novios!!!

Everyone grabs champagne and they have a dance party in slow motion with voiceover. Jess, Lauren, and Dylan are ready to head out and take polyam into the real world. Dylan calls Jess the “best souvenir ever!” Lauren says that she’s more than a souvenir. She’s Jess.

The absolute growth of these two. The whole show might have been worth it just for Lauren and Dylan to learn empathy.

Throuples Post-Couple to Throuple

Now, an epilogue someone made on iMovie in 30 seconds.

Lauren, Dylan and Jess continued to “flex their throuple” IRL, but broke up because of distance two months after the show ended. (It’s airing almost exactly one year later.)

DSB dated in LA, but career commitments forced them into an amicable end. Sean proposed to Brittne. They’re no longer in touch with Darrien.

Maximo and Ash continue to explore the NYC poly scene. Becca never wants to be a second or third option again.

Corey, Denyse, and Wilder are still a throuple and Denyse is moving to LA soon.

Jonathan, Rehman, and Ashmal were together for three months. Ashmal then broke up with Rehman. (Who wrote this??) Jonathan and Rehman stayed together, but then they also broke up. A and R remain best friends but neither of them talk to Jonathan.

According to social media, a large swath of the singles still hang out. (I bet there was a whole other show happening at wherever they were kept.) Corey and Wilder hang out with Becca. The couples are all largely still in touch with each other. Lauren and Dylan are having a baby. Ashmal and Rehman host watch parties for the show in Chicago. And I’m about to see everyone at the finale wrap party tonight in West Hollywood.

Stay tuned for updates. It seems some of these people are still looking for a third.


The Couple to Throuple finale is now streaming on Peacock

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Gabe Dunn

Gabe (he/him) is a queer, trans writer and director whose most recent film GRINDR BABY was selected for Frameline Festival’s 2023 Voices. He is a best-selling author thrice-over, host of the podcasts The Knew Guys, Just Between Us and Bad With Money. As a TV writer, he has sold over a dozen TV shows to networks like FX, Freeform, and Netflix. His young adult sci-fi drama Apocalypse Untreated was released by Audible Originals in 2020. His latest TV project The Daring Life and Dangerous Times of Eve Adams is in development at Universal with Gabe set to write and produce.

Gabe has written 13 articles for us.

3 Comments

  1. Ahhhhh, thanks for recapping! My initial feelings about the folks on this show evolved. My favorite part was the growth and strengthen of communication/respect with/for each other, especially those I didn’t expect it from.

    But yeah- 100% this- “It feels like the producers didn’t quite know how to end the show in a way that would satisfy a monogamous audience so they made the finale about monogamy.”

  2. So, in general I loved these recaps – but I have a comment, or maybe a question, about how Ash and Maximo’s pronouns are treated in these articles. It seems like Ash is always referred to as ‘she’ and Maximo is always referred to as ‘he’ – even though the author stated in the first article that both people use all pronouns. As someone who also uses all pronouns, I would be kinda frustrated if someone wrote about me using only one set. Is there a reason the writer chose to gender them this way?

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