The Fab Five might have dealt with their toughest case yet. No, it had nothing to do with the transformations itself, but it was more because of the lies that came from one of their clients!
While Skyler on Queer Eye Season 2 Episode 5 was ready to jump into the action to get help from the team, Arian from Queer Eye Season 2 Episode 6 was half-hearted right to the bitter end. He was not truly invested at all. And it's a shame because his makeover turned out amazingly.
This is the second time in Queer Eye's revival history that one of the people getting the makeovers was apprehensive about the opportunity.
Jason from Queer Eye Season 2 Episode 4 was hesitant at first, but he turned around when he got more comfortable to the Fab Five. The handyman was an introvert, so he wasn't going to be the biggest personality regardless. He clearly signed on because of his love for Beth.
Arian, on the other hand, was possibly pushed into this because of his friends. He would've rather stayed in his home and played video games, continuing to lie and complain about the situation he faced.
Luckily, he got off the couch and confronted the issues that were plaguing him!
The aspiring university graduate had the potential in him all along. He only needed the motivation to push himself to make the changes.
Why did he feel like he had to lie?
Signing onto this experience was going to result in everything he said and did being captured on camera. He knew going into the experience that this was going to be an episode on Netflix. There was no reason for him to lie from the get-go, especially when the Fab Five was there to help him specifically.
From the looks of the situation, maybe he was so used to lying that he couldn't stop?
Arian possibly stuck himself into a rut and he was comfortable with lying to soften the blow. There's no judgment with that! We've all done it in the past to lessen the pain we've felt and the hurdles we've had to overcome. A cycle is a cycle regardless of how you spin it.
Still, I loved watching the Fab Five put the pieces together right from the beginning and call him out on his lies. Confronting the issue head-on was going to be the only way for them to help him, and it made a big difference.
Karamo: Do you ever feel physically sick about your parents finding out that you didn’t graduate?
Arian: Oh, yeah, all the time. They sacrificed a lot of their own opportunities for me to have a good bright future.
Karamo: I’m the child of an immigrant. And I’ve heard them say to me, “You have everything. You have this. You better make this opportunity. We gave up this so that you could do it.” That’s a lot of pressure to put on a child. But guess what, this is your journey. This is your life. Design it how you want.
Arian's apartment wasn't too bad.
He had a standard messy 20-something apartment you'd expect someone who recently graduated from school would have. With a bit of cleaning and organization, he would be able to fix it.
The same goes for his grooming and fashion habits. A little time, effort, and motivation was the solution to make his life better. Also, we can't forget his work ethic too; he needed to put more motivation into that to have a successful career.
Arguably, the Fab Five had a good starting point for the makeover.
A lot of their adjustments to his life simply involved working out, cleaning up after himself, and respecting the space of his roommate. Arian already had a good sense of fashion, he knew how to cook, and he had some stylish furniture pieces. The grooming, which turned out amazing, was to help bolster his confidence and get him back to a more comfortable spot.
The biggest challenge, as I mentioned above, was the procrastination and the lies holding him back.
Antoni: Guys, I’m kinda really surprised by how confident he is and comfortable in the kitchen. When he was acting like a bit of a dumb-dumb when we met, and now he like really seems like he knows what he’s doing.
Bobby: I think he was just bull s****** you and making you do it the whole time.
Antoni: Yeah, I think so too.
[Arian plays around with the knife in his hand]
Antoni: Woah! Woah! Woah!
Karamo: Knife tricks! Knife tricks!
Tan: He’s chopped those potatoes beautifully.
Bobby: Yeah, he obviously knows what he’s doing in the kitchen.
Tan: Well done, kid.
Seeing Karamo make Arian take a lie detector test was definitely a first for the series.
The answers meant nothing and we'll never know the results, but it forced him to confront some of the things he had been keeping from people.
If there was one thing that truly succeeded in the transformation, it was Arian getting the courage to tell his mother that he needed to take one more class to graduate. He couldn't hold onto the lie forever.
There's no shame in needing to go back to school!
Facing the judgment and disappointment of a parent is tough, but it needed to be done to live his best life. And, in the long run, telling his mother was the best thing he could do. His final class would pass quickly and he'd be back into career mode. Gaming would always be there.
Still, the lying did pose a big question: Did he know how to take care of himself all this time? Those cut slices of potatoes looked pretty perfect to the Fab Five, and his friends acknowledged that Arian had style going into the episode. The choice of his outfit, however, showed his stubbornness yet again to follow advice.
Ariane absolutely needed some guidance from the Fab Five. On the other hand, out of the six people we've seen so far during Queer Eye Season 2, he's the one who needed it the least.
Skyler's story during Queer Eye Season 2 Episode 5 was really inspiring.
The Fab Five's assistance was more to help him get comfortable in his new skin and approach life in a mature way. Like, for instance, he outfitted his entire life like a skater boy who was in his early twenties. There was so much more he could be doing with the opportunity he had.
This change especially had more resonance since Skyler completed his top surgery six weeks prior. Going forward, he could set the path for how he could be living his life as an adult male. The world was his oyster and now was his time to set the tone.
Based on the transformation, the Fab Five did a good job setting him up to move forward after the show.
Starting "Sky's the Limit" with footage of Skyler's surgery was a powerful and evocative decision.
Regardless of the knowledge someone has of transgender people and the process they go through to transition, you can't relate to their struggle if you haven't through the surgery yourself. Witnessing footage of it was a good step to learning something about the process and being informed. That moment, as well as the entire makeover, helped to open the eyes of the Fab Five too.
Tan had the biggest eye-opening experience since he's a bit detached from the community, and he openly admitted that he didn't know much about transgender issues. Kudos to him for being forthcoming about his lack of knowledge!
Most people wouldn't admit being uninformed about an issue or they would try to lie and say they understood. His honesty helped to create an open dialogue because he wanted to learn more. And, it helped us as viewers learn more about the process as well through their conversation.
Before going into Queer Eye Season 2 Episode 5, not many of us could safely say they knew about the struggles it took to get their gender changed on an ID card, the recovery time of surgeries, and the complications that could arise from going under the knife.
Karamo: Is there anything on your mind that you want to do?
Skyler: Probably one of the most important things for me right now is my gender marker. It’s still “female” on my license. And now that I’m post-op, I have all the documents that I finally need to be able to go to the DMV and get that taken care and get my gender marker changed to “male.”
Karamo: Got it. See, that’s what I’m talking about.
[Cuts to confessional]
Karamo: Most of us take our IDs for granted; we got it when we were 15 or 16 and we never think about it. But all he wants is just to experience the same life that we all experience. And this one little thing is holding him back. [He holds up card]
Did anyone else think Skyler looked better with the beard?
Don't get me wrong, I don't question Jonathan's judgment much because he turns out looks like it's no one's business. However, the facial hair filled out Skyler's face more, and if it was paired with his new haircut, the beard would've tied the whole look together.
The dyed stubble made him come across a bit messy and youthful. Looking youthful is never a bad thing! Though, a manly tone was the desired goal for Skyler's transformation.
Jonathan: This is how I do it: You put a finger on your Adam’s apple.
Skyler: I don’t have one though.
Jonathan: Oh my gosh!
[He reaches over to touch]
Jonathan: Your vocal box, right here which I can totally feel, that’s hair.
Skyler: That’s little my tiny little Adam’s apple.
Jonathan: Don’t talk about him like that! He is girthy. He is huge!
It's probably the only gripe to the whole makeover. Skyler's clothing got a serious upgrade, his home was stylishly upgraded, he learned new cooking techniques, and Karamo accomplished in getting Skyler's ID changed to the proper gender. At the end of the day, I can live with stubble being a part of the look.
Hopefully, Skyler's life after the Fab Five's visit will take off and be the dream he always hoped it would be.
It's a shame that he'll be stuck in debt due to the surgeries that come from the complications of the first surgery. He stated that he doesn't regret anything and he'll live with the debt happily because it was for the right reason. He deserves all the best.
Plus, he got to mark something off his bucket list when Todrick Hall made a surprise visit, so that was a pleasant gift. (If you didn't already know from the hundreds of mentions already, Skyler LOVES Todrick Hall.)
Not everyone is a big fan of Todrick after his appearances and recent comments about RuPaul's Drag Race, but that's a discussion for another day. Skyler was a major fan and lived his dream after his makeover with the visit to his home. We could only be so lucky meeting our idol.
What did you think of "Sky's the Limit" and "Big Little Lies"? Were you happy that Skyler got to meet Todrick Hall? What else could Arian be lying about?
Queer Eye Season 2 is now available to stream on Netflix.
Justin Carreiro is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.