The Bachelorette Recap: Episode 7: A Total Mind-F*ck

14 Jul

Well friends, I meant to begin posting on-going Bachelorette commentary at the start of this season. But – as Chris Harrison’s tearful yet weirdly uninformative conversation with Emily this week reminded us – sometimes we just don’t get what we want. No matter how much we love it. And I do love the Bachelor franchise. I’ve loved it since I started watching it in Jason’s season, when my fellow Masuk High School alum Erica DeSimone was featured in Jason’s pool of eligible ladies! But I digress. This season is about just one lady. And her name is Ashley.

This week’s episode began with a one-on-one date with Constantine, which I missed almost in its entirety because I was running out to pick up dinner. And I know I should pull up the episode on the Internet so I can watch the first 15 minutes, but I can’t do it. Because Constantine is so boring, and not very attractive, and their interactions are always painfully awkward and I have no idea why Ashley keeps on keeping him around. Maybe he did something redeeming in this week’s date. I do not care to know. All I know is he was one of the many it-was-soooo-fucked-up-of-Ash-to-tell-us-about-Bentley-she’s-wasting-my-goddamn-time crew of last week’s horrifying episode, and I want him out of poor Ashley’s life. This week, we got to see them releasing traditional wish lanterns into the night sky & talk about how magical their whole day has been. Hey, I lit those at my friends’ wedding reception last weekend! True story.

Next, Ashley takes Ben on a romantic one-on-one date, during which he reveals to the cameras that he is falling in love with her, but says he’s not ready to tell her. She tells the camera that she’s falling in love with him, too. I like Ben because he’s kind of cute and mellow and from Northern California and has dirty hair. And last week there was a deleted clip of Ashley and Ben telling each other how they talk to their dogs in baby voices. Win. They depart on their date on a moped. Ben is driving with Ashley on the back. Insert cheesy line about “precious cargo.” Gross. They ride around, and then discuss hometown dates over dinner. Ben uses the word “L-bomb” and acts like he made it up. Ash tells Ben that the wine they’re drinking tastes like the wine he made her. Terrible.

I like Ben, but not as much as I like Jordan Paul. And Jordan Paul is back at the hotel, pissed. He whines about how it’s a “total mind-f*ck” to have to share Ash with all these other dudes. And usually when people on this show say things like that I get really annoyed – hello, you are on The Bachelorette. This is not the real world. This is a choice that you made to improve your pathetic, stupid life. Remember that? But when JP says it, I’m like, aw Jordan Paul’s right. It is fucked up that Ash would one night be the welcome recipient of his masterful frenching technique and then spend the next night with the likes of Constantine or Ben. That’s kind of fucked up, you guys. Am I right?

So then Jordan Paul is filled with even more rage when Ben apparently spends the night with Ashley, but it becomes quickly clear that it was just a G-rated sleepover in different hotel rooms paid for by the Bachelor franchise. Jordan Paul still doesn’t want to talk about it. He is then forced to attend a group date with Ames (Ames? I love you, but you’re really still here?) and Lucas, who refers to Ash exclusively as “sweetheart” like the creepily chivalrous “Southern gentleman” that he is. In classic Bachelorette form, Ash likes Lucas because he makes her feel “protected.” Gross. Which brings up the special anti-feminist rules for Bachelorette screening. It appears to be an absolute requirement for the Bachelorette, may she be Ali or Jillian or Ashley, to express an affinity toward traditionalist Southern gentleman-type contestants who seem kind of sexist and probably abusive (see: Ty in Ally’s season; Wes and Jake in Jilly’s season).

The group date entails Ashley and the dudes dressing up in traditional wedding attire, and taking fake wedding pictures with Ashley. You know, cause that’s how you can tell if someone’s ready to get married. The guys are all cranky about watching Ashley make out with everyone in front of everyone else. They all tell her. Lucas calls his traditional Taiwanese wedding shirt a “dress.” Yawn.  Ash gives JP the rose ­– duh. Let’s please note that when Ashley snuck back to the table to get the rose for JP and said, “I’ll be right back” to the other two dudes, Ames said something awkward and polite and adorable like, “Oh, please do.” And then Ames congratulated JP when he walked back into the room with the rose on his jacket. AMES! I adore you. Come be my girl-pal and I promise that I’ll never give you a concussion.

Ashley’s next one-on-one date is with Ryan, the guy who everyone hates for being too nice. “I guess Ashley doesn’t get to see his true colors!” they all collectively whine. “The ones that show how TOO NICE he is!” Personally, I don’t see anything wrong with Ryan. Some people are just stoked on life, and Ryan is one of them. Ashley takes Ryan to a religious ceremony filled with various people praying, where Ryan becomes increasingly more stoked on life, and Ash becomes increasingly more aware of their lack of connection. Over dinner, Ryan gets down to business with an all-important Green Screen. He asks Ash about her environmental awareness, and she tells a hilarious (read: not-at-all hilarious) story about getting dumped for throwing a plastic bottle in the garbage. Ryan then goes on a tirade about saving energy and water heaters, which may very well have been the most actually interesting information ever divulged in Bachelorette history. Unfortunately it is drowned out by Ashley’s voice-over, talking about how she’s just not into Ryan. She decides to cut the date short and send him home. She actually says, “I’m just not feeling it.” He looks dumbstruck – a particularly sad look to see on Ryan’s face – and says, bewildered, “You mean you don’t want to meet my family?”

We then cut to a prolonged montage of Ryan looking kind of crazy, crying amidst foliage, and saying things like:

“I want someone to love unconditionally…
I want someone more than…
I want to be a good dad…
And I will.
Someday.
I will…
I will.”

Yes, folks. The words he spoke were actually lineated poetry. And wtf, Ash? Why send home a guy who you like in theory without even finishing your first one-on-one date, only to immediately feel unsure about your decision? Why not finish the date first? Why not let us learn more about our water heaters?

After her date with Ryan, Ash is feeling confident in her own mind and body. Following a brief conversation with Chris Harrison where he reminds her – in that condescending tone that he reserves only for Ashley – that the decisions she makes are now affecting these men’s lives, she cuts straight to the rose ceremony (which, by the way, features her crossing over a bridge behind her suitors like the Lady of the Lake. Did you guys see that?!). I was disappointed that she didn’t send home Constantine, and shocked when she didn’t send home Ames, but pleasantly surprised that she sent home Lucas. Bravo, Ashley. BRA.VO. Ashley walks Lucas out so that he can call her “sweetheart” thirty more times.

Next week we have the dreaded and coveted hometown dates with Constantine, Ben, Ames & Jordan Paul. Until then!

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