Oh oh oh! And if that weren't enough DRAMA for one episode...this is the one where Jeff the Mask UNMASKS. So intense, y'all. I might need to make another drink.
It's morning at the MANsion. Chris has just rolled out of bed to tell us how excited Ashley is about maybe marrying one of these chuckleheads. Also, roses, group dates, yada yada. Having spoken his piece, he returns to his cryogenic chamber. And the first date goes to...NoLa Ben! Louisiana, hell yeah! In an effort to sabotage Ben, Will offers this advice: don't open car doors. She actually likes rude guys! In about half an hour, this will prove to be tremendously ironic.
Jeff the Mask and his VAMPIRE MUSIC are totally bummed about not getting the date. This week, he is DEFINITELY gonna take the mask off, because he has realized it looks stupid as hell. Also his contract is nearly up.
For this date, Ashley has been working with an organization called "Flashmob America" to coordinate a totally awesome dance. Flashmob? What the heck is that? Does it have something to do with Ashley's flashdance top? Ashley takes Ben to a studio and teaches him how to do jazz hands. He totally said, last episode, that he wanted to dance in front of thousands of people, so whatever happens from now on is his own damn fault.
Ashley to Ben: "You know what I was thinking? I really want to do our dance now."
Ben: "Really? That is the dumbest idea ever."
But he does it anyway, because that's what you would do for TRUE LOVE. Or a klondike bar.
But Ashley has one more surprise up her enormous 80's sleeves! It is a performance by the Far East Movement! They sang the song that everyone just danced to! Yeah, I have never heard of them, either. Although I'm pretty sure I've heard that song at a club before. It might conjure up memories of drinking one too many Lone Stars. Ahem.
At dinner: it is time to learn the really important things about Ben. Ben has been dreaming of romance ever since he was 7 and started making his first wedding scrapbook. He wants to have his relationships in a bubble, just him and his lovah, which would be totally sweet except for the complete lack of oxygen. He says a lot more but he talks so damn fast and this shiraz is so good that I stop caring.
Next morning at the MANsion: about a billion guys prepare to go on a group date with Ashley. But first! It is time for drama-bomb #1, aka the unmasking of Jeff the Mask. Jeff pulls Ashley aside and gives her a totally stupid speech: all that matters is what's on the inside! Especially if you are insane!
Jeff has Feelings for Ashley. He wants to bare his face. AND HIS SOUL. Jeff REMOVES THE MASK. Ashley thinks he is cute. But old. Anticlimactic!
Also, Jeff looks like a dopey, cracked-out Jason Mesnick. What did I tell you??
For the date, the clusterchump are going to a comedy club, where they will be the entertainment! This is a bad idea. They will be roasting Ashley! This is a REALLY bad idea. Seriously, public mockery on the first date? I can only conclude that no one on the Bachelorette production team has ever been on a date, ever. The guys will be helped out in this foolhardy endeavor by Jeffrey Ross! Um, he is like, totally famous for making fun of like, Pamela Anderson and David Haesselhoff? Because making fun of David Hasselhoff is really hard. Everyone pretends to know who he is.
"Roasting, as you know, comes from a place of love and affection." Says Jeff Ross, and he's an expert. "
Ashley and I the soulless cretins who produce this show thought it would be really fun excruciatingly painful to do a roast today! If you can make a woman laugh at herself...you can make her do anything." Kinky. "So don't hold back, because Ashley can totally handle it. You can also make fun of each other! I mean, one of you was wearing a mask until about 15 seconds ago. Can we say 'low-hanging fruit'?"
This is right down William's alley. This is his once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to break out of the smalltime Sean Connery impersonations. THE GLOVES ARE COMING OFF.
The guys mostly play it safe and roast each other. Until Jeff, who...makes fun of her small boobs? Man, this guy is just full of good ideas. Other guys pile on to the small rack thing, because all men think about is boobs! Hilarious! William watches it all from the sidelines, scoffing. These guys are AMATEURS. You can't do a roast and be NICE. It's a
roast! He's gonna show them how it's done.
Oh no, William. Oh no.
Willz starts right in with the hilarity: "I thought I signed up to be with Emily or Chantal, and now Ashley is here??" OH NO YOU DIDN'T. Ashley starts to tear up pretty much immediately. C'mon, Will. Even Bentley thinks you've gone too far.
William has failed both at love and at being funny. Ashley picks a flatteringly-lit corner of the theater in which to cry picturesquely. Bentley sees this as a great opportunity to "mess with her head". Sheesh. Can't the woman catch a break? She's worried that the guys are upset that it's her here and not boring blond Emily. Bentley comforts her as much as you can when you're EVIL.
At the after-party cocktail party, no one's feeling very happy. Ashley gets some alone time with William, which he uses to defend his horribly unfunny jokes: "I wasn't even thinking about you and your feelings. I was just thinking about...what's going to make the crowd laugh." Smoooth. Ashley really thought highly of William. They even pretended to get married! She is super disappointed.
Oh, and then they cuddle some, cuz Bentley is EEEVIL. He is sure he will get the rose.
But wait! Ashley is giving some speech about how she is giving the rose to someone who is positive and genuine and joyous, and that cannot possibly be Bentley. In fact, it is Mr. Sunshine himself, Ryan, P.! Ashley and Ryan embrace tenderly while Bentley thinks dark thoughts deep in the dark depths of his dark heart. This is just the excuse he needs. If Ashley doesn't love him more than all her other boyfriends, then it is time to make like a tree, and leave. To make like a drum, and beat it. To make like the dastardly reality-tv villian he is and downplay the magnitude of the emotional destruction he is sure to leave in his wake: "she might be a little upset." Come on! You know you came here to BREAK HER HEART. And AMERICA's. Don't half-ass this now. Jackass.
The dawn of the most dramatic day breaks, and Ashley is doing some soulful wandering around the pool at her desert pad, better known as the place where Brad chilled out last season and thought about how much he had CHANGED. Ashley's feeling a little insecure. She's worried that the guys are disappointed in her, but Bentley talking to her and consoling her last night made everything better. She "completely fell in love with him."
Cut to Bentley packing his bags. He tells his roomie, the formerly masked wonder Jeff, that "it's time, bro." Not much exposition for the BIGGEST HEARTBREAK IN BACHELOR HISTORY. Jeff stares at Bentley with a sad, dopey look in his sad, maskless eyes. "But...you were the one she liked the best!!" Jeff's whole world has been turned upside down. At least now he can have the top bunk.
Ashley greets Bentley at the door of the Brad Pad with an apprehensiveness that might be truly unrehearsed. Bentley is going to tell Ashley that he's leaving because of his daughter. Even though the real reason is that he's Just Not That Into Her. This will make him the first person to lie about a breakup, ever. Bentley fumbles for words for a while, because he's a dumbass. Ashley is better at this: "are you leaving?" But then she asks "are you coming back?" Maybe not so good.
Bentley feeds Ashley the line about how he has to leave, for his daughter. It does not go well. She saw him being The One. Ashley cries and cries. Voiceover Bentley tells us that "It's annoying to just hold a girl that's just crying, and crying, and crying." You know what, Bentley? Up until now I was willing to give you the benefit of the doubt. Maybe the producers were just casting you in a bad light. Maybe you were not quite 100 percent pure EVIL. But now? It's over. You have broken my trust. I HATE YOU.
And then he puts the nail in the coffin: "I'll call you." BENTLEY WILLIAMS, YOU ARE DEAD TO ME.
Also, why do people on this show touch each other so much when they break up? Good lordy. Bentley: "Even if I'm not coming back, like....I still wanna keep the 'dot dot dot' there." YOU NEVER EXISTED.
On the way out, the Guy Who Never Existed tells us that Ashley is "somebody that I'm not necessarily smitten by, but definitely like, the kind of girl that I would totally hook up with now and then." Ashley cries, ensconces herself in a ruffly pink comforter, and wonders how she will go on. He-who-must-not-be-named walks back to his car, all nonplussed because breaking hearts is all in a day's work when you are this EVIL. Outside, it is raining like it rains in Ashley's heart. How does Fleiss always get the weather to cooperate like this? Oh, I forgot. It is part of the deal he has struck with SATAN.
After commercial: more of Ashley's heartbreak. Just when Ashley and I have both had about all we can take, along comes...J.P.! He is carrying some flowers and looking all solemn and shit, like somebody died. It is the death of HOPE. Only...J.P.! How can you be sad when J.P. and his abs are there? Fluffy rug, fireplace, wine, hot man, leftovers? Ultimate therapy.
J.P. has been single for a long time. Up until now, he has had relationships, but there was always something missing. Something like a pint-sized proto-dentist. Ashley is feeling a night in. They change into pjs and she's wearing glasses and apologizing for not being all dolled up, but J.P. stops her. J.P.: "This is how I wanted it to go. I just hope I'm helping." Marry me. I mean, marry Ashley. I mean...marry me.
Ashley offers J.P. the rose, because how could you not? She apologizes, again, for this date being kinda lame, but promises a really, really fun next date. More J.P.!!
Ashley pins the rose to his pjs (J.P.'s PJs...almost a palindrome) and then they make out. Awwww. Ashley tells us that J.P.'s kisses are even better than those of
Bentley He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. You know why? Because in the end, good will always triumph over evil. Hear that, jackass?
Cocktail party tiiiime! It's still raining. Constantine wears a stupid striped bowtie. Ashley hides her heartbreak behind a truly enormous necklace. Fortunately, BFF Chris is here for a heart-to-heart. Ashley tries to play it off, but Chris knows she is dying inside. He sees it in her eyes, which are windows to her tiny dentist soul. The moral of this story is...always trust Chris Harrison? Always listen to Michelle Money? I'm as confused as you are.
P.S. Even Chris thinks Bentley is a dick for the "dot dot dot" comment. And the man hosts a reality dating show for a living.Ashley is too heartbroken for a cocktail party. She wants to go straight to the rose ceremony. Watch out, America, because this new Ashley is BREAKING ALL THE RULES. Chris instructs the dudes to "make their way to the Rose Room". My dream house will totally include a Rose Room for the rejection of potential suitors. William, who I guess has returned from his midnight ramblings, is worried that he has hurt Ashley's feelings and he is totally going home. He can't even think of a single celebrity impression to do right now.
Ashley gives a little speech. He-who-must-not-be-named broke her heart into a million pieces, but she is trying to find the strength to move on. The only good things she sees at this point are Constantine's bowtie and J.P.'s rock-hard abs. But that will have to be enough.
Sunshine Ryan, Cupcake and NoLa Ben are safe. Pity roses go to:Constantine of the bowtie
WesT of the dead wifeMickey of the....I dunno. I hate his hair.
Ben F. of the winery. (Wait, Ben is the one with the bowtie. I seriously cannot tell those guys apart.)Blake the Dentist
Nick the Line-DancerAmes the over-educated
Lucas the...wait, who the hell is this guy and how does he keep getting roses?
FINAL ROSE TONIGHT.And the final rose goes to...Willz! I gotta say...I am sad to see the Mask go. Even if The Big Reveal was a little disappointing, like when the Beast turns out to be some namby-pamby dude with Fabio hair. (First Disney reference of the season! Yayy.) In one last, desperate gesture, Jeff burns the mask. The flames that melt the hard plastic are like the flames of love that melt his SOUL. The humanity!
Oh, and then he goes and collects his big fat paycheck, because he is a freaking plant.
Next week...Thailand! Where the MAN-CLAWS come out!! This promises to be expensive, dramatic, and over-the-top. Don't miss it!Over the credits: Bentley fixes his hair. A still-masked Mask sits on the crapper and reads the classifieds. "There's a boat. It's missing the engine and the steering wheel, but it's only a hundred bucks. You think that's worth it?"
All I know is: you were worth it, Jeff. Every penny.