The online version of the Bachelorette is brought to you by Lay's, which, if you think about it, is completely appropriate, since both Lay's potato chips and this show are bland, crappy, and somehow totally addictive. This week Emily and her stable of stallions head to PRAGUE, which is the most romantic place on Earth, except for the place they went the week before this, and the week before that. Also! I would also like to point out that I uniquely positioned to recap this week's episode, having just returned from a vacation to Prague myself. Kendra and I spent a whole two and a half days there, seeing the sights and drinking copiously, so I am practically a native.
Add Prague to the list of harsh locales where Emily has to schlep her own suitcases.
This week, explains Chris, there will be THREE one-on-one dates, and a group date. WHOA CRAZY. Also, no roses on the one-on-one dates, so the dudes can concentrate on getting to know Emily and begging her to meet their families so ABC can portray them in the worst possible light. The first date one-on-one date goes to race car Arie. But this is not just any date. Emily knows something about Arie. Arie has a SECRET.
Arie doesn't know that Emily knows that he dated Cassie, one of the producers (and Emily's BFF?) like a million years ago. On the Charles bridge, they rub a relief of a dog, which is supposed to represent loyalty. Emily thinks Arie should rub the dog twice because maybe it will cure him of being full of secrets.
But wait - now we're at the bachelor mansion! In LA! With Chris Harrison! Whatcha wha? I think it's a very special part of the show called 'This Explanatory Segment Was Clearly Filmed After the Wrapping of the Rest of the Season". Cassie, the producer, Chris explains, had a very brief past relationship with Arie, which she 'took it upon herself' to tell Emily about. Wait, who are these 'producers' you speak of? I thought Emily picked out the locations and planned all these dates and schlepped her suitcase all over Prague? No? It's weird to me that we're supposed to pretend the producers don't exist, until something EXTRA SUPER DRAMATIC happens with one of them, in which case we're supposed to be SHOCKED. Also, this is the weirdest narrative device ever. Last time I checked, this was a reality SHOW, not a reality TELL. So why are we getting the Chris Harrison condensed version of everything?
Cut to Emily taking to Cassie. She doesn't mind at all, except that she feels like an IDIOT because nobody told her until now about Arie and Cassie's SECRET PAST. Emily kind of seems like one of those people who is super nice until all of a sudden they are SUPER MAD. People like that scare me.
Then there is this totally hilarious segment where Emily's at lunch with Arie, and the whole time she's trying to trick him into coming clean. "Do you feel like you're really open with me? Like, really, really open? I like relationships where there are NO SECRETS." Arie starts to get a little worried, so he tells Emily the secretest thing he can think of: he once had a tattoo of an old girlfriend's name, but he had it covered up. Emily's like, "that's interesting," but her eyes are saying, NO. WRONG.
Back to the Bachelor mansion! With Chris Harrison! Apparently Arie, Emily, and Cassie had a big pow-wow about this, which, unfortunately, took place off camera. Wait, these people have interactions off camera? In this conveniently non-filmed conversation, Arie explained to Emily that he didn't tell her about the past relationship because he didn't think it was that big of a deal, and Emily agreed that it wasn't that big of a deal. So, basically...ABC, who has spent a few weeks teasing the showdown between Arie and Emily, and how it's going to be a HUGE HUGE DEAL, is now hastening to assure us that it's really not a big deal at all. Wait, what?
Back at the hotel! A new date card arrives. Several of the men announced their intention to jump off a building if their name is not on it. The date card is for John WOLF. This is huge, says the wolf. Huge. Drunkeye Chris says not having gotten a one-on-one yet is "killing him inside". Being cooped up in a hotel room all day with five other meatheads is starting to break him.
Back on the date! Mysteriously, night has fallen. Mysteriously, Emily and Arie are now on a boat. Did the conversation where they decided that the thing that was a HUGE BIG DEAL is not a big deal at all take like, four hours? And the ABC cameraman managed to miss the whole thing? I'm calling shenanigans. There's something going on here that we're not being told. And I'm really hurt because the most important thing about my relationship with this show is that there be NO SECRETS.
But whatever the hell it was, Emily and Arie are bouncing back fast. Arie tells Emily that he loves her. Not any of the bizarre constructions that precede a confession of love in the Bachelor-verse. Not "I'm in love with you", not "I think I'm falling in love with you"...just straight-up "I love you". A bold move, race car. We'll see if this pays off. "Mmm," says Emily. It is the only response her contract will allow.
Emily says that hearing Arie tell her that he loves her so early in the game "makes me believe in all of this". Wait. You're glad a man told you he loved you...because it makes you believe that it is possible to find love on a crappy reality tv show? Things are not looking good for Arie.
The boat date ends with a surprise...fireworks! Arie's like "huh. cool," but he doesn't seem all that impressed because I guess all his dates on the roofs of boats in Prague end with fireworks. That's life in the fast lane. (See what I did there?)
Now it's time for a date with John WOLF. Emily and the WOLF spend a ton of time talking about how important it is that they get to know each other better, instead of actually getting to know each other better. John WOLF admits he may be a little closed off. He has a "hard shell", but that's only so his warm chocolatey center will melt in your mouth and not in your hand.
Then they go to the Lenin Wall. It's a place where, under Communism, people painted messages to show their support for subversive music and rock n' roll and freedom. And now, I guess, they are totally okay with random reality TV stars painting all over it. Emily and John want to paint something that is important to them, but it is difficult to paint a picture of B-list celebrity, so instead they draw a boat.
"I think we did a great job," says Emily, even though their "boat" kind of looks like a shoe. An ugly shoe.
Oh look, another nearly meaningless love talisman! This time, it's a fence that people lock padlocks to, to symbolize the staying power of their love. I keep seeing things like this on pinterest, and I think it's a massive conspiracy on the part of the padlock makers. They must be making a killing. Emily explains all this to John WOLF, looking mildly unenthused about the locks, the date, everything. I've noticed that things of this sort (Joe's love clock, egg Travis and the balancing stone) seem to mostly backfire. Sure enough, John WOLF can't get the lock to close. Emily thinks it's a sign. I think it's a sign that he can't draw a boat.
Now Emily and John are on the way to dinner in a candlelit dungeon somewhere, as you do. The conversation between these two is really scintillating.
John: How beautiful is that church?
Emily is nervous that John
is kinda boring isn't willing to open himself up to LOVE. Fortunately, she has picked the perfect setting. There's nothing like a dungeon to put you at ease.
John reveals to Emily that he moves a little slowly because his last girlfriend cheated on him. John is totally patting himself on the back for OPENING UP, and Emily claims to like it, but they're still sitting about a million feet apart. Finally, John leans over the acres of sofa in between them for an awkward kiss. Ah, love.
Meanwhile, back at the hotel: Chris' head is going to explode if he doesn't get another one-on-one date. Not spending time with Emily, he says, is 'brutal', conveniently ignoring the fact that Sean, John, and Doug have all had only one one-on-one date and are still maintaining some semblance of sanity.
Doorbell! Date card! If it's a one-on-one, says Anthony Michael Jef, then we'll know the people who are going on the group date.
And vice versa, replies pink Sean. Encyclopedia Brown has nothing on this cadre of boy sleuths.
The date card is for pink Sean, single dad Doug, and...Chris. Who is DYING INSIDE. Just right then, to twist the knife a little, John comes back from his date and tells the bros that on a scale of 1 to 10, he'd rate his date as SUPER DUPER AWESOME. Chris teeters on the brink of madness.
Suddenly, out of the blue...pink Sean decides that he MUST SEE EMILY. He does not know where she is, but he will find her. ON THE STREETS OF PRAGUE. SOMEWHERE. SOMEHOW. He RUNS, and he RUNS, and he CALLS HER NAME, but Sean is a crappy actor so really it's more like he ambles around at a slightly-faster-than-walking gait and calls out "Emily" in sort of a half-hearted way. Spontaneity fail.
Finally, HE FINDS HER, just kinda chillin in a passageway, because I guess in addition to being forced to carry her own suitcases, Emily also has to walk home from dates alone. "Hey", says Emily, totally not surprised. "This is a nice surprise!" So then they go to a restaurant, which just HAPPENS to be open even thought there are no other customers, like maybe they kept it open past closing time with the POWER OF THEIR LOVE, and then they make out and Sean talks about how much he wants to marry Emily, and then they go outside and make out some more, and Sean presses Emily up against a wall and kisses her passionately, but none of the viewers are impressed because Arie totally already did that last week.
Then! It is time for the group date, and they're gonna RIDE A CARRIAGE, because isn't that something every guy dreams of? Riding in a carriage with two other dudes? Then they go to a castle, and everybody says a bunch of bullshit about how nice everyone else is, and it's so damn boring and I wish someone would just like, jump out of a helicopter or go ziplining or SOMETHING. Then Emily pulls Doug aside, and it's still boring, and they yammer on about wanting to get to know each other, without saying anything that will actually enable them to get to know each other, and without like, touching each other. At all. At this point, pretty much everybody else has shoved Emily against a while while passionately kissing her, so Doug is waaay behind.
So then Emily takes Doug outside, IN THE RAIN, and she's trying to break up with him for like, not touching her ever, but HE's thinking this is finally the huge, obviously, completely non-ignorable COME KISS ME YOU BIG DUMMY signal he's been waiting for all along, and he smooches her, while she is breaking up with him, and I think how people are hilarious and funny and awkward, and this is why I watch this show, not some bullshit about carriages and castles and getting to know you.
"Thank you for that", says Emily, and then she keeps breaking up with him. This woman is ruthless.
Doug boards the minivan of shame. He is bummed out. Emily stands in the rain and brushes away a few imaginary tears. Back to the party! Where Emily hands the surviving bachelors two keys, one of which will open the door to a special room for a one-on-one chat with her. Whose key opens the door? Definitely not Chris'. So Emily and pink Sean have a chat and are boring and blonde together while drunkeye Chris paces the roof and creeps closer and closer to the pits of insanity.
Finally Chris gets his coveted alone time with Emily, which is a perfect opportunity for him to act like a little bitch. He demands to know why Emily hasn't given him a one-on-one since like, four weeks ago, and she says something like, "you always make the best of things, and I love that about you", but this is bullshit and even Emily doesn't appear to believe it. Chris goes in to kiss her and she leans back so far she nearly falls of the back of the sofa. Clearly, Chris has made a grave error. He should know by now that the only acceptable subject for conversations with Emily is how wonderful Emily is.
Back together with her two swains, Emily rushes through her canned pre-rose speech before handing the date rose to Sean, to the surprise of absolutely no one. Except Chris. Who looks like he's going to murder someone. "Hey Chris" says Emily - "there was only one rose, so don't like, take it personally. Except for the part where I totally picked that other guy over you."
Chris is going to lose his mind.
So then the bros sit around in the hotel room and talk about their chances with Emily, or something, and I want to drink an entire bottle of tequila like SWEET HEAVENS WHY IS THIS SHOW TWO HOURS LONG. WHYYYYY.
For those of you not possessed of Sean's wonderfully incisive skills of deductive reasoning, the last one-on-one date is going to Anthony Michael Jef. Emily comes to pick him up, and he is wearing like, skinny jeans, and white sneakers, and an untucked plaid shirt, and his hair five inches high, and looks like some kind of middle-aged hipster lumberjack Justin Beiber. Yeah, like, imagine all that, and then imagine it worse, and that's what Jef's wearing. Good gosh, Jef, I thought I liked you. I need to drink more while watching this show.
Chris voiceovers something totally insane, like I guess that's pretty much all Chris does now. Followed by the black cloud of Chris' jealousy, Emily head over to some kind of marionette shop, where Jef makes a Michael Jackson marionette do a pretty good approximation of moonwalking, which I think means he is TOTALLY READY TO BE A DAD. Then Emily and Jef buy puppets that are supposed to like, represent themselves, like that's not weird at all, and then Jef goes back to the shop and picks up ANOTHER TINY PUPPET. FOR RICKI.
Then these two doofuses just like, 'find their way' into this gorgeous library, which looks just like the one from the greatest Disney movie of all time, and they decide to desecrate it by re-enacting their relationship, in puppet form. The puppet Bachelorette is even more painful to watch than the live-action version, if that were possible. Also, puppet-Jef has mismatched pantaloons and a moustache (which is very pretentious hipster puppet) but no skateboard (which is disappointing). "This whole thing has blown my wildest dreams out of the water," says real Jef, through the medium of puppet Jef, mixing about seventeen different metaphors. Does anyone else find it deeply weird that Jef can only express his feelings to Emily when talking to her through a wooden doll? It's like that episode of Sex and the City where Miranda's boyfriend told her he loved her on a cookie.
Emily talks to Jef about meeting his family. He once broke up with a girl because his family didn't like her. Ruh-roh.
Back at the hotel! Chris' mental breakdown continues. He's worried that he screwed up his alone time with Emily. Meanwhile, John WOLF gloats about his awesome date, like a big jerk. "I'd be pretty surprised if I don't get a rose," he says, taking another shot at Chris' perilously fragile sanity.
Meanwhile! In the library at the beast's castle, Emily and Jef lay on the floor together and talk about Serious Things. Neither of them believe in living together before marriage, and Jef is totally ready for kids. "I am completely head over heels for you. I want to date you so hard marry the f*ck out of you," says Jef, because he gets all of his sweet nothings from Pinterest.
Aaand...cocktail party! The rose ceremony tonight will be taking place in a creepy old mansion, which is the perfect backdrop for Chris' mental breakdown. And this shot of what I like to think of as 'godfather Jef'. Seriously, I'm getting some of those chairs for my living room. I think it will add just the right dose of obnoxious self-importance to all my interactions.
BUT! I guess ABC has wasted their money on this awesome creepy mansion, because Emily doesn't want to do a cocktail party. HER MIND IS MADE UP. I think as Chris Harrison delivers this news you can actually see Chris and his sanity parting ways. HE NEEDS TO TALK TO EMILY. John WOLF pretends to be concerned, but really he's like, "too bad, sucker! Because my date was FREAKING AWESOME." Dick. Also, I totally don't get this, because I saw John's date and it was totally lame. But, you know, whatever.
Rose ceremony! Chris delivers his speech. One of you will be going home tonight. And it's definitely either John or Chris.
Maybe Emily didn't want to have a rose ceremony because her dress looks like a very glamorous garbage bag. She has all her questions answered, she says. HER MIND IS MADE UP.
Pink Sean already has a rose, that smug asshole. The other ones go to:
Anthony Michael hipster puppet Jef
race car secret relationship fake drama Arie
Drunkeye Chris shifts nervously. Seventeen billion minutes of deliberation music plays. Planets turn on their axis. Stars are born, stars die. FINALLY, drunkeye INTERRUPTS THE ROSE CEREMONY. HE NEEDS TO TALK TO EMILY.
Chris, he tells Emily, is DYING INSIDE. Yesterday, he acted like a little man-bitch, and not a man-man. He WASTED HIS TIME WITH HER. He should not have complained when Emily clearly chose that other guy over him. He is falling in love with her. He does not want this to end.
BACK TO THE ROSE CEREMONY. Seventeen billion MORE minutes of deliberation music plays. Emily makes this face. Thinking is not her best look.
And the rose goes to...CHRIS. A for effort, drunkeye!
John WOLF is bummed. He's completely shocked, he's not gonna lie. But don't take it so hard, dude. There's always the never-ending bachelor-reject party circuit. And surely, somewhere out there in TV land is a woman who will be super attracted to the fact that you have nicknamed yourself WOLF.
NEXT WEEK: Emily makes the thinking face again. She does not want to hurt anyone. WHO WILL GO HOME BROKEN-HEARTED?