First! We get introduced to all the women Sean is ostensibly Falling For, cuz I guess the producers do not trust us to remember these women from oh, last week. So we get these little bits where Sean talks about the women and what he likes about them. It is a little bit like the intro packages you used to get in the Baby Sitters Club, except no one is wearing a zany striped men's button-down shirt and parrot earrings they made themselves, and that is sad.
To jog your memory, there is Catherine, the fun one, AshLee, the super-serious adopted one, and Lindsay, the other one. Sean likes about Catherine that she is 'nerdy' and 'weird'. Sean does not know what either of these words mean. He also likes that Catherine is silly and fun. And that they make out a lot. Sean thinks AshLee has 'amazing qualities', which sounds like something you would say about a job applicant. He thinks she's 'inspirational' and 'strong' and can see them living in Dallas in a 'nice little house, with kids runnin around, my latest kill roasting on the fire, and my little wife, massaging my feet." And then there's Lindsay! Lindsay is special. Sean and Lindsay have a 'spark', which is exactly what he said about Catherine, but their spark has grown into a 'massive flame'. Which sounds like something you should get checked out. Sean thinks Lindsay is 'generous' (this is spliced over footage of them making out) and that he could see himself marrying her.
Sean is totally in love with all these women. He says. Sean leans dejectedly on the edge of a pool. This shit is hard.
First fantasy date! In THAILAND, the most romantic place on earth, more romantic even than Canada or that island from last week whose name we have already forgotten. (Aside: why doesn't the Bachelor ever go to South America? What's wrong with like, Machu Pichu or Tierra del Fuego? Aren't those romantic?)
The first date is with Lindsay. Sean is wearing a shirt that is exactly the same color as he is. "Are you adventurous when it comes to trying new foods?" Sean asks. "I am," replies Lindsay. "Except that I won't eat a bug."
You've made a huge mistake.
So of course they go to a market, and of course they find a stall selling bugs, because Sean is a horrible man. He wants Lindsay to eat a bug, to test her love or some shit. "They're bugs," says Lindsay, quite reasonably. But then she gives in, because being on this show is a relentless attack on all your better judgment. This is Lindsay's bug-eating face:
And since that was so fun, Sean makes her eat an even bigger bug. Love means never refusing to do disgusting things.
What twisted thing will Sean think of next? Feeding monkeys! On a beach! Sean tells Lindsay she's he's best friend, and then they make out. While the monkeys watch. Lindsay voiceovers that she has not yet told Sean that she loves him, introducing an excruciating storyline that will last for the next several minutes.
At dinner, Sean quizzes Lindsay about whether she would be cool with moving to Dallas. (Hey, show! Why is it always the women who have to move? What's up with that?) Lindsay is totally ready to move to Dallas and start their life together. Sean thinks that would be 'fun'. Gee, thanks Sean.
And just when Lindsay is about to drop the big L bomb on Sean, these traditional dancers come and ruin the mood. And then there's Chris Harrison and his stupid fantasy suite card.
Sean and Lindsay,
Welcome to the majestic country of Thailand. Look Sean, I know you got revirginized or whatever, but that's really bad for business. Say whatever you need to make your parents happy, but at least leave a little to the imagination. People need to imagine that someone is gettin' it on. That's why they watch this show.
So Sean is like "yes?" and Linsday is like "YES." This fantasy suite is kinda lame, though. It looks like a hotel room with a complimentary bottle of champagne. Sean tells Lindsay that she is compassionate, and loving, and could be his best friend. Whoa whoa whoa. Hold the phone. COULD? Didn't Sean just tell Lindsay like, five minutes ago that she was already his best friend? I really thought Lindsay was the one to win it, but I dunno. Between the coulds and the crappy fantasy suite, it is not looking so good. That's doesn't keep Lindsay from finally dropping the l bomb on Sean. Sean makes this face:
and then kisses her, rather chastely. The tongue tells all! Things are not looking good for our friend Lindsay.
ASHLEe date! Ashlee is wearing white shorts, and she looks perfect in them. I kind of hate anyone who can wear white shorts. AshLEE thinks life with Sean would be 'a lifetime of unexpected adventures.' Thus far it is shaping up to be a lifetime of distinctly unpromising body language.
Speaking of unexpected adventures! The boat stops. ASHlee and Sean are going to a private beach... but they have to swim through a CAVE to get to it. Uh-oh.
The cave is scary. But not as scary as ASHLEe's incessant metaphors. Swimming through a cave is like taking a risk! For LOVE. It's dark, and wet, and terrifying, and sometimes if you take a wrong turn you die.
But aShLeE and Sean do not die. They find the light at the end of the tunnel. It is the light of their LOVE. "I love feeling like I am AshLee's protector," says Sean, creepily. Come with me, little woman! I will guide you through this scary cave into the secluded beach of my love!
Dinnahtime! Sean thinks Ashlee is Incredible. Ashlee thinks Sean is Amazing. Sean says: "I love that you know... you know the qualities that I possess, and the qualities that are good for you that I possess, and you know that you want those in your life, and I just...I love that."
Hannah and Vicki and I puzzled over this a long time, and in the end we concluded that Sean is saying something like "what I love about you is all the things you love about me." It is the worst compliment ever. "Thank you," says AshLEE. She may not be quite following.
Sean continues to shower vague praise on AshleE, like, if I propose, that means I want to marry you, or something, and AshlEE continues to eat it up. Fantasy suite card time! AshLEE and Sean take several minutes of screen time to make it very, very clear that they are not about to bang each other. Sean just wants to stay up with her all night. Just talking! The more they talk about it, the creepier it seems.
Ashlee's fantasy suite is slightly better than Lindsay's. But only slightly. Ashlee and Sean reminisce about the last two weeks of their relationship, and her stepping out of the limo, and blah blah blah. "I felt really confident that this was gonna work out." says Sean. "Even way back then." With that said, AshLEE would like Sean to know exactly what kind of engagement ring she wants. Giant cushion-cut diamond, surrounded by other slightly less giant diamonds. "It's good to know that you know what you want," sez Sean. Uncomfortable laugh. This is not a good sign.
ashLEE thinks that Sean has "literally healed her broken heart." YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT THAT WORD MEANS.
Catherine and Sean's date is floating around in a boat. And doing scary things to make her trust him! No, just kidding. Apparently Catherine doesn't have to do scary things. If I ate a bug and then I saw this date, I would be pissed. Sean's worried that he and Catherine don't have the same life goals. Catherine insists she is ready for commitment. But not, apparently, ready to make eye contact with Sean when she talks.
Then they jump off the boat, which is like jumping into a RELATIONSHIP, and then they go snorkeling, and then there's a storm approaching, which is kind of scary, I guess, and then they kiss in the rain and Sean's tongue makes its first appearance and that is way scarier than eating a bug. But the tongue has spoken, and the tongue has chosen Catherine. If the editing monkeys are to be believed.
So scary, but it's hard to look away.
Dinnahtime! Catherine points out that the fact that Sean isn't allowed to say anything definitive to her doesn't exactly make it easier for her to open up. "I can tell you that I could see myself marrying you," says Sean, like this is supposed to get Catherine all riled up. Catherine seems a little unimpressed. Then Sean and Catherine burn up several minutes of screen time making it suuuuper clear that they are totally not gonna bang in the fantasy suite. Yeah yeah yeah. We get it.
Catherine's fantasy suite is the best, because it has a pool. Catherine can't believe that she's with Sean, cuz he's like sooo hot and she's just like this weird girl. Wait, what? What universe does this conversation take place in? Catherine is totally hot. Then some pretty intense kissing. In the pool! The tongue has spoken.
So at this point, the fantasy dates are over. The episode is almost over, right? Hahaha NO. Because we need to watch like, three hours of Sean's angsty deliberation. Actually, I realize as I fast-forward past some prime Chris Harrison bits (sorry, Chris! also, the phrase 'Chris Harrison bits' is icky) that we are actually just watching Sean yammer about how sorry he is to let the third girl go. Since he's already made his decision. Wait, what are we watching?
Then we watch Sean angstily look at pictures for like another two hours. Wait, didn't you just tell us you knew who you were going to send home? Like FIVE MINUTES AGO? The Bachelor producers think we are complete idiots. Sean watches ridiculous 'video messages' from all the women. He appears to tear up as he watches each one, but <conspiracy theory> we never actually see his face and the video in the same frame. Meaning: Sean could've cried while watching say, Lindsay's video, and they spliced that footage next to footage of Ashley's video. Or, you know, Sean is just a hopeless wimp.
Finally! Rose ceremony. Finally. Sean is so honored to have seen one of the most beautiful parts of the world with three of the most beautiful women he has ever met. Two of whom he will dump in the next week or so. Without further ado, roses go to...
Seriously, that pause was two minutes long. I timed it. I could've listened to this video of Taylor Swift singing with a goat four times.
This is Catherine's "geez, get this over with already" face:
And this is ASHlee's "gimme that rose or I'll cut you" face:
Is Sean having difficulty making the final call on the TOUGHEST DECISION OF HIS LIFE? Or is he just at a complete loss as to what to do because Chris Harrison isn't there to tell him? It's hard to be certain if this is, in fact, the last rose.
Finally Sean calls a name. It is...
AshLee's face grows more terrifying by the moment. She is the most beautiful and most terrible woman ever. Her eyes are like daggers and her thoughts are like steely arrows aimed straight at Sean's heart. AshLee turns to leave. Sean turns to walk her out. I think he might've peed himself a little.
"She's pissed." says Lindsay. She is a quick one.
Outside, AshLee wants to depart in stony silence, but Sean wants to like, explain himself or some shit. Here is what he says:
"I thought it was you from the very beginning. I felt like our relationship was... there was a lot of intensity there, and this was honestly the hardest decision I've ever had to make."
Wow. Cool explanation, bro.
Sean tries to say more things, but it's difficult to understand what he says because he's having trouble opening his mouth all the way. Probably he's worried that something even more asinine will come out and AshLee will hit him. Fear can do strange things to a man. My favorite part of this exchange is that throughout the whole thing AshLee says NOTHING. Not a word. The woman is STONE COLD.
In the limo: "This wasn't a GAME to me. That wasn't about LAUGHTER, and JOKING, and having FUN." AshLee continues to be very beautiful, and very scary. Pointy reckonings. Pointy reckonings for everyone.
Back at the... whever the hell he is, Sean sits on a bench and mopes. Ugh, what a twerp.
Back in the limo! Ashlee is finally crying, so the producers can stop driving her around in circles for hours. Stay strong, AshLee! Now you can find a man who truly loves you, and who also has visible eyebrows.
Next week on the Bachelor! Ugh, some stupid clip show. Lemme guess: everyone still hates TIERRA. Chris is a smarmy douche, like he always is. Do I really have to watch this?
The week after that! Sean makes his FINAL DECISION in the single most excruciating television event of your life. You won't want to miss it.