Could anything possibly top last week’s Bachelorette episode, with its Shakespeare butchery and “baggage” screamfest? We find out this week, when Emily and her remaining maybe-husbands head to Croatia. Emily’s finally daughter-free, and she’ll also get closer (make out) with the whole slew of dudes. I doubt that’s a coincidence.
Even though she can finally count her guys on two hands, Emily openly admits that she still has “no clue” about some of her “relationships” (here’s a clue: those aren’t called “relationships,” then) so she’s excited to investigate those mystery men in a highly orchestrated and supervised setting.
She makes a rare visit to her bro-harem to hand out the first date card of the week, and Ryan immediately marks his territory by peeing on her putting his arm around her. The card is for Travis, he of the symbolic and tragically smashed ostrich egg named SHELLY, and it reads, “Let’s look for love beyond the walls.” I think she means “beyond the pale.”
Date #1: Bouncing Off the Walls with Travis
Emily likes how Travis is sweet and has a good heart. (All together now: FRIEND ZZZZONE!) Another good thing about Travis is that he is funny. But a bad thing about Travis is that I don’t think he means to be. In fact, he strikes me as sort of a desperate weirdo (see: ostrich egg), and I don’t see their chemistry as they walk around Dubrovnik, Croatia, arm in awkward arm.
Via voiceover, Travis tells us that he used to be engaged, and it destroyed him when that ended. He means the weightloss supplement spokeswoman with whom he tried to get a reality show called Chasin’ Dreams with Lauren and Travis a few years back. So yes, that reality check must have been double-rough.
It’s yet another boring walk-around date. First, Emily and Travis walk to a local landmark: It’s a tiny step with a face on it, lodged in an ancient wall. Emily says that anyone who manages to stand up on the step facing the wall and take off his shirt (?) will be “lucky in love.” Travis succeeds in mounting the step, but keeps his shirt on, so Emily obviously wonders what he’s hiding under there. Maybe it’s a shred of dignity and privacy? That’s not what Emily is looking for (obviously), so Travis better step it up if he ever wants to mount HER step. Save your emails, because yes, “step” is totally a legitimate euphemism for lady parts.
Meanwhile, back in Broatia: Ryan is stewing in his own superiority while wearing some sort of man’s haltertop. Or is it an apron? Seriously, what the hell is this thing? Does Spanx make it?
Actually, it’s a special baby-bjorn that Ryan wears to carry around his extra-large ego.
Back on the date, Emily takes Travis to, like, her fourth private dinner in a creepy cave/dungeon. Travis opens up about his broken engagement, and says that it’s not that either of them did anything wrong (um… see: reality show called CHASIN’ DREAMZ), but it just “wasn’t right.” And since they broke up two years ago, Travis hasn’t gone on a single date … until now, when, coincidentally, his dream of being on reality TV was finally achieved. Emily’s eyes widen as they see the gigantic red flag raising above Travis’s head.
Meanwhile, back in Broatia: The group date card arrives, reads “Lasting love requires bravery.” You know what else lasting love requires? Not writing asinine hints on stupid note cards. The card is addressed to John, Doug, Sean, Jef, Chris and Arie. Which means that douchey Ryan is getting the other one-on-one date. GREAT. AWESOME. Ryan hustles off to shave his back, wait five minutes, and then shave it again.
I’ve probably been a little too hard on Travis. It’s not that I don’t believe him or like him, it’s just that he seems so naive. He is very adorable when he tells Emily that he loves her energy and she’s just his type. But that makes it all the harder when Emily picks up the rose and tells Travis what we all expected: She sees him as a friend, and doesn’t feel the romance. “I wanted so badly for that to happen,” she says, and promises that he didn’t do anything wrong. Except for how he wasn’t sexually interesting to her in any way. “Was it the egg?” Travis doesn’t ask, because he doesn’t have to. We all know it was the egg. At least in the beginning.
It’s raining out, but Travis dramatically throws his umbrella on the street as he walks away from Emily and his broken dreams. What’s the use, when his own eyeballs are creating a thunderstorm of sorrow on his face?
Aw, bye-bye Travis. I’m sorry that your heart ended up just like your egg: Smashed on the pavement by Emily in front of the whole world. But never give up on chasin’ those dreams. Off of TV, I would suggest.
Date #2: Shameless Product Placement with Arie, Doug, Sean, Jef, John and Chris
Emily takes the guys to a completely empty movie theater to watch Disney/Pixar’s new animated children’s movie, Brave. Did you know Disney owns ABC? Of course you did. And as long as they’ve got us hooked on this terrible show, they own our eyeballs too.
We are forced to watch out-of-context clips of this movie Brave, which looks, very un-Pixar-like, uhhh, not so good. Then, the men and Emily are forced to make connections between their current situation, which is a voluntary reality dating show populated by sad adults about finding a husband as quickly as possible, and the movie, which is about a young girl in a fantastical medieval kingdom who has to save her family/the kingdom/the world or some combination thereof. So, these situations are clearly very similar in every way. Like how they’re both about “finding your way in the world,” “changing your fate,” and other empty platitudes lifted directly from The Secret.
After the movie, Emily announces to the surprise of no one that since the movie had a competition called “The Highland Games,” the guys are going to compete in their OWN “Highland Games.” I didn’t see Brave, but I HAVE seen Highlander, so I hope that “Highland Games” is a mix between Highlander and The Hunger Games, and the guys will be chopping each other’s heads off until only one remains.
Because emasculating men whose masculinity is their only currency is Emily’s #1 turn-on, she forces them to put on kilts, which they immediately call skirts, and enter the Highland Games on donkeys. A mysterious bagpiper welcomes them to this fake competition thing inside of another fake competition thing. Clearly, the stakes are very high.
The first challenge is archery.Emily actually participates for once and hits the target. Most of the guys do, until it’s Chris’s turn. He has a weird and dainty archery stance, and everyone laughs at him, except Emily, who just frowns a lot. It’s like watching medieval Scottish gym class.
Chris misses the target by a ways, which, by the way everyone’s celebrating behind him, must mean he’s no longer husband material.
The next challenge is log throwing. As in throwing a log as far as you can and making sure it flips end over end. Emily might as well send them out into the wilderness with clubs to see who can bring her back the biggest mastodon for dinner. Eager to prove himself, Chris volunteers to go first, but is quickly DQ’ed because his log doesn’t flip all the way over. OH NO. He’s not even the funny or smart one, so where does that leave him? Meanwhile, over in Ye Olde Steroid Village, Sean is so strong that he literally BREAKS the log in half. Emily notices, and would like very much for Sean throw his log into her Highlands. But please, don’t break it.
The final challenge is like arm wrestling, but with a stick. Stick wrestling. The stick is Emily. Now positively DESPERATE to show a shred of strength, Chris chooses Doug and his huge-ass biceps as his opponent. So, of course, Chris loses the stick wrestling, and immediately worries that Emily won’t see him as sexually viable anymore and send him home.
But Emily takes pity upon him and gives Chris the “Bravery Award.” This is an actual award that she hands out, because this date wasn’t CHILDISH ENOUGH YET. Chris gets the Bravery Award, brought to you by Disney/Pixar’s BRAVE rated PG in theaters June 22, because he “tried and gave it his best.” The other guys are angry because they thought the point of the Highland Games was to win, not to be “brave” enough to overestimate and overshoot their own abilities. What they forgot is that it doesn’t bother Emily to make someone feel better when he fails at everything. She’s very used to that from being a mom. Also because she used to date Brad Womack.
At the Highland Games Afterparty, the men are allowed to wear pants again — physically. Emotionally, Emily’s still wearing the pants around here. She and Arie take a walk together to try and regain the ground they lost last week, when Emily was angry that he didn’t “protect” her by whistleblowing on Kalon fast enough. Emily and Arie dramatically make out against a stone wall. It’s probably not the same wall where she shamed Travis for not taking off his shirt yesterday, but let’s pretend that it is.
Back in Broatia: Ryan is home alone, and gets his one-on-one date card. It reads, “The world is our oyster,” because if there’s one thing Ryan needs, it’s a bigger sense of entitlement. Then we are treated to a wonderful montage of Ryan’s expertise in the field of being terrible. For example, he owns bright blue suede loafers, enjoys meticulously shaving his beard into an homage to Seneca Crane, and claims that he wakes up every morning and asks himself, “Who do you want to be today?” The weird thing is that EVERY MORNING he answers, “A complete and utter douchebag,” and yet he just keeps asking!
Oh, good grief. I really want to like one-F Jef, but he keeps saying unbelievably cheesy things. Tonight, he tells Emily that she gives him the “kind of feeling that people write novels about.” You know, like those romance novels you can buy 3-for-a-dollar at gas stations. She asks why it took so long for him to kiss her, and Jef says he was “scared.” Unless she liked that he waited, in which case it was all part of his elaborate plan to be the “slow and steady wins the race” guy. But now that they finally kissed last week, Jef’s falling hard and fast … into her mouth … AND her heart. As they make out, we can see just how much taller his hair is that hers.
Are you for real?
The L-word is flying fast and frequent tonight, with Chris being the next guy to attempt to emotionally manipulate Emily into giving him the date rose by saying that he’s kinda sorta starting to maybe fall in love with her. To go along with his Bravery Award, Emily gives Chris the group date rose because he is one of the “kindest, sweetest, most handsome men” she’s ever met. So … to each her own, I guess? I would have given it to Arie. ALL of it.
Date #3: Futilely Seeking Pearls with Ryan
As Ryan prepares for his second one-on-one by shaving the tree trunk pretending to be his neck, the other guys are deeply troubled that Emily has chosen to spend more private time with this public a**hole. Also, his vanity is disturbing. “He shaves his legs and plucks his finger hairs and stuff. It’s weird,” says Chris. Maybe he is just worried about leaving DNA evidence.
When Emily comes to pick up Ryan for their date, the other guys just sit back and swallow their own vomit as he tries to be smooth, but utterly fails.
“The world is our pearl,” he opines, then corrects himself. “… Wait, no. The world is our oyster. Right? And you’re the pearl. I wanna put you on a necklace and wear you around my massive neck like the pretty little brainless pearl you are. Before we go, why dontcha go in there and make me a sandwich for the road?” Basically, Ryan IS Gaston, except NO ONE is awed and inspired by him, and it’s very easy to see why.
Before the date’s even started, Emily can’t decide if she hates or loves him. She keeps calling him “trouble,” and rolling her eyes when he says and does stupid things, which is almost constantly. I think she wants to hate-f*ck him, but is too polite to say so.
They board a boat to eat fresh oysters, then get yelled at by a random old guy who shoves a picture of himself as a young man in their faces. It’s weird, but at least Ryan’s not talking for a brief moment.
My favorite/the weirdest thing about Ryan is that he is extremely upfront about some of his worst qualities. Because he thinks they are his best qualities. For example, when they sit down on a random bench to, I don’t know, drink a whole bottle of wine, Ryan tells Emily, “I want a trophy wife, and you would make a great trophy.” Her face does that horrified frowny thing where you realize that you deeply hate someone’s insides, but you’re so attracted to their outsides that you’re willing to deal with it. But you better get EFFING WASTED to see it through. You know what I’m talking about.
At dinner, talk once again immediately turns to trophy wives. Why not! Obviously there’s nothing else worth ever talking about, and Emily loves it. Why else would she sign up for a TV show that asks her to literally be the trophy for the guy who wins?
Shockingly, even though all her decisions point to the contrary, and even though she looks like a Barbie doll who’s never been let out of the box, Emily finds the idea of being a “trophy wife” disgusting. But she’s too lame to just come out and say this, and Ryan is too wrapped up in himself to notice that her face is saying it for her.
OH BOY. Then Ryan pulls a piece of paper out of his pocket, and it’s a list of 12 qualities that he’s looking for in a wife. Just some stuff he was thinking about while he trimmed his ear hair earlier that day. The qualities include: Loyal (won’t question him), Logical (won’t have the emotional intelligence to see through him), Trustworthy (won’t betray him, even though she should), Unselfish (will serve him), “a servant” (just, LITERALLY, will serve him), Beautiful (beautiful), a sexy personality (slutty), and loves to “catch his eye” (initiates the sluttiness). I didn’t catch all of the qualities, but they follow a pretty obvious theme, and I’m sure there is a gorgeous, subservient blow-up doll out there who will make Ryan very, very empty someday.
Emily delicately tells Ryan that when she’s around him, she feels a lot of pressure to be “perfect,” and she’s not here to fit into somebody’s mold. Then again, he’s “one of the best-looking guys she’s ever seen,” and he’s a “great kisser,” which happen to be two qualities on her list. WHAT TO DO?
After a long speech about how they’re not looking for the same thing, Emily says that she can’t give Ryan the rose. As she says this, there is legitimate FEAR in her eyes, much like when Reese Witherspoon tried to break up with Mark Wahlberg in the aptly named FEAR. Ryan’s eyes say that if she doesn’t pin that rose on him, HE WILL hold her family hostage and kill her dog.
Clearly, Ryan isn’t the kind to just roll over and accept rejection. “That is very, very shocking,” he says sternly. He tells her that she is making the wrong choice, then almost threateningly asks/demands that she give him a chance to “show her the man that he is.” Is there some sort of Date Rape Watch List we can add this guy to? NO MEANS NO.
Except, maybe “no” means “maybe” with Emily. She just sits there, holding the rose in her hand and wavering on the brink of giving in. NOOO, EMILY!!! Don’t do it! Listen to your heart and brain! You know, those things inside the plastic!
Back in Broatia: The rest of the guys hope and pray that Ryan will get eliminated. Chris thinks he will stay, because Ryan is nothing if not a great salesman. Arie thinks he will go, because he has faith in the fact that Emily will make a good decision. It’s a real brain half full, brain half empty scenario. WHO’S RIGHT? We’re about to find out…
Back on the date, Ryan keeps talking about how “shocked” he is that they (he) have so much fun together, yet she’s not willing to see it through. Now she sees what an insufferable brick wall he REALLY is, Emily questions herself and says she’s “not sure” how she feels. She’s on the verge of tears. She wants to “trust her heart,” but sometimes it just doesn’t make sense. Ryan just stares at her, attempting to bore into her very SOUL for that rose. “I don’t know … if I’m the one to make you happy,” she says unconvincingly, and then she blames HERSELF and her own insecurity for feeling that way. Good effing grief. At least she holds firm in her conviction NOT to give Ryan the rose.
It’s not you. It’s me. And how much me hates you.
“I hate the fact that what I’m hearing you say is that you wouldn’t make me happy,” Ryan says. I hate that even though she rejected him, she still let him feel better than her. Emily is very distraught to have done the completely right thing, and that is a great testament to Ryan’s disturbing powers of manipulation. Just to rub things in and make them more confusing, Emily hugs him goodbye by saying that she’s definitely NOT confident in this decision. Ryan says, “You’re making the wrong choice,” squeezes her hard enough to crack a rib, and walks off in search of a homeless guy to murder. As he walks, he wonders how shocked the other guys must be to see his luggage go. We don’t have to wonder, because we get to watch: They are elated, and high-five and dance around as the crew takes his bags away. Jef says that he’s “proud” of Emily for being able to see through Ryan’s B.S. But does it really count if she turned rejecting him into a way to criticize herself?
It’s not long before the hardest-working ego in reality television finds a way to spin this to Ryan’s advantage. As he rides away in the SUV of Rejection, Ryan says that even some of “the world’s greatest men” have found themselves down and out, and now he is among them. It must be so hard for Ryan to flush the toilet, since even his sh*ts are miracles from heaven.
Then, because it has to happen at least once every season, Arie “surprises” Emily at her rental house because he wants to make sure she’s alright after letting Ryan go. A flimsy excuse to sneak out and get some extra time, but since it’s Arie, we’ll allow it. They cuddle in her bed, and Arie diplomatically says that he’s happy that she’s “such a good judge of character,” because Ryan wouldn’t be a good husband … for her. Emily is all smiles just to be in Arie’s presence. She says that “next week is going to be fun” (giving it away that he’ll get a rose tomorrow), and then, just so he knows exactly how she feels, offers Arie the rose that Ryan didn’t get. I like it. Until the cameraman gets too close-up on their kiss, and then I don’t like it.
Ahhhhh back up back up back up!!!
Emily says that she’s really happy with Arie and feels everything with him that she didn’t with Ryan. They make out some more, and not even a camera jammed up in their faces can distract them from their burgeoning love. Even though he’s forced to leave before any clothes come off, Arie declares, “I could ask that girl to marry me TOMORROW,” and appears to mean it.
So. Here’s how the numbers game works tonight. Both of the guys on the one-on-ones went home, which leaves six guys left, and Emily has five roses to hand out. Doug and John are “on the bubble,” she tells us, so she’s using this party to decide which of them should stay or go.
All of the guys constantly think they’re on the bubble, so when it’s John’s turn to sit down with Emily, even if he doesn’t REALLY know that she’s testing him, he acts as though she is. For once, this kind of desperate paranoia is founded and effective. John’s dramatic last-ditch effort with Emily tonight is to connect over death. He shows her his grandparents’ funeral cards, which he carries around everywhere he goes, and says that his grandfather is his “guardian angel.” Emily now feels like she can relate to John, and kisses her seal of approval onto his face.
Then it’s Doug’s turn, and he’s acting extremely awkward. Emily has to force him to put his arm around her, and flat-out tells him that he needs to “pursue” her in order to stick around. He’s the only one who hasn’t stuck his tongue down Emily’s throat yet, and he’s sweating it. Hard. The more Emily tries to force him to be sexually aggressive and confident, the more he cowers and kills the romance. That’s why they call him “Erectile Dysfunction Doug.” I mean “Humble Doug.”
It is quite sad, because Doug does seem to be one of the better guys here. He is very sweet and sensitive. And when talking to the camera, Doug breaks down in tears about how much he misses his son.
“He’s a great guy.” Aww, Humble Doug!
Um, well then, I guess, don’t worry, Doug? Because you’ll probably see him very soon.
Chris has his pity rose. And the rest go to…
So that leaves one rose to hand out, and as promised, Doug and John to fight over it. Emily picks up the rose but then turns around and walks out of the room. She finds Chris Harrison, just chattin’ about nothin’ with a producer in the middle of a cobbled street. Emily says that she doesn’t know what to do. Chris says that there are no rules here, so if she doesn’t want to hand out the last rose, she doesn’t have to. She hands the rose to Chris. It’s all very staged and fishy.
Emily comes back to the rose ceremony and says that she can’t hand out the final rose … BECAUSE THEY BOTH GET TO STAAAAAY-AAAAAAY! (Imagine that in Oprah voice.)
Chris returns with a new platter (LOL) with two roses on it and says cheesily, “Here’s that extra rose you asked for!” So everyone wins! I mean, temporarily. And except for Travis and Ryan.
Emily gives roses to both John and Doug, and Doug looks so relieved and grateful to have another week away from his son, pursuing the hand of a woman who has to force him to touch her.
Next week: Emily and the final six go to Prague, and Chris will continue to play the sad sack, next week by crying and asking for a last second tete-a-tete with Emily. PLUS, the show is going to openly address how Arie used to date Bachelor producer Cassie Lambert. How weirdly open of this show! How do you think Emily will react when she finds out?
(Images courtesy of ABC)