Tonight on The Bachelorette: Ashley is still being that “friend” we all have whom we warned not to get involved with a douchebag, and then she got her heart broken, and now she expects endless listening and sympathy from us, like we didn’t warn her in the first place. It makes me want to roundhouse kick an ice sculpture of her face. But, finally, tonight Ashley gets closure (even if ABC will NEVER let us have any), as Bentley arrives in Hong Kong to finally put the metaphorical “period” on their grammatically and emotionally disabled relationship. Oh, and Ashley will go on a couple dates with some scraps of chopped liver whom we know as “the other guys.”
Hong Kong? More like Hong DONKEY Kong! Because Bentley’s an ass, get it? I’m so tired of talking about this/him, you guys. Sooo tired of it. I’m at the end of my joke-rope. Please go easy on me, and I’ll try to go easy on you by only giving you the good stuff in the rest of this recap. (Well, I still have to mention Lucas’s date, but BESIDES THAT, only good stuff!)
THIS IS MY IMPRESSION OF ASHLEY INTRODUCING TONIGHT’S RECAP: “I’m sorry but, um, I just wanted to tell you how strongly I feel about how great this recap that Meghan wrote is, and now that I’ve told you that I feel like we can finally move forward.” GOOD GOD ASHLEY, IT’S JUST A RECAP. GET IT TOGETHER! “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean it that way, my words come out wrong!” You’re a mess, so I’m taking over. RECAP STARTS NOW:
THE RETURN OF BENTLEY
[Right click, open new tab, hit play, then come back.]
Ashley arrives in Hong Kong, which is bustling and colorful, and a metaphor for how she is numb and distracted while she remains hung up on Bentley. (Also by being in a three-month isolation dating experiment; she hasn’t had a phone or seen a computer in over a month.) The world is literally passing her by!
“Not to be racist, but everyone in Hong Kong is so … blurry.”
OK, so we’ve been talking about this for close to a month, so let’s skip the part with Chris Harrison where he tells her that Bentley is in Hong Kong and she says “SHUT! UP!” like a surprised Clueless character and get to good stuff.
Ashley goes to Bentley’s room. You know it’s serious because there’s no music. She’s wearing one of her 50 gauzy button-up shirts that she wears when she wants to feel like a grown up. She knocks on the door, and he says, “Who is it?” like a dick, and she says, “It’s meeee” like a sad little girl, and then they hug and kiss hello. Yuck. Does anyone have any tips for how to get barf chunks out of a keyboard? I’m trying to hold it in, but it’s SO HARD with Bentley making awkward jokes about how he flew to Hong Kong because he wanted to see Ashley so badly. When she’s finally ready to cut the gross small talk and get to business, the start of their conversation goes like this:
A: After you left, I had a really, really hard time.
B: Was it fun, though?
WHAT AN IDIOT! I hate him so much. That was verbatim. Then, the rest of the conversation basically goes like this [SUMMARIZED FOR YOUR/MY SURVIVAL’S SAKE]:
Ohhhhhhh, I get it now. You’re full of sh*t.
The slightly longer version:
A: I missed you.
B: I missed “this” and you and being here. Mostly those first and last things. My face looks like a constipated caveman.
A: You told me to call you and come to Salt Lake City if things didn’t work out on this dating show, like that would ever happen, and that’s not fair because I had a gut feeling about you and I believe in fate and please just put me out of my misery, please please please I love you I mean WHAT I’m sorry please.
B: You should do your best with what you have here, whatever that means, pretty sure it means literally nothing because all my brain functioning goes toward scowling.
A: So this is our period. [Ed. note: HAHAHAHA!] Why didn’t you just call like a normal human and not the toad-pig you are?
B: My mission was to get a free vacation using your tears as my personal frequent flier miles. Also I’d love it if no woman in America ever wanted to see me naked again.
A: Well, mission a-F*CKING-ccomplished!
B: [His over-pronounced browbone slowly folds over his eyes and melts into his cheeks, exposing the devil horns growing out of his lower forehead]
A: It’s hot in here.
B: Well it’s definitely not me.
So, after getting her period from Bentley (Ha, gross! I’m 10 years old), Ashley leaves and says, “If you’re watching this Bentley, f*ck you, I’m done with you.” Which is great! It would have been greater if she punched him in the face until his eyes actually did disappear like they did in my dramatization, but that is still great that she’s moving on. Now if only she’d let US do the same!
Date #1: ANOTHER effing market date with Lucas
Date card: “Let’s find our good fortune on the streets of Hong Kong.”
Lucas is like if you mixed a dad and Brad Womack. He’s Dad Womack: Southern, country, a little hot-tempered but mostly boring. So far, anyway. We haven’t really seen him these last few weeks. I thought he’d be a two or three episode guy, not a six episode guy! What does Ashley see in him? It’s time to find out.
He and Ashley walk around Hong Kong holdin’ hands, talkin’ ’bout fishin’ and watching some kooky street performers. The chemistry is about as dead as the pig intestine they eat in the market.
For dinner, they get on a red-sailed junk ship and go out into the bay to see the skyline. Lucas hopes for a dance, a kiss and a rose, but instead he gets Ashley’s masterful first-date interrogation skills. She asks him about the hardest thing he’s ever been through, and he says his divorce. He says, “it just wasn’t meant to be, and I believe in that. Everything literally happens for a reason.” Lucas believes that God put Lucas in Hong Kong on a pirate ship for a reason, and that reason is to get a dance, a kiss and a rose from this young lady! God is playing some Mad Libs with Lucas’s life, apparently.
Back at the hotel: Ryan’s creepy Cheshire cat smile is really jonesing for a one-on-one, and Blake still hates him so much. The date card reads, “Ryan, Mickey, Constantine, Ben F., Ames and Blake. Let’s get our hearts racing.” So JP got another one-on-one, and Ryan and Blake got screwed, but they were never going to win this anyway, so who cares. Yay JP! YAY-P!
“I’m in a great mood today! So do you want this? I’m just givin’ em away!”
Back on the date: “You’re just, like, a real guy.” That’s Ashley’s current criteria for a future husband, so Lucas gets the rose. Then Ashley says she likes Lucas because he makes her “feel like a woman.” (A “real guy”? “Feel like a woman”? Do you guys think there’s ANY WAY Ashley could actually be a robot?) Well, I feel like a robot. A powering-down robot, because I’m bored and tired of this date. It’s even boring when they push their mouths together! And there weren’t even any pirates on their pirate ship date. What a bust.
At least Ashley is feeling all refreshed and positive, though: “I think I’m on my way to finding my husband here.” Now that her Bentley blockage is gone, she’s sure that one of these square pegs is bound to fit into her round hole! (Her metaphorical “HUSBAND” hole. In her HEART. Don’t be gross, you guys.)
Date #2: Dragon Boat Racing with Mickey, Ames, Ryan, Blake, Constantine and Ben
Ashley is wearing another tied shirt. I bet her wedding dress will have a midriff bearing bow in the front. This date is like an episode of Legends of the Hidden Temple. The guys are broken up into teams of two, and each team gets a color and cool name! Blake and Ryan are the Red Dragons, Ames and Mickey are the Black Bandits, and Constantine and Ben F. are … the Blue Condors? Or something? In my mind, they’re the Josh Grobans, because they look like each other and also like Josh Groban. The teams must venture out into the city and find at least eight strangers willing to row the bay with them in hopes of winning the Dragon Boat Race, and thus Ashley’s undying devotion.
Blake and Ryan/”the Red Dragons”: Blake is stuck with Ryan because he hates him the most, and that’s reality TV for “COMEDY GOLD.” Ryan finds a stranger named “Domino” willing to translate for them, and they find a team without Blake murdering Ryan, so they’ve already won before the race, in a way.
Ames and Mickey/”the Black Bandits”: They’re going for quality, not quantity, and find lots of strong men who are already on racing teams to join them. Ames knows to do this because he once spent a summer in Hong Kong dragon boat racing, probably. Being rich sounds awesome, I can’t wait!
Ben and Constantine/”the Josh Grobans”: All the Asians are scared of the Josh Grobans in bandanas, so they just pick up homeless dudes and abduct some teenagers until they get to the minimum eight participants, and then spend the rest of their time trying on fancy red kimonos, which they buy so that if they lose (they will), at least they’ll lose in (Richard Simmons at the spa) style.
This looks like a high-concept Halloween costume, like “What do you mean you don’t get it? We’re that lesbian couple from that movie, in that one scene where they do yoga? You know?”
But Constantine and Ben’s cheesiness is at least funny and ironic and exhibited out of sheer “eff this stupid, pointless date, let’s just have fun, bro” apathy, versus Ryan’s creepy evangelical smile and motivational speaker tone, like when he’s all, “This is Team Tsing Li, it means “victory,” ha-yuck, ha-yuck!”
THE RACE: Ames and Mickey go at it with the focus and determination of OCD serial killers.
Ryan gets all his energy from the sun and might have been able to solar-power them to victory if he didn’t have grumpy Blake dragging him down. Ben and Constantine hold down the rear, where they learn their chant, which they hoped meant “eat it,” actually means “idiot,” which Ben LOVES because he honestly couldn’t give a care about any of this. And that is why I LOVE him! The Grobans sing “row, row, row your boat” and make up buddy-cop banter for the movie they’re going to write when they get home and have sleepovers together: “We’re getting smoked.” “Like salmon, bro!” THAT’S GOING ON THE POSTER!
THE WINNER: Ames and Mickey, aka “the Black Bandits,” obviously. Ames crosses the finish line with dramatic rigor and grace, like he’s run 36 marathons before, which oh yeah, he has. THEIR PRIZE: A trophy that looks like the centerpiece at every Chinese restaurant table.
Then, as Ashley sits down and debriefs the guys, a couple (of actors she paid to sit near them on the beach) gets engaged! “What are the chances!” says the desperate woman who’s very, very terrible at inception. Ashley, they’re AWAKE. They know what you’re doing. “Whoooo’s next???” she says as her perfectly manicured hand involuntarily rises toward her face, pointer finger extended, hopeful and pleading.
At their dragon boat races after-party, Ashley is feeling fantastic, and the guys notice her raging good vibe. Ames is wearing two shirts: a blue polo underneath a blue button-down. What!
“I’m blue, if I was poor I would die…”
That is preposterous! He is literally overflowing with blue blood! He steals Ashley away to make out in the elevator, and she’s like “WHOA, AMES,” but she’s into it. They touch tongues until they get to the 48th floor, whereupon Ames bows and jumps out of sight until it’s time for Ashley’s next lesson.
Ben is dressed like a kid on Easter Sunday, and it’s cute. It’s his turn to make out with Ashley, and her happy kisses have got him hooked! He says, “I am on the path to love. Who woulda thunk it? The biggest skeptic of all. [points to self] This guy.” And then: “The walls are down, and if that means I get crushed in the end, so be it. At the same time, if I end up with a girl that I love, that would be a dream come true.” Maybe he couldn’t have given a sh*t about the race earlier because he was busy giving a whole truckload of them about Ashley!
What would you get if you mixed Will Schuester’s creep-factor with Ned Flanders’ cheesiness? Yes, it’s Ryan, whose shirt is far too unbuttoned, and who sticks his tongue out in a super-gross way as he begs Ashley for a one-on-one. I loathe him so. Naturally, Ashley is on her way to loving him.
On behalf of my psychological need to be wrong about everyone, will you accept this rose?
Then he says “hush” to her flattery when she gives him the rose, just to be the biggest, cheesiest dweeb alive. I’m having Jake Pavelka flashbacks. RUN AWAY, ASHLEY, BEFORE HE ACCUSES YOU OF UNDERMINING HIM!
Date #3: Dinner with JP
What? Just dinner? Oh well, we take what we can get with JP, who is such a gem, and who’s so head over heels for Ashley that he tells her the truth when she asks about the last time he cried: When he and his ex broke up. “It took a while for my heart to catch up to my brain,” he says. Ashley loves everything about JP. “He is the total package for me.” The question is: When will she find a way to screw this one up?
Ohhhh, right now. Ashley feels “so strongly” for JP that she decides she needs to tell him about Bentley’s visit. So JP gets to sit through another date where Ashley talks about another guy, but at least this talk is about how she doesn’t want to talk about him ever again. Ashley explains she’s telling JP about her newfound closure because she likes him so much. JP thanks her for her honesty and says he never wants her to be afraid to tell him anything. I think Ashley only told JP because JP is the only guy who matters! What a doll. He gets the rose, and Ashley calls him by his full name: “Jordan Paul.” What a fun little fact for you fan-girls out there.
This is all I have to left to believe in, and The Bachelorette knows it.
Then they share some REAL kisses up at some lookout point, and JP comes out of the date a truly smitten kitten: “I am now more emotionally attached than I’ve ever been. Things are perfect. We’re on the right track. I’m completely blown away by how I’m feeling. I’m crazy about her.” SHUT IT DOWN! (I wish.) WE HAVE A WINNER. (I hope.)
COCKTAIL PARTY and ROSE CEREMONY
Ashley is wearing her favorite figure skating outfit, and she’s feelin’ great! Great enough to ruin the entire night almost immediately: “Hey, do you guys remember when Bentley left?” IF ONLY YOU’D LET US FORGET! You’ve only mentioned him no less than a gazillion times. His name has gotten more screen time than Lucas, Blake, Constantine, Mickey and your midriff combined. Long story short, Ashley tells the guys that Bentley came back because she fell hard for him, and now’s he’s gone again and SHE FEELS GREAT!
Now it’s the men’s turn to have their fragile egos bruised. Constantine accuses her of lying on their one-on-one date about having moved on. Lucas is one pissed off cowboy, because he hates when people “waste his F*CKING time.” (Said the guy who agreed to be on a reality dating show with a 0.00001% success rate for up to three months.) They’re all mad that she “fell for” Bentley and was emotionally cheating on them with his memory this whole time. Ashley is confused and stressed by the unexpected confrontation and says my favorite quote of the night: “Yeah, I was falling for him. I’m sorry if that, um.” Then she goes off and cries about it. Meanwhile, JP and Ryan, the nice ones who have roses, try to defend her to Blake and Constantine, the fed-up ones who do not have roses. They’ve had it and they might leave! If only ABC would combine this show with that other show about crazy exits, we could watch Constantine get shot out of a cannon for daring to doubt Ashley’s love. That would be BRILLIANT.
Wise Ames attempts to comfort Ashley, saying he “supposes” they would all prefer their fairy tales to be simple, but life isn’t simple, and that’s what makes it beautiful. Time to reboot, Ames, your programming glitch is showing. Lucas says he doesn’t see it happening between him and Ashley anymore. “I don’t see us making up ground.” Too bad he already has a rose. Blake tells Ashley that he feels belittled and like she could(N’T) care less about him. She starts crying and fixing her bangs like he just dumped her at prom. Blake gives her an awkward side hug while she cries and apologizes. “You’re here for a reason, and I see so many things in you,” she says, and he says, “That’s fine,” which means he will no longer be here after tonight, also for a reason.
Mickey sits down with Ashley and says he feels like she lied to them. His hair looks good when he’s angry. “I just don’t see what the hell you saw in that guy.” FUN FACT: Don’t be fooled. He’s actually talking about Ryan! For real. Mickey hates Ryan and everything Ryan stands for so much that he thinks it reflects poorly on Ashley that Ryan is still around, so he asks her not to give him a rose, and she asks him to walk out if he wants to walk out, and so he does.
I take back what I said about Mickey looking like a dolphin, because he has the self-respect of a real man! Two seconds later he is on a boat off into the night. Like, freakishly quickly. The boys scream after him and pour one out for another homie gone too soon. They’ll miss him more than Ashley will.
“ME ME ME ME ME ME”
Ashley goes over to the other guys and cries some more about her feelings and how she wishes she could talk about her feelings in a way that didn’t give them all hurt feelings. SO MANY FEELINGS. Blake decides he forgives her when he sees her crying, but he didn’t tell her that, so he’s still doomed.
Chattin’ with Chris: Ashley is crying, AGAIN. She doesn’t know how to make the eight guys she’s dating at the same time feel special. “Maybe don’t talk about the guy who dumped you so much?” Chris doesn’t say, but should. For someone who is constantly talking about her feelings, Ashley is bad at talking about her feelings. Chris’s advice: “Speak from the heart. Just be Ashley.” Yeah, I dunno about that. I’m not a huge fan of Ashley-Ashley. Case in point: Then Ashley “just be”-s Ashley by dramatically flipping over Mickey’s photo. One down, one to go.
“It’s been an emotional night here in Hong Kong,” says Chris Harrison, professional overstater, but tonight he’s an understater. Ashley proves his point, and mine, by giving another dramatic speech about her strong feelings for the six of them who will still continue on with her. Ames looks like a ventriloquist dummy sitting on an empty chair, all dead-eyed and slack-mouthed.
Lucas, Ryan and JP have roses. And the other three go to…
Which means Blake, aka “Dr. Love,” aka “Dr. Hate,” is outta here. Blake gives his bro-hugs goodbye and tells Ashley “good luck” on his way out. It clearly means “Go to hell.” All he did was tell Ashley how he was feeling, and she hosed him! But he’s still giving her credit for some reason: “She recognizes a connection when she sees it, and we didn’t have one.”
Next Week: NO BACHELORETTE! It’s the 4th of July, so take a Monday night off. You’ve earned it! But the week after, Ashley and the final six are going to “hidden jewel of Asia” (except to Ames!), Taiwan, where more kissing will happen. Then, in like a month, the final three will go to Fiji. Someone she dumped will come back to fight for her (eeeugggghhh) and Ashley will cry some more. A lot more. She’s going to say “I hate this,” and “maybe I’m not cut out for this,” and “my heart is totally broken,” AGAIN. Can someone who knows what they’re doing get to work on that Ashley ice sculpture for me? I feel a real good roundhouse coming on…
(Images courtesy of ABC)