Tonight: It’s the seventh episode of the seventh season of The Bachelorette, and the date is 7/11, so it should come as no surprise that someone in tonight’s episode got LUCKY! Someone besides you, who have this delicious, nutritious and apparently superstitious recap to devour.
Who got lucky? Who got dumped? Who got jealous? Who’s going to Hometown Dates? All that and more awaits you…
MY LOVE LANTERN WISH IS FOR YOU TO READ AND ENJOY THIS RECAP:
For the next leg of Ashley’s Awesome Asian Adventure, we’re in Taiwan, “the hidden jewel of Asia,” so called because very few people know about it. (People who don’t own maps?) Ashley is loving it already, because she can relate to Taiwan’s low self-esteem!
Ashley is also loving her final six, all for different reasons. She rattles off the list, mostly just to remind herself what their names are. She says she’s loving Ryan’s energy, Lucas’s genuineness, Ames’ “unique”-ness, Ben’s sense of humor, Constantine’s ease and JP’s security. But mostly she’s loving that they like her enough to still be here. “They’re really in it!” she says, barely masking her own surprise.
“I love … that you’ve tolerated me enough to remain physically near me for this long!”
Chris welcomes the men to Taiwan and tells them that there will be four dates tonight, but no roses handed out during the dates. Ashley needs as much time as possible to decide which of them will get to run, pick her up and twirl her around in their birthplaces.
JP immediately rears his “More Like Jealous-P!” head and says he doesn’t want Ashley to be on one-on-one dates with anybody else, and he’s scared to lose her. Which means he’s got nothing to worry about — JP is the king of this (potential mate gene) pool! Meanwhile, Lucas is feeling secure in his relationship with Ashley, and so I couldn’t be more secure in the idea that he has overstayed his welcome and will go home tonight. Whatever the guys say, believe the opposite. You too can look like a Bachelorette genius in front of your friends by employing this simple technique at the beginning of the episode!
Date #1: Making a Lantern of Love with Constantine
Date card: “Let your love light shine.”
What it should have read: “Let a stray dog pee on your love light.”
As more cliche Asian restaurant music attempts to drown out their cliche emotions, Ashley and Constantine take the train to a village outside of Taipei called Ping-Shi. “We’re holding hands and just enjoying each other’s company,” says Constantine, who would love to “ping-she,” ifyouknowwhatI’msayin, but he’s not even to first base yet. Holding hands? That’s child’s play, Connie. Babytown Frolics.
Ashley and Connie get to the village, where they immediately go to the streetz to roll hard in the local culture: By painting their “love wish” on a big, red lantern. … Okay?
“This is fun, I guess, but I’m not taking it seriously,” he thought to himself.
“Constantine is really taking this lantern thing seriously!” Ashley squeals as she watches him paint symbols for longevity and family on the lantern. They take it with them like a gigantic doggie bag that they’ll set free on a course for [Unattainable, Nonexistent] Heaven.
Later, we learn that Constantine set down the lantern, and a stray street dog came right over and peed on it. AWESOME!
Back at the hotel: The second date card comes for Ben F., and Ryan makes sure to assert his dominance (as the most annoying guy in the room) by proclaiming THAT means Ashley is “saving the best for last.”
Back on the date: Ashley assures Constantine that she could be the John Corbett to his Nina Vardalos in My Big, Fat Greek Wedding. Connie, in turn, assures Ashley that while his heart moves slowly, he’s as eager to find love as the next guy. Then, to symbolize this bond they just forged, they release their love lantern into the sky! “Do you think our wishes will come true?” Ashley says with childlike (childish?) wonder. Then, to symbolize the extra special relationships Ashley is currently maintaining with several OTHER men, a bunch more love lanterns float into the sky.
It’s a lantern orgy in the sky, and everyone’s secret love wishes are inviteddddd!
Constantine declares that he is ready to share his life with Ashley and he’s never been happier. Hope he’s cool with sharing Ashley’s life as well.
Date #2: Scooting Around Nature with Ben F.
Date card: Something about a pun on gorgeous/”gorges.”
What it should have read: Anything but a pun on gorgeous/”gorges.”
Ashley and Ben are going to explore a national park on a moped. She puts on her pink helmet to protect her head while they drive around the gorgeous gorges … but what safety apparatus will protect her HEART? Not that pink scarf she’s wearing as a tank top, that’s for sure.
Ben calls Ashley “kiddo,” and then says she is “precious cargo” on the back of his scooter. It’s hard to tell if he thinks of this as a date or a babysitting outing. Oh! They’re kissing. It must be a date.
This is me getting reality TV deja vu.
Back at the hotel: The next date card arrives while the men talk about how they are scared and can’t sleep, so long has it been since any of them rubbed one out anxious are they about who will get those sweet Hometown Dates. It’s for Lucas, Ames and JP, which means Ryan finally gets his one-on-one. He’s super-excited (and super-annoying) about it.
At dinner, Ben is trying to decide how and when to tell Ashley that he is falling in love with her. When Ben says he’ll tell her more about different wines on his hometown date, Ashley gives her now signature, “Ho, ho, HOOOOO, you’re feeling confident!” line. For someone with no confidence, Ashley loves recognizing (and punishing) it within others.
Ben tells Ashley that he’s at the “teetering point” of L-bombing her. (That’s “Ben” for loving her. He calls it the “L-bomb,” because that’s not a scary metaphor or anything.) Then he gives a recap of all their special moments together: The kissing, and … the kissing, mostly. Ashley rewards him with more kissing for his precious little speech. The music swells, and it’s not cliche Asian music! It’s “Ben’s about to get some” music. They continue kissing in front of the fire, which represents the fire in their respective loins. “I feel like he’s my boyfriend!!!” screams Ashley like we’re chatting on the phone before she hangs up to ask him to the Sadie Hawkins Dance. BUT WILL HE SAY YES?!?!
The next morning: Ben still hasn’t come home from his date, and JP is silently fuming over the implication of the illicit sleepover. “Don’t want to think about it, don’t want to talk about it, don’t give a f***,” he says, clearly giving an ENTIRE f***.
“Here, have this. Take it. All of it. A whole one.” – JP, giving a f***
Ben comes back, calling himself “Mr. 36-Hours” (NOT “Mr. Been Effed”?! Do I have to think of EVERYTHING around here?!) and mysteriously says, “Nothing physical… that you need to know about” happened. His pants are very much on fire. JP storms out as Ben says that he and Ashley did not share a room. Green may not be the best great color on him, but pretty much EVERY color is still better on JP than anyone else!
Date #3: Taking Wedding Photos with Lucas, Ames and JP
Date card: I didn’t catch what the date card said, because I was too busy analyzing Ryan’s many shades of annoying. It was probably something like, “Show me your good side (even you, Ames)” or “A picture is worth a thousand words … of UNCONDITIONAL LOVE!”
For this “date,” they’re taking traditional Taiwanese wedding photos, which is exactly what JP was afraid of (really? that was it, EXACTLY?) because he doesn’t want to think about Ashley marrying someone else. It’s exactly what I was afraid of because it’s stupid and pointless and not a “date,” like so many “dates” on this show.
For their photos, each guy gets a special outfit. Lucas gets a golden kimono dress-thing, because he’s least likely to be cool with cross-cultural/cross-dressing situations. In his sparkly baby blue tux and pink shirt, “Ames looks like the offspring of an ostrich and Elton John,” says JP, who is looking FOIIIIIINE in a James Bond tux. Lucas is irritated that JP’s pouting has been rewarded with the best ensemble.
Ashley and Lucas have a “traditional Taiwanese setup” for their photo, which means stiff and awkward, but in very cool outfits.
Even their staged kiss is stiff and awkward, like slapping two planks of wood together, but that doesn’t keep JP from getting all Jealous up in his P again. Ames looks predictably dorky in his “On Trying Cocaine for the First Time in Vegas”-themed photo shoot with Ashley, his stripper-with-a-heart-of-gold bride.
A little bit ostrich and Elton John, sure, but also vibing a little bit of this.
For JP’s shoot, apparently they go to Wal-Mart, where somebody forgot to iron the crappy printed-out desktop background photo.
It’s all crinkled up and ugly, just like JP’s heart (and kind of his face) right now.
Yes, that was harsh, but I blame JP, whose badditude is rubbing off on everybody, even me. Their shoot is the most awkward, because JP is like a cold, dead fish in that tuxedo. He’s not James Bond. He’s James POND!
At their group-date wrap party that night, JP is still feeling low, and Ashley, in a very symbolic dress of GREEN, is somehow surprised that the men didn’t have fun pretending to be married to her and watching each other pretend to be married to her.
I really thought you guys would like the ugly clothes, forced intimacy and entirely fabricated and supervised nature of the activity, since we don’t get enough of any of those already!
In his private cuddle time with Ashley, Lucas says he would love to bring her home, and it’s been long enough since his divorce that it wouldn’t be weird, and his family is ready for him to be happy. He is ready to be married (again) and have kids. Ashley awkward-hugs her approval and then they plank-kiss again. Poor, sweet Lucas, he is Texas-TOAST.
Because he’s always creepily prepared for everything, Ames embraces the portrait theme of the evening and shows Ashley photos from his childhood, which is just the best thing ever, because we get THIS!
Ames says he wasn’t popular until high school (when having money FINALLY makes you cool!) and Ashley once again praises his uniqueness. Are those pink pants, Ames? That IS “unique”!
It’s finally JP’s turn, and he opens the top off of Mount Jealousy and really releases all his steam. At least he phrases it well: “It really made me crazy. I guess it’s jealousy, but I think it’s normal. I should be jealous.” Ashley is happily surprised to learn that JP really cares. Right when he’s feeling most vulnerable, she gets up abruptly and runs out, which makes JP feel insecure. But of course that’s when he should feel most secure, because she’s run off to get the date rose, which she offers to him with a rather adorable “I feel your pain, and I wanna meet your fam.” (Not in so many words.)
Date #4: Tasting Taipei with Ryan
Date card: “Let’s get a taste of Taipei.”
What it should have read: “Let’s get a taste of rejection. And by “let’s,” I mean you.”
The night before, Ryan can’t wait for his date. At least … I think he’s talking about his date: “The wait and the anticipation and the sleepless nights, it’s all culminating in this. It’s just bursting inside of me right now.” Um … GROSS?
Ashley doesn’t care that other people think Ryan’s energy is over-the-top (like an atomic bomb’s energy is “over-the-top”) because she LIKES him! She likes his enthusiasm. She likes his smile. She even likes his short-sleeved bubblegum pink shirt.
Ryan loves how “intimate” he feels with Ashley, and he’s really “YEARNING” … to build a partnership for life. Is he trying to gross me out? He’s really lobbing those “that’s what SHE said!” statements in, slowly and steadily. And grossly.
Ashley and Ryan grab some magical matchmaking wishing stones. They each hold one and throw it down. If they land on different sides, their wishes will come true! But if they don’t, it’s Heartbreak City, Population: This Guy.
They throw. The rocks land on the same sides. Ryan despairs that his love wish with Ashley won’t come true, until two seconds later he realizes it’s not real, and then he’s back to being a puppy on meth. Ashley realizes something of her own: That while she “likes” Ryan’s sunshine-face, she doesn’t really want to stick her face near and on it. Ryan has entered the FRIEND ZONE. I can only hope that means his disgusting sexual double-speak will finally stop.
But before she breaks the news, Ashley surprises Ryan with a picnic. Ryan provides the cheese, and talks to Ashley about what SHE can do to reduce, reuse and recycle. No, seriously. His idea of romantic, last-chance-date conversation is to lecture her on water heaters. Informative, yes. Intoxicating … not so much. Ryan talks about tankless water heaters. That pretty much describes his status right now. He’s running on empty! Got nothin’ in his love-tank!
So, rather than lead him on and keep him around another day, Ashley starts to cry and says, “In my head you’re my perfect guy … but I’m not feeling that.”
“You don’t want to meet my family? My family of solar energy pockets who live inside the sun?” Ashley gives a definitive, “I’m just not feeling it, you know?” Ryan is crestfallen. His choice in shirt color is comically depressing now. The color of Pepto-Bismol, and his heart has some super-painful indigestion. As Ryan hugs her goodbye, we get a really solid look at Ashley’s horrendous bib-shirt-thing:
“I’ll really miss … how you never wear a bra.”
After leaving her, Ryan upgrades from crestfallen to DISMAYED. He cries. He sighs. He proselytizes. He swears. He pulls a speechless, crying, leaning-over Pavelka. “I want … I want … I want somebody more than anythi–UGH. I want that person. Unconditionally.” He roams the dark, isolating streets of Taipei while he soaks in his disappointment. He wants a wife! He wants kids! He wants a little army of humans who have his face, for whom he can buy a tankless water heater! It’s not that Ryan is a bad guy, or that he doesn’t deserve everything he wants. It’s just that big, dramatic displays like this and his constant, incessant enthusiasm mean it is a rare and special woman indeed who will be able to stick around long enough to bear his children. She’s out there, somewhere. I just hope, for Ryan’s sake, she’s not already married to a circus clown.
Ashley reviews the photos of her five remaining men, and silently selects the one who will go home alone. The other men are feeling the shockwaves of Ryan’s surprising exit. “The mood here is shock, and a little bit of fear,” Ames says, monotone and lifeless.
Ashley sits down with Chris and tells him that she knows what she wants to do (dump Lucas) and she doesn’t need a cocktail party. The men are saddened that there will be no beer buzz for the singular man about to bear the brunt of the dumping. Chris assures the men that this decision wasn’t easy for Ashley, as if her butler saying that on her behalf will ease the pain in any way.
JP already has a rose. And the other three go to…
Which means my prediction held true, and Lucas is going home loveless. Ashley walks him out and the other guys stand around and talk about how they didn’t see it coming. I did! Didn’t you? Even Lucas sounds like he saw it coming, as he gives Ashley an “oh, well” hug and walks off. He’s a good dude, even if we saw him at his least exciting, so dead was his chemistry with Ashley. I think he will make some sweet Southern woman very happy.
When she leaves him, Ashley starts crying about all the pressure she’s under. “Maybe I wasn’t cut out for this, you know?” Aw, girl. This is why you need the cocktail party. Sober rejection is ROUGH.
Next Week: Ashley goes ice skating with JP, makes pizza with Constantine, rides in his family’s PRIVATE HORSE-DRAWN CARRIAGE (!!!) with rich-ass Ames, and meets Ben’s family full of cheerleaders? I don’t know. Hometown Dates are always particularly weird, full of forced happy-family situations and “here’s my life in a comically two-dimensional nutshell” moments, and next week will hopefully be no exception. Then, it’s a whole lotta feelings talk with everyone’s (over?)-protective moms and dads. My favorite part.
What did you think of tonight’s Bachelorette episode, internet-friends? Do you approve of Ashley’s Final Four? How about Emily’s post-breakup interview? My thoughts on that are over here. I had way more (thoughts) than I expected. And I bet you have some too. Share here, share there, share everywhere!
(Images courtesy of ABC)