Poor Emily Maynard. She has three committed beefcakes who are madly in love with her after two months of non-exclusively never getting past first base with her. And now she has to pick a husband?! With rock-hard pecks come rock-hard choices.

Because she can barely keep track of all these boyfriends, Emily begins this week’s episode by reminding us of the vital differences between her top three:

Sean: He’s cute. He’s nice. He’s normal. He has ALL the abs. And he’s crazy about Emily, as evidenced by how he loves chasing after her for more Ayran Nation makeouts. Their children would be blindingly beautiful and blond. In other words, “perfect.”

Jef: He’s “quirky” (has a weird haircut and a missing F), “marches to the beat of his own drum” (rides a skateboard to a cocktail party), and has an “edge” to him (wears skinny jeans and Converse) that Emily loves. He keeps remote African villages hydrated with his charitable spirit and well-funded non-profit. He could make anything fun, and he’s a real romantic.

Arie: He’s a racecar driver, just like Emily’s dead fiance. So there’s an instant connection. He’s funny and youthful, and not afraid to look like an idiot in front of millions of people. He’s sweet and attentive, and he would adore and love Emily “forever. “(That’s 10-18 months in Bachelor speak.)

The way she tells it, there is no wrong answer here. But Emily is still so unsure and torn. The only place she can clear her head is in the tanning bed, apparently. The scent of cocoa butter and UV damage helps her heart think.

Now in Curacao for her final two weeks of this magical journey, Emily wanders the white sand beaches alone, contemplating this pivotal decision. She writes her name in the sand, then a plus sign, then a question mark. The water comes up and washes away the “+?”, but the “Emily” remains. This symbolizes the ephemeral nature of Bachelor relationships, yet the invincible nature of Bachelor egos.

Date #1: Trapping Sean on a Private Island Until He Admits that He Loves You

Sean shows up in a tight deep-cut blue v-neck. He wants the image of his rock-hard pecks to be firm in Emily’s memory, as firm as the pecks themselves, when she hands out those roses later.

They get in a helicopter and go to their “own private island,” because that’s the Bachelorette‘s version of “phoning it in” in tropical locations, if you can believe it. Then, they don’t even explore the island. They just land and immediately lay out a blanket. Remember last season when Ben and Kacie B. cracked a coconut like they were Tom Hanks in Castaway? That was great. And this is boring.

emily-sean-beachep9.jpgYou didn’t even bring a snack?! Private islands are the WORST.

Sean’s buttcheeks haven’t even made an indent in the sand before Emily starts interrogating him about marriage. They talk about his relationship history, and the basic gist is that Sean has had one serious girlfriend in his life, whom he treated like a “buddy,” and most other girls never get a chance because he’s so picky. He speaks of this openly, seemingly unaware that he may be raising red flags.

Emily feels confident in Sean’s feelings toward her, but it’s not ENOUGH. It’s been two whole months, and Sean still hasn’t said he “LOVES” her yet. Nevermind that she hasn’t told him how she feels either, or that if he ever says it she won’t say it back, or that she’s still currently seeing two other guys. Emily wants to hear the L-word, and she’ll do everything in her power to force it out of him. Like stripping down to her bikini and straddling him in the ocean. He might not be able to say it in words, but Sean definitely shows his love for Emily in his shorts.

Emily’s next step to squeeze that little word out of Sean is a romantic dinner on the beach (the regular beach, not the private island beach, because we’re done with that now, I guess). She’s thrilled to learn that Sean wrote a letter to her daughter, whom he has never met. The letter is written in a fictional dimension in which Emily picks Sean and they get married and live happily ever after forever. The letter basically says, “I’ll never replace your dad but I’ll always love you, even though I’ve never met you,” which, if you think about it, is PRETTY MUCH the exact affirmation that every woman on this show is truly seeking, deep down. Sean hit the daddy-issues-sized nail straight on the head!

Emily loves the letter, and after a few more minutes of swooning and hand-rubbing, Sean finally says that he has “FALLEN IN LOVE” with her. The big reward he gets for this massive admission? Emily smiles and says, “That’s awesome to hear.” I said those exact same words this morning. When the barista said they’d just brewed a fresh pot.

emily-awesometohear-ep9.jpg“That’s awesome to hear. And you’ll have to take my word on that.”

Well, that’s not exactly true. Even though she doesn’t say it back, Emily does immediately give Sean the fantasy suite card, which invites them to “forgo their individual rooms” for the night. Then comes the familiar song-and-dance where they pretend that they’re not going to have sex and just spend the night “spending more time together.”

Only this time, they actually MEAN it! Things get a little uncomfortably steamy when Sean and Emily make out in their fantasy suite hot tub, but then … it’s over. Emily is a single mom and she’s overly concerned about being a bad role model, so despite every “fiber” in her loins, she sends Sean away before things get too hot and heavy. Sean is surprisingly unfazed by this reroute from Bone Town to Blue Ball Village, and says he’s “definitely” going to marry Emily. Oh, these boys and their tragically inaccurate superlatives.

Date #2: Sailing on a Feeling with Jef

Jef is a little more realistic about his chances with Emily. He knows he’s 100% into her, but that it might not work out, since she’s only about 33.3333% into him.

Emily is wearing a spunky side braid, because Jef brings out her youthful side. They’re going sailing! Which actually means that Emily and Jef sit and eat mangos while an unseen crew are forced to silently man the boat. Jef reveals that he told his parents about Emily’s visit to the ranch last week, and they want to meet her. Then talk turns to what kind of a parent Jef would be. Emily thinks that he would be a good one, because he’s fun and thoughtful. But Jef wants to actually meet this mythical child “Ricki” before he’s willing to say for certain that he would be a successful father (figure) to her.

jef-emily-sailep9.jpgThey steer the boat over to a romantic cove so they can go swimming. Emily feels like Jef “gets her” in a way that nobody else does. He can tell how she’s feeling just by looking at her face, she says, which is crazy since her facial muscles barely move these days. They get back on the boat as the sun sets. Now Jef’s laying it on REAL thick. With his tongue in Emily’s mouth, but also with his words:

emily-jefkiss-ep9.jpg“The sun is setting here in Curacao, but for me and Emily, a whole life together is just starting.” Aw. But also: OH, BROTHER.

It’s time for Private Beach Dinner #2, and Jef’s got questions. It’s time for a game we like to call: Before I Propose, Let’s Talk Basics!

Question one: Where would Emily want to live? Answer: She wants to start over, all three of them, somewhere new. Jef likes that, because a fresh start would “force” them to pay attention to each other. (LOL.)

Question two: What was missing with all those other guys Emily’s dated? Answer: Well, uh, the first one died. So … that. And the other ones, it was just missing that “spark.” But Jef has that “spark,” she reassures him.

Question three: Does she think that Jef and Ricki would get along? Answer: Emily says that she’s thought about that a lot, and when she was home with her daughter for a single day last week, she made her daughter lunch, and she automatically pictured Jef fitting into their life. A life of making lunch. And sometimes breakfast. “You’d be a perfect fit,” she says.

Now that that’s over, Emily gives Jef the ULTIMATE quiz: The fantasy suite card. Jef answers perfectly: “I think it would be awesome to forgo our individual rooms and spend some time together in a fantasy suite in Curacao, but I completely understand and respect that your daughter’s going to be watching this, and our families are going to be watching this, and there’s a time and a place.” Then he says that he plans on spending ‘every night together’ in their own personal fantasy suite, when they’re MARRIED and pleasure is ALLOWED.

Emily offers him a compromise: They can spend time in the fantasy suite, but he just won’t spend the night.

Emily loves that Jef is such a gentleman and so in sync with her thoughts, and yet she is a little offended that he used all of her reasons not to stay in the fantasy suite, and thus “turned her down” when she wanted the chance to turn HIM down. (Oh, c’mon.) So she reasserts her power and gives him a definitive “it’s late, it’s time to go” speech after just a little amount of time kissing on an uncomfortable looking bench. Whose “fantasy” is that?!

Even though Jef leaves with an “I love you,” the date still ends on a down note. Emily claims that she feels so strongly for Jef that she doesn’t need those extra hours with him to confirm it … but that’s sort of the point, isn’t it? When you’re crazy about someone, you don’t spend the extra time to confirm it. You spend the extra time to celebrate it. Semi or fully naked, sometimes. We’re all adults here! We know how it works!

Date #3: Swimming with Flipper and Flip-Flopping with Arie

Arie meets Emily on a catamaran, and they just, like, IMMEDIATELY start making out. Then, finally making me jealous for the first time tonight, they sail out into the open ocean and SWIM WITH DOLPHINS!!!!! Emily is “scared” of the dolphins, which is patently ridiculous. Unless it’s because they embrace their sexuality and she doesn’t.

Back on the boat, Emily asks Arie about his “favorite moments” with her, and, shocker, they all involve kissing. Emily: “If we stop talking, it’s to kiss … and kiss … and kiss.” They just, like, LOVE kissing, so much. KISSING IS DA COOLEST!

arie-emily-kissep9.jpgI wonder if they forgot that there’s other, even more fun stuff you can do?

Emily worries that it’s going to be too hard not to stay the night with Arie, because they just love “kissing” sooooo much.

Later, at dinner, she keeps harping on the “overwhelming physical chemistry” angle with Arie. But is there more to their connection than that? She asks about his day-to-day routine, and we learn that Arie doesn’t wake up until 9AM and is still living the freewheeling life of a fun loving bachelor, eating dinner with friends and coming and going as he pleases. Still, Emily says that she would be happy to move to Scottsdale if she and Arie end up together.

Talk again turns to Ricki, and Arie says he would like getting to know Emily’s daughter, become her friend and grow from there. “He gets it more than I gave him credit for,” Emily says with genuine surprise. She is falling hard for him all over again, which makes it all the more difficult for her to think about going to the fantasy suite with him … so she decides not to even tempt herself, and doesn’t give him the card. What? Arie just got punished for being TOO hot. That ain’t right.

By Emily’s reasoning, you’d think that she’s so into Arie that any amount of temptation would lead to evil, immoral, glorious sex. But is that really “love”? Or did she secretly withhold the card because she knows she’s about to let Arie go?

Pre-Rose Ceremony Turmoil

Emily meets up with Chris Harrison to talk about tonight’s big decision. Two guys can stay, and one is about to have his heart pulverized in a meat grinder. Chris asks if Emily is ready to make a decision.

Short answer: Kinda.

“I see so much good in each of them,” she says of Jef, Arie and Sean, and she also sees them blending well into her family. “I can honestly say that I am falling in love with each of them in different ways.” She’s excited to pick her man, but she’s not ready to say goodbye to the others yet. (Oh, you POOR WOMAN.)

Chris reminds Emily that this is the end. The last rose ceremony before “the proposal.” She says that she hopes and prays that she’ll wake up tomorrow morning and know that she made the right choice.

“I don’t know if this will help or hurt you,” Chris says, but each of the guys has made her a “very private, personal video message.” (A private, personal video message that we ALL get to watch!!!) A last-ditch effort to make her love them. Emily starts crying and says that she’s really “stressed out” and feels terrible that she has to hurt people. “It wouldn’t suck if I didn’t have three great guys.” Then why didn’t you keep Stevie, Ryan and Kalon? That would have been an amazing finale.

Emily silently weeps as she gazes at the portraits of her three most precious boyfriends. She picks up each framed photo, kisses it, and then sets it back down gently. It is time for the video messages.

emilypukeface-ep9.jpgSean: He came into this “whole thing” cynical, but somewhere along the way, he changed, and now he’s “head over heels in love” with Emily. He wants to be a father to her daughter and have a family with her.

Emily looks like she wants to puke.

Jef: He’s completely in love with her, and their dates have changed his life forever. She is everything that he’s always hoped to find, in every single way. He wants to defend and protect her, and keep her cheeks sore from laughing so much. He wants to watch a thousand sunsets with her and live happily forever.

Emily looks like she just got fired. On her birthday.

Arie: They fit so well together, and he fell in love with Emily in London. His heart races towards her (*wink*! because he’s a racecar driver!) and he loves that he always knows how she’s feeling. The best part about her is that she doesn’t realize how beautiful she is, inside and out, and he can’t wait to spend the rest of her life reminding her of that every single day.

Now Emily looks like someone she loves just got murdered in front of her.

She sits down and cries about how difficult this is going to be. None of the guys think they’re the one who’s about to get dumped. And yet, there they are, standing in a line waiting for her to dump one of them, so you’d think that each of them might have an inkling that the odds aren’t ideal here.

Rose Ceremony

Emily doesn’t feel confident in her choice, but she has to make it. What if she’s saying goodbye to the perfect man, and keeping two slightly-less-than perfect guys instead? Tuff stuff.

She enters the rose ceremony arena, and attempts to comfort the men by saying that she can picture all three of them standing there in her fairy tale ending. “I care about each of you, and I’m sorry.”

It’s ROSE TIME. The first one is for:


I think we all saw that one coming. I mean, besides Sean and Arie.

The second and final rose tonight goes to …


Ooooh nooooo! I mean, yaaaay Arie! But still, noooo! Sean put it all on the line tonight, and got shut down. Hard. “That’s what you get for telling a woman you love her,” he’s probably thinking. She’s ruined him for us all!

Sean looks like his jaw might crush his teeth from clenching so hard. But we’ll see no tears from this stalwart man-stallion. Emily walks him out, and they sit down for that awkward, “It’s not you, it’s the other two” talk.

emily-sean-ep9rejection.jpgThey sit in silence for a minute. Sean says that he “feels kinda stupid” because he thought he knew that he was ready to spend forever with Emily, and never saw this coming. Emily starts crying again, and says, “I wanted it to be you, so bad.” Sean takes the proud and honorable way out, saying that he cares about Emily, and if this is what is best for her, then so be it. What a classy gentleman. I bet he is swimming in fantasy suite invitations right now.

The agony continues in the unmarked van of rejection and despair. “Honestly, when she walked out tonight, in my head, I thought, ‘that’s my wife,'” Sean says. It hurts “more than he could describe,” so he doesn’t bother trying. He says that he had a beautiful picture of what his life was going to be like, and now it’s gone. “It feels like it was stolen from me, and there’s nothing I can do about it.” He’s going through so many emotions. “Sadness. Embarrassment.” (That’s two.) Poor Sean. So hurt he can’t even think of more emotions!

Next Week: It’s the “Men Tell All” Reunion show, and that means all the weirdos, crazies and nightmares are back in the building to rehash the stuff we already moved on from a LONG TIME AGO. Chris: Is he still pissed and heartbroken? Ryan: Is he still a huge douche? Kalon: Is he still an even HUGER douche? Sean: Is he still sad and stuff? You know. All of that.

And then, the week after that: Emily’s journey to love comes to “an incredibly emotional end,” and she wonders if the fact that she’s so torn between Jef and Arie means that neither of them is right for her. Emily is going to cry a bunch, like an EXTREME amount, and they clearly want us to think that maybe she loves them both so much that she’ll just up and quit and leave without either of them. Yeah, sure. Suuuure.

What do you think, Bachelor Nation? Jeff vs. Arie! Arie vs. Jef! Sean, forever alone! (Yeah, right.) Did Emily make the right call? And what call should she make in two weeks? Spoilers aside, anything seems possible at this point! What do you think?

(Images courtesy of ABC)

Meghan Carlson

Senior Writer, BuddyTV

Meghan hails from Walla Walla, WA, the proud home of the world’s best sweet onions and Adam West, the original Batman. An avid grammarian and over-analyzer, you can usually find her thinking too hard about plot devices in favorites like The OfficeIt’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, and How I Met Your Mother. In her spare time, Meghan enjoys drawing, shopping, trying to be funny (and often failing), and not understanding the whole Twilight thing. She’s got a BA in English and Studio Art from Whitman College, which makes her a professional arguer, daydreamer, and doodler.