"The Bachelorette" Recap: 809
Last night’s episode of "The Bachelorette" was a bigger mindf*** than "Inception," as Emily’s top three – Jef, Sean and Arie – are all worthy candidates of the final rose.
With the departure of contestants like crazy-eyed Chris and Doug – the one who still couldn’t kiss her after they had been “dating” for six weeks – the show has suddenly become way more serious. I mean, more serious for a dating show in which the bachelorette is rumored to be hooking up with its host, anyway.
This week, Emily and her final three are in Curacao, which is like the Bvlgari store in New York City – I can’t pronounce it and I’m sure going there would be really really expensive, but it looks beautiful anyway. Also, the penultimate week is usually fantasy suite/sex night. Unfortunately, Emily is a mother and wants to set a good, boring example and all that, so she won’t be going all Kardashian on us.
First up is Emily’s date with Sean. She immediately tells the camera that she wants him to say “I love you” because he’s the only one who hasn’t said it yet. As they gaze out at the beautiful ocean that the Tourist Bureau is making tons of money off of, they again review Sean’s three-year relationship that he ended a long time ago because he just wasn’t that into his girlfriend. Sean seems to talk about that girl a lot. It’s like, we get it, it didn’t work out. It didn’t work out between Tanner Curtiss and me in the ninth grade, probably because he had two first names, but that’s not a ubiquitous topic of conversation.
Sean says that while that other girl wasn’t the one, he’s crazy about Emily and can see himself marrying her. Then he asks her if he wants to go snorkeling because the Bachelorette producers told him that the 99% female audience would be really happy if he took his shirt off.
Later, though, he finally gets up the courage to tell Emily he’s fallen in love with her. He writes a genuinely sweet letter to Ricki – not to Emily, because that’s what Jef with one F did last episode – explaining how excited he is to be a husband and a father. He drops the L word in right at the end, saying “I’ve fallen in love with your mother.”
Despite his penchant for talking about his old girlfriend, Sean really does seem like the perfect Ken to Emily’s Barbie.
As promised, Emily hangs out with Sean in the fantasy suite for a while but sends him home before any coed sleepover mischief can ensue.
Now, it’s time for Jef’s date. Emily and Jef go on a yacht together, and Jef assures her that his 265 siblings loved her and that his parents want to meet her once they’re done with their “charity”/Mormon missionary work in South Carolina. Emily seems pleased with their approval and even more ecstatic about Jef’s HUGE ranch (I ain’t sayin’ she’s a gold digger, but…). Then they jump off the yacht and frolic around in the water. Shirtless Jef isn’t quite as impressive as Shirtless Sean.
Even though he’s his usual fun self during the day, Jef really knocks the date out of the park at dinnertime. He asks Emily real questions about where they would live if they got married and why her relationships with guys who initially adore her haven’t worked out in the end. He seems to be the first contestant to really realize that this is a two-way street, and that he has to pick Emily in addition to Emily picking him, for their relationship to be successful. He also asks her if she thinks he and Ricki would be a good stepfather-stepdaughter match. This conversation demonstrates a character depth that Arie and Sean haven’t really shown yet.
Weirdly passionate pro-Jef rant aside, Emily seems happy that he took the initiative to ask her these questions. She asks him the same ones after she’s given her usual sweet, semi-generic responses (“I’ll move wherever you want, Brad and I just weren’t right for each other, I promise my boobs are totally real”). When Emily offers Jef the fantasy suite card, he continues to impress her by saying that even though the sex would be awesome, he doesn’t want to spend the night because he wants both of them to set good examples. See, he’s Mormon. Really, though, not wanting to clue millions of viewers into your sex life is a gentlemanly gesture.
And then there’s Arie. The second they lay eyes on each other, they start hooking up. Then they get on the boat and continue making out. Clearly the physical attraction component isn’t missing.
Emily and Arie go swimming with dolphins, which terrify Emily. She says that Arie’s protectiveness of her around the dolphins convinces her that he’ll be a good husband. So you should marry the guy because he didn’t let a dolphin eat you? Not following.
Out of all the guys, Emily is definitely the most physically drawn to Arie. Before their dinner, she even says that their relationship has never been completely platonic, and that it’s always been a full-blown romance. Their dinner talk does include conversation as well as kissing, though. Arie and I learn that when you have a kid, you have to wake up way earlier than 9 AM to take care of him/her/it. Yikes. Arie shows that he’s not completely clueless when it comes to parenting, though, when he says that he’ll try to be Ricki’s friend before being her father.
At the end of the night, Emily doesn’t even offer Arie the fantasy suite date card because she doesn’t trust herself not to jump on him once they get anywhere near a bed. “Arie is hotttt,” Emily moans. Down, girl.
There’s a lot of extra buildup before the rose ceremony this episode. Emily has an extended conversation with Chris Harrison where she stops just short of bawling because she feels so bad eliminating anyone. For once, each member of the top three seems like he would be a wonderful spouse. No wonder Emily wants to take off to Salt Lake City with her three Sister Husbands.
But this is ABC, not TLC, and someone has to go. After Emily watches three video messages the guys made for her – pretty much, they all just tell her they love her – it’s time for the rose ceremony.
Since I was expecting Sean and Arie, the two men who look most mature and fatherly, to get roses, the ceremony was pretty shocking. Arie and Jef get roses, and Sean gets eliminated.
Emily doesn’t take eliminating Sean well, and she actually tells him that she doesn’t know if she’s doing the right thing. They both tear up when he leaves, and Chris Harrison speaks the truth when he says Sean’s goodbye is heartbreaking. In the limo, Sean doesn’t cuss her out or insult the other contestants. Instead, he just looks dumbfounded and declares that when he looked at Emily that night, he saw his wife.
ABC, please make him the next Bachelor. Sean needs to find someone who isn’t that ex-girlfriend he always talks about.
Next week, the show’s tone should lighten up considerably since it’s The Men Tell All special. This means the return of cocky Ryan, who was pretty much in love with himself; Kalon, who enraged Emily by calling Ricki baggage; Alessandro, who hooked up with his cousin; and of course, Alejandro the mushroom farmer. Well, you have to kiss some frogs before you find your prince…or in Emily’s case, your three princes.
Reach Staff Reporter Lindsay Dale here.