Was I the only one who felt a pang of anxiety when Chris Harrison crashed the pajama party at the mansion and told the boys they had to be on a plane in two hours? Pack up, get to the airport, and get through security in two hours??
They must have been taking the ABC jet. The He-Harem was headed for Bermuda, and Harrison assured them they would never see the Charlotte mansion again (wink wink, nudge nudge, remove your flasks from the library shelves and couch cushions, boys). This show truly kicks into high gear when the disorientation, unpredictable weather, and stress of travel start unraveling the contestants.
Case in point, Doug getting so riled up before his one-on-one date that he defensively grabbed a hurricane lamp with one hand as though considering it as a projectile. Arie and Shaun were very gently teasing him about being nervous and, proving their point for them, he totally lost his temper moments before Emily walked in. Shaun was teasing him with the pinpoint precision of a man who has been subject to many an abusive football coach; Arie was more wry and teasing, his own steel nerve tempered by cheating death on the race track and, I am assuming, being Effing Rich as Hell. Don't you think Arie is a rich kid? He totally has that vibe.
Doug is not a rich kid, neither is a poor man. He is a great dad. He started a charity because Superman was not going to come along. If you were to meet his ex-girflriend, her most bitter complaint would be that he did not wash her car enough.
When it came to listing his own faults, Doug was frankly stumped. You want some help, Doug? Here are some faults I've noticed about you in just 14 continuous minutes of a television program:
1. Rage issues
2. Temper flares
3. A need to monitor and scold others
4. Humorless about yourself and as far as I can tell everything else
5. You refer to yourself in third person and not in a joking way
6. You are old, Father William, compared to Emily and the other contestants
7. So into your son it's like "the lady doth protest too much" and I'm starting to wonder if you even HAVE a son
8. Terrible and confusing interface on your charity website (although kudos for starting a charity, or whatever the hell that page is)
And also plus et cetera.
Han'some Chris (who I will always think of as "Chris Harrison on stilts") called Doug out much later at the rose ceremony with a perceptive summation so insightful, as soon as I heard it I moved Chris to my top three favorite contestants. He simply told Doug, "You are over-the-top humble." That summarizes what is getting under everyone's skin beautifully. Doug is making SUCH an effort to show he's just a regular dude ("I'm just Doug") that it's starting to make me wonder where the bodies are.
The group date looked
incredibly fun not at all dangerous pretty challenging. Because Emily, with her platinum premium DNA ("I don't go to the gym") and $350,000 wardrobe (the largest budget ABC has granted a Bachelorette for her clothes, and she's making it look like a million bucks), is the ultimate prize, this boat race got pretty heated and the burst of activity must have fired up some of the latent steroids buried in the fat tissues of Ryan, Charlie, and Shaun as they got truly riled up at each other. It was humorous how flabbergasted they were that the lead boat changed two or three times during the race. "We were in the lead, and then somehow THEY GOT IN FRONT OF US." Um...that's how races work? Charlie, stop SOBBING...you had a 50 percent chance of losing all along! Whatever, it was actually a very exciting visual. The team with the most fashionable haircuts and tatties won.
Although arguably Jef and Ryan may have preferred to go home and restyle their pompadours, as wind be no friend to a trendy haircut.
Ryan was cracking me up this episode. Between Emily quoting some of his bon mots in a hilarious imitation of his voice ("If you ain't cheatin' you ain't tryin'!") and his prophesy that he was headed for bigger things (like his own season of The Bachelor), Ryan transformed into a dim, ridiculous villain in this episode. He's not threatening because Emily seems very aware that he's a d-bag, but his lack of filter and grandiose self-image is leading to some of the hardest laughs each episode. He's like Kenny Powers in a Ken Doll's body.
His speech to Emily about setting a good example for the young women of America as the Bachelorette came off as transparently manipulative, totally sexist, and kind of addled. Emily was smiling and nodding at him patiently as though he were a senile great-uncle telling her that young ladies must only ride side-saddle. Slut-shaming the Bachelorette, AND Ryan's there for the wrong reasons! I'd truly hate him if he weren't so ludicrous.
On the other side of the spectrum you have Jef, sitting on the beach and assuring Emily that he LIKES spending TIME with her. Emily described this interaction later to Chris Harrison by simply saying "I think Jef just isn't into me." Jef's attempts at articulating that he wasn't repelled by Emily made him sound like Gargamatron, Intergalactic Explorer, who had just come to Earth and "What is this thing you call love? I understand you humans spend time with each other not to bottle water or make business but because you...like...each other? Liking is a sense of pleasure? What is the fifth element?" I mean, it could be a lack of physical experience as I expect him to be probably a hardcore Mormon, but...
When you take his icy tone and add the knee socks, I have to conclude it's aesthetic, not religious asceticism.
Jef is just living in his own Urban Outfitters catalog version of reality and that is no place to approach a man, but Emily is so intrigued with Jef (there aren't many hipsters or edgy Mormons in Charlotte, I imagine) that she keeps lavishing him with roses. It looks tempting and ripe, the fruit of the hipster tree, but to be sure it tastes bitter, Emily. It tastes bitter indeed.
There was the dreaded one-on-one date, the first of its kind in the series, and everyone's efforts to be polite to each other and enjoy the date gave it all the stakes of a Girl's Night Out. Wolf and Nate, who I still can barely tell apart, sat on either side of Emily in a freaking cave and they all sipped wine and didn't make eye contact. The sound editor even provided us with comically loud dripping effects to emphasize the awkwardness. Sigh. WE GET IT, BACHELORETTE. I swear, the season they introduce chyrons like my beloved Blind Date is when I officially stop watching this show.
The cave provided some truly entertaining angles. Between the cramped Charlotte mansion, filming on a tipping sailboat, and trying to maneuver through new environments in a dripping cave, the cameraman is earning her paycheck as never before. Jah bless, cameraperson.
Ultimately Nate started crying while simply trying to list his family members and Emily decided it was time for the children to go to bed and sent him home. (He also called quinoa "Kin-O-Wah" which made my food-snob self snortle hatefully " It's Keeen-wah, douche!" Also, never try to impress a Southern Belle with your knowledge of ancient grains.)
The big surprise of the night? Music Mike got sent home without a single date while Chompers Kaleyn is still in the house (looking increasingly quiet and uncomfortable in the group shots.) I kept waiting for Music Mike to get his turn and he left without a single helicopter ride. Still, I'm sure there's a posse of beauties in Austin breathing a sigh of relief at his dismissal. We hardly knew ye Music Mike!
1. Where is Roger Lodge these days?
2. Are half of these guys battling colds?
3. Ryan: hilarious or horrible?
4. Doug: love him or hate him?
5. Emily's totally blunt-cut ponytail: expensive clip on?
6. Who do you think calls Ricki "baggage" in the next episode!?