'The Bachelorette' Season 8, Episode 3 Meet The Mommies Recap
Welcome, one and all – THIS WEEK, ON “The Bachelorette”…
Emily Maynard and one of her suitors dance cheek-to-cheek to a country artist I admittedly couldn’t readily identify if someone held a gun to Taylor Swift’s head. I do know that in one of the weirdest metaphors I’ve heard in a long, long while, he sings of some enchanting temptress who “makes his speakers go boom-boom.”
If that’s what the kids are calling it these days, then the next decade of this show is going to be priceless comedy gold.
Later, to apologize for Mr. Generic and His “Boom-Boom” Band, someone talked country icon Dolly Parton into stopping by for a Tennessee “howdy” and a heart-to-heart.
Later still, several men are put before a mommy tribunal and look ready to crap themselves while producers wonder if this season shouldn’t have just been called “The Stepfather,” while Emily speaks in non-stop, tailor-teaser-made clichés such as “when you know, you just know” and “I could fall head-over-heels with one of the guys I have here.”
Oh, and for the first time this season (but I would near guarantee, not the final), an idiot says something idiotic and Emily looks for a moment like she’s about to pile the bodies to sky. Also, she gets to break something. Lady, some production assistant has to clean that up now, you know.
We open to Emily’s mother and Ricki delivering her breakfast in bed at a beautiful suburban Charlotte, NC home. Elsewhere, Cowboy Chris Harrison has rousted the man-meat herd from their stalls and gathered them into the mansion’s courtyard to once more run down the rules of engagement. Sean, a 28-year-old Dallas insurance agent with hair the color of I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter, assures us that he feels an instant connection with Emily and will surely for really realsies be the one to pop the question and start the countdown clock to another tabloid-friendly “Bachelorette” breakup.
He then looks like someone just tried to butter a bagel by mistakenly rubbing it on his scalp when 25-year-old Chicago corporate sales manager Chris gets the first one-on-one date.
“If I don’t get that rose tonight, I’ll be devastated,” Chris said. Say what you will about Bentley Williams, but he was at least refreshingly blunt about being just not wanting to be there very long. Folks, being told to hit the bricks after about a week or three is the realistic equivalent in connection-building to getting shot down by the waitress during Happy Hour at Buffalo Wild Wings.
Once more, Emily with these “work for your dinner” dates: two ropes tumble down the side of a building and Emily informs Chris that they’ll be scaling the side of the building, 1960s, Adam West-as-Batman-style, to reach their dinner.
“Emily looks amazing in her harness. I don’t think anybody could wear that harness better than she is right now,” Chris gushes, all giggly.
Hm. So he likes his women properly secured in harnesses. ABC, do you screen these people at all, or just find about 25 random guys downing Jack & Coke at various Bennigan’s locations around the country?
Anyway, Dungeon Master Chris and Emily suit up and do the wall walk of love. As lightning starts in the distance, it’s suddenly Emily that’s sending an unceremonious yellow drizzle onto onlookers below. Admirably, Chris calms her as best he can – which, actually, is to say that he sucks at it – and Batman and Robin at last reach the top.
A crowd gathered below goes mild. Yay.
Back from the commercial break, Chris’ ability to get his Burt Ward on has Emily all gushy – so much so, that she tells him she wouldn’t come talk to him if she saw him across a crowded bar.
“I would be too nervous to talk to you! You’re cute, and I don’t think I’d have enough guts to talk to you,” she tells him.
“Emily is absolutely gorgeous. She’s perfect from head to toe, then when the accent comes out, I’m absolutely floored,” Chris tells us. He then explains to Emily that at 25, he’s had one serious relationship that lasted almost six years. That’s got Emily thinking “cradle-robber” and wondering whether he’s got the maturity to handle a growing girl.
Back at the mansion, Tony is saying “hey” to his own son on the phone, and says once more that he’ll feel “devastated” if he doesn’t get a date this week.
The date card arrives, but it’s for the week’s group date: “let’s play.”
It’s a good thing I’m not on this show. I see a card phrased that way, and I start crossing my digits for multi-player Mass Effect 3, with the winner getting a rose.
Don’t judge me.
Just in case the facial hair, deep voice, build and hitherto unrevealed undeniable anatomical proof didn’t suggest it, Chris tells Emily, “I am a man.”
Unfortunately, he’s doing it wrong. It’s OK. I know someone that can demonstrate. Linkara, if you please?
Despite his age, he assures her, he’s falling for her and wants to be nowhere else at that moment except by her side. Emily admits she’s never dated a younger man, but feels like the younger woman when amid Chris’ maturity. That’s enough to get him the rose, and a special top-off to the date.
I’m now told that Mr. “Boom-Boom” is actually a singer named Luke Bryan. For the minute I’ll remember this once this sequence is over, that’s good to know. He sings some very generic, banjo-tinged country lyrics about “the riverside” and “fahr-werks on the Fourth of Joo-lie” as Chris and Emily happily dance in an empty parking lot. Still, the mix of forgettable, indistinguishable country music and an ABC camera crew is enough mojo working to get Chris the first kiss of the competition. Chris calls the whole thing “the best moment of his life.”
When we return, the man-chattle have been gathered again, and they’re headed to the park. But there shall be no joy on the monkey bars. Emily’s brought them to meet her best friends, who stop just barely short of hooking car batteries to man parts.
Folks, let’s get something clear: whether or not your friends like somebody should absolutely not be a make-or-break test of whether you’ll keep somebody around. The person is dating you, not everybody you know. It’s entirely possible to harmoniously keep those two aspects of your life completely separate, and to avoid potential “incestuous” entanglements of loyalties upon a split, it’s actually preferable where possible.
I say this from experience: temper your ambitions for synergy in relationships.
Of course, it doesn’t take long before the Mother Hen Inquisition starts throwing chin music. Emily claims at first that there’s “less pressure” and it’s more about “hanging out” as the guys walk up in the park and see her hugging a football. The men rejoice at the pigskin and promises of rough-and-tumble frolic.
This is like throwing a tennis ball so the family dog will chase it right into the room where the vet’s waiting to neuter him.
Remember that dog comparison? Well as she wanders off, some sense something’s up – like seeing the master pack a suitcase and load it into a car.
Oh, but here’s a kicker! Her friends are also there and “don’t know” they’re going to meet the men, either.
Yep. ABC truly believes it’s watched solely by the mentally challenged and extremely gullible.
The men meet The Mommy Hague, and are summarily terrified. The ladies meet the men, and look like they just want to know what ABC is doing with Emily’s leftovers.
One commercial break later – including a McDonalds oatmeal ad suggesting that an old black woman is apparently too senile to visually identify a “blueberry” or “walnut” – the third-degree has begun. Increasingly, Emily’s crap is starting to come across as more trouble than it’s worth, as the ladies ask each man about their priorities, whether they’ve ever cheated and if childless, whether they’ve ever dated a single mom. One man actually brings a real, giant egg of some species up to the women. The one who shakes it deems it “disgusting.”
And it’s the men’s motherly instincts we’re questioning? She just rattled some animal mother’s infant and called it “disgusting.”
Sean makes a fantastic impression by saying that his family is faith-centered, and that kids of his own are absolutely on his To-Do list.
“Sean is like a genetic gift to the world,” Wendy said. “Then when you talk to him . . . he just gets cuter, if that’s possible.”
Emily greets them all afterward and tells them that for all their talk about being great with kids, it’s time to “put your money where your mouth is.”
With a blast of a whistle, on comes a stampede of crumb-snatchers, shrieking like velociraptors.
To their credit, the guys get into it, and a good time is had by all. The dads look to be right in their elements, but she seems particularly taken with Jef and Sean. “At this point, I need to spend more time with Emily,” Ryan says, breaking up the hen-chatter session to tell Emily that he’d be less attracted to her if she got fat after they got married.
“That’s not a good move,” Emily puts it extraordinarily mildly.
Later, the pack gets to meet with Emily over drinks, where she calls it her favorite date so far. No feeling, she does indeed say that to all her dates.
She tells Sean he made an outstanding impression, and Sean tells her he loves her friends. Also, that he’s “selective” with women.
“I’m not going to settle for anything less than the best. I haven’t dated anyone in over a year. I want someone who’s confident and knows who they are,” Sean tells Emily. He said he considers his parents, who still go out on weekly date nights, the example he’s been taking notes from for the last 28 years.
“I want the rose tonight. I don’t want the other guys even thinking they have a chance,” he tells the camera.
She tells Doug, the other top contender on this date, that she wants to get to know the whole package. He tells her that his father, an epileptic, was mistreated by the first woman he dated. It got bad enough that she left him, leaving him to care for Doug and his sister alone right up to his sudden death. That put Doug in and out of foster homes, and eventually split from his sister.
“I see him as such an awesome dad and an awesome human being,” Emily said afterward.
All the while, Tony can’t stop thinking about the son back home. The distance is starting to wear on him, and he looks like he’s not sure how much further he can go.
“What comes to mind is, should I be here?” he wonders.
Back at The Frat Ranch, everybody awaits the next one-on-one date announcement. Next to bat is….race car driver Arie. “Love is a wild ride,” she tells him.
Meanwhile, Tony get some face time with Emily to tell her that the time away from his spawn is becoming a problem. She’s definitely the one to be sympathetic, and she is. She tells him it’s harder on him than his son, and asks that he “remember that in the end, it could all really be worth it.”
Tony takes some time outside to clear his head, and talks with Doug. He admits to Doug that he’s really rethinking whether he should be away from his son if being away is making him this unhappy. Doug tells him he’s doing nothing wrong by being away a while, and that “five-year-olds have an attention span like a hummingbird.”
Still, Tony makes a call and talks with Taylor, just to tell him he misses him and loves him. The call breaks him up afterward, and his decision hasn’t gotten any easier. Emily finally comes outside to talk with him, wishing there was something she could do to make him feel better. She recalls her time trying to win Brad Womack’s heart, and how she hid away her hurt being away from Ricki.
So she ultimately tells Tony she couldn’t bear the guilt if she knew Tony sacrificed time with his son for her. Tony heads home, but looks like he took some of Emily’s respect with him as a parting gift. After that moment, she returns to the men, explains the situation and gets down to awarding the night’s rose. Unsurprisingly, Sean’s breakout performance won him a pass into the next round.
Later, on Arie’s first one-on-one date, things don’t get off to the full-throttle start he anticipated. In fact, they’re bound for a day at Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, Tenn. Emily’s instantly charmed by how “super-chill” Arie is, and Arie is instantly charmed having an entire theme park to themselves – games, rollercoaster and all.
Once more, the theme of this show seems to be “Terrify Emily,” as she experiences her very first rollercoaster.
A thrill-ride or two later, the two adjourn to a private theater with two microphones, pens, paper and the instructions “Write a love song.” As they sit at the edge of a stage and write, someone is walking up in boots and carrying a guitar.
Oh, no. Please, no more “Boom-Boom.”
A curtain goes up behind them, and…”Well, hello there!”
Dolly Parton joins the pair for a little inspiration. For probably the second time that day, Emily has probably just soiled herself.
“It’s Dolly-friggin’-Parton,” Emily clears up for us. Dolly gives the pair a lovely little private serenade with a special song penned for the occasion. “I’ve never seen someone’s face light up that much,” Arie says, pleased.
Emily and Dolly get a little girl-girl time while Arie scoots off somewhere that is “else” for a while. “True love can last,” Dolly assures her. But she then wants to know what Emily wants.
“I think it’s that feeling you get….when you know, you just know,” Emily said.
For all that I made fun of her above for saying just such a thing – she is, in fact, absolutely right.
Dolly wishes her well, and shares a song with Arie and Emily about she and her own husband. “From here to the moon and back, who else in this world will love you like that?” she cooed softly.
“I would not have known it was their first date,” Dolly said.
So, does Arie get the rose? What exactly do you think? Of course.
Later, it’s cocktail time back at the mansion. And the episode was going so very well up to this point….
Getting some private time with Emily quickly gets ugly. Kalon demonstrates a developing trend in which he kicks himself so hard in the teeth, that his foot becomes impacted in his throat. During one chat with Emily, he tells her, “I love it when you talk, but I wish you’d let me finish.” Travis and his egg “Shelly” that one of Emily’s friends traumatized with verbal and physical abuse reach an understanding: that he and Emily get to toss it down some steps and “set it free.”
Oh, then there’s Allesandro.
Many things could be said to screw up a good date. I’ve said more than a few of them. But never have I ever told a single mother that I view her daughter as a “compromise.” You’ve got me there, Al.
“If I wasn’t willing to take that compromise as part of my life . . . I wouldn’t be here,” Al said of having no experience with children, but jumping into fatherhood. “Compromise would be me as a dad, as a chief of a family.”
Emily lays it out for him in no uncertain terms.
“Me having a daughter is not a ‘compromise’,” she told him. “Anybody that I’m going to spend the rest of my life with is going to see that as the biggest bonus ever.” Al tells her he doesn’t see it that way. He’s an idiot, but at least he’s honest. So is she, as she clearly wants him to have no confusion about where the door is or where the van will be waiting to send him home.
“I’m totally shocked. I wasn’t expecting that at all,” he said.
No, really. He didn’t see it coming.
Emily needs some time to cool off and just consider her doubts about whether there’s a problem with her and whether the remaining men are there for the right reasons. Once her chi has been balanced, rotated and aligned again, it’s rose time. Jef stepped it up this week and earned a rose. Despite missing the group-date rose, Doug also showed promised and got a pass. After his painful parting with Shelly, Travis is moving on to the next round of dates. Despite possibly TRYING to get himself eliminated, Ryan will be back next week. Kalon once more dodges the bullet and moves forward. That leaves Stevie shipping out this week.
“I saw something in her that I thought was great and that I wanted to pursue. She obviously saw more in those guys than she did in me,” he said on his way out the door.
So – that’s that. Multiple people said dumb things, but Emily’s apparently the forgiving sort. A toast to end the evening, and we’re out with the promise that all are headed to Bermuda next week.