'The Bachelorette' Season 8, Episode 7 He Who Hesitates.... Recap
How precious few, are the ways to safely discuss a lover’s ex.
All things considered, one usually does best to just evade the subject entirely. That’s usually possible. Usually, but not always. It’s a subject like a bullet: stand in the line of fire long enough, and one’s got your name on it.
Such is the lesson that Arie Luyendyk, Jr. learned the hard way this week on “The Bachelorette” when – depending on the advancement of your gullibility – it was made abundantly clear that two can keep a secret if one of them is dead.
Ah, Prague. We, the Learned, know full-well it’s a European locale with a colorful history of mobs, mayhem and whimsy that rivals any city on the continent. Then again, this is a Disney-owned network, so we’re just going to stick with the timeless architecture that drips with history from every brick and bit of mortar. And oh, how chaos did reign.
Emily Maynard has been in “not f**king around” gear all season, giving no quarter at all and taking some would-be suitors behind the barn at even a stumble. She’s now a week away from hometown dates, nobody’s clearly immune from being put down at this juncture, and actually showing some admirable gumption at how swiftly she’ll pull the trigger if she feels she’s being jerked around for even a moment.
Nor is host Chris Harrison screwing around as he addresses the herd, now culled to six potential husbands. He reminds them all that with the field to be narrowed to four this week, Emily has four dates to decide who had best re-up their eHarmony accounts – three mano-a-Maynard outings and a group date. There will be no one-on-one roses, but a single group-date rose to be dealt.
The six-pack settles into the Aria Hotel, where Arie’s one-on-one card begs, “Let’s ‘Czech’ out Prague together.”
Aw, I see whatcha did there.
Arie’s heart is beating like a hammer as he manscapes with visions of bringing Emily home to Scottsdale dancing in his head, but he still seems confident that love awaits. Emily wants nothing but to traipse about Prague and do the “tourist” thing with Arie, trying on the husband-and-wife state of mind with him for size. Here’s a question: Ashley Hebert was a twit that leaped off the page of every horrible romantic comedy every unfortunately penned, but at least her dates’ settings were sometimes intriguing even when abroad – what the Hell, ABC? I admire how willful Emily can be, but could she really have found nothing more memorable to do in some of Europe’s most captivating cities than walk around and peruse trinkets? If I were some of these eligible, strapping men, I might’ve honestly by now just said “Well, f**k this noise. I’m soaking in history, and this woman is actually making it frightfully boring.”
Ah, we’re wasting no time, either: Emily then reveals that she knows there’s something Arie isn’t telling her, but that he doesn’t know she knows.
Y’know, “The ABC Cavalcade of Sight-Seeing” is so boring me right now, that I actually want to imagine I’m watching a much better show instead. Luckily, I’m a man with two bottles of chocolate-orange port and a fine imagination….
Mmmmmmm, that’s the stuff.
Anyway….I find myself jerked back uncomfortably to reality’s locked-and-upright position by this week’s kitschy romantic moment in tourism: the pair approach a statue where one is supposed to rub an engraving of a lady for luck in love, and one of a dog for loyalty.
“It’s weird to rub a dog that represents loyalty when I know in the back of my head that he has a secret,” Emily explains to the two people not quick enough on the uptake to grasp the subtlety.
Pardon me, while I make a brief exposition dump alongside Harrison. Many moons before this season, Arie entered a brief relationship with current “The Bachelorette” producer Cassie Lambert – who’s been palling around shooting all the live-long weeks with Emily. Up to now, Emily has been completely unaware of the relationship, but Cassie’s started having a bout of conscience since it became abundantly apparent that Arie is among Emily’s most likely choices.
Harrison’s forthcoming that producers decided to film a sequence of Cassie interviewing Emily about Arie’s now-disclosed past, but if you genuinely believe that ABC brass didn’t see a walking-and-talking ratings catapult in Arie or that he wasn’t at least in part cast for exactly this coaxed-together, accidentally-on-purpose scenario, then head over to Twitter right and follow @247sean to hear about all my latest deals on pieces of the True Cross, Arizona’s most opulent oceanfront properties, and Brooklyn’s sturdiest bridges.
Over a couple tall, glorious beers at a sidewalk café, Arie is playing his pair of aces like a full house, oblivious that Emily’s holding the very cards he’s bluffing. “I think I’m very trustworthy,” he tell hers, looking squarely into her eyes. “If trust is ever broken, then that’s all.”
In an unintentional fake-out, Arie lets slip that he has a secret he’s kept well-covered: a concealed tattoo of the name of an ex he lived with.
“Why is he not telling me?” Emily wonders. “That scares me.”
Back from the commercial break, Harrison tells us that the three then discussed Arie’s secret tryst with Cassie – off-camera. Harrison summarizes that Arie followed Cassie’s lead and believed that the pair’s coupling was so brief so long ago, that it had little bearing on the present except to possibly cause strife. Emily then agreed, coming to grips that what her eyes couldn’t see, couldn’t hurt her heart.
Then, tralalala, it’s off to the candlelit dinner. Whoopity-crap.
“It’s just a misunderstanding. You didn’t do anything wrong. I’m sorry,” Emily said, before enjoying a few more tender smooches with Arie.
Yep. That’s it. ABC had us under the desks fearing an atomic blast, and rendered unto us a “blast,” all right – a fake-out, wet fart of a blast right into our faces. Screw you so hard, Network.
Evidently, John, “In Prague, all you need is love” – or so says your date card. He’s granted his first one-on-one opportunity complete with Emily telling the world he’s been on the bubble more than once for failing to create his own opportunity to stand out from the field. “I know he’s trying and he really wants to show me who he is . . . so today, he’s got to kick it into high-gear.”
Throughout an intimate afternoon boat cruise and another tourist stroll, John opens up….well, nothing. Apparently, he says precious little to absolutely nothing of consequence. They paint a bit and write on the John Lennon Wall, but Emily admits she’s still feeling no connection.
Hey! More lovey-dovey kitsch! Huzzah! They come to a fence where two lovers pushing a padlock together around a bar theoretically symbolizes a lifetime of togetherness, blah blah blah blah….
The lock doesn’t close.
CALL A LOCKSMITH!
Emily informs us that John’s inability to seal the deal with the lock “is not a good sign” but does so with the hint of a smile. Is she actually starting to enjoy doing away with her men?
Not that the possibility needs further confirmation, but she drags John that night to dinner in a dungeon.
Actually, would it be word if I admitted that I’m starting to take a shine to this lass?
John finally shows her his wounds, telling her that he’s been averse to relationships since the last woman who’d captured his heart cheated on her, leaving him in the process wondering one night when she wouldn’t take his calls if some harm had befallen her. He claims he knows what he wants, and that it’s becoming clearer and clearer that he wants Emily enough to lay his vulnerable points bare before him.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch….
Emily dares Sean, Chris and an entirely-too-keyed-up Doug to “find our happily ever after” together. Doug’s ever-present aggression is problem enough. Now, Sean is starting to crack like a bad stucco job himself over not getting the final one-on-one opportunity.
Did I say “starting to crack?” My apologies. Understatement is a gift of mine that I can’t exchange. I meant that he bolts from the hotel and starts wandering the streets of Prague bellowing “Emily! Emily!” as if he might actually find her that way. Probably with none too small an amount of coaching, he actually manages to run across her just standing beneath an archway because shut up.
“This is an awesome surprise! I missed you!” she tells him as the two get snuggly and kiss.
It worked. It really, really worked.
“I like that Sean had the confidence just to come out and find me,” Emily gushed.
“If I have to share you with 20 guys just to get five minutes with you, I will,” Sean tells her, as every naughty joke ever told collapses in exhaustion.
Meanwhile, Chris tells us that if he doesn’t get a hometown date, “I’ll be scared for anyone around me.” The pre-commercial teaser hints that Chris The Cantankerous beseeches Lady Emily for an explanation as to why she doesn’t want to be with him and only him. The four gather for their outing into a horse-drawn carriage tour through the Czech countryside and up to a hilltop 13th-Century castle.
Doug and Emily go aside to chat but his body language is hinting to her that he’s still waiting for something. Emily “goes with her gut” and takes him outside for a walk in the rain.
Men, you hear the hammer cocking back. She tells him that slow moving is one thing – no movement at all is something else entirely. After he kisses her and she lets him go anyway, he ultimately just feels stupid. As the car drives him away, he’s still feeling the gut shot and wondering how it all went so wrong.
Emily decides which of her two remaining group-daters she’ll be alone with first by giving them each a key – one of which, she tells them, unlocks a downstairs room where she’ll spend her first moments alone with its lucky holder. Sean’s horseshoe up his ass does the trick again, and he gets the first intimate moments with his would-be lady. The pressure’s off for him, and after another long kiss, it’s easy going.
Chris awaits upstairs with all of his man-rage, and barely resists pouncing upon her. Meanwhile, Jef is elated to get the final pre-hometown one-on-one encounter. When Emily gets upstairs, Chris lets her know in no uncertain terms that he’s “upset with her” and about to lose his s**t over not getting a one-on-one. She kisses his ego boo-boo by telling him that she’s pleased at how he always makes the best of an imperfect situation. That soothes the savage dingus, and leaves him finding all well and only getting better. Unfortunately, it doesn’t go so well that he’s able to wrest the One Rose To Rule Them All from Horseshoe Ass.
“It’s insulting to hear her say she’s ready to meet Sean’s parents,” Chris said.
As the last one-on-one for Jef Minus An F arrives….*sigh* the extended cut of “Return of the King” had less aimless wandering-about amid very little actually happening. This time, they at least wander into a puppet shop and play around a bit, with Emily falling for Jef’s grown-up kid tendencies. The pair walk out with a man and lady puppet each, but Jef pauses and runs back into the shop sans Emily – and comes out with a baby-girl puppet.
“We couldn’t leave Ricki hanging!” Jef tells her.
If this man doesn’t win, then there’s no hope for nice guys.
In one of the most adorkable moments I’ve ever seen, the pair then have a heart-to-heart talk about their growing, nervous affections for one another….acted out with the puppets.
Headed into the rose ceremony, Chris is one tightly packed powder keg. But at least he admits that he blew his opportunity earlier. Somewhere that is “else,” Emily pulls Harrison aside and tells him that with her heart set, she’d really rather dispense with the cocktail-party formalities and get down to thinning the herd a little further. Trouble is, Chris wants a chat before the ax comes down. When Harrison tells them that isn’t a luxury anybody will be enjoying, it’s like flinging lit matches at the powder. Chris is stewing outside, while the other four begin writing his eulogy.
As the Rose Ceremony begins, Emily is espousing her relief that every encounter this past week has answered a question until none remained unaddressed. Jef then gets the first rose. Arie takes the second. Before the last, Chris asks a moment alone. Forcing back bubbling emotions, he apologizes. He also confesses that he’s absolutely falling for her to the point of it tearing him up inside, and Emily is appreciative of his honesty. She’s so appreciative, that she spares him another week and grants him her last rose.
She tells him that for all his past pain, everything has still just moved too slowly. John leaves with hurt and disappointment, but without knowing exactly what Emily really wanted.