If the summer heat didn’t sufficiently kill my appetite, here’s the way to do the job: Kaitlyn has expressed the opinion that Nick “kinda has it all.” Ben only makes her laugh and be positive and happy, while Shawn is intense, but also fun. During the discussion that elicited this disturbing information, Chris Harrison confesses he is fascinated by the whole Nick thing. So am I, but only in the way I am fascinated by a giant beetle stuck to a piece of cardboard with a pin.
Still in Ireland irritating the Irish, Kaitlyn is undertaking the daunting task of sifting through her her final three suitors. Tonight, during her overnight date with Ben, the Peter Brady doppelganger finally admits that he is a mere child of 26 to her AARP-eligible 30. How will Kaitlyn react to this game-changing revelation? With common sense? Good humor? A walk-in appointment with a Dublin cosmetic surgeon?
It hardly matters, though, as reliable sources suggest that her final choice–the man from whom she will joyously accept a $100,000 Neil Lane ring in television’s most romantic moment of the quarter-hour–is already a goner, even before the airing of taped season finale. Something about their relationship being predicated on a lie, although he probably doesn’t know a word like “predicated.” He was okay with meeting a woman predicated on a script, though.
Let us see how things progress this episode. Can we spot which man appears to be gaining favor in Kaitlyn’s eyes, and pants? The drama continues!
Shawn is still confronting Nick. He cares a lot about Kaitlyn. Nick is manipulative and arrogant. Nick counters that he can say the same about Shawn, mostly because he can’t think of anything else to say. Shawn brings up last season again. Nick ripostes with the “Eskimo brothers” thing, about Shawn bragging about having sex with the same woman as some country singer. Nothing is resolved, but penises were brandished and the sizes compared.
Kaitlyn is upset by her encounter with Nick, wherein he tattled on Shawn. Now she is feeling less thrilled with both of them. Fortunately, it’s time to get together with pleasant, unassuming Ben. She’s excited to see him because he puts her in a better mood, like Xanax. They’re going horseback riding. Ben asks his horse to make him look cool in front of his girl. The horse laughs.
Off they go to a field filled with donkeys. They feed them, and then the donkeys chase them as they try to leave, much like Democratic pollsters will. As the donkeys romp away, Ben and Kaitlyn make out. They ride next to a castle where a picnic is laid out. Ben feels comfortable and right with Kaitlyn. He hasn’t considered how different things will be when she’s bone-tired and irritable after a long day of dance instruction, and just wants to collapse on the sofa and watch Survivor.
“I’m falling in love with you,” he says. It would be fun to start a life with her, he thinks. They should also start a retirement plan immediately, since she can’t make that much. The day feels like a fairy tale to her. She loves every moment with him. Yet he’s in third place.
At night, in the castle, Kaitlyn and Ben sit in front of dinner. The food always remains untouched. I wonder if they just use plastic stuff. He toasts her. She knows he would work hard at keeping the passion in their relationship, because that’s his job while she sits around. Then he admits to being a year younger than she thought. She thinks of him as a mature person, though, especially after his voice changed in that episode where the kids had the chance to sing on TV. Yet she treats him like he’s her Boston Terrier. One she gives tongue, but still.
The key envelope comes out. “This is a huge step in a relationship,” she tells him somberly. “It’s a big deal for me.” America does a spit take. He eagerly agrees to spend the night because doesn’t want to leave her. And she feels like she’s falling in love with him. They kiss without touching.
“I wonder if I’ll wake up in the morning thinking he’s the one,” muses Kaitlyn as they shut the door to the Fantasy Suite.
Next day, sheep baa tunefully as Ben and Kaitlyn gaze out the window, wrapped in a tender embrace. She doesn’t want to say goodbye to Ben, because she didn’t expect to fall in love with him. He must have brought that KY Jelly with the tingling sensation.
Now she goes to see Shawn, who is “super good-looking” and suddenly has a sense of humor she didn’t notice before. He did do a good job of covering it up til now. They’re going golfing, even though that’s Scottish. “Golf is a lot like love because you can do it til you’re old and gray,” Shawn observes sagely. Love doesn’t require club membership fees, though. He finds it a turn-on to watch Kaitlyn swing her club, probably because her pants are tighter than the label on a can of creamed corn.
Next Kaitlyn challenges Shawn to strip naked and play a round. He keeps his socks on, probably like he does for sex. Then she steals his clothes and runs off, with him giving naked chase. The fact that she’s having the time of her life at this activity tells you a lot about Kaitlyn.
Now they arrive for dinner. Kaitlyn remarks that they’ve had a lot of ups and downs. That’s exactly why he loves that this was a normal day. He must golf naked routinely. “Kaitlyn and I are in an awesome spot,” he announces. But then she brings up his hate for Nick; she must ask these questions or she will regret it. He admits having talked to Nick privately. He feels the encounter confirmed his feelings about this rival. She tells him that Nick told her about the Eskimo brothers. Without denying the story, Shawn declares him delusional. “He’s still acting like he’s a sixteen-year-old girl,” Shawn asserts angrily, and suggests that if she picks Nick, well, that’s just fine because then he doesn’t want her anyway. Sort of like a 16-year-old girl might say.
They open the key envelope, but don’t even discuss it before they race off to the Fantasy Suite like a pair of maddened sex fiends. Next day, Shawn returns triumphant, only to be confronted by Nick, who is lurking like a schoolyard flasher outside his door. Nick demands to talk again, “man to man.” In their case, it would be more “jackass to dimwit,” but okay. A lot of bleeping follows. Shawn is done with Nick and his smooth talking. He had a great time with Kaitlyn, and now he wants nothing more to do with Nick. Good luck, Shawn. We all said that after the last season of The Bachelorette and look how much good that did.
Nick says Shawn calls himself a man, but refuses to have a convo man to man. Nick seems overly fixated on manhood. He also feels it was not classy for Shawn to tell him that he spent the day with Kaitlyn. Er, how is it a private matter when it was taped for television? He hopes Kaitlyn understands what’s going on here. She probably at least skimmed the script.
Before the Rose Ceremony, Chris sits for a chat with Kaitlyn, adding three minutes of overtime to his standard work hours. She’s thrilled with how this week went. For a change, no one called her phony, shallow or slutty. She tells Chris how Nick brings out her sensitive side, which he must have done off-camera since it’s something the rest of us have never seen. Chris asks about Shawn’s jealousy. That’s her biggest concern, she explains. A healthy amount of jealousy is acceptable, but just enough to make her feel special, not infringe on her pleasure.
Meanwhile, she’s never been attracted to someone like Nick before, but at the same time, she can’t picture him as a long-term prospect. The two men’s feud is disturbing to her as well, and affects her feelings for them. They should be focusing all their passion solely on her. Then there’s Ben. He would make a great husband, she reports. She reviewed his resume and contacted all his references.
It will be heart-wrenching to say goodbye tonight to one of these fatuous, simpering clods. She’s terrified of making a mistake, and though she will follow her heart, that could go wrong. If she followed her heart when she got her hair done, she may have a point.
She arrives to greet the men, her “heart beating out of” her chest and her cleavage busting out of her neckline. The two rose-getters will get to introduce Kaitlyn to their families. She blabbers about being open and honest and sensitive, then appears overcome and asks for a moment before fleeing the room. Cut to a Verizon commercial. Please give me a moment while I flee the room.
Kaitlyn and Chris whisper meaningfully. “Tell them what’s going on,” Chris urges, in case they were wondering if she needed to go to the bathroom. It breaks her heart to do it. She returns and apologizes for the delay, but the director was ahead of schedule. The decision she must make feels almost impossible. Even flipping a coin didn’t help.
The first rose is lifted and clutched between her boobs. It goes to Nick, for God’s sake. Will we never be rid of this parasite on the franchise? Shawn looks grim, Ben dismayed. The second rose is for Shawn. Ben blinks back tears. Kaitlyn hangs her head. He says goodbye to the guys and walks out with Kaitlyn. Shawn is glad about his rose, but he really hates Nick being there. Nick gloats at being in the final two. Again.
Ben and Kaitlyn sit together outside. She doesn’t know how to say goodbye. Ben wishes he could share a life with her, but it is not to be. He’ll have to settle for the one shtup. She knows he’ll find a nice girl. Maybe he’ll be The Bachelor next season. Riding away, he says he’ll miss her a lot. He didn’t expect to be going home and not seeing her again. “I was definitely changed by Kaitlyn,” he says. Indeed, his Q score increased five points.
“Saying goodbye to Ben crushed me,” she says. Worse, she has to go back into a room with two guys who hate each other. She doesn’t want to be in the middle of it. But she’s the one who picked them! This chick is nuts. They all clink glasses awkwardly in a toast to meeting families as tension fills the screen. Then she leaves them alone. Will weapons be produced? Moments tick by as they shift and fidget. The director was way ahead of schedule.
Next we find ourselves in Utah, where Kaitlyn will meet Nick’s family and maybe ask them if he had a traumatic experience as a child. She meets up with him first. He coyly brings up feelings. He can never look her in the eye, even as he says he has no reservations about their relationship and is totally in love with her. She grabs his face and kisses him.
Family member Maria tells us she was apprehensive about Nick going back on the show. Everyone seems upset because he went through so much being after being rejected by Andi. All those talk show guest spots and Hollywood premieres were emotionally exhausting. His littlest sister, no more than 10, is crying over her concern for her brother, or maybe they wouldn’t let her watch TV. As the couple approaches, Kaitlyn is nearly hyperventilating. Seems like with good reason.
There are a great many brothers and sisters to meet, as well as the parents. Kaitlyn goes off to chat with sister Maria. She asks how it’s different this time than with Chris. Nick really surprised her, Kaitlyn says, and also she likes that she wouldn’t have to move to a remote farming town in Iowa. Maria feels Kaitlyn is vulnerable and authentic, two qualities you often see men cite as what they look for in a wife.
The brothers, who all look freakishly like Nick, approve of her talk about how she’s always in the moment. Nick is usually in next week, so they’re a good match. Little Bella asks what Vancouver is like and if she loves Nick. The child can picture Kaitlyn as her sister-in-law, but apparently not in Vancouver.
Now it’s time for Mom to do some interviewing. She feels that for Nick to have returned to the grueling agony that is being a top-rated TV show cast member, he must have seen something special in Kaitlyn. Probably an increased paycheck. Mom is still anxious, though, as she talks with Nick next. He was so confident and naive last time, he muses, dismissing Andi as a cold-blooded abuser of men’s emotions. This time, though, he feels the person in the role of The Bachelorette is following her heart. His eyes dart around like a ferret’s as he assures Mom that Kaitlyn loves him, and that she’s great at making out. Mom grins. The psychosis must be genetic in origin.
Mom tearfully acknowledges that next time she sees him, Nick will be either on Cloud 9 or. . .the words are too terrible to be spoken. Then again, she didn’t believe Andi felt the same way about him that Kaitlyn does. Let’s review the tapes and see what reassuring things she actually said about Andi back then. Anyway, Kaitlyn is satisfied with the family meeting. Making out commences.
Now it’s time to meet Shawn’s family. They’re also in Utah. What are the odds? Oh, wait, it’s the same hotel, they flew everyone in. Shawn feels up her leg as they chat about the meeting beforehand. He has two sisters whose opinions matter to him. She wants to know if he’s ready for marriage.
Shawn’s mom couldn’t make it to the meeting–I’d like to know what that’s about–but his aunt is filling in. The sisters take Kaitlyn aside. One asks about her previous serious relationships. Do they think she’s Elizabeth Taylor? Kaitlyn enthuses about the initial animal attraction she felt toward Shawn. I know I’d be thrilled to hear my brother’s new girlfriend tell me how turned on she was at their first encounter. Kaitlyn asks the sisters if Shawn is ready for marriage, or for a pre-nup. The sisters believe so. One declares Kaitlyn spunky and down to earth, two more qualities you often see men cite as what they look for in a wife.
What about the other guy in this contest, though? It scares the crap out of her, Kaitlyn explains, but Shawn has shown her sides of him that show how much he cares. The sister does not ask, as I do, what the hell that even means. They tell Shawn that Kaitlyn is great, and the two complement each other, much like Kibbles ‘n Bits.
Dad, on the other hand, has never seen Shawn so infatuated. Is it the real thing or is that lunkheaded son of his letting his little head lead? “What the hell’s going on?” posits Dad to Shawn. “This whole thing’s made me a better person,” replies Shawn, a person who will willingly golf naked on national television. He’s never felt something like this with any other girl. But he still hasn’t told her he loves her. Dad recommends going for it, and since Shawn respects his opinion, he’ll proceed. Maybe Dad knows because he never told Mom he loved her, and now she’s gone.
The day went well, Kaitlyn feels. So now Shawn wants to be honest and open one more time, he tells her. In Texas, he begins ominously, he said he was falling in love with her. But that wasn’t true. This is where the foreboding preview clip ended. The truth is, he continues, he is in love with her, Oh, what a scamp! She drapes her limbs over him and they make out. “I love you, Kaitlyn Bristowe,” he murmurs. But amidst her joy, she is confused. Because there is another man over whom she drapes her limbs.
Kaitlyn returns to her room, bereft and overcome. Her emotions are so intense. There’s so much caring going on. How can she say goodbye to one of these men with whom she has shared different Fantasy Suites? She gazes out over the spectacular scenery of Utah and yearns for a solution, although not one offered by the Mormons.
Next week is the Reunion Show! Jared can’t move on! How does Ben H. feel now? What about Clint and JJ’s dramatic stand-off? And then there’s Ian. . . . Following in two weeks, Kaitlyn’s journey to find love comes to a dramatic end. Let us pray it’s the last we see of Nick.