Alas, the continuing tale of Surgically Enhanced Beauty and the Hose Beasts was tabled last week in honor of the national holiday commemorating our country’s independence, which we celebrate by watching real fireworks instead of those shot off when JoJo makes out with one of the guys on a date. We also actually eat the meals we’re served beforehand.
Tonight’s drama takes up where we left off the week before July 4th. To refresh yourself on the previous episode, please check that recap; I can’t recall myself what happened, because I often exhibit symptoms of amnesia after trauma. During the coming two hours, JoJo will sift the wheat from the gluten to identify her final four potential soulmates. With more than a dozen previously dismissed, it appears JoJo’s soul is as hard to find a mate for as the lids in my Tupperware collection.
Word is that the guys will perform a rap together, including demonstrating their freestyle skills. It should be as entertaining as your post-holiday-barbecue heartburn. We’ll also witness a one-on-one with a certain height-and-temper-challenged bachelor, which likely will result in a sensation similar to having your fingers blown off by an errant firecracker.
It’s all coming up tonight, in addition your dinner.
As JoJo packs in her Buenos Aires hotel room, she considers the significance of meeting the last four guys’ families, especially since they’re probably in a bad mood. Meanwhile, the guys review the emotional Rose Ceremony that concluded the last episode, offering no new buzz terms we can mock. Chris arrives to reassure them that he still works for the show. JoJo wants them all there, he explains, and looks forward to seeing them for three one-on-ones and a group date. There will be no roses given on the one-on-ones, though, just the group one. Maybe the florists in Argentina are short on inventory. Leaving the first date card, Chris goes off to buy a car with the day’s earnings.
The first one-on-one goes to Alex. He is enthusiastic about the potential for JoJo to fall in love with him during the course of the activities, but suggests no reason why she should. He meets up with her as Xavier Cugat-ish music plays. They drive off in a limo, laughing gaily while studiously avoiding each other’s eyes, similar to a seminal scene in Roman Holiday, except Gregory Peck was much taller than Audrey Hepburn.
The rest of the guys ride a bus together to meet JoJo for their group date later. They each wish they had JoJo alone so they could share Argentinian Pringles with her like Alex is right now. In the bus, the rapping begins. The driver is considering crashing into a ditch to stop it, and he probably doesn’t even speak English.
The next shot of JoJo and Alex has them looking bored and uncomfortable, even sighing heavily. The sexual tension is undeniable. They pass through wide green pastures as JoJo points out that “estancia” is the word for “ranch” in Argentina. She also knows how to say “thank you” and “please, where is the restroom?” like native. They’ll learn to be gauchos during their date, which is a great way to prove if Alex would be a good husband in Montana. I hope it doesn’t mean wearing gaucho pants. First, Alex is costumed for the role. Uh, oh, they gave him a knife. A cow moos in either appreciation or horror of this entire premise.
The couple mount their horses and ride off into the afternoon sun as little dogs prance beside them, and the camera crew gets several angles. Alex says JoJo looks like a model for a Ralph Lauren ad, the kind of thing that “makes me think what love should be like,” she declares. So that’s why so many supermodels have no trouble finding husbands.
The gaucho shows them how to conquer the horse, making the great beast lie down and be relaxed in the grass as he easily manipulates its limbs. A Valium might be quicker. JoJo and Alex believe the horse enjoys the experience of the gaucho climbing all over its prone body, and not even in the Fantasy Suite. The couple drapes themselves over the horse next, then kiss and fondle each other over the animal’s prone form. The horse deserves a rose more than Alex.
The rest of the guys arrive at their destination, which has an Argentinian infinity pool, as JoJo and Alex go on the evening portion of their date. He feels he got clarity with Jojo today, as well as hay fever. Finally, they are both connected, to each other and to the horse. JoJo agrees they always had a start of a connection, but today canceled any of her doubts,, especially after she saw him in those tight gaucho pants. As they make out, Alex is done being worried that her feelings don’t match his. He might as well have a “return to sender” stamp on his forehead.
Another date card arrives for the rest of the guys. Jordan gets the second one-on-one for this episode. He’s stoked, man!
Alex and JoJo discuss the potential hometown date. Alex wants to drink beer and watch sports with her brothers. He knows he’s falling in love with her, or at least her brothers’ fridge. However, she looks uncomfortable, and wonders what to make of this unexpected declaration. “Yeah, um,” she begins encouragingly, then explains that she appreciates Alex’s ability to be open and expressive, which is a new word for the show. But JoJo also admits she doesn’t feel as good as she should that he’s falling in love with her. Sadly, she can’t reciprocate. Good thing the gauchos took back the knife.
Dolorous organ music plays as we watch Alex’s face fall as heavily as the horse did earlier. JoJo is going to send him home right now, she tells him. Her eyelashes are batting like Lambchop’s when asked a leading question by Shari Lewis. Seeming resigned, he says it’s okay, and she walks him to the door. If this were real, it would be worse than watching someone being waterboarded except in this case, it would be a legitimate form of torture. JoJo feels she’s giving Alex respect by not making him wait for the Rose Ceremony, but really she’s just depriving him of an extra $1,500 worth of screen time.
The next day, Jordan prepares for his date by donning a t-shirt and shorts. He rides a white limo —hmm, Alex’s was black—to meet her at a private plane. They will fly to spend the day wine-tasting, as opposed to of lying in the dirt with an aphasic Señor Ed. They feed each other grapes as flamenco music plays, then climb into the tubs and start stomping like Lucy Ricardo. “It’s a fun relationship,” JoJo muses, which is just how Isolde described her time with Tristan. They fill glasses from the just-squished grapes, unconcerned about the missing finishing notes of spice and sandalwood. They’d probably prefer a couple of cans of Diet Dr Pepper, anyway.
Of course, hot tub time follows next. As they snuggle among the grapevines, Chase questions Jordan’s ability to support JoJo, and still be able to afford hair product. The group date card arrives, naming him, Robby, and James. The others are disgruntled that Luke remains to get the last one-on-one.
Jordan says this was one of the best days of his life, which admittedly didn’t have a lot going on up til now. He plans to tell JoJo all about his family tonight. They review their grape squashing, plane-flying, and fun-having which were just great.
Jordan feels great about bringing a girl home, especially after so many one-night hookups with strangers. JoJo will meet his older brother and his dog, but brother Aaron won’t be there because they don’t have much of a relationship. Or else Aaron thinks, as does most of America, that Jordan is a dolt. He explains that everything he’s done was never good enough, and appearing on this show doesn’t improve his record. He wants people to see he has humility, if no fashion sense. Meanwhile, JoJo was attracted to him immediately, and was scared by that. Now that she trusts him, the fear has abated. The same cannot be said for the rest of us.
“I am. . .so in love with you,” he tells her tenderly. He adds that today was the day to tell her that, although apparently it’s not the day to shave in preparation. JoJo is taken aback by this revelation, but so very happy. “I feel really loved,” she reveals, as he mashes her spine against a concrete wall and paws at her.
The group date is next. They all go to a suite where JoJo is offering “authentic” regional food, games, and champagne. It’s “the perfect slumber party” if you’re older than 18 and have no interest in normal interpersonal relationships. JoJo shoves a number of French (Argentinian?) fries into James’ mouth, and he has to leave the room so he doesn’t choke. Then JoJo has the three men form a massage train and beat each other’s backs, which makes no more sense than anything else they consider helpful activities on this show but at least costs less than renting a yacht. After that they play Pictionary. When I want to get to know a man I might marry, I play Stratego with him.
Next they play Strip Truth or Dare. Robby feels his grandma will hate to see him running down the hotel corridor in his underwear, as if she hasn’t already had a stroke over his being cast on the show. Then they all pile into the bed to watch TV, like a scene from Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice, if there were another woman there instead of Chase.
JoJo takes Robby aside. She asks how he’s feeling about the hometown visits. “It’s a game-changer,” he tells her, since none of them care about careers, children, or where they might live together. JoJo is worried about his family having rejected his last girlfriend, since if they didn’t like one woman he dated, they must not like anybody, a concept reinforced weekly by this show. However, Robby came to realize they were right about that woman, or possibly they were sincere in threatening to disinherit him. By now, though, Robby has moved on from that anguish, and is ready to love JoJo. JoJo asks if he’s sure he’s ready for a life together with her. It’s like an interview for a position in accounts receivable.
Chase says he definitely has “emotions of love” for JoJo, but he’s afraid to admit it. He recounts for her how many dates they’ve had in the show, much as a job candidate enumerates annual sales goals they’ve exceeded. He strokes her leg as she explains the enormity of being introduced to each other’s families. The Middletons weren’t as worked up about meeting the Queen. Chase insists he likes JoJo a lot, and he wants to spend the rest of his life with her. At their wedding, he will promise to like a lot, honor, and cherish her til death do them part.
James feels he and JoJo have a genuine connection, but he worries that her connection to the others is more physical, largely because they’re much more attractive. She tells him he makes her feel loved and appreciated, if not horn. That’s what she seeks in a husband, in addition to a six-figure income and no male pattern baldness. She likes that she and James can just be themselves with each other, even if fully dressed. If James makes it to hometown visits, she’ll meet his mom and dad, who love whomever he loves with the possible exception of Blake Shelton.
“I am very much in the process of falling for you,” he says to JoJo, as Bogie so often did to Bacall.
It’s a pompadour debate next, as the men discuss who thinks he’s a front runner for the rose on this date. Robby believes he is definitely the one, as does Chase, while James seems uncertain. The producers are keeping mum. Finally, JoJo arrives to stop all the crazy talk. She lifts the rose, saying she wishes she had more than one to offer. Yet she’s confident that her choice is right. JoJo is ready to meet the family of. . .Robby. The other two glare before they take their departure. Regret and confusion clouds the moment for them, but more so for me, since I’d rather be playing Mahjongg Candy.
Time for Luke’s date alone with JoJo. “This may be the most important day for this season,” he declares, quoting TV Guide‘s weekly recap. They’re off to play with some horses, hopefully while standing upright. JoJo likes that Luke is smart and deep as well as being eye candy. They saddle up as Luke expounds on important horse facts, such as whether to to kick them with one boot or two, and that whinnying means the horse has a bug in her nose.
Then it’s time to skeet shoot, which is basically the method JoJo uses to choose a husband. Later she praises Luke for knowing how to ride a horse and shoot a flying clay disc, both traits sought by members of eharmony.com. He thinks what they have together feels natural and real, unlike either of their teeth. He is committed to seeing it through, so they kiss in front of some coiled ropes outside the stables. She likes that he would plan the future with her, instead of proceeding alone while she humbly follows. Luke’s some kind of man!
JoJo now knows what she wants to do, without even a cocktail party to inform her decision. Luke returns to join the other guys, which he explains is because they’re going straight o the Rose Ceremony tonight. James is convincingly enough shocked at this change in the script.
As night falls over the estancias, the men head to the ceremony, each consumed with anxiety about the loss of more minutes spent talking with JoJo about being open and vulnerable. Clad in black sequins, JoJo addresses them somberly, like a sexy funeral director. She recalls this same time in the previous season, and how hard it was for the dumped girls. Lifting the first rose, she pronounces Luke’s name. The next one goes to Jordan, as if anyone would be surprised. Chase and James are trembling and fraught before her. She picks up the last rose, and tries to picture James naked. Chase gets called to accept it. James hangs his head, already penning a new song about loss and bitterness and an entire wall of his room plastered with photos of JoJo with big red slashes across them. She walks him out.
Her voice trembles as she expresses her sorrow for sending him home. James has made her a better person, she claims, or at least a person who knows slicked back pompadours are more her thing. He thanks her for what they shared, even if he didn’t make it to the Fantasy Suite. He climbs into the limo, and JoJo gazes at its disappearing tail lights, a single tear trailing down her cheek. Her sequins twinkle as she sits alone, pondering life’s most difficult moments and whether her eyelash glue can hold up much longer.
Next week: Hometown visit drama, tears, and a dress tighter than the seal on my refrigerator.