The Bachelorette: Closure!
Poor Hong Kong. Let’s just say that, and leave it up to Hong Kong to get whatever closure it needs following this episode.
The episode opens with Chris Harrison at Ashley’s hotel room door, asking if she remembers that time when she told him she’d like to have the opportunity to get proper closure with Bentley. Yes, she remembers. She remembers that she and Bentley left off with a ‘dot dot dot’ which has made it all too difficult to properly focus on the suitcase fulla bachelors she’s brought with her halfway around the world. It cannot stand. The ‘dot dot dot’ must be exchanged for a full stop. Or a semicolon*, maybe, but probably a period would be for the best.
Well, never let it said that the producers of The Bachelorette will not move heaven and earth if doing so could result in more drama, or dramatic clips, at the least. Bentley is here, in the hotel, Ashley is informed. “Are you serious?” she asks.
“Yes! I’m not going to mess with you,” is his answer (insert Spockish eyebrow raise here). He gives her Bentley’s room number, some excellently obvious advice about closure, and takes his leave in that way that makes you say to yourself, “Oh GOD, I’m glad he’s not a bigger part of these episodes!”
So then it’s down to Bentley’s room, where Ashley stands around outside for a minute, then knocks.
“Who is it?” Bentley asks from inside the room**. He lets her in and they sit down on the most strikingly yellow couch anyone has ever seen, whereupon the two of them proceed to have an astoundingly inane conversation about NOTHING. He’s angling to try and get her to ask him to come back on the show while she’s angling to try and get him to say something, anything, that she could use to justify asking him to come back on the show. No luck. They just don’t communicate the way they once did. The feeling is gone, therefore, so is Bentley.
Phew! And not a moment too soon, either, because Ashley’s got a one-on-one date with Texan oilgoob Lucas, with whom she shares absolutely no chemistry whatsoever. They walk around some outdoor markets, staring at the lights of the city, which do include some pretty fancy lasers and whatnot. Lucas reveals that he’s never been to a big city like that before. Ashley feels good that she’s finally got closure with Bentley, but she doesn’t say anything then, or during dinner. Winding up on a boat, they finally get in that first kiss that nobody but Lucas has been looking forward to, and she gives him a rose. Am I selling this date short? Nope. Let’s move on.
The group dates on The Bachelorette seem to be evolving into what we’ve come to refer to them as in our house as Amazing Race Dates. That’s not really a compliment so much as a simple observation that The Amazing Race is a superior show to The Bachelorette. Last week, a spirited group date involving punching sent Ames to the hospital, but this week it’s safe. It’s dragon boat racing, at which Ames no doubt excels, having been on the rowing team at his Ivy League school for his entire undergraduate career***. The fellows are paired up – Ames and Mickey, Ryan and the Dentist, Ben and Constantine**** – and then sent out into the streets of Hong Kong to pull together their teams, which they all manage to do except for Ben and Constantine, who come back wearing silk robes instead, in the belief/hope that their robes will draw a team to them in the nick of time. It works, but their team is bad and they come in third, albeit with no Amazing Race-like consequences. After the race, everyone watches from a distance as two people get engaged down the beach a bit (sigh!), before moving the party along to someplace with an elevator (their hotel? I missed it!) for the last portion of the date. Ashley: kisses Ames in the elevator, kisses Ben on a balcony, feels relieved that she got closure with Bentley, but doesn’t say anything about it to anyone. Ryan gets the rose, which bugs the Dentist, whose entire reason for being on the show at this point is to hate on Ryan. Fair enough, I suppose, but has he ever seen this show before? Such behaviour gets old.
Last one-on-one date is with J.P., during which they do very little but have dinner in Zodiac Park. Ashley, feeling so relieved to have gotten closure with Bentley, finally does tell someone – J.P. – whose response is every bit as gentle and understanding as you’d want it to be from a potential mate when you reveal to them the idiotic secret you’ve been carrying around with you for weeks. Lotsa smooching to be had after that. Doesn’t J.P. have to be a bit of a frontrunner now?
But there’s an inadvertent hitch that comes as a result of this. After J.P.’s entirely reasonable reaction to her news, you almost couldn’t blame Ashley for being emboldened enough to tell all her other suitors the great news about her getting some closure with Bentley. That is, YOU almost couldn’t blame her. ALMOST. As for others, well, Constantine’s a little pissed. Clearly, he’s shocked to discover that, on a show devoted to finding and exploiting interpersonal attractions, Ashley found someone besides him who she’s attracted to. Lucas is also somewhat pissed. It seems that he too is shocked to discover that, on a show devoted to finding and exploiting interpersonal attractions, Ashley found someone besides him who she’s attracted to. That he’s standing there with a rose on his lapel, beaking off about his time getting wasted and getting the others riled up does not reflect well on Lucas. Did anyone notice that he didn’t show up in any of the ‘Coming Soon’ highlights from beyond next week? I digress…
Not to be outdone by either of them, the Dentist is quite pissed***** to discover that, on a show devoted to finding and exploiting interpersonal attractions, Ashley found someone besides him who she’s attracted to. “I don’t wanna play second-fiddle to anyone,” is what he says to the other guys (Oh yeah? well how do you feel about eighth fiddle?). To Ashley he just comes across like a guy who’s a bit of a mean shit when he’s drunk. Recognizing and avoiding people like this is an important lesson for everyone to learn.
And Mickey, oh Mickey, he’s really pissed by the revelation that, on a show devoted to finding and exploiting interpersonal attractions, Ashley found someone besides him who she’s attracted to. Now, Mickey actually manages to feel put out enough to abandon the game outright, which is just as well from a sparing yourself the walk of shame point of view, because hey, especially now that he’s gone, we might as well be honest about Mickey and what his chances really were.
And speaking of finally being honest about a fella’s chances, the Dentist gets sent packing at the end of the rose ceremony. This news is good enough all on its own, but of course, the really great news is, Ashley finally got some closure with Bentley!
*But don’t even think about an em dash
**Don’t ever change, buddy.
****Team Ryan Smyth
*****also, ‘pissed’ as in, really drunk