Bachelorette Emily: “I’m A Mom!”
I am not trying to be mean. I don’t mean to be indelicate or gauche*. And I am not here to directly challenge anyone’s sincerity, but this is just about it. It’s Emily with the three remaining guys in Curacao this week, the big stupid reunion show next week, and then the season finale. So if I’ve got questions – if anybody’s got questions – now really is the time to ask. But insofar as The Bachelorette fills me with questions from episode to episode and season to season, right now, I’ve got only one: What can we realistically hope to know as the result of a declaration of love made by someone who is not us?
We can know they said it. I dropped into this episode a tiny bit late, after the first half of Emily’s date with Sean. It’s just in time for dinner on the beach, and also for a reminder from Emily that Sean has not yet come out and actually said that he loves her. She’s already got dates on tap with two guys who have said it, and with this being a show that’s all about falling in love or at least the declaration of having done so, it would actually come as a bigger surprise at this point if Sean stuck to his guns and didn’t say it.
But alas, it seems he’s written a letter to Emily’s daughter, Little Ricki (drink!), and while we’re wondering why the two of them would open and share somebody else’s mail on TV, Sean uses the letter as a springboard to greater things. It seems that he feels that love means that he can’t stand the idea of living his life with anybody else, and as such, “I have fallen in love with you and I know it beyond a shadow of a doubt.”
Cue the proffering of the pimp key – “Should you choose to forego your separate rooms…” – and its qualified acceptance. They go back to the room and they stay up late, but Sean doesn’t stay the night. As Emily puts it, “I’m a mom,” which, as explanations go, doesn’t really cut it, but okay, fine.
Next date, Emily’s got Jef on a boat. They jump off the boat and go swimming, they steer the boat toward a little cove and then jump off the rocks and go swimming. Of course, Jef has already made a public declaration of his love for Emily, which unlocks the door to conversations about their future together: where they’ll live, why she thinks it hasn’t worked out with any of the other guys she’s dated, questions about whether Emily thinks he would be a good ‘fit’ for Ricki. At one point, via voice over, he utters the most romantic words we’ve heard all segment, “I want to spend every day with her like it’s our last,” so we know that although it may be intended sincerely, we don’t necessarily have to take a declaration of love completely seriously.
And then, when the pimp key comes, Emily’s looking at Jef all like she totally wants to hear what he’s got to say about that, after which she’ll have something to say, but he totally heads her off at the pass with a sneaky thing about how he’d love to stay with her in the Fantasy Suite, but he knows she’s a mom and there are their families to think about and respect**. Emily’s maybe a titch annoyed that he preemptively uses the words that she was going to use to shoot him down***, but hey, everybody knows that it doesn’t matter whose idea it was to abstain, just so long as you abstain.
It’s not exactly important to remember, heading into Emily’s date on a boat with Arie, that he was the first one to tell her that he was in love with her, except maybe that as declarations of love in situations where everyone’s sort of expected to make one go, the first person in the group to do it takes a bigger risk than anyone who follows. And that was Arie. What can we know about it? Same as usual, nothing really****.
These two make out so much, it’s like gravity or something. They’re kissing as soon as they’re in range of each other. They’re on the boat, they’re kissing. They’re swimming with dolphins, they’re kissing. They’re talking about how much they like kissing, they’re kissing. What the heck is going to happen when the pimp card turns up and Emily’s primary goal is to not come across on national TV like she’s totally hot for it? Easy peasy, she just doesn’t even offer Arie the pimp key. They just sit there (and kiss) and talk about the future and how Arie would come to be Ricki’s dad (and kiss), and no mention is ever made of foregoing their separate suites. Good thinking, Mom!
And then it’s time to make a decision. Chris Harrison is there to wonder, obtusely, why, if it’s been such a great week full of perfect dates, Emily seems so sad now*****. He’s also got video messages from each of the three men******. She cries and cries, agonizes or appears to agonize over her decision, and says to the fellas, just before the roses get handed out, “I want each of you to know how much I care about you, and I’m sorry.” It’s Sean’s turn for the ride out of there and he feels kind of stupid for having finally given in with the declaration of love, and for what? But Emily sits with him for awhile and says a bunch of stuff that probably doesn’t offer much comfort, when what she should have said is, “Sweety, you felt you were obliged to say it at this point in the game, and so you sort of convinced yourself that you loved me, enough that you could say it. In the future, save your public declarations of love for the times that actually warrant them. But for now, get the hell out of here already!”
**and now is not the time to show her his Mormon underwear?
***which kinda makes you wonder what would happen if someone read that note, and instead of being all sensitive about situations, just said, “Yeah! Let’s goooo!”
****maybe it means he really means it, maybe it means he’s a race car driver and he likes to get out in front of his competition and compete from the head of the pack
*****my daughter thinks it should be okay for her to marry all of them
******and possibly some giant sweat marks in the pits of his shirt, but there was some pretty good editing