It’s the last date before the hometown visits, and it’s pretty clear Ashley and the guys are just itching to get out of Asia. Possibly because they’re eager to move forward in their romantic commitments, and possibly because they’d like a decent chicken sandwich. You just never know. Anyway, I don’t have a good feeling about this episode because the promos make it pretty clear she makes Ryan cry, and while I hope it’s because she doesn’t compost I suspect it’s for a reason that’s far, far worse. Not that she shouldn’t compost, but you get the idea.
Ashley informs us that she’s super excited to be going to Taiwan because not a lot of people know about Taiwan! Really? Who are these people, Ashley? People without Internet connections? People with fifth grade educations? Just wondering.
Ashley describes all the many reasons why she’s so entranced with the final six, though the one quality that keeps popping up is safety. She feels secure with one guy, she feels protected by another guy, blah blah blah. If that’s all she’s looking for, she should just get a bulldog.
Time for the dating to commence! Chris Harrison explains that four guys will get roses and will move on to hometown dates. That’s the good news. The bad news is that two guys will get the boot. Wah-wah. He also notes that there will be three romantic one-on-one dates that won’t have a rose-or-go option and there will be one uncomfortable and joyless group date.
Speaking of uncomfortable and joyless, J.P. is getting jealous. Really jealous. Like, restraining order jealous. He doesn’t want to lose something he cares about! Something being a person named Ashley! But he will pound the guy who takes his something!
Anyway, J.P. is put into a restraining harness and Ashley goes to a lantern festival in Ping-Shi Village with Constantine. They write their love wishes on a lantern so that they can release it later. He takes writing his love wish on the lantern seriously, so Ashley sees a future with him. I was thinking he just didn’t want to smear paint all over his clothes considering he only has a carry on of stuff, but okay, that’s one interpretation.
Ashley tells Constantine there are a lot of things she likes about him. He’s her physical type, she likes the fact he isn’t trying to impress her and she’s thrilled that he likes his family. Wow, Ashley, you’ve basically told the world you dig guys with bad hair and hangdog eyes who don’t make an effort and who don’t want to hack up their immediate family. Pretty impressive. But Constantine still isn’t really trying, because he is waiting for the moment when he feels like he’s in love. They release their love wish lantern and kiss. It’s one of the most romantic nights of her life, but I’m thinking Ashley may just have jet lag or something.
Next up is Ben. Ashley needs to see if she has an emotional and physical connection with Ben. Remember this; it will be important later. He says they’re going places. Because they are. On a moped. So, they’re going someplace, but not very fast.
Over dinner, Ashley decides that she feels as if Ben is her boyfriend. They kiss. They kiss some more. We get a slow, hint-hint-hint fade to the fire pit. And then, Ben doesn’t go back to the hotel. Until the morning. Whoot! Ashley got frisky! I can’t believe she couldn’t wait until the hometown dates, but I guess there’s some appeal in making a guy do the walk of shame back into his hotel room. Though I’m not sure she realizes what danger she’s putting Ben into. If J.P. was pissed before, he’s borderline horror movie insane now. He glowers at Ben while making a mental note to check on the laws in Taiwan for first degree murder.
For the joyless group date, J.P., Ames and Lucas head to the Taipei wedding district. They’ll be taking wedding photos! Ashley thinks this will be fun! Ashley is out of her friggin’ mindd! J.P. is sulky and homicidal. He doesn’t want to see her in a wedding dress with any other guys. He is wondering if the producers of the show will lose their deposit if he splatters Ames’ and Lucas’ blood all over the wedding salon.
And of course, wedding photos means wedding attire. Lucas has to wear a gold man dress, Ames has to dress like Elton John and J.O. wears, yes, a tux. And he looks damn fine. Crazy, but fine. J.P. cheers up once he puts on the tux, as I’m sure he’s thinking Ashley chose a good outfit for him (she didn’t). Lucas is clearly uncomfortable in his gold man dress, because he smiles like a shrunken head or a guy having a root canal. J.P. doesn’t smile at all once he sees Lucas kiss Ashley. He is SO mad. I have to assume someone checked his criminal record before he went on the show, but I am still a little worried about J.P. There’s a first time for everything.
J.P. declares that group dates suck, and Ashley realizes that the guys didn’t have as much fun as she did. Gee, really? What clued you in? The sulking or the fact you made them take wedding photos in what looked like preparations for a weird cult wedding? Lucas admits to Ashley he only had an okay time wearing a big gold dress, but he is confident he’s getting a rose this time. Really? I’m not. Lucas is so achingly boring he should have a show on OWN. It couldn’t be any worse than the rest of the programming on there.
Next, J.P. whines to Ashley about how miserable he is. He hates seeing her with other guys! It sucks! Ashley feels his pain and gives him the group date rose. Bad idea, Ash. You’ve now trained him to believe that pouting and whining results in a reward. She’d be a horrible dog trainer. And wife, probably, but I don’t see that happening as soon as she thinks, either.
Time for the solo date with Ryan at a temple. Ryan thinks they’re having a romantic and intimate date. He wants to build a partnership for life! Ashley looks constipated. They make a wish to a matchmaking god, but because their little wooden blocks land badly, it doesn’t bode well. What doesn’t bode well is the fact Ashley can’t stop frowning. But Ryan’s on cloud nine! Or ten! This is hard to watch. You can see this date is not going well. Ashley admits she doesn’t give a crap about the environment, but asks Ryan to give her some useful information. What? Wow, you know things are going badly when you ask a guy to talk about environmental issues just to keep the conversation going. But that’s just ducky with Ryan! He’s so optimistic! He can’t wait to teach her everything he knows! She’s waiting for a passionate moment, and he’s talking about hot water heaters. This is like watching Ashley wind up to kick a puppy.
And kick she does. Ashley tells Ryan she’s everything she’s ever wanted except she doesn’t want it. Yes, she wants two interchangeable guys with sloping foreheads and bad hair and one guy with anger management issues, but no, she doesn’t want the happy, successful guy who could pass for a male model. I get that. No, I don’t. Ashley is clearly insane. She tells him she’s giving him the boot before the rose ceremony because she respects him too much to, oh, let him stick around. Ryan’s face crumples up like used Kleenex. He walks off camera and curses so that he doesn’t cry. He wants to love someone unconditionally! Oh ma God, Ashley broke him. You can literally see his smile turn upside down, which doesn’t even rhyme. Don’t worry, Ryan. You get back to the States and this airs, and you’ll be knee deep in women who will appreciate you!
Time for the cocktail party of pain. Ashley tells Chris Harrison she’s made up her mind. She knows what she has to do. She’s going to push through the dark cloud to the clear. She looks determined and kinda bitchy, to be honest.
Lucas is glad they’re having a cocktail party so he can talk to Ashley again. So Chris comes in and tells the guys there is no cocktail party. And it’s time for the rose ceremony. Sorry, Lucas! Ashley’s ready to get home and meet some families. Ashley’s just ready to get home. I suspect she thinks she’s been eating cats and root vegetables grown in human excrement the whole time she’s been in Asia. Sorry, but the girl thinks Taiwan is an unknown little island off the coast of China.
The rose ceremony/bloodletting begins. It’ll be short, but not if ABC can find a way to drag it out.
Constantine gets a rose
Ben gets a rose. Couldn’t she just give a rose to one of them? They’re basically the same person.
The final rose goes to…Ames. Yay! I was worried when Ashley kept calling him “unique” which is usually code for “weird and possibly gay,” but it all worked out.
Lucas is shocked. And his shocked face looks pretty much like his happy face and his let’s-get-it-on face. She tells him that even though she didn’t feel a super-super romantic connection with him, she felt like she’d known him a long time. I think Ashley actually made him wince by inferring he is a sexless, unattractive eunuch not dissimilar to her living room sofa. Go figure! He makes a speedy exit and I don’t blame him one bit.
After the ceremony, confident Ashley gives way to weepy Ashley. She just doesn’t know! She cries! She never knew there would be so much pressure! She hates feeling this way! Did Ashley think she was going onto “Top Chef” instead of “The Bachelorette
Now it’s time for a very special interview with Emily, the hot single mom bachelor Brad dumped or who dumped Brad or something, who knows.
Chris Harrison informs us that many people have found their soul mates. Some have gotten married! And had kids! If some means Trista Rehn, okay, then some have. I wish Chris would just admit that you have a slightly better chance of being shot in gang crossfire than actually finding a spouse on this show.
Emily gets out of the limo, sniveling preemptively. Chris puts on his sympathetic voice and asks for an update. They’re not engaged anymore. But he’ll always be a huge part of Emily’s life. They have a dot-dot-dot! She’ll always be in love with Brad. She will never say a bad word about him. I’m bored. Is it time for a commercial yet?
Chris finally asks the big question: what went WRONG? She found little red flags and she began to doubt he wanted to be with her. As a single mom, she needs to have a commitment before she moves her kid. Things took a turn, she doesn’t know how it happened, she’s sad. Her hair looks like a ratty wig in the back, but so nice from the front. I have time to think about this because NOTHING is being communicated here. Chris takes a moment of silence. We come back from the commercial break, and she informs us that she didn’t want to do this interview! She didn’t realize there would be paparazzi! She told her kid that everyone thought she was Taylor Swift but even her kid doesn’t believe her. She and Brad text one another, but she’s sad and lonely. Wah-wah.
It’s all very sad, but I find it telling that Brad was too busy (read: filing his nails, eating ice cream, sleeping with someone else) to show up. I hope Emily finds something better to do, too. And I hope Ashley was watching.
Do you think Ashley should have dumped Ryan? Do you think Emily can do better? Which date do you think was most romantic tonight?