This week we find ourselves in Tahiti. Well, we kept hearing it was Tahiti. Which might make the actual people of Tahiti a bit huffy since they are hundreds of miles from the island of Tahaa in French Polynesia. Not to matter, ABC is in to truthiness.
Scenes for the Episode We’re About to Watch
This is the journey of a lifetime for Ali.
Chris from Cape Cod (hereinafter referred to as “Chris”) wears plaid. A trifecta of plaid! Oh wait, Frank never wore plaid. More ominous foreshadowing.
For some reason Frank gets to do the monotone voiceover for his creepy Chicago interlude. Do these guys sometimes have to show up at the studio to record sound over the tapes? I just imagine Frank runs into like the whole Toy Story 3 cast taping theirs.
I am getting impatient with the LA thing. LA is not significant in a season that takes place all over the world. Why is that the place we have to watch Chris dramatically pondering the world and his mother atop the only tall building in the city? (Do you think his mom is like so pissed in Heaven how often her name is getting bandied about on a reality show?)
Also, Chris looks hot. I am such a convert. I will never doubt you all again.
Chris says “it just seems like yesterday there were 25 guys in the house waiting to meet her…” I don’t want to quibble Chris, but it was sort of yesterday for real. Isn’t there like a statutory amount of time that must pass before anyone is allowed to declare “it seems like only yesterday…”? It seems like only yesterday I spilled pesto on my favorite work dress. Oh wait, that was this afternoon.
The obligatory suitcase packing shots
Chris is packing. The room is spotless. I am skeptical.
Now look, Roberto is packing. The last remaining item on the bed is a Lion King CD and he picks it up longingly, flashes a knowing smile, and gingerly tucks it into his suitcase. And elsewhere thousands of baseball players are hanging their heads in shame for their fallen, fruity brother.
Why don’t we ever see the goods in these guys’ suitcases? Like Rogaine shampoo or foot fungal powder? Hell, I would even take an old dog-eared issue of Maxim.
I loved being reminded during the retrospective of Ali and Roberto’s long and involved relationship of the cable car in Lisbon, Portugal. Because it was just like San Francisco. Everyone knows the two cities are always getting mixed up they’re so similar.
Frank’s selfish diversion of an otherwise eye candy-filled episode
And now Frank is packing! A suitcase full of skintight cardigans!
I loved reminiscing back to when Frank wasn’t crazeballs in the first few seconds of the season. It seems like only yesterday Frank wasn’t crazeballs.
We see now how stressed he is.
WHAT’S ON YOUR MIND, FOUR EYES??
Apparently, there is an ex-girlfriend, Nicole. And cue spooky music. And he’s telling us this whole convoluted story about Ali and Nicole but I can’t focus because there are strategically placed lit candles behind him which means, from the outset, ABC is complicit in Frank’s asinine plan to go to Nicole’s apartment and re-acquaint with his one true love.
Now, this could have been a potentially really exciting, really dramatic storyline. But somehow it just comes off strange, nonsensical, stilted and is it possible-boring. I have no choice but to reduce the reasons why to bullets:
- There was never one word the entire season (promos for this episode don’t count) about this ex-girlfriend. Not even a whiff. Not from his family or from the other bros in the house or even from Jessie keeping ever vigilant on tattling from her chick pad in Canada.
- So basically the news come out of left field and then just remains a puzzle rather than intriguing.
- How can a self-described poet and over-analyzer never mention said ex to Ali?
- Under what circumstances did he and Nicole break up? Was it right before he went on a reality show or was there some legitimate reason and question in Frank’s mind whether she was the one?
Oh f*ck the bullets. I actually only have one question: Where did Frank find this weird little creature that was basically somehow disintegrating into her own body on the couch in her studio/hotel room while Frank delivered a monotoned passion-less decree of his love for her and why did she take him back so easily and rather strangely, ie “Frank, you need to come home.”? Wait, two more questions. Why was her apartment clean? Why was she not surprised a camera crew was outside her door. One more question, I swear. Why does ABC suck?
Frank starts out what should be this day of reckoning conversation with all the energy and passion of when my bank calls me at dinnertime to conduct a consumer survey.
4 Eyes: Ali and I had an amazing thing right from the start.
(This is where Nicole should say Frank, why are you telling me this? We broke up, remember?)
Homely Nicole actually says: I have been completely consumed by thoughts of you since you’ve been gone and can’t believe you lived this whole other life without me. Without you I am not happy. It’s sick. You need to come home.
Frank then tells us with all the passion of my dry cleaner when he says it’s no problem to take the hem down a little bit on my unintentional highwaters, “I’m in love with Nicole and Nicole is the girl I want to be with for the rest of my life. We’re in love and we’re going to live together happily ever after.” As odious as Frank is, it’s nice to see him decisive for once.
Then Frank declares, natch, he needs to go to (not really) Tahiti personally to tell Ali this new state of affairs. Another plane ticket somewhere awesome courtesy of ABC. I hope their focus groups let them know that the incessant replaying all season of the promo showing Frank making Ali cry in a tropical location seriously diminished the wow factor.
(Not really) Tahiti is REDONK!
Here in Paradise (for now) we see Ali. She steps off a boat and, you’ll never guess this, gives a little laugh. Her life is hysterical.
Roberto and Ali’s overnight date
Ali mentions how hot Roberto is. She is as shallow as a guy. Me likey.
You know what me don’t likey? Roberto’s butt chin.
But he said “I missed you like crazy” and that got me. That is sweet and genuine.
But then my temporary good mood is ruined by the
Is someone doing a helicopter count this season?
On the helicopter we hear Ali’s voiceover saying something about a journey and amazing and an amazing journey of amazing journeyness. She also says she would be the luckiest woman in the world if Roberto was her husband. Which is Bachelorette/Bachelor code for I am totally not picking that person. I am pretty sure Jake said that about Tenley 15 times an episode.
You know what also made me crabby? That lagoon was 100% NOT in the shape of a heart.
Roberto maybe could have lived down that hotel moment where he looked wistfully at his Lion King CD but he’s officially gay carrying that ABC-produced picnic basket.
WAIT. Holy…are you…what the…huh?
Ali is inexplicably wearing a bikini consisting of a yellow top and pink bottom. There is nothing fashionable about it. It comes off as a terrible mistake. The show’s stylist totally dropped the ball. And I could barely focus on them almost doing it in the water.
Later that night sweet butt-chin Roberto says “there’s been something on my mind… no it’s good, it’s good”. He broke the cardinal rule of ABC’s reality tv and soap operas by not allowing for a dramatic intro to his words with everyone hanging on, not knowing which direction he might go. Remember when Jason got down on one knee right before DeAnna finally got to her point about not choosing him? DeAnna is more of an ABC team player.
Then Roberto says I’m falling in love with you. Am I grinchy or is it a cop-out to say you’re in the falling phase? Couldn’t it just be a yes or no question?
Ali’s smile then looked fake for some reason.
Why did Roberto look confused about the date card? He has never seen this show? Too busing selling insurance in Charleston?
I’m not into Ali’s messy updo. I know I am meant to feel it’s all beachy chic but to me she just looks like a bridesmaid circa 2008.
“Do you know how cute you are?” says he. Um Roberto, she always calls you Hot and you always call her Cute. Don’t think we ladies don’t notice that shit.
Yet another segue into a commercial break of Frank confronting Ali
This makes me want to self-harm.
Chris and Ali’s overnight date
When Ali is waiting for Chris, one big bikini’ed boob is popping out of her cover up. It’s weird and out of place somehow. Chris, being the most real and refreshing and adorable person ever in the history of this show, says “Is this the longest dock ever?!” Marry me, Chris. ME. I will walk Jetty and play on your flip cup team and I will never complain that you never use tongue when you kiss.
Then Chris says “when the two of us are together, feel 12.” I am feeling you, Chris. But I think you mean like 10. 12 year-olds are miserable nowadays. They have early onset puberty and acne and get dissed on formspring and hate their parents’ minivans.
Why are they murdering oysters on this date?
Of course Ali perks up when jewels become involved.
I started to get nervous when the Ali voiceover said that pearls remind her of her relationship with Chris. But I don’t know, maybe she pulled through at the end of that dumb metaphor. Yes, Chris is a pearl. Or you’re the pearl. Whatever.
I am not into the tie dye shirt she wore for dinner.
When they had to walk through the water for their supper I was hoping Ali didn’t get flashbacks to her amazing journey of a water-venued dinner with Frank in Istanbul.
Chris closes the deal and says “I really see myself with you forever, you know that right?” ALI, PICK CHRIS. HE IS TOO GOOD FOR YOU SO DO IT BEFORE HE REALIZES.
I always worry when they pull out the fantasy suite card that the person forced to awkwardly read it might be dyslexic or something. So much pressure. I swear every Passover I have to stifle my giggles when some unsuspecting Seder guest ends up saying a bad word in the midst of the story of the Jewish Exodus from Egyptian slavery during some 200 CE. Man that century was a laugh riot anyway!
Chris tells the camera “Yes I love this girl 100%” and then when they’re kissing declares “God I love you.” I am swooning. I seriously always swoon when someone invokes the name of their Creator during foreplay.
It must be noted that Ali seemed to genuinely say she would move back to the land of Massholes for Chris and that he is one of the few people ever on this series that actually says he loves the other person. Done and dusted.
Crazeballs Frank ruins everything
So I am going to skip the labored awkward exchange between Frank (why is he so tan/sunburnt if he just got into town?) and Chris Harrison that could not have been more forced. Chris Harrison really doesn’t bother me so much in general but for some reason his peppy ‘tude and aquamarine polo shirt felt so wrong for the gravity of the day. Oh and I liked that Frank was like, “Chris, I have some bad news…” just in case Chris Harrison didn’t sign the expense forms for the camera crew that recently went to Nicole’s studio/hotel room. Chris Harrison then says “I am blown away.” Chris, stop lying. Your job is easy and well-paid. Stay under the radar before anyone gets wind.
If everyone on ABC’s staff knew that Frank was coming there to pull the Turkish carpet out from under Ali, why would they all let it be so dragged out with her even giddily awaiting Frank in her wayyyy off-the-shoulder aqua top and adorable pink flower in her hair? She had to sit through hair & makeup for no reason?
Frank is a humongous Douchebag
Who dumps someone the moment their big date is set to start? He deserves cold Chicago. Take that.
When we see Ali walk up with one bulbousy pink bikini-clad boob popping out (oh Iiiiiii get it- that’s the reverse bikini combo to the mismatched one from yesterday), she does her Ali signature laugh as soon as Frank opens the doors. This is totes not funny Ali, be serious.
For such an orchestrated show, I would be so pissed if I was Ali to be so blindsided. And with frizzy hair. And a limpy flower in my hair.
Frank says to Ali: “you’re perfect in every way and you make me feel good about myself.” And therein lies the insurmountable obstacle between them. Ali makes Frank feel good about himself and he HATES feeling good about himself.
What was with Ali throwing her flip flops 3 inches? And going to give him a hug? Don’t you know Frank is a terrible person? And he is going to have ugly children. He looks like an opossum sometimes.
Best line of the episode: Frank says “I gave up everything to be here too” and for the next ten minutes I am ROTFLing. ROTFLing so hard. ROLLING ON THE FLOOR LAUGHING MY CRAZY ASS OFF. Compose yourself. Look serious. No, that’s true Frank. It must have been hard to leave your parents’ house and your job at the Nokia phone kiosk at the mall. Now go to Paris and write a screenplay about this experience.
The other night some friends were saying I am really pale. I have to say though that seeing the bronzed Ali walk dejectedly down the world’s longest dock I felt vindicated for one moment. Sun damage and premature aging can’t buy you love, people.
Stilted convo with Chris Harrison and then (fake) Rose Ceremony
Wait, why is Ali looking at three photos? Oh right, so she could dramatically turn one over.
I actually can see why Ali would be all out of sorts now. Frank did her wrong and definitely introduced doubt all around in her own ability to judge a future partner.
Oh but wait, we learn that Ali’s best friend warned her “no one can make you feel inferior without your consent”. I cannot believe Ali is best friends with Eleanor Roosevelt from beyond the grave! In all fairness, of course Eleanor said that. She was a homely woman married to her cousin. She was projecting.
The closeup of Ali’s fake eyelashes was too intense for me.
Miserable Ali tells Chris and Roberto they are not just the last two by default. Weellllll, uh, technically they are.
And man those guys look spooked when they get told Frank is not there.
I can’t concentrate though because I just realized, after 200 years of this dumb (addictive) show, the roses for the men are magnetized when placed on their shirts. Oooooooh, squeal, cooooool.
Scenes for next two weeks
The Most Dramatic Season Finale Ever (mmm hmmm)
For some reason none of Ali’s family/hometown
Men Tell All show where Frank doesn’t show so ABC has to trot out the most boring story that no one cares about on Earth: Rated R. But my god I am looking forward to seeing the Weatherman.