I viewed this week’s episode with my mother-in-law. And thank goodness someone else was here to marvel in the tragic face lift that is Chantal’s mom. I will have less chance of nightmares now.
But first we are treated to a video montage recap of the four remaining ladies. It seems like only yesterday Chantal and her “emotional roller coaster” slapped Brad and Ashley caused some “speed bumps” and Shawntel was adorable and relaxed on their Anguilla date and Emily and Brad shared a passionate kiss on a penis-shaped island.
Chantal in Seattle
After a staged reunion shot in front of the Seattle skyline, which the couple are forced to turn their backs to for a good camera shot, we are treated to the very nice house of this “Executive Assistant”. I am assuming it pays to work for Daddy or to have a rich ex. Chantal definitely has a rich girl’s dog to match her rich girl life. In this case, the yappy shit dog is “Boca”. And he/she is part of a “two cats and a dog” family. Chantal and the pets are the package deal, it turns out. Hopefully also part of the package deal are Chantal’s cute dimples and not terrible taste in art. Because I am connoisseur. Obvs.
On the way to the parents’ house, Brad says “Meeting someone’s father is HUGE to me.” So I scream out at the tv, YOU DOUCHE. Why is it not huge to meet someone’s mother? Brad hates his own father forchrissakes.
The couple enters the huge McMansion flanking a beautiful Seattle water vista (maybe Jason & Molly are nearby on a houseboat?) and the ceilings are so high that I am actually annoyed. Is that necessary?
At this point, my mother-in-law points out before I even notice that Chantal’s mom has “had work done”. I love that euphemism, don’t you? And holy shit, did she have some crappy work done. And this throws me. These people are in Seattle. I seriously did not know people in Seattle had face lifts. I don’t know what is jarring me more: the way Chantal’s mom’s face looks like it might tear a little bit when she tries to smile/laugh/express joy, OR her very veneery veneers. When she announces she will be serving a “home cooked meal”, I almost spit out my gulp of whole milk (I stole from my toddler). I am assuming the mom means some El Salvadoran hiding in the closet has prepared a home-cooked meal.
Before we even get to see what food Frankenmom was referring to, the staged pull-asides begin. 15 seasons in and these torture me.Why can’t they ever play ping-pong or grill a burger together? Why does it just have to be awkward convos in facing chairs in some weird unused den or bedroom of the family’s home?
Dad, who a friend aptly pointed out looks a little bit like Donny Osmond, but who to me at least looks like he has been spared the knife, seems skeptical at first. But not for long! He and Brad realize they are both self-made men and have bricklaying masons in their family lineages. Brad asks for Dad’s blessing on proposing. I would too after that house on the water.
Ashley in Madawaska, Maine
Confession: this hometown date gets me. I practically wanted to date Ashley. Hello, she is from gorgeous-scened country on the border of Canada where all the cute Maine French Acadians speak French and where cross-border trade is the population’s livelihood. The local dish is fries with cheese and gravy (yes, please) and Ash’s family could not be more crazy adorable (yes, yes, please). They kept piling on to one couch and having laugh attacks. Somehow even the tatted-out sister was adorable. My husband’s only comment the entire episode was that tat girl was prettier than the one trying to win Brad’s heart. Will she be the Kat Von D in my relationship? Shudder.
There is a truly adorable montage I almost skipped involving Brad saying “si” to a waitress, the dental student noticing his crown, lobstas, an honor system for road-side produce, and a fleet of flannel shirts and beards when the door to Ashley’s family’s house was opened.
Brad’s body language is super into it. And Ashley has done Madawaska proud. She is now listed as a “notable person” on the town’s Wikipedia entry.
Shawntel in Chico
Shawntel is the sacrificial hometown date of the episode. ABC has to select one every time. If it’s not a burial service for a dead bird in one season, it’s a basement taxidermy hobby in another. The theme is: death. And the game is: ABC gets to edit people to look insane. Boo.
I like Shawntel, I always have. She seems the most natural, a teeny bit quirky, genuinely happy, has no divorce or child baggage and is proud of her profession and family, everyone else be damned. But ABC can’t leave well enough alone. The date opens with Shawntel and her family starring in a commercial for their Newton-Bracewell Funeral Home, creepy funeral parlor music and a forced tour of the mausoleum and funeral home for Brad. Oh and he has to act out an embalming. It’s criminal, really. Very few even normal people would get some heat of this date, and with Roboto Brad, the ship is sinking fast.
It annoyed me that mom gave Brad a handshake but was very pleasantly surprised that two cutie blonde sisters seemed so normal. You were expecting Pugsley and Wednesday Addams too, weren’t you? But this family is nice, and loving, and they lighten up during the meal and people profess love declarations and drink wine and things seems to be going decently well until BOOM Dad starts talking to Shawntel about their
WHAT? Isn’t that a phrase used for dictatorial heads of state? Monarchies? Polygamist clan elders? And why does he have to repeat it so many times? And what’s with making Shawntel feel guilty that she had the nerve to miss “when her high school teacher’s son was tragically killed” while she was out whoring it out on reality tv? Why can’t one of the look-alike cute blonde sisters be part of the
All that really matters is that Brad’s body language is so repellent of Shawntel at the end of the date (kisses her hand and quick jerky hug), that I knew then to feel sorry for her. Wil she regret dropping the L word so many times?
Emily and Ricki in Charlotte
There is a lot of mystery and intrigue being built up on this date. Will little Ricky take to Roboto? Will his monotone and lifeless questions drive her behind her mom’s back forever? Is it creepy Brad or the humongous camera crew causing the 5-year old to revert to thumb-sucking? We may never know. Because the butterfly kite makes it all okay.
We then go to Emily’s house, which is big and beautiful. I am a cynical beotch because I am thinking a Children’s Hospital Event Planner doesn’t make enough money for that house.
The house has huge rooms and make-up tables for children and a bathroom with such exquisite lighting, I can finally see that maybe little miss Ricki has highlights in her hair. It’s the lowlights that gave it away.
Emily wants to be kissed.
Brad won’t kiss Emily.
There is a child asleep upstairs. And he has standards. It’s okay if Michelle Money’s child watches him dry sand humping her mom on tv, but Emily’s daughter deserves better.
But Emily is horny and she’ll be goshdamned if Brad doesn’t kiss her.
They do finally and I have to admit it’s sweet. He loves her. It was always going to play out like this.
Rose Ceremony in NYC
I forget why the rose ceremony is in NYC, can someone remind me?
I like Emily’s blue dress with the one asymmetrical flowery strap. Chantal’s tight red satin number and updo had Homecoming Dance written all over it.
Before we announce the inevitable, can we all just give a what what and a holla back to the fact that the two Chantal/Shawntels made it so far? None of us expected that, we were so offended by their names from the get go.
Shawntel gets kicked to the curb, but not first before being ushered on to the rejection couch on the balcony of the Gansevoort Hotel to be told she is not the one and she should go make out with a dead person if she loves them so much. Also, Brad caresses her exposed, perfectly tanned and slender knee. I love how the guys always do that- cop a little feel after dumping the girl.
Shawntel, who I think can do so much better than The Robot, keeps saying how perfect he is. Ugh. Men of Chico, do not let this one get away!!
South Africa. Okay now I am jealous. Also, there is Lion King Music.