Before I recap, I must comment on how different this season is from any other season. There are no wild and crazy dates -- just normal, "if we were a married couple on vacation" dates. Emily's getting to know the guys on a different level than any other Bachelor or Bachelorette, and I really hope this works in her favor.
Anyway, onto the recap!
This week on The Bachelorette, Em and the boys are in Prague, and there are three one-on-ones and one group date.
Emily wants Arie to "Czech out Prague" with her, and the two of them embark on more guided tours of the world. Apparently, Arie has a secret. After learning what parts of the statue symbolize, she urges him to rub the dog a few extra times, because the dog stands for loyalty.
Hold on! Breaking news! Chris Harrison interrupts to tell us that Arie had a very brief relationship, years ago, with Bachelorette producer Cassie Lambert. Cassie took it upon herself to tell Emily about this, and they filmed Emily's reaction. Apparently, in the past ten years, Cassie has seen Arie once or twice.
According to my calculations, that means Arie was twenty when they
made out once under the bleachers dated. Emily, in my opinion, is blowing this way out of proportion and starts grilling Arie about honesty and trust during their date.
Though team Bachelorette captured the initial information dump of the Arie-Cassie past, they didn't happen to get the three of them talking it out on camera. But, Chris Harrison can summarize: Arie didn't feel the need to bring it up because it was so long ago and so brief, and Emily realized this information didn't affect her feelings for him. YAY!
Arie apologizes (on camera) for not bringing it up in the first place, and he really is so natural on these dates. There is no forced conversation, no awkwardness, and he is not afraid to share his feelings. And feelings he does share -- Arie is the first bachelor to drop the L-bomb, wanting Emily to know where his heart is. Swoon.
Onto date number two -- John knows he needs to kick it up a notch if he wants to see another week. They paint on Lennon's wall and then try to make an addition to the wall of locks, where couples write messages on (literal) locks. Uh oh... John has trouble closing the lock, and team Bachelorette, not one for missing a good metaphor opportunity, tells Emily to compare their relationship to the lock -- they just haven't been able to connect!
Meanwhile, back at the hotel, the boys ask Chris what's going on with him. He's just "tired. Tired of talking about it, tired of not seeing Emily, just tired."
I don't quite understand -- the guys do know this is what the show's about when they sign up, right?
John and Emily are led into a dungeon, where dinner awaits. He's hoping to answer some of her questions and "lock in a hometown date." Oh, these clever producers.
Emily drops John off at the hotel, and it seems like Chris' insecurities have rubbed off on Sean (who is usually super confident). Guided by the producers' camera lights, he runs through the (eerily empty) streets of Prague in search of Emily. What a great surprise, she croons, and then he kisses her against the wall. What is lacking in the date excitement area is certainly made up for in... making out. Whew!
Triple date time! Chris pouts that he has to share a date with two other guys, but they eventually pile into a horse-drawn carriage and ride up (in the rain) to an enormous castle.
During their alone time, Doug freaks out when their legs touch, and Emily can't take it anymore. She has kissed every other guy here except Doug, so she pulls him aside and tells him things aren't moving as fast as she would have hoped. He is still waiting for her to hold up a flashing neon sign saying "KISS ME," which doesn't come, but he thinks now is as good a time as any to go for it. Emily is mid-sentence when he leans in for... a quick peck. She barely stops talking, and the next words out of her mouth are the ones telling him she'll walk him out. Ouch.
He departs with a quick hug and a trite, "have a good one," saving his ugly crying for the limo ride out.
Chris and Sean have the rest of the night to woo Emily, but Chris uses his time rather unproductively, demanding to know why he didn't get a one-on-one date. Smooth. As a (direct) result, Sean gets the group date rose.
It's time for Jef's one-on-one date, and their first stop is a marionette store. After buying "Jef" and "Emily" marionettes, he runs back into the store to buy Ricki a puppet too, which effectively melts my heart. The couple stumbles into a gorgeous library to play with their newly purchased puppets. They recreate every awkward moment in their relationship thus far, and I cannot help but laugh out loud. Jef also confesses (via his puppet) that he is "100 million percent in love" with Emily.
They start talking about the future, and Jef mentions his parents are "tied up with some stuff for a couple of years." Um, what?! Emily doesn't even bat an eye, but she could barely breathe over Arie dating the producer.
Jef then goes on to say the weirdest thing in Bachelor/ette history: I wanna date you so hard and marry the $#@! out of you. Well, OK then.
It's time for the cocktail party, and Chris realizes he may have scared Emily away. He'll have to explain himself during the cocktail party...but, wait! Emily, the rule-bender that she is, doesn't want a cocktail party! She's already made up her mind!
She tells the men the point of her cocktail parties is to have any unanswered questions answered, and, at the end of this week of dates, she doesn't have any unanswered questions -- she feels real love.
Jef gets the first rose, and Arie gets the second. It's down to John and Chris, and Chris blurts out that he needs to talk to Emily. He (once again) pleads his case, begging Emily to keep him... and, in a shocking twist, she does!
John, as surprised as we all are, is escorted out and told that his relationship was not moving at a fast enough pace. Off he goes, (thankfully) sparing us from ugly crying.
I can't believe she kept Chris when she has other guys she has real feelings for! I am excited to meet the guys' families and find out more about Jef's "busy" parents. Who do you think Emily has the most chemistry with? Whose hometown date are you most looking forward to? Leave me a comment below!
Follow Ilene Kleinbaum on Twitter: www.twitter.com/@ilene18