Note: Do not read on if you have not yet seen Season 17, Episode 9 of ABC's "The Bachelor."
Within moments of the opening montage, we follow Sean randomly walking around various settings in Thailand as he ticks through the list of remaining bachelorettes. As he stands on the bow of a boat, we are reminded that Catherine is weird and goofy, but in a good way. When wandering the streets in an ice blue tank top and his infamous red shorts, Sean comments on AshLeeʼs huge, compassionate heart. And while rocking back and forth lazily in a hammock, Sean admits that Lindsay has grown in terms of her maturity over the past several weeks, even though her voice still sounds like an adolescent girl.
Sean realizes that since weʼre coming into the home stretch, itʼs time to see what these girls are made of. And the best way to do that is by testing their willingness to be adventurous, as well as their unwillingness to get busy in the fantasy suite. Sean wants his wife to be his best friend, outgoing and to ultimately trust him with her life. But before anything else, he wants that wife to be a lady.
Sean and Lindsay spend the day at a local produce market. They begin at the poultry tent where they pet florescent-colored baby chicks before high fiving each other with the claws of dead chicken. Sean purposely tests Lindsayʼs ability to try something new by casually leading her to the insect tent and suggesting they taste test a sampling of the merchantʼs offerings. Lindsay plasters on a smile and with as much enthusiasm as she can muster, she accepts the plump slug that has been conveniently speared onto a skewer. Instead of swallowing it whole, you can tell she bit into the flesh due to the mortified look on her face. Rookie mistake. She chugs her pineapple cocktail and prematurely celebrates her success in consuming her first invertebrate animal when Sean suggests they try the over-sized roach. Crunchy!
As Lindsay begins to turn a fierce shade of green, Sean decides that sheʼs proven herself and he takes her to the beach so she can tell him something that I don't understand because Iʼm not fluent in baby talk. Using context clues, I can assume that it's in the general "I love you" vicinity since Sean responds by sticking his tongue down her throat. Later Lindsay wears her best lingerie at dinner and is super excited by the Spectromagic light show that has been created just for them. She shares that she is totally open to moving to Dallas. Upon hearing this, Sean gives her the forego card and the fantasy suite key. He lets her know that there will be absolutely no hanky panky going on, so she puts on some sweats and settles in for a long night of conversation in an octave that sits right at the level of your typical first grader.
As AshLee gives a small, yet thorough dissertation about the wonder that is Sean, I become both distracted and obsessed with figuring out what her necklace says. It looks like "AshLee" and then I think it says "Respect" but then change my mind, convinced it says "Gypsy." After several pauses of the DVR, one Google search and a few confirmations from those watching the show with me, I am happy to report that the ￼necklace reads "gypset," which means "having an unconventional and Bohemian approach to life."
Itʼs pretty much the opposite of what AshLeeʼs demeanor has been the entire show, but I have to give her props for letting go of some control as the "adventurous" bachelor makes her swim through a scary cave. Itʼs a good thing that private beach is so cool on the other side, or I would have some words with our resident stud. Of course, this leads to many metaphors for relationships. Just pick one that has to do with trust, taking risks, blah, blah, blah.
At dinner, AshLee tells Sean for the hundredth time that they were made for each other and then she describes in great detail the exact engagement ring along with her finger size because she knows the visit to Uncle Neil will be in the next few days. Do you hear that? Itʼs the final nail being hammered into her coffin. Sorry AshLee.
Seanʼs time with Catherine is completely different from Lindsay and AshLee. It's mellow, casual and full of conversation. I may have stood up and cheered when they both did a backflip off of the boat into the ocean. Catherine reminds him that she can be serious, but he assures her that her silly and weird side is something that he finds extremely attractive. To prove it, he sticks his tongue down her throat as he pushes her up against the mast in the middle of a rain storm.
At dinner, Catherine trumps the fantasy card before itʼs even mentioned, telling Sean that sheʼs nervous because she doesnʼt want people watching to think sheʼs a hooch. Sean LOVES this and assures her that there will be nothing going on other than some heavy making out in a hot tub.
Sean confesses to Chris Harrison that he knows who he is sending home. Then Harrison busts out the video messages and Sean begins to waiver. Lindsay talks about her wedding dress entry and giggles a lot. Catherine shares that sheʼs falling in love. And AshLee rounds things out by telling Sean (between literal melt downs) that because of him, she is no longer broken.
Sean takes a moment to hurl and then heads out to meet the waiting ladies. He quickly gives Lindsay a rose then forces us wait a good 30 seconds before announcing Catherineʼs name. AshLeeʼs eyes turn in to daggers as she stares him down before briskly walking to her waiting rejection SUV. She commands, "DONʼT FOLLOW ME!" but he trudges behind anyway, begging her to hear his side of the story. After using the word "intense" he wraps up his speech by letting Ash know that he thinks the world of her. Way to let her down easy, Sean! AshLee doesnʼt speak a word until the vehicle is in motion, several cocktails are poured and the ABC Psychotherapist pulls a soundbite out of her. "This wasnʼt a silly little game to me."
I have to admit that Sean did look a little guilty, and by AshLeeʼs reaction, one could assume that he told her things that turned out to not be true. On the other hand, describing someone as "intense" may mean that our resident bachelor is looking for a little bit of silly in his life. If I had to guess, Iʼd say it was more of the backflip off a boat silly than a wedding dress skit silly.
"The Bachelor" airs Mondays at 8 p.m. EST on ABC.