This week's opening montage follows Emily once again schlepping her own luggage through the picturesque city of Prague. Only six lucky guys remain and Emily must maneuver through an intricate game of logic, strategy and tactics in order to see which will crack under the pressure or rise victorious above the others.
Arie is unstoppable. According to Emily, he is gifted in the make-out department. And everyone knows a talented tongue is the most important characteristic when choosing a potential father for your child. Traditionally, most of their alone time consists of Arie sticking said talented tongue down Emily's throat, but this one-on-one date was different. Our Host Chris Harrison is forced to shoot extra footage in front of the official franchise mansion (complete with freshly sprayed driveway asphalt) so that he may explain the details of "something we may have read about" concerning Arie and a show producer named Cassie.
To make an unnecessarily long and overly dramatized explanation short, we learn that Arie dated Cassie a decade ago. He didn't share this information with Emily. She's mad and wonders what else he's hiding. Harrison leads us to believe that this is significant information and will forever place a seed of doubt in Emily's heart. After a few segments of building drama, Emily has an off-screen conversation with both Cassie and Arie and all is forgiven. We find the pair snogging on top of a boat as victory fireworks blast overhead. Somewhere in Bachelor Nation, Roz is calling her lawyer and demanding an apology and some sort of monetary compensation.
Poor Chris. He acted like a girl this week and he knew it. Not only were his eyes in extra creepy mode, but he became physically ill when anyone talked about having an emotional connection with Emily. At one point, I was convinced he was going to hop up on the edge of the window in his Toms and jump when his name was called for the group date. Like Lindsay Lohan in that new Elizabeth Taylor movie, he cracks under the pressure and ends up crying in every on-camera interview. I truly thought his head was going to explode when Emily announced that she did not need a rose ceremony to decide who was going to stay. He managed to negotiate some alone time before the final rose was bestowed and convinced her that he was infatuated with her. We all wonder if she recognizes, as we do, that this infatuation is more of the serial killer tendency versus "check yes or no box" passed note in eighth grade geometry class. I'm fairly confident that he will need to be sedated next week when she sends him packing after the home town dates.
Bless Doug's heart. And Lord give him strength after watching tonight's episode. I'd bet $50 that he did NOT attend a viewing party. His exchange had to be one of the most awkward exits in franchise history. And that's saying a lot. Look, Doug is a nice guy and I genuinely think he liked Emily. But the cards were stacked against him and his wooing style. Arie is the flirt. Sean is the hunk. One F is the romantic. And even Crazy Chris can't contain the verbal vomit of verification every time he's near Emily. Doug just didn't commit. The "take it slow and easy" mantra does not work on a show with a plot line that encourages finding amazing love on a journey around the world in eight weeks. Rookie mistake. Emily becomes discouraged by his crossed arms and uncomfortable dialog. She boldly begins a speech about how she doesn't want to keep him away from his son any longer and he chooses that exact moment to go in for a kiss ... as she's rejecting him. (I think someone was absent the day Mrs. Skinner taught context clues in class.) My entire viewing party stood up, screamed colorful interjections at the screen and then settled down so we could rewind to understand what exactly was going on. Upon reviewing the second time around, Emily thanks Doug for his kiss and explains that she's letting him go. "I feel really stupid for kissing you just now," he admits. You and everyone else watching, Doug.
A secret affair with a producer followed by an extremely awkward exit interview ... what else could the show throw at us? How about an orchestrated meet-n-greet with Sean and Emily? Our resident beefcake discovers that he's on the group date with Doug and Chris. Instead of whining about it like the Cry Baby, Sean sneaks out of the hotel after Emily drops off Wolf from their date. He rides through the streets of Prague on his white horse (okay, he was running) shouting, "EMILY" at the top of his lungs. He is determined to find her and would stop at nothing just for five minutes of being in her presence. Lo and behold, there she is! Randomly walking, alone, with no cameras or Arie-dating producers surrounding her. How fortunate! He races to her side so she can caress his biceps over and over again before they head to a bar to drink beer and make out. What luck! She is eating this up. Before sneaking back to the hotel, he pushes her up against a wall and gives her a long lingering kiss. She reminisces of Arie's up against the wall kiss from last week and ponders who did it better. We empathize with her for having two up against the wall kisses in two weeks and secretly wonder if her diamond shoes are too tight as well?
There is an unmatched comfort that Emily portrays when she's with One F Jef. I may be in the minority here, but I thought the entire marionette exchange was adorable. He seems genuine with his feelings and displays a vulnerability that the others don't. Jef asked questions that made sense for a person who is truly looking to see if he has a compatible life with the person he's randomly laying on the floor next to in a live version of the "Beauty and the Beast" library. I'm sure they have names picked out for their kids. Although I don't see him winning, I think he will be top three -- maybe two -- for sure.
You know it's a bad sign when the Bachelorette says, "This is a bad sign." From the moment their "love lock" refused to lock on the love gate in the middle of Prague, I knew Wolf had it coming. He never revealed his true self to Emily and I'm pretty sure he was going home even before Chris broke the rules and requested a private audience with Emily at the rose ceremony with only one bud left to hand out. The Wolf has left the pack.
Next week, Emily visits the home towns of Chris, Arie, One F Jef and Sean. According to the previews, she suffers what appears to be a major meltdown when she's forced to send someone home. Here's hoping the ABC Psychotherapist has enough Valium for both her and Chris.
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