Borderline offended. Borderline offended is how I felt watching this week's episode. How are we supposed to suspend our disbelief over the potential success rate and sanctity of these relationships when it is beyond preposterous that hometown dates are taking place on episode five? I mean we already know that ultimately, this relationship will fail. But at least by the end of previous seasons, we had hope.
Here, there is no hope. Here, I feel like I have stronger feelings for Brad's v-necks than his relationships. In the past, I have genuinely cared about these people (embarrassing to admit, I know, but this is a safe place, right?) I loved Jillian Harris and desperately tried to protect her from the safety of my couch, furiously pointing out the obvious when Wes used his wannabe one-hit wonder to try to reel her in, begging her to pick Kiptyn, for the love of God. My heart broke for Jason Mesnick when he admitted to making the wrong choice and I clasped my hands together and held my breath for him until Molly agreed to give him another chance. Hell, even Brad Womack had my sympathy by episode two of his second season as I decided that he had done enough soul-searching to warrant a fresh start (and honestly who can blame the guy for ditching Deanna Pappas his first time around? Ew).
Let's capture these hopeless moments, shall we?
The whirlwind began in Bianka's hometown of Mississauga, where Brad meets her with a high pitched squeal reminiscent of episode one (you look so cuuuuuteee!) and they immediately go to her favourite ice cream shop. Since they barely know each other and are desperate to find things in common, we are forced to listen to them freak out about the unbelievable fact that they both prefer mint chocolate chip ice cream. There's one for the wedding vows. Seriously -- who doesn't love mint chocolate chip? Go ahead and take a poll in your office right now. See? Not loving mint chocolate chip ice cream is like not liking fun.
At some point, as they walked over the bridge to the park for their picnic, I found myself praying to get through just one episode of this show without Brad wearing those boots with his jeans tucked into them. It takes Bianka ten minutes to get a few sentences out about her trust issues and then 'sort of' compliment Brad on where their relationship is headed. Not exactly ready to walk down the aisle, but I think that's about all she can handle right now. She is probably one of the funnier chicks on this show, which she revealed to us on night one when she straight-face told Brad she was an expert in mouth-to-mouth, and on this week's episode, where she sets him up for the trauma of meeting her non-English-speaking parents.
I felt pretty bad for the camera guy filming the awkward intro when the two walked into her suburban Mississauga home -- I could barely keep track of Brad as his head swiveled from side to side, smiling awkwardly trying to make an impression while he clearly has no idea what was being said. Finally, he is relieved of torture and the whole fam has a good laugh over the poor guy. Off to the backyard for some good old-fashioned BBQ! There really wasn't much else to say about the date: The conversation flowed, Brad got to hear a bit about Bianka's parents' relationship, her dad wielded a sword at him and off they went -- you know, the usual. It's clear that no matter the situation, Brad is a nice, comfortable guy who can put not only the parents at ease, but the girls too. By the end, as the family laid on the pressure to book the church a bit thick, it's clear that he made a solid impression on Bianka's parents. Now if only we knew if their daughter actually likes him.
Onto Kara, who I have called since Day One as my fave, and who I genuinely like (please let him pick her in the end -- then it might be a couple of months before the break-up rather than days or weeks). Kara is exactly how Brad refers to her -- warm and at ease with herself and others around her. She's also 'super-cute' which goes well with her 'super-happiness' and 'super-excitement' for Brad's visit, but I have to admit I was 'super-appalled' at the gross display of what I can only assume was Dentyne Ice product placement as she carefully examined the package of gum like she was transcribing some ancient code while waiting for him to arrive. Needless to say, that moment left me with a less than minty fresh taste in my mouth, and despite her observation that when Brad's around the clouds disappear and the sun comes shining through, the two were still left to make do in the rain while they're whisked away on a boat tour of Granville Island with some unwashed strawberries.
They explore some of the 'tough' questions ('Does it bother you that we're so similar?' Huh?) and then head over to Kara's house, where we meet her relatively normal family (despite a brother-in-law that looks like he got into a fist fight with the tooth fairy). Of course, I knew within seconds that obviously her dad was going to show up, so it was no surprise when he crept up behind her (and if you know me, you'd know that it was also no surprise that I, of course, cried). Despite Brad's ease with the family and the obvious way he fits in, I'm wondering if her dad was a bit concerned that he rushed back to meet a guy who boasts maintaining a 65 per cent average in university as a challenge. Brad clearly doesn't want to leave Kara's house, which gives me hope that he'll see it through with her till the end.
I will admit, I actually said 'this is ridiculous' out loud on more than one occasion during this episode, but no time more so than on Gabi's hometown date. Do I honestly give a crap if Brad makes a good impression on her family? Considering the two have yet to spend an actual date together, the fact that he's even meeting the fam is just absolutely absurd.
The confusion starts right away with Brad's attire, given that he's sporting nine turtlenecks and she's ready to hit the beach. Instead, they hit the seniors centre, where initially, I am taken aback by the fact that Gabi volunteers twice a week -- tough work coming down off your pedestal that frequently, no? But then I start to wonder...while Brad's having the time of his life, dropping bombs like 'Horseradish!' and 'Cinnamon and Gravy!' as if suddenly stricken with Turrets syndrome, Little Miss Gabi sits there silently. Does she even know these people? Security!
I thought I had seen it all in my devotion to this show -- but there's one first I'll give this episode: Gabi's male cousin openly offering himself as a freebie to Brad if he chooses Gabi as the lamb was passed around. Though he was in awe over how well Brad handled himself, I think we all know who was hoping to do the handling. A dead-even tie between the cousin and Gabi's aunt, who we were unfortunate enough to watch perform a provocative bellydance. I'd take Brad's running man and a box of Triscuits over that any day.
Sigh...off to Calgary to meet up with the Wicked Witch of the West. Right off the bat, I think Brad must have experienced some sort of altitude sickness on the flight over, because as he gets ready for his day with Whitney, he tells us that she's the hottest girl he's ever seen. Seriously? Does the camera add ten uglies and I just haven't gotten the memo yet? She meets him wearing yet another unflattering cropped blazer and whisks him off to -- what else? -- an adrenaline-inducing activity. Brad busts out the leotard and sails smoothly down the bobsled track once he realizes he's not going to any extreme heights and stops crying like a girl.
At first I thought her dad would be a total psycho based on the previews, but he turned out to be a pretty decent guy, just as surprised over his daughter's emotional maturity as Brad seems to be. And when her mom wasn't slurring and coming onto Brad, she seemed alright too. I'm not sure what Whitney really meant by this being a date he'll never forget -- other than her sister's mole, the whole night's pretty much already gone from my memory. When the foursome sits down to dinner and tries to have a polite conversation, Whitney looks absolutely pissed that Daddy's given away the deep dark secret that she appears -- gasp! -- happy. The rest of the episode basically consists of Brad trying to weasel some vulnerability out of her, despite the fact that her heart is filled with stone.
I gotta hand it to Whitney though. Back at the mansion, despite her lack of ability to open up to Brad, not to mention the tin foil solar system project she wore to the cocktail party, she still manages to make it through yet again, along with Bianka and Kara, to the final three. Poor Gabi is sent packing, once again muttering A Few Good Men quotes and just like that, we're done. Next week, it's fantasy date time. I don't know about you, but my fantasy is definitely seeing Whitney and her implants floating far, far away by the time episode six finishes.
Till next week!
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