This week was, as Chris Harrison told the Potential Future Husbands, "by far the biggest week." Hometown dates were coming up and the guys were giving it their all to impress Emily. They anxiously monologued at her, went in for kisses no matter how painfully awkward, and even let declarations of love flow out of their desperate mouths.
1-on-1 With Arie
Emily again toted around a tour book in an attempt to look competent. And she wore lacy glitter shorts because she has her life-savings in sequins stock. Arie wore a blazer with elbow patches. I don't know why.
The came upon a bronzed plaque that was supposed to bring love, if you rubbed the woman on it, and loyalty, if you rubbed the dog. (And if you rubbed both at the same time, a dog would fall in love with you.) Emily confided to us, "It's weird to rub a dog that represents loyalty when I know in the back of my head that [Arie] has a secret that he is hiding from me." (I think it's weird to rub an artistic rendering of a dog any old time, but that's just me.)
What secret, you ask? Well, Chris Harrison popped up in front of the Bachelorette mansion to break it down for us. He explained that "several years ago" Arie had a "very brief" relationship with a Bachelorette producer. Said producer revealed this fact to Emily when she realized
the Arie relationship needed more conflict Emily was developing feelings for Arie. We saw an excerpt of the alleged on-camera revelation and Emily's reaction. She was upset and said it "wasn't like a production thing" for the show, it was a "real life thing." Producer Cassie, let's call her Prassie, told her it was for the show it wasn't a big deal.
CUT TO: the date again. Emily talked about how important honesty was. Arie called himself "a very trust-worthy person" with no secrets. He told her he had something to confess in the name of honesty; he used to have a tattoo of his ex's name. That was obvi not the answer Emily was looking for.
CUT BACK TO: Chris Harrison giving us "full disclosure." The cameras didn't happen to catch what happened next, but good ol' Harrison would tell us. He said Em, Arie and Prassie "had a very honest conversation about the issue" in which Arie said the relationship was so long ago and so short, it didn't matter, and Emily concurred and everything was dandy.
CUT TO: Arie and Emily (in a sequins zebra-print T-shirt) at dinner. Arie said it was his "fault" for keeping something from her. Emily apologized for not giving him the benefit of the doubt. Then they made out.
Arie told Emily his family would love her and she worried about what she'd wear to meet them. (I'm gonna go ahead and guess sequins.) Then he told her that in Croatia "I think I realized that I love you," which made Emily "really really happy... like the happiest girl." (She was HAPPY okay?!?!) There were fireworks and more making out. Arie told the camera, "Tonight has completely changed my life. And now I can completely see myself marrying her." (As opposed to the week before, when it was only partially and the week before that, when he hadn't met her yet.)
1-on-1 With John
John and Emily walked around and talked about what Emily called his "guard up" and he called a "hard shell." In the name of love, they painted a boat on a wall and tried unsuccessfully to put a lock on a fence to symbolize eternal love. Emily made the astute analogy to their floundering relationship.
They had dinner in a dungeon, with very flattering lighting. John revealed his sob story about an ex cheating and got into really unnecessary specifics like how many times he called her and how he was so worried when she stop returning his calls, he contacted hospitals and prisons to see if she was there. (Your first thought is your missing girlfriend is either dead or in prison- yet you never suspected her of cheating?)
He told Emily he took things slowly because he'd been hurt, but he knew what he wanted and thought he could fall in love with her. He told her, "I'm not a starter, I'm a closer" and kissed her. It was a weird kiss, They sat across from one another and kept their hands in their laps, nothing touching but their lips. (As opposed to the Arie who gropes Emily's head like his life depends in on it.)
When John got home, Sean decided he had to see Emily. He ran around outside, calling her name in the streets. He "found" her walking alone in a dark alley and they had smoochie-time. Emily was impressed at his confidence to find her after her date with his "roommate." I thought it was kind of gross. They popped into a restaurant that just happened to be completely empty and made out some more. Then they made out more in the an alley, though it seemed like it was actually footage from earlier.
Chris, Sean and Doug had the final group date of the season. (So emotional... for me.) Chris, who had been going "crazy" back at the hotel, was not pleased to be on the group date.
The four-some walked around a castle and Doug thought, "this would be an 11-and-a-half year-old's dream." I don't know about that. The four of them toasted some champagne and Doug awkwardly thanked Emily for being "like the most gracious host ever."
Alone with Doug, Emily wanted to see if they had chemistry. She asked what different side to him she would see on a hometown date and he said, "nothing." (Brilliant answer.) He told her he was old-fashioned and apologized for accidentally touching her leg. She got annoyed at his lack of "body language; he felt like they were "getting off track."
Outside in the rain, she told Doug she'd been waiting "for something to happen" with him. Midway through what was clearly a break up speech, Doug interrupted her with an ever-so awkward kiss. She pulled away and said "thank you for that." "Yup," Doug responded, and she went back to dumping him. She felt like he wasn't opening up the way she needed and she respected him enough to kick him off asap. He felt "really stupid" for kissing her, shared an uncomfortable hug and left saying "Have a good one," "Yeah, take care," "See ya."
In the car Doug said, "I did not seeing that coming." He cried and said he just wanted to find the love of his life. (I am so tired of hearing these idiots whine about finding a girlfriend. Go on a real date!)
Inside, with Sean and Chris, Emily felt like she was "back in that awkward 2-on-1 position" and thought "Dates like this make me want even more to be with one guy for the rest of my life." Yes, being wooed by multiple suitors makes anyone long to settle down.
Sean got some alone time and told her his family would love her. They then made-out their way up back upstairs while Bobble Chris waited, pacing anxiously and drinking. When it was his turn, Chris, rather confrontationally, said he was upset he didn't get a 1-on-1. Emily apologized and thanked him for making the best of everything and they had a mini-smooch. Then Emily gave the date rose to Sean, telling Chris, "I hope you don't take it personally." What was it -- a political decision?
1-on-1 With Jef
Emily decided to give the glitter a break and dress like a horse instead. She wore a weird shaggy brown sweater coat and shaggy hoof-looking ankle boots. (Do horses have the hairy ankles or is it donkeys? Whichever one it is, she looked like that. Or an expressionist version of that.)
She and Jef went to a marionette store and bought a boy marionette and girl marionette. After they walked out, Jef ran back to the store and got another girl-marionette saying, "We couldn't leave Ricki hanging." (Look at that guy. He has a weirdly spelled name and can land a mean pun. Such a catch.) A much more tan Emily (clearly filmed at a later date) told the camera how she could "picture walking into Jeff's office one day and seeing pictures of our family." (A rather specific fantasy if you ask me, but whatever works for her.)
Then they went to a library and, surrounded by the books and silence, Em "figured what better place to put on a puppet show" and they re-enacted their relationship with their marionettes. It was cute. Like traumatized children in play-therapy.
Jef got to relive his nerves and fear of kissing. He felt the puppets "made it easier to express some big feelings." His puppet then told Emily's puppet, "This whole thing has blown my wildest dreams out of the water and I -- I am 100 -- 1 million percent in love with you and I can't even imagine what I would do without you in my life. Can we get a dog together?" Their marionettes kissed, then their real-life selves kissed. (I cannot tell you how badly I want Jef to make it to the final three. There is nothing I want to see more than marionette play-therapy in the Fantasy Suite.)
Things were getting so intimate, they sat on the floor. They made out some more and Jeff explained his family was really private and she wouldn't meet his parents, just some of his siblings. (This didn't seem to concern her at all.) Then he went on typical Jef-word-spew about his ideal future family. Then they lay down on the floor and he asked if she'd want to live together before they got married. Emily thought living together first made it too "easy to get out" and Jef backtracked and said he agreed. They talked about having kids and embraced on the floor. Jef whispered, "I want to date you so hard and marry the BLEEP out of you." His marionette was silent.
The guys hung out waiting for Emily. John felt confident about his relationship after his 1-on-1. Bobble Chris felt like he'd ended the group date badly and said he wanted to talk to Emily about it at the cocktail party.
Meanwhile, Emily had a mini-Harrison therapy session. She told him she didn't want to have a party because her mind was already made up.
Harrison went and told the guys it was a straight to Rose Ceremony affair. John still felt confident and Bobble Chris went outside for a freak out stroll.
Dressed in her budget-hooker best, Emily sported big wavy hair and a shiny blue sequined mess. The first rose went to Jef and the second to Arie. It was down to John and Bobble Chris, who began to shake, with his head pointed downward, bobbling on his neck almost like... a bobble head! (Gives his first night gift to Emily so much more meaning!) As Emily picked up the final rose of the evening, Bobble C. could take it no longer and told her he needed to talk.
They sat down in a separate room and he apologized for acting "like a boy" on their date. He told her, "I'm ready to be the man that you deserve... that Ricki deserves." (I think we can all agree that at least Ricki deserves much better.) He continued, "I'd be lying if I said I wasn't falling in love with you." (I told you, the L-bomb was exploding all over the place this week.)
Back at the ceremony, Emily gave Chris the last rose. She walked John out and told him her other relationships had "moved at a much faster pace." He was shocked. She apologized and thanked him for opening up to her. He did not say, "You're welcome."
On his way out, John said he thought Emily had made a mistake. "Maybe I'll find my Cinderella someday," he hoped. OHMYGOD GO ON A DATE!
Booted: Doug and John
Next Week's Drinking Game: The Hometown Fun for the Whole Family Special!*
Any other familial relation (daughter, uncle, etc.)
*Note: this game is not appropriate for the whole family.