The episode began with the return of solar-powered Ryan who showed up at Ashley's hotel in Fiji. He felt they'd left "things unsaid" and hadn't had "a full chance" -- a proverbial "dot dot dot," if you will. He talked about a million miles a minute, explaining, "So it's been on my mind, like non stop like thinking like wow I really need to see this through." He wanted to spend more time with her, but told her to take some time before she decided to think about it (and to contribute to the dramatic non-climax of the episode).
Ben met Ashley, who was wandering around in a bikini top and told her being on the show had led him to "a breakthrough" wherein he found himself. They rode a boat and took turns sitting on top of each other and rubbing sunscreen one another's chests. "He's looking great, I'm feeling great" Ashley said, "it's like we're on a honeymoon or something." They went snorkeling and Ben said, "I kind of saw my life with Ashley kind of flash before my eyes."
At night, they dined outside surrounded by candles. Ben showed up in a flowing see-through shirt tucked into his khakis for dinner. Ashley told him, "You're such a stud tonight... You're so handsome," which seemed like a mean thing to say to someone who looked so ridiculous. Ben called the day "hysterically perfect." (Lately, Ben's been trying to use big words and it hasn't been working out so well for him.)
They toasted to a perfect day and talked about how comfortable they felt together. Ben said he felt committed and could see being with her in the future, and she told him she'd been thinking, "I could see myself with this guy forever." Ben talked about turning into Emotional Ben and said, "I wouldn't say I'm a completely different guy I'm just, I'm available" and she responded with her stock "oooh," which always sounds like an inappropriate response.
Ben told her "My feelings are growing and I'm on my way to you know the whole I love you thing." (Cop out!) Ashley gave him the fantasy suite card and was glad he accepted it. (Has a guy EVER not accepted the fantasy card on this show?) They made out in the pool and Ben carried her to the bedroom. Ashley told the camera, "I'm really falling in love with him"
Ashley surprised Constantine with a helicopter ride. (There haven't been nearly enough of those this season -- budget cuts?). As they flew over the water, we cut to sad Ryan, out in the water by himself, looking up as the helicopter flew overhead. He'd been "waiting for several days " and wanted to see Ashley already. Poor Ryan, having a free vacation in Fiji.
Anyway, Ashley and Constantine jumped off a tiny cliff into a waterfall and Ashley made the parallel of him needing to take a leap of faith into their relationship. They played in the water and disproportionately dramatic music played. Ashley said she still felt for him even though he was "closed off more than anyone else."
They had a picnic by the water and Ashley told him the hometown date made her realize he was a cautious decision maker. She asked how many houses he looked at before he bought one and he said "108... But houses and women are not the same!" She said the hometown date made her feel like moving slowly was worth it, but, she said "I hope that things just like take off today and tonight... you know." Oh, we know Ashley.
At night, they went to the same resort she went to with Ben (A little tacky, no?) Ashley toasted to "tonight and hopefully having a lot of time together." Constantine told her love was "either given to you or not and there's not something you can do about it" and he hadn't been feeling naturally affectionate toward her. He told her that before they fantasy suited, "I would want ideally for me to be madly head over heels, 100 percent sure, ready to meet your father and say you know, I want to ask for your daughter's hand in marriage" but he didn't "have that yet." And he respected her "too much as a person to make it any harder than it needs to be."
**And then, at such a crucial moment, the show was put on hold for a special presidential address. Stephanopoulos told us they'd be interrupting our "regular program" for the speech... as if he didn't know exactly what show he was cutting into! It eventually ended and we got back to the important stuff. **
Constantine told Ashley "this means the end of the road for me," hugged her goodbye and booted it. Ok, so one guy rejected the fantasy suite card. But we'll call that the exception that proves the rule.
Ryan was hopeful Ashley would give him a second chance when they met up. She told him that while on paper he was "exactly" what she wanted and was one of "the best guys that I've ever met in my life," letting him go was the right decision because she "didn't feel that passion." She continued, "The truth is, I found that." Ready for the knife to go deeper? "Actually with 2 people." And she went on to explain how it was hard, "feeling this way for two guys." He didn't seem to feel that badly for her.
"I just for some reason, I just envisioned like there would be this amazing ending to our story and that I'd come back and you'd say yeah I regret it and we have a chance here" Ryan whined. By this point, Ryan had adopted the creepy Ames grin and smiled through all the pain. As Ashley walked away at the speed of a sea turtle on land, Ryan wondered if he'd ever find love and told himself "It'll happen." Four times.
Ashley ran to him, he picked her up and they started back on their Guinness world record try of most kisses in least amount of time, on reality TV show, between a construction worker and a dentist. Ashley was wearing yet another weird belly shirt, but I've ceased to even mention them because it's too painful to talk about.
They rode a seaplane to a private island. "It's like the world has ended and put the two of us on this island and here we are" he said. Pretty nice version of the apocalypse, if you ask me. But then again, being stuck with Ashley does seem pretty earth-ending bad.
JP told her his family "adored" her and that he was ready for it to end (the show, not the world). They talked about his jealously of the other guys, so there'd be some semblance of conflict and we could all pretend she hadn't already chosen JP. Then they played in the ocean. JP called it "one of the best days of my life" and Ashley thought their special passion could last a lifetime. JP said," I think its pretty safe to say that I'm definitely falling in love with Ashley."
That night they went to a different resort and had dinner outside in the middle of the jungle. They drank vino on the requisite daybed/couch and agreed that their relationship was "just so well rounded." Then Ashley told him, "I said goodbye to 2 guys this week." Of course JP brightened up because he thought that made him the last one standing and the winner of the Ash-prize. Then she told him Constantine was gone and Ryan had shown up-and been sent home-again, so Ben was still left. And the JP smile faded. Such an evil fake out Ash!
They talked about the other guys some more and Ashley told him not to hold back and also worried he wanted to win her out of macho competitiveness. He told her "I wanna be the last guy standing not because I wanna beat him. I want you." She did her signature cooing sound and they made out. JP told the camera, "I want Ashley to be my wife."
I'll spare you anymore suspense -- he accepted the fantasy suite card. Ashley ran off to change into a button down shirt (and nothing else), while he took a gulp of wine. She returned and mounted him for some pants-less making out, ever-full glasses by the bed.
Ashley wore her hair in a horrible half-up poof thing, that looked like it had been styled for a Lifetime movie in the 90s. Maybe that's what she was going for. Luckily, the short sparkly white dress, blue eye show and crazy high sparkly stilettos (girl likes her sparkles) toned the look down.
She told Chris Ben was "probably the person I'm most compatible with here. If you were to write out a perfect guy for me if would be Ben." So (again) obviously Ben is out next week, and they're positioning it as a head vs. heart thing.
She told Chris she was still having a rose ceremony
because the producers told her to, to make JP squirm a little more before she picks him, to see the 2 dudes she fantasy suited with side by side because it was "the most important rose ceremony." You see, she was "turning the tables around, I want me to be the person who's waiting to see if they accept my rose. And it's not over until it's over." Except 1-- that's how it is every time when she asks them "will you accept this rose." 2 -- She's even gone into detail about wondering if they'll accept her back before, multiple times (Se: post Mickey, post Bentley..) and 3 -- It's over next week, because it's a 10 episode series.
Ashley explained to the "guys" what happened with Constantine, even though JP already knew, but I guess she had to keep the ruse going so Ben wouldn't feel left out. (Kind of like how she pretends he's still in the running against JP.) Amazingly, they both accepted her roses, even though she called their names very, very slowly.