This week, the eight remaining bachelors took a train ride with Jillian across British Columbia and Alberta. Michael couldn't contain his excitement, because apparently it's "every kid's best dream" to ride a train in Canada. Really? Jillian missed Ed for about eight seconds and then moved on. Most importantly, this week it got real. At least that's what everyone kept saying.
1-on-1 with Robby
Robby, as usual, was nervous. He showed off his bar tending skills and then he and Jillian retired to the romantic caboose for dinner. Jillian was concerned about Robby's age (25) and wanted to know if he was ready to start a family. Robby avoided the question entirely saying, "Love has no age, love has no job and love can happen anytime."
After dinner they cuddled on some weird gaudy day bed that just happened to be in the middle of the train. Yet again, Robby expressed his nervousness. Then the rose appeared and he got even more nervous. But it was time for Jillian to find out if Robby was ready for love, so she asked that age old question: would you start a bar tending school? Robby's hesitance to settle down and teach the art of mojitos was all Jillian needed to hear.
She stopped the train and told him that while he made her feel young again (at the ripe age of 29 she has no recollection of 25), she felt like he could be her best friend - but not her husband. (Wait a minute, Jillian, wasn't a best friend like- the only thing you wanted when you went on The Bachelor?) Then, Robby got off the train and had to stand there as it pulled away and the guys waved to him from the windows. Jake was the first (but far from the last) to observe that it was "getting real". Michael cried because Robby was left in "the Canadian wilderness". But I feel fairly confident he made it home okay.
This season, we've watched the subtle arc of Wes' character unravel. For the last few weeks, the guys have constantly accused him of being there for the wrong reasons. This week, in a shocking twist, Wes admitted that he's there for a "hidden agenda". The horror! He also pulled his classic move and went to console (read: make-out with) Jillian after she sent Robby home. At least he didn't sing the one-line song this time. While Jillian told him how safe she felt, we cut to Wes telling the camera he could taste fame and that he had a "bleep-ing hidden agenda".
Group Date: Snowshoeing
Last week it was snowmobiling, this week: snowshoeing. Every date in Canada has to involve snow. And with good reason. As Jillian said, "you can do whatever you want in the snow." Even make a fool of yourself in front of millions of people.
Tanner P got excited about putting Jillian's snowshoes on for her - the whole feet factor. Kiptyn keenly observed that snowshoeing was like learning to walk all over again. Like learning to walk in snowshoes, maybe? Jake got to "slip in a little cuddle" and chat with Jillian. He thought the conversation was "electric" (Boogie woogie, woogie!). Then they all moved indoors and Kiptyn and Jillian had some alone time to make out. He is so clearly the front runner.
Meanwhile, on the train, Reid asked the train staff if he should wear glasses on his one-on-one date. (Answer from Train Lady: no) One friendly (camera-hungry?) employee told Reid to share his feelings with Jillian. Apparently that guy had never seen The Bachelorette before.
Back on the date, Michael proclaimed: "It's gonna get real". (I thought it already was real?) The guys all gathered and were all fascinated to learn that Jillian sleeps in her underwear when she's drunk. Tanner P heard the word underwear and took his pants off. Jillian said she didn't need to see the package "although it is huge." But it seems like Jillian couldn't stop thinking about "the package", because she then let Tanner P rub her feet - with cream and everything.
Next up was Jesse, who told Jillian "It's real now". They talked about how great that one date they had was, and did some smooching. Then it was on to Michael, who tried to show Jillian his serious side. Jillian worried about his age and their physical connection (I think she was still thinking about Tanner P's, uh, feet.) After all that, Kiptyn ended up with the rose, because he's Jillian's favorite.
More Wes Drama
Tanner P proclaimed "this is getting real" and told the guys he was the one who tattled on the guy with the girlfriend. Jake thought Tanner was "noble", because Jake sees the world through the lens of a cartoon prince. Wes denied the girlfriend charges, but told the guys he'd got what he wanted: publicity. Jesse seriously doubted that Wes was there for the right reasons - because Wes just told him as much, but also because going on The Bachelorette is a "great opportunity" for a musician... Wait - how many music careers have been bolstered by The Bachelor/ette franchise?
1-on-1 with Reid
Jillian wanted to spend time with Reid to see if they had anything in common - besides a penchant for exhibitionism. They went snowboarding and Reid fell a lot. Then they had drinks in an ice sculpture: the table, glasses and decor were all made out of ice, because that's how it is in Canada. It made Jillian feel like they were a King and Queen. I guess no one told her the kingdom was going to melt once the date was over.
Then they went inside to eat fondue, which freaked Reid out because he's a hypochondriac and cooking meat scares him. Jillian said his imperfections made her feel comfortable. But throughout the date, she kept harping on how they were so different.
She was concerned about where they would live if they ended up together, since he's from Philadelphia and she's from Vancouver. This was intriguing for a two reasons. 1) The other guys are from New York, California and Texas and none of those distances seem to bother her. 2) Just last week she told Jesse she was willing to move to whatever city her new boyfriend hailed from. So what gives Jillian? What is really the problem with Reid?
Let's investigate further. Jillian also wondered if they could reconcile their different lifestyles, since she lives "in the sticks". Yes, Philadelphia is a big city with a population of 5.8 million. But last I checked Vancouver, with it's 2.5 Million (and 2010 Olympic Games), was not quite "the sticks".
So maybe it's their jobs? Jillian is an interior designer and the jobs of the five remaining bachelors are: Break Dance Instructor, Business Developer, Wine-Maker, Country Singer and Realtor. Bur Reid is the Realtor and that's actually the job most similar to Jillian's. Hmmm...
So what is it? She said herself Reid's hypochondria made her feel comfortable.... Oooh we did find out this week that he doesn't celebrate Christmas. Is that it? So a single dad, sleazy wannabe rock star, guy with foot fetish and eight year old trapped in the body of a man haven't phased her (and I'm not equating all three, just demonstrating the gamut of relationship challenges she's been prepared to consider) and Christmas is the deal breaker?
Anyway, Reid said if they loved each other, they'd figure it out. And Jillian said that although they didn't have a lot in common (for the tenth time), she wanted to explore their connection further. She gave Reid the rose and a healthy dose of making out (whilst grabbing his earlobe).
The Rose Ceremony was in Banff, Alberta (about the 87th tourist plug of the episode) though all we saw was the inside of a room. Before the ceremony Jillian told Chris: "It's been a crazy week, but we've seen a lot of beautiful scenery" (tourist plug #88).
I have to say, I was really proud of Jillian's ensemble at the Rose Ceremony. She wore even less make up than last week and a relatively understated black outfit. (The skirt was made entirely of sequins, but she's making progress...)
Jillian took Michael aside for some extra-curricular questioning, to make sure he was serious (very reminiscent of when Jason Mesnick took Noami aside...). Michael told her that although he was a "young buck" he was ready to commit and wanted to be a dad.
While the guys waited for Jillian to return, Reid wanted to know which guy had the secret girlfriend. Wes just swore in response. So it's still a "mystery". And finally, I have to give kudos to ABC for having the restraint to show only one train-going-into-dark-tunnel shot during the episode.
Booted: Jake ("Nice guys finish last ...story of my life"), Tanner P (finally) and Robby.
Next Week's Drinking Game
It's a special edition Hometown Dates Drinking Game! Every time someone says the word "family" "parents" or anything family related. Same for every time a family member speaks or hugs someone. Godspeed.