Monday's show started with a tease that did more than tease (in effect, it did a lot less than tease). Chris Harrison told us about a "shocking ending" we "won't see coming," then proceeded to show us AshLee offering the rose to Graham and him walking out the door. Well, now we'll see it coming, that's for sure.
This episode was almost unwatchable for me because of Crazy Michelle 2.0. I keep calling her that because that's what I called her originally due to her, um, craziness. I'm not so sure she's crazy anymore more than just a total publicity whore. She crafts everything she says to optimize the amount of screen time she'll get. Everything is calculated with that in mind. She's been coached in soundbites. Or course, there's also the possibility that the producers just have a mammoth hard-on for her, which is why they permitted Creepy Chris to circumvent the rules and give her his rose even though the instructions called for the men to give them to the women they want a relationship with.
Crazy Michelle 2.0 (CM2) was so all over this episode it was all I could do to keep watching. I can't remember ever having that reaction to anyone before. ... Oh wait, I had a really bad reaction to Andi in Juan Pablo's season, but that was for different reasons.
CM2 was grateful to Creepy Chris (CC) for allowing her to complete her journey. That journey being exposure, lest anyone think it has anything to do with a relationship. Still, she was on her own. Nobody (understandably) wanted anything to do with her.
The rose ceremony just ended from last week and the gang headed to the beach where Robert was given another date card. Keep in mind, even though we saw the ceremony seven days earlier, he had just moments before given a rose to Sarah. So quite naturally he asks Sarah on the date. Makes total sense.
Then the next day she was still crying crocodile tears, blaming her situation on being a single mom. You know how guys hate single moms, right? Remember how nobody wanted to date Emily either?... Oh yeah, right. Sorry.
Even though she was (pretending to be) miserable, she mustered up enough courage to braid Sarah's hair before her big date. Not because she's a selfless individual; it just guarantees more screen time.
Brawny Cody then strolled onto the set, greeted exhuberently by his buddies Marquel and Marcuszzz from this past season with Andi. He had been following Clare for some time and asked her out on a date, not knowing Clare was hooked up with Zack. Sounds like a soap opera, doesn't it?
Clare took Cody aside and turns him down gently. He gave it the hard sell but she was undeterred. He said, in effect, what's the harm in going out to get to know me? It won't affect your relationship with Zack. So Clare then excused herself to go ask Zack.
Zack said he's not a jealous guy and doesn't want to tell her what to do. So she asked him what he'd do if the situation were reversed. And Zack offered a textbook response on how not to answer a woman in your life: "Depends on who the girl is." You cannot take that back no matter how hard you try, and he tried. "Depends on the situation," he clarified. Too late.
They had a bit of a tete-a-tete. Zack was saying she wants something serious, and she was saying she wants a man who knows what he wants. I thought Zack proved that. He knows he wants something better if it happens to come along. If not, he's perfectly happy with Clare.
Clare thought Zack was a little wishy-washy, which was disappointing to her. Cody, on the other hand, knows what he wants. Not that it helps him. She still turned him down. "You're killing me!" he kept repeating to her. He kept at it, telling her how beautiful she is and how much better looking in person she is, and that she's the reason he's there in the first place. Clare was clearly flattered but she's a woman of morals and stood her ground.
Then the guy who fell in love too quickly with Andi dropped his pants too early with Lacy, too, telling her, "I love... er, like you for who you are." Can you say "rebound?"
I found this episode more than others had too much needless play-by-play commentary by the others. That is, we'd see what happens, then we'd get an interview with somebody telling us exactly what we just saw, without any interesting or clever take on it.
Zack said he was happy with Clare's decision, saying all his "eggs are in [her] basket." He regretted how he handled the situation earlier. Nice save!
Back by the fire, CM2 was dropping hints like acid to Cody, telling him she's only been on one date. That should have been a red flag for Cody, but he's not the sharpest tool in the shed.
Remember Kalon from Emily's season? The pretend-rich guy who allegedly inferred that Emily's child was "baggage"? Yeah, well, he showed up. As desperate as CM2 is, she wouldn't stoop that low. Not sure why. Kondescending Kalon was nothing but class. He said he had "tunnel vision for 5-foot-10 with some boobs." I thought Clare would have dug him since he clearly knows what he wants.
When he saw what he wanted, he approached, asking CM2 out on his date. "Oh, that's nice! I would love that," she enthused. For his part, he said he wanted to "zip-line right into her tits. Oh my God, I would motorboat the fuck out of that." Clearly he was told by the producers to play up the jerk angle.
Kondescending Kalon had it coming. CM2 sat him down and told him very clearly she didn't appreciate the "baggage" stuff, especially since she has a kid of her own. Kondescending Kalon didn't budge, still refusing to explain or apologize. He called it water under the bridge. She respectfully declined the date.
KK was undeterred, though. He approached sun lizards Jackie and Sarah, saying his date card involved "sperlunking" [sic]. Sarah whined, "What's 'sperlunking'?" through her nose. He asked Jackie to go with him. She turned him down, too. Sarah didn't like what she saw coming, since she said she's "zero percent attracted" to the "fake, cheezy, and sleazy" Kalon. "Kalon wouldn't get close enough to my mouth for me to throw up in his mouth when he kissed me," she said, trying her best to be quotable.
Off he went, solo. He arrived at "an enormous man cave." Uh, no, Kalon, that's called a "cave." A real cave. Continuing his classy appearance to date, he said, "I can't say I've ever rappelled into a giant Mexican hole but I've rappelled into a tight Mexican hole."
He then proceeded to say all the right things to himself, like toasting, "To us!" and "I found someone I could really spend the rest of my life with."
Cue the foreshadowing. Marquel said, "What could possibly go wrong." Enter Jesse, from Jillian's season. Some thought he was a bit of a playboy, a bit of a player. But Jackie apparently didn't. He asked her on a date and she accepted, as Marquel pulled his hoody up over his head in shame.
I guess with the exit of Creepy Chris, the producers realized they needed a new creepy dude. Don't know what Jackie was thinking, but she seemed to be into finding someone other than Marquel because when they arrived at their dinner, she said it was a "perfect romantic setting to get to know someone." I woulda thunk you'd want to get to know someone before you brought in the romance, but that's just me.
To top it all off, there were a couple of cave-dwelling musicians living under the rocks. Turns out cave-dwelling musicians are just as bad as the usual variety this show sees.
CM2, realizing her time was slipping away, saw everyone getting massages except her own bare neck. Cody wasn't offering, either. But he was the only option so she made him think she really wanted one from him. And he obliged, wrapping his big, muscular arms around her. She hid her revulsion well, knowing she must use him to keep her face in the public eye. A girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do.
And then the drama began. We saw AshLee sitting with Zack asking him if he wants to be "tied down like that" with Clare. And, "If you're not totally sold on her and committed, I'd advise you to meet other people. I love Clare but cuckoo!" Then she brought up Clare's ocean romp with Juan Pablo. Good gossippy stuff.
And even better when she said, "I'm surprised there's not a camera on us." Whoopsy!
Turns out she's extremely aware of where all the cameras are, when they're on her, and how she presents herself in said situations. She may not be who she presents herself as.
Then Lacy told Clare about what AshLee had said. As you do in soap operas. And hell hath no fury like Clare scorned.
Zack told Clare, basically, to calm down. "Don't focus on other girls," he said. "It's hurting us." Then she turned it on him. He should have stuck up for her, had her back. She walked off. He followed with his tail between his legs. "I don't want to involve you," she said, meaning, "I want to involve you but you're a coward so I won't."
It didn't last, though, because we next saw them sitting at the fire, Clare between Zack's legs, all cozy-like.
AshLee took Clare aside saying she wasn't sure what was up, even though she knew full well what was up. And what would go down.
Clare told her she felt "super disrespected." AshLee countered that she was simply talking in the general sense, forgetting for a moment those cameras also had microphones attached and Clare would find out soon enough what AshLee really said.
AshLee, panicking, talked calmly, saying, "I don't feel you did anything wrong," to which Clare rightfully responded, "I didn't do anything wrong!" Well, except for making sweet, sweet love to Juan Pablo in the ocean. But that's water under her legs.
AshLee was upset because, as she put it, "I work hard on my character." At least when the camera's on, anyway.
Cody's closeness to CM2 through touch did the trick. He told her he thinks he has a better connection with her than he'd have had with Clare. Then again, he must have realized the women were handing out the roses and he wasn't paired up with anyone. Necessity is the father of invention.
Before the rose ceremony, CM2 pulled Graham aside to tell him what everyone else but him already knew about AshLee's miscues. Graham doesn't approve of things like that. CM2 wanted him to decline the rose from AshLee. Gee, I wonder if he would. I certainly wouldn't see that coming!
But he did say he's having "serious doubts about AshLee in [his] life." Da-da-dum!
At the rose ceremony it was:
- Lacy giving a rose to Marcuszzz
- Clare handing hers to Zack
- Then AshLee calling on Graham with a big expectant smile on her face.
I think I made it just in time. Now back to the TV.