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Bachelor Sean, Ep. 9

FANTASY SUITES. That is all I have to say about what’s going down this week. Let’s waste no time in diving in to this week’s episode of THE BACHELOR (Season 17).

BS and the “ladies” are in Si Kao, Thailand. BS stands awkwardly on the edge of a boat and then later sits down, because, come on. BS tells us he is “crazy about” all three of his remaining women: Lindsay, Catherine, and AshLee. To help work out his feelings about them, he takes a long walk in a tank top and then lies in a hammock with his sunglasses perched on his head.

BS reflects on all of his women. First, there’s Catherine, who BS claims is “weird, nerdy, and goofy,” and so is he. Except he is clearly the opposite of all of those things. Next, there’s AshLee. He says that his relationship with AshLee is “probably the strongest.” Whoa, whoa, whoa – is AshLee gonna win this thing? I’ve been predicting her elimination every single episode thusfar and it keeps not happening and now I’m getting nervous that crazy, adopted, weepy AshLee is gonna take this. Finally, there’s Drunk Lindsay. BS says, “[Drunk] Lindsay and I have this spark that has turned into this massive flame.” BS then reflects on Drunk Lindsay’s drunk wedding dress entrance on night one. We’ve come a long way, Drunk Lindsay. BS says that initially, he worried that she didn’t have “depth or maturity,” but she proved that she is so much deeper than he thought. Except, has she? Has she, really, BS?

She's really mature, you guys.

She’s really mature, you guys.

BS and Lindsay’s date is up first. They take a moto tuk-tuk thing to a market, and Lindsay concludes that it is not much like Missouri. A trenchant observation, Drunk Lindsay. BS and Lindsay try some food and BS, in typical fashion, decides to “test” Lindsay by seeing if she’ll eat a bug. In her eagerness to please BS, she eats a bug. He better marry her now.

BS says, and I quote: “I feel like I’m with my high school sweetheart, and that’s what I’m looking for in a marriage.” Maybe talk to seventeen year-old divorcee AshLee about the wisdom of that statement, BS.

After the market, they go to a beach and BS says he loves how they can have fun “no matter what [they] do,” i.e., go on elaborate dates in beautiful resorts that they do not pay for. BS also tells Lindsay that she is the “best friend that [he’s] been looking for.” Is that good or bad? I feel like it’s bad, right? Later, they feed monkeys and, given my own recent experiences with monkeys, I feel nervous for them. Live in Africa or Asia long enough, and the gloss comes off monkeys, you guys.

Meanwhile, Lindsay hasn’t told BS she loves him because she’s “scared of getting hurt.” But she says she doesn’t want to regret “not putting everything out there.” Which means she’s going to give it up in the Fantasy Suite, I think. At dinner, BS tells her he had “so much fun” with her and Lindsay says she is “so blessed.” BS asks her if she’d move to Dallas and – surprise! – she says yes. I mean, what else does this chick have going on that she can’t leave Wayensville, MO for? What was her “career” again? Retail associate?

During dinner, Lindsay is plucking up the nerve to tell BS that she loves him, and she starts off by reassuring him that she takes the whole thing “serious.” Grammar! After prattling on and spewing many platitudes, Lindsay is just. about. to. say. it when some Thai dancers come in and kill the vibe. BS says, somewhat creepily, “Will you dance like that for me later?” Apparently BS has a real traditional Thai dance fetish.

The dancers finally leave and BS gives Lindsay the Fantasy Suite card, which Lindsay reads extremely slowly, because words can be hard. Lindsay accepts the offer, and BS says in a voiceover that it’s possible that he and Lindsay will look back and realize that tonight was the night they decided to spend the rest of their lives together. Meanwhile, as he says this, sort of porn-y music is playing.

In the FS, Sean tells Lindsay, again, that she “could be [his] best friend,” which is what he wants. Then, after an extremely long and awkward pause punctuated by giggles and “ums,” Lindsay tells BS she loves him. He responds by smiling wanly and kissing her. Every girl’s dream! They smash their lips together a few times and oh, I don’t think Lindsay is going to win.

AshLee’s date is up next. She jogs up to meet him in ANOTHER crop top. Enough with the crop tops, AshLee. You were a young newlywed when they were last popular – time to let it go. BS and Ashlee take a boat and do that standing on the edge of the boat thing again. Ashlee says Sean is her “true love” and that she is “vulnerable,” and that she loves him “more than words can express.” No, we get it. Words are expressing it.

BS notes that Ashlee does not like to step outside of her comfort zone so he wants to challenge her. Of course. Today the challenge is to swim through a cave to get to their “own private beach.” Ashlee doesn’t look psyched. Because remember, you guys, she’s afraid of being abandoned? Because she was adopted? Did you guys forget that? Because that’s what happened. Just in case you forgot.

BS wants Ashlee to be able to let go of control because he wants his wife to be able to trust him. A good way to build trust, of course, is to set up artificial obstacles for your potential wife to overcome for the sake of a TV show. As Ashlee and BS go into the cave, she says she is “more vulnerable than [she’s] ever been in [her] life.” Except for that time she was abandoned. Eventually, BS and Ashlee make it out of the cave (surprise) and BS says that he loves feeling like Ashlee’s protector. Gross.

They emerge onto what BS refers to as a “pitcheresque” beach and Ashlee says the experience is “life-changing.” Oh, Ashlee. They stand in the water and make out. Ashlee says that no “two human beings” belong together more than she and BS do. Oh, Ashlee. Then she says “every part of [her] being wants to be engaged to Sean.” Oh, Ashlee.

They sit down to dinner and Ashlee frets about spending the night with BS. She says she’s not willing to “morally put [herself] out there” if BS is screwing two other women. Which, fair enough. But I think if I were on this show, I’d probably accept the FS card and then just not sleep with the lead, and I’d say something on camera like, “Yes, I accept this FS invitation, but no funny business, mister.” Just so everyone would be clear. Why doesn’t Ashlee do something like that?

After some meaningless dinner conversation about how awesome each of them is, BS pulls out a FS card and gives it to Ashlee. Moment of truth. BS says he wants Ashlee to feel “at ease” and that his ideal FS night would be to stay “up all night, talking.” I kinda believe BS, actually. Ashlee is convinced, apparently, and says yes. Ugh, I think she’s gonna win, you guys. She’s playing this pretty masterfully… Until she tells BS what kind of ring she likes and what size her finger is. CRINGE!! No she di’nt!!!

Ashlee says “this man has literally healed my broken heart.” Two things: 1) that’s not what literally means, and 2) please stop referring to BS as “this man.”

Time for BS’s date with Catherine. They take a junk boat out on the water and do the Titanic thing on the prow. It was only a matter of time until someone did the Titanic thing, let’s face facts. They drink two giant glasses of wine and Catherine tells BS he wants to see her as “serious,” not just silly. Catherine strikes me as quite young. Like, way too young for BS. He apparently worries about the same thing: he says he wonders if she’s ready to settle down in Dallas. And, if you’ll allow me a mini-rant, this is one of the many reasons why this show is ridick: because the relationships are not a two-way street. In Bachelor world, if you’re gonna “win Sean’s heart,” you have to be willing to move to Dallas. There’s no compromise or discussion of a possible middle ground or consideration of people’s careers or families or whatever. But in real life, unless you’re a mail-order bride, this is not how a marriage relationship works. There has to be give and take. A real person is not a prize to be won, and one person doesn’t make all the rules and set all the conditions (i.e., if Bachelor Sean and the undersigned enter into a promise of marriage, the undersigned shall move to Dallas). But the entire premise of the show is built on this goofy idea of competing for one person and, in the process, bending one’s entire personality and life goals to meet that other person’s desires. It’s pretty sick, really.

Anyway, back to this nonsense. Catherine tells BS she would be willing to leave Seattle because she’s tired of it, and she’s pissed at her family. Which are both great reasons to get married and move away. BS asks her what makes her ready for marriage, and she answers that she was in a long term relationship with someone and thought she was ready  for commitment until she got scared, and then she understood that she wasn’t scared. BS does not seem super reassured, but he says that his mind has been “put at ease.”

BS and Catherine go snorkeling and then make out in the rain and Catherine says it’s romantic but it’s actually the opposite of romantic. At this angle, BS can be seen to be actually licking Catherine’s face. Can we get Arie in here to give him a refresher course?

They go to dinner and BS asks where Catherine would see them in five years. She said “we would obviously be married” and they’d probably have a kid. She says that she’s “pretty traditional,” despite being “the weirdest person.” What exactly is weird about her, again? That she has a nose ring?

BS tells Catherine that he could see himself marrying her, but I am not so sure. I am kinda feeling like Catherine might get eliminated this week, based on BS’s facial expression alone as she talks. Catherine gives BS a long spiel about how she didn’t want to accept the FS card because she wanted to be perceived as a lady, but now she realizes it’s not about that, it’s about spending time alone. (Naked.) Actually, this is the first season of the Bach in recent memory where the ladies have expressed any misgivings at all about accepting the FS card, which is sort of admirable, I guess? Except they all end up doing it anyway. Although, who knows, BS strikes me as a man of his word and maybe he’s not actually banging these ladies. Except then Catherine says that “being intimate tonight is very important.” Ew.

Catherine tells BS she is self-conscious about her body because she felt chubby for most of her life. Ugh, Catherine, come off it. You already have a sad dad and dead friend story. You don’t need to pile on with an eating disorder story, too.

The next day, BS wakes up, shirtless, and knows who he needs to send home. Chris Harrison and BS meet for a chat and Chris Harrison brings up, somewhat unnecessarily, how BS got his own heart broken by Emily in Curacao. Seems so long ago, doesn’t it, folks? BS tells Chris Harrison how hard it’s going to be to send this mystery lady home. Polygamy is hard, eh, Sean? To make matters worse, BS has to watch a “private video message” from each woman. Private, except that we also get to watch them. This reminds me of how before Al and I got engaged, I made him a video message and he had to watch it in a resort and then decide if he really did want to marry me. Because that’s a normal step in any relationship.

BS’s expression as he watches Lindsay’s bland video message is unreadable. At first he smiles, then he swallows nervously, and then he smiles again. During Catherine’s message, he looks serious, but smiles at the end. During AshLee’s message, which, shockingly, involves references to her difficult past and tears, BS wavers between a frown and a smile. Then Ashlee starts really crying on camera and BS goes into full-on frown. Ashlee, pull it together, woman. She seriously seems emotionally unstable, you guys. This behavior is not normal. Now BS is really frowning. Oh, whoa, is he gonna send Ashlee home?? Stop playing with us with these expressions, BS!!!

Rain falls on the day of the rose ceremony. I am suddenly overtaken by a craving for Thai food. I could really go for some pad see ew right now, you know? Anyway. Sean walks out and compliments the women on how they look and says he has an “amazing” week and that he is “so blessed.” Yadda yadda yadda. Then, oddly, he brings up the “painful memories” of being sent home by Emily in Curacao. I feel like he should be over that by now, but okay.

BS picks up the first rose and gives it to… Lindsay.

And the second, and final, rose goes to… Catherine!!

Ho, sh*t!!! I really did not see that coming. You GUYS. He’s sending Ashlee home!! Oh noooz! I feel sorry for her, because she said all that stuff! BS tries to walk her out but she storms ahead of him. Oh, man. Ohhh man. She tells him to stay put and she walks to the car. Her anger is sort of scary and for a sec I think she’s gonna hit him. He tells her that he felt that their relationship was intense but… he doesn’t really explain what went wrong. He tells her he hopes she knows where he’s coming from, but I kinda don’t? Did some bad stuff go down in the FS? To her credit, Ashlee doesn’t say anything and just gets in the pensive SUV. It’s always painful when they beg and plead. In the pensive SUV, Ashlee says that this “wasn’t a silly game” to her and it wasn’t about “laughter and having fun,” which, to be honest, is probably why she’s being sent home.

This is not about laughter.

This is not about laughter.

Well. What a dramatic conclusion to this episode. Next week is Women Tell All, which is always pretty fun. Then, in two weeks, “Sean’s journey to find love comes to a dramatic end.” Which kinda makes it sound like he dies, but probably not. I am sort of dismayed with  his final two ladies. First, they’re both WAY young (24 and 25, I think). Lindsay is as bland as a piece of dry toast, except when she’s drunk, and Catherine, I suspect, has hidden (or not so hidden) baggage, what with the Sad Dad and the Eating Disorder and the Disapproving Asian Family and all. So we’ll see how this resolves itself. Until next week!

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