Episode 4 is always put up or shut up time on ABC’s “The Bachelor.” Ladies, you better decide now if you want This Man to raise your children and guard and protect your heart or if it’s time to slowly back away before turning and sprinting as fast and far away from the Living Room as your fake-tanned legs can carry you. If things seem to be moving too quickly given that you’re only on your first date with George W. Bush’s dimmer reality television show doppleganger, surely you are not here for the right reasons. In any event, it’s time to make up your mind, and ABC has any number of celebrity therapists on hand to help you through this.
And man, do these Ladies need therapy. The show began with Michelle, the Black Swan, waking up with a shiner, having apparently punched herself in the face while sleeping. That’s some tormented activity right there. Not only is she certain that she wants to marry Brad, she may actually murder anyone who stands in her way. I’m not ruling that out at this point. The look on her face when Chantal got the week’s first one-on-one date was like Bruce Boudreau trying to coach his way out of a losing streak: a mixture of confusion, rage, and an embarrassing facial blemish. That’s a combustible recipe.
|The Red Swan|
As for Chantal, her date had to go in one of three directions: A) Chantal is forced to confront her fear of the ocean by producers insisting she romance This Man in, on, or around the ocean; B) Chantal must ignore her phobia of heights by being asked to kiss This Man while dangling precariously from the top of a skyscraper; C) Chantal must overcome her nearly paralyzing self-consciousness and record a studio album of Peabo Bryson songs with This Man. Let’s break this down. We knew it couldn’t be “C,” because the Bachelor already covered that territory a couple of weeks ago with Seal standing in for Peabo Bryson. Chantal is from Mercer Island, Washington, which means she probably has to fly to get where she wants to go, which means she is unlikely to have a fear of flying. Therefore, it is unlikely that she would be afraid of heights, so I cannot choose the letter “B.” I’ll have you know that I scored quite high on the Logic section of the LSAT. This leaves only “A.” And sure enough, soon, we saw Chantal and This Man, on the ocean floor and looking like Cylons from Battlestar Galactica, walking hand in hand. What a journey already for these two. Overcoming her fear of the ocean was worth it, Chantal opined, because she can see herself as Chantal Womack “definitely.” For his part, Brad appreciates that he can be so “playful” with Chantal, who with this date may have pulled even with Ricky Bobby’s wife in the NASCAR race of love.
The Ladies find a “safe space” and Brad tells multiple women to “Come here to me please” after the jump…
Later, back in Los Angeles, Brad and a handful of other Ladies filed into yet another broadcasting studio for a sitdown with love doctors Mike and Dr. Drew. As an initial matter, who is Mike? Anyone? One thing we do know: Brad was convinced that finally, thanks to this alone time on national radio with Dr. Drew, the Ladies could finally have a “safe space” to let down their walls. And wouldn’t you know it, he was right. Britt gave a heartfelt plea about how it might be good for her relationship with Brad to actually speak with him. Ashley H. lamented that in the midst of all of these emotions and crumbling walls, she felt no choice but to start “retracting” like Madison’s vampire fangs after a feeding. Dr. Phil was probably standing by during all of this in case of emergency; thank heavens he wasn’t needed.
Indeed, drawbridges were coming down from all angles after that encounter, and the Ladies started coming fast and furious at Brad’s heart. Britt bypassed any conversation and immediately moved in for the makeout session, only to be interrupted by Ashley H., who was falling apart faster than the Steelers’ offensive line. Brad seemed to realize at that point that Ashley H. is crazy, and withheld a rose originally intended for her, but he evidently also found this appealing on some level, because he felt the need the following morning to reassure her that he is there for the right reasons, he believes she is there for the right reasons, and together, that can’t be wrong. This caused the Black Swan, who was standing by for her one-on-one date, to pop a blood vessel under her other eye.
The producers then finally threw Michelle a bone, selecting a shiny yellow number from “The Bachelor’s” armada of helicopters to pick her and This Man up and transport them to the roof of a tall building. If you didn’t know where this was headed, you probably missed the Jake and Vienna season of the Bachelor. The certifiably insane woman who is somehow a top contender always captures the Bachelor’s heart with a kiss while dangling in mid-air as they repel down the wall of a building or bungee jump from a bridge. There is no exception to this rule. And it always works out great in the end.
We could not proceed to the cocktail party and rose ceremony until Brad had a quick pow-wow with his personal therapist, a man who is a true champion of exploring chemistry with multiple women “full on.” Emboldened by this advice, Brad walked into a mansion full of throbbing emotion. When the Ladies saw Brad reach out for a quick picnic with Emily, Shawntel gave voice to their fears by wondering aloud if this was an event that somehow “reassures…their love.” Meghan acknowledged to the camera that she has “a wall up.” Chantal expressed concern that Brad is making connections with women that are “emotionally unstable,” then proceeded to burst into tears and boil Brad’s pet bunny rabbit alive.
This Man had his work cut out for him. He sent three women who haven’t gotten much camera time packing, including Meghan, who, to her credit, stuck to the script until the bitter end. “Maybe my walls are too high,” she reasoned, as she made her way to the limo. Fellow reject Linday cried after receiving the bad news from Brad, but found solace in the notion that her father will be proud of her for being the daughter he raised her to be. As my Recap Crush Kristen Baldwin points out, “Probably not as proud as he would have been had his daughter chosen not to appear on The Bachelor, but whatevs.”
Next week the Ladies meet This Man in Vegas, and Emily is forced, yet again, to revisit her husband’s tragic death as she participates in, wait for it, a NASCAR race! Stay classy, ABC. We’ll be watching.