In tribute to the now departed Ryan, who may still be trying to process being bounced by Emily Maynard on Monday night’s Bachelorette, we’re going to try something different: a list of the 12 reasons this week’s episode killed.
1. Croatia: an underpublicized little country with a spectacular coast, and quite charming when genocidal wars aren’t raging in the near vicinity. True, we learned more about Scottish culture this week than Slavic, but people ain’t watching this for the anthropology.
2. Emily continues to come across as the most levelheaded and hardest to BS Bachelorette this franchise has had in a long while. She has definite expectations of the guys, and those not prepared to meet them are getting the bum’s rush.
3. The solo date with Travis the Eggman illustrated that we’ve gotten to the stage of the season where perfectly decent people get sent home for no standout reason other than “Sorry, I’m just not feeling it.” And here’s a tip for anyone thinking about going on this show in the future (other than to please reconsider): if you’re getting your first solo date at the Final 8, and our heroine is saying she wanted this time together to see if there’s any spark, it’s already too late. Slow build romances do not happen on this franchise.
4. Travis tramping down the streets of Dubrovnik under the Umbrella of Rejection, before tossing it into the gutter, disgusted with his lovelorn life.
5. The group date had the guys engaging in some Scottish games, as an obnoxious tie-in with a film I will not mention here. Ladies, what happened to Chris at the games – embarrassing failure in physical contests in front of other men and a woman he desperately wanted to impress – is such a classic male nightmare come to life that I wanted to reach through the screen and buy him a drink. Considering I would have been on a plane home without taking the time to change out of my kilt had that happened to me, I thought Chris handled it pretty well – and he ended up with a Rose of Pity from Emily.
6. Ryan’s date prep. Given that he was the first of the men to receive a second solo date, his already swelled head grew to Hindenburg proportions as he primped and plucked (come to think of it, the Hindenburg was an apt metaphor for his entire night).
7. Ryan’s turquoise shoes. I wish I was kidding.
8. Have we ever, in Bachelor/Bachelorette history, had a date where someone was this clueless about how they were coming across? First, Ryan continued to use the phrase “trophy wife” to refer to Emily, and never caught her obvious irritation; then he recited his condescending checklist of what he is looking for in a woman without noticing how her initial subtle snark drifted into total boredom. Of course, his biggest problem was not once referencing Ricki, a mistake you’d think none of these fellows would still be making.
9. Ryan’s utter blank disbelief at being cut on a solo date, after puffing himself up as the inevitable winner for a solid month. A 5-year-old being told about Santa would be less surprised. You have to give him credit, though: he can turn on the charm when he wants to, and it looked like he came this close to talking Emily into changing her mind.
10. The now ousted Ryan waxing eloquent about how he’s going to miss all those great friends he’s made – and a quick cut to those same “friends” whooping it up in their suite after watching his luggage depart. Ryan’s last words were a plea not to be edited to look like, er, what I’ve been describing here.
11. Arie heading to Emily’s suite to congratulate her for cutting Ryan, and taking all of 20 seconds to start performing some dentistry with his tongue. I’m not accusing anybody of anything! But they were (whisper) kissing in bed (/whisper).
12. Doug, realizing that he’s been on a downward slide ever since that First Impression Rose, making like a shy schoolboy at the cocktail party and not taking any of Emily’s numerous hints that she’d like him to express genuine interest, preferably involving lots of pawing and slobbering. He still ended up sticking around, since Emily decided to make her own little rule and not send anyone else home at the Rose Ceremony. He and Wolf probably shouldn’t get too comfortable; it looks like a one-week reprieve for both.
Next week: Prague. Can we start a new Cold War between now and next Monday?