The Bachelorette – Season 8, Episode 5 – Emily and her suitors get dramatic in jolly old England. ABC
Last night’s London-staged episode of Emily’s husband hunt saw Ryan hone his thespian skills, Jef and Sean score major points, Arie lose his frontrunner status, Kalon crash and burn, and several of the guys struggle with misunderstandings ranging from Three’s Company to Atonement on the severity scale.
Emily kicked things off with a double-decker bus tour of London on the arm of American-as-a-character-in-a-John Mellencamp-song, Sean. After reenacting Will and Kate’s wedding kiss in front of Buckingham Palace, the pair visit Hyde Park’s Speaker’s Corner, where Sean misinterprets a question about freedom of speech as a challenge to proselytize about love and its meaning, with a missive that borrows heavily from Foreigner’s “I Want to Know What Love Is.”
The Bachelorette – Season 8, Episode 5 – Emily and Sean do the Tower of London. ABCBuoyed by the verbal win (go love!), it’s time for Emily to trade her daytime ensemble for something sequined, i.e.; a grayish brown frock with a glittering bodice and a skirt with a fifties silhouette, topped off with an out-of-place pale purple wrap (pictured above). The cozy pseudo-couple adjourns to the Tower of London (or as Emily lovingly refers to it, London’s Tower), which has been made over like the set of Phantom of the Opera, so that the bachelorette can turn Sean into her “prisoner of love.” In case you haven’t been paying attention, this is the part of the date where Emily brings up the subject of babies and the boatload she's planning on having—ideally, like, yesterday.
Reproductive contract signed and sealed with a kiss, Emily declares (hopefully?): “My kisses and my relationship with Sean are only going to get better.”
Back at the house, what’s not getting better is Kalon’s festering attitude. “Every day is going to be a group date,” he whines about life with Emily, in a, well, the-dude-has-a-point kind of way.
Professional single mom dater Arie takes this is a cue to show the luxury brand consultant the bright side: “That’s part of being with somebody, you learn what they’re into and maybe you’ll get into that,” he says.
Yeah Kalon, like right now you’re into helicopters and being creepy, but maybe once you get with Emily you’ll be into being creepy and six-year-olds, then everything would be—hmm, maybe not.
The group date card arrives with a clue about a rose that leaves the room stumped, with the exception of mushroom-farmer-cum-Stephen Hawking, Alejandro, who determines the date must be Shakespeare-related. (Emily later determines there’s no room in this group for Mr. Beautiful Mind, so it’s back to the fungi fields for Alejandro.)
Before we know it the guys are auditioning for an impromptu Rome and Juliet production in the Bard’s hometown, Stratford upon Avon, with Ryan and Kalon stepping into the roles of Romeos, and the rest of the guys playing nurses.
Arie does his best to get into character, but wouldn’t you know, there are all these tricky, incomprehensible, Ulysses-like words to contend with. Words like ‘weary’ and ‘jaunt.’ “I have no clue!” he exclaims with wonder, leaving us to hope that a life with Arie won’t mean race car driver–led home schooling for Ricki.
The Bachelorette – Season 8, Episode 5 – Arie gamely tackles the role of nurse, despite the alarming dialogue. ABCMeanwhile, Arie’s not the only one with cold feet: “I don’t want to look like an idiot, especially in front of a live audience,” Doug worries, because it would be way less embarrassing if it was only every American woman between the ages of 18 and 34 watching.
After gloating about Arie having to wear “a little woman dress” and using his position as leading man to force himself upon Emily, not once, but twice, Ryan is dubbed “the perfect Romeo” by Em, who later curls up with him in a corner of the “pub” (read: rented barn space equipped with pints of beer) to sample more of his chivalry, including such date-rapey sentiments as: “Tonight ends with a kiss one way or another” and “In my experience, when a girl tells you you’re trouble … I think sometimes she maybe wants to get in trouble.”
“I’m mad at myself for saying it, but I’m liking him more and more,” Emily frets, confirming that Ryan has already succeeded in making her blame herself for him being a jerk.
But Ryan doesn’t have a monopoly on emotional abuse, right Kalon? Go on Doug, tell Emily about that thing Kalon said about Ricki being ‘baggage,’ the thing we’ve seen teased twenty times since the episode started.
Duly incensed, and looking stunning in a white sheath dress with pyramid studding and a plunging back, Emily confronts Kalon about his child-as-luggage blasphemy in front of the group.
But the offender is clearly more concerned with the negative publicity around the word ‘baggage’ than he is with Emily’s reaction to it. “It’s unfortunate that it came up again with that negative connotation,” he mourns, like he’s baggage’s agent, and his client has all the public likeability of Charlie Sheen and Mel Gibson combined.
The Bachelorette – Season 8, Episode 5 – Kalon stuck in 'baggage' claim. ABCHaving opened up a can of “West Virgina hood rat backwoods” whoopass on Kalon and sent him on his way, Emily turns the blame train on the group at large, bemoaning the fact that no one gave her a heads-up about that guy who never let her talk without correcting or interrupting her. Well, no one that looks like Arie, at least.
“It was eating me up not to say anything, and I’m glad that you have an intuition strong enough …” the suitor sputters in his defense. Wait, when Arie says ‘intuition’ does he mean Doug?
“If my dream guy heard someone say that, he would be willing to fight for me and my daughter, and I don’t know if I have someone who has my back like that,” Emily later reflects, stopping short of adding, “well someone besides that guy Doug.”
It get considerably less interesting from here, and Emily has a surprise two-on-one date with Jef and some lady who is obsessed with tea. Things takes a marginally more exciting turn (well, more exciting than cucumber sandwiches), thanks to the introduction of Emily’s next sequined frock, which is gold, when the last one was… anyone? Yes that’s right, greyish brown. (Trick question!) Anywho, they go for a romantic ride on the London Eye where the two ignore a pair of Knickerbocker Glory desserts in favor of focusing on Jef and his masterful twisting of the Kalon situation to his advantage.
The Bachelorette – Season 8, Episode 5 – Emily and Jef skip dessert in the London Eye. ABC Befitting baggage-gate, the week’s closing rose ceremony is a somber affair, so Emily opts for a floor-sweeping dark navy gown (far top left) with a bedazzled cuff and a dramatic slit that says: “I’m disappointed, but I’ve conveniently absolved Sean of all blame so there’s still hope.” She then rewards Doug for his loyalty with the first rose, aka the “good job boy, come back with more information” rose, and makes Arie sweat it out for the final bloom.
Let’s hope everyone packs light for next week’s episode in Croatia, otherwise there could be hell to pay.