Hello, rose lovers! It’s been a long two weeks — I hope you’re rested and relaxed, because we’re off to Taiwan, a.k.a. the “hidden jewel of Asia.” Ashley’s ready to put the past behind her (no, she really really means it this time!) and move forward on her “amazing journey” to “love.” Which will likely end in an “amazing,” “nationally televised” “break-up interview” — but I’m probably getting ahead of myself.
Harrison greets the guys in front of the giant display honoring the 100th anniversary of Taiwan, and informs them that the “fortunate four” men who receive roses this week will get hometown dates. The rest will most likely die alone in their apartments. Even though there are no roses on the one-on-one dates this week, JP is feeling stressed out. “I don’t like it. I don’t want other guys to go on dates with her,” he frowns. “I am at another level with her… At this point, I’m as scared as I’ve been in a long, long time.” People, do you see why I think this guy is cocky? Even with his dash of vulnerability there at the end, the Jape’s presumption of victory irks me. I find it irksome.
Constantine gets the first one-on-one date, which involves a trip on a steam engine to an “adorable little village” called Ping-Shi. The mode of transportation is appropriate, as Ashley says her relationship with Constantine “is moving slower than all of the others.” Choo-choo! The train’s rhythmic rumbling seems to get them both in the mood for love — or at least a little hand-holding PDA. (Bonus points to whatever Bachelorette editor followed Ashley’s question “Are you looking for looooove on this trip?” with a shot of the train heading into the tunnel.) Once in Ping-Shi, Ashley commands Constantine to paint his “love wish” on a paper lantern, so he dutifully grafittis it with hearts and such. At dinner, Constantine has the audacity to think about his own needs: “I’d like to know how she would fit in in my life.” Even with hometown dates on the line, Constantine — ever withholding — refuses to give Ashley the hard sell. When the Bachelorette asks, “Do you think that this could possibly work for you?” he offers a measured, “If I fall in love.” But even the Ice King can’t resist the romantic lure of dozens of love lanterns being released into the sky, and he finally gives Ashley a kiss. And she LOVES it.
The next day, Ben F. — recipient of the second one-on-one date — joins Ashley in Taroko National Park. As they zip around the gorge via moped, the winemaker pours sweet nothings into Ashley’s ears. “Keep your eyes on the road, buddy!” she chides, to which he responds, “It’s hard, with the precious cargo that I have behind me.” Does anyone have any Listerine? Because I just threw up in my mouth a little bit. Meanwhile — knock, knock, knock! It’s the Taiwanese Accent Table of Doom at the door! And it comes bearing major news: Lucas, Ames, and JP are on the group date, which means Ryan Sunshine is finally getting a one-on-one date. Won’t that be… special?
NEXT: Here comes the groom… and the other groom… and the other groom…