Ahoy, rose lovers! I hope you’ve had an amazing, amazing week. Also, I hope you’ve got your rain gear at the ready, because Hurricane Bachelor is still raging. Tonight, it continues its destructive path through the world’s most beautiful resort destinations by hitting Anguilla, where it leaves a trail of tears and doffed bikini tops in its wake.
The “ladies” arrive, do the requisite oohing and ahhing over their fancy resort digs, and then cuddle up on an outdoor couch to hear the romance rundown for the week from Harrison — who’s in yet another blue shirt, this one a fetchingly crumpled linen number. Here’s the deal: Three one-on-one dates (no roses) and one “pretty amazing” group date. (Hey, if it doesn’t involve bats, it sounds good to me.) Harrison drops off the date card, which reveals that Emily will be going on the first one-on-one date. And boy, does she have a lot of work to do, because the Bachelor is nursing a raging inferiority complex: “In a lot of ways, I feel like I don’t deserve to be with this woman,” Brad confesses. (Can’t blame him — it is hard to live up to a ghost.)
The date begins with — what else? — a helicopter ride, which takes Emily and Brad to a private strip of sand in the middle of the ocean, where they are totally alone except for the camera operator who, one hopes, has a powerful zoom lens. Over the course of the picnic lunch, Brad gets redder and redder, both from sunburn and his bad case of nerves around Tragic Single Mom. After some desultory chatter about their mutual fear of “opening up,” Brad and Emily begin making out, proving that they have no fear of “opening up” their mouths. Night falls, and the duo arrives at their seaside dinner, where Tragic Single Mom has barely had a sip of wine before Brad asks if she’d let him meet her daughter, should she be lucky enough to score a hometown date. Her response? A “deep sigh,” one that Emily explains thusly: “I am overprotective and I’ve really never introduced her to anybody that I’ve dated.”
Emily, God bless her, knows that it puts her at a disadvantage with the other “ladies,” but that’s not enough to make her change her mind. This makes me love her. I will put aside the fact that she went on the show in the first place and simply celebrate Emily as perhaps the most non-insane woman ever to compete for a rose on this storied reality TV franchise. (And now that I have thrown my allegiance behind this poor woman, I know one thing for certain: Her “journey” will not end well.) Persistence, thy name is Brad! Rather than succumbing to frustration and shunting Emily aside for an easier woman, he does something unprecedented in the Bachelor universe: He gives Emily a major spoiler. “I’ll tell you right now, and I shouldn’t tell you… The next rose ceremony, I’m giving you a rose… We’re going to your hometown, period.” Brad hopes this heads up will give Emily enough time to make all the “mommy’s bringing home a stranger and a pack of TV cameras” phone calls she needs to in the coming week.
NEXT: Britt gets her (very brief) moment