By Jennifer Armstrong
July 19, 2010 at 12:00 PM EDT

Frank is as baffling to me now as he has been to Ali all season long. Part of me believes his decision to leave Ali for his ex, Nicole — as has been teased ad nauseam for weeks now — proves he’s just a Machiavellian “aspiring screenwriter” who wrote himself into his very own romantic reality plotline. Part of me believes he stumbled upon the most elaborate get-your-ex-back scheme ever. And part of me respects him for speaking his feelings now, lest he find himself forever holding his peace. This much I can say: Leaving Ali at this late stage took guts. How you feel about those guts is a matter of interpretation.

In any case, Frank’s Chicago Grand Gesture certainly stole some thunder from Ali’s romantic interludes with Chris and Roberto on Tahiti, though both suitors continued to be dreamy in their own equal-but-distinctive ways. (Chris = fun and sweet, Roberto = hot and sexy.)

The full recap with a detailed dissection of the Frank saga will be up soon (UPDATE: Click to read the now-live full Bachelorette recap), but if you’ve already watched and want to weigh in on Roberto and Chris’ continued dreaminess or Frank and Nicole’s happy(ish) reunion, read on after the jump for more. [SPOILER ALERT: Read on only if you’ve already watched Monday’s Bachelorette. Seriously.]

Frank’s play to reunite with Nicole didn’t exactly come off on screen as well as it might have been scripted in his head. It was crazy awkward in that way that only people who haven’t spent the past several weeks/months/years on a reality show can make things. So after a lot of blank stares and monotone talking she finally acquiesced with a, “Without you, I’m just not happy. I don’t feel complete. It’s sick.” If only Jerry Maguire had this kind of dialogue.

In Tahiti, meanwhile, a blissfully ignorant Ali was going about the business of “falling in love.” First up was Roberto, who looked hot while riding in a helicopter with her and frolicking in a heart-shaped lagoon. She reciprocated by wearing a barely existent white minidress while his walls came down and he told her he was “falling in love with her.” They went to the fantasy suite where his shirt came off. Next was Chris, who “made up for lost time” with a lot of making out — and the happy surprise of finding pearls in the oysters on their private beach didn’t hurt his cause. “Being here with Chris looking for pearls sort-of reminds me of our relationship,” Ali said. “It was slow to develop, but if you just wait and give it some time, you could end up with something really beautiful.” She wore a lot more clothing for their dinner date than she did for Roberto, but Chris went all out with the wall-smashing: “I can really see myself with you forever,” he said, then proceeded to later make references to their future honeymoon and where they’d spend their lives together. He even just said, flat-out, “God, I love you.” Advantage Chris (at least in my scoring system).

Then Frank showed up to ruin all that good feeling with his truth-telling. Ali got so upset that she took the flower out of her hair and threw it on the ground, fuming, “I just think it’s so selfish of you to have done this.” Worse, the whole episode seemed to have clouded her feelings about the entire process. “Now I’m starting to question myself,” she said. “Like why am I feeling right now that I hope Frank will come back?” And: “I feel weak right now.”

She reaffirmed her commitment with a rose ceremony, but nothing’s clear heading into the finale in two weeks. My full recap will be up soon, but let us know what you think now. Was Frank right? Wrong? An evil genius? Are you Team Chris or Roberto now?

Chris Harrison hosts the romance reality contest series. Will you accept this rose?
  • TV Show
  • 14
  • 159
run date
  • 01/08/03
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