The Bachelorette recap: Hong Kong Phooey
Ashley finally gets closure with Bentley, but the guys aren't nearly as excited about it as she is.
Ni hao, rose lovers! Things are getting off on a creepy foot here in Hong Kong. That low-budget shot of Ashley standing still as crowds of Chinese passersby blur past her was perhaps supposed to be “deep,” but poor Ashley is trying so hard to appear pensive and reflective that she looks more like she’s posing for her own wax figure. Also, she’s got to stop wearing jeans that accentuate the, shall we say, outward curve of her legs. It’s just starting to get uncomfortable. But not as uncomfortable as it’s going to get. Let’s recap, shall we?
Harrison greets the men atop the Conrad Hotel Hong Kong, sporting dark jeans and white sneakers. (Bold choice, my man!) He sends the guys off to their suite and then heads directly to Ashley’s room. His knock is purposeful. This is a man on a mission. “Don’t be scared,” he assures the nervous Bachelorette. “It’s all good.” Is it, Chris? I think that’s debatable, because you’re about to deliver some horrible news: “We’ve reached out to Bentley, and he wants to talk to you today… In fact, he’s in this hotel.” Ashley cannot believe her ears. “Shut UP!” she cries, clutching her pearls like she’s about to faint. God bless her, she almost starts crying — and you know it’s because she thinks this means Bentley’s changed his mind and he wants to fight for her heart. Why else would he have flown “halfway around the world,” as Chris keeps saying? How about because he’s an egomaniacal d-bag who wanted another 15 minutes of national attention before returning to his hellish life running a “family fun center” in Utah? Harrison clearly does not have a lot of confidence in Ashley’s ability to withstand Bentley’s BS, because he repeatedly commands Ashley to push Bentley for details and warns her not to let him “be vague.” Yeah, this is totally going to work out.
She sits there for awhile staring at Bentley’s room number, which Harrison strategically placed next to a phallic display of fruit. One commercial break later, she is ready to confront the dot-dot-dot of doom. She pauses in front of his door to take a few deep breaths and pick at her cuticles before finally knocking. Captain Douchebag, a wiseass to the end, asks “Who is it?” before opening the door. Once he emerges, wearing a ratty short sleeved t-shirt over a ratty long-sleeved t-shirt, Ashley loses whatever eyedropper’s worth of resolve she may have had to be strong: She gives him a long hug and even leans in for a kiss on the mouth, which Bentley reluctantly delivers. They settle on the yellow couch in his suite and he immediately begins his half-assed flirting shtick, like telling Ashley she must have “sweet blood” because she has so many bug bites. We get a flash of the darkness that envelops Bentley’s soul when Ashley inquires about Cozy and he looks down, shamed, and mumbles, “She’s fine” — but other than that millisecond of humanity, Bentley is (to quote Big Brother‘s Dr. Will) skin over circuitry and wires. Get your goddamn hand off of her knee, you asshat!
The Bachelorette squirms in Bentley’s web of lies, as he tells her that they’re on the “same page,” and that it’s “hard to know” if their relationship is over forever. “That’s not fair to me,” Ashley protests weakly. “I have a gut feeling about you… I don’t know why you came into my life. Maybe it was for me to teach you something, or maybe it’s for me to learn from you, but maybe it’s to be together.” (Survey says: Number 2!) Eventually Bentley, perhaps anxious to go sight seeing, decides to stop toying with the Bachelorette and end this thing. “I think that knowing that I’m home, it doesn’t look good for me and you,” he says. “I would implore you to do all you can to see what you have here, I guess.”
NEXT: Mission accomplished, you worthless hunk of man meat!Dude, that was the worst imploring job I’ve ever heard. But hey, at least it gets the job done, because now — at last! — Ashley is pissed, and she proceeds to Exorcist-vomit verbal bile all over the d-bag who did her wrong. “If you came here for the same reasons Michelle Money told me, then you would run with that and have fun, and leave me with the dot-dot-dot, and leave me with, like, me wanting you — and you know what? Mission accomplished. If that’s what you wanted, mission a-f—ing-complished. But I thought that you respected me enough as a human being to give me the closure that I needed if you were going to leave me at that point. And you didn’t, and it sucked.” And with that, Bentley admits their sentence has, in fact, reached its period. Ever a master of the obvious, Ashley murmurs, “You should have called.” Yes, and you probably should have bought those jeans in a slightly larger size, honey… but good for you for finally telling Bentley to eff off. Now, go be inspired by the freedom of a hawk soaring high above Hong Kong’s skyline and then get back to your “journey,” ok?
The next day, an emotionally refreshed Ashley speckles her cheeks with blush and heads out to see the guys. The date card summons Lucas to the streets of Hong Kong, which will be an experience for the Texas oil worker, since he’s never been to a big city. (Must you be a stereotype, Lucas?) They stroll through markets and crowded downtown streets before boarding a sailboat for a romantic seaside dinner. Of course, there’s no time for romance, because Ashley needs to pump Lucas for info — after all, she’s probably spent about 27 minutes total with him since the show started. So the Bachelorette goes straight for the jugular: “What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever been through?” Answer: His divorce. Lucas outlines the situation in the vaguest way possible, saying his first wife went from “love of my life” to “not the girl I should be with.” It was, you know, God’s plan. Ashley LOVES it, so much so that she leaves the heaping pile of broccoli on her plate untouched and gives Lucas the rose. Cue the totally passionless kiss!
The sun is shining for the group date, which is actually more Amazing Race than Bachelorette. Blake, Ben, Ames, Constantine, Ryan Sunshine, and Mickey are divided into teams of two and sent into the streets of Hong Kong to recruit people eight people per team to help them win a dragon boat race. While news of a boat race gets most of the guys all jacked up on testosterone, Ben and Constantine approach the contest with the appropriate amount of silliness, donning red silk dragon robes to lead the hodgepodge of locals no doubt assembled by production to serve as “Team Red Dragon.” Their good humor continues during the race, which they have no shot in hell of winning. “We’re getting smoked!” marvels Ben, to which Constantine replies, “Like salmon, bro.” All this and they’re accidentally chanting “idiot” instead of “eat it”? Give these guys some roses and send the rest of thedudes home! In the end, Mickey and Ames take the trophy, but in my mind the golden dragon goes to the Doofus Duo. At the cocktail party, Ames kidnaps Ashley and drags her into the elevator for some tonsil hockey. Guess someone’s recovered from his head trauma! When Ryan Sunshine gets his one-on-one time, the guys revert to their usual pastime of tearing him apart behind his back… so imagine their chagrin when Ashley gives Guy Smiley the rose. “I’m bummed about Ashley’s decision,” sighs Ben. “Apparently she hasn’t experienced the Ryan that we all know and can’t stand.”
NEXT: Ashley drops the Bentley bombSpeaking of guys we can’t stand (and yes, I know I’m in the minority here), it’s time for JP’s one-on-one date! She meets him in the middle of a park, where they dine on some suspiciously American looking food. JP is feeling confident, until Ashley asks him the one question most women have sprung on a man at some point in their lives: “When was the last time you cried?” (Answer: his last breakup.) The Bachelorette feels it’s time to come clean about something, too — namely, her little contretemps with Bentley. “I wanted to share something with you,” she says slowly. “I saw Bentley two days ago here in Hong Kong.” Oh snap, no you did-un’t, lady! We’d better cut to a commercial so JP can recover… Aaaand we’re back. If you’ve just joined us, Ashley was digging her own grave by telling JP that she’s been pining for Bentley this whole time so she just, you know, needed to talk to him and stuff to see if there really was anything there. But, like, everything’s fine now and she’s totally over him. More saké? If JP is pissed, he doesn’t really let on. “Thank you for telling me,” he says evenly. “I appreciate your honesty.” Do you really have to ask what happens next? I’ll give you a hint: “Jordan Paul, will you accept this roooooooose?”
Unfortunately for the Bachelorette, the rest of the guys aren’t nearly as understanding about the visit from Captain Douchebag. Bless her dim little heart, Ashley is actually bubbly and optimistic about how the guys will react about Bentley as she heads into the cocktail party: “I’m so excited to get it all off my chest. It’s going to be great.” Is it, Ashley? Are you sure? Apparently so, because she launches into her confession as soon as everyone is gathered. “I completely, completely fell for him,” she chirps. “I’ve always felt like I didn’t get the proper closure with him that I needed to move forward in some of these relationships.” (Cue all the guys wondering at once: “Some of these relationships?”) When she drops the bomb — “Bentley actually came to Hong Kong” — the guys exchange a series of silent, seething, “Do you believe this sh–?” glances that are a wonder to behold. Though I think Ashley’s expecting a round of applause at the end of her inspirational, you-guys-are-the-real-men-here speech, Mickey’s response — a long, slow slug of alcohol — says it all.
The awkward silence is broken by Constantine, who scolds Ashley for telling him on their date that she had “let go” of her past relationships. “That was a contradictory statement at this point.” Before she can stammer a full response, Lucas pounces: “Why didn’t you do this earlier?… We’ve been to like three different spots.” Ashley tries to explain — “It was kind of a gradual thing” — but the oil man isn’t buying it. “It’s just weird to me,” he says, without looking at her. After Blake pipes up with an incredulous “You said that you had fallen for him!”, the Bachelorette bolts for higher ground, leaving the men to grouse about her rather than at her. “My biggest pet peeve is wasting my time,” gripes Lucas. “And I’m in Hong Kong, it’s great, but she’s wasting my f—ing time.” While a few guys peel off to try to comfort Ashley (kudos to Ames for pulling this out of his butt: “I suppose that we would all prefer our fairy tales to be simple, but they’re not”), most refuse to leave their spots, so enraged are they at the news that Ashley carried a torch for Bentley from California to Thailand to China.
NEXT: M-i-c-k-e-y is a-u-d-iWhile I appreciate their anger — it was pretty emotionally tone-deaf of Ashley to think the guys would enjoy hearing that she’s been distracted by thoughts of another man for the past several weeks — on the other hand, where is all of this righteous indignation about the prospect of being “second fiddle” coming from? My dear sirs, you’re on a show where not only will one man be second fiddle, one will be 24th fiddle, 23rd, 22nd, and so on. Did you gloss over that portion of the memo?
Eventually Ashley makes the rounds, letting each guy vent a bit one-on-one. Blake makes her cry, and then Mickey calls her a liar and wonders aloud what every single one of The Bachelorette‘s viewers has puzzled over the past few weeks: “I just don’t see what the hell you saw in that guy.” But wait, there’s more! Mickey practically orders Ashley to send him home. “If your gut is that that’s what you’re looking for, please send me home… I’m just not interested. There’s two guys that need to go home tonight — just make me one of those guys.” Oh no you don’t! huffs Ashley. I’m not going to fire you — you’re gonna have to quit! And that’s exactly what Mickey does. “I’m not happy saying goodbye,” says Mickey, as he floats away on the Reject Boat. “She’s going to make somebody very happy. It’s just that somebody just isn’t me.” Ok folks, let’s start the movement now: Mickey for the next Bachelor!
Though Mickey’s sudden departure and Ashley’s subsequent tears go a long way toward dissipating the guys’ anger toward her, the Bachelorette is still feeling shaken and weepy when she sits down for a pre-rose ceremony chat with Harrison. The host barely has to say anything — “Rough out there tonight” — to start the waterworks flowing again. Grab the reins, sweetie — you’ve got some roses to give out. Ben F. gets the first bud, followed by Constantine, and — the final rose tonight — Ames. Looks like you won’t be getting that one-on-one after all, Blake. “I want someone who I respect and look up to,” muses the discarded dentist forlornly, before adding, “Basically, I just want a friend.” Oh dear, that’s sad. Don’t jump off the Reject Boat, pal! Things’ll get better.
Not for Ashley, of course. The “this season on The Bachelorette” preview offers more Job-like suffering for our heroine, who heads to Taiwan and then Fiji on her “journey” to find love — a journey that apparently ends in tears, frantic bang-fixing, and a restrictively tight pink sequined dress. I can’t wait, can you? But we have to, so spend some time posting your comments about tonight’s episode below. Was the Bentley showdown everything you hoped for? Would Mickey make the best Bachelor ever? Does JP have this thing in the bag? And could Ashley’s jeans be any tighter? I want to hear from you! Steam some broccoli and let’s talk Bachelorette!
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