This week's mystery man is an M.D. who's been through a midlife crisis but is ready to start a family with someone

By Kristen Baldwin
July 16, 2018 at 11:01 PM EDT
Credit: Byron Cohen/ABC

The Proposal (TV show)

S1 E5
  • TV Show
  • ABC

Welcome back to the show that knows you can’t truly say you’ve given up on life until you’ve given arranged TV marriage a try, The Proposal!

Let’s meet our mystery man: Dr. Buck Parker, Ghost M.D.!

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Credit: ABC

Dr. Buck admits to breaking off a past engagement and going through a subsequent “midlife crisis,” but now he’s ready to “build a family” with someone — perhaps even someone he’s known for about six minutes. Let’s meet Dr. Buck’s potential soul mates!

Nicole, 33: She’s a model from New York City. Wait, they let 33-year-old women be models? Reality TV is so educational!

Simone, 35: “Simone spends her time cleansing her energies, and feels connected to water!” (Once again, announcer Ellen K.’s delivery of these descriptions is the best part of this show.)

Aesha, 40: Good lord, they let a 40-year-old appear on an ABC dating show? Things really are looking up for the women’s rights movement!

Amanda, 34: This personal shopper is sick of people asking about her biological clock. I feel you, honey. Next time someone asks when you’re going to have a baby, just tell ’em your uterus was removed after a freak tampon accident. Shuts them up every time.

Alyson, 36: Blond, curvy, and ready to say yes to life. I like her!

Kym, 35: Just as I was about to make fun of how she spells her name, Ellen K. announced that Kym has a favorite national park, which automatically makes her excellent. (It’s Yosemite, duh.)

Katie H., 32: “Katie loves game nights, cuddling, and drinking wine”? In other words, Katie is basic and she doesn’t care who knows it.

Reola, 37: She’s gorgeous and she owns a mortuary business. “She says men with baggage are just dead weight.” (See what Ellen K. did there?)

Katie, 30: I’m gonna pause here and say how pleasantly surprised I am to see several normal-sized women in this group of wife hopefuls.

Stacie, 28: A tall, skinny, 28-year-old model/DJ? I suppose producers are obligated to put one typical reality TV blonde in each episode.

Okay, Dr. Buck, time to decide: Which women have a decent prognosis, and which have you diagnosed with a nasty case of nothanksitis?

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Credit: ABC

Sorry, Alyson, Kym, and Other Katie. As for the rest of you — Nicole, Simone, Stacie, Katie H., Reola, Aesha, and Amanda — what are you waiting for? It’s beachwear time! It’s so cute how The Proposal continues to pretend this isn’t a swimsuit competition. (Next: Things get awkward during the dealbreaker round)

Stacie (a.k.a. the “hottest” one, traditionally speaking) is up first. Even though she’s tall, blond, and leggy, she’s also, like, totally relatable because she’s wearing Chuck Taylors.

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Credit: ABC

Reola struts out next, looking glam and confident. “I own my business and run my business with my mother, who is what I need,” she tells Buck. “And I just think that love… is what I need.”

We interrupt this recap for an important message from Katie H.

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Credit: ABC

Never mind the fact that the camera literally pans up Katie’s body slowly a few seconds after she makes this declaration. Nothing to see here. Katie also wants Dr. Buck to know that after her previous relationship, which wasn’t great, she’s back and ready to love herself — and a “man in pod.” Get it, girl.

Amanda the personal shopper says she used to think her dream man was “on a tortoise and he refuses to ask for directions,” but now she knows he’s actually a stranger in “a cage.” Aesha’s up next, and she opens with a bombshell: “I cured myself of anorexia 10 years ago.” It’s an impressive and admirable revelation, and a smart way to make us feel guilty for wanting to laugh at what she does next.

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Credit: ABC

In her spare time, Aesha’s a “hip-hop writer,” a talent she demonstrates by “spitting some bars” for Dr. Buck. Is she good? Let’s just say when Simone shows up next and starts talking about her dead father, it’s a relief. Nicole the model shows up in a frilly green bikini and instantly starts bawling.

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Credit: ABC

“I’ve wanted to be married since I was, like, 3,” she says tearfully. “I wanna be loved.”

Oh man, there’s no way Dr. Buck can cut her now, right? Right. He picks Nicole, Katie, Stacie, and Aesha — which means Reola is free to appear on next season of The Bachelor. (Are you listening, Mike Fleiss??) We also have to say goodbye to Simone and Amanda. Toodles, gals, and here’s hoping you have better luck in the real world.

Dealbreaker time, ladies! Dr. Buck wants to know what mistakes Katie made in her last relationship, and she’s more than happy to tell him — “over a glass of wine” at a later date. Girl, what part of “compete for a husband on national TV” are you not getting? Privacy is not an option. Moving on to Aesha, who seems a little offended by Dr. Buck’s inquiry about her finances. “Do I have debt?” she asks incredulously. “No, I’ve never been in debt in my life.” Rather than talking to fill the silence, Aesha waits for a second to see if Buck has a follow-up question. He does not, so…

Credit: ABC

Sing it with me, now: Shoes on my feet — I bought ’em! The clothes I’m wearin’, I bought it! The rock I’m rockin’, I bought it! Because I depend on me when I want it!

Nicole gets the sex question: “On a scale of 1 to 10, how important is sex in a relationship for you?” Her answer, for reality TV dating purposes, is perfect: “I think it’s 12,” she giggles. “I want to be intimate every day.” Calling it now: Dr. Buck is gonna propose to Nicole. (Next: Say goodbye to your high heels, ladies!)

It’s almost time to meet our mystery medicine man! But first, Dr. Buck has to send someone home.

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Credit: ABC

Congrats (I guess) to Stacie, Nicole, and Katie. But don’t cry for Aesha — she’s an excellent money manager, and that skill will take her far in life. Now that we’re down to the final three, Dr. Buck’s sister Camille is here to interrogate the women before her brother emerges from the pod. And by “interrogate,” I mean “throw total softballs that will give her brother zero insight into what these women would be like as life partners,” so let’s just skip ahead — Nicole and Katie make it to the final round; bye Stacie! — and get to the Big Reveal. Dear readers, I give you, Dr. Buck Parker:

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Credit: ABC

Say goodbye to your high heels, ladies, because Dr. Buck is not what one might call a tall man.

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Credit: ABC

Dr. Buck wants to hear from Nicole first, and the crowd dutifully lets out an awwwwww when he grabs Nicole’s hand to calm her nerves. “I felt a connection with your sister right away,” Nicole says. “I think you’re an amazing man and I’m so honored to be here. So… thank you.”

Oh gurl, you are so very welcome. Host Jesse Palmer helpfully reminds Dr. Buck that he can’t make his decision yet, because it’s Katie’s turn to give her sales pitch. “When I close my eyes, I picture a lifetime of lots of wine,” she says with a giggle, as the mostly female crowd cheers its approval. Katie goes on to say she wants to take Dr. Buck to Heavenly Mountain in Lake Tahoe, and by the way she has a 10-year-old… dog! It’s a cute joke, but clearly Nicole is not amused.

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Credit: ABC

MOMENT OF TRUTH TIME! Which woman in red (yes, Katie’s dress is more salmon, but go with it) will Dr. Buck choose? Though he tells Katie that their dogs would no doubt become fast friends, when it comes time to get down on one knee, Dr. Buck does it in front of Nicole.

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Credit: ABC

They share a romantic getting-to-know-you hug, followed by a tight-lipped kiss, as Katie scuttles up the stairs, clearly hoping that everyone she knows will somehow forget this happened. Feel free to do the same, dear readers!

The Proposal airs Mondays at 10 p.m. on ABC.

Episode Recaps

The Proposal (TV show)

  • TV Show
  • 1
  • In Season
  • Mike Fleiss
  • ABC