S7:E9 We’re in the home stretch you guys! We’re reeeeeeeally close to being able to get back to our normal lives!! Doesn’t that excite you? I mean, you do remember what your life used to be like before this season of The Bachelorette, right? I mean, you must. I’m sure your friends have been calling you nonstop trying to get you to rejoin your bowling league, feed your dog, and update your Netflix account so you only have to pay for videos you stream on your computer (right? That’s the option most people are choosing now that Netflix has changed right? I don’t know, I stopped paying for Netflix so I could get pedicures). Anyway, the point is we’re very close to being able to give up this bullshit and resuming our old lives, which you probably forgot now, but they used to be pretty great! But don’t get too excited just yet. We still have the finale to get through, and you know how those happen slower than it takes for a housewife to realize she wants a divorce!
“I’m going to surprise Ashley. She has no idea I’m here.” – Ryan
The episode began with Ashley reminiscing in Fiji about how much she adores Ben, Constantine and J.P. But then all of a sudden, as she was tucking her bra straps back into her shirt, Ryan showed up surprised her. Once Ashley let him into her little house, they went over and sat on the couch and Ryan told her that he really thought they deserved to have more time together because he couldn’t stop thinking about her and how well their conversation about water heaters went. And so he explained that he called Chris and asked to be flown to Fiji to ask her if she was interested in giving him a second chance. But because Ryan was too afraid to ask Ashley if they could give it another shot and have her say no, he gave her the address of where he was staying and if she was interested in hanging out with him more, she could go there to meet up with him. Quite honestly, some other things might have happened in their exchange, but I think I missed out on it because I finally realized how Ryan always has a look on his face that’s like the waitress just told him the kitchen was going to be able to make his turkey sandwich on Wonder Bread.
“I loved having you in Sonoma.” – Ben
The rest of the episode was pretty boring because it was the same entire thing we’ve seen this whole season, which was more dates. Ashley hung out with Ben on a boat, and the two of them laughed and laughed about how funny it was to apply sunblock to a person who has different body parts than their own. They went snorkeling too, and Ashley said she felt protected and safe and like nothing else in the world mattered but Ben and her (seriously, this show could really do some good for the environment if it just took a break on all that self-absorption promotion). The whole day, Ben was trying to find the right time to tell Ashley that he loved her, but he kept putting it off, and then when he finally had the chance to tell her at dinner, he decided against it because Ashley gave him the opportunity to spend the night in the Fantasy Suite with her. Obviously he decided to take her up on the offer, and they spent the whole night making out in a pool that was the same outrageously bright color as the backlight of a Marine’s watch.
“I feel like in a relationship, both people have to be willing to take the leap and make the jump.” – Ashley
My favorite part of this season has been when Ashley designs dates that challenge the guys according to what she senses could be their weaknesses in a relationship. Like for instance, when Ashley was on her date with Constantine, she took him to a waterfall and made him jump off it because she hoped that it would convey to him that in a relationship, both people have to be willing to be vulnerable and take the incredibly risky leap that could either end in heartache or happiness. Obviously the funny part is that Ashley thought Constantine will be able to jump off a cliff and land in the water and realize that the scenario is applicable to their dating life. But he didn’t make the connection, partially because Ashley hadn’t told him that she sensed he’s not ready to be in a committed relationship with her. Later that night at dinner, Ashley asked Constantine why he wasn’t being more affectionate with her and why their relationship was progressing slower than the ones she had with J.P. and Ben (again, with this? RELATIONSHIPS AREN’T MEANT TO COINCIDE WITH A 10 EPISODE ARC, YOU INGENUE!) Constantine surprisingly opened up to her and said that he knew she was going to present him with a key to the Fantasy Suite, but that he wasn’t going to take it because he respected her too much. He also said that he didn’t love her...yet, and that he wasn’t feeling “it” and that he thought he should just leave. Ashley just kind of sat there shocked, but also not that shocked because that just meant she could justify keeping Ben and J.P. around.
“Ryan is still here in Fiji, waiting patiently to find out if I want to spend more time with him.” – Ashley
After Constantine left, Ashley realized that she really needed to send Ryan home because she had absolutely no feelings for him either. So she went over to Ryan’s little bungalow, and he was so excited to see her that he nearly punched the lizard he made friends with while waiting for Ashley to show up. As he led her outside onto his porch, his voice-over kept saying how much chemistry he felt they had and how Ashley showing up at his door clearly meant that she was interested in exploring the possibility of a future with him. But then Ashley explained how if she were to write down exactly what she was looking for in a future husband, he would have everything Ryan has. And she said when she sent him home, she was very distraught because she knew they would enjoy hanging out more, but that it ultimately was the right decision for her and she doesn’t regret it. Then Ryan got really uncomfortable and he was like “geez, am I ever going to find love?” and if I didn’t know better, I’d say that Ryan’s biggest problem is he’s trying too hard.
“It’s just me and her. It’s how things should be.” – J.P.
Finally, J.P. arrived, and he and Ashley just spent the day hanging out on some private island, wading in the water and doing salsa moves when there wasn’t any music playing around them. J.P. told Ashley right off the bat he just wanted this whole thing to be over and for him to be the only guy remaining. He also knew he wanted to tell her he was falling in love with her, but when it came time for the two of them to have dinner, he kind of backed off from telling her because he knew there were still two other guys in her life. But then Ashley revealed that there was only actually one other guy in her life because she and Constantine agreed that there was nothing between them, AND that Ryan returned and asked for more time with her, but she didn’t want any more time with him so she sent him home too! And then they went to the Fantasy Suite together, where Ashley put on one of J.P.’s shirts that she had someone steal from his room and tried to seduce him with it.
At the end of the episode, no one was eliminated because Constantine left voluntarily, which I feel like has happened a lot over the course of this season. Right? I mean Constantine left on his own, and then two guys left on their own once they learned Ashley met up with Bentley for the second time, and so I’m not even entirely sure that Ashley will have two guys waiting for her next week! Perhaps Ben and J.P. will finally get a good glimpse at what the tattoo on Ashley’s wrist says and convince the nice locals who have been showing them around the island on their planes to take them back to Long Island and California! Hey, you never know.