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The Bachelorette: Let’s be Frank – What goes around comes around

Well, it’s about time. Thanks to ABC and some sort of storm watch broadcast, I didn’t record the first half hour of The Bachelorette on Monday night. I finally found a complete episode and am ready to share my thoughts – and I want to hear yours.

Frankly, My Dear…

OK, let’s talk about Frank first. There’s so much to say. First of all, it’s a little odd that Frank had the chance to go see his ex in Chicago but then “had” to fly to Tahiti to tell Ali he was leaving her. Really? Really, Bachelorette producers? He couldn’t tell her in the States? Next, Frank’s ex greeted him with “What is going on?” but was clearly expecting him. And I’m not sure if I buy that she was really at home. That room was too white and impersonal, I thought it kind of looked like a hotel.

Frank confessed his love for his ex Nicole while she looked at him like she was smelling something bad in the room. The conversation was awkward, to say the least. Frank talked about his feelings a bunch, and the camera showed Nicole listening to him from a very unflattering angle. He also began as though he’d arrived just to rub salt in Nicole’s wounds – talking about what a great connection he’d formed with Ali and whatnot. But then he told Nicole he’d realized he truly had feelings for her, and she realized he hadn’t stopped by just to be a jerk. And so there it was – Nicole reciprocated Frank’s feelings and he was left with the unpleasant task of having to dump Ali. Luckily, that came with a free trip to Tahiti.

Paradise Lost

So let’s talk motives – did Frank just do the show to further his screenwriting career? Did he do it to try and get over his ex? Did the producers urge him to wait until final three to reveal his feelings? Or was he actually telling the truth? I’m not sure – maybe a combination of all those things.

Ali had already been on dates with Roberto and Chris when she met with Frank, and we’ll talk about those soon. Before Frank could break up with Ali he had to get some advice on how to do it from the one and only Chris Harrison. This actually seemed appropriate to me, since The Bachelor(ette) franchise has a much better track record with break-ups than with marriages. Chris told Frank to “be honest” with Ali – I saw that cliched advice coming a mile away.

Frank dove right in with Ali, telling her “We have to talk” (cue foreboding music) while they were mid-hug. Before he could even spit the words out (which took a while) Ali was basically in tears. After Frank told her that he’d been battling with residual feelings for his ex-girlfriend, decided he’d still loved her and was leaving Ali and going back to her, Ali was understandably sad. She illustrated this by taking the flower out of her hair and throwing it on the floor. The drama!

Ali called Frank selfish, which was interesting. Yes, a part of me felt bad for Ali. She felt inexplicably close to Frank and the bad news was a blow. But was he really being selfish? There are a lot of similarities between Frank and Ali, and I’m not even talking about the fact that she bailed on Jake in the final four last season. Frank was struggling with having feelings for two women at the same time and decided not to choose Ali. Ali has been dating a group of men for the entire time she’s known Frank and routinely eliminates them. It’s an incredibly similar situation, only Frank didn’t hand his ex a rose when he chose her.

My favorite part of the whole exchange between Ali and Frank was when she said “I gave up everything to be here” and he said “I gave up everything too” and she replied “Apparently not everything“. Oh, snap! Then with a surprising hug goodbye (did he deserve that?) Ali went off to sulk on the beach. I felt a teensy bit bad for her when she sobbed “This always happens to me”, but I was also annoyed because I don’t think Frank even held a candle to Roberto or Chris. So with that, let’s talk about the dates Ali actually did go on.

La Isla Bonita

What with being in Tahiti and receiving keys to the “Fantasy Suite”, Ali’s dates this week were bound to be romantic. I loved how before the boys jetted off to paradise for their romantic dates they had to discuss how they’d fallen in love with Ali for the cameras. Chris has to stare off into space, Roberto had to stare at the ceiling. I would rather see the look on Chris’ face as the producers told him “OK, just wander out onto the balcony and stare pensively at the horizon for a while. But don’t lean over the railing – we like to save the money shots for the finale”.

First up for a date with Ali was Roberto, and their date can pretty much be summed up with hot hot hot. There was, of course, another helicopter ride. I think this show is going for a record or something. Then they made out in the water while visiting a (vaguely) heart-shaped island. Ali then donned a scandalously sexy dress for dinner with Roberto, where he told her that he was falling in love with her. I half expected her to say “Falling? Well what does a girl have to do to push you over the edge?” because she seemed so enamored with him. Roberto seems like he’s straight out of a fairytale, and Ali seems to have very high expectations regarding what a life with him would be like. Ali and Roberto took Chris Harrison up on his creepy invitation to “forgo their individual rooms” and stayed in the fantasy suite. Seriously, why does Chris Harrison have to invite them to do so? It’s almost as creepy as, say, cameras following the couple into the suite and filming them while they unbutton each other’s clothes. Oh, wait…

Slow and steady wins the race?

Chris’ date with Ali seemed more casual and more fun. Ali reminded us for the bazillionth time that her relationship with Chris was developing more slowly than the others. They hung out on a cool boat and frolicked in the water and looked as though they were having a great time. Again, even though I think Roberto is a dreamboat, I think Chris is the right guy for Ali. I also think it’s hilarious to use the word “dreamboat”. The coolest part of the date was when they opened up some oysters and actually found pearls. Pearls! They looked real! One was even black! The fashionista in me immediately imagined what kind of necklace I would make with them.

Ali dressed a lot more casually for her dinner with Chris, which was a picnic on the beach. It was sweet and romantic and down-to-earth. Chris and Ali also took Chris Harrison up on his fantasy suite offer, and Chris (not Harrison) opened up a lot more about their future together. And they actual spoke of something practical – where they’d live. A real conversation! On a reality TV show! Chris has won me over so fully at this point in the show that I’ll actual hate Ali if she breaks his heart at the end of it all.

Even though Ali had two roses and two guys, she still went through with the rose ceremony because the producers made her. I mean, because she wanted the guys to reaffirm their love for her by accepting the roses. Ali seemed like she’d picked herself up and dusted herself off after the Frank debacle and said she knew Frank wasn’t the guy for her, so hopefully she doesn’t let Frank rain on her Bachelorette parade. Had Frank not bailed, who do you think she was going to eliminate? It pains my heart to say I thought it might have been Chris.

Next week we’ve got “The Men Tell All”, which is going to be hilarious. Who will be ridiculed the most – Craig M.? Krazy Kasey? Justin “Rated R”? Frank? So many idiots, so little time.

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