Welcome back to The Bachelorette. I got an email from a friend in China who said her four-year old daughter asked if she could watch the TV show “with the girl who cries all the time.” The Bachelorette is internationally famous! With toddlers! Doesn’t that just make all the hours and hours of your life spent watching Ashley weep totally worth it? However you handle that internal debate, we are in the home stretch and Ashley is *this* close to finding out which of these three lucky (well… two since Ben and Constantine are the same person with different clothes) gentlemen will be her husband. Or, you know, the guy who is going to be forced to propose to a girl he’s known only a few weeks and has never dated exclusively. But hey, at least the ring is free and he has an US Weekly cover in his future to make all those ex-girlfriends super jealous and mom (mostly) proud.
This week J.P., the NYC-based construction manager (I don’t know what that is, but I assume when he is at work he looks like Thor/the garage owner from “Adventures in Babysitting”); Ben, the guy with the neon flashing FREE WINE sign over his head; and Constantine who is an extra in My Big Fat Greek Wedding and is also not Ben, will all woo (and whoo!) Ashley in Fiji. Ashley explains that Fiji is the “most romantic” archipelago, which is a serious slap in the face to all the other archipelagos out there who never did anything to deserve that. She is totally off the archipelago Christmas card list. Ashley thinks Fiji is the perfect place to fall in love and find her husband, hopefully with the same person. First chucklehead down memory lane is Ben, who Ashley can “definitely” see herself falling in love with. Her spark with Ben started on their “orphanage date” ’cause there ain’t no date like an orphanage date, except maybe those to the zoo, obvs. Ashley can really see herself spending her life with him. He is both goofy AND serious. She also thinks he has “grown a lot,” not with her, but before he met her. He told her all about it. He had these emotional walls and now he doesn’t. He’s seen how far he has come during their date in Phuket. She loves Ben… but she thinks Constantine is so dreamy that she has to mention how hot he is every five seconds. Her relationship is moving very slow, but it’s so “meaningful” that she doesn’t care. Although “slow” was the death knell for Ames, here she finds it charming. Also, did she mention that she thinks his cro-magnon charms and heavy brow are butt-clenchingly awesome? There’s just something about a sagittal crest on a man that just can’t be beat. Constantine’s hot… but did she mention J.P.? She thought he looked like a model the first time he stepped out of the limo. Plus, when she was bereft over BENTLEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE, he made out with her anyway, despite the boogers and the blubbering and the weeping over another man. He’s nice like that. Ashley claims she is excited about the relationship she could have with J.P. In Fiji, Ashley stares meaningfully out into the ocean searching for answers as she reminds us that this week in Fiji is so important because it’s the first time she gets to spend “private alone time” with the many, many men she is dating simultaneously. She claims she has been really looking forward to this “private alone time” because she goes to an Ivy League grad school and doesn’t care if people think she’s kinda slutty. People look for that in a dentist, anyway.
Ashley is getting ready for her date with Ben when there is a knock on her cabin door. It’s not Ben. It’s sad sack Ryan P.! He’s come back for more! He can’t take no for an answer! He feels like her rejection of him and that whole getting sent home thing just wasn’t complete enough! He went home, started obsessing over it, and then begged Chris Harrison to let him come back for seconds! He needs to really make sure it is really really over for reals. Also, free trip to Fiji. I mean, right? Ashley is shocked/horrified to see him. I mean, he’s a one man Groundhog Day at this point. She covers well, but even the most dense guy has to realize that when a girl says, “Ohh heyyy, what are you doing here?” and then gives a very chaste peck on the cheek, that it’s not an invitation to love. Ryan has crazy eyes and is panting to the point of almost salivating, so he doesn’t notice. Ashley sits about five feet away from him on the couch and builds a protective force field of knees, arms, and pillows to ward him off. He explains that he doesn’t think Ashley gave him a real chance at love. Their one-on-one date wasn’t conducive to love (what with him talking about water tanks and all), and he feels like “they didn’t get to see this through.” All he’s asking for is a full chance. If she is regretting her decision at all, he wants another shot. You can tell she is sooooo not interested, but she is too polite and flattered to laugh in his face. As she gasps, “I can’t believe you’re here!” (again) in high panicked tones her wide eyes dart around the room looking for the nearest exit. Ryan looks like he wants to grab her and kiss her and she looks like she wants to hide beneath the couch cushions. He has crazy eyes. Did I say that already? He does. He has CRAZY EYES. Ryan gives her the address of his hotel and begs her to come rekindle, …er, kindle some romance. Ashley pats him on the head and waves bye bye to the crazy man. Again. Maybe this time it will stick.