Six suitors join Ashley in the hidden jewel of Asia, Taiwan. Chris welcomes them to the city of Taipei and they begin their last push at the last big destination before the Hometown Dates. Ashley is hopeful that she’ll find the emotional and physical connection she needs with four of the men in order to meet their families. Chris tells the guys that there are three individual dates and one group date. The only date rose presented will be on the group date.
Jealousy rears its ugly head with J.P. as he feels he has more with Ashley than the others and doesn’t want to see any of them on dates with her. He shows this emotion throughout the episode.
Constantine gets the first date; “Let Your Love Light Shine.” Ashley sees something in him even though it is going slow. A steam train carries them through scenic forest before stopping at the small village of Ping-Shi. They arrive in time for the Lantern Festival and paint their love wish on a red lantern which they release after their evening meal. They marvel at the dark sky filling with lighted lanterns, kiss and fade to black.
Ben gets the second date; “Let’s Spend Gorge-ous Time Together in Taiwan.” They travel by motor bike through Taroko National Park and Ben has high hopes for a relationship with Ashley. Ben tells her, “He**of a second date, kiddo.” They stop at a scenic overlook and kiss on a rope bridge. After dark, they motor to a restaurant deep in the gorge. Ben tells us that he is falling in love with Ashley, but isn’t ready to tell her, yet. He gets little butterflies in his stomach and thinks his mom and sister will see that during his hometown date. Ashley still feels that Ben is her boyfriend. Ben doesn’t return until daylight hours fueling J.P.’s jealousy. Nothing happened, but still…
The group date includes Lucas, Ames and J.P., “I’m Grooming for the Big Day.” Apparently the Taiwanese love their weddings, especially their wedding photos, and Ashley along with her three suitors show up at a studio to have their wedding photos taken in the three stages of dress: Chinese Traditional (Lucas) Spangled (Ames) and European Traditional Tux (J.P.)
Lucas: Ames looks like a cross between an ostrich and Elton John.
An uncomfortable J.P. is ready for the group date (with all the kissing) to be over, but there is an after-party and rose presentation to get through. Ashley pulls each aside to see who should get the hometown rose. Lucas felt foolish in the Chinese dress; she reassures him. Ames shows her his Mother’s recent wedding photo. J.P. tells her how hard the past week has been for him. That surprises her because she thought he was cool with the process; but he tells her that when you care for someone that changes everything. He admits to jealousy, though not anger. She gives him a comfort rose because it broke her heart that he had a hard time of it this week. After the kisses, he feels back on cloud 9.
Ryan gets the third date, “Let’s Get a Taste of Taipei.” While ecstatic to finally get a one on one date, he has had so much bursting energy this week in anticipation that he hasn’t been able to sleep. They meet in a large city square surrounded by official buildings, temples and parks. They wander through a temple area filled with chanted prayers and incense and this makes Ryan yearn even more to build a partnership for life. However, they throw down matchmaking bricks which land showing bad fortune for them as a couple.
Ashley: I don’t feel comfortable enough with Ryan to meet his family and I don’t know how to handle this.
They stop for a picnic near a koi pond and Ryan brings the talk around to the environment and tankless water heaters. Ashley never finds that moment with Ryan as she had with others so she hems, haws and lets him down with tears as he was perfect on paper. She tells him she is just not feeling it. He takes the rejection hard and as she walks him away from the picnic; the look in his eyes makes her want to re-think her decision. She says good-bye. He feels blindsided and curses and cries once alone on the path. He wants to love someone unconditionally.
Ashley knows who she wants to continue to the hometowns so a Rose Party is not needed.
Ames: Each of us have such a strong connection with Ashley that whoever goes home will be heartbroken.
Order of the Roses
J.P. – Group Rose
Lucas wishes her good luck and no regrets.
Ashley hates the pressure and wonders if she was cut out for this.
Oh – Emily and Brad broke up.
Next week is Hometown Dates with all the emotions implied.
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I apologize for the mini-cap this week, but with current physical circumstances I need to keep my typing time to a minimum. I hope to go full blown next week.