Boy Meets Boy, 8/19/03: Wanna Ride My Pony?
We start tonight's episode with the usual "Previously…" montage, and Dani tells us, "Watch as everything changes tonight…on Boy Meets Boy". We know what Dani's referring to, since all the commercials for tonight's show have shown Dani telling James, "One of them is straight." The only real question is at what point during the episode she will tell him.
The show opens with James and Andra at breakfast. James has obviously not taken a shower yet, as he once again is sporting a nice case of "pillow hair". Anyway, James tells Andra that he is really looking forward to the day and that "there's a lot more at stake now". Well, yeah…that's true, Einstein. There are only six guys left, so we are getting down to the nitty-gritty. James and Andra walk outside and see a hobbyhorse waiting for them by the pool. It is a clue to the day's activities, and we find out that James and the remaining mates will be going horseback riding. What about Andra? Well, while the boys are playing cowboy, Andra will be spending the day at the spa. If you ask me, I think Andra definitely got the better deal on this one, and I would be right there with you if I could, Andra.
We cut over to the Mates' house, where the boys have discovered a similar hobbyhorse clue. As Franklin is holding on to the horse and reading the clue, Wes utters the line of the night: "Hey, Franklin, would you like to ride my pony?", but it does not get much of a response from Franklin. Hmm…it seems to me that a gay guy with a sharp enough wit would have had a quick comeback, but it sure gets a laugh out of me. The boys continue to get ready for their date with James, and we get a series of confessionals from the guys, with each telling us how they feel at this stage of the game. Robb says, "I hope James can see that there's not just a kooky side of me but that there's also something behind that. Something a little deeper." Sean says, "James and I will have our moment when it happens." Well, you had better hope it happens quickly, Sean, because you are running out of time. Darren says, "It was a game, but feelings got involved. It isn't a game anymore." Wes says that now he wants to "make sure the attraction is mutual." It seemed to me that Wes already felt sure that the attraction between James and him was mutual, but maybe I am wrong there. Wes also admits that he is a bit surprised and confused as to why Darren is still in the running at this point. Frankly, I'm not surprised that Darren is still in the running. I mean, he is sincere, he seems honest, and he comes across as the kind of person who would be looking for a long-term, monogamous relationship. That being said, however, I think Darren's going to have to really shine this episode if he wants to stick around past THE MOST EXCITING CHAMPAGNE CEREMONY EVER! Well, the most exciting one tonight, anyway…
James picks up the guys, they all pile into the limo, and it is off to meet their mounts for the first time (I am talking about the horses, y'all…get your minds out of the gutter!). As the guys get up on the horses, we find out that this is Darren's first time on a horse. We then get a close-up, unnecessarily long shot of James' horse peeing, and then it's time to "head 'em up and move 'em out". Robb laments about how he has ended up at the back of the pack and how he hast to "eat everyone's dust". The ride continues, and at one point, we join Wes and James in mid-conversation. I don't know what they were talking about, but Wes tells James, "Speaking of excruciating, here comes Darren." Me-ow! Can someone get a bowl of warm milk for Wes, please?
The ride concludes, and it's time for a one-on-one picnic lunch for James and one of the guys. This one is a little different, though, as James will not get to pick the date himself. This time, he will draw the name out of a hat, so it is anybody's guess as to who will get to go on the picnic lunch. James reaches into the hat, pulls out a name, and reveals that the Mate who gets to go on the picnic with him is…Brian. Well, good. Brian has not really had James to himself yet, so this will (hopefully) give Brian the chance he needs to shine for James.
James and Brian head off to their picnic, and James lets Brian know right off the bat that he has concerns about Brian's job, saying, "I would never date a bartender." In a spliced-in confessional, James says that he would not want to have his "guy" being groped by other people all day. Jealousy, I think thy name is James. Brian quickly reminds James, "Some people think I'm just a bartender. But, I do have a normal job." He continues, "I'm here to build a relationship; I’m a relationship-minded guy…I was surprised that I'd meet someone that fit so many of the things I like in a person." Awwwww, Brian. I think you got major brownie points with James on that one. As the date ends, James tells us (via voiceover), "Brian eased my mind about the whole bartender thing."
Almost as soon as Brian and James rejoin the group, we find out that it is time for yet another one-on-one for James and a Mate. This time, James and his date will go off for some drinks and private time. As with the picnic lunch, James will draw a name out of the hat. The lucky winner this time is…Robb. Yay! Robb is one of my favorites, and, like Brian, he has not had much of a chance to be alone with James before now. The two of them head off for their drinks, and, as they get situated, the winds kick up big-time. Toto, I don't think we're in Kansas anymore. Robb laments that the wind and dust were so bad that the date was not as good as it could have been. As he tries to pour drinks for James and himself, the wind keeps knocking the glasses over, prompting James to say, "Let me guess…You're not a bartender." Hell, in those winds, I don't know if even Brian would have been able to get through that without any spillage. The winds finally do die down, though, and James starts firing the questions at Robb. He asks Robb, "If you found yourself having a connection with one of the guys more than me, would you back off?" Robb answers, "Definitely", but I am a bit confused. Was James asking if Robb would back off from the other guy or from James? James continues, "If you were to leave tonight, would you be disappointed?" Robb replies, "Yes, I would. There are a lot of questions that I wonder about kinda what makes you tick." The date ends, and James tells us that "there's a romantic spark there", while Robb says he is "confident" that he "has a shot to stick around".
James and Robb rejoin the group, and before James can catch his breath, it is time to draw another name out of the hat. This time, the lucky Mate will get to enjoy a private ride home with James in the limo. Who gets to enjoy a ride home in luxury? Well, it's…Franklin. Franklin and James get into the limo and head home, while the rest of the Mates get into a van right behind them. No sooner do the Mates close the van door than Wes says, "OK, since he's not here in the van, let's talk smack about Franklin." Brian starts talking about Franklin's "big hair" and how "it must grow overnight", and Robb says he "looks like a Chia Head". Come on, now…reel in those claws, girls.
It's back to James and Franklin, and James has opened a bottle of champagne and is pouring Franklin a glass. Franklin tells James "there is definite interest" on his part, and he asks James, "What were you hoping for out of all this?" James says, "I was hoping there'd be one guy who wasn't fake and wasn't playing the game." I don't know if anyone else caught it, but as soon as James said he hoped there'd be one person who wasn't fake, the camera cuts to James, who looks away as if to avoid eye contact with James. Hmm…could this be a little hint as to who the "real" Franklin is? I guess only time will tell. Moving on, Franklin tells James that he is concerned: "I don't know if the time I have left is enough for you to see me…to see who I am." James next asks Franklin the same question he asked Robb, "Would you be disappointed if you left tonight?" Franklin says, "If I left, I'd find you and I think I would pursue you, because in my mind, this could go anywhere." Cue the creepy stalker music, please…
Everyone arrives home, and we see James having a brief discussion with Andra. He tells her about his three one-on-one dates, saying that his time with Brian was "very good", his time with Robb was "very fun", and his time with Franklin was "very, very good". He then asks Andra, "What if I made a wrong choice?" Andra says, "I would bet everything I've got that you can trust every single one of them." Oh, girl, if you only knew…
We next see the group at dinner, and Andra asks the Mates what job their dream job would be. Wes tells us that he would like to incorporate travel and producing of some kind, and Andra suggests him hosting a travel show. Franklin starts off saying that he'd like to be a wine importer of some sort and then goes into this long diatribe about his family and how they're great and how they've lived all over the world and how he was in South America helping to build schools for a tribe one time and…Oh, for the love of God, stop it, Franklin! You're coming on just a wee bit strong. I am not the only one who notices this, as Robb interjects, "Oh, wow, I'm great, aren't I?" Franklin is clearly not amused, but I thought it was pretty damn funny. Dani joins the group and tells James that since the next Elimination Ceremony will reduce the number of Mates in half, he will be able to think about his choices overnight.
Before James and Andra leave for the night, it is time for James to draw another name out of that friggin' hat. This time, the chosen Mate will get to enjoy James as his private dessert. Oh, wait…I mean, the chosen Mate will get to enjoy a private dessert with James. This time, the Mate James chooses is…Darren. The two go off to enjoy dessert, and Darren asks James if he read the letter Darren wrote him. James says he did, and Darren says that he has not felt this way "in a long time". The two have a nice conversation, but James admits that he is not sure if there is any "tangible chemistry" between the two of them. The date ends on a positive note, though, as the two get up and kiss before rejoining the group. We find out that we viewers are not the only ones that see the kiss. Franklin catches them in the act as well, and he tells us via voiceover that when he sees James and Franklin in their lip lock that "jealousy ran through my mind". Um, does anyone know the theme to Fatal Attraction by any chance?
A few minutes later, the doorbell rings, and these two guys walk in, saying, "Hello, party people!" Ugh…the cheesiness factor suddenly went up, and I was expecting Dan to follow through the door behind Guido and Mario. Anyway, these two guys are obviously strippers, but, before they can really get into their act(s), Andra suggests that the six Mates each give James a lap dance themselves. The guys each have their turn, with Brian going first. Robb, then Darren, and then Sean follow him. Now, as we know from the karaoke episode, Sean is quite the dancer. However, I really did not need to see his pasty torso giving James a lap dance. Anyway, after Sean came Franklin, and Wes ended the night with his "number". A couple of things I noticed during this segment of the show: First, this marked the first time that any of the Mates used the word "competition" to describe this whole adventure. Secondly, when Franklin was dancing, Wes seemed to be a bit critical of him, implying that maybe he was trying to hard. Now, Wes, you know you're one of my favorites, but between this and "talking smack" about Franklin earlier, I can't help but wonder…are you a little worried about Franklin being your main competition for James' affections?
After the dancing winds down, it's time to draw the last two names out of the hat. We know that Sean and Wes are the last two names, but who will get what? Well, one will get a private escort home this evening, and the other will get to cook breakfast for James the next morning and serve it to him in bed. Before James reveals the names, Wes says that he is hoping to be selected to cook breakfast the next morning. He gets his wish, as James reveals that Sean will get the private escort home and Wes will indeed be serving James breakfast in bed the next day. Finally, Sean gets some private time with James. This should be interesting. The two of them hop into the limo for the ride back to the Mates' house, and they waste no time getting into a deep conversation. Sean tells James, "You know, we all came into this with the idea that it's a game, and we're reminded that it's a game time and again. But, it's really not." James nods in agreement and asks Sean, "If we were not here—if we were anywhere—and I came up to you and asked you out, would you go?" Sean replies, "Well, yeah. Because of your physical presence. You're a very attractive person." James then asks Sean if he has imagined himself kissing one of the other guys in the house. Sean hems and haws a bit, and he finally says that he has not imagined kissing one of the other guys in the house, but he has thought about kissing James, so his answer would have to be "yes and no". James tells us in a confessional later that he wasn't sure how to interpret Sean's response. Did Sean not like James and just didn't want to say it? Did Sean feel there was no chemistry there? James seems confused by Sean's response, and I suppose I am a bit as well. The "date" ends with a somewhat awkward goodbye at the front door, and I cannot help but think that Sean is straight and isn't quite sure how to handle the situation.
It is now the next morning, and Wes has arrived at James and Andra's house to fix breakfast for our leading man. Much to Wes' surprise, there is nothing in the kitchen to cook with. He looks in every cabinet, and he must have made a good bit of noise, because Andra soon joins him in the kitchen and helps him get things underway. All of the sudden, quicker than you can say International House of Pancakes, Wes prepares a breakfast of French Toast, eggs, fruit, and juice, and he takes the trays (one for James and one for himself) into James' bedroom, where our leading man welcomes him with a cheery "Good Morning" that would make Kathie Lee Gifford jealous. The two boys eat and talk, and Wes asks James how his week has been. James tells Wes that it has been fun but that he's "emotionally exhausted". As their chat continues, Wes tells James that he has to "see where the potential is", and James agrees. The discussion then moves to the subject of kissing, with both guys saying that compatible kissing is much more important in the long run than actual sex. Breakfast winds down, and James and Wes head outside to join Andra at the pool. There is some general horseplay around the pool, and Wes says in a confessional that the "sparks were really strong" that morning. Oh, good for Wes!
We next see James and Andra in the Decision Room, and the two of them start talking about the Mates that are remaining and what they think of each of them. Among the comments, Andra says she thinks that James and Robb have the least chemistry and that Sean "is an amazing person". Before James and Andra can talk much more, Dani joins them and tells them how things are going to work for this Elimination Ceremony. Since there are only six Mates left, they will be put in three groups of two. James will not know the groups in advance, and he will have to choose one from each group to stay and one from each group to go home. We then see the six Mates heading towards the house for the ceremony, and each of them assesses his chances (via confessional) for surviving this round. Darren feels "confident" that he is going to be asked to stay. Robb says he's "nervous, very nervous". Sean says "things are in flux" right now, and Brian feels his chances are "good" to survive this round. Franklin says that it's "really a coin toss at this point" and that "we're getting to the nub of the bone" now. Um…huh? Anyway, Wes is the last Mate we hear from, and he says he's "very confident" that he will be asked to stay.
The six Mates are assembled in the living room, and Dani brings James out. After James' obligatory opening speech, it is time to get down to business. First up are Darren and Brian. Hmm…an interesting pairing. I would think James would choose Darren to stay because they have had more private time together. However, James asks Brian to stay, and we say goodbye to Darren. Next up are Wes and Robb. Wes and Robb in the same group? No fair! I cry foul! This means one of my favorites is going to have to leave! This would be a tough choice for me, and it seems to be difficult for James as well. In the end, though, James asks Wes to stay, and we say goodbye to Robb. Finally, it's down to Franklin and Sean. James says that this was the toughest choice to make because the two guys are so different. He thinks about it for a second, takes a deep breath, and asks Franklin to stay. Before Sean leaves, however, he gives a mini-speech, tipping his hat to James and the other mates and saying how much he's enjoyed the opportunity to be a part of this and how he feels the show will be a big step in "the gay revolution". The gay revolution? OK, I know that we are in a struggle for equal rights and treatment under the law, but I never got a memo saying that we're in the midst of a revolution. A revolution? When I hear that word, I think of fighting and bloodshed. I do not have any guns, I know nothing about combat, and, besides, I look awful in camouflage attire. Why didn't anyone tell me about this revolution thing before now?
We then get to see Darren, Robb, and Sean preparing to leave, and we hear their final confessionals. Darren says he is "shocked" and "hurt" by James' choice. Robb says that the "most liberating thing about the whole experience" is that he is free to be himself and that as long as he is happy with whom he is, it does not matter what anyone else thinks. Good for you, Robb! Finally, Sean talks about how love is love and it should not matter who the object of your affection is; the love between you is what is important. As with all the final confessionals before, we find out the Mates' sexual orientation, and we learn tonight that Darren and Robb are both gay, while Sean is straight.
The show is not quite over, yet, however, because Dani has one more thing to tell James. While Andra has returned with the remaining Mates to their house, Dani and James have stayed behind. Dani congratulates James for getting to this point blah blah blah and then tells James, "Fasten your seat belt because this is going to be the bumpiest ride of all". James smiles nervously, and Dani continues: "James, of the three final Mates—Wes, Brian, and Franklin—one of them is straight." James does an admirable job of trying to show no reaction, but you can see that he is visibly shocked and upset. After a few moments of silence, all James can say is "wow", and the show comes to an end.
Well, we are down to the final three Mates. Who is straight? Who is gay? Whom will James choose? Tune in next week to find out!
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