Forever Eden 3/8/04-"Trouble in Paradise"
As this show will be covered by a pool of writers throughout its duration (as short as that may be), the lovely Shazzer will not be writing this recap. She has passed that torch on to me. “Passed”, of course, means that she flung it at my retreating back. However, now that I am here, I shall do my best.
In the Doghouse
Out of the excessive recapping, we learn that the women have chosen the man they consider the most desirable in Eden. The lucky gentleman will receive an apple as a token of this title. We see the guys heading back to their respective rooms and the apple awaiting one of them on a bed. Soon, we learn that Michael’s room is the home of the fateful fruit, as well as a videophone with a message from Ruth, the hostess. As he chuckles gleefully, she informs him that this time the apple is a good omen and Michael will receive fabulous cash and prizes. Well, a private dinner with the girls, anyway. She lets him know (in an oddly threatening voice) that after the dinner, he will also enjoy a day of pampering with two lucky ladies of his choosing. Ruth then tells Michael to open the envelope that accompanied the apple. I’m not sure why she sent a note when she could have just told him on the phone, but whatever. I guess the note is just ceremonial or something. Anyway, Michael begins reading aloud a silly poem that said something about lemons and coins, and in a cheesy piece of editing, we are magically transported to the gathered group where he finishes the note.
With the note reading, the Edenites learn that the male competitors must give Michael two of their coins, making him the richest person in Eden, with $16,000. The women cheer his good fortune and the men begrudgingly give over the booty. In confessional, Michael explains that he does place a certain importance on money. He makes about $25,000 a year, so making $16,000 in a matter of days makes him a happy man. When Michael is shown later with just the guys, he endures a little ribbing over his luck, but isn’t fazed until Jordan pipes up. Jordan demonstrates he might have seen a reality show at one point when he observes that while Michael is off getting massaged and pampered, “that’s when something else is going to go down.”
As the night wears on and the liquor flows freely, we find Brooke playing pool while Matt cuddles up to the other ladies in the room. Personally, I would have thanked my lucky stars to be spared of the love fest, but Brooke sees it differently. She tells Matt that he has been mean to her all night, to which he readily agrees. He explains, “right now, I don’t click with you.” I highly suspect that in Matt’s World, “click with you,” means, “sat on your lap and felt you up”.
Whatever he meant, it infuriates Brooke. They start to bicker and the ‘totally’s and ‘dudes’ are flying fast and furious. Then, inexplicably, Brooke goes to retrieve her hat. Is it her magic debating hat? Does it instantly call to mind the most logical arguments and biting insults? Sadly, this is not the case, and the hat has no apparent super powers. I guess her head had just gotten cold. Anyway, the two get into your basic drunken argument, seen in fraternity houses and trailer parks around the world, where only the combatants and their equally drunk friends know why they are fighting.
In the middle of one heated exchange, Brooke accuses Matt of being “the dog of the group”. I start to wonder if maybe the hat-powers have begun to work, because everyone reacts as if Brooke has just hurled the most scathing insult of all time at Matt. Spurred on by this egregious action, Jordan intervenes. He admonishes Brooke with, “That was like a mean thing to say. Like everyone is getting mean and, like, everyone is going to have to chill.”
Somehow, these pearls of wisdom do nothing to dissuade the arguing, so the girls finally decide to depart.
In confessional, Brook praises her ex-boyfriend, who is apparently god’s gift to women. He cooks, he plays Scrabble by firelight, and has shared his stories with Brooke, who thinks he is the “most sweetest guy I’ve ever met.”
This begs the question why they broke up, but we are left wondering. Brooke goes on to compare Matt to other innocent animals, and never explains what happened with Scrabble-boy.
Soon, we find out that the girls have not gone to bed, but instead find Michael and the others on a veranda. Brooke decides that Michael’s lap is a good place to air her grievances, so she plops down and begins to complain about Matt. She starts to cry as she discusses the argument. It’s not long before Matt, who has been listening on the stairs, bursts into the room and wants to know why Brooke is talking about him. Michael, obviously perturbed at losing his lap-warmer, tells Matt to chill out, but Matt insists that he and Brooke leave to work out their differences privately.
In confessional once again, Brook talks about all the bad things that Matt and frat boys have in common. I find this interesting, because Brooke reminds me of someone from my old college days as well. Namely, the sloshed sorority girl that always got mad for no reason and killed everyone else’s buzz. Anyhoo, Brooke and Matt are so drunk as they continue their argument, that it is impossible to follow. I finally completely give up when Brooke yells, “I’m mad cause you’re totally stressing and I totally told them what happened. And everyone…and everyone up there was there!”
A Cozy Dinner for Seven
The next day, we join Michael as he is making wardrobe selections for his ‘date’ with the six women. After laying out several outfits, he finally makes his selection. He explains that most men would be slobbering over having dinner with six women, but his grandmother has taught him to have more respect for women than that. He just wants to get to know the women better. I’m not sure what he thinks other men would want to happen. Does he think most men would expect a half-naked pillow fight to break out at the dinner table or something? While I am pondering this, I notice that Michael is busy spraying inordinate amounts of cologne on his body. Too bad his grandmother didn’t also tell him that less is more.
When its time for dinner, we see Jordan walking over to the table laid out for the boys by the pool. He whines loudly about being sent to the “doghouse” and is distraught that they might be served leftovers for dinner. The other men complain loud and long about sitting at the kid’s table while Michael is off enjoying a gourmet meal across the yard. Matt even makes fun of the way Michael is sitting, in what I can only guess is a cryptic gay slur
At his private table, Michael is thoroughly enjoying himself in the company of the six females of Eden. He and the ladies proclaim the meal to be the best they have ever had, and some of the girls comment on how romantic the meal has turned out. I can’t imagine finding a dinner with one guy and five other girls romantic, but maybe that’s just me.
Ruth England, the hostess, suddenly appears at Michael’s table. Across the yard, Jordan (or Extreme-Reactions-To-Mundane-Situations-Boy), springs from his table and points at Ruth in such an excited manner that I’m sure she’s about to drag one of them off to a dungeon. Fortunately, she is just there to remind Michael to pick two female guests to accompany him on his day of pampering. He chooses Neveen (who he wants to get to know better) and Brooke. Ruth then breaks up the party by sending the rest of the women over to the boy’s table with a grumpy, “Off you go.”
Left alone, Neveen expresses undying gratitude to Michael for choosing her. She is so happy that she says she loves him, loves Brook, and loves everyone on the planet.
You Can Count On Me (to stab you in the back)
The next morning, we see Neveen and Kassie talking in their room. Neveen confesses that she had an ugly childhood and thinks no one should have to grow up that way. She always failed to gain her father’s approval, and never felt loved by him. She says that he has never even hugged her. Kassie asks if her parents are still together, and Neveen outs them on national TV by saying that although they are still married, they don’t even share a bedroom. She says that she can’t go to them for anything and that she has learned to rely on her girlfriends. Kassie assures her that they have each other.
As the group is lounging by the pool, a parade of waiters appears. They are laden with silver trays of food and champagne. Matt is at first giddy at the prospect that Kassie will again get “wild” on the champagne, but is quickly disappointed when they realize that the food is going with Michael and his dates. The three head down to the swampish river and load up on a wooden raft/barge thing. As such boats are usually only shown in movies about a rugged explorer facing the mosquito-infested Amazon to retrieve some ancient idol, I’m a little surprised that the ladies are both so excited to ride on one.
As they depart, the rest of the group are graced by a visit from Ruth. The hostess informs the guests that tonight is banishment night. As revenge for being rejected, the four remaining women will get to choose one of Michael’s dates to be banished. If they fail to choose, then Neveen and Brooke get to choose one of the rejected girls to be banished (except for Liz, who is safe this week).
After showing the Michael and company arriving at their destination, we return to the rejected ladies. Khalilah calls Neveen her “girl” and pledges undying loyalty. She wants to vote off Brook. Shawna and Liz want Neveen to go, and Kassie is undecided. Khalilah storms off, saying that she is not bending for anyone and that Neveen is staying.
Back on the date, Brooke settles in for a massage, while Neveen and Michael sit to chat. Neveen wastes no time in asking Michael his choice for who he would most want to “hit it” with on the island. Possibly swayed by the fact that half her butt was exposed at that moment, Michael immediately names Brooke. Showing that he’s a man that doesn’t want to close any doors, he also assures Neveen that he would have no problem having sex with her either, if that were an option.
At the resort, we find that David has been sent as an emissary to calm the seething Khalilah. He asks her if she is okay and she tearfully explains that she’s not changing her vote. Sincerely, she expresses the belief that Neveen should stay because she needs to grow as a person. Khalilah reiterates her decision not to make a decision. She also says that she is disappointed in Kassie, because she believes that Kassie should have been loyal to her roommate. David takes this information to the rest of the group, who try to plot ways of making her change her mind. Eventually, the girls and Jordan also approach Khalilah several times, with the same results. Khalilah refuses to make a decision, leaving the rejected women in jeopardy.
Enjoying the last of her date, Brooke talks about the rural community she came from. She says that she grew up on a farm and that going out to eat usually meant Dairy Queen. She says she has never been able to afford pampering herself, so the date with Michael and Neveen has been amazing. She and her companions share one last toast and discuss how tranquil their surroundings are as their date comes to an end.
True Friendship on Reality TV?!
When they return to Eden, the three are surprised to see the rest of the group already in the banishment ceremony. They wander down to join their fellow contestants, and are greeted by the hostess. Ruth explains to them what has transpired and points out Khalilah’s absence. Saying that the banishment ceremony must go on, she calls upon the girls to say their votes aloud. All three name Neveen, who is visibly angry and mutters a few choice words about her betrayers. Just when everyone thinks Neveen is banished, Ruth announces that although Neveen was chosen to be banished, only three of the four women had agreed. She says that Khalilah left a message, and it is vital that they all hear it.
In her message, Khalilah sobs as she says that she has decided to go home to save Neveen. She feels that Neveen deserves to be there more than anyone, and is willing to take a bullet for her friend. Since she chose to leave, Khalilah loses all of her coins, which she bequeathed to Neveen. The show ends with Neveen vowing vengeance on the women who tried to banish her.
Thanks for joining me for this foray into Eden. Be sure to come back next week, when the wonderful Greenie will be your guide through the drama and tears.
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