I’m going to start out with a disclaimer here. I am not Spegs. She’s been nabbed by the mafia, and is being forced to recap Growing up Gotti. I know, I know. Her FLOM recaps were great. I would try to get her to do both, but I’m afraid she’d break my kneecaps. You know how kidnapped people sometimes come to sympathize with their captors.
So, you’ve got me. Hi, my name is Lucy, and I’m a FLOM watcher. It’s a sickness, I know. But I watched all three other seasons. This one, though, I was out of town for most of it. I’m fairly up on it, thanks again to Spegs, but don’t be yelling at me for missing some key reference to the second episode or something.
I Didn’t Come Here To Have Fun, Dammit
As this week’s episode opens, the men say it’s become less about camaraderie and more every-man-for-himself. Only four of them are left, anyway. That’s enough for poker, but not enough for a party. Host Jordan tells them Rachel will be going on four one-on-one dates that day, but – twisty – she doesn’t have to go out with all four guys. She could extend a date with anyone, thus knocking one or more men out of a date altogether.
Morgan, all-around nice guy that he is, tells us alone time with Rachel is not important so much from the point of view of getting to know her more, as it is to prevent other guys from having time with her. That’s quite the competitive streak he’s got there. But Caleb appears to have it too.
Rachel says these dates are an important chance for her to get in these men’s heads. To mess with them, presumably. She’s hyper-aware that she doesn’t have much time to figure out their motives, and she’s handicapped by knowing the value of only one man’s check – Mike, who has $250,000.
The men huddle by a TV to see Rachel’s first pick. It’s Mike. He’s happy to be the first thing on her mind, and joins her in the limo. There, he wants to enjoy the date, but Rachel has other plans. She intends to run this like an interview. She’s not there to have fun, but to make him answer some serious questions she has. Mike tells her to relax. You’re spitting into the wind, my friend.
In the house, a locker room atmosphere has sprung up, as Morgan tells David that Mike has already kissed Rachel. Poor little naïve David is surprised. Even more naively, he believes Morgan when Morgan denies having kissed Rachel. We see a helpful flashback to Morgan kissing Rachel.
Mike and Rachel’s date is lawn bowling. It looks to me like croquet without the mallets. Rachel sashays out in some white outfit, and Mike verbally drools. “She rocks it like she does most outfits,” he says. I recognize that this is a compliment, and if it were said about me I wouldn’t quibble, but still, what’s wrong with saying she looks “gorgeous” or “beautiful” or something that doesn’t so obviously state that he’s staring at her boobs?
Anyway, Mike and Rachel make bets on the lawn bowling. They bet kisses. A little tip here – only bet on a game if it’s money that you can afford to lose, or kisses that you can afford to lose. I once wound up in a backgammon game with a nasty old man in a work-related situation, and only my eventual and surprising victory saved me from having to fork over eight kisses on his wrinkled old cheek.
Back to the action, Rachel pulls out a good shot, leading Mike to jokingly call her a hustler. Rachel privately freaks a bit, saying that word messes with her head. You know, a spade never does like being called a spade.
Meanwhile, Mike is thinking about how he’s NOT thinking about the money (which in his case is $250,000). He’s not thinking about it because he senses that a girl as money-hungry as Rachel can spot a man who’s playing for money at a thousand paces. Ok, those weren’t his words exactly, but he thinks she’d know if he wasn’t being sincere.
Back at the house, the three remaining men gather in front of a TV screen to see who Rachel will pick for the next date. Evidently she’s to choose via cell phone. Morgan, who got to play kissy-face last time, still hopes for more one-on-one time. Caleb’s just anxious.
I Play You Because I Like You
And the next date goes to….David. He’s excited as a puppy, saying he’s happy for the chance to talk to Rachel more. Sweetie. You don’t get much chance to talk to Rachel. She’s not a small-talk kind of girl. As we will see, she prefers to acquaint herself with a man’s tonsils fairly early in a relationship.
As David goes off, Mike comes back from his date. Caleb demands to know why Mike never told him that he’d made out with Rachel. Mike demurs that he wouldn’t really call it “making out.” We cut to a purply flash-back shot of Mike and Rachel clearly making out. I wasn’t sure what the threshold is to turn “kissing” into “making out”, so for the purposes of clarity and scientific research, I looked it up on urbandictionary.com. It defines “making out” as: “The act of voluntarily exchanging spit with another person of the same or opposite sex for an extended time period.” Also – just to cover all the bases of verb conjugation – Urban Dictionary defines “make out” as “tongue-ing and a lot of touching.”
Mike says Rachel could be the sort of person to whom “making out” doesn’t mean a whole hell of a lot. Um, ya think? Caleb says he’s realizing he can’t trust anyone.
Back to the Make-out Queen, Rachel says the alone date with David will help her decide if there’s anything there. “Anything” in Rachel-world being, presumably, physical chemistry, financial gain, or preferably a combination thereof. She says she is attracted to David and thus it is easier to play him, since she doesn’t have to fake the attraction.
They rollerblade – which is NOT a good date activity with me, in case that ever comes up, due to my inability operate the brakes on rollerblades – and then settle down for a picnic. Rachel spins David a yarn about how she sees in him the qualities that build a foundation for a relationship. Poor David tells us it’s nice to be with someone who seems genuine. Bite her, David. Bite her to tell for sure. That’s how people used to tell whether a coin was real or not.
But, it doesn’t really matter much to David whether Rachel’s in it for love or money, does it? Because he’s only got a dollar. “A dollar isn’t worth coffee,” he says. Poor baby, Rachel knows that. When she figures out that’s all you’ve got, she’s going to drop you like a hot potato.
Rachel tells us David sometimes says things that are TOO perfect, and she worries that he’s just spouting lines that he thinks are appropriate to the situation.
Back at the house, the men who haven’t been on a date are nervous. Caleb is jonesing for the third date, and Morgan thinks his tongue-time with Rachel last time should earn him some more. We hear a lot from the men waxing poetic about how they want the next date – Morgan says not getting a date “would kind of suck.” Byron, he ain’t.
Cut to Rachel whipping out the cell phone, as David says, “you’re staying with me, right?”
Kiss Me. Now, Biatch!
Wrong. Caleb wins.
He and Rachel meet for a wine-tasting. Rachel says Caleb started to open up to her on their last date, and she’s hoping for more opening-up this time. Things start out promisingly – Caleb moves in for a quick peck, which impresses Rachel as romantic.
Caleb says he needs the date because otherwise “I’m not going to make it.” She takes this as “I must see you,” I take it as “without this date you’ll eliminate me and my money. My money!! Money!!”
Maybe I’m just jaded.
Back at the house, the thrice-dissed Morgan quizzes the other guys on their dates. David rates his as a 10. He admits they kissed, and Morgan sulks that maybe everyone gets to make out with Rachel. David says she started it, and tells us Rachel may think she’s going to kiss frogs till she finds a prince.
Returning to the wine whatever, Rachel is sitting on Caleb’s lap. He’s too cute, she says. “I just feel something there.” Well, you ARE on his lap, dearie.
She’s trying to angle for a passionate kiss, but she’s just talking the thing to death. If you want a kiss, kiss him! Don’t sit there – on his lap – analyzing it, hoping he’ll kiss you just to shut you up. I’ve learned the hard way that talking about kissing really ruins the whole point of kissing. Rachel, evidently, has not.
Whether it’s her gabbiness or a real reluctance, Caleb refuses. He says he’s not going to kiss someone who’s kissing all these other guys. Go, Caleb. Rachel is nonplussed, however. She tells us, “I usually don’t have a problem getting what I want from men, especially the physical.” After they get into the limo, she is on him like a Hoover. I hope that if she actually kissed him, her technique would be less appliance-like. I once was kissed by a boy who kissed like a vacuum cleaner, and it was not pleasant. Fortunately, after trying to suction my fillings out, he had to disconnect to breathe, and I was able to escape.
In the limo, it looks to me – and admittedly, Rachel’s blocking most of my view – like she’s literally trying to kiss him and he’s turning away. Every now and then I can see his head, twisted at an awkward angle as he tries to avoid her voracious tongue.
But finally, he gives in. And who wouldn’t when straddled by a rapacious woman in whose hands lies your chance at a few thousand dollars? As Caleb puts it, “I caved in a bit and kissed her. It was hard not to.” Obviously. Caleb also decides kissing Rachel was key to his moving on past the next elimination.
You Can’t Spell “Hot Tub” Without “Ho”.
In the house, Morgan is still holding out hope that Rachel has saved the best for last. He’ll be disappointed, he says in an obvious understatement, if he doesn’t go at all. David, meanwhile, is hoping for a second date.
But when it comes to choosing time, Rachel picks – Mike, for a second date, telling us she didn’t get everything she was looking for from him the first time.
A baffled Morgan says some convoluted thing about how it doesn’t make sense but he has hope.
Mike and Rachel meet for dinner outside the house. She says she has reservations about Mike and the more she gets to know him, the more he backs away. Gee, some people just seem to have a sixth sense, don’t they?
In the house, the rejected Morgan has a bit of cabin fever and is crabby and resentful of the other guys who got to actually go outside the house today. David’s trying to be understanding about how Morgan must feel crappy and unwanted. Caleb says he thought if anyone was getting a second date, it would be him or David.
Outside, the date so far is nothing to write home about. Mike and Rachel appear to be just … chewing. Finally, Mike asks Rachel what’s wrong – the opening she’s been waiting for. I have to say, I hate girls who pull that – pout until their displeasure is so obvious the man has to ask what’s wrong. At the same time, though, I will shamefacedly admit to doing it a bit myself. So I’m going to blame it on some genetic hardwiring, but I still think Rachel’s worse than me.
Finally, Rachel says Mike has been a bit standoffish. He, naturally, want this explained. Rachel says she doesn’t know if he likes her. Mike says he does think there’s something there worth pursuing. This elates Rachel, to whom it’s a sign that he’s falling for her. As she tells us, “I need someone to fall for me in the end, so I can either pick them or win a million dollars.” She DOES remember they don’t all have a million dollars, right?
Anyway, since this was all the reassurance Rachel needed – except for an extensive make-out session to satisfy her self-esteem issues – she invites Mike to the hot tub. To him, this is a complete about-face from an otherwise tepid date. He also doesn’t look forward to going upstairs to change, knowing he’ll be razzed by the other guys. And he’s right – they heckle him a bit, and offer him a thong. But Mike’s a strong boy, and comforts himself by remembering he’s going to a hot tub with a girl, while they’re playing cards alone.
After he leaves, the other men dissect what this could mean. David says either Rachel’s on the fence, or she really likes him. But Morgan says Rachel has mentioned a natural chemistry between her and Mike.
Mike seems to have changed into a knit cap. I don’t understand this. He didn’t have on the knit cap when he went to get his bathing suit. He did evidently get a bathing suit. At what point did he think, “Hmmm, hot tub. I’ll be needing a wool hat.”?
Judging by Rachel’s outfit, he’s overdressed; she comes out in a bikini, and Mike is again impressed. I think he said, “Damn. Her body’s banging, definitely.”
Once in the hot tub, they might have discussed Proust and it got edited out, but I doubt it. What I see is her immediately starting to kiss him. Mike again says he doesn’t think about the money when he’s with her. I can see how thinking about cash would be difficult with a girl draped all over you. Unless you were thinking about how you were going to have to pay her in 59 minutes.
Anyway, make-out goes on, and the cameras nab this really evil shot of Rachel with a malevolent smirk while Mike kisses her neck.
And in case anyone cares, Urban Dictionary defines “ho” in a variety of ways, most unsuitable for this website. But they did have one definition I think Rachel would choose: “A woman who is very up-front and honest about what she expects from a relationship. For this trait alone, she is mercilessly disparaged by society, the law, her clientele, and the urban dictionary, all of whom are uncomfortable with the true nature of human relationships being so starkly exposed.”
In fact, I’m thinking Rachel wrote that definition. Urban Dictionary really isn’t very scientific, you know.
Sweet, Sweet Karma
With the elimination coming up, we get a refresher on what each guy is thinking. The date-less Morgan is still fretting, Mike feels a bit nervous, and Caleb thinks he’s safe, but notes, “if she meant all those things she said about me, she wouldn’t be running around kissing everyone else.”
So he doesn’t trust her. Wise boy.
Together, the men mull over the mathematical possibilities that they’ll be eliminated. One points out they have a 25 percent chance of going home. Another adds that’s a 75 percent chance of staying. Well, congrats on the math there, boys.
Rachel tells us the eliminations are getting harder, because she’s feeling a stronger connection to the remaining men. I suspect the fact that she only knows the value of one man’s check doesn’t make it any easier.
So, the elimination:
David: She had a blast, she’s very comfortable with him, they needed time together. He’s a lot of fun, and has a romantic side. He stays. He has a dollar.
Caleb: Every time she hangs out with him, he gets better and better. He “wowed” her. She liked sitting on his lap, too. He stays. He also has a dollar
Caleb notes that he doesn’t trust anyone, including Rachel.
Rachel interjects that it’s going to be hard to tell Morgan or Mike to leave. I suspect if she knew Morgan had the lone $1 million check, that decision would be a lot easier.
Morgan: She feels bad for making him feel bad for not having a date. But she felt they’d spent a lot of time together. Somebody make her stop squinching up her nose like that, by the way. It’s not as cute as she thinks.
The connection she thought they had, she’s realized after the other dates that it’s not as strong. So, he’s out.
Ha! Rachel has just eliminated the only million-dollar check in the house. Oh, the delicious irony! I’m guessing her voice-overs next week will still have her yammering cluelessly about the chance to win a million dollars. Since saying, “I have a one out of three chance to win $250,000” just doesn’t have the same ring.
Morgan is not pleased at his elimination, but comforts himself with the realization that a woman who would kiss him then say the connection wasn’t very strong is not a woman he could ever be with.
With Morgan out the door, Mike and his $250,000 check get to stay. Rachel says he opened up to her more and she’s happy.
Mike feels a bit in the driver’s seat, and threatens to “step it up one more notch.” I’m not sure what that means. I’m hoping it doesn’t mean more wool caps in the hot tub, or another treatise on Rachel’s “banging” body.
Rachel tells us that while she recognizes the chance to win money – oh, she does? You think? – another part of her sees the potential for a relationship with these nice boys.
While the remaining three men gloat, Morgan burns his $1 million check. He says he played the best he could and while it’s hard burning the check – why? He’d have never got that money if she chose him and he chose her – he knows who he is and what he “brings to the table” in a relationship. Why are people in these shows always using business metaphors for romance? Morgan adds that if Rachel is looking for a “relationship,” she should have looked at somebody more like him. He does the air quotes thing, and I thought perhaps he was trying to say “relationship” in the sense of “an hour once a week at the Motel 6.”
Get ready for a two-hour finale, of which at least 45 minutes will probably be Rachel or the men mulling over the importance of love or money. That leaves us another 45 minutes of Rachel will be sticking her tongue down men’s throats, and 30 minutes for the long drawn-out camera-switching-angles moment of choice.
In other words, Tivo this thing if you can. I’ll be here to fill in the gaps for you.
If this recap is banging, tell me at firstname.lastname@example.org