I’ve never liked being the bearer of bad news. Unfortunately, there are times when it’s simply unavoidable. Today, my friends, is one of those times. Greenie is on vacation, and I’ll be the one bringing you the finale recap of this testament to romantic love we know as “Who Wants To Marry My Dad?” Since honesty is the best policy, I’ll admit that last night’s show was the only episode I’ve seen. I apologize in advance for my ignorance of the presumably deep and meaningful bonds made by the participants in the previous weeks. On the other hand, this ain’t rocket science, so let’s just get to it, shall we?
In tonight’s episode, we’re down to our last two competitors for Don’s heart – Christy and Christena. Like so many gold diggers before them, they’ve tenaciously fought through till the bitter end, eschewing overrated concepts like “dignity” and “pride” along the way. Let’s face it, folks: while the possibility of finding “true love” peeks around every corner, if Vegas runs odds on how long a made-for-TV marriage is going to last, I’m taking the under.
Tell us how you really feel...
As we begin tonight, Don tells us how he’s attracted to both remaining women, albeit in very different ways. He feels that Christena has style and elegance, whereas Christy can really turn heads. As for the women, they add their two cents as well. Christy says that she’s not worried about Christena’s chemistry with Don being stronger than the chemistry that he shares with her. Christena, taking the more Zen approach, simply says that if she and Don were meant to be together, nobody can change that fact. As the family and the women frolic in and around the pool, Christy and Don play a little bit of the touchy-feely game. Heidi notices this, and, in what I felt was a very sensitive move, pulls Christena away to jump on the trampoline, so as to not expose her to the volatile Dad/Christy chemistry. Don comments that Christy seems more intent on winning his heart, while Christena is focusing more of her attention on the children.
It's like 'West Side Story', but not
When the kids sit down to discuss their decision, they fall into two camps that split right down the gender lines. The boys are pro-Christy, the girls pro-Christena. They decide to bring Don in, in an effort to gauge his thoughts. When asked point-blank whom he’d rather be with, he says that Christy is capturing his body and his heart, while Christena is capturing his mind and his soul. Frankly, if it were me, I wouldn’t want to marry anyone who didn’t capture all four, but hey – I guess 50% is better than none. Is it enough? Well, no. Time to get Vegas on the phone to start placing bets. Heidi turns the tables on Don by asking him what he’d tell her if she were to give him that same “body vs. mind” line. He concedes that she makes a good point. Heidi: 1, Dad: 0. Viewers: -4392.
I think we're alone now...
At dinner, Don has to choose one woman with whom to spend some alone time. He picks Christy. Christena comments on how awkward the situation is. As if coming on television and having an entire courtship competition isn’t awkward in and of itself. I would have thought she’d be immune by now, but evidently she isn’t. As the children watch the “alone time” on a monitor, Christy gives a rundown to Don on each of his children. She feels that mom Karla is very nurturing. Heidi has style and knows how to make people feel good. Joe has a huge heart. Chris is incredibly full of life. In other words, the most generic, canned compliments she could have given. Then Don and Christy start making out. Call me immature if you must, but I’d personally get skeeved out watching my dad get it on with a date. Luckily for the kids, as well as the viewing audience, this doesn’t last long.
Plead your case!
The next day, the women each individually take some time to talk to the entire clan. Christena goes first, telling them what an amazing family they are, and how much she’s looking forward to them getting to know her children. She cries as she talks about how she hasn’t been there for her kids during these last few weeks, so she really hopes they can all get to know one another. She also says that she’s attracted to Don on many different levels, and that she loves them all. She may well have said more, but I was so mesmerized by the constant rocking back and forth that she was doing that I probably missed it.
Christy is up next, and she starts by saying how important it is to her to find something wonderful, and how she feels that it’s necessary to take chances in life. She knows that the kids are the most important thing in the world to Don, but she hopes they can find some room for her in their lives. She’s fond of all of them. I have to interject here that the kids were just deadpan throughout this whole speech. Maybe sensing their resistance to her less-than-convincing words, she pulls Don up to stand there with her. She tells them that she loves what she knows so far about their dad.
Christena comes back down, and Don proposes a toast to them both. He’s so touched by their honesty, sincerity and integrity. Someone bought Don a thesaurus for Christmas, I see. He’s also touched by their love. As they all drink up, the fax machine makes its ominous presence known. The message states that Don bought each of the women a bouquet of roses, so if the doorbell rings they might want to answer it. What, they would have ignored it had the fax not specifically told them to answer? Predictably, the doorbell rings and the ladies scamper off to do as the almighty fax has decreed. There a man stands, holding, as promised, two lovely bouquets. As he hands them to the women, his face is revealed, leaving them aghast. Remember how I mentioned I hadn’t watched the show before? I didn’t realize that this deliveryman was, in fact, the polygraph guy. I had a brief moment of confusion when I thought both women were off their rockers, not to mention just plain not-very-nice people. They go to close the door in his face, but Mr. Polygraph Guy is not to be denied!
Nothing says "I love you" like a steady heart rate...
Christy is up first.
Question #1: If you marry my dad, will you let us move in with you? Yes.
Question #2: Would you still marry my dad if he were leaving all of his money to charity? Yes.
Question #3: If a rattlesnake bit my dad, would you suck out the venom? Yes.
(Hey, at least they didn’t ask anything about golf balls and garden hoses.)
Question #4: Will you sign a prenup? No. This one garnered a HUGE eye-roll from Karla.
Question #5: Will you promise to love, honor and cherish my dad? Yes.
Question #6: Are you falling in love with my dad? Yes.
And now it’s Christena’s turn. This is her first time being subjected to the polygraph, and she looks understandably apprehensive.
Question #1: If you marry my dad, will you babysit for the grandkids? Yes.
Question #2: Would you still marry my dad if his company went bankrupt? Yes.
Question #3: If my dad brought you cold coffee, would you force him to make it again? (Ed. Note: Huh? Stupid question.) No.
Question #4: Will you sign a prenup? Yes.
Question #5: Will you love my dad in sickness and in health, for richer or poorer? Yes.
Question #6: Are you falling in love with my dad? Yes.
After Christena leaves, the kids decide that they need a good night’s sleep in order to have clear heads for the big decision that they face.
Famous last words
In the morning, the ladies are informed that they’ll be whisked off in two separate limos to two separate hotels, and only one will be coming back to marry Don. As they walked to the limos, the women gave some final pre-decision thoughts. Christena said that if she weren’t the one picked, she’d be disappointed. Okay, fair enough. Christy says that “two with one just isn’t right. The kids need to make a decision and let Don and I start a relationship.” Christy, please pick up the white courtesy phone. Foreshadowing is on line one.
The family goes off to have a heart to heart. Unlike most families, this isn’t something that can take place in the living room. Instead, they hike out into the wilderness. (Hey, I live in Chicago. It looked like wilderness to me.) Don makes the stunning revelation that “there’s no tomorrow.” There isn’t?!? Oh my God. Then what the hell am I doing watching this show? I should be spending time with loved ones. Oh, wait. He means game-wise. He tells the kids that he’s nervous, but that he trusts that they’ll make the right decision. When asked (again) if he’s favoring one over the other, he says that he’s falling for both of them (again). They’re both attractive and good moms. Right now, he’d miss Christy more if she weren’t the one chosen, but he feels that in the long run, he’s more compatible with Christena. Karla thinks that Christy just wants to get married, not necessarily get married to Don. Don disagrees, saying that there’s nothing that gives him that impression. He then goes off for some time to himself, giving the camera crew the opportunity to shoot the requisite pensive shots. Most original.
The fruits of their labor...
Before we know it, the big moment has arrived. The limo pulls up, and…Christy is in it! She walks to the yard, which is nicely (if ostentatiously) decorated with zillions of flowers and lights. Don is in a tux, the children all in various finery. Don says that when he saw Christy, she took his breath away. He tells her that she’s absolutely stunning. Each of the children compliments her, saying she’s a great person who they knew would be there until the end, and that she’s beautiful inside and out. Heidi tells her that her three little boys should be so proud to have her for a mom. They needed to make the decision that was best for their dad, and … sorry, Christy. It isn’t you. Whoa. I have to hand it to the show, because they had me going. I was completely certain that only one of the women was going to be brought back to the house that night, and when Christy appeared, I figured she was the winner. Nicely done, NBC. It seems as though Christy and Don were both pretty shocked as well, and Don asked the kids for a moment alone with the woman who wouldn’t be his bride. He told her that she’d always hold a special place in his heart, to which she replied “I’m sure I will.” Nice. Then, in what was both the best and worst moment in the history of television, Don asked her if he could kiss her one last time. Okay, eww. Don, you’re cheesy. Your head is about three feet higher than you think it is. Try to remember that there are cameras on you next time. To Christy’s credit, she said “No. You can’t.” and walked away. As she left, we heard her say that she was disappointed and didn’t want to say goodbye. Well, tough noogies. Buh-bye Christy.
So now our real winner arrives. Christena is wearing black, and comments that she feels very special as she walks toward the family. Don, apparently forgetting his indiscretion of moments ago, says that as soon as he saw her, he knew she was his princess. So does that make Christy his Camilla Parker-Bowles? Anyway, again the kids have nice things to say. Joe mentions that it’s been a real pleasure getting to know her. Karla thinks that she’s a wonderful woman, and she complements Don very well. Heidi just loves her, and respects her so much. Chris, in a touching moment, actually has words for Don instead of Christena, and tells his dad how proud they all are of him. Tears flow. Heidi asks Don if there’s anything that he’d like to say to Christena, which of course there is. He tells her that she’s a beautiful person, and that knowing her makes him a better human being. I’m waiting for him to go the entire distance with the movie lines and mention something about her completing him, but I’m denied. He goes on to say that he’s wanted someone with whom he can share his life, someone who can be his soulmate, and he knows that that person is her, and he wants to know if she’ll marry him. She pauses before answering, possibly temporarily blinded by the rock he’s holding in his hand. That puppy had to be…what? 3 carats? 3.5? She gathers herself long enough to say yes, and the music swells. End scene.
So there we have it. Title question asked, title question answered. Is it true love? Who knows. But on the off chance that it is, here’s hoping that they’ll live happily ever after. The beginning of the fairy tale isn’t nearly as important as the ending.