Welcome to the very late (stupid computer) finale recap for More to Love! It’s been a while and most of you know how this
debacleshow ended. Still, let’s take a look at how we got there. Last week, we said goodbye to Mandy the Weeper. Now Luke is down to the final two: Tali of the Cultural Differences and Malissa’s giant breasts….so maybe we’re down to three.
Luke is back home in Santa Maria, California where both Tali and Malissa will meet his family. In voice-overs from Luke, we learn that Santa Maria is “blue collar and low-key,” that Malissa is a deep person (I can’t make this stuff up) and that he’s attracted to the mysterious and elusive nature of Tali. We also hear how well Malissa would be able to transition into his world and how those darned cultural differences may prove problematic if he chooses Tali.
Like the Spanish Inquisition, Only More Tolerant
First, the ladies will be meeting Luke father, brother and grandmother and Tali is on the hot seat first. She meets Luke and his dog Max at a local park where Luke prepares her for the meeting with his father, whom Luke calls “one-of-a-kind.” He says they broke the mold when they made his dad (for this, I am grateful). Luke is sure his father will love Tali, only proving further that Luke is slightly delusional.
Before they meet the Inquisition, Luke and Tali have a quick picnic lunch (again with the food). Tali tells Luke that he needs to pick her because she balances him. She did not, mercifully, say she completes him or I would have changed the channel right there. She worries about the religion issue, but Luke reassures her: it will probably come up, but they won’t grill her about it. He definitely doesn’t think it will cause his dad to not like her.
Luke and Tali arrive at his father’s house and it’s all butterflies and flowers. Luke father, Mike, tells us that Tali is attractive and charismatic. When Tali has a heart-to-heart with grandma, it’s another big lovefest. Everything seems to be going great, but the religion question looms. As they all sit down to dinner, Luke’s father rolls out the prayer and then asks Tali about herself. She seems to fare pretty well – the family even toasts to Luke and Tali – and Luke is relieved his father didn’t come on too strong with the religion thing. Oh, honey. Just wait.
Just when Luke relaxes, dad hits pay dirt and discovers that Tali is *gasp* not a Christian. Tali and Luke both give him the “if two people care enough about each other and have the same values, religion isn’t an impediment” speech, but it does no good. Dad keeps hammering on the religious differences thing and brings up raising children with religion. He’s clearly mortified at the idea of any grandchild of his being raised in the Jewish faith. Both Luke and Tali talk about making things work and teaching both religions, but his dad is stuck on the whole conflict thing, which means it’s mainly just a conflict with him. Although the date pretty much went into the crapper, Luke says he’s trying to keep an open mind. Still, it’s important to him that his family gets along with his wife.
The Creepy Portion of the Program
The next day, it’s Malissa’s turn with the family. Before they attend Malissa’s coronation, Luke has a little date planned at a pool hall where Malissa wipes the floor with him. Malissa tells us she’s very competitive and used to getting what she wants. Because, they’re eating dinner with his family in a few minutes, Luke and Malissa down a giant pizza. You know, just to tide them over. They bond over their love of pizza – it’s at least a weekly meal for them
Luke and Malissa head off to meet his family and he says he’s interested to see how they respond to Malissa. From the moment Malissa steps out of the car, it’s clear something is different: she’s covered up the twins. I mean, not entirely. She’s not wearing a habit or anything. Still, she’s not in danger of putting anyone’s eye out. She’s dressed in a prim little sundress with her hair in a ponytail. She also has flowers in hand. She’s like Eddie freaking Haskell in a giant bra.
Malissa steps one foot in the door and Dad is in love. He can barely keep himself from ogling her chest and the hug he gives her is a little too tight and a little too long. It’s super-pervy. From here on out, Malissa could say anything she wants and Luke’s Dad would want to have it engraved on a plaque. He praises her “Irish eyes” and is stoked she loves a good beer. Luke tells us he’s still questioning whether Malissa is there for him or to win. Dad has no such reservations: he announces that Malissa would fit perfectly into their family. I SO wish Malissa would announce that she’s Muslim or something just to see the look on Dad’s face.
Grandma is also on the Malissa train, saying that she seems so well-balanced. Outside, Dad is lobbying for Luke to pick Malissa. He says that, whoever Luke settles on, it should be someone like Malissa….but really he means someone who isn’t like Tali. Honestly, it’s so obviously about religion and appearance for these people that it’s kind of sickening. Luke still hasn’t made up his mind and says love doesn’t always make sense. Plus, it’s his decision, not his family’s.
If It’s Not One Thing, It’s Your Mother
Since the girls met Luke’s father, it’s important that they meet his mother. Luke says he’s very close to her and wants her input. Apparently, Fleiss is trying to save money on lodging because he’s got both girls staying back at the house together. Malissa and Tali are in t-shirts and casual clothing with no make-up on, while sitting around thinking about the impressions they made on Luke’s family. Suddenly the doorbell rings and it’s Diane Keaton! Oh wait, it’s just Luke’s mom. Seriously, his parents are the most mis-matched pair ever. It’s like Nick Nolte (the bad mugshot one) married, well, Diane Keaton.
Luke’s mom, Faith, is cute as can be and tells us she really wants Luke to find love. Malissa and Tali adjust to the situation pretty quickly and sit down at the kitchen table to have a talk with Faith. Mom asks Tali what she thought about Luke when she first met him. Tali says she thought Luke was good-looking and warm. Malissa, not content to let anyone hog her spotlight, says it was Luke’s compassion – he hates eliminating people – that drew her to him. She then rambles on in a big way, sucking up to Faith by telling her she’s raised a great man. Faith demurs: she can’t take full credit for Luke. A lot of it is just how he is. Yeah, ‘cause we know it’s not coming from his father.
To my delight, Faith isn’t nearly as impressed with Malissa as Luke’s father was. Malissa snottily remarks that Faith isn’t as “open” (see: gullible) as the rest of Luke’s family. Just as Tali is beginning to tell Faith about herself, Malissa rudely gets up to check some food she has cooking in the oven. Tali admits she isn’t a great cook, so they made a deal that she would do the cleaning. From the kitchen, Malissa pipes in that she LOVES cooking. Faith looks non-plussed.
Just as the tension is getting palpable, Luke arrives to diffuse it. He’s casual too, in a white t-shirt. It’s like they all rolled out of bed, except for Faith, who looks like she’s about to be interviewed by Oprah. Faith broaches the subject of Tali’s religion and then asks how it would affect their potential children. Mom says that a couple should share basic values. Tali asks if those values can held by people from two different religions and Faith says they can. Luke looks pleased with his mom’s reaction to Tali.
Faith then asks the ladies why they did this show in the first place. Tali says that it was an opportunity to show people that love comes in all sizes. Malissa admits she did the show on a whim, but now look at her: they’re down to the final two and she’s one of the main characters. Faith has to stop herself from responding here (seriously, it’s like she almost swallowed her tongue) and Malissa continues, saying she did it for the experience. Faith doesn’t look at all impressed with Malissa. I like Faith a lot. Luke doesn’t look all that happy with Malissa’s answers either. Malissa pouts about Luke’s mom favoring Tali.
Faith takes Tali aside for a private talk on the patio. She asks Tali if she’s ever dated anyone Luke’s size and Tali says she has. She doesn’t care about size, she adds. Mom tells us that Tali has great presence and is very beautiful. Tali tells Faith about her drive – she walked NYC for 9 hours in her best outfit, headshots in tow, on her first day in the city. Faith asks if she sees herself staying in New York and Tali says she never thought she’d have a career in modeling, but does want to be a role model. Tali tells Faith she was blown away by Luke: she didn’t expect any of this. Tali then asks Faith if she can see her being part of their family. Faith says that Luke has a great sense about people, so she does see Tali fitting into their family. Faith tells us that meeting Tali has given her a better sense of who Luke is. Tali is feeling much better about her chances, especially since it seems Luke is more like his mother than his father.
Now it’s time for Malissa to lobby Faith for her vote. Seriously, it feels just like that. In order to get sympathy votes, Malissa tells Faith about her dead mother and says she wishes her mom could be there to meet Luke and see her get married. Man, that’s pretty low, dragging your dead mother into this. Malissa asks Faith to tell her the most important thing she should know about Luke. Faith says it’s that Luke has strong ideas about raising a family. Malissa says that’s important to her as well. Faith tells us that Malissa seems well-rounded (she even says it with a straight face), but thinks she’s not ready to be married.
Luke finally gets some alone time with his mother. He asks her about her initial impressions of Malissa and Tali. She says they’re both very warm and she likes that they’re at ease with who they are. She thinks Tali is amazing and praises her ability to leave her family and be alone in a foreign country. Tali did mention that she is stubborn, so Faith thinks that might cause problems. Still, that stubbornness has helped make Tali strong. Faith tells us that Tali would be a great wife to anyone and an asset to Luke. As for Malissa, Faith thinks she’s more of a light-hearted person. Luke asks his mom if she what she thinks would be good about him and Malissa. SILENCE. He then asks if Faith thinks Malissa would be a good wife. MORE SILENCE. Luke’s mom tells him that only HE can know that. She knows Luke will make a good decision. Luke clearly knows that his mom likes Tali better. He admits he thought having the ladies meet his family would make his decision easier. Instead, it made things more difficult.
Last Chance to Grovel
It’s time for the last chance dates wherein each girl will make their final plea to Luke. First up is Tali, who is feeling nervous and needs some reassurances from Luke that she’s right for him. Luke is concerned that Tali might have been scared off by his
fatherfamily. They eat dinner and Luke asks how Tali feels about his mom. She loves Faith. She tells Luke they had a really good conversation and calls his mother “open-minded.” This is in contrast to his father, of course. Tali says she got a better picture of who Luke is once she met his mother.
Tali asks Luke if he has any concerns. He brings up New York and her career and asks if she could move to California. He doesn’t want to ask her to give up her dreams. Tali says she wouldn’t be giving up her dreams: she’d just be changing locations. She would make that move for him because she wants him just as much as she wants a career. She’s sure he’ll make the right decision, which is to choose her.
Because this is the final date and Tali has to lay her cards on the table, she tells Luke she loves him. He tells Tali he loves her too. They make out noisily and Tali says she’s on cloud nine: it’s been a long time since she’s felt this way. The problem for Luke is that he has very strong feelings for Malissa as well. He tells us that he loves both girls, but says there’s a difference between loving someone and being in love with them. He’ll need to go into the date with
BustyMalissa with an open mind. He’s about to make a major life decision.
Malissa and her boobs are getting ready for her final date with Luke. She claims she just wants Luke to be happy, which we all know if bull. Luke tells us he hasn’t closed his heart to Malissa, even though he had a great date with Tali. He gazes lovingly at Malissa’s cleavage in the limo. Malissa gushes about Luke’s mom, telling him she’s so glad she got to meet her. Luke tells us that Malissa has been elusive, with respect to her feelings.
Luke and Malissa eat dinner outside, surrounded by yards and yards of Barbie pink bunting and matching flowers everywhere. It’s like Paris Hilton’s dream house. Malissa admits she’s scared and doesn’t want to be wrong about what she’s thinking and feeling. Luke tells her she’s amazing woman and feels confident he would be very happy with her. In my notes here, I wrote “Oh, Meredith.” Malissa gushes some more and says that, if Luke were to ask her to marry him, she’d say “Yes, yes, a thousand times yes!” For me, this is reason enough to hope Luke doesn’t pick her. Luke doesn’t say too much: he kisses her instead.
Malissa continues to gush about Luke to Luke. She says he’s the most amazing guy she’s ever met and thinks that if they could have these kinds of feelings for each other under these circumstances, it would be even better in the real world. She then tells him she loves him and I groan as Luke tells Malissa he loves her too. I don’t even like Malissa, but that’s still a pretty creep-ish thing to do. Luke then tells Malissa that she’s very special to him. Malissa is positively giddy, mainly because she doesn’t know he proclaimed his love for Tali the night before.
Wherein Our Bachelor Actually Makes the Smart Choice
Now it’s time for Luke to go pick out an engagement ring and give FOX some advertising bucks. The lucky jeweler tonight is Ben Bridge. Throughout this segment, we get voiuce overs from Luke about the difficult he now has to make. He says it’s a burden to let one of them down. Well, if you hadn’t told them both you love them, you clod, it wouldn’t be quite so difficult. Luke claims he doesn’t take falling in love lightly and then says it’s tough to think about not seeing one of the girls again. With ring in hand, Luke heads back to the mansion.
If Emme is paid per word on this show, this is her highest grossing episode yet….that’s not saying much. Luke and Emme have a heart to heart. Really, it’s more like Luke talks and Emme sits there and nods. Luke tells Emme that he’s found love of his life and can’t wait to start a life with her. He’s hoping that the sad emotions tonight – you know, the ones that come after he dumps a woman he just said “I love you” to – don’t cloud the entire evening. He’s feeling some pressure about having to dump someone and still isn’t sure his chosen one will accept his proposal.
In preparation for the ladies’ arrival, Luke opens front doors of the mansion and then goes out to the pool to wait. There’s a particularly garish platform built over the pool, complete with purple carpet and lots of brightly-colored flowers. Seriously. This set designer needs to go. Luke tells us that he loves both women, but gives us the old “there’s a difference between loving someone and being in love with them.”
Here comes the loser limo and when the door opens, out steps Malissa. Woot! <---further evidence of my complete impartiality. As Malissa walks to her doom, clad in a bright magenta gown, we get a voice over of her talking about how great her love with Luke is and how all she wants is for him to choose her. It’d be like kicking a puppy if she hadn’t been such a bitch throughout the entire show. Malissa faces Luke and he takes her hands. He starts out telling her that he felt an instant attraction to her and, as they spent more time together, he realized how much they have in common and how right for each other they could be. He says she’s a beautiful woman, who has a fun, adventurous side he adores. He feels like their lives could blend together so easily and he does love her for who she is…..BUT, his heart belongs to someone else.
Malissa’s face drops and I almost feel sorry for her. Cut to the one ring sitting there mocking her. Luke claims he never wanted to hurt Malissa and feels fortunate to have met her. He has to let her go even though it’s painful. She whimpers, everything felt so right and can’t believe she was so wrong. Luke tries to comfort her, but Malissa says she just wants to go. He walks her out to the limo, where they hug goodbye.
In the limo, Malissa says Luke was everything she was looking for: it felt right and it wasn’t. “What makes her better than me?” Malissa cries. Through loud snuffles, Malissa talks about how she didn’t expect to fall for Luke. I can’t help wondering if Emme got that diamond ring back from Malissa. Maybe it was a consolation prize.
Now that he’s crushed Malissa’s dreams
of being the supreme winnerbecoming his wife, Luke waits for Tali. He tells us that he and Malissa couldn’t be right for each other because his heart belongs to someone else. He hopes he won’t regret his decision. I’d say that as soon as he watches the tapes of this show, Luke will see just how big a bullet he just dodged. Luke tells us he’s ready to propose to Tali. He’s in love and feels like he’s been waiting for her his whole life. He hopes she’s as ready as he is. When looking into her eyes, he feels whole world is in his grasp
Her limo pulls up and Tali nervously steps out looking stunning in a pastel floral goddess gown. She tells us she’s never been in love like this. The last thing that’s on her mind when she’s with Luke is her weight because he doesn’t care about that: he cares about her as a person. Tali walks to join Luke on the Purple Proposal Platform and takes his hands.
When Luke begins his speech, it’s clear that she same person who penned his Mallisa rejection speech, wrote this one as well. He first talks about how beautiful she is and how he’s watched her confidence grow. BUT.. they are from different worlds and there would be obstacles if they got together (cue the worried face from Tali). He promised at the beginning of this process to love her for who she is….and he does. Luke then tells a relieved Tali that he loves her with all his heart and tells her that she makes him a better man. He then hits the floor and proposes, as Tali tries not to cry. Her hands tremble as Luke says “I want you to be my wife will you marry me?” After a few moments where Tali appears to be trying not to hyperventilate, she does say “Yes.” They kiss, the music swells and even I can’t find a cynical thing to say about it.
Usually, with these shows I’m ready for the credits as soon as they get engaged and this is no different. What ensues is the usual kissing, laughing, crying, swinging the woman around giddiness that we always see and I’m cynical enough to think will be part of the story on Access Hollywood when they break up.
Tali and Luke are not so cynical (yet). Tali says she gave up on love, had grown up being put down for her weight and never heard “I love you” back from someone. Luke says he can’t wait to start their life together. He felt alone before he came here and now he feels like he won’t ever be alone again. Tali says love doesn’t have shape or size: it’s the size of your heart that really matters.
So there you have it, folks. While it wasn’t a perfect season, I think most of us can agree that Luke made the right decision. Because of that, I’m going to try to overlook Fox’s gratuitous use of hot pink décor, weepy confessionals and food porn. If we get a second season of More to Love let’s hope the bachelor turns out to be someone who looks more like Patrick Dempsey and less like John Goodman.