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Before I get into the flow of the show, I have to get Brad’s speech (and courting) patterns out of the way, and out of my head. Just a minute, I’ll be real quick. Excuse me, one second. Can I pull you aside for one second? Bear with me really quickly. Brad.
Okay, now that that is out of my system, I can go with the opening shot of the blue water in the mansion’s pool followed by a yellow flower followed by a black eye. Oh, not a huge shiner, but a streak of black that has planted itself under the bag of Michelle’s left eye. She woke up with the mark and thinks it may be stress. Jingly background music accompanies her as she makes the rounds to point out her eye to her fellow housemates. But, you know, she’s not that upset about it, because in a way this means she should have a date with Brad this week; she deserves it, because she has a black eye.
Chris Harrison, dressed in a plaid shirt and Mr. Rogers sweater, greets the gathering in the living room and reminds them that if they get one of the two individual dates this week, they should pack their bags as they may not be coming home. He then pulls a rabbit…I mean a date card…out of his back pocket and tells them to enjoy! before running from the room.
Lindsay gracefully picks up the card and checks that everyone is ready for the big announcement before opening the card and reading, “Chantal O., How Deep is Your Love, Brad.”
Chantal: This is great!
Chantal goes off to pack her lipstick pink suitcase while Michelle expresses her frustration that the date isn’t hers.
Chantal: I get him all to myself; this is huge. This could be a make or break date for my life.
In good spirits, Brad enters the house to pick up Chantal and the first words he hears is Michelle blandly stating, “I woke up with a black eye.” Way to bring down a room, Michelle. He struggles with small talk until he hears a whirly-bird coming in for a landing then he jumps up and runs outside with everyone else following. A red/yellow small helicopter has landed on the front patio pavers and Brad hands an excited Chantal up into the tight confines.
As they fly off into the unknown, Michelle grinds her teeth and spits out that she doesn’t want Chantal to come home.
Thirty-six Miles across the Sea
The helicopter, now silver/black, lands near the docks on Catalina Island. Before being eased onto a small dive boat by Brad, Chantal tells us that she is afraid of deep water; that once she goes down, she won’t come up; but, this is for Brad. Shaking, she slips into a wet suit and allows a dive helmet to be placed and secured over her head. With Brad watching, she gingerly steps down a ladder until her rubber shod feet touch the bottom of the sea bed. Gripping a panic button tight in her hand, she thinks that maybe this could be okay, especially when Brad joins her and simulates a kiss through their thick dive helmets. They walk off hand in hand through the seaweed.
While we watch them stroll along, we listen to Chantal’s taped message: I’m open to fall in love. I’m in this to find a husband I can spend the rest of my life with, and Brad is that person. I think that I could be Chantal Womack, definitely.
This may have been her farewell message as we don’t see them surface because we are jerked back along a road to the mansion where Michelle places an ice pack over her bruise and says that she deserves a 1:1 date more than anyone else. On cue, the door bell rings and Britt brings in the group date card for: Ashley S., Stacey, Britt, Lindsay, Meghan, Alli, Lisa, Ashley H. and Jackie; which reads – Let’s put our love on the line. Michelle cracks a small smile when her name isn’t read, but then threatens Brad with his own black eye if she doesn’t get that last date this week.
Catalina Island after dark feels very romantic to Chantal. Hooray, she surfaced. Tiki torches light the way to the Descanso Beach Club and a large lounger backed by a platform deck holding two umbrella style tents with flowing side panels, each equipped with a queen size bed
Chantal thinks it is AMAZING and that they are doing the most romantic date EVER, but she’s scared because she has been out of the dating world so long. Then she bucks up and concludes that she will just have to follow her heart and hope it doesn’t lead her astray. She tells Brad that she liked being married, that she wants to do it again. She wants kids and it’s all about finding the right person. Brad nods his head in agreement to all of that. He tells her he is much more open to that idea now, that he truly wants to share his life with somebody, truly. They like each other, a lot, and Brad commits to those words, spoken over soft guitar music, with, “No doubt about it.”
Thunder and rain drops on a rose take us back to the mansion where Michelle expresses her dislike of Chantal to Ashley S. She complains that the stress of it has taken her down a tearful, rough road. To us, she warns that if head-strong Chantal comes home, they all need to watch out.
Scary. I think I’ll go back to the beach where Brad and Chantal turn playful with words. Brad thinks that being with Chantal really is like being with a girlfriend. He picks up the rose to commemorate their “real” day and the thunder rolls. Not to be deterred by a pending rainstorm, he presents the rose with more playful enjoyment; they kiss and head into one of the tents to avoid the downpour…oh, and to snuggle.
Brad: Right now I want to grab Chantal and run away; it’s freakin’ crazy.
Chantal tells us that she wants him to fall in love with her, that’s what she wants. As the camera backs away and the soft guitar music fades, she thanks God for the rain. Brad: No kidding.
The Long Line to Love
A clueless line of nine women piles into a black van and then exit the van to venture single file into a radio studio. While they wait to enter the LoveLine recording studio, they are put in a holding room complete with inhibition lowering alcohol (Have some Madeira, my dear? He whispered softly in her ear.) Brad is already in there speaking with a stern appearing Dr. Drew Pinsky and his sidekick, Mike. Brad tells them his goal is to have the women open up to them, and he to them. I do believe Brad has overdosed on relationship therapy.
Lindsay thinks that Dr. Drew asks really tough questions and for some girls it’s really hard to open up, but she’s looking forward to the feedback because she has absolutely nothing to hide.
With that bit of seriousness ringing in our ears, we cut away to the mansion and Michelle’s jingly music as she speaks with Emily. She tells Emily that she’ll cry if she doesn’t get a date. Emily says that the 1:1 changed everything for her, and for Michelle, her whole mind-set will change.
The women are ushered into the studio. Dr. Drew stands to welcome them, but Mike does not, though he does admit, along with the women, to being physically attracted to Brad. The talk moves to a Dr. Drew question about cheating and Stacey raises her hand, admitting to being a drunk, stupid college girl. Oh, Stacey – wave good-bye. When Ashley H. says that she is backing off, retracting, Britt comes forward with the perfect words about making her and Brad’s short conversations perfect. It was perfect. Brad is very happy with the session and can’t wait to take the relationships farther. All right, sure.
Brad takes the nine back to his casa, which is stocked with a pool, hot tub and more alcohol. They all dangle feet in the hot tub and Lindsay marvels about their awesome time with Dr. Drew. But, this crowd seems to be too solemn, so we hop over to the mansion where Emily brings in the last date card.
Michelle tries to calm her racing heart, anxiously waiting for the card to be read. Michelle, Let’s Hang Out Together, Brad. Michelle tells us, “Okay, tomorrow big day; Brad and Michelle 1:1. Things are going to change around here.” However, she is brought to earth when it is pointed out that her card is the only one without the word, love in it. Jingly music fades, mansion fades.
Ashley H. feels tetchy and unappreciated. She and her glass of wine need time with Brad so she seeks him out only to intrude on one of Britt’s perfect moments. Disconcerted that she has put walls up, Brad tries to get her to talk, to reassure her to the point that he thinks giving her the date rose will help. Once everyone is in the hot tub, he begins his speech, but Ashley H. interrupts with a pouty complaint causing him to re-think the rose and offers it to Britt instead. Britt is clueless, but perfectly ecstatic that she gets another week.
Be Careful What You Wish For
The day after the night before, Ashley H. is having a hard time dealing with all the emotions. Michelle can’t wait to leave the mansion and all the attention focused on Ashley H. But, when Brad arrives to whisk her away, he pulls Ashley H. aside in order to reconnect with her and is oblivious to a fuming Michelle. Once he delivers Ashley H. back to the living room, Michelle yanks him from the mansion before he gets side tracked again.
Settling into the car, the first words out of her mouth are about her eye seeking for and receiving the reassurance that it looks much better. During an interlude at the Bach pad, she tells him she could be there with him all day, but a helicopter arrives and she is ready to jump into it and fly away. Once in the air she tries to suppress her fear of heights, but it manifests when the helicopter lands on top of a skyscraper in downtown L.A. Throwing up is an option after she learns that they are going to rappel down the building to a pool where they’ll have dinner.
Brad: I can safely say this is the scariest date I’ve been on in my life.
Trying to control his own fear, he guides Michelle over the edge and complete with mid-building kiss, they happily land on the pool deck.
Brad: It was an incredible feeling of accomplishment; to be here with a woman that I’m so attracted to, and we face, literally, our biggest fear together and overcame it. It was absolutely an overwhelming bonding experience.
Michelle makes him pinky swear that he will never rappel off a building with another woman. He takes her swear. They share Champaign and a deep kiss in the pool with the start of a sunset in the background.
Michelle: What we shared today was mine and mine alone.
Seated on a double lounger with candles flickering, Brad tells Michelle that she is a very mature woman and hopes she means it when she says she was meant to be there. He wants to meet her daughter, and she thinks he would be a good example for her. Michelle tries to thin the herd, and, of course, we cut to Chantal and Stacey talking about Michelle as if she were Chucky, the horror doll.
Brad, however, doesn’t see her doll-like qualities and thinks what they have is real, so he goes for the rose. In presenting it, he tells her it is an easy decision and asks her with a couple of pleases to accept it. She says, “Of course,” and leans in for the kiss. Brad sees his life meshing with Michelle – taking care of her kid, hopefully more kids…he does.
After such an intense week, Brad needs his therapist and Jamie rings the bell. Brad reports progress in his communication skills and he receives a validation that says to him it is okay to have feelings for different women. Yeah, good session…Brad, can we all get up off the couch now?
Cocktails Mixed with Tears and Fears
Our last, but not the easiest moment of the episode – the Rose Ceremony cocktail party where Lindsay is first up letting us know that emotions are running high. Chantal says that after her AMAZING date, she is really falling for him and can’t wait to see him again.
When a chipper Brad enters the living room, he plays out what must be a fantasy of directing an orchestra as he raises his arms to pull out a “HEY” from the gathered crowd.
He takes dateless Shawntel aside to reconnect with her and she finds a way to that by jumping into his arms for a kiss – something that has become theirs since the action movie date.
Dateless Emily thinks it is hard to sit alone in the house all week and not compare her experience to the others. Cue Brad who wants to re-create their wine date with a basket filled with blankets, pillows and wine. He thinks this is a way to reconnect with her, but the others, especially Chantal, see it as a Magic Moment which means that Emily is THE ONE and they might as well go home.
Chantal feels like she’s been punched in the stomach and cries even though she thinks it’s stupid. She pulls Brad away from Ashley H. and lays her fears out in front of him, telling him she wants to fall in love with him. He tells her to be confident in the fact that he is so wildly attracted to the fact that she is everything that he has not been with in his past. He loves that she is not needy, that she keeps him on his toes, and that she is independent. They flirt each other into a kiss. All better.
The Rose Ceremony Order of the Roses
Three leave, though not in tears. Meghan suffered a blow to her ego; Stacey says it wasn’t in the cards; and Lindsay thinks she just wasn’t the girl for Brad.
Brad leads the toast to the remaining eleven stating that he will propose at the end and they better be ready…or something like that.
Next week they begin the road trip. First stop, VEGAS, Baby! Hold onto your chips until LG. shows you how to place your bets in the recap.