Ultimate Love Test 7/07/04 Recap: Nothing Says “I Love You” Quite Like Flowers, Groveling, and Cheesecake
Welcome back to The Ultimate Love Test, everybody! The love story that never seems to end. Yep. Harps are strumming, angels are flying, and the Man in the Moon sings Italian arias in a mellifluous tenor voice. After the reunions of last week, it’s decision time for the couples. How will these bizarre love triangles work themselves out? Well, that and the even more bizarre love pentagon. Love is in the air, change is in the air, and water molecules are in the air, too.
(Remember) Walking in the Sand
We meet Heather and C.R. in Cabo, going for a walk on the beach. Heather tells C.R. (and us) that it was good to see Frank, but difficult as well. C.R., ever the resourceful one, suggests that they need a change of venue, and he’s planned a trip to San Francisco for the two of them. Isn’t that amazing? Heather readily agrees, and all is just beautiful. C.R. feels confident about his chances with Heather, and thinks things would be a little different had Frank performed the bungee jump test last week. Now, C.R. says hopefully, she’s not going back to Frank “in love with Frank.” They write their names in the sand with their feet. Somebody gag me with a spork, please.
Back at home, Frank has been doing some soul-searching. He reveals that he had a moment of clarity atop the bungee-jump crane, and he’s about to make some changes. He goes to take a shower and prepare for his newfound lease on life, and the camera follows him inside. GAH! What’s with that? His first action is the purchase of a toy dart-gun, which he uses to snipe at C.R.’s visage on the picture frame. Then, he takes aim for the voyeuristic cameraman.
Sure, Why Not?
In Cabo, Amber receives a knockity-knock at her door. Whoever could that be? Why, it’s Roy, holding a heaping tray of breakfast. As they eat, Amber decides that they should just put yesterday behind them, and Roy has no problem at all with that. Surprise, surprise. Roy, also a resourceful one, asks, “How would you like to go to Santa Barbara?” Amber replies, “Ok!” And there you have it. That was truly a television-worthy moment.
Should I Stay or Should I Go?
Next, we come across our friend Jayre, who is sitting on the beach, staring at the sea. He tells us that he’s pretty sure Carolyn wants him to come home, and her feelings are very hurt. Does this mean he’s going to drop out of the test? Stay tuned. Continuing the day’s theme, Eva, Teniesha, and Amanda arrive at his door, all holding hands. Guess what . . . they’re resourceful, too, and they would all like to go to Vegas! Jayre responds with an “Oh my goodness!” He deliberates, considering all the possibilities. Tough questions like these build character, I bet. Kind of like how eating nasty food is supposed to be healthy . . . it’s a dubious premise and no more pleasant.
Jayre finally speaks, after pondering his dilemma . . . “I very much want to go . . . but, I’m going back to New Jersey.” You know he wanted to go, but he's probably afraid of the backlash from "Ms. Anger." Amanda smiles in a you’ve-made-a-wise-decision-my-friend kind of way, but the other two look slightly disappointed and surprised. He declares that he’s learned a lot from the girls, and he thinks it’s time to go home and mend some bridges. (I know . . . I’m mixing clichés together like white on rice.) There’s a big, happy group-hug, and the girls head off, hand-in-hand again. I wonder if they’re still going to Vegas?
Carolyn, meanwhile, is sittin’ on the dock of the bay, watching the tide roll away. She’s extremely hurt by all of this hand-holding and so forth, silently fuming never to eat Jell-o again. Will this reunion quickly turn sour?
On the Road Again
That’s right, everybody sing along--you all know the words! We now see several shots of our dear lovers preparing for their respective trips or “changes of scenery.” Yeah, because Cabo just sucks. I’m sure they were all just sick of it by now. Heather packs. Amber packs, and I think she has enough luggage to be gone for a year. Jayre packs and I laugh at the contrast, as he appears to have just one suitcase.
Roy and Amber magically arrive in California in the next shot, and they take a limo ride to Santa Barbara. Roy eruditely reveals that “that’s the PCH.” Amber is probably impressed. You know, being a doctor, he’s familiar with all those acronyms. PCP, PVC, PCH . . . whatever it takes.
One Upon A Time, There Was This Chump. . . .
His family seated at the kitchen table, Diego is masterfully weaving the tale of his trip to Cabo. His mom looks incredulous, his dad looks pensive, and his little brother(?) is just laughing at the cameraman. Just be thankful it’s not the same one Frank got, little buddy. Diego’s dad reveals that he’s proud of his son for handling the situation with maturity and civility. In other words, he’s glad Diego didn’t go with the use-your-fist-and-not-your-mouth philosophy. Diego is putting on a brave face, but gets a sick feeling when he realizes Roy has wormed his way into Amber’s life, and will potentially be waiting for her if anything goes awry between Diego and Amber, even after the test is over. Chump.
For Love of Money
C.R. and Heather have arrived in San Francisco, and Heather is thrilled to find out she has a reservation in the penthouse of the Fairmont. C.R. makes it sound as though this is all his doing, as usual. I did my homework for this episode, and I can tell you that one night in the penthouse is $10,000. I’m so glad that he can afford this sort of thing, aren’t you? C.R. proclaims, “That bed looks too big for just one person!” *Manny sings* “I see your true colours shining through. . . .” C.R. has decided that since they only have one night in San Fran, he’s going to go all-out. Live it up while you can, buddy. Fantasy-land isn’t going to last forever. First on the agenda? A helicopter ride over the city! Ooh. Ahh.
Frank, meanwhile, is busy making some big changes in his life, and first on the list is to permanently move in with Heather. Heather has wanted him to do this for a long time, so Frank’s decided to take the step and just do it! He heads over to his parents’ house and begins to gather his stuff, which, I might add, is not a whole lot of stuff . . . the most notable items are several framed pictures. We catch a glimpse of his parents, as his mom comes in and sweetly offers to help. She says, “Whatever you decide, I’m with you!” Frank feels good about his decision, and though he feels slightly guilty for “abandoning” his folks, he thinks it will be all for the best.
A Strange Kind of Love
Jayre is back in New York, and he’s going to work overtime to rekindle the flame between Carolyn and him. Carolyn, of course, doesn’t know that Jayre is back in town and is sulking in her apartment when a giant floral arrangement with legs walks in. It’s from Brandon the Mollusk! He feels so guilty that he’s sending flowers to all the women. No, I’m just joking. It is from Jayre, and the behemoth nosegay is accompanied by a note, expressing Jayre’s apologies and desire to patch things up and that both of them need to make changes to improve things. Carolyn, ever the optimist, deprecates bitterly that “the flowers don’t say anything.” Oh, sure they do! Whenever I buy flowers, they say, “Your wallet is much lighter!”
Elsewhere, Jayre is still hard at work trying to improve his status in the world, and figures that a reunion with Carolyn could be ugly at first. To better his chances, he enlists the help of Junior’s Cheesecake (Carolyn’s favorite) for $29.99. (See, I told you I did my homework.) He meanders to Carolyn’s apartment, rings the doorbell, and the moment of truth arrives! Will she slam the door in his face? Will the door even open? It does, and Carolyn even lets him in. She immediately breaks down and claims that she doesn’t like cheesecake anymore. Jayre asks her if he should just throw it away, then. She says no. Yep, that’s what I thought. All bark and no bite. They talk for a bit, with Carolyn stringing way too many accusations together for me to catch, but they all involve Jayre’s touching other women's body parts. Carolyn no longer feels special. Jayre replies that he’s Carolyn’s boyfriend, her friend, and her family, too. Insert your own family-members-dating-joke here, and do your own drum cadence while you’re at it. The scene ends with Jayre groveling at her feet . . . “Please, can I see you tomorrow!?” Ugh. She half-heartedly replies “maybe,” and Jayre is happy enough.
Lively Up Yourself
In San Francisco, we meet again with our favorite picnickers, Heather and C.R.. They feed each other grapes, Heather places a flower behind C.R.’s ear, and C.R. attempts to throw a smoldering look at the camera. Not at Heather, but at the millions (thousands? hundreds? me?) of viewers nationwide. Kill. Me. Now.
Back in Frank’s land, the changes are still a-comin’. We see a home video of Heather pointing out where Frank’s dresser will be when he finally moves in with her, because they are going to get him a dresser. Frank takes charge and heads to a used furniture lot to pick up a dresser, finally deciding on the “Bob Marley” dresser for $750. At least I hope the tag said Bob Marley. I certainly wouldn’t pay $750 for someone with a name like Bob Menley.
We leap magically to Diego in Vermont, who is shooting some hoops to pass the time. Enter Lauren, Amber’s best friend who visited Amber a few episodes back. Diego asks her if she thinks Roy is the kind of guy that Amber could potentially fall for, and Lauren proceeds to essentially crush his hopes with a resounding “yes!!!” But hey. That’s what friends are for, right? Lauren goes on and on, “He seems really genuine, he’s good-looking, he’s successful, he cooks,” and so forth. She sounds like an infomercial announcer. But wait! There’s more! Buy now and you’ll also receive the compact, travel-size Roy, absolutely free! Perfect for your trips down the PCH!
It almost sounds vaguely obscene, doesn’t it? Vulpine Roy, although he proclaims himself a “city guy,” knows that Amber loves camping. He decides to compromise by taking her camping, but in a luxurious tent equipped with two big fluffy beds, among other things. They eat a romantic dinner under the stars, but I can’t look past the wine glasses. The things are enormous! Each one probably holds half a bottle. Roy utters the unintentional Freudian line, “To us . . . toast.” He asks Amber if she can ever go back to Vermont and be happy, and she replies, “not really.” She can see herself living in L.A., having her own studio, living the good life. Yeah, and raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens, bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens . . . brown paper packages tied up with strings: these are a few of my favorite things. (Speaking of kittens, where is Melton!?)
Back in Vermont, the colors of the leaves are changing. Ack! The symbolism! It slays me! Diego tells us in a confessional, “I hope Amber’s not looking for a guy that has money, that can wine her and dine her, and just kind of sugar-daddy her.” Um. Yeah. No girl on earth wants that. He goes on to say that there’s a lot that you can do without a lot of money, which is true, yet sadly overlooked by many.
Back at the camp, Roy and Amber are carrying on the glorious tradition of s’mores-making. Amber feels as though a door has been opened for her, and it’s hard to just go back. How very loverly. A shooting star probably passes overhead, too.
This Show is Getting Bloody Long!
Heather descends the exquisite marble staircase of the Fairmont, where C.R. is waiting for her. There’s not a single other person to be seen in the hotel. Fancy that! The two go to dinner, with C.R. making some lascivious growly-noise when Heather bends over to sit down. I nearly lose my own dinner. Heather says it’s been the perfect day, and the two retire back to the penthouse (I assume) for a rooftop dessert. They feed each other again with those long fondue forks, and C.R. looks at the camera some more. With the hazy skyline as a backdrop, the two kiss, and a producer dreamily plays the wind chimes. Ok, I made up that last part. Actually, that kiss seemed pretty platonic to me.
Back home, while Frank has his friends Julie and Jeremy over, he receives some more pictures on that “stupid@ss frame,” which is still littered with rubber darts. As usual, an E-mail video quickly follows, and the trio sits on the couch and watches the out-of-context confessional quotes. Frank is pretty p*ssed off that Heather and C.R. are talking about him while they’re taking helicopter rides and so forth, and she has no way to see that Frank is changing.
We fade to a spider web (Symbolism again? Or just the handiwork of Spiderman? We do need a hero), and find our friend Diego, similarly receiving the E-mail messages. He watches as Roy declares “I’m not willing to compromise myself by just being friends with Amber.” So much for that whole “I’m just here to help test your relationship” spiel. Diego calmly tells the cameraman that despite all these disturbing images he’s still in love with Amber—he’s sure of it. “That’s still the girl that I’d like to marry someday . . . the girl that’s next to Roy in the blanket, looking at the stars.”
But What about the Happy Ending, Manny?
Back in frigid New York, Carolyn does indeed meet with Jayre the next day. The two go for a carriage ride, go on a boat ride, and chat. They decide that they want to try to make the relationship work again, and they drink a toast for Carolyn to be less negative and trusting, and for Jayre to open up more. So, yes, they have dropped out of the test, out of this . . . Ultimate Love Test, and forfeited the $100,000. Jayre tells us, “Eh . . . we might have lost some money, but for Carolyn, it’s worth it. You gotta do what ya gotta do.” He goes on to confess, “You don’t really need four women; you only need one. Just make sure you take care of her.” Say it with me . . . awwwwww! Closure at last.
With that, my friends, the curtain falls on this week’s episode. Next week looks as if it’s going to be the finale, so please come back and join LG. and me for all the heartache, drama, and, of course, fun! We don’t want to sit through it alone. (P.S. Diego, I hope you kept the receipt for that ring.)
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