You only Paradise once, and two weeks is all it took for Marcus and Lacy to fall in love. He proposed. She said yes, and as far as I know, he’s not headed off to war. She is excited to one day call him her fiance. He reminded her that the ring on her finger gives her that power. I’m 80/40 percent sure she understood, but I have high hopes that everything will be fine. They have the full endorsement of Michelle Money, plus Sean and Catherine are a hop, skip and a jump away if they need pre-marital counseling after they hit the 30-day stretch. It’s not weird that I have a carton of milk in my refrigerator that’s older than their relationship. We should rejoice that there was a “winner” and we all had a front row seat to watch love bloom right before our eyes!
We are all winners. We made it to the finish line and didn’t keel over from all the intimate details shared in such a short amount of time. That’s a “W” in the win column people. It’s a good thing we have four months to gear up for this guy:
Rumor has it that Cody Code is currently training The Farmer to prepare him for his season. They even have a hashtag: #shredthefarmer. Here’s hoping that The Code stops before The Farmer looks like this:
I have to applaud ABC for flying through three breakups within the first 30 minutes of the show. Traditionally, they would have stretched this episode into a three-hour series, but Fleiss ripped the Band-Aid.
Harrison rolls in the treehouse looking dashing as usual. He smells like 30-year-old bourbon, gun powder and fortitude. He tells the six couples that they must decide if they are ready for a real relationship. If they are, they get to stay on the island. If not, they must pack their bags and leave immediately.
This throws the tree house dwellers for a loop. The boys go to the cabin to talk about their feelings. Well, Cody Code talks about his feelings and everyone else nods. The girls listen to Michelle worry about her daughter and being caught up in fear. Then she notices AshLee picking at her fingernails and her anxiety turns to sabotage. She announces that she is going to talk to Graham.
In an interview, AshLee talks about how she’s not worried about next steps. She knows that she and Graham have a spiritual, romantic connection. Her heart is heavy for Michelle though. It makes her want to cry. Or she’s crying because her headband is too tight. We can’t be sure.
It takes Michelle exactly five minutes to convince Graham that he needs to cut all ties with AshLee and get the heck off this island. To be quite honest, I’m pretty sure Graham was going to do it anyway. He never did like how AshLee pee’d on him and his Instagram account within minutes of arriving in paradise. It was nice of Michelle to offer him comfort in the warmth of her own bosom before sending him off to break up with AshLee.
Graham tells AshLee that he is worried they wouldn’t work outside of paradise. AshLee tells him that he doesn’t have say, “I love you.” This is the final nail in the coffin.
Graham: I can’t continue on. I’m sorry.
Ash: I knew it. It was way too good to be true.
Graham suggests that they return to the tree house to pack their bags. AshLee walks off and he remains on the beach.
I told everyone watching that AshLee was going to turn around to talk to him again. When she did, I refrained from saying, “I told you so” but my smile gave me away. She doesn’t want it to end. Graham disagrees. He lets her go.
Graham: It was the right thing to do for both of us. But it sucked.
Michelle rushes to the beach to console her friend. Jackie finds AshLee crying by the secret camera she discovered a few episodes ago.
AshLee: I feel like a fool.
Lincee: Because of that weird golden tattoo on your arm? Don’t worry about it. That strange finger/hand turquoise accessory is a different story…
I actually thought AshLee would go full-on Fatal Attraction at this point, but she quietly left the tree house without saying goodbye to anyone and cried an appropriate amount of tears in the rejection coche. I was fearful that the camera was going to catch clumps of her eyelashes falling out in chunks. Fortunately all 400 individuals remained intact.
Tasos and Christy sat down on the porch, spoke two sentences, gave each other a high five and high tailed it out of paradise. Christy shoved several bottles of booze in her suitcase and Tasos tucked his new Cody Code workout routine in his backpack for safe keeping. See? Winners!
Jackie and Zack mumbled some sort of lame, “we needed more time” nonsense to each other, nodded in the other’s direction and left. The entire exchange lasted 30 seconds.
Only 90 minutes to go. Now what?
Michelle is torn. She barely knows Cody Code, but she’s not ready to give up. So she calls her nine-year-old daughter for advice as any mother on a reality dating/hooking up show would do. She tells Bri that Cody Code is super cute. Bri warns her mother that she doesn’t have to decide just yet. Michelle whines that she does! Chris Harrison is making her decide! Bri tells her mom to calm down. All she has to do is figure out if his personality is worth pursuing. Is he funny? Is he nice? Do they have anything in common?
If ever the ABC Psychologist is sick or on vacation, this kid could step in.
Michelle takes the middle school child’s advice. She needs more time to figure things out. And what better way to figure things out than a good old fashion forgo card fantasy suite date!
Harrison sets the scene. There are three couples left and each one will have one more chance in paradise to figure out if they can make it in the real world.
OHCH: Alright couples. You have 12 hours to pretend you are back home living your everyday lives. Now dress up in your fanciest outfits, eat dinner in these luxury hotel suites, take baths in tepid water together and try not to choke on all the candle smoke. If you can’t make it in the fantasy suite, you have to leave the island. Ready, set, GO!
Everyone primps, preens, tucks, hoists and spritzes. Chapstick is applied. Lipstick is applied. And Lacy continues her tradition of paying homage to 80s fashion by wearing something adjacent to the great Vivian Ward.
The viewer is treated to a lengthy montage of all three dates. The following is a list of actual quotes that were uttered from the mouths of our remaining contestants.
I’m excited. I used to watch these overnight dates growing up.
I want him to get to know me in every way possible off camera.
I hope he goes there. I hope he digs in deep.
You do know you’re not getting laid tonight, right?
Can you guess who said what? Here’s a hint: Three of the four quotes are from Sarah and the last one is Michelle. I’m going to give you a moment to bless one of their hearts.
After three beach walks of shame, the six contestants debrief in front of each other in the common room of the tree house. Marcus and Lacy are their normal happy selves. Michelle Money and Cody Code are obnoxiously happy. And Sarah feels weird that Robert isn’t gushing all over her like the other two dudes are with their women.
THINGS THAT I DIDN’T NEED TO HEAR DURING THE DEBRIEFING:
M$: I am really sore and very satisfied. I am so crystal clear about what it is I want, and I want Cody.
CC: She broke the Code. I marked off some things on my bucket list last night.
Lincee: How sweet. I’m sure Bri is extremely proud of this moment.
Sarah: He had his jeans on under the covers. So we went to sleep.
Lincee: I feel uncomfortable.
Sarah: His hands did not touch my body anywhere below the neck.
Lincee: Please stop talking.
Sarah: I don’t even know if he has a penis.
Lincee: Please stop talking now.
Sarah: I went to unbuckle his jeans and he stopped me.
Lincee: Do they make Germ Squirt for ears?
Sarah asks Robert to talk. She tells him that if he didn’t want to touch her last night in the fantasy suite, then he may not be into her. Robert’s body language totally agreed. He feigned sadness, patted her on the neck (nothing below of course) and bid her adieu. She spent the next 20 minutes questioning her decision. Maybe they will have a serious DTR on the flight back to LA.
And then there were two couples. No wait! And then there were two hook ups, one engaged couple, a pair of newlyweds and a set of parents ready to give advice on how to make a relationship last in Bachelor world! Welcome Des and Chris! Sean and Catherine! Jason and Molly! (Does anyone know when Jason and Molly became the new Trista and Ryan?)
Each couple meets with the All-Stars both as a unit and individually. Lots of surface advice was doled out in rather large servings. These included life-changing mantras like, “Know what you’re getting in to.” and “Expect a huge transition.”
The All-Stars are positioned above the newbies. They sit, tossing out approving glances as Cody Code gives a 10 minute monolog on The Wonder That is Michelle Money.
CC: You swept me off my feet.
Lincee: After Clare rejected you, but let’s forget about that.
Michelle Money returns the favor by comparing their relationship to sugar and spice. They hand each other their last roses. The All-Stars approve. Michelle and Cody Code walk off into the sunset hand-and-hand. They are still together today.
The minute Marcus started wiping the sweat from his brow, I knew he was going to propose. Who knew Uncle Neil made tree house calls?! He asks for a minute alone with Lacy, escorts her to the tree house edge and proceeds to propose in a private moment away from the All-Stars and Our Host, but in front of the rest of the 10 million people (according to AshLee) who watch this show each and every Monday. See? Winners!
The All-Stars gather around to hug, congratulate and gush over the monster rock on Lacy’s left hand. Harrison gives a knowing look, turns to the camera and reminds us all as always, love is at the center.
Cue “Almost Paradise” track. Cue the love montage. Cue the blooper reel. AND SCENE!
That chapter has officially closed. We made it an entire year of three separate seasons! You can pick your medal up in the WINNERS tent. Take a load off, because THE FARMER returns this January. E-I-E-I-OHHHHHHHHHHHH!
If you are a Bachelor reader only, please don’t be a stranger. I have some big announcements coming up that you don’t want to miss!
If you are a TV watcher, check out my recaps on Entertainment Weekly! This fall, I’m covering ‘New Girl’ and ‘Manhattan Love Story.’ I know. Best job EVER.
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