So: Is it real; or was it scripted? That is the question preying on everyone's mind about the sudden departure of Drop-Dead Edward Swiderski, isn't it? Beats the hell outta' me. But I am sure that before I can write, edit, and post this worthless rag of mine, that Reality Steve will probably tell us. The betting money would be that it was all scripted, but we'll see. It does appear that the show has rounded the turn and is now headed for home this season. Four and 1/2 episodes of sophomoric, mean-drunk syndrome, and closeted homosexuality is now pretty much in the books and the event that is going to be used as the dramatic fulcrum of this season is finally unfolding. Will Ed be back? Betting money on the net says 'yes'. Will fans hate him if he does return, or will all be forgiven by both them and Jillian? If he does come back begging, will she accept him? Reject him? Is this a case of true love conquers all and second chances or is it a look at what happens when you let a dumb 'ol thing like the career you've worked for for more than a decade get in the way of the Bachelorette's dream of slavish romance? The bigger question is: does anyone care? Ah, we shall see. But first I guess I better try and recap this crap.
"Here for the right reasons?"
Ok, ok, enough with this season's anthem please. Between this and the phantom chase after the non-existent girlfriend, it's all we've heard...which is, I guess, why they let Ed take a conference call from big bossman and get threatened to be fired if he didn't get his ass back to work. Something had to break the detective mystery of just 'who has a girlfriend' and 'who is here for the right (wrong!)' reasons. Since we know from past incarnations that these people are hermetically sealed in the Bachelor-bubble so they become besotted victims of the Stockholm Syndrome, it makes you wonder whether or not Producer/ Ham & Egger, Mike Fleiss, didn't call Ed's boss and demand that he threaten to fire him to inject some badly needed drama. But I'm getting ahead of myself. First I have to recap the other ninety minutes of frozen frolic and fun, and the whole thing starts with a trip to Whistler, Canada, which I've never heard of. But the word:Whistler, in Canadian, must mean: the ass-end of frozen nowhere. Cut loose from their Malibu Tool Box, the Tools, have to make do with a mobile HQ I might as well dub: The Tool Belt. Well I'll bet these denizens of Tool-dom won't be bitching about that rough-hewn bunkhouse anymore. The weather in Whistler appears to be about 40 below and personally I was scared one of them was going to be attacked by a polar bear on a date. Pretty? Yes. But so is Antarctica, and I'm not going there anytime soon.
The wingman, taking most of this episode off, let's Jill announce the date line-up in a voice over. Two, 1-on-1's, and a group-date. Jill walks her Tools over to an igloo...sorry, I mean a hotel, before they all freeze to death and leaves them a date card that says Michael, the breakdancing teenager will be going on the first date. She takes him even deeper into the countryside and they go frozen zip-lining. This is a Bachelor staple, but this time it's with the additional risk of hypothermia instead of sunstroke. Bully. Michael attacks the zip-line with the glee of a chimp let loose on a high wire. Jill says: "I really need to see if there is a romantic connection there." There isn't. This will look familiar to any female who has a horndog younger brother who used to pester all your girlfriends who came over to the house for attention. Any time he gets near her I start to hear the banjo music from Deliverance. This was painful to watch. They go to dinner afterward at a wine cellar and some French fop named Pierre or something comes out and plays gargoyle or whatever they call the table whore amongst the French. He show them 'sabreing'. Breakdance reacts the way I would have; he wants to know if he's gonna' have to fence somebody for his dinner. Turns out those spunky Canadians don't just open their champagne like us rustic Americans do. Nope, we rednecks just open it and drink it. (sniff!) Canadians open the bubbly with a sword. Ok. Anyway, they drink and eat and have a boring conversation about love. Jill then fingers the rose and Michael (or the writers running to his rescue) starts hitting her with some grown-up sounding cheese that's pretty good. It seems to do the job and she roses him. Much to my profound relief, however, she gives him a feeble hug and a peck on the cheek instead of making-out with him. Hot stuff! In between, we switch back to the Tool Belt, and see the continuing non-story of 'someone has a girlfriend'. ZZZZZZZZ.
The Snowmobiling Detective Agency
Jill then takes her group date snowmobiling in the woods of Canada. They get moving quickly before their blood congeals and Jill hauls away Robby, the bartender so he can apologize for blowing up at the last rose ceremony. Inter-cuts show Greaseball Wes and the Drop-Deader ragging him for being a 'child.' They agree that he represents zero threat and I'm not going to argue. Jill and him do the whole age thing about the five year age difference between them. They hug. Wow, very hot. The producers then send Toejam Tanner over to break them up so we can get to the actual point of this date: pursuing the non-existent girlfriend, and what better way to do that than to send Jill's designated spy, the Toe-licker, over for some one-on-one and we finally get to find out who has a sweetie back home. Or not. She reminds him that he promised to tell her who has a girlfriend and he backpedals away as hard as he can. Jill then grills him! No, not really. It all ends with a, "Uh, ok." Wow, the third degree indeed. Next, Greaseball Wes comes swaggering into the snow drift and gets a chance to plug his upcoming million non-seller again. They discuss the obvious reason he actually came on this show and then he smack us with this beauty: "Hey, I didn't sign up for this. My sister submitted my name for the show." Hahah. And I thought the greaser had no sense of humor. Jill then sucks his lying face off for him. It's nightfall after the commercial and they all sit around outside huddled around a bonfire with plenty of antifreeze to keep them from dying from cold. She does some dancing on an ice bar and then it's time for the moment we've all been waiting for: the problems of Drop-Dead Ed.
Back to Junior High
Before Ed's problems are revealed, however, there's time for Jillian to get gassed and cuddle up in a bed with Kiptyn from Krypton, and boy is she hammered! She starts this drunken make-out session by ordering Kip to feel her butt. He does and then she slurs the familiar old refrain we all remember from junior high school: "I like you! Do you like me!?" Kip notes slyly that the only thing missing is the note delivered from her best friend with check boxes on it. He laughs at her but then shows some horndog. Argh! A drunk woman on a bed is like sounding a bugle charge to a man and Kip moves in for some slurpy kissin'. Problem is, Kip's aim sucks. He ends up making out with the area just above her upper lip and below her right nostril. C'mon, Krypton, work on it. Doesn't matter though; she was too drunk to remember how amateurish it was,("We had good conversation." Huh?) and Kip's army of female swooners would be happy to donate their own right nostrils to the cause. A cutaway shows Jesse, the winemaker will get the other one-on-one. Cutback and we see Jillian getting a moment alone with...who is that? Do we know this guy? Whoa! It's Reid! Holy crap, Reid exists! Oh my, I wasn't expecting that. I was beginning to think he was a mannequin they placed in the background to make the room look full of horny suitors. Well, its good to see the Seed at last. Now when his army of female horndogs get all hot and bothered over him they'll have something to actually talk about besides his dreamy-boy lips, killer smile, and dorky glasses.
Jill starts it all off with some awkward questioning: "Where do you see Reid in five years? Are you married?"
Reid is ready: 'Uh, uh, well, definitely married."
Jill: "Ok, and what are you doing?"
Reid: "Uh, well, the kids and I...(murmur, murmur, mumble, mumble.)
Jill: (Panicked): "How cool am I?"
Reid: "You smell good; like snow and flowers...and gasoline."
(Damn, this guy is smooth!)
Jill: "So...who has a girlfriend?"
Reid nearly does a spit take with his brewski.
"You heard that?"
We've ALL heard it Reid! But instead of answering he nimbly dances away with some jokes. (Not exactly The Closer, is she?) She finally decides to skip the girlfriend bit. Thank you!
Back out to the drunken bonfire, it's time to finally get to Ed. Jill sits him down on a log and they talk. Ed tells her: "I had a conference call this morning and the boss told me to get back or get another job," or something like that. He questions what he's even doing there and she looks less than thrilled. He tells us in a PI that if "Jill gives me indicators of strong feelings for me, then it'll make walking away nearly impossible." I guess the operative word here was nearly. She gives him the rose with the caveat that he can give it back if he decides to leave. Jake, the cheesemachine fulfills his one useful task of the entire episode and forecasts: "This is not the economy to lose your job in. I'm confident that he won't be at the next rose ceremony." The cheesemachine hath spoken.
Despite her profound fear that Ed is leaving, Jillian manages to stow it away and flies Jesse, the winemaker out to 'her' glacier and they frolic in the snow. Many deep things were said that I don't remember but they get to make like penguins and frolic in the ice. Many a beautiful Canadian vista is shown but once the Ed-Bomb was dropped I had a hard time paying attention. He swoons about the best day of his life and gets the rose while playing in yellow snow or something. They go to dinner and he tells her her voice could put a meth freak to sleep or something. Riveting stuff.He's safe; date over.
Exit: Stage Left
That Ed-Bomb that's been ticking finally goes off. Jill goes to his room so he can drop it too. "Since we've talked, a lot of things have changed." Naturally, he never tells us what. She comes in and they have a sit-down. He mumbles a preamble for his exit and she starts crying before he's done: "I have to leave." Then he won't give up the rose. Then she launches into what is obviously the stage-setter for what is yet to come: "Promise me, that when you do find the person you're crazy aboat, don't let work get in the way." Hmmmm, foreshadowing anyone? In a PI she works herself up into a tizzy and not only bawls but bawls until she has a nose full of snot bawls. He wanders out and loads his bags while somber guitars play in the background and he assures us he is sad. Boo hoo. Was she that upset? I have no idea. Maybe she's that good an actress or maybe Fleiss extinguished a lit cigar on her foot; I don't have any idea. Like I said, I'm sure Reality Steve will. Anyway: Was this staged? Probably. Ed is an IT consultant and I was under the impression that if these guys had a laptop and a Blackberry they could work their magic from anywhere. Ed's bosses seem to think not. Now I know they are about five feet from Santa's workshop, but I can't believe Ed couldn't do his stuff from there. We'll see.
Enter Incredulous Wingman
Jill does some PI's in her cocktail dress and ruins her make-up talking about Ed again. Harrison slithers into the decision room for his sit-down and Jill tells him Ed left. "Whoa, I'm so sorry." Hahahahah. Poor old Harrison, hiding in that control room all week; he had no idea 'ol Ed went and did a runner. And these guys wonder why everybody thinks this shit is scritped? The wingman, being the winger, then passes the colby jack: "I see you more emotional now than when you left...with Jason." Jesus, did we have to mention him? She confirms, but being an independent, spunky, Canadian-type she bravely soldiers on. She tells him she needs no extra alcohol to make up her mind for the night so Harrison leads his Joan of Arc to the rose ceremony ungassed.
Joan of Arc at a Rose Ceremony
Despite her heartbreak, Jill comes in beaming and passes out some flowers.
Already safe: Michael, the breakdancing teenager and Jesse, the winemaker.
1) Reid--the invisible Seed strikes again.
2) Kiptyn--Mr. Goofy-Kiss hangs on
3) Robby the bartender--Unemployed and 25, but still a playa.
4) Jake, the smirking cheesemachine--rewarded for being the producers exposition character this week. Other than that, mercifully mute.
5) Toejam Tanner--ok.
The wingman let's us know there is one-whole-single-solitary-rose left in the silver dish and anyone who doesn't get it can just get the hell out. "Jillian, Ed stole the last rose and we had to get another, so be careful with this one."
6) Greaseball Wes--'ol 40 quart apologizes about Ed. hehehe.
Dumped: Mark, the pizza king. He leaves with the same uncaring air he came with.
Next week: A train ride through the Rockies and Greaseball Wes gets bold about what a skeezer he is. Some advance billing is included to let us know that some dude needs some Viagra to help shore up the lead in his pencil. See ya then.
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