Folks, that was a rather incredible day from start to finish. Up until the last ten days I had avoided spoilers and getting caught up in this season--just peeking onto the general areas of the message boards to post my blog link before jogging away. But yesterday, with some medical tests looming that I'd just as soon forget about, I spent Sunday lying around like a lump and dove into the fandom head first to distract myself. Lurking the boards I discovered that the spoilers I had heard whispers of all season were definitely out there, but were fuzzy. I quickly looked at the sleuthing records and hints being tossed out by the Holm family and quickly concluded that all signs pointed toward the coronation of Single-F-Jef as the winner of Emily's whatever. I also quickly deduced that two powerful, opinionated, rage-filled camps had formed (as usual): Team Jem (Jef and Emily), and a load of stalwarts who considered the spoilers and the tweets from the Holm family to be yet another clever producer-inspired disinformation campaign, and had sportingly named themselves Team Tinfoil Hats--Racecar Arie's people. When I started the observations it was early morning and there was excitement abounding--people fighting sleep, counting down to the live finale, expectantly predicting victory for their Team. But during the day, a few hyperbolic tweets from Harrison and the producers had tipped the entire fandom over the edge. By 6 PM, I found myself surrounded by people in tinfoil hats (regardless of their Team), running naked through the corridors and screaming. They're getting married tonight! Emily is pregnant! Chris Harrison will officiate the wedding! etc, etc. etc. Since I had zero emotional investment in the outcome of the season, it was like being the only sober person at a huge party full of drunks. By the time the broadcast started, I felt like I needed a tinfoil hat. But before I don my shiny chapeau to keep Chris Harrison out of my mind, I'd better recap.
The Wingman gets the festivities started live in front of a studio audience and quickly rolls the tape. We're back in Curacao, where Emily wanders around her private villa with Little Ricki telling us she is in love with both men but she's uncertain whether to introduce either of them to Ricki. Huh? You're gonna get engaged to some guy but you aren't ready for him to meet your daughter? Yeah, sure. Anyway, Emily and Ricki frolic in the pool before she heads over to meet her family, whom after skipping Brad's disaster season, have consented to take a free trip to Curacao to provide Emily with zero help and some advice she's gonna ignore.
…His Boy Elroy…
First up is One-F-Jef, who comes strolling up in a white t-shirt, skinny jeans, and his pompadour piled high. Emily greets him looking ten years older than her boyfriend and she leads him inside to meet the family. Jef meets Emily's mother, Susie, her father, David, and her brother, Ernie. Ernie? Anyway, Jef turns on his masterful charm and slathers these folks with buckets of BS. Mom takes Jef aside and shows her 3-pack-a-day voice and an immobile, botox-filled face as she quizzes Jef and naturally, The Master has every answer. Mom lets Jef know that he will need to sleep on the floor by the bed so Ricki can stay in bed with momma. Jef, who's seen less action than a convent nun, nods happily. Now it's big brother Ernie's turn to quiz the hipster. Ernie sits him down and starts growling out some big brother threats from the very corner of his sagging mouth. I stare at Ernie and wonder how god managed to insert all the wonderful genes into one sibling and rendered the other so bereft. Once Ernie started speaking, I was waiting for him to growl for an order of "mustard and french fried taters." Ernie hammers Jef with his Sling blade impersonation, but the Master is undaunted. Slapping every mumbled question back at Ern, Jef dances away nimbly and within moments Ern is ready to hug it out with the hipster. Clearing the big brother hurdle, Jef is next corralled by Pops David, who appeared to have spent the last sixty years stooped over in a West Virginia coal mine. Pops limps over to a couch and sits Jef down to get some smoothness from the Master. Pops sits there like a statue for a few minutes, before he gives Jef his permission to ask for Emily's hand. Emily walks Boy Elroy out and gives him a few tepid, no body contact pecks and sends him on his way with his lunch money.
The Tinfoilers Last Stand
Sure, I'll Marry You…But You Can't Meet My Daughter.
|Emily's Default Pose for the Evening|
Returning from commercial, Harrison has popped back up and is interviewing and baiting the audience. I assume both the Jems and Tinfoilers were screaming aloud at this point to get on with it. Harrison finally stops cheesing and rolls the tape. We are greeted by a vacillating Emily as she prepares for her date with The Master. They greet each other wandering down the beach and have a quick sit down. Jef pretty much lets her know all the pieces are in place…except meeting Ricki. Emily tries to BS us, and Boy Elroy, one last time that while an engagement might be in the cards, meeting Ricki is not. The Master turns the tables on her brilliantly. "Put yourself in my place…you've found this person who gets you--who completes you--but you haven't met this person's daughter; what would you think?"
Emily mumbles, "I'd think it was weird."
Duh. She now takes Jef to meet Ricki like she always intended to. They now head over to meet Ricki and Emily now hits us with with one, final, cryptic warning of either insanity or unalloyed crap. "If this meeting doesn't go well, it would be the end of my relationship with him, no question." Personally folks, I don't trust a six year old to chose what they want for breakfast, let alone chose my spouse for me. This thing is really built on a foundation of granite, isn't it? But that doesn't matter, because when we return from commercial, Emily takes Jef in to meet Ricki and I see the Master has dark jedi mind powers over children too. Nah, Ricki, who is adorable, is delighted to have another playmate about her age and within seconds they are swimming together in the pool and all is wonderful. Kiddie test complete, Emily shoos Jef away to dress for dinner. He joins her in her suite and whips out a book he got for her, complete with annotated drawings of their "journey" that looked like Little Ricki drew them. Emily is charmed and she sends him away before his curfew expires.
|The Tinfoilers Peg Emily|
Harrison is back on stage to bait the audience one last time before the hammer falls and he rolls the tape, queuing himself up as the Master of all relationship advice. We see Emily is no longer vacillating, no longer confused, after sleeping she now has confidence that One-F-Jef is her boy, er man. Harrison drops his web gear, ballistic helmet, and butterfly net and comes striding into her place in a blue linen shirt and they have a sit down. Emily says she is through, Boy Elroy is her guy and she wants things halted. Harrison nods, flashes a thumbs up to the control truck ("Got her!"), and orders her to go and pulverize Arie. We switch to see that Arie has already arrived at their date site and is busy smiling while some islander witch, who popped out of nowhere, is mixing up a Love Potion I think she was going to use on him. Anyway, despite the fact he won't be humiliated by being allowed to get down on one knee, he gets his chance here and more for later. Emily pulls up and stands there like a moron while Arie rubs some love potion on her forearm before he senses something is very wrong. They sit down and she tries to talk and bursts into tears. Arie stares at her like she hit him in the head with a brick. She dumps him…sorta…maybe. The whole thing was pretty cloudy. He got the message well enough to wish her luck and get up and storm off. She chases him down but won't admit she loves Jef more than him and he finally just wishes her luck and angrily hops into the SUV and is carted away. He looks very hurt and totally blindsided but holds it together on the way to the airport. I hit the pause on the remote over the screaming of my wife and make a quick check of the message threads to watch for the reaction. The Tinfoilers explode! Emily is an "evil barbie; a goldigger who landed the kid with the trust fund," etc. They predict she will be pregnant within a day to lock up her claim on that trust fund. I hit play before my wife can kill me as Arie is carted away in a cloud of confusion and uncertainty. We see the audience sitting in silence while Harrison gravely informs us that we will return shortly and I'm powerfully reminded of Killian in the original Running Man.
|Harrison Prepares Arie for Disaster|
Harrison is back to interview some blasts from the past--J.P. and Ashley, DeAnna Stagliano (nee Pappas) and her brother-in-law, chronic franchise hanger-on, Breakdancing Michael Stagliano--to try and mitigate the predicted Tinfoiler hate flowing at Emily like rattlesnake venom. Fat chance. Once
The Final Rose...in Tijuana?
They held the Final Rose Ceremony in a slum? WTF was that about? After dressing, Emily heads to a Caribbean-colored stage positioned in a high crime slum. Harrison leads her in and then stands around fidgeting nervously while the palooka stagehand is ordered to watch out for drug dealers. One-F-Jef comes in dressed in his suit while Emily voice overs us that she might not accept a proposal. Harrison grabs Jef and hauls him into the slum square, his eyes nervously scanning for criminals, and cuts him loose. Jef walks in with utter confidence and starts yanking more verbal E-cards out his ass. It's yet another masterful, nearly poetic performance of unalloyed bullshit. The Master has the deft touch. He finally sinks to a knee, presents the rock, and pops one out. Emily waits and dithers and finally accepts. They trade some more lip pecks but continue to ensure enough daylight between them to satisfy a middle school dance chaperon. Little Ricki comes running into the slum and Emily reaches down to get her and the new happy family walks away hand in hand. I was waiting for Emily to tell her, "Uh, Ricki-Monkey, you remember when I told you about my friend Jeff here…well he's your new daddy now! Whaddya think of that?" but she doesn't. They walk away while the audience and my wife cheer.
After The Final Rose
I'll keep it short. Arie was brought out to admit he never knew if Emily was with Jef or had pulled a Womack and dumped them both, so he flew cross country to see her and get some closure. He left a journal on her doorstep (which she says she never read) and apparently couldn't close anything out. Finally, Jef actually called him and told him to keep hands off, and that finally ended it. She hands Arie the journal back and he finally goes away while his Tinfoilers cry a mighty river and curse Emily into the depths of hell for scarring one of the greatest human beings who's ever lived and vow never to watch this show again…until next season. Boy Elroy comes out, they see their engagement again, trade a few tepid pecks, and vow the beginning of a new family. The Jems explode in orgiastic joy and swear Romeo and Juliet have got nuthin' on these two lovebirds. Before they can finish expressing their undying love and Ashley can finish shouing at J.P. that they need to beat them to the altar, Harrison is already shouting at us to wash this romantic blech out of our hair and get ready for some Bachelor Pad sleaze, starting tommorow!
Pirate Conclusion: Same as most always; the odds are against them like every couple on this show. Whether the Jems or the Tinfoilers have the true read of their respective peoples, I neither know nor could know. But like always I release them out into the world and promise to leave them alone. I plan on sorta watching, but probably not blogging about, Bachelor Pad this year. But we'll see.
Until (presumably) Sean takes up the Bachelor mantle this fall, I'll see ya then!