Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Race to the Finish in "Huh-Why"

"It's time to see who has no interest in a life of her own."

I can’t even count how many times I rolled my eyes during this episode. I lost track at around 600 when I started to worry that my eyeballs would get stuck in the back of my head. Seriously, this episode almost did me in. I don’t know how I’ll ever make it through two hours of this next week.

All right let’s do this thing. Did you know that Mayo is not only a Navy lieutenant, a doctor, an ironman, an astronaut, a Casanova, and an award-winning orator… he is also a surfer? That’s right! Just when you thought you’d finally reached the end of his lengthy list of talents, he jumps onto a surfboard in Hawaii and rides some waves. Oh I wish I could meet him! He starts talking in his signature monotone about how he loves Hawaii ("Huh-why" in Mayo talk) more than anything and he sure hopes the final three girls are going to like it as well. After some pensive reflection near the ocean, Mayo drives his jeep over to Pearl Harbor and tells us that this is not about yachts and fancy sports cars – it’s about being a U.S. Naval officer. And the gals better love it because the chosen one gets to inherit all of this into her life as well. Remember, this is not about finding a woman who is interesting on her own; this is about finding a woman who will fit seamlessly into Mayo’s well-defined life. She’ll fall in and like it. During all this we see the same montage that is played at the opening of each episode with Mayo strolling around the base in his uniform and saluting someone. I swear ABC takes a million hours of footage, then decides on the same 30 seconds to replay to us ad naseam.

Mayo arrives at Pearl Harbor to gaze at the USS Arizona memorial. This is where the USS Arizona is still lying under the water from the attack in 1941. A monument has been built above the sunken ship to commemorate the fallen soldiers. It’s actually a lovely and touching tribute, and now we get to watch Mayo use it for his own glory. He is going to take each girl out onto the memorial individually to show them what a patriotic soldier he is and determine whether they are moved enough by the display to remain in the competition.

The Patriotic Wife Gauge

First is Sulky Bevin, who comes trotting out to receive her lei from Mayo and get this charade going. On the ferry ride over, Mayo explains to Bevin how the attack occurred and what became of the USS Arizona. What’s a little alarming to me is that Bevin needs this explained. Who doesn’t know what happened at Pearl Harbor? And just in case anyone was fuzzy, there was an enormous Ben Affleck vehicle detailing the attack that hit theaters a few short years ago. No need for Mayo’s soporific retelling. Mayo tells us that when he visits the memorial every cell in his body is affected because he is the modern day equivalent of the soldiers who were attacked at Pearl Harbor. Someone is very impressed with himself. Bevin and Mayo peer down at the sunken ship and Bevin tells us that she is ready to take on the role of Navy wife so that she can spend every second with Mayo. Has she ever heard the word “deployment?” She’s sent away on the next ferry.

Now Gloomy Danielle arrives via her own ferry to receive her lei and take the Mayo tour. She tells us that her grandmother was a nurse at Pearl Harbor during the attack, so she actually has a personal connection to the memorial and doesn’t need to tell us that she is the present embodiment of World War II. Mayo tells Danielle that it is traditional to toss flowers from your lei into the water as an offering to the soldiers entombed in the ship, so they dismantle their leis and sprinkle them onto the water. He then gives an explanation for the architecture of the monument that he read off of one of the many plaques set up for tourists. Danielle tells us she’ll do anything to find out what it takes to be a military wife and it’s off she goes back to the museum on the ferry.

Tessa arrives, telling us that today she will determine if she can see herself as part of Mayo’s Naval lifestyle. I’m not sure how visiting a museum and a monument will tell her what it is like to be married to the military, but okay. Mayo does his spiel again and they sprinkle their flowers onto the water. Now comes the most ridiculous part. A little girl is standing nearby looking over the railing into the water and Mayo offers her some of his flowers to throw. She doesn’t so much sprinkle as torpedo her flowers into the water and Mayo does a confessional saying that he was getting an image in his mind of a husband, wife, and child. Oh brother, this guy is a girl. Tessa tells us how much this little interlude means and that she can see herself with Mayo and that makes her nervous and excited. Her earrings are huge.

"Oh my gosh!
My earrings are also wind chimes... pretty!"

Mayo tells us that he loves his job. He loves being a Naval diver and he loves being a Naval doctor and the girls better understand all that because it’s his life they’ll be leading if selected.

It’s time for the one-on-one Fantasy Overnight Dates! Tessa is first and she meets Mayo in Kauai out in a field where a truck drops her off. Mayo tells her they’re going zip lining, and then he starts in on his speech about how he and Tessa have this roller coaster relationship. I seriously have no idea what is going on in this guy’s imagination, but I just don’t understand where he gets this roller coaster analogy. Tessa has done all the same things the other girls have done with the exception that she has told Mayo about having some hesitation. Suddenly it’s this enormous emotional roller coaster. Huh? They rock, paper, scissors to determine who will zip line first and after some confusion, it’s determined that Tessa goes first. She confessionals that she’s been hesitant to put herself out there until now, so today is really important for her. She takes off on the zip line and Mayo goes next, screaming, “Tessa I think you’re wonderful!” as he launches himself from the platform. That was just in case there was anyone still watching who wasn’t convinced he is completely lame. He confessionals that he loves the rough and tumble side of Tessa and admires that she’s up for anything. Tessa says that she has fun with Mayo because he makes her laugh and she likes herself when she’s around him. I don’t get the part where he makes her laugh. The next thing they do is cross a rickety suspension bridge together all harnessed up so there won’t be any “unfortunate” accidents and Mayo says that this is such a metaphor for their relationship because they’re supporting each other. That leads them to stop and kiss. I thought a roller coaster was the metaphor for their relationship, so the zip line might have been a better comparison. Then they do some cartwheels in a field like a couple of girls and take a little hike. I wish Mayo would take a big hike. Sorry, that was too easy. They stop at a picnic table for some wine and fruit and they make a toast to happy hour. Don’t ask. Tessa says she can see why Mayo loves living in Hawaii and Mayo feeds her a grape while saying he just needs someone to share it with. As the sun sets Mayo tells Tessa that he likes to go swimming in the ocean before the sun comes up because it’s dangerous with a lot of sharks. Tessa tells Mayo to punch a shark in the face if it looks like it’s going to attack – and that concludes our visit to Wild Kingdom. They nuzzle and giggle and poke each other in the stomach. Mayo says he can still tell that Tessa is holding back.

Later that evening, Mayo and Tessa have both changed into formal wear to come lie in a hammock on the beach. They drink some more wine and Tessa decides it’s time to open up. She tells Mayo that each time she’s with him she’s more and more glowing. In response, Mayo wants to look around and exclaim over how amazing it is that they are on a hammock on the beach in Hawaii! When will this ever happen again? What a roller coaster. A lovely sushi dinner has been arranged for the happy couple and they sit down to continue giggling while they eat. Apparently there is a piece of sushi that has been wound up to look like a flower, so Mayo picks it up with his chopsticks and says, “Tessa will you accept this rose?” Oh – ha ha ha! Is this what she was referring to when she said he makes her laugh? Oh boy. After she laughs way too hard, he repeats, “Tessa will you please accept this rose?” Well you know, if it was funny once, it’s going to be really funny twice.

Mayo, have you heard about Open Mike Night at the Improv?

Tessa tells him how much fun she has with him and how she’s always laughing at his sushi jokes. Mayo marvels over the fact that just today Tessa was out in the wilderness zip lining and now in this regal setting he feels like a king with his queen. Are your eyes getting stuck at the back of your head yet? Well get ready because now he whips out the fantasy suite card for Tessa to read aloud. Now, despite many previews showing Tessa very uncertain as to whether she wants to take the fantasy plunge, she immediately says that there is nothing on earth she would love more than to spend time alone with Mayo in the suite. They come into the suite and squeal over how beautiful and amazing it is – complete with a bubble bath containing rose petals. Tessa decides once again that she is going to verbalize her feelings. She thanks Mayo for being so patient with her while she took so long to decide what she was feeling. She made herself a promise that she would stay true to herself, so that’s why she’s been slow, blah, blah, blah. They climb into the bubble bath in their swimsuits and Mayo frets over his two more upcoming fantasy dates.

Fantasy Date #2 belongs to Gloomy Danielle and she will start by joining Mayo on a catamaran. Mayo confessionals that he felt an immediate connection with Gloomy Danielle – they bonded over the loss of loved ones – and he hopes that the physical connection will continue to grow. Danielle confessionals that she is so happy to be here and Hawaii is the perfect place to fall in love. They spot some dolphins as they race along in the catamaran and Danielle decides that dolphins are one of her favorite animals. That’s great. Next they see some whales but from Danielle’s reaction you’d think they were seeing an alien spacecraft landing in front of their boat. Mayo is all proud like he’s responsible for cuing the whales to appear at that exact moment just for their outing. Danielle furthers his theory by turning to thank him for presenting whales. This is getting bizarre. The boat anchors and Danielle and Mayo jump into the water for a snorkel. They flip and twist for the cameras underwater, then kiss through their snorkel masks like any good Bachelor couple.

Danielle makes a futile escape attempt.

I know I’ve had some of my most meaningful conversations through a snorkeling mask. In fact, most of my life’s major decisions were made underwater, so this makes perfect sense. Mayo tells us that it was tons of fun to play in the water with Danielle and she looked beautiful. Back on the deck of their little boat, Danielle starts asking Mayo about how much longer he’ll be stationed in Hawaii and where he might go after that. Mayo says it’s hard to think about leaving Hawaii because of the people and the beauty… and the sunsets – as he points to the sky in yet another cheesy move. Danielle ponders over how glad she is to have met someone amazing like Mayo and she launches into a story about a psychic she visited back in college when she was with her now-late boyfriend. Apparently this psychic told her that she would not marry the boyfriend she was with, but would have two more serious relationships and marry the second of those. Guess where Mayo fits in… that’s right he’s the one she thinks she’ll marry. I have a problem with this for a couple of reasons. First and most obviously, a psychic told her. Secondly, Mayo is not a serious relationship. They barely know each other. Maybe Danielle is counting on it becoming a serious relationship but it certainly isn’t one now for crying out loud. “Up Where We Belong” swells as they watch the sunset and Danielle says it’s like a dream. Mayo says that romance is brewing and bubbling up. Do I really need to comment on that last remark?

For the evening portion of the date Danielle comes hobbling out in shoes that she clearly can’t walk in. Mayo gives her a lei and tells us he can see himself spending the rest of his life with her. Sure. When they sit down at their dinner table, Mayo explains that he has a bit of a surprise. A psychic reader will be joining them to tell them just what is in store! The reader comes out, clearly dressed for the occasion in a t-shirt and cargo pants.

"Listen closely, because I'm about to tell you nothing."

She shakes their hands and does the psychic disclaimer, saying that she will not be predicting the future, but providing clarity on upcoming choices and opportunities. That doesn’t sound very helpful, but okay, let’s hear it. She hands Danielle a deck of playing cards. Yes, like poker cards, not Tarot cards. Danielle claims to not know what to ask, which probably means the producers have forbidden her from asking anything really relevant, so the psychic says that Danielle’s heart will provide the questions. How convenient. She arranges the cards and says a bunch of really vague things like, something new is entering your life, you communicate from your heart, and you have some sadness left from a past loss. Wow, that is so uniquely Danielle! Of course Danielle is flabbergasted and can’t believe the psychic could have known all that. Mayo straight up asks if he’ll get engaged next week. Here is the psychic’s answer: You are in a time of doubting and worrying now and you have to let the worrying go so you can make a choice. You can make a choice based on how love would decide or how fear would decide. Mayo is totally overwhelmed with this profound insight that didn’t answer his question at all. After the psychic leaves Danielle says that she’s ready to take a risk again after losing her boyfriend and Mayo says he’s relieved to hear that. So the one facet of this relationship has been deconstructed yet once again. Mayo has another surprise which is the fantasy suite card for Danielle to read. Guess what she decides. That’s right! She would love to! They come into a suite identical to the one Mayo stayed in with Tessa and Mayo pretends to be overcome all over again. They sit down to discuss how many kids they want to have and how Danielle never stops smiling when she’s with Mayo. Mayo says they share a lot of core beliefs, which is important. Also, Danielle is a great kisser.

The final Fantasy Date begins, like the first one, in a field. Sulky Bevin, like Tessa, is dropped off in a truck to meet Mayo. The cutest part is that Mayo is wearing a blue backpack and Bevin is wearing a pink one. Hooray for gender roles! Mayo points out that they are in the great outdoors – are you sure, Mayo? – and Bevin confessionals that she is going to make the most of her time here in Hawaii and the other girls better watch out! I’m sure they’re trembling with fear, Bevin. No one throws a tantrum like you do. Mayo confessionals that he loves the fact that Bevin is adventurous and that their future together would include a lot of outdoor fun. They climb into a kayak and start off down this mucky river, flicking water at each other and giggling.

"Back here, America! Your favorite Bachelor!"

Bevin says she loves being alone in the wilderness. What a funny thing to say when you’re being followed around by a crew of 45 people. They climb out of the kayak and begin hiking up a hill. Mayo seriously holds up his water bottle and says, “Remember to stay hydrated.” Oh my gosh I would have smacked him silly. No, we’re not all cool enough to be ironmen, but everyone knows to drink water when exercising. Especially when the producers have provided you with special ABC water bottles. Does he think she’s a small child? He is so irritating. I guess it’s raining because they start comparing the pitter-patter of the rain to the pitter-patter of Mayo’s heart and my eyes nearly get stuck again. Now Mayo decides to elicit some compliments from Bevin so he asks her like four times in a row if she’d like to live in Hawaii. She keeps saying yes and then he says, “Would you like to live here with me?” When she says yes he starts squealing and picks her up and twirls her around. They scream and giggle. This is so ridiculous. Mayo tells us that he feels electricity in his soul when he’s with Bevin. Oh, so now it’s moved to his soul? He picks her up to carry her across a puddle. I hope he’s staying hydrated. They finally arrive at a waterfall and decide to climb up to the top and jump off. In another of Mayo’s famous grand metaphors, they hold hands and take a giant leap together. Luckily there are some inner tubes floating around beneath the waterfall for them to drift around on. What are the chances? We also have some more nasty underwater kissing, which turns into a full fledged make out session behind the waterfall. They end up snuggling in a towel together under a little pavilion. Bevin says that she’s never met a man like Mayo before (who has?) and that every time they’re together they are able to pick up right where they left off. She tells Mayo that she likes her date and Mayo says he saved the best for last. I wonder what Tessa and Danielle thought of that line when they watched this episode.

For the evening portion of this Fantasy Date Mayo has dressed down a little in a brown golf shirt and khakis. Bevin is in a little red sundress. Their dinner comes along with their own private luau. A bunch of men in leaves come out to play Polynesian drums and there is also a Samoan fire dancer. Some gorgeous girls come out in red Polynesian costumes and do some major hip shaking. Bevin and Mayo get up and look like idiots trying to dance along with them.

"Here's my chance to show Bevin my sweet dance moves."

When they sit back down Mayo tells Bevin that for lack of a better term that was hot. Bevin of course giggles like that is the funniest thing she’s ever heard. Mayo decides it’s time to ask Bevin what made her decide to come on the Bachelor. She says that she’s really looking for the one and only. She wants to find someone who will be her best friend, husband, mother of her children and lover. Mayo wants to know if she thinks it’s him. Mayo finally asks what he really wants to know, which is what Bevin thinks of marriage after having already screwed one up. Bevin answers that for a while she thought she’d never get married again, but now she knows that she’s not willing to give up her dream of having a family. Mayo appreciates her perspective and her honesty. And now it’s time for the fantasy suite card. I wonder if Bevin will be up for it. I really have no idea. Bevin says that she wants accept the fantasy suite card in order to continue the conversation so that Mayo can get to know her better. Yeah right. I’m sure that’s why Mayo wants her to accept it too. And for the third time Mayo pretends to be surprised about what the room looks like. They feed each other strawberries and Bevin admits to the camera that she loves Mayo – then she cracks up laughing. We go to commercial with them slow dancing without music in their fantasy suite. Puke.

The next segment is absolutely insulting and it is the very definition of the word “filler.” Mayo is so frustrated because he just has no idea what he’s going to do next, so he goes for a run and finds no relief.

"Man. 650 sit-ups and still no clarity."

Luckily, the network has flown in Mayo’s best friend GATSBY to be a sounding board and talk things over with him. Gatsby is one of Mayo’s pompous triathlon buddies so I’m sure we can count on him for some profoundly intellectual advice. This is like when Charlie O’Connell called his famous brother Jerry O’Connell to see how he should proceed a few seasons back. It was built up and teased and played to death and then it was total crap. They didn’t say anything new or informative. It was just like, “I’m with you bro,” and that’s it. Which is exactly how Gatsby’s visit goes. Mayo goes over each girl and tells us what we’ve heard a thousand times and Gatsby sits there nodding. I’ll show his picture because I’m sure that’s what he would want and then we’ll move on. Look at this douche.

"Well maybe if you tried highlighting just the
top part of your hair, like I do..."

Tonight we have an outdoor Rose Ceremony and I could swear that Tessa is wearing the same dress that Smug Stephanie wore on the first night of the show. The three girls line up and look at each other awkwardly while Mayo tells us again, “I’m a healer. I’m a doctor. I help others. I take their pain away. So to break the heart of one of those women tonight – it kills me to have to do that.” Wow, he’s a hero. And he’s going to do it anyway! Chris doesn’t even explain about the roses tonight, he just sets Mayo loose. Mayo tells the girls that any man would be happy to have any of them. Tonight’s roses go one step farther toward finding love.

The first rose goes to… Bevin!

The second and final rose goes to… Tessa!

Poor Gloomy Danielle. After all the pain she’s had to endure now this happens to her. Little does she know that she was just spared the greatest humiliation of her life. Mayo tells her that she’s amazing and has been a source of strength and that he thinks the world of her. Danielle is very calm and dignified. She just nods and smiles and wipes away a couple of tears. He keeps telling her she’ll make some guy really happy someday. That’s so unnecessary – it’s something your grandpa would say. Danielle tells Mayo that he’s raised the bar for her (huh?) and she tells him he deserves to be happy. Mayo works up some tears as Danielle makes her exit. In her limo ride of shame, Danielle maintains her dignity and quietly tells the camera that it’s hard to walk away from someone she really cares about. She really feels like she was meant to meet Mayo. Then we go back to her old standby of talking about when she lost her boyfriend and she says that at least this time she got some closure. But she’s been through a lot and she deserves to be happy. Yes you do, Danielle, and that’s why it’s a good thing you’re leaving.

"Nobody DOR's after eleven weeks! Nobody!"

Mayo comes back to Tessa and Bevin to tell them they’re headed to Lancaster, Pennsylvania to meet his family. They toast to Lancaster.

Next week the Family Mayo meets the girls and there is more grilling and awkwardness. Then is the most dramatic Rose Ceremony ever! I still think Mayo will just propose to himself. Or maybe Gatsby will reappear and get the ring! “Love lift us up where we belong!”

Be sure to tell me your thoughts – love to hear from you!

-Honey Gangsta

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