Ryan M. takes the long walk back to a trailer where the rest of the guys are hanging out. "Steam heat in every home by the time FDR is elected," his dazed, trained-to-the-past eyes seem to say. It's a little windy out and the clouds are really low, and the whole thing looks like the photo shoot from the cover of The Joshua Tree is going to bust out any second. Ryan M. reenters the trailer, stammering to the other five guys, "This is really weird, guys." He pours his heart out that he had intended to take this whole experience as "a joke," and that he knew he could never like a girl he had just met on television. Well, that's quite an airtight screening process the producers have set up for themselves, seeing as Chris kicks off every season by telling us that all of the people who have come on the show do so with the noblest intentions and that they're all there because they could potentially marry the person they're about to meet. Well, don't take it from me. Let's check in with Chris one week ago and see if he said anything like that: "In just a few minutes, one special woman will meet twenty-five men from all across the country who have one thing in common. They're all ready to get married!" Well, that does seem to be somewhat at odds with the views Ryan is expressing right now. But. BUT! Things have changed. "This is becoming more and more surreal, because that girl is great." And then: "Now I see why reality TV is real, or works. Because it is real. What I'm feeling is not some joke because I'm on TV. How I feel is actually how I feel." And he can feel however he wants, but if you think I couldn't pick up that whole desert and move it to Pacoima with the strength of the centrifugal force contained inside my rolling eyes right now, you don't know me at all. It kind of blows the lid off the place to have people sitting around a reality television show talking about the experience of being on reality TV, but even that meta-tinged moment does not excuse the inclusion of this embedded In Defense Of Reality Television treatise we're forced to swallow like so much hot chocolate that doesn't have any marshmallows in it.
Back on the bus now, Harold -- wait, who was that other guy -- damn! Anyway, Harold and Meredith lie on a bed together and he launches right into a speech I wish I could transcribe the entirety of, because it is simply brilliant. Here's the beginning of it: "I want to start a life, I want to have a family, I want to have kids. And looking at you, I had visions at the Rose Ceremony, seeing you in that dress and, like, picturing you pregnant with let's say a child, like, I find pregnant woman one of the most beautiful things." Oops! I totally did go ahead and transcribe the whole thing. Meredith shares in a confessional that she was a bit "freaked out" by Harold's speech. I love the wording "pregnant with let's say a child," as if there were numerous other alternatives they could explore when they're the couple they're never going to become.