Popping the tape in the VCR, we discover Meredith wearing a blue Asian-fusion (that's "Asian" fused with "cliché wardrobe stereotype," that is) shirt-y thing and letting us know that the guy who can rent it tonight and go home happy is...Ian! "A night of good fortune awaits us. We'll ride through the streets in a rickshaw and be entertained by dragons." Wow! Dangerous, non-motorized archaic transportation and monsters! Have you been reading my dream diary again? Ian gives a vague glance around that I'll just take the liberty of translating: "Y'all sure I can't just go to the Mighty Ducks game?" Meredith takes a quick breath and dives back in with the parting shot I'm sure will possess just as much passion and raw sexuality as we've come to expect from her: "And I hope you know how to use chopsticks." The tape fades, and the rest of the guys throw out the perfunctory "Awwww, yeah"s and "Hooo, boy"s they're expected to make with at this point. Yeah! Chopsticks mean sex! But then, I guess from a group of ten gentlemen who are utterly used to ending every fortune cookie they've seen since they were twelve with "in bed," fetishizing even the utensils shouldn't come as that much of a surprise.
In a confessional, Ian cops to feeling "at ease" about the results of the Magic 8-Ball test. Tonight, he'll be looking to see if there's a "connection" between him and Meredith to see "if she's the one." In bed!
Yeah, he'll probably win. Meredith shows up at the house and gives Ian a big hug, telling us simultaneously in a confessional, "I'm very happy I'm going on this date with him." Maybe that's because her confessional glimpsed out the window of the time-space continuum and she watched herself showing up at the house to discover Ryan R. sprawled out shirtless on the living room sofa with a blanket (with what looks like only a blanket) covering his lower half, looking like he's posing for the new version of the International Male catalogue. "Come on," he can almost hear his agent (oh, they've all got one) urging him, "it's just like the Abercrombie catalogue...but for ugly people!"
In the back of stretch rickshaw with a Plexiglas retaining wall between the people enjoying the trip and the person pulling it (as well it should be), Ian kicks off the conversation is a way he knows Meredith would understand best: "My mom is -- was -- Swedish," he ventures, hoping she'll zero in on the confusing tense construction of the sentence rather than the content. And she bites, parsing the "was/is" dichotomy rather than being all, "How interesting! You know the national anthem of Sweden is, of course, 'Du Gamla, Du Fria.'" Then again, it's not like there's anything that inherently interesting about Sweden worth discussing, I suppose. It's not like he tried to capture her interest with "my mother was an axe murderer" or "my mother was a unicorn" or something. That's why, I guess, Meredith is more interested in the fact that Ian's mother only seems to exist somewhere deeeeeep in the recesses of the past tense. "'Was'?" she asks, and Ian admits, "She passed away when I was three years old." The "awwwwwwwww" track is cranked up to Michelle-Tanner- sneezes-for- the-first-time- and-isn't-it- adoooooooorable proportions, as the world's viewing audience who is quickly falling for Ian collective produce an "awwwwwww" with so much breath support that it speeds up the world's jet streams and blows the pink flamingos on my lawn right into each other, causing a terrible tangle. But wait! It gets worse! For the emotional ace known as "vague and unsubstantiated human developmental statistics" has yet to rear its head. Until now! Ian goes on: "What's really sad is that your memory only really develops when you're four years old, so I don't remember anything." Meredith knows just how he feels, except for the "losing your mother" part and the "my formative mind has erased all trace of her existence from my long-term memory" part. But that doesn't stop her from volleying back with that last track on Television Tragedy's Greatest Hits, right after Princess Diana and Zapruder: "My grandmother was Swedish." Uff da! A Nana reference right in the middle of it all? But Ian doesn't mind, and in a confessional tells us that she made him feel totally comfortable as a result of her utter Nana-fying of the conversation. Hey, guys? When I was in fourth grade, I had a guinea pig named "Fuzzy." And, well, I don't think I have to tell you how that worked out. Hey, is there enough champagne for me to have a glass?