The limo takes them to a train which they take to Santa Barbara. An empty, scary, ghost train. Dude. Seriously. I know there's usually a surfeit of people around so that all other life contexts are removed and love can bloom in the disproportionate insularity of it all, but doesn't this season seem even more BachelorSphere II than all of the others combined? No matter, because Ryan knows enough words for an entire missing planet. The two guys are sitting on either side of Meredith on the back of the train, and conversation, no kidding, steers them to this topic: "If you were a food, what kind of food would you be?" What are they doing, helping Todd's daughter fill out the personal statement section of her college application? Three people with ninety-six years of life between them and all they can come up with is "If you were a food, what kind of food would you be?" Oh, my god. From the first-date banter which last week brought us, "Do you like breakfast?" Are these joke questions? Is this just an extended comedy sketch of some kind? Should we stick around for when Ryan R. gets booted and tries to convince Meredith that he's perfectly sane but that everyone else, however, is insane and trying to steal his magic bag? Meredith supposes that Ryan is "a turkey sandwich after Thanksgiving Day." Todd snarks from Meredith's other side, "Because he's too much?" but quickly undoes his own vinegary side with the follow-up that Meredith would be "a s'more. Because you want some more." Now that is some family-friendly humor right there, old man. Meredith laughs like her hair is on fire in this whacked-out universe where Chinatown is empty and burning hair is funny. Man, that champagne really went to her head, right there.
The Santa Barbara Zoo. Todd compares literally every single animal in the zoo-travel-montage to Ryan. You know what, Bachelorette? I liked this new and inventive one-on-one date idea a lot better when is was actually called Dismissed.
A wide shot of Ryan physically trying to pull Meredith off of a walking path and away from Todd closely resembles the opening credits of Three's Company, and my attention is briefly recaptured by this and...nope, it's gone again. Ryan steals Meredith away for some alone time, and we cut to them sitting on a blanket in the middle of a field, Ryan literally dragging out his love poem of AN UNABRIDGED DICTIONARY and reading it to Meredith, out loud, word for word. It's shocking. Here's but one atom of its total behemoth self: "It's definitely a comfort level that we had from the very beginning that is what blew me away we were just so gelling not just with what was being said it was something that you cannot put a finger on...." The word "ellipses" comes leaping out of the dictionary, all "me to the rescue!" allowing someone else to get a word in edgewise. How about you, Todd? "Ryan M. talks too much," he offers in a loitery confessional. "If he has an idea that he wants to express, it might take me three words, it would take him ten words." Don't you mean "s'more words," oh, Pun King?