Bachelorette
Once In Love With Ian

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Circle Gets The Square

Matthew exchanges an amusing amount of hugs with Meredith's family, considering they're only going downstairs. There's some unfinished rec room basement space that looks like a very inappropriate Calvin Klein magazine campaign is about to kick off, or like Fiona Apple is about to feel like a criminal. Whoo! Viva la mid-'90s touchstones! They sit down on a ratty couch which, considering the physical intimacy they're really able to cultivate in front of an attending camera crew, nicely bookends the first time Meredith was felt up over her clothes, which I imagine took place on the couch right there with a guy who wanted to go to the movies and ride his truck. And then, trouble from Meredith: "Since I met you, I would be, um, I would be honored if it ended with a ring." Matthew asks, "Really?" Well, provided it came from someone else. But I mean, still, yeah. She continues that it's hard for her -- y'know, contractually -- to talk about how she's feeling, "but I feel like I just gave you a big chunk." Pillow talk that Matthew picks right up on, answering, "Yeah. That's the biggest chunk anybody's ever given me." Oh, no he di'int! But still, Meredith. Tsk tsk. "That's not something small," Matthew ruminates in a confessional. No. A chunk that big is surely anything but. "That's 'I want you to be the father of my children.' That's 'I want to grow old with you.' No one's ever said that to me before." No, Matthew. And still nobody has.

From Portland, we have the luck to travel...to Portland! Meredith carries an umbrella (natch) to a location called "Union Station," and we're chillin' next to some pretty train cars that must be blocking the limo that actually dropped Ian off. Ian runs up wearing a knit cap because he hates trains so apparently he skied up from Malibu. They exchange pleasant hugs, and an all-man confessional finds Ian admitting that he's "super-excited" about meeting Meredith's family. He knows that she wants "a formal proposal," but he feels like things have gone really quickly and that he's still just not sure if he wants to propose. After knowing her for six weeks. Sporadically. You MONSTER!

"So, tell my about your brother," Ian asks of Meredith at some seedy bar that I think is the same place Ian took Meredith in New York. Meredith laughs in an I-oughtta-ask-you- the-same-thing-buddy kind of way, and the bonding they experience over each having a freak brother (who can be freak-brothers-in-law!) must make for quite the connection. He hears that he's going to meet the whole family, and he kicks it to a confessional where we learn, "If I were to take back my hometown date, I would have wished I could have flown my parents up to New York City so you could have met them." No. Ian. See, the show takes care of the travel arrangements. They'll fly you guys to wherever your parents are. Are you missing the central conceit here? But back in the bar, Ian tells Meredith that he regrets not having flown up his parents to meet her, saying, "I kinda wished I had made a bigger effort." "Kinda"? But Meredith understands, telling us, "Knowing how complicated and private Ian is when he comes to his family," the fact that he had wanted (in the past tense in quadruplicate) to make a better effort was, to her, touching. And it will keep being so. As long as he keeps apologizing. And she keeps forgiving him. Ah, the cheap, tawdry Vulcan mind fuck that is love.

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