Welcome back to The Bachelorette. I was gone a week, the show was gone a week, and now it feels like it has been an eternity since I've seen Ashley. Have her feelings for me dimmed during our time apart? And I've just started to CARE so much, you know? I've developed real feelings for her after spending a few hours on Monday nights together for six weeks. That's enough time for love to blossom, once you let down your guard and really put yourself out there. It's like that time I took a six-week kombucha making class and married the instructor over a vat of blooming mushroom on the last day. True fact!* ( * Not at all true) It was just meant to be. Anyway, I've been gone awhile and I am just going to go out on a limb and guess that Ashley spent the last two weeks in bed, crying, and moaning, "BENTLEEEEEEEEEEEEE" and then crying so much that she throws up and then beating herself up for making herself throw up over a man and not over a bag of Doritos, a dozen Krispy Kremes, and a box of Entemann's. Just guessing! That could take up two weeks, right?
As you may recall, Ashley and her six remaining beaus are touring the lesser Asian countries (you know, the ones that REALLY need American tourist dollars) and are now in Taiwan. When we join the men they are managing to fulfill their contractual obligations to ooh and aah over the sites they are seeing despite the fact that they were apparently forced to take a bus. ("Look! A street sign! It's so utilitarian. And clean.") Meanwhile, Ashley is waxing eloquently in the back of her limo about how she needs to make sure she has both a physical and emotional connection to these six men who are in the running to be her husband. I guess her thinking is that it is nice to have a physical and/or emotional connection to one's spouse. I can see why she thinks that it. I get it.
While Ashley is checking things, maybe she should check the ratio of Crazy Eyes to twinkling eyes on Lucas? And maybe see if Constantine's has a personality? As the men stare blankly out the bus windows, Ashley analyzes them all in a voiceover. She thinks Ames is smart, which I'm sure he doesn't get very often: that J.P. makes her feel "safe" (marriage material!), Ryan is fun, and that she and Lucas really connected on that one
conversation date they had.
Then the men are herded off the bus and into a public square and just when you think they are going to be forced into a reenactment of Tiannamen Square or that M.I.A. video where all the redheads get offed, Chris Harrison shows up to greet the men and lour over them like only a short man in a position of fake power can really do. He reminds them that two men are going home and that the only rose given out before the Rose Ceremony is on the group date. That means that the one-on-one dates will be for getting to know each other without the pressure of a rose. So relax, have fun, and don't catch that new strain of antibiotic resistant syphilis. As Harrison walks off, cue the men making territorial statements about Ashley, because whoever gets a rose also gets to bring Ashley home to meet his family. So emotions are running high. Also running "wild" and "scared." Ben and Lucas feel really strongly about Ashley, but not as strongly as J.P. who cares "so much" and is "scared." J.P. is SO "winning" this thing.