Ashley is getting ready for her date with Ben when there is a knock on her cabin door. It's not Ben. It's sad sack Ryan P.! He's come back for more! He can't take no for an answer! He feels like her rejection of him and that whole getting sent home thing just wasn't complete enough! He went home, started obsessing over it, and then begged Chris Harrison to let him come back for seconds! He needs to really make sure it is really really over for reals. Also, free trip to Fiji. I mean, right? Ashley is shocked/horrified to see him. I mean, he's a one man Groundhog Day at this point. She covers well, but even the most dense guy has to realize that when a girl says, "Ohh heyyy, what are you doing here?" and then gives a very chaste peck on the cheek, that it's not an invitation to love. Ryan has crazy eyes and is panting to the point of almost salivating, so he doesn't notice. Ashley sits about five feet away from him on the couch and builds a protective force field of knees, arms, and pillows to ward him off. He explains that he doesn't think Ashley gave him a real chance at love. Their one-on-one date wasn't conducive to love (what with him talking about water tanks and all), and he feels like "they didn't get to see this through." All he's asking for is a full chance. If she is regretting her decision at all, he wants another shot. You can tell she is sooooo not interested, but she is too polite and flattered to laugh in his face. As she gasps, "I can't believe you're here!" (again) in high panicked tones her wide eyes dart around the room looking for the nearest exit. Ryan looks like he wants to grab her and kiss her and she looks like she wants to hide beneath the couch cushions. He has crazy eyes. Did I say that already? He does. He has CRAZY EYES. Ryan gives her the address of his hotel and begs her to come rekindle, ...er, kindle some romance. Ashley pats him on the head and waves bye bye to the crazy man. Again. Maybe this time it will stick.
Ben has finally arrived for their date, which is, of course, on a boat. Because every pre-overnight date must be on a boat, it's in the contract. Also, girls are silly like that. As Ben and Ashley settle onto their Big Pimpin' yacht, Ashley does classic girl whine: "I don't think your mom liked me!" which is our first hint that she will never ever pick Ben. I mean, why pick someone if you know their mama don't like you? Ben assures her that his mommy liked her a lot and that she was really pleased to see Ben so happy and emotionally stable. Then TUCK THE CHILDREN IN BED! Ashley straddles him and rubs sunblock all over his chest. Ashley interviews that it feels like she and Ben were "on their honeymoon." Ben claims that while they were snorkeling he could see his life with Ashley "flash before his eyes," which I think means he needs to breathe more oxygen more deeply into his lungs. As they roll around in their swimsuits, giggling and flirting, they both pretend that this is what real life, married life, is like. Let me be the first to say: HAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHHAHAHAHA. I mean, marriages certainly have moments of this, but, for the most part, marriage does not involve rolling around the white sand beaches and making out of the cameras. Ben interviews that his feelings for Ashley have deepened, but he doesn't want to tell her, because he wants to keep things light and not get all emotional since he wants to make sure he gets in that Fantasy Suite and get laid. Is that too crass for talk of the Fantasy Suite? I know it's supposed to be a magical place where intimacy, but not sex happens, and that bowl of Valtrex is just there as a prop. Anyway, as the sun sets, Ashley and Ben put on real clothes. I guess I can say that, although Ben is wearing a sheer v-neck sweater with no t-shirt underneath and there's nip slipping and chest hair peeking through and yuck. Pro tip: Wear a t-shirt under your sheer sweater. Where was I? Oh right, it's been a long time since Ben felt like this -- since he was "in love" -- and I don't want to ruin it for him with my horror at his attire. He tells Ashley that today was perfect and he got a sense of "clarity." Ashley chooses the word "comfort" and Ben rushes to change his mind and says "comfort" too. Then they both grin and smile and hold hands and think about all the things they have in common. They both like yachts! And snorkeling in Fiji! They have so much in common! Is my sarcasm dripping off the page? Sorry. This is like the La Brea Tar Pits of sarcasm. You may not like it, but you can't escape either! Bwahahahaha.