But what's this? "Gentlemen, I have a little surprise for you." What could it be? Someone turning the tables, perhaps? "There's been a very interested viewer backstage, watching and listening to every word you've said." I guess I would also remain at that level of "totally riveted" if I were the subject of everything everyone said. And so, "Join me in welcoming Trista." The crowd goes madcap. Oscar wins get shorter applause periods than this, and fewer people stand for your walk to the front. Does it seem fair? Has she contributed anything? Maybe they're clapping because she works so well with children. Chris welcomes her to the stage, starting off by asking if she has anything she wants to say. To the collective surprise of no one, there are a few rebuttals she wouldn't mind making: "The biggest thing that I've thought of is about Jamie." She worries that he thought he was booted because of the panic attacks, but explains, "I think it is a strength and that you have absolutely no reason to be insecure." He nods and thanks her. They're all better. Chris tries to find another axe for grinding purposes, and Trista tells Brook, "Sitting backstage, I kind of got the notion that you thought I was a liar and not just shallow." Brook busts in, "I didn't know that. 'Cause we never got together. Did we?" And another hallmark of a healthy relationship? When your mate interrupts you with scorching vitriol every nine seconds. "Honey, can you pass the..." "The what? The salt? Like the salt I feel is poured in my eyes every time you open your mouth, so painful for me is it to hear the sound of your shrill voice?" That's Brook and Trista, married. You can guess who plays which part. Trista wonders why Brook is taking all of this so personally, seeing as he was only one of three guys she totally ignored in Vegas (along with Jeff and Brian S.), and he responds, "I didn't." He then smiles broadly when Trista tells him that she "likes horses," and that she couldn't be a part of his life as long as that was true. And the response Brook offers is as follows: "Y'know, we didn't work out. I happen to have horses and she's very allergic to them. So I have no hard feelings either." Big, dopey grin. Go, Brook. Way to stand up for the cowboys.
Trista and Russ? Hate each other. It's like they went through a whole relationship without ever having a relationship, and now they're in the middle of this awful breakup without "the good times" as a buffer or a point they can return to for solace. There were no "good times." They've known each other for exactly six minutes. And Russ did rewrite history a bit way back in his hot seat days, and Trista sets it right immediately: "You said that when were in the Fantasy Suite, you decided it wouldn't be a good idea. Something to that effect. And I specifically remember making that decision, that I was going to go back to my own hotel room." Russ squirms in horror, retorting that "there was nothing romantic" about his decision to go back to her room. Oh, sure. Because the so-called "Fantasy Suite" has nothing to do with sex. The "Fantasy Suite" is actually a place where "fantastical" things happen, where hobbits run free, and the future of a lurking grue's fate can be decided with merely the simple throw of two ninety-sided dice. Russ deems them "friends," which is also something people cling to when a non-relationship falls apart precipitously and they need to make their physical connection significant. That's even worse than wanting to be friends with someone because you don't find them attractive; that's wanting to be friends with someone because you don't understand why they don't find you as attractive as you thought they did. Wow. That's really depressing.