We made it! The penultimate episode of The Bachelor in which the idea of the fantasy suite is introduced to America. Dark days. #TBT
So first things first, today's contestants get the shaft. The episode starts off with Alex staring moodily into the pool and talking about how he has true feelings for all three women blah, blah, blah. What's really important here is that he will be taking each woman to a different "exotic" location for their overnight dates as opposed to the same hotel room three nights in a row a la current seasons.
First up is Amanda. She and Alex are meeting in New York City and happen to show up in matching pleather jackets. 2003 was weird. They kick things off by taking a bus tour of the city and playing up the "we're not in Kansas anymore" vibes. In between pointing at random buildings a solo shot of Alex says he has some serious questions he wants to get to with Amanda on this trip. Cut back to the bus and he is asking her about her boob job. Sir. Please define "serious" for me.
After the bus ride they take a horse drawn carriage to dinner. This ride consists of them talking yet again about dressing up in the bedroom. Apparently Amanda got in trouble in fifth grade because she wanted to dress up as a Playboy bunny for Halloween. I'm pretty sure in fifth grade I dressed up as a scarecrow in overalls so like, same.
At dinner Alex is the guy who does "cheers" a million times and they discuss Amanda's previous marriage. Alex is thrilled to find out that the marriage was in fact annulled and did not end in a divorce. In a one on one to the camera he gushes, "As far as I'm concerned she's never been married." That's great except that she has.
Dinner is winding down when Alex pulls a mysterious envelope out from his jacket. He says that he doesn't know what it is but Chris gave it to him before he left. The card of course offers them the option to forgo their individual rooms and stay together in a suite tonight. Having talked about nothing but boob jobs and assless chaps all day, they respectfully decline.
JK they literally almost shoot a sex tape for America. I cannot get over the Paris Hilton night cam setup going on in the bedroom. WHAT producer thought that was a cool idea? Did they really think that we needed it spelled out for us? WE GET IT.
Next up is Shannon who meets Alex in Lake Tahoe for skiing. They're having a fun day but knowing what is coming I am fully prepared for the show to end with Shannon pushing Alex off a mountain. A voiceover from Alex says he has a lot of serious conversations he has to have with Shannon in order to move forward with her. When he says this to her she straight up says there are things he's going to ask that she will not answer.
I'm very confused as to how Shannon ended up on this show and what she thought it was going to be. Honestly in all of my years watching this franchise I don't know that I've ever watched someone be so mismatched to the process/concept.
Alex finally gets Shannon to kiss him after explaining to her that he needs her to act as though they are in an exclusive relationship or this isn't going anywhere. They then get back to the lodge and he suggests they get in the hot tub. Shannon says "if you insist" as though he just suggested they go lay naked in the snow.
At the hot tub Alex gets in like a normal person and Shannon refuses to take off her robe or put more than a toe in because she doesn't want Alex to see her in a bikini. He finally convinces her to get in and she will barely look him in the eye but did look at him long enough to say, "I like that your body looks like this" while holding her hands in a V shape. If he doesn't get rid of her this episode this might be my last post because idk how much more cringing my face can take.
After the hot tub they sit down to a cozy dinner in their cabin. They barely speak and Shannon goes on a rant about how kissing is very intimate and that doing it in public cheapens it. Alex looks like he might ask if it's too late to bring Kim back. Many awkward silences later Alex pulls the Chris Harrison card out of his pocket and hands it to Shannon. She. Is. PISSED.
She glares at Alex while spitting, "what if you had pulled out the Alex and Amanda card?" as though he actually carried all of the cards around and a producer didn't give him this right before filming. He asks if she wants to check out the chalet that they have the option to stay in together. Somehow she agrees and they walk in total silence, Shannon with her arms crossed the whole way.
Alex kicks the cameras out of the chalet knowing Shannon won't talk to him until they're gone which lol you have mic packs on. The camera crew films what they can through the windows and Shannon dramatically says she's having trouble breathing. I don't understand if she thinks that agreeing to stay in the chalet is some binding sex contract or what. Like you literally can just hang out and go to bed believe it or not???
The Shannon segment ends with Alex saying that he got her to chill out and to stay but that he's scared because now he thinks she'll be mad if he gets rid of her.
Finally we get to Trista. Someone who doesn't spend every second on screen talking about having or not having sex. She hits the jackpot and gets to meet Alex in Hawaii for their overnight date. We meet her standing on a rock and the camera pans up her perfectly 00's outfit starting with the chunky flip flops and ending with her tube top. Iconic.
Alex takes Trista on a helicopter tour of Hawaii where they see waterfalls, humpback whales and erupting volcanoes. It's hands down the coolest date any of the women go on this episode and Alex spends all of it throwing up into a barf bag. Solo interviews of him are intercut with video of him barfing and he says that he thinks this was actually a good bonding experience for them.
After the tour they slip into swimsuits to hang out by the ocean and talk. Trista says that she is "in like but not in love" and with some phenomenal editing Alex gets up and leaves to go barf more immediately after this statement.
It turns out Alex is legitimately sick and can't make it to dinner. Trista shows up dressed to the nines and hangs out in his sick bed all night. This is actually one of the more normal interactions I've seen on the show. There are still cameras in the room but they aren't doing anything fancy. They're just eating room service, laying in bed, oh, and Trista has never orgasmed during sex btw. I wonder if that's why her mom was so intense about good vs. bad kissers on her hometown date. Just trying to help a daughter out.
The Hawaii trip ends with Alex and Trista staring into the sunset and a voiceover from Trista saying that she can definitely see Alex picking her in the end. She follows that up with but I don't know if I would say yes. Be a Trista.
Back at bachelor Mansion Chris and Alex meet up to chat before the rose ceremony. Fashion note: Alex is always wearing suits jackets that hit mid thigh and I would like to know if this was an 00's thing or if he shrank during this process. On top of that Chris is wearing what appears to be a Hanes t-shirt under a suit jacket. Again, 2003 was weird.
Alex joins the women to begin the rose ceremony. He picks Trista first. Trista's hair is amazing. It's one of those up-do's with strands of hair pulled down at the face and gravity defying situations up top that everyone wanted to do but couldn't figure out. Teach us your ways Trista. I want to bring this look back.
The final rose is given to Amanda which is not shocking but makes me very nervous. Shannon is an ice queen. She lets Alex walk her out but is completely silent the whole time. He says he would like to talk to her before she goes and sits on a bench but she refuses to sit down. He tries to explain his decision to her but she cuts him off. Arms crossed she coldly says, "have fun." She then shakes his hand goodbye and walks away.
This seems to be the end BUT NO. Shannon is walking toward the limo when she suddenly spins around on her heel and storms back towards Alex. I was so prepared for her to slap him but she just crosses her arms again and asks him "why?" He was literally trying to explain that to you and you wouldn't let him...
Alex gives a half assed answer that is totally not the truth because it doesn't include the words "you scare the shit out of me" and Shannon is back to the limo.
Come back next week for the women tell all special!