Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The Bachelor Episode 5: Salmon Anyone?

Let’s get right to it. Episode 5 of The Bachelor and we’re down to the final five: Ali, Corrie, Gia, Tenley, and Vienna. We begin with our boring Bachelor Jake telling us about how confused he is. He’s second guessing everything. Apparently his identity is included in his Second Guess List because this week, Jake vacillates between his bad guy leather jacket look and his I’m going to play shuffle board at the yacht club look. God bless whoever got the task of getting this guy to look macho. Jake is the type of guy who is allergic to his own allergy medicine. There’s just not a lot to work with.

We begin with panoramic shots of San Francisco with a voice over of Jake telling us that it’s a great place to fall in love. That’s original. By the way, what happened to New Zealand and Hawaii? Perhaps Jake was too boring or perhaps the extra bag fees would have bankrupted the show. Perhaps the shipping fees for Jake’s sissy-cycle were prohibitive or maybe his helmet wouldn’t fit in the cargo hold. Regardless of the reason, we’re now in Northern California searching for love. Jake appears in his black leather Fonzie jacket and Unibomber hoodie and the girls arrive in the bitch bus ready to claim their territory. Thankfully, we’re done with the motorcycle . . . well, at least for now.

After some gratuitous signage shots that the Intercontinental Hotel undoubtedly shelled out some cash in order to get, Jake escorts the girls to the penthouse suit as if he owned the place. “This was all my idea,” his smug look says as he shows the girls the room amid giggles and “oh my goshes.” Juicy warm ups have been phased out in favor of 30 foot long scarves and $300 jeans and the girls scout out the suite like a bunch of quaffed and polished Sacagaweas. In a moment of foreshadowing, Vienna tells us that it was nice to “rough it” but it will be nice to be treated like a princess. Presumably, by “roughing it” she was referring to the excruciating five hour drive and sleeping in the luxury tour bus complete with full sized beds, a bathroom, a shower, a full refrigerator, and unlimited alcohol.
In a Harrison-esque moment, Jake appears to announce the obvious. The RV trip is over and he’s going to “step it up a bit”—whatever that means. By the way, where the hell was Harrison? I suppose his extra appearance last week to comfort a crying and indecisive Jake put him back into the contract negotiations room.

“How about this, Mr. Harrison, you don’t have to make the trip to San Fran this week? We’re really sorry about the mix up.”

“You’re damn right you are.” Harrison—1, Producers—0.

Jake does his best Harrison impression and announces that there will be 3 one-on-one dates and 1 two-on-one date and the over-thinking begins to pour out like free whiskey in Chris Harrison’s hotel room.

Ali insults Vienna in her purple ruffley shirt and despite being from Massachusetts tells us that San Francisco is her town. Huh? Vienna fires back that she’ll be pissed if Ali gets the one-on-one date. Unfortunately for both of them, Tenley gets it and proceeds to jump up and down like a four year old at a Chuck E. Cheese birthday party. . . a really hot 4 year old. She’s nervous, she’s sweaty, and she’ll be devastated if she goes home. Vienna attempts to smother her with a pillow but upon realizing the camera is rolling, pretends to fan her in order to cool her engines. Tenley bounces to the next room to get ready.

She emerges more dressed up than a sore finger in a different 30 foot long scarf and a white coat looking a little like Erin Gray from the old Buck Rogers series. For the Tenthly time we hear the ex-husband cheated on me story and we wonder where her heart really is—well, I didn’t. I was too busy thinking about other stuff, but Jake appeared to be wondering. Jake says something boring and we are then subjected to excruciating shots of them snuggling in front of the trolley, in the back of the trolley, inside the trolley, hanging outside of the trolley. I could go on. My San Fran geography is a little off, but I believe that was the Cliché Street trolley that picked them up. We learn that they are going to Chinatown on their date. What? What a ripoff. If Tenley wanted to see a bunch of Asians argue with each other she could have stayed at the hotel and rented Joy Luck Club. Jake could have stayed home and rented Deer Hunter for that matter. No wait, that’s rated R. Maybe he could have watched Mulan or Mulan II. Nice date, Jake.

Jake and Tenley suffer through forced conversation and contrived situations for a while. They mock Chinese culture by trying on racist hats and making their own fortune cookies. Jersey Shore was more politically correct. They watch some Chinese guy play some weird instrument in a urine soaked alley and head off because Jake wants to have some “serious conversation.” He wants to “get in her head” he tells us. Dude, what about applying the same rationale to her pants? He’s like Iceman in Top Gun with Maverick behind him impatiently waiting to take the shot. Kill the Russian Mig, Jake. Mike Brady and the gay Darren from Bewitched were more masculine and decisive than this guy.

Before the serious talk we cut to the ladies-in-waiting sitting back at the suite waiting anxiously for the next date card. Ali and Gia display their right shoulders and wildly speculate about when Tenley will return home. Frankly, I just assumed she’d come home around elevenly or twelvely. That joke just doesn’t get old. At any rate, a knock at the door sends Corrie bounding across the room like Errol Flynn in that Robin Hood movie in order to retrieve the coveted envelope. Gia tells us that she is “about the throw up.” Either she was really anxious or it was just time to regurgitate the potato chip and jelly bean she ate for lunch.

In a rare show of humor, Corrie fools Ali and Vienna by saying that they are on the two-on-one date. A none too pleased Ali makes a jerk out of herself when Corrie lets us know that she’s just kidding. Gia and Vienna get the two-on-one and Vienna confronts Ali who goes into denial. To be fair, Ali was probably tired from putting make up on both of her faces that morning. Ali hems and haws and backpedals in a refusal to own up to what she said about Vienna. Vienna shows us her long face—oh, and she appeared sad too—and we cut to an out of sequence interview with a dolled up Vienna telling us that she’s not going to let Ali “break up Jake and I.” Nice grammar, Vienna.

“I” is the first person singular subject pronoun, which means that it refers to the person performing the action of a verb. For example:

I want to go hot tubbing with Jake or;

Boring, vapid men are the ones I like; or

Ali and I are going to fight to the death.

“Me” is an object pronoun, which means that it refers to the person to which the action of a verb is being done or to which a preposition refers. For example:

When I threw myself at him, Jake told me to leave; or

Ali gave me a dirty look; or

Chris Harrison needs to talk to Ali and me.

And they said my English degree would never come in handy. Take that, people who never hired me.

Jake then uses the points of interest lines that the producers fed him and eventually takes Tenley to the top of Coit Tower for dinner and some buzz-killing discussion about Tenley’s divorce. . .again. Jake again wonders where Tenley’s heart is; apparently ignoring the fact that he has to look past two breasts to find out, and Tenley puts him at ease. After all, this stuff is serious business and Tenley was married before. It was at this point that Jake went from pretty annoying to pissing me off. Looking like a German DJ in his skin tight black turtleneck Jake assures Tenley that his inane divorce questions come “from the heart.” There’s nothing quite like killing a once in a lifetime date by bringing up the most painful memory in a woman’s life. I began rooting for Ali. Judgmental Jake lists out his “expectations” for a wife, Tenley looked as if she was going burst out in laughter, and we learn that “cheating is a choice.” Unfortunately, a lack of personality isn’t. Strong stance, Jake. What a fool.

We cut next to the California Suite where the biggest chest since Rozlyn left the show awaits Vienna and Gia for their double date with Jake. Vienna is excited that she and Gia get to be “Jake’s Queens” for the day. Jake’s Queens, huh? Sounds like a gay dance troupe to me. At any rate, the magical chest is filled with more scarves and accessories for them to wear. Vienna—under the illusion that Jake actually set that up—says it was sweet of him to think about their cold, innocent necks like that. Gia just appears happy to have stuff to try on. Vienna pulls a classic psych out on the intellectually inferior Gia a la Schwarzeneggar did to Ferrigno in Pumping Iron. Gia begins to feel the insecurity and the limo motors on to Castello di Amorosa (the castle of love). We get a voice over from the forlorn, scrunchy foreheaded Jake wondering how to divide his attention between the two ladies. Hey Jake, the French figured that out already. It’s called a ménage a toi. The girls arrive at the castle and Jake walks out like he built the thing. Vienna ponders, “is this an actual castle?” “Yes,” Jake answers. “Twelfth Century Tuscan.” Uh, wait a minute. The last time I checked the only thing running around California in the 12th Century was a bunch of naked Indians and Tuscany was located in Italy. Apparently oblivious to this, the girls take Jake’s answer as gospel and go exploring.

Vienna proceeds to come on stronger than a garlic sandwich and Gia is relegated to third-wheel status. She appears lost in thought—which is clearly unfamiliar territory for her—as Vienna dominates the conversation in an attempt to deliver the knock out punch to Gia. Gia chews on her week old finger Band Aid as Vienna holds nothing back. She was like Muhammad Ali the moment after he comes out of the Rope-a-Dope. Gia might as well have gotten up and refilled their drinks.

Oh, but wait. Jake asks if he can “steal” Gia away for some alone time. In the dirtiest thing said on this show since Channy’s “you can land your plane on my landing strip” line, Gia looks Vienna squarely in the face and says, “you can eat my salmon.” Hey now. Now we’re getting somewhere. Unfortunately, Jake doesn’t get it. Well, either that or he just doesn’t like “salmon.” At this point, I’m beginning to think that either one is just as likely as the other.

Gia—who actually looked very pretty and seemed really sincere—does her best to suppress her Jenny from the Block accent and opens up to Jake before throwing herself at him in an attempt to suck his brain through the back of his throat. Jake drops some really sexually provocative adjectives like, “kind, sweet, generous, and gorgeous,” and Gia feels validated. I was praying for Wes Hayden to burst in, grab Gia, and close the deal. Where is he when you need him? I’ll tell you where he is. He’s in a bar in Austin, Texas laughing. In the meantime, Vienna pretends like the well lit castle is really scary and for some reason carries a lantern in an attempt to find and block the sucking of the faces. In a moment that literally made me choke on my Lone Star beer, Jake lets Gia know “it’s ok to fall.” In love, we presume. Good Lord.

Vienna drops the “boyfriend” word and makes reference to being in the dungeon. Apparently, she is still under the impression that this is a real castle. She and Jake get some alone time before he has the opportunity to wash off all of the excess Gia. Vienna does her best Glen Gary Glen Ross impression despite never having heard of David Mamet and puts the assumptive close on Jake over and over. She changes scarves, talks a little crazy about Jake, and we cut back to the hotel where Ali, Tenley, and Tenley’s twin, Corrie, await the next envelope. We finally get a look at what’s been making Ali so upset for the past two weeks: her large backside. Granted, she’s not overweight and she is lovely; but her trailer is clearly carrying more cargo than Vienna’s. Corrie gets the next date and she and her apricot sweater are relieved. Ali pretends to be happy and leaves the room in search of comfort food and a longer scarf to cover her rear end.

A shirtless Jake gets ready for bed and Vienna ditches her digs with Gia to grab a bottle of wine and surprise Jake in his bedroom. Not surprisingly, Jake is not happy to see an attractive, horny, half-drunk woman with a bottle of free wine in his room. Gia comments, “I mean everyone appreciates someone that’s forward. But I think she’s making a mistake.” Translation: Vienna has probably been on her back more than Michaelangelo. Jake confesses to having “dirty thoughts” but doesn’t want any salmon.

Corrie puts on her blue sweater dress, black leggings, heels, and ties it all together with a Minnie Mouse belt and walks—that’s right, walks—to meet Jake on their date. Where is that stupid motorcycle when you need it? Geez. Jake aggressively runs at Corrie across a field. They hug, take a moment to admire his new boat shoes and knit shirt, and get into a rowboat for a trip around a fake lake with ducks in it. I’m sure that smelled lovely. Corrie wonders if there are gators in California. Jake authoritatively says no but is pretty sure there are sharks but luckily not in the duck pond—we assume he checked. We begin to see The Bachelor date budget dwindle. Let’s recap: Coit Tower, Limo to Castle, Expensive Dinner, Rowboat.
Corrie and Jake have a staring contest on the “lake” because he doesn’t have a ukulele and we begin to realize Corrie is on the chopping block. Jake and Corrie go to dinner and don’t eat salmon. She gains some ground over a glass of apple juice with her “I’m a virgin who won’t live with you until I’m married” speech and Jake about pees on himself with excitement when he realizes there’s no chance she’s going to be seeking sex later. Corrie is a nice, sweet person. I liked her the entire time. Kudos for not appearing desperate or slutty. It’s hard to pull both of those off on this show.

Ali and her caboose get the last one-on-one date and she emerges from her Medusa-like trance. She’s what we used to call “Chicago hot:” great face, large ass. Nonetheless, she conceals it well in her purple stealth dress and suede knee boots. Alright, I’m just being mean. She looked nice. I’m just tired of hearing her whine.

Jake shows up dressed like the Skipper on Gilligan’s Island for a tour of San Francisco. Oh, and by the way, why in the heck was there no Alcatraz on the trip? Odd. Nonetheless, Jake looks natural carrying Ali’s purse and they stop off at Ali’s “favorite” florist. Ali muses that it’s a dream of hers to find a man who enjoys flowers. Yea Ali, I’m sure it’s really difficult to find a sensitive man who loves floral arrangements in downtown San Francisco. To be fair, all of those men already have boyfriends and—thanks to the tireless work of some folks in the Castro—some of them already have hunky husbands like Jake.

Jake sips his frappamochaexpressachino—presumably, it’s a diet. Ali informs us that her family is far from perfect but her mom, sister, and brother would love to meet him. This is what most men would refer to as a Red Flag. Allow me to interpret: I hate Vienna because she’s mentioned that her father treats her like a princess. My father is nowhere in the picture. I have unresolved daddy issues which will be revisited upon you tenfold if you chose me. Oh boy. Jake focuses on Ali’s mistreatment of Vienna, ruins another date with his “serious questions” but does get an opportunity to check out her disproportionate hip to waist ratio when Ali straddles him and they talk in the park. The date ends well as Jake demonstrates the effectiveness of his new boat shoes by “spontaneously” suggesting a run into the water.

We move to the rose ceremony with the tension thicker than a San Francisco tube steak. Vienna shows up for her solo shot with her Lady Gaga make up and her George Washington wig on. Tenley gets some alone time with Jake and he reassures her. She looked pretty. In a weird moment, she asks Jake to dance. He shows her a really poor version of what appeared to be the boxstep. Corrie drops the “just because I’m a virgin doesn’t mean I’m not in touch with my sensual side.” Translation: you can look at the salmon on the menu, you just can’t order it. Jake tells us that sex appeal is not everything. In his case, it’s nothing.

A smoking hot Gia gets Jake alone for some reassurance and discusses having her family meet Jake. Frankly, I’m anxious to see Jake travel up to New York meet Gia’s abrasive, Long Island family. I can only imagine her parents are like Cyndi Lauper and Captain Lou Albano (before he died) and I’d relish the opportunity to see what Gia would have looked like had she not had her face Bondoed and sanded.

In a telling move, Jake takes Vienna to his suite and crosses the Delaware in a make out session on his balcony. Seriously, did she do her hair in the dungeon? She could have used a few more lanterns. I was waiting for Paul Revere to ride by and tell her the Redcoats were coming. Perhaps that's where she got that lantern.

FINALLY, Chris Harrison shows up after getting the stripper glitter off of his black suit, kills the moment with the ubiquitous champagne glass and cocktail fork, and brings Jake back to the lair of seclusion to discuss the women. Jake cliché’s his way through it and Harrison wishes he hadn’t left the stripper party. He leaves in search of a happy ending in East Bay and Jake emerges to do his dirty work. Jake takes the words “amazing” and “absolutely” to a new level by saying the girls are “absolutely amazing.” Alliteration aside, I’ll give him credit for the phrase. It may be his best moment of the season. It’s no, “look, that bird has no foot,” but hey, it’s Jake.

Tenley and her perkiness, Ali and her trailer, Gia and her lip gloss, and Vienna and her rats’ nest get the roses and Corrie and her intact virginity get eliminated. She cried just enough but not too much, said some nice things, and exited with her dignity and her reputation. A teary-eyed Jake completed his apple juice toast and with the “Amazing” count at a mind-blowing 61, the “Abosolutely” count at 7, and the “Journey” count at 5, we end with teasers of what looks like an interesting hometown week. My prediction is that Ali finally melts down and either gets Michelled or leaves on her own accord. Vienna is gonna win. Your comments are welcome below. Let me know that you think. If you need me, I’ll be drinking a glass of wine and eating some salmon.


  1. Uh, going to try to not think about that last comment… and touch on a few others. I do see more supportive signs of a Vienna victory considering the last pre-RC-chopping-block scene the producers strategically share of Jake taking Vienna on a lengthy tour of his hotel room. They've been editing and cutting such scenes away until now, likely to build viewer's doubt. Still, Tenley just seems more agreeable (aka, vapid, opinionless) and virginesque - characteristics Jake clearly decided at age 5 he had to have in his future wife. As for a glimpse of Gia's abrasive NY parents, we get a next week peek of mom at dinner, and yea, Gia has surgically massaged off any remnants of the Bronx bulldog. I also get the sense from the clips that Gia's the one with the big secret revealed to Jake in the next episode and will be leaving. Chris Harrison: "There will be no rose ceremony this time ladies." ...b/c only 3 will be left…Ali, Tenley & Vienna. We'll surely see. In the meantime, I'll be drinking a glass of wine and contemplating this delicacy you referenced, San Fran tube steak.

  2. Thank you, Courtney. Valid points. We shall see...

  3. Nothing plays Love Connection better than the streets of San Franciso. Ah, the sunshine state. California. GORGEOUS!!

    I mean, if you like the hills and you like pretty ladies, San Francisco is definitely the place to be.

    On second thought, maybe the producers determined after the shooting of the first few episodes that it was necessary to go to San Fran to give Jake additional options. Maybe that's this season's "twist." Maybe Vienna really does have a sausage. You think I'm joking? Go watch The Crying Game.

    I will say it was pretty risky to go to San Fran given Jake's propensity to cry on bridges. I mean, the Golden Gate Bridge is after all the location with the highest number of suicides. It's true. Look it up.

    Maybe the producers should have kept Michelle around a while longer with them being in San Fran. Imagine the sponsorship they lost out on..."and now a word from tonight's sponsor -- Emerald Nuts."

    I disagree with your contention that the show was racially insensitive to the Chinese people in last night's show. Think about it. Neither Vienna or Ali wore the infamous yellow dress last night. And although I do fast forward through the commercials, I think I would have noticed if there were any Rice-a-Roni advertisements.

    And what's up with unlimited amount of bubbly on this show? Can't someone mix in a tea bag every now and then?? That was Vienna's mistake when she sneaked into the Bat Cave.


    V: A nice glass of bubbly to end the night?

    J: No thanks, I've had enough tonight.


    V: A little tea bag as a night cap??

    J: Definitely!!

    I'm just saying. That would have left Jake singing "MMM MMM MMM MMM" in a deeper voice than Brad Roberts (lead singer of Crash Test Dummies) with a cold.

    (BTW, shouldn't that have been Gia with her Joker smile who sneaked into the Bat Cave.)

    I think one of the remaining girls just needs to reach around Jake and his Tom Cruise laugh and finish him off already.

    Until next week....I'll be looking for Jake at OCH taking a shot in the can.

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  5. Like most other posters here, I love your recaps and your attention to grammar and syntax are refreshing. However, please do pay attention to your own as I have, on several occasions, errors in your writing. Most importantly, in all of your blogs you move between past and present tense without rhyme nor reason. As an English major you should know that when writing about a text -- any text (and TV counts here) -- you always stick to one; the present. Elsewhere, you make syntactical and grammatical mistakes which are not -- as in some instances, I'm well-aware -- intentional. For instance, in the latest posting you write "...while we see Tenley and Vienna get their make up [sic] done and hair did...". Certainly you know it should read "their makeup and hair done". I'm just saying that since you're setting a good example -- which I'm so relieved to see -- you have to be above reproach yourself if we are to take your grammatical barbs seriously.

    Otherwise, love your writing and caustic wit. I too am a Lincee turncoat and new, ardent fan.

    Cheers from Canada!

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