Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Bachelor Episode 9: Jake Makes Mistakes

Well, it’s finally here. The big finale when Jake, our plastic, insincere tool of a bachelor must chose between the virgin and the vixen. Yes, it’s Holy Water versus Hooters Waitress. It’s hurry up and wait versus hurry up and bang me. It’s hot and wet versus heavenly and wedable and we’re lucky enough to have a courtside seat. Let’s get to it.

We begin, as we have the previous eight episodes, with serene sunsets and picturesque views of tropical islands with a voice over from Jake explaining that he’s finally figured out where his heart is and he’s convinced that “what he’s doing is right.” Nevermind that we will spend the next two hours hearing him hem and haw over his decision; this is the moment. He’s endured awkward exchanges, many kisses, exotic places, and eight heart wrenching rose ceremonies. He’s booted crazy and desperate women and separated the game players from the women here for the right reasons. Only the virginal Tenley and the . . .uh . . . not-so-virginal Vienna remain. We get shots of Jake crying on the balcony followed by Jake experiencing the sheer joy of a waterfall mud rub with Vienna and a presumptuous leg wrap greeting from Tenley. Clenched and anxious, we all took a sip of our pinot grigio and a bite of cheese and settled in to see what Jake would do. Frankly, the whole thing was a lot like hearing about that German porn that all of your buddies tell you about. It sounds awful, disgusting, and terrible; yet, somehow you have to see it.

We begin at Jalousie Bay, St. Lucia with Jake in his carefully planned royal blue v-neck and linen pants throwing rocks into the ocean contemplating his search for true love. We cut next to Vienna in her ruffley green hide-my-junk-in-the-trunk swimsuit reminiscent of Ed’s green short shorts from last season’s Bachelorette wandering aimlessly on the beach. Apparently, Forever 21 and Just Add Water were out of her bikini size before she left for the show. Tenley is also wandering in her swimsuit on the beach in search of love.

Sigh.

Presumably, both of them were on the lookout for a stray rock thrown by Jake skimming off the ocean. Everyone professes love for everyone else and the set up is complete. Just once, I want to see Harrison drop his surfboard and mai tai and join the show at this stage. For crying out loud, it’s like jumping on a Greyhound bus and not having a driver. Damn you, ABC budget cuts. Damn you, other television projects and obligations that prevented Harrison from being there. Couldn’t Rachel Ray just Skype him in like Oprah does?

Confident of living far beyond actuarial tables, Jake again drops the next 60 years in the future with his wife reference then dons a bright pink linen shirt and khaki pants to join his family who have thankfully arrived to “help him fall in love.” I’m glad they didn’t break it to him that they just made the trip for the free vacation. Nonetheless, perception is reality and Jake and his pink shirt enlist the fam in order assist him with what should be an easy choice. In a stunning Darwinian moment, Jake’s dad immediately begins to cry, proving that the pussy gene is indeed hereditary. Jake’s mom and her Heath Ledger as the Joker in the Dark Knight haircut seems anxious to meet both women. Jake’s sisters-in-law and two brothers complete the jury panel and Jake makes a canned speech about love and life before opening the floor to oral argument.

Jake does his best DaVinci impression and paints Tenely in broad, loving strokes as a picture of all that is right and good with the world. His picture of Vienna is more like a first grade finger painting. Jake’s mom asks “is this the one that everyone hated?” and Jake realizes that Vienna is going to have to climb Everest in order to please Mommy Dearest. We pray that Vienna has not made the mistake of hanging her evening dress on a wire coat hanger. Jake’s dad just sits there and cries and we wonder if in the pinnacle of his youth he too cried on balconies. We learn from the Joker that it is important that the woman in Jake’s life gets along with Jake’s “sister-in-laws.” Bad form, mom. Some words have irregular plurals. Goose, geese, mouse, mice, are examples. Some words with adjectives and hyphens form the plural by adding the correct affix to the noun portion of the word. Sister-in-law is one of those words. Ergo, SISTERS-in-law is the plural. The error is common; however, and not nearly as egregious as Vienna’s “Jake and I’s relationship,” but annoying anyway.

Tenely arrives appropriately in a white car looking newly virginal and stunning in her hot pink sun dress schlepping a large bouquet of the local flora purchased by a staff member in order to lure the bees away from Jake’s mother’s Heath Ledger perm. Good plan, Tenley. You’re on the 10 yard line. Just don’t fumble the football. Tenley is sufficiently nervous but proves to be articulate, considerate, and passionate when relaying her feelings about Jake to the family. Jim Jones was less convincing when he handed out Guyana punch. She even used her standby my-ex-husband-deflowered-then-cheated-on-me story to her benefit in order to seal the deal with mom and her Heath Ledger haircut. Tenley loaded the bases and then hit the ball out of the park. Frankly, I was shocked at how well it went. She made Snow White look like a whore. The only thing she didn’t do was an interpretive dance in honor of her love for Jake and her desire to be part of the family. I’m certain that would have gone well too. Nice job, Tenley.

Jake’s sisters-in-law attempt to get Jake to commit by asking Jake if he’s going to chose Tenley. Clearly, the entire family loves her. Jake says he cannot answer the question for fear of being sued by ABC, tied to a pole, and whipped repeatedly by Chris Harrison in a roman soldier costume; all of which are enumerated terms in his contract. Jake satisfies his Oedipus issues by obeying his mother’s wishes and showing Tenley that he can “play rough.” Jake “spontaneously” jumps in the pool for a make out session with Tenley and his brothers join in the fun by jumping in the pool and trying to make out with Tenley as well. Tenley reminds them that she has not been with many menly and they back off, happy in spite of their failure. Jake’s mother uses words like “perfect,” “blessed,” “happy,” and “welcome” to describe Tenley’s visit and, in a foretelling moment says that “the woman tomorrow better be really special.” At that point, we all got up to pee and refill our wine, giddy at the possibility of Vienna walking into the lion’s den and finally getting a taste of her own medicine.

I’ll give Tenley credit. Clearly, she was in a tough place at the start of the season. She proved herself to be resilient, sweet, honest, and sincere. Like Gia, she pleasantly surprised me and I found my belief that Jake’s head is planted firmly up his colon to be more solid than ever before.

Vienna, who has been repeatedly sacked and pillaged by a series of foreign invaders and is now well-known for her ability to handle large, elaborate balls . . . oh wait, that’s Vienna, Austria. Honest mistake. At any rate, Vienna arrives the following day to meet the family dressed in an innocent white dress. Frankly, that’s like putting a silk hat on a pig, but at least she cared enough to pretend. She carries a giant basket of contaminated fruit in order to attract flies that will inevitably end up in Jake’s mother’s Heath Ledger hairdo. That will be a nice reminder of her dislike for Vienna when she has to declare the fruit at customs and submit to a search of her belongings. Jake pulls Vienna aside in an attempt to warn her about the thirsty Roman mob on the other side of the fence. Oblivious, Vienna refers to Jake as her “potential future husband” and they trod on, undefined and uncertain, into the Coliseum in order to face their fate.

Jake’s mom offers a fake greeting in her orange tank top and black dress. She was obviously still upset that a house fell on her sister. To be fair, Jake’s mother seemed sincere and her radar was clearly on red alert when Vienna entered the room. The fact that Vienna died her roots black for the occasion was not enough to overcome the instant judgment of mom and sisters-in-law and the awkwardness began to spread like hot sauce on an order of Hooter’s wings. Vienna shows us that she failed to shave under her arms. To be fair, that’s the way they keep the flies off their watermelon in the swamp.

The inquisition begins and Vienna begins to stumble like a drunken sailor in Hong Kong. She doesn’t admit to her illustrious Hooters career; instead opting for the “I just graduated” speech. We wonder what her future holds in store for her. I suppose her newfound notoriety will bring her many career opportunities. However, it is clear that she will never become a teacher. She can’t keep her pupils straight. Alright, that’s a mean cross-eyed joke and I usually don’t tend to attack immutable characteristics. But, since it’s the big finale and all, I figured I’d give it a run. Sorry, Vienna . . . sort of.

After admitting to being from a Florida swamp and fooling no one with her “really honest” defense, Vienna is clearly on the ropes. Eye rolls and nervous laughter mask the hostility breathing inches below the dinner table. Jake’s brother looked extremely annoyed. We could almost hear the “free vacation, free vacation, free vacation” mantra echoing in his head as he tried not to bite his tongue off at Vienna’s lack of class. Helpless, Jake chugs orange juice wishing for the first time all season that he had alcohol.

The sisters-in-law take charge of Vienna and mom pulls Jake aside for a talking to. Mom makes it clear that she f*cking hates Vienna and the in-laws do their best to let Vienna know that they don’t ever want to be forced to spend Christmas with her. Vienna again ignores actuarial tables and says that she sees “Jake and I’s” relationship lasting the next 80 years.

Clearly in denial, Jake sits helplessly outside blaming himself for ruining his mother’s impression of poor, sweet Vienna. Is he really that dense? Jake could fall into a barrel full of boobs and come out sucking his thumb. The family read her perfectly and he was too blind to see it. Eventually, the producers attempt to save the sanctity of the ending and offer Jake’s family a couple more freebies if they pretend to accept Vienna. Done deal. We move on to the final dates.

We cut to Soufriere Springs and soon learn that “Soufriere” means “sulphur” in St. Lucian. Jake dons his gray thinking shirt evidencing his contemplative and troubled mood and quietly reflects in the rotten egg smell of the sulphur pit before Vienna “surprises” him in order to gain a few points. In response to Jake’s “do you like sulphur” question Vienna says that her parents use it in their meth lab back in Florida. They coat each other in mud presumably in fear of being attacked by Predator and eventually retire to the hotel where Vienna offers up a poorly written cliché of a note secured by the wedding ring her father gave her when she married him a few years back. Vienna loves “hem” and wants to spend her life with “hem.” They make out for a while beneath a mosquito net and use a lot of code language for the word “horny” before Jake relaxes in an attempt to let his erection subside before hitting the road to pawn that cheap ring in his linen pants in exchange for a knit shirt that actually fits him.

Next, we see Jake—confused again—awaiting his date with Tenley in board shorts, t-shirt, and the mysterious edit-ruining orange watch. Tenley performs the standard jump, giggle, leg wrap greeting taught in Bachelorette 101 and off they go for some scuba diving and touchy feely feelings talk. Jake broods. Tenley broods. Jake eventually confronts Tenley with the fact that there is no physical connection between them despite the fact that the emotional connection is overpowering. Translation: Vienna slutted it up pretty well for me last night and I’m wondering if you’ll ever be that good in bed. Put out or get out. Tenley does her best thinkin’ real hard face and listens to Jake circle around the point. Tenley is hurt and she and her French nails seek solace in Jake’s strong arms and orange watch.

They return to the hotel for their final evening together. Again evidencing her commitment to the show, Tenley presents Jake with an extremely thoughtful gift book and frame of pictures and forget-me-nots that makes Vienna’s hastily written note look like a bucket of feces before throwing all caution to the wind and letting Jake know that she’s his for the taking. To be fair, she realized that her only hope was to jump right into the pigsty with Vienna. Sometimes a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do. Even the Karate Kid had to kick that mean kid in the face in order to win the girl. We are left to wonder if Vienna’s penchant for promiscuity will prove too formidable. Tenley again swung for the fences and we all poured another glass of discount wine and began to sadly accept what we had suspected.

Jake wakes up shirtless in his pajama bottoms after apparently sleeping outside all night. He walks over to his private balcony to ponder his choices. Tenley wakes up in her innocent blue t-shirt and boxers amid soft lighting in order to picture life with Jake. Vienna sits on her balcony in her Jacqueline Bisset in The Deep linen shirt sans underwear. All of them don bathing suits and do some more semi-nude soul searching. It’s scenes like this that make this show two hours. Why can’t they just tell us that they soul searched and contemplated?

Jake showers and puts on a purple blouse in order to meet with the highest bidding ring sponsor, Neil Lane, in order to select two diamonds befitting each potential Mrs. Denton Housewife. Jake tells us that “a ring is a promise between two people.” Yea, and it’s also a huge cash layout for something that can be pawned in the event of a break up or the need for more plastic surgery. Ask Vienna’s ex-husband.

Jake is confused again and gives us a sniffley confession about letting his “heart lead” while we see Tenley and Vienna get their make up done and their hair did in preparation for the Engaging and Ejecting Ceremony. Vienna spackles her face and Bondoes her eyelids while bluebirds and rabbits from the Enchanted Forest delicately assist Tenley in putting on her dress over a symphony of whistles. I could have sworn I saw dwarves in the background, but I was pretty loaded at this point in the show.

Like Tiger Woods’ Sunday red Nike golf shirt, Vienna dons her customary teal dress. The dress looked like something that Wonder Woman’s real family would have worn on that Amazon island on those episodes when Lynda Carter would take the invisible plane and return home. The teal sparkly belt was likely a metaphor for the Lasso of Truth. Both woman profess their nervousness and board helicopters oblivious of the crash risk and take a ride toward Jake while Wagner’s Ride of the Valkryies plays in the background. I was ready for Robert Duval to emerge in a cowboy hat and a yellow dickey and profess his love for the smell of rose ceremonies in the morning.

Jake sits sweating like Vienna in church in his shark skin suit amongst the bouganvillas, orchids, and aloe vera plants, awaiting the arrival of the broads. What was up with that suit? He looked like he should be playing piano at a casino lounge in Branson rather than proposing to someone.

Being the first to arrive at a final rose ceremony is like being the token comic relief black guy in a horror movie. We know Tenely is destined to be dumped. She looked stunning in her gold Fay Wray from King Kong dress. Amid the jungle background, I half expected a giant ape to pick her up and carry her away to his lair after stepping on local tribesman and blowing her dry. No such luck. In lieu of a giant ape, Harrison takes a break from playing shuffleboard and downing screwdrivers at the local resort and arrives just in time to escort Tenley to her demise.

I will give Jake credit for cutting to the chase. No long speeches or professions of neverending confusion, he just went for the jugular. Jake force feeds the poison apple to the virginal Tenley and she loses with more class and dignity than anyone in Bachelor history, proving what an idiot Jake is to select Vienna. Jake cries and eventually escorts her back to the able emotional safety net that is Chris Harrison and he cries on that giant balcony prior to composing himself in anticipation of throwing the rest of his life into a swamp. We could almost hear Jake’s mother’s arteries hardening.

Jake tells Tenley in parting that “some part of him was not coming naturally with her.” We all know that Vienna is much more skilled than Tenley at making things "come naturally" and Jake finally shows his hand. Leading with his heart, my ass. Memo to Jake: there’s a reason that I Want to Be a Millionaire allows a confused contestant to call a friend and ask the audience. They are usually correct. You had the benefit of both and you ignored them. Nice job. Start carving up the gazebo now and save yourself the aggravation down the road.

Vienna arrives in the slutcopter, uses I as a possessive pronoun again, and refers to Jake as her Prince Charming. Jake returns the trinket wedding ring that Vienna’s father gave her and confirms that she and her father are, in fact, divorced before dropping to one knee and ignoring the millions of people screaming at their televisions and choking on their chips and queso in order to propose to Vienna. Vienna uncrosses her eyes for a moment in order to inspect the new hardware and some legal secretary in a Denton divorce lawyer’s office began to type In the Matter of the Marriage of Jake Pavelka, Petitioner v. Vienna Girardi a/k/a Vienna Pavelka, Respondent filed in the District Court of Denton County, Texas, in anticipation of handling the divorce. We end with a montage of Vienna whoring it up over the last nine weeks, making Roz look like Tenley. Like watching Rocky for the twentieth time, I knew it was coming, but I was still sad when it happened. The good news for Jake is that he won’t be wasting any money on the opera every weekend. Vienna is not likely to put on a funny hat and sip mint juleps on the outfield grass. I hope he has a taste for fried pickles and hot wings. I’m sure she’ll be named an honorary Denton Hooters girl if she chooses not to work there right away.

With the final Amazing count at 134, Absolutely at 33, and at Journey 39, we see Jake (which rhymes with ‘mistake’) and Vienna ride off into a St. Lucia sunset in search of more publicity.

Thank you all for continuing to read every week. I will submit another blog entry this week on the After the Rose show and I plan to submit more on Jason and Molly’s wedding and the 20/20 Inside the Bachelor special. In the meantime, submit your comments and questions and I’ll try to answer all of them from the male perspective. Until next week, I’ll literally be crying on a balcony. If only I knew where to get a shark skin suit.

20 comments:

  1. Bravo! I worship at your scathing, sarcastic feet. Started reading when you guest-blogged for Lincee, and I've been hooked since. Somehow each week you manage to catch and chronicle what we're all thinking during the episode. Well done.
    I have to ask, though, how old are you? I guessed mid 30s (ish) but some of your pop culture references have made me wonder (Fay Wray, for example). Either you're older than I originally surmised, or just really well-read and you could probably hand my ass to me at Trivial Pusuit. In any case, please keep writing, and I'll be looking forward to the next entry.
    -Kyli

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  2. Thank you, Kyli. Both of your assumptions are correct. I am, in fact, 38 years old and I am a fan of all media. I am a formidible foe at any trivia game, but won't make any representations about my likelihood of sucesss against you. Thank you for reading. I'm glad you enjoyed it. DP

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  3. That was hilarious! I love your point of view on everything. I also think Jake is plastic and like Vienna said about Tenley, a puppet. Maybe Tenley and Jake would have been perfect together. I think tenley deserves better!

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  4. Agreed, Melissa. Cynicism aside, I hope he made the right choice. We shall see how it all pans out. DP

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  5. I too got hooked after you pitch hit for Lincee-hilarious as always! Can not wait to hear your take on ATFR and ack Jake on Dancing With the Stars lest we remember the awkard "dancing" moves he displayed with Gia and Tenley??

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  6. I meant to say I robot, not a puppet, but basically the same thing. Ha!

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  7. Thank you, I wouldn't have been able to watch this season without you!

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  8. I am a Lincee turncoat as well. You have reduced to writing (in a most formidable fashion) my instinctual need for absolute candor in relation to this show. BRAVO! I am a follower oh great one.

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  9. very humorous take... I have a few questions for you - 1) Do men REALLY like someone like Tenley? Because she seems too good to be true and her sugary sweet demeanor would get old after a while.
    2) I know this is a stretch, but from a male perspective - why would a guy cheat on someone like Tenley in the first place? I know you'd have to speak in generalities, as you don't know Tenley or her husband...
    3) Lastly - based soley on the editing we saw on tv - which girl would you most be interested in dating and why?

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  10. Thanks so much for the witty comments. I really enjoy reading your recaps. : )

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  11. Too funny! I started reading your blog after your entry on Lincee's blog as well and I had to go back and read the whole season. Love all the analogies you throw in there..."sweating like Vienna in church" LOL!

    I really like your take and I can't wait to read more...may have to go back in your archives to read Jason's season too.

    Count me as a fan!

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  12. I was persuaded to prefer Vienna by the end for one reason: the kind of guy Jake is around her. He's cranked pretty tight around most people and when he's with Vienna he seems to relax. Maybe I'm mistaking sexual chemistry for compatibility, but I like who he is when he's with her. Silly pirate jokes and all.

    You're fun to read and I laugh more than I think I should at your blog. The grammar deconstructions and menswear fashion critiques especially get me.

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  13. To All, Thank you for the comments. Believe it or not, they make the time I put in on this worth it. I'm taking your questions and will publish my answers and the After the Final Rose blog on Friday morning. Per a bunch of email requests, I've added a picture of myself to my profile. One person hypothesized that I was fat, ugly, and insecure because of the edgy content. I guess I'll let you all be the judge. Drop me an email or a comment. Happy reading. DP

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  14. The amount that I enjoyed the Vienna trashing makes me a horrible person...the eyes, the I's, Vienna in church...hilarious!
    Looking forward to the next post...

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  15. Come on, Mary. You're not a horrible person. Vienna is. DP

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  16. As a former flight attendant, I started making mental notes of my observations regarding Jake (Capt. Goober) beginning with Jillian's season. My list is now far too long to be posted as a comment here. This guy just seems completely disingenuous. By the end of his amazing journey, I felt like we, the viewing audience, had been subjected to a bunch of whack-jobs on their own personal tour of the DSM-IV.

    Attempted to email you my list, but was unable....

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  17. AHAHAHAHAHAHA! You forgot to mention Vienna's legs...shudder...Everytime I saw her walk I got squeemish...buhhhhh!

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  18. "Vienna uncrosses her eyes for a moment in order to inspect the new hardware and some legal secretary in a Denton divorce lawyer’s office began to type...." Snort. LOL visual.

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  19. This is just brilliant. Honestly, I had to go back and read all of your blogs because this mess is too hilarious!

    Seriously now, Jake struck me as being a whackjob during Jillian's season and this season he struck me as an emotionally stunted, bizarre, ken doll, who was a dork in high school and is now completely overtaken by the fact that some woman actually wants to sleep with him and is so sadly oblivious to the fact that she would sleep with anyone. There must be something I was missing for the women to actually want to be with him. Of course, sweet Tenley was just happy that anyone would want her after she was emblazoned with her scarlet "D" for "divorcee."

    ...and as a lawyer, I appreciate your incredibly accurate use of legal terminology.

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  20. Lindsey, Thank you for your comment. I do have to say that it's not entirely appropriate for me to take credit for my "incredibly accurate use of legal terminology" without disclosing that I am, in fact, an attorney in my day job. Your charicterization of Jake as a "Ken doll" brings up an interesting thought. I wonder if Jake shares the same anatomical resemblence to Ken, if you know what I mean.

    After the Rose post will be up tonight. Thanks as always for reading. DP

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