‘The Bachelor’: You can never go home again

The Bachelor
February 21, 2011

This is hard for me. This is a hard week to recap because while it is one thing for me to be Little Miss (Mrs.) Snarkalleupagus and make fun of how dumb the Wombat is, or laugh it up at how pathetic the ladies are for finding him attractive despite his dim, dim, lightless eyes, it’s a whole other thing when innocent people get involved. I am totally cool with making fun of the Schawntels proclaiming that they are IN LURRRVE with this lump of abs and tattoos, but Cody or Cameron or Connor or whatever that one Chawntel’s brother’s name was? The 16-year-old high school junior who was forced to come downstairs and meet his sister’s new “boyfriend” in front of an entire camera crew and a gaggle of Producers? He didn’t sign up for that. He never asked to be on a reality show. Leave Cody/Cameron/Connor alone! And the same with the parents. I mean, I hope that I do my job as parent well enough that in 15, 20 years my sons aren’t dragging a team of cameramen or holographpeople through my house so that I can meet their new “possible fiance with whom they are not sure they are actually in love, but kinda feel strongly about.” But if I do find myself in that highly unlikely position, I hope that the equivalent of whatever bloggers are in that distant era won’t be judging me and my taste in throw pillows or blouses because IT WON’T BE MY FAULT. NOT ENTIRELY. MY CHILDREN HAVE FREE WILL, AND YOU DON’T KNOW, I MIGHT HAVE BEGGED THEM TO NOT EMAIL OR TELEPATHICMAIL OR WHATEVER WE’LL HAVE BY THEN THAT APPLICATION FOR THE BACHELOR: SEASON 67, BUT THEY DID IT ANYWAY. DON’T YOU JUDGE ME.

So, yeah. Home visits. Whee.

For some reason, we begin in New York City, where the Wombat is in a hotel packing his suitcase. But, wait, when did we get to New York City? Just moments ago, Wombat was in Anguilla (Angwilla? Angweeya?) sending home the Great Love of My Life, Michelle the Villainess, and now we are on the Eastern seaboard, packing as though he’s been here for days? How long has The Wombat been standing on his New York City Balcony of Contemplation, contemplating the remaining ladies while staring SUPER HARD at the building across the street? Hours? Days? Weeks? Months? THIS IS A MYSTERY. In any event. Out on the Balcony of Contemplation, Wombat literally puts on his thinking cap whilst he remembers the ladies fondly in a special spliced together “Remember When?” montage. Remember when Chantal cried? Remember when Dr. Tube Socks and Wombat went to that terrifying carnival? Remember when Shawntel bought all that stuff in Las Vegas? Remember when St. Emily said the Wombat couldn’t meet her daughter? GOOD TIMES.

Hey! A commercial for the Academy Awards! So, a quick Tubular scheduling announcement: my recap of that is going to be a couple days late, prolly. You’ll still read it, though, right? RIGHT?!?

First stop for Wombat: Seattle. Which makes PERFECT SENSE, since he was just in New York City, i.e. the opposite side of the country, and this isn’t literally a nine hour flight or anything. Wombat meets Chantal O. in what I am pretty sure is the same park in Seattle where that one Bachelorette who was previously dumped by Wombat met that one guy who had that kid and then she dumped him but then he got his own Bachelor series and he picked that one girl but then dumped her for the other girl that he didn’t pick and they got married and it rained really hard? OUROBOROS! (Unless that’s not where they are at all. I wouldn’t really know, I’ve never been to Seattle.)

It’s super-important to Chantal that her family to approve of Wombat. But before she introduces him to the clan, she brings him to her house where he meets her Pomeranian Jiggy Boca and her cats because it’s also super-important that they like Wombat. Otherwise, this relationship isn’t going to go anywhere. Just like with St. Emily and RickyBobby, Jr. It is just that important. WOMBAT LIKE STUPID LITTLE DOG. WOMBAT NO EAT IT.

Chantal brings Wombat to her parents’ ridiculous McMansion with its 40 foot entryway, which, no offense to anyone with a 40-foot doorway in their home, but why? What is it that you need to move into your home that is 40′ tall? Statuary? Trees? Escalators? Do not understand. In any event, Chantal’s family is very handsome, and her mother even appears to be Kelly Garrett, which is worth some awesome points. Mr. Chantal’s Dad takes Chantal outside for a chat, where she explains that she loves Wombat while he smiles tightly. That settled, Mr. Chantal’s Dad takes Wombat outside so as to appreciate the Most Hilarious Piece of Sculpture, Ever (And it answers the 40′ door mystery, so.): A man carving himself out of stone. Get it? Because Mr. Chantal’s Dad is a self-made man? SYMBOLISM. SUPER-DEEP SYMBOLISM. Anyway, Wombat and Mr. Chantal’s Dad bond over their unresolved daddy issues, and Mr. Chantal’s Dad gives Wombat his blessing, because who could want anything more for their daughter than a recurring reality show waxed ape with daddy issues? It’s what every father dreams of.

Next stop: Madawaska, Maine, which, FUN FACT: is neither the most northern point in the United States, nor is it the most eastern point in the United States, but it is the most northeastern point in the United States. And now that fact is going to replace your grandmother’s birthday in your memory. You’re welcome. Madawaska is, aside from being yet another nine-hour flight from Seattle, the hometown of one Dr. Tube Socks who is SO EXCITED to have Wombat visit her family here. After being apart for so long (Wait, how long? How long has it been? I NEED MORE INFORMATION, SHOW.), Dr. Tube Socks is feeling a bit disconnected from Wombat. Which she tells him as soon as he gets out of the SUV. Solid plan, Dr. Tube Socks. This is a solid, not-looking-desperate-at-all kind of plan. Dr. Tube Socks takes Wombat to some restaurant where she used to work before becoming a member of the glamorous world of dentistry, and they eat some poutine, i.e. chili fries. As a fellow Texan, I am obligated by law to note that Wombat, when addressed by his server, answers “sí” instead of “oui,” but I’m not happy about having to do so. Also, you can get some fine poutine over at the Queen Vic, true story.

After picking up some lobsters and apples (?), Dr. Tube Socks and Wombat head over to the Tube Socks’ family home where they are greeted by a remarkably excitable group. The Tube Sock family jumps all over Wombat like a bunch of puppies, before literally sitting at his feet. What is happening? Why are they sitting on the ground? Is he going to read to them? SO CONFUSED. At dinner, Sister Tube Socks toasts Wombat for choosing Dr. Tube Socks, prompting Wombat to add, DR. TUBE SOCKS CHOOSE WOMBAT, TOO. ME EAT LOBSTER NOW. And then there is some boring conversation about ice fishing and ice skating and ice carving and ice throwing and ice shoving and ice hunting and OH MY GOD WITH THE ICE. I GET IT. IT’S COLD THERE. THERE’S ICE. LET’S MOVE ALONG.

Mr. Tube Socks takes Wombat out to the garage for a little man talk, and how Dr. Tube Socks needs someone who will appreciate her ambition and support her while she finishes school. AND WAIT, WHAT? DR. TUBE SOCKS IS STILL IN SCHOOL? DR. TUBE SOCKS ISN’T A DOCTOR YET? I AM SO CONFUSED. IS SHE, OR ISN’T SHE A DENTIST? IS SHE OR ISN’T SHE AN ARTIST WHOSE CANVAS IS MY MOUTH? WHO ARE YOU, DR. TUBE SOCKS? DO YOU EVEN REALLY WEAR TUBE SOCKS? WHAT IS REAL ANYMORE?

Daddy Tube Socks is pestering Wombat with questions about wanting kids, but I can’t listen because I’m busily going back, searching for any clue that Not!Dr. Tube Socks had ever suggested that she was anything other than a dentist and coming up empty-handed. Lies. It’s all lies.

In any event, Daddy Tube Socks is totally giving Wombat an out here: Not!Dr. Tube Socks is ambitious, and still has some schooling to do, apparently. Wombat could get in the way of that ambition = easy excuse to dump her already. But instead, Wombat joins the family and they all, including that dude in a cap who is never properly explained, gather around his feet in the living room, and I’m made super-uncomfortable.

In Chico, California, which, again, is clear across on the opposite side of the country from Maine (Do they not have a good travel agent working at ABC who could, oh, I don’t know, LOOK AT A MAP BEFORE PLANNING THESE TRIPS?), Shawntel is busy making more amazing commercials for her family’s funeral home, like the one at the beginning of the entry. And like this:

And like this:

Well, I’m sure it won’t be a problem when Shawntel explains to her family that she’s going to have to move to Texas to be with Wombat if he chooses her!


Once Wombat successfully completes these dreadful tasks, he’s allowed to visit with Rick and the rest of the family, where they all stare grimly at him as they realize that he has exactly zero point zero zero intention of leaving Texas and moving to freaking Chico, CA to hang out at a funeral home all day. WOMBAT SAY THANKS BUT NOT TO THE THANKS. Shawntel and her father have an intense discussion about the family business where he pulls out The Ultimate Guilt Card: one of her high school teacher’s sons died while Shawntel was out tramping it up in Malibu, and she wasn’t there to help take care of her. So what does Shawntel think about that? And Shawntel is all, Eh. I hear Austin is pretty cool. So Rick and Shawntel come back out to the living room, where Rick announces that if it’s meant to be, Shawntel and Wombat have his blessing. But he doesn’t really mean it. Not really.

Next, Wombat is headed to Charlotte, North Carolina, to visit with St. Emily. But first we intrude on St. Emily’s reunion with her daughter, RickyBobby, Jr., and while it’s very sweet and very emotional, and I see that little girl’s tiny hands on her mother’s arms whom she clearly has missed very, very much, and it breaks my own heart, I feel like an interloper and I suddenly don’t want to be here at all.

But St. Emily has decided that, in fact, not only is it totally fine to let this man whom she’s known for about three or four weeks to meet her daughter, it’s cool for camera crews to film her daughter meeting this stranger man. Healthy parenting, FTW! Wombat arrives at the park moments after the mother and child reunion (GREAT IDEA) bearing a present. But RickyBobby, Jr. is all, NOPE. Hey! RickyBobby, Jr.! What do you want to be when you grow up? NOPE. Do you like riding bikes, RickyBobby, Jr.? NOPE. Guess where Mr. Wombat lives, RickyBobby, Jr.? NOPE. This goes on for a while until RickyBobby, Jr. finally opts to fly the kite Wombat brought for her, and then she warms up and everything is perfect and not at all edited to create a story arc wherein Wombat goes from awkward stranger to daddy figure for RickyBobby in the course of 45 minutes or whatever.

St. Emily brings Wombat back to her home so that he can experience what her real day-to-day life is like. From what I can tell, St. Emily’s life involves a lot of Candyland. They eventually put RickyBobby to bed (weirdly leaving a camera crew behind in her bedroom — did this disturb anyone but me?), and then go downstairs where Wombat spends a lot of time explaining why he isn’t going to kiss St. Emily. WOMBAT RESPECT ST. EMILY. ST. EMILY HAVE LITTLE GIRL. LITTLE GIRL SLEEP UPSTAIRS. THEREFORE, WOMBAT NO KISS ST. EMILY. But St. Emily isn’t having it, and as Wombat leaves, she kisses him because it is not the 19th century anymore. These days, a woman can instigate a kiss without it erupting in a scandal or the woman being ostracized for harlotism for crying out loud. UGH. This show.

And now we’re back in New York City, because obviously. Chris Harrison has been removed from his cryonic suspension chamber so that Wombat has someone to speak at while he recaps the visits we just sat through minutes ago. WOMBAT WANT CHRIS HARRISON TO KNOW THIS REAL.

Chris Harrison then welcomes the ladies and explains to them that this was a big week, and Wombat truly believes he will be proposing to one of them soon. But who can say with this guy, AMIRITE?


Rose #1: Not!Dr. Tube Socks
Rose #2: St. Emily
Rose #3: Chantal O.

Wombat leads Shawntel out to the Limo of Tears, explaining that WOMBAT LIKE YOU. WOMBAT LIKE FAMILY. WOMBAT JUST NOT LOVE YOU. Shawntel weeps gently in the back of the limousine, noting that no one has ever treated her so well, no one has ever been such a gentlewombat with her, she’s never met a more perfect wombat, and she worries she never will again. The Strummy Guitar of Sadness sympathizes.

I, however, hope that the take-away from all of this for Shawntel is that next time she’s on a date, she thinks twice about inviting him onto the evisceration table. Live and learn, honey. Live and learn. And leave the scalpel out of it.

The Bachelor airs on Mondays at 7 p.m. on ABC. And you should think seriously about getting some therapy.

This post originally appeared on the Hearst site Chron.com.

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