We’re in the second hour of tonight’s The Bachelorette episode and I’m not sure I can stand it. We’ve experienced the Drew Date, the Chris, um… Connection, yeah, connection, we’ll stick with that “c” word, and the Brooks Dilemma. To find out more about all of that, check out Part 1 of my recap over at USA Today. Then get back on over here because things? Are about to take a turn. And not for the better.
Also? You’ll notice the lack of photos this go. Yeah. Who wants blue water, white sand, and red eyes? You know?
Yep, Brooks is in Antigua. And…it’s time. Okay, so first it’s time to indulge the camera guy’s apparent fetish for Des’ flat tummy, then it’s time to go meet up with her third and final suitor. And we immediately get Des being set up by the show, telling Private Camera Guy how hard she’s fallen for the guy, and that while she does have feelings for the other two guys (who I’m sure are so glad to hear this now, especially given their separate all nighters with her) that her feelings for Brooks are just that much deeper. Ruh roh.
All the while, Brooks is heading to his island abode looking like he walked all the way from Idaho to Antigua, with his rolling luggage. Dude does not look like he’s slept in days. And he probably hasn’t. But, before he meets up with Des for The Talk, he has a less cataclysmic one with my bestie, Host Chris. He knows she’s exactly right for him. (Say it with me:) On Paper. But in his heart? Yeah, it’s not adding up to love. (Don’t you just hate it when that happens?)
He pours out all of his frustration and indecision and confusion and I respect the guy for being honest. With himself, and, hopefully with Des. I can see (and we’ve witnessed with the other guys) how easy it is to just let the “right on paper” part carry the day and go with it, stay in the moment, and really not examine how “real” the relationship is on a day-to-day more honest level. I’m glad marriage, even a proposal of marriage that he knows can be broken later, is important enough to him to not take it very lightly now, when it would be the easier path. Or the seemingly easier one. I’m guessing there will be shouts of “why didn’t you leave sooner then??” from other viewers. But he has voiced his concerns all along, along with the reality that he does like her, he does like spending time with her, and that he was sincerely hopeful for more. So why leave? But now, with marriage on the table, well, yeah. She got there and he didn’t. What more do you want from the guy? Host Chris lets him go on, then finally asks him if he’s uncertain or clearly not in love. And he can’t answer that right away.
So Host Chris says, if you’re not sure, then spend time alone away from the cameras in the suite, pour it all out to her, and see what comes of that discussion. But then he adds, “But what I’m hearing is ‘Chris, I’m 100% sure this is not the girl for me.’” He finally admits that he’s not feeling it yet, and he doesn’t think that’s going to change. A (very small) part of me wonders if it’s more a matter of just not wanting to take the emotional risk, especially given the set up they’re in, where she’s obviously in relationships with two other men as well. And I guess we can’t really know that, maybe he doesn’t, either. But given he’s echoed this sentiment all along, hasn’t told her he loved her, and in fact, when she did the whole skip/jog/run scenario, she was at running and he told her he was at jogging…he’s never lied about where he is.
And there’s poor Host Chris, listening to him, seeing the writing on the wall, knowing because she’s told him, that Des is in fact in love with the guy. And in fact he’s the only one she has truly fallen for. And he can’t break that confidence and tell Brooks, and even if he could, why would he? It doesn’t change anything. Yee. Glad I’m just the viewer in this scenario. Host Chris digs a little deeper. He asks what it does feel like when you’re in love and Brooks says it’s about being in a vulnerable place, that there is pain associated with it. Which sounds kind of dark, but what I think he means is that you’re in a place where you care enough that the other person has the power to hurt you and hurt you deeply with whatever it is they’re feeling…or not feeling. And he’s not vulnerable to Des in that way. Which is exactly on point. Chris asks if his parents’ divorce makes him gun-shy and he explains that he’s been ready to walk down the aisle before, so he knows what it feels like to be ready and in love. And this? Isn’t that. So…what else do we need to know here?
So, Chris assesses that Brooks is not afraid to commit, that he wants it to be Des, and it’s not. So…how does that feel, Brooks? Wow, Chris, kick the dude while he’s already squirming in misery. Of course, maybe Chris is assessing if Brooks realizes how much it’s going to hurt Des since he’s privy to how she feels about the guy, so he wants to protect her as much as possible, and points for that. But I think it’s clear just looking at Brooks that he’s been through the wringer over this, and he’s not just tossing this out lightly. Or maybe Chris just needs to make him suffer a bit because he knows Des will and…yeah. That’s human. Likely it’s a bit of both. Eventually he leaves him with the advice to be honest and make sure she sees what Chris has seen. He hopes he finds the right words…and, good luck with that!
It’s Date Day for Brooks, only…not. Des, of course, is super excited to see him and she’s all ready for their sailing date and to spend the day with him. We get the hole being dug deeper…and deeper. So, that’s awful. To his credit, he doesn’t do any fake smile, big hello. In fact, after a sincere, tight hug, he immediately pulls her aside and points to a bench and asks to talk. Now, if you’ve been there, on other side the moment you hear, or say, “we need to talk”….everything changes. Of course, Des has zero clue what’s about to happen, so any number of things could be going through her mind. Did something happen to someone in his family, what? Sadly, we know what’s about to happen. This is not fun in life. And it’s not fun television, either. So much for that sunset…
She goes straight to teary eyed…and so does he. It’s honest, it’s hard..and to make it really, really sucky…it’s all on camera. Yee. He stumbles through it and she wants to hear him say it, but in the end, when he says he wants to be madly in love with her, she knows he isn’t. And her resolve breaks, she dissolves into tears, and he hates that, hate he’s responsible for it, but what can you do? So he just holds her and says he’s sorry while she cries…and no more words are really needed. You know? Because what words are there? None that will make it any better or easier. But, since she’s human, she wants more words anyway. Why now? she wants to know. Which is fair. He says he didn’t know, he took all the time they had to try and figure it out. He says he wants to feel it, but doesn’t. And she cries some more. And this is where you want to help, but you can’t, and so you really need to walk away and let the next part start. Only you don’t want to, either of you, because as damaged as it is now, it’s still not nothing, and you’re not quite ready for nothing yet, either. The never seeing you again part that happens next, when you didn’t know it was going to happen that day, that moment. Or…even when you did. So…yeah. I hate it for them. And for me for having to watch it for them.
He wants to hold her, to comfort her, but she’s having none of that. Then she breaks and tells him that does love him, that he’s the only one she loves. (Again, sorry Chris and Drew! Especially if you’re sitting next to her right now!) He’s clearly really surprised to hear this and asks why she didn’t tell him and she says she couldn’t. He counters with “you can say whatever you want to say”. Which? True enough, I suppose. But once again, the unrealistic construct of this show kind of prevents it. She says she was going to tell him during their date, meaning when they weren’t on camera, I’m guessing. And since he’s not sequestered with the other guys now, where he could tell them she said it, I guess it’s the safe point and the earliest time, really, that she can tell him. He’s quite clearly very shaken up by that. Which is kind of interesting.
They both sit and ponder. She wants to be pissed, I guess because he didn’t tell her earlier, or just because mad is a whole lot easier than hurt. Neither gets up and storms off. He says that he knows she wants what he wants, which is someone who is madly in love with them, and he wasn’t feeling that, and it wasn’t fair to go further. She knows what it is to feel it, but not to get it in return. Which? Also sucks. Because you can’t help but wonder what the hell is wrong with you. When the truth is, nothing is wrong with you. Not being the right mutual fit doesn’t make either party wrong. Just not the right mutual fit. Which sucks harder because then you can’t even place the blame anywhere except the place it’s the easiest to put it, which is that since you felt it and they didn’t, it had to be some failing in you. A shame, because not true, but also human. She’ll get to that part eventually. I hope. But that learning curve doesn’t happen in the moment.
Of course, she’s also going on about how she’s never felt completely loved before and how much that sucks. And my immediate reaction is…um….you’ve got two other men proclaiming themselves undying, head over heels, madly in love with you. So if you need to justify your worthiness to be loved, well, there ya go. So what you’re really saying is, you’ve never been loved before by someone you love madly back. Which…yikes, Drew & Chris!! The back and forth goes on and it’s unproductive if understandable and she pokes at him with it, which I imagine she’ll regret later when she gets that if he didn’t care about her, he wouldn’t have done what he did, which was to tell her the moment he figured it out. What the hell else could he do? Pretend otherwise?
So, I’m ready to fast forward through the continuation of this. Said. Done. Let the post break-up suffering begin.
During Private Camera Time afterward, Brooks is red-eyed teary, explaining how he didn’t want to get up and walk away with her sitting there heartbroken and crying, that he wanted to stay, to fix it, help her, not leave her, and that hearing her feelings for him shook him up and made him question himself.
We flash back to him finally getting them up off the bench and asking her to just walk with him for a bit. No holding, no touching, though he wants to comfort her, he respects and gets her not wanting him to. She tells him she wanted him to meet her family, so does that come after this part? I thought it was before. Whatevs. He tells her that he didn’t know where her heart was with the other guys and that maybe she was feeling as conflicted as she was. She stops dead and tells him that the only conflict she had was in not wanting to share her heart with anyone else because from the beginning she just wanted to give it to him. Which makes her crumple and then him crumple, and both of their hearts are being broken here. Gah. (Also? Even though you know she’s putting more emphasis on her feelings for him here and downplaying the real–if not as strong–feelings she does have for the others, which is only human, I can’t stop thinking about Drew and Chris who really need to know this, in the same way Des needed to know what Brooks was or wasn’t feeling. If it’s the fairest thing for her, isn’t it also the fairest thing for them? Because who wants to be runner up at their own wedding?)
So he’s like “Sorry, I’ll stop talking, it’s not helping” and she’s all “not really” and I’m all “so why are you still talking and not leaving and maybe you’d better examine that a little bit.” Well, not so much at Des because it’s natural to want to string it out as long as possible while you’re reeling and trying to make sense of it because it’s the one shot you get and you’re really not prepared. But Brooks, dude…it’s not helping. The staying. You need to move on to the going part. She’s like “well, you should probably go” and he’s all “I don’t know what to do, or what to say” and she’s like “well, it’s all been said” and still…they linger. She pounds on him a bit more and he takes it, and…gah, cut. the. cord. They share one last embrace and he keeps saying “sorry” because what else can you do and I am with Des, and want to just kick him and tell him to stop because “yes, you being sorry makes me feel pitiful so GO.” And, finally…they do.
Des walks to the end of the pier and sits and finally just lets the tears really flow. And back on the path, Brooks breaks down, too. Not kind of, but truly full out cries. Which, partly I get, it’s a wrenching thing hurting someone like that, but he’s so broken up about it, it’s like…dude….where are your head and heart really at here? He says how he couldn’t make it better and that it was so much worse than he thought it would be. Maybe because he’d secretly hoped she was in the same place he was, or maybe because he realizes now he felt more than he thought he did? Maybe both? I don’t know. All he knows is he didn’t want to leave her like that, that his instinct was to comfort her when she was hurt, not be the one causing the hurt.
He feels guilty and bad and all those things and that’s fair given she’ll be reeling for a while, too. He tells us he was hoping she was in love with Drew or Chris so it would not be the emotional wrecking ball it was…but you can’t get everything you want. And neither will Des. And now that he’s away from it, past it, and is doing the whole “i just want her to be happy” then I’m thinking his heart is exactly where he said it was…which is not with her.
Question now is…where is her heart? Him leaving definitely added clarity to the situation for her and I’m hoping she fully appreciates the pot/kettle situation she’s in now that the break up shoes are on her feet and she’s the one saying I’m sorry over and over…while someone else’s heart is shattering all over her. I also hope she’s as gracious while they take verbal guilt jabs at her like she did with Brooks as they try to come to grips with it.
Gosh! Don’t you just love these dating shows! Talk about two hours of Feel Bad Television. I think I need to go read a good romance novel! Maybe you do, too! If so, don’t forget to enter this week’s Book Swag Giveaway! See the end of Part 1 of this recap over on USA Today for the entry details and for the winner of last week’s Giveaway. Click here.
Then hop back on over and let me know how you really feel. Also, next week? Yikes. Things aren’t going to look rosy for anyone. (When the show gives you only a scant ten seconds of previews? Yow.) Also? The live audience part after the crushing ending part. Boy. I can’t wait. You?