And then there were two. Though we knew someone was going home, we didn't really know how. We saw tears, swimsuits, and lots of Chris Harrison. Oh, and did we mention it was the Sex Episode?
Alright, so that's just what I call it. But every season, when they get down to the final three, the producers decide to "surprise" the Bachelor/Bachelorette with a room key to a couples room. The "Fantasy Suite" (which I insisted on mishearing as "Fancy Suite") is offered to the Bachelorette three times, once for each of the final suitors. Except, last night Ali only got to test-drive two of her men.
That's right: Frank didn't get to spend the day (or night) with Ali. Instead, he opted to return to Chicago to visit his ex-girlfriend, Nicole. Apparently, Frank spent all this time "falling for" Ali - while traveling the world on a fantastic vacation! - only to discover that he actually loved Nicole all along. Drama. And true love, obviously. In a special, super-awkward segment, Frank goes to see Nicole and, following a long description of how much he adores Ali, he finally tells her how he feels. Instead of being like "Hey, douche, you just went on an eight-week make-out fest with another lady, you're gonna have to grovel a little better than that," she crawls right into his cowardly arms.
Meanwhile, back in Tahiti, Ali, Roberto, and Chris are having a blast boating around and making out on the beach. First, she takes Roberto on a helicopter ride to a secluded island, populated only by Roberto, Ali, and the cameraman (and, we imagine, a sound guy and the pilot). They have a romantic time. After they return to their island, they receive a couple of keys - room keys, to the Fantasy Suite. Roberto describes this as a "pleasant little surprise." The only really shocking thing is that Roberto must have decided to go on a reality television show that has been running since 2003 without ever once seeing it. Surprise, indeed.
Yep, they're gonna do it.
Her date with Chris goes similarly well. They frolic, profess their love, talk about babies and marriage and all those things that women want. Though Chris and Ali also choose to cash in on their free-sex key, they don't use nearly as many hilarious euphemisms for what they're about to do. Roberto - who, I'm beginning to suspect, isn't the sharpest knife in the drawer - uncomfortably describes how they will "enjoy the night" and "relax." Chris is, as always, serious as a pregnancy scare. In response to Ali's giggly, nervous "Do you want to?" He simply replies "yeah?"
After Chris and Ali finish up with their "special alone time together," Frank returns. In a really, really drawn-out conversation, he tells Ali that he likes her, but he doesn't like like her. Cue the waterworks.
Actually, it does look like this kind of sucks. I know I'm always super bummed when one of my three hunky boyfriends dumps me on a tropical island when we're supposed to bone that very night. However, I'm guessing she was going to give Chris the boot, so Frank's unexpected departure might have actually fucked things up a little.
But for better or worse, Ali is stuck with Chris and Roberto, the final two - one of which will most likely propose in the next few episodes. Now that they've got that pesky first-time sex thing out of the way, he (whichever he it ends up being, though I've got money on Roberto) can do it in good conscience. This is the magic of the Sex Episode. After weeks of going on group dates and traveling the world, Ali finally gets to go where (probably quite a few) women have gone before. But before this happens, we get to see them have the Marriage Talk. Though this is obviously not a traditional courtship, there is something kind of hilarious about how closely they adhere to certain rules. First she meets the family, then they discuss marriage, then there is trip to Fantasy Hotel Suite, and finally, Ali gets a big ol' rock. Love, in this context, is a multi-step process that must occur within the designated 10-week period. And if it doesn't? Time to hoist up your scoop-neck and get on back to Chicago.