“This journey has been amazing!” Desiree gushes at the beginning of the episode. So naturally it’s going to be a giant cluster-you-know-what. In case you weren’t clued in to this fact, Chris Harrison called the episode we were able to witness “shocking,” “incredible,” and “dramatic.” And you know Chris Harrison doesn’t use those words lightly.
The show starts off slowly, with Des talking about suitors Drew and Chris, almost like they’re the children of a close friend. Things like, “I love Chris’ awkwardness” and referring to Drew as the kindest, sweetest boy. This does not bode well for either of them. When she talks about Brooks, though, her demeanor completely changes. She said she pictures Brooks as her husband and she loves him, even though he hasn’t said those three little words to her yet. (Red Flag #1.)
The first overnight date was with Drew, and they met in front of windmills (a nod to the Netherlands? He does look like the Little Dutch Boy on the can of paint.) They explored Antigua in a red Jeep, where they repeatedly pulled over to make out and take selfies. There was a lot of the following exchange: Des: “Look at the water.” Drew: “It’s so blue.”
Yawn. They just “happened” to come across a steel drum band party, where they did the limbo, because that’s what you do in the Caribbean. Then they hit up a craft fair and Drew bought a lot of crafts to fill their future home, which he says he’ll keep forever (but will probably get rid of after tonight’s episode. So if you want some quality Caribbean goodies, hit up the dumpsters in Scottsdale.) They had a picnic and kissed in the rain. Des: “You can feel the love that comes from his lips.” Such a way with words! Their dinner on the beach was a washout, so they headed straight to the fantasy suite. Do not collect $200, do not pass Go. Rain be damned! Drew said he’d let his feelings for Des be known tonight! Over, and over, and over again. He said he can’t wait to wish her good morning when they wake up. Oh, Drew. Oh, pretty, pretty, Drew. STOP. TALKING. Drew confides to the crew that he’s ready to propose that night, and I believe him.
I was so bored, I started a tally of the most frequently used words in the first half of the episode:
- Amazing – 14
- Journey – 6
- Fairytale – 3
- Connection – 4 (on different levels, with 2 different guys)
- Soulmate -1
- Princess – 1
After a commercial break, we see Brooks walking around a pond, feeling unsure of his feelings for Des. (Red Flag #2) So he hopped a flight to Boise, Idaho to talk to his mom and sister. (Pretty sure that’s not allowed.) Brooks says the thought of proposing to her makes him uncomfortable. (Red Flag #3) His sister says the fact that he’s wrestling with his feelings means he knows the answer and what he needs to do.
Meanwhile, back in paradise, Des and Chris go on their date. Chris wore his lavender v-neck tee, showing how comfortable he is with his feminine side. They took a helicopter ride to Barbuda Island for another picnic. (Isn’t she sick of them, yet?) Des says it feels like she’s been dating Chris for a long time – yeah, and it’s boring.
At dinner, Chris said he’d want Des to move to Seattle and they’d have a little house on the water. Um, why should she be the one to have to move to Seattle just because he likes his job and thinks it’d be fun to raise a family there? Why can’t he move and sell insurance or mortgages or whatever else he does in California? They have houses there, don’t they? Des says she can work wherever, and she’d be open to moving to Seattle. Probably because she’s already planned her future with Brooks in her mind.
Chris’ heart is all atwitter, and he keeps saying that Des makes him feel “vibrant.” (He said this twice.) Chris accepted the fantasy suite date card, so they could “watch the stars,” which I’m pretty sure is code for “get into your hotpants.” Toward the end of the evening, Chris whips out yet another (non-rhyming) poem to share. Oh, goody.
Here’s a snippet: “It’s exciting to see how far this journey has taken us, from places I never knew existed to places I longed to see. All experiences you and I have shared together. One week from the possibility of forever and I’m not nervous, I’m excited…piecing together this journey with new memories…” Blah, blah, blah. That’s not a poem. That’s free writing. And it belongs in the Trapper Keeper hidden under your bed. He wore his pink swim trunks in the pool with Des as he professed his love to her (again) under the stars. They rubbed noses and I threw up a little.
Last, but not least, it was Brooks’ turn. Des started the morning of her date gushing about Brooks and the depth of her feelings compared to the other guys. Meanwhile, Chris Harrison arrived at Brooks’ suite for a chat. (Red Flag #4) Brooks tells Chris Harrison that his head says this is it, but his heart isn’t having it. Brooks says he doesn’t want to jump into something that’s such a big deal – um, then why are you on this show? This show isn’t a take-it-slow kinda thing. There’s a production schedule, people!
Chris Harrison asks him to clarify whether Brooks is unsure of his feelings or whether he’s not in love with Des. Brooks had to think about it for awhile (Red Flag #5) and said he doesn’t know. Brooks finally said if he doesn’t feel it by now, he’s not going to, and he’s not going to regret his decision. He said he didn’t think Des was the love of his life. Chris Harrison, happy to belabor the point, said: “As you sit here right now, you’re 100 percent sure this is not the girl for you even with more time you won’t propose and you’re not in love with her or going to be in love with her?” Brooks doesn’t really answer. Chris Harrison doesn’t want to see Des heartbroken and, to his credit, tries to play armchair detective to see if Brooks’ parents’ divorce years before is affecting his decision.
Brooks says, “I’ve been ready to get married before, this isn’t something that is new for me.” (Red Flag #6) Brooks says he’s ready to be in love. He wishes it was Des but it’s not. (Aaaaand the flag corps takes the field at halftime.) He says he feels badly to put her through the heartache, but he’s not in love with her. Ouch.
Preparing for their date, Des is so excited about spending the day together, saying she’d accept his proposal if he asked, and that she’s been in love with him for a long time, and watching this, you just get that feeling in the pit of your stomach like you’re watching a car accident in slow motion.
Brooks and his navy blue v-neck tee beat around the bush for, like, EVER before finally admitting that his feelings aren’t there. He then asked her why she was crying. Um, because you’re breaking her heart, you asshole! You don’t get to tell a woman to stop crying after you break up with her, Dumbo. She said she loved him and he was the only one who she could say that to. Then he’s all, ‘why didn’t you tell me that earlier?’ Like it would’ve made a difference? If you weren’t feeling it before, why would that change anything? Grrrr…
I felt really bad for Des, because she was completely blindsided. She’s crying, he’s crying. Snot bubbles are being blown. He won’t stop saying he’s sorry and he won’t get up and leave, he just keeps hugging her. “Go away, Brooks! Just leave!” I shout at my television, because clearly Des wasn’t going to. No, there’s still a half hour left. Of course this is going to drag on. I need some chocolate.
Des said she wanted him to meet her family. Then he had the balls to ask her what she was going to do now, and whether she’d been conflicted. (Really, what she does now is none of Brooks’ concern. If he doesn’t want to ride the Des train, he needs to leave the freakin’ station. Or something like that.) Des told him that the reason she was conflicted was because she didn’t want to share her heart with the other guys, she wanted to give it to him. She only wanted to go on dates with him. I’m sure the other guys watching the show feel awesome right about now.
Brooks asked if he should go, and it’s like, seriously, dude? What else is there for you to do? Drown some baby bunnies? Set fire to cabanas? What else is there?!?!?!? When they finally say goodbye, Brooks pulls a Jason Mesnick and has a full-on meltdown. “It’s way worse than I thought it was gonna be,” Brooks said, probably because he knows he did the ugly cry on national TV. No wonder everyone hates Americans abroad. We’re emotional freaks.
Des is heartbroken and says that it’s over, as far as she’s concerned, and she wants to go home. She can’t love Chris and Drew the way they love her. She moved her crying from the park bench to the pier to the front porch of her luxury rental home.
What do you think? What will Des tell the other guys? Is Brooks still in it? (His picture is still in color on the ABC website, as opposed to all the other guys who were sent packing.) And, yes, I realize that that last sentence suggests I need to get out more.
Personally, I’m hoping that Des’ brother confronts Brooks for breaking his sister’s heart and they settle it with some good, old fashioned Jell-o wrestling. A girl can dream.