A 'paradise' amid the rocks and weeds
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'The Bachelorette' recap: Frankly, my dear ...

Hey, folks ... Kathryn can't make it to the blog today, so I'm back to covering The Bachelorette. Except that I unexpectedly spent 11 hours at the office, so the short story is that this is not going to be a super-detailed blow-by-blow of the episode.

At the top of the episode, the final three -- Chris, Roberto and Frank -- ruminate about their time thus far with Ali, and they are mostly lovey-dovey and reflective. But Frank, who was so full of angst last week, reveals a little more about what's causing all his anxiety: His relationship with Ali has made him start thinking a lot more about his ex-girlfriend Nicole, to the point that he decides he needs to go see her before making the romantic trip to Tahiti with Ali (and the other two dudes). 

So we follow Frank to Chicago, where here meets up with Nicole and -- ta-da! -- he realizes he's still in love with her. He tells Nicole he has to go back to Tahiti and break up with Ali. If only she had someone else to distract her! Oh, wait ...

Anyway, back in Tahiti, Ali, unaware that she's about to be the dumpee instead of the dumper (oh, hi, karma?), wanders around the gorgeous island talking about how this is the week of the "overnights" and how she can take these relationships "to the next level." This is where things always get awkward, even when there's not an imminent breakup storming down the tracks.

 

But before that, it's time to talk about dreamy Roberto. Ali says she's been missing him and can't wait to see him, and it turns out he's been missing her, too. See? Meant to be -- and totally not feelings caused by a situation created by producers. (Sorry if I'm sounding snarky, but that 20/20 interview with creator Mike Fleiss earlier this year really removed any remaining sense of romanticism I might have harbored about this show. But Roberto's still dreamy!)

For their date, they take a helicopter ride around the island and over to yet another island that has a heart-shaped lagoon. It looks unbelievable. They frolic, as you do. They make out, as you do. That night, they have dinner, and it's time to open up, Roberto! They talk about their awesome day and how much they like each other and how happy they make each other. She asks him if he feels like he sees them together in the future, and the preview makes it looks like he answers this with a hedge, but he totally doesn't. He says of course he does, and that's why he's here. He starts talking with her about how he is falling in love with her (but he says "like" about 24 times, and it's annoying). They make out, as you do.

Then Ali hands Roberto a card from Chris Harrison. Cue up "Let's Spend the Night Together"! He says yes to the fantasy suite question. As you do.

Next, it's Chris' turn, and they, too, talk about how much they missed each other. They're taking a luxury catamaran to explore Tahiti. He interviews that he's been so guarded before because of everything that he's gone through in the past couple of years with his mother. Ali says it took longer for their spark, but now they're making up for lost time. They jump off the catamaran and swim off to another island. She calls their connection "perfect." They make out and walk along the beach ripping open oysters looking for pearls.

They have dinner on yet another private island (well, private except those pesky camera crews, of course). He tells her he wants to put himself out there more because it makes him happy. "I really see myself with you forever; you know that, right?" He's pretty dreamy, too. It's note-from-other-Chris time. Which means fantasy suite time. He tells her he doesn't know how they're going to top this with their honeymoon. Then they start talking about where they would live. Seems like they're getting pretty serious. 

So when do you think the camerapeople and producers stop them from making out to do the little interview segments? 

Cue the sad trombones, it's time for Frank to drop the breakup bomb. For some reason, he decides to break up with Chris Harrison first.  Chris is just "blown away." Frank's a wreck, but Chris tells him to tell her "straight up, right when she gets here."

Ali interviews that she thinks her date with Frank is the "most important" because their relationship has been "all over the place." She says she's head over heels about him, and she really misses him (heard that one before). They hug, and he says they need to talk, and she immediately knows something's up. Well, she's used that tone before.

He just looks at her for a while before he finally starts talking, and what all do you think was going through her head? That someone died? That he's an actor? He finally, finally starts talking, and he's using the past tense, and she looks perplexed. He spits out finally that something was holding him back from her, and he at long last figured out during the hometown date that he had confusion about his ex. He tells Ali he went to see Nicole to get closure, but that as soon as he saw her, "all the old feelings kinda came rushing back." 

She cries, as you do. He apologizes. I think she's wishing she didn't have that jaunty flower over her ear right now. Well, that is probably not the first thing on her mind. She asks why he didn't say anything before now, and then that she spent so much time trying to reassure him how much she liked him. They cry some more. I check to see how much time is left in the episode because ... come on. And there's 35 more minutes. Great.

She calls him selfish and says she's given up everything to be here. He says he did, too, and she says, "apparently not everything." Look, isn't it better he figured this out now and not, say two days after filming finished? He hopes she will forgive him someday. They hug; she leaves; they cry some more. 

There's more angst, and I just don't have the energy to recap it. La la la -- she's so alone! Except for the other two dudes! Why didn't he tell her there's another girl? He knows alllll about the other guys in her life. She calls him "the biggest jerk I've ever known." 

Then it's rose ceremony time. Ali reiterates that all season, it's been about the guys accepting the roses, not just her giving them, today more than ever. 

Chris makes Ali tell Roberto and Other Chris what happened with Frank. Wouldn't you assume the worst here? She tells them that he has "things" at home he didn't take care of before he came here, and he's gone home to take care of them. Hmm, vague. But then she says she is 100 percent sure that he is not the guy for her, and I think they get the gist of it. 

She gives them their roses and tells them the next stop is Bora Bora, where they will get to meet her family. 

Next week, the men tell all.

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