With hometown dates rapidly approaching, our "Bachelorette" knew it was time to get down to business in Prague during this week's episode. So did she ask her remaining suitors about their approach to child-rearing? Grill them to see if they'd be open to moving to North Carolina with her? Ask if any of them have a 401(k)? Nay. She decided to figure out who the best kisser was.
Listen, I get that the woman needed to get her rocks off. She was spending a lot of lonely nights in hotel rooms. But Emily's European make-out tour was on another level Monday night. I am surprised she had not contracted the bubonic plague at this point due to the amount of time she had spent swapping spit.
The kiss-off moved from Croatia to Prague this week, where again our bony little heroine was forced to lug her "lone roller bag" up the cobblestone streets to her hotel rooms. While an endless stream of wardrobe options seemed to continue to emerge from Emily's small piece of luggage, the guys were running low on clothing choices. There were lots of hoodies happening.
Arie got the first one-on-one date, and managed to find a button-down to wear. Tour guide Emily had her trusty guide book, and the two set out to make out -- I mean, take in the sights. As they approached a historic-looking church, Arie mused: "It would be very romantic if we got married in one of these giant cathedrals." Um, good luck booking that on your race car driver salary, bro.
Prague scholar Emily then led Arie to an old bronze sculpture of a dog that apparently tourists are supposed to rub.
"It's weird to rub a dog that represents loyalty when I know he has a secret he is hiding from me," Emily said. I'd say it's weird to rub a bronze dog sculpture in any event, but -- yes, folks, that's right - Arie was hiding something! Cue an awkward interlude to host Chris Harrison back at the classic Bach mansion, where we haven't even been at all this season. Because this show is always totally forthright with us, Chris wanted us to know "in the interest of full disclosure" that Arie had a "brief" romantic relationship with one of the show's producers, Cassie Lambert, years ago.
For whatever odd reason, Cassie told Emily about the dalliance only after she realized things were getting serious between the Bachelorette and Arie. Still, Emily was upset the pair had kept their one-night stand -- or whatever constitutes a "brief" relationship in Bach world -- from her.
"This isn't a production thing," Emily told Cassie, "it's a real life thing."
Which means what, exactly? Was Emily implying that the production sets up certain things for her to buy into that aren't legitimate? No. I will not hear such heresy.
Anyway, though we got to see Emily and Cassie talking, when the producer and Arie finally told Emily about their relationship, cameras mysteriously weren't there. Cut to the evening portion of Emily and Arie's date, where things were suddenly fine and dandy again. Arie officially became the first guy to drop the l-bomb, and Emily's eyes looked like they were going to pop out of her head with sheer glee.
Next up was poor Wolfie, who didn't stand a chance. Emily had continually said that John -- who goes by the tragic nickname "Wolf" despite any substantial body hair -- had been slow to open up and "won't let himself fall in love." Dude, why can't you just say that maybe you aren't feeling him? Why does it always have to be that he's not "vulnerable" or "open" enough?
In an effort to please princess Emily, the Wolfster revealed that his last relationship ended when he was cheated on.
Now, Emily said, she understood why he'd been so slow to open up -- he got his heart broken! Or he's dating someone on a TV show and has hung out with you only twice? Just a thought.
Right after the pair's boring date ended, Sean -- frustrated that he would only be going on a group date this week -- snuck out to find Emily. I mean, bro was literally running through the empty streets of Prague shouting Emily's name like a fool. While this seemed idiotic, lo and behold -- Emily actually WAS lurking weirdly in an empty alley "by herself." So then they -- shocker! -- made out for like an hour and called it a night.
I have to say, though, this was the first time I really got on the Sean train. There was something attractive about how assertive he was in just setting out to find her instead of whining about his lack of time with her. Plus, he appeared to be a far less repulsive kisser than Arie, which is a bonus, since that's basically all we were subjected to watching this week.
The next day on the group date, nobody knew about Sean's forbidden move, though it was clear it gave him a leg up over his sorry competition, Chris and Doug. Doug lasted maybe an hour before Emily sent him packing. Once he grazed Emily's leg and had a conniption over accidentally touching her, she realized it was time to let him go.
With only two left, the rose obviously went to kisser-of-the-week Sean. Which did NOT bode well with Chris. But more on that later.
It was time for Emily's final one-on-one date of the trip, which went to Jef. The two embarked on a date that started in -- wait for it -- a marionette shop, where Jef was able to show off his oddly strong puppeteering skills. Emily purchased a male and female marionette meant to represent she and Jef, and the two left. But stop! We can't leave little Ricki Tick out of the equation. Jef rushed back into the store to purchase a tiny baby marionette to make the creepy marionette family whole.
With their puppets in hand, the couple wandered into a library and decided to put on a puppet show with "every highlight of their relationship." Meaning it wasn't going to be a very long puppet show.
As it turned out, the marionettes were the perfect medium for the soft-spoken Jef to express himself.
"Since we have these puppets, it somehow makes it easier to express these big feelings," he explained in an interview later.
So, what did homeboy do? That's right. He used his marionette to tell Emily that he was "a million percent in love" with her.
That's gonna be a good one for the kids someday.
"Mommy, how did Daddy first tell you he loved you?"
"Well, honey, he didn't have the guts to say it himself, so he said it through a puppet!"
Every girl's dream.
Despite the totally bizarre interaction, Jef is still one of my favorites. His meekness is somehow endearing, and his innocence seems to match up well with Emily's wholesome shtick. For instance, both share the same values about living together before marriage.
"When people live together before, it makes it so easy to get out, but if you do it after you're married, you have to work on it," Emily says. That's a good philosophy. Don't figure out if something works before you commit to it, just force it to work even if you're miserable! Yay.
With Jef locking up one of the final four spots, only Chris and Wolf were left on the line. Chris pulled a lame move and asked Emily to talk right before she was about to hand out the final rose, and then basically begged her to keep him around. Which she did, annoyingly.
Obviously, I'm now dying for hometowns. If I had to put money on it, I'd go with Jef for weirdest parents? Here's hoping they put on a family puppet show.
Follow Amy Kaufman on Twitter @AmyKinLACopyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun