Compared to the scandal of Bentley‘s departure last week, Monday’s episode fell short in the drama department. Although the show featured many yawn-worthy moments, a few things presented themselves that were notable. Among them is the fact that Ashley’s forehead is as large as Ames‘, noted due to her hair being constantly wet and slicked across her massive noggin throughout the episode. Are Ashley and Ames a match made in heaven? They’ve got matching foreheads and matching (kinda) names … Only time will tell. Until then, let’s dive into the recap.
The men are assembled and ready to receive Harrison’s weekly announcements. They are all super chummy with one another and this makes Ryan a tad uneasy. “At some point, the man claws are gonna come out,” his voiceover says. “It’s gonna be dangerous.” Little does he know that he himself will be the recipient of man-claw wounds due to a ridiculously sunny attitude. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
Harrison rubs his hands together and takes a long look at the motley crew before him. “I think you’ve all realized by now how serious Ashley is about all of this.” And if any one of you are anything like he-who-must-not-be-named, I will personally slaughter you and feed you to the millions of housewives who watch this show. Now go pack your bags. We’re heading to Thailand. That is all.
The men erupt into guffaws of excitement and immediately begin to fist bump, chest bump and kiss each other.
Meanwhile, Ashley is already on the beaches of Phuket, Thailand. As she sashays along the water in tiny red shorts and a bikini top, she dreams of Bentley. “While I’ve been in this beautiful place, I’ve often closed my eyes and wondered how it would be if he were here,” she says. Well, it would be real sucky if he were there, Ash. Take our word for it.
Deciding that she’s had enough nostalgia for one day, Ashley gets her act together and begins planning her dates. Cue the Thai music and wide shots of waterfalls. There is so much to explore, so many men to seduce and so little time to fall in love. Ash’s personal event coordinator Annie has practiced her English for months in preparation of her television debut. Annie gives some great advice for date locations, and then Ashley is off to greet the men. She gives the first date card to Constantine: “Let’s see Phuket together”
Constantine & Ashley’s Date
1) Ashley has a great date planned. She and Groban-lookalike are going to take a boat out to a private beach! Just as they are preparing to depart, a native in a raincoat runs up to them. Speaking rapidly in a foreign tongue, he makes several hand motions. Somehow, the couple is able to decipher from this that a storm is coming. No amount of true love is worth death by drowning, so they decide to head inland for the duration of their date.
2) Groban soon gets bored of window shopping and trying on scarves, so he suggests talking with the locals because, why not? They grab a random teenager and have her translate for them as they talk to an old man about the secrets to a successful marriage.
Meanwhile, back at the resort…
The men are discussing Groban’s possible demise. “I’ll be honest,” says JP. “I hope the date is awful and he doesn’t get a rose.” It appears as though the man claws that Ryan spoke of are beginning to reveal themselves.
The group date card arrives: “Let’s make the world a better place”
Everyone was called on the date except for Ames. The men try to keep from punching him smack dab in the forehead.
Back at the date…
3) In the spirit of fun love and spontaneity, the couple sprint down a side street together and giggle like school children. Ashley feels as though Groban is helping her gain some of her heart back. You know, the parts that were lost when Bentley left – just in case you forgot about that guy. Because she’s not over him yet, in case you haven’t gathered that from the 50 references she’s made to it so far.
Just a couple of young kids living life to the fullest on the dreary streets of Phuket.
Meanwhile, back at the resort…
The men discuss the fact that they are all going after, and I quote, “the same piece of fruit.” What began as a civil chat takes a turn for the worse when each man decides to share the intimate details of their relationships with Ashley. It went something like this:
Man 1: Don’t want to cramp anybody’s style, but I kissed her on our date.
Man 2: Wait…what?! I kissed her.
Man 3: No way! I kissed her like five times.
Man 1: Um…what? You of all people kissed her? You’ve got to be joking…
Clearly, these guys have never seen a Bachelor/ette season before.
Back at the date….
4) Ashley debates giving the date rose to Groban. “You really got me back on my feet during this date,” she tells him. Even though I’m still in love with Bentley and you could never hold a candle to him, try as you might, I will go ahead and grant you this rose.
The Group Date
1) Ashley brings the men to an orphanage and informs them that they will be fixing it up for the children that live there. JP is near tears. It speaks volumes to him that Ashley would rather help children than booze it up on some boat off the coast of Phuket, which would be typical of this show.
2) While the men are painting and assembling bunk beds, Ryan makes his way from room to room while critiquing their work and giving out orders. I’m beginning to sense some man claw damage in that man’s near future.
3) In one of the rooms, Ben the wine-maker is hard at work. He claims that he “can’t paint” but creates a top-notch elephant mural. Ashley is so attracted to his compassion and/or art skills that she rubs her painted hands all over his chest. Geeze, hope that wasn’t his best American Apparrel tee.
What a stud.
4) After revealing the newly improved orphanage to the children, the group heads to the after-party. Ben is feeling pretty confident because he can wield a paint brush like no other man Ashley has encountered. He’s talking to Ashley about their day together at the orphanage and mid-sentence goes right in for the kiss. I must admit, that moment made my heart skip a beat. I think I just switched teams. GO TEAM BEN! (William is a joke anyway, no pun intended.)
5) Ashley has some alone time with Ryan. She tells him that it is very important to her that her relationship has a strong physical connection. “I get along well with guys,” he replies. Yikes?
6) Ashley pulls JP aside for some alone time. “So, when’s my next date gonna be?” he asks. OMG, our last date was so bad, I totes fell asleep on your chest, she says. I was at my lowest point after Bentley, the love of my life, left me. For some reason, this doesn’t phase JP at all – he’s in the mood for a makeout session. He chucks the umbrella over his left shoulder and pulls Ashley in for some intense lip-locking.
“JP’s kisses are magical,” Ash tells the camera.
When they are done sucking face, JP takes Ashley in his arms and attempts standing up while holding her like a child. His legs buckle under him like a newborn calf, and they both collapse to the ground. Wow, JP. Just, Wow. She weighs 5 pounds; are you serious?!
Meanwhile, back at the resort…
Ames receives his date card: “Ames, it’s more romantic in the rain. Love, Ashley”
Back at the date…
7) Ashley grabs the rose to present to her favorite man of the night. Before she gets a chance to speak, Ryan interrupts her and asks to speak to her outside. Murder flashes in every man’s eye. Is it man claw time yet?? I’m sick of waiting around; I want the alleged man claws to reveal themselves and for a gruesome battle to ensue!
Despite Ryan’s last-ditch efforts to gain the rose, Ashley grants it to Ben. Well deserved.
Ames & Ashley’s Date
1) Ashley is waiting for Ames on a pier. He runs toward her barefoot and looks extremely awkward. Oh, Ames. This is gonna be a long date.
2) They get on a boat and head toward the mountains. “I feel like we’re on the Titanic right now,” Ashley exclaims as she thrusts her arms out from her sides. Ames misses the cue to get behind her and reenact the famous romantic moment between Kate Winslet and Leonardo Dicaprio. Ames is no good.
This could have been you, Ames. Gettin’ real close and personal, but you blew it.
3) They switch the boat for a canoe and paddle into the mouth of a cave. It’s mighty twisty and turny in there, and Ames is quick to compare the contours of their watery course to the elements of romantic relationships. “Navigating this cave is just like navigating a relationship – around every corner, you don’t know what to expect,” Ames says. Ladies and gentlemen, I believe we have a modern-day Descartes on our hands.
4) The pair paddle up to the shore and break out a picnic. The silence is deafening as they munch on their food. Just as the date is about to breach new levels of awkwardness, Ashley breaks the silence by asking Ames about his dating history. It turns out that this guy is known for his spontaneity. He asked a girl out in a shoe store once – never mind the fact that he was in the women’s section of a shoe store. Let’s focus on the fact that he’s bold and daring.
5) Later, at dinner, Ames takes charge of the conversation and Ashley likes it. “I really am impressed by you, Ashley,” he says. I think you’re funny and you tell good jokes and I’m actually going to go ahead and give you this rose…oh wait. I forgot. You’re supposed to do that. My bad, got carried away.
6) Ashley decides that Ames is worth keeping around, despite the fact that he’s kind of boring and his front row of teeth may or may not be dentures. She had plans to send him home, but she grants him a rose.
The Cocktail Party
1) Ashley means business. She sits all of the men down and interrogates them on their checkered pasts. She speaks with West and feels that she will never be able to fill the shoes of his late wife.
2) The man claws have officially come out, and the result is quite anticlimactic and disappointing. After murmuring among themselves how deeply they hate Ryan, the men elect Blake to confront him. Listen buddy, says Blake. We all hate you. You kind of suck. You’re way too happy and it creeps us out big time.
Ryan can’t even wipe the smile off of his face for this brief and uncomfortable moment. Through a large grin he exclaims, “Really?” ….Really. REALLY?! Really…
Blake stares back at him. Yes, really Ryan. Really. You get extremely intense and boisterous at times and, to be honest, it makes me nauseated. I literally get sick to my stomach watching you.
Ryan confides in the camera: This is just preposterous. Excuuuuuse me for not being Mr. Grumpy Pants all the time. My fault for being grateful that I’m not a soldier over seas risking my life every day. I’m so sorry for not enlisting in the army and joining in the war effort. MY BAD for being jolly at the fact that I’m not on the front lines.
Wait, I’m confused. I mean, I support our troops and all, but when did this become a discussion about war?
3) Meanwhile, Ashley is having a sit-down chat with Harrison. “I’m still in love with Bentley,” she says. “I don’t feel as though I have closure with the whole situation.”
Will you ever get OVER IT?!, a bewildered yet composed Harrison asks. Were he a tad less of a man, he would take this opportunity to smack her across the face and knock her senses back into her head. But he is a perfect man, so he would never do such a thing.
4) At the rose ceremony, Ashley says goodbye to West, and he is left with the bitter reminder of his wife’s death extra fresh in his mind and an empty heart. Oh, West. You should have known that you couldn’t fill the void of lost love with a reality television show. Healing takes place outside of a world in which 25 men live together and compete for the same woman’s lust/heart. But you know better now.
Next Week: A surprise visitor throws Ashley for a loop. Who could it be?! Stay tuned and cheers to the drama.