Note from Brooke: "I refuse to participate because Jake's a tool."
Fair enough. Jake is, in fact, a tool. Perhaps the tooliest of tools. The monkey wrench, if you will. I imagine he's one of those guys who makes faces at himself while he's thinking, like if he's on line at the deli deliberating between turkey and ham, he'd be like, "Turkey is lower in fat. (Head nod.) But you just had chicken last night and they're practically the same thing. (Smirk.) I can't have ham without cheese (smirk), but I haven't been to the gym in three days so maybe I should lay off the Swiss (chuckle). A turkey wrap it is. (Big smile.)"
And I hate people who order wraps.
So that's where I am with Jake when the show starts. All the stock catch phrases are being bandied about: "One true love." "Hardest decision of my life." "Follow my heart." Jakes sums up the emotional voiceover by saying, "Love is what's making this so difficult." Yes, it's not the producers or the tiresome shooting schedule or the fact that the search for your soul mate has rules like, "Any girl who receives a rose while participating in a group date will be exempt from elimination at the weekly rose ceremony." Clearly it's the love.
Now it's time for both girls to meet Jake's family. Jake shows up at his parents' house wearing a really gay shirt, but it's OK because all three of his brothers got the memo and each wore their gay shirts, too. In a surprise twist, his mom and sister-in-law are wearing the same ugly outfit, perhaps trying to throw the contestants off their game. Sneaky.
Jake tells his family that he's fallen in love with both girls and knows all the things he likes about them, but he "needs a second set of eyes" Like he's working a missing persons case? He goes on to let it slip that Vienna was the girl that everyone else in the house hated. Mom's like, "Um, maybe there was a reason for that," and Jakes stops short of saying, "Um, but have you seen her jugs?" Regardless, Jake is emphatic that it is very important to him that his family like the girl he chooses because he plans on spending "the next 60 years of his life" with her. I'm not thrown at all by the prospect that Jake has planned out when he will die and/or get divorced.
First up is Tenley. Having not watched any of this season, this is the first time I'm meeting her, and I have to say my first impression is, I like her. She seems pretty and put together – a real crowd pleaser. The family thinks so too as they take to her like a Labrador puppy. They're all kind of playing it cool, but you can tell that deep down they want to react like when they MOVE THAT BUS on Extreme Makeover. At one point Jake's dad cries and Tenley touches his arm. I try to picture Brooke touching my dad's arm to console him if he was crying and I have to take a break and get some cereal because things just got weird. Tenley finishes up her family visit with a one-on-one with Mom in which Mom asks how Tenley would hold the family together after Mom dies. Mom's not fucking around.
Next up is Vienna, who looks like she has an STD. You just get that vibe from her. Maybe not that she has one right this second, but that she definitely has experience with them. Jake's mom senses this too and hates her right off the bat. Kudos to the show's producers who refuse to edit out the many awkward pauses in the family's conversation with Vienna, which seems to be centered around the fact that no one likes Vienna. At one point a sister-in-law asks Vienna if it's a common experience for her to not be liked by other girls. Hey, Sister-In-Law, Kate Gosselin called and she wants her first haircut back – with residuals.
Basically the whole visit is a train wreck. Mom is obsessed with Vienna getting along with the sister-in-laws like she's running some sort of day camp. The sisters are obsessed with pointing out that they loved Tenley, and that Vienna is the complete opposite of Tenley, so . . . And Jake is just like, "But the jugs!" In the end, the family comes around and says they managed to look past Vienna's STD exterior to see the real her, and that they guess she's OK, but you still get the feeling that for years to come the family's dinnertime conversation will include phrases like, "That human-rights activist seems nice, but she's no Tenley." (Cue dad crying.)
With family visits over, it's time to go to Saint Lucia, where you can save 60% on deluxe accommodations with the Red Rose Romance Package. Vienna goes first for the one-on-one date. Jake takes her to a sulphur spring, because nothing says romance like the smell of rotten eggs. Vienna, not one to mince words, is like, "Why are we at a rotten egg spring?" and Jake is like, "Mud wrestling!" The two proceed to smear mud all over each other – like a spa treatment, but whorier.
At the end of the date, Vienna gives Jake the promise ring that her Dad gave her. I'm not going to lie, I had to pause the show here to try to figure out what was happening. Apparently Vienna had been married before, and it so upset her dad that when Vienna got a divorce her dad gave her a promise ring. And now Vienna was giving that ring to Jake, which, technically speaking, endows him to Vienna's dad I think? In any event, her boobs are huge.
For the second one-on-one date, Jake takes Tenley snorkeling with dolphins (it's no sulfur spring) and everything's going swimmingly (nailed it!) until he basically tells her that he's not attracted to her. Whoops! He tries to backtrack, like, "That’s not what I mean though! What I meant is your breasts aren't big enough! I mean emotions! Connection! . . . Um, line!" Tenley handles the whole thing gracefully, and oddly this is the precise moment where I start to hate her. It starts as a twinge, and I'm like, "That's weird. She's so nice and pretty. Why would I hate her?" Then, back at the house, she very skillfully broaches the subject of Jake not finding her attractive in such a diplomatic, emotionally self-realized way that I'm taken aback. Just like there's no crying in baseball, there's no self-actualization in The Bachelor. And yet, my hatred grows. By the time she's done talking, it's a runaway train of abhorrence. I just can't control it.
So many questions going into the final rose ceremony! Is Tenley too uptight? Does the family's opinion really matter? Has Jake realized that his "special feeling" for Vienna is really just an erection? One thing's for sure – Jake is completely torn. At this point it seems like he might just choose them both and move to Utah. Personally, I can't make up my mind on which I like/dislike more. On the one hand, if you're going to find your wife on a reality TV show, shouldn't it be someone like Vienna? Like when you tell people you won her on a TV contest they'd be like, "I see that." And then there's Tenley. I feel really bad for hating Tenley. I've tried rationalizing it (the small mouth maybe?) but at the end of the day it's inexplicable, but very real. Even worse, that means Jake and I might be on the same page about something other than our abs
At the dramatic, M*A*S*H-like helicopter landing, the first girl to arrive is . . . Tenley! Which means he's not choosing her, and you can tell she kind of knows it. She has a dead woman walking face on. Just from the tone of Jake's voice she knows she's a goner. In his pre-dump speech, Jake uses words like "temperament" and "positivity" to describe what he likes about her. (Why not just call her fat?) Of course, she handles the whole thing with aplomb, making my rage grow. It's fascinating. By the time she tearfully whispers, "Thank you for making me feel special," I want to punch her in the throat.
Jake seems pretty broken up too, but judging from the angle of his leaning-over-the-banister-crying posture, he'll get over it – especially when he puts his penis in Vienna, which is all he's wanted all along. He may as well have gotten down on one knee and said, "Will you sleep with me?" Jake tries to make the whole thing more suspenseful by first giving the promise ring back to Vienna, making her think that he isn't going to propose, but then pulling a 180 and proposing, because it's a common dream amongst women to be proposed to via the old switcheroo.
More secrets are revealed in the After the Rose Ceremony when it is announced that Jake will be participating in the upcoming season of Dancing with the Stars. Somewhere backstage Tenley is like, "Good for him! I hope he wins and has a very happy life while learning to dance many different ballroom styles." I hate her so much.