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‘The Bachelor’ Recap – Season 17 Episode 9 – Sean Picks His Final Two

'The Bachelor'
ABC

On Monday’s episode of ‘The Bachelor,’ Sean took the three women still in the running for the Neil Lane ring he’s getting free of charge on overnight dates to Thailand. Because flying halfway across the world is the most normal thing to do when paring down your list of potential wives in the 21st century when most of us struggle just to afford to fill our cars with gas.

That, or maybe Sean was thinking he could just buy a wife in the preteen flesh market with the stipend ABC gave him if things don’t work out with AshLee, Lindsay or Catherine. (Sorry to disparage the sanctity with which ‘The Bachelor’ treats marriage, but, hey, if Seth MacFarlane can push the envelope, so can I.)

Seriously, three overly-trusting women agree to go to an Asian country with a man they barely know? If that doesn’t sound like the premise for the next ‘Taken’ movie, I don’t know what does.

Date #1 – Lindsay

Lindsay and Sean went to an outdoor market where they walked around. Lindsay said it’s like what they would normally do. Of course, she neglected to mention they probably wouldn’t go out until she questioned his taste in shirts and pestered him about his mother, but you get the point.

She also said she would never eat any bugs, so, naturally, they stumbled upon a bug vendor. Lindsay, proving not to be a woman of her word, ate a grasshopper, but only after she saw Sean bravely eating one. Men love a woman who caves in quicker than a door made of paper during a hurricane, so way to stick to your guns, Lindsay.

'The Bachelor'
ABC

The couple then retreated to a private beach and Sean said, “You’re the best friend that I’ve been looking for,” which was an Oscar-worthy line to get her to make out if there ever was one.

Lindsay, who continues to sound more and more like the ditzy popular girl all the boys want to dance with on the bar mitzvah circuit, clumsily declared, “It all makes sense.” She could’ve been referring to her staged relationship with Sean or pre-algebra, I’m not sure. There were also monkeys on the beach, so we got to see them give the animals food. (Sadly, “feeding the monkey” is not a euphemism here.)

They had dinner in front of brightly-lit floats that Sean most likely had nothing to do with preparing, but that wowed Lindsay regardless. They talked about getting engaged and watched as dancers emerged out of the darkness to perform a traditional routine for them.

'The Bachelor'
ABC

They then read the invitation to the fantasy suite from Chis Harrison, in which they’re given a key should they decide to spend the night together in the same room. Unofficially, that makes Chris Harrison a pimp, but that’s another debate for another time. All I know is if I ever had the gall to hand a woman a formal invitation to spend the night in a neutral location, I would still have red marks from the slaps to my face.

Lindsay, who accepted the invitation (naturally), had been afraid to tell Sean she loves him because she feared getting hurt, but she finally summoned all the courage her pre-pubescent voice could muster and said those magical words: “I love you.” They made out and presumably enjoyed a spirited game of Scrabble. If by “Scrabble,” you mean “getting naked in a hot tub.”

Only part way in and we’re already starting to doubt all those stories about Sean being a virgin (“born again” or otherwise).

Date #2 – AshLee

AshLee and all her capital L goodness opened her date by continuing to yap away about how much she loves Sean and how she’s dealt with a fear of abandonment. We get it. Sean took her to a cave they had to swim through in order to get to a private island on the other side.

He thought it was important for AshLee to let go of control because in addition to courting her, he seemed to think she might appreciate his penchant for practicing an amateur form of therapy. It was dark in the cave and they were both scared, but guess what? They got to the other side. Otherwise, their relationship may have been the subject of ’48 Hours.’

After they emerged to safety, AshLee made some horrible analogy about how surviving that ordeal was like being in love, proving once again that she wears her desperation on her sleeve. “This is life changing,” she said about her ability to just let go. They made out in the water.

'The Bachelor'
ABC

During dinner on the beach, Sean said he can picture their life together. AshLee was a little apprehensive about going to the fantasy suite because she was afraid she’d be crossing some sort of boundary. Of course, she told Sean she loved him on their third date while he was courting a dozen other women, which crosses the boundary of sanity, but who am I to tell her what’s right?

Sean said he’d like to stay up all night talking (what guy doesn’t dream of doing that with a woman?) and admitted he’s falling for her, but I have a hunch he could’ve said he’d like to practice voodoo on her and she would’ve agreed because she said she would be happy to go to the suite. Where was a woman with this much insecurity when I was dating?

'The Bachelor'
ABC

At the end of the date, AshLee said, “Sean’s my soul mate” and that he healed her broken heart. Then I brushed my teeth to remove the sticky sweet residue she left behind. (That stuff causes cavities, you guys.)

Date #3 – Catherine

The couple went on a boat tour and Catherine revealed Sean has helped her to open up. Seemingly a dark horse because Sean doubted whether their lives are similar enough and he questioned whether she was ready to settle down, Catherine put his fears to rest. A girl in a tight bathing suit will do that, though.

They snorkeled and made out in the rain in a scene seemingly stolen from every movie based on a Nicholas Sparks book.

'The Bachelor'
ABC

During dinner, Catherine said she envisions them married in five years, maybe with a child. Sean said he can also see himself ending up with her, but considering he said that about almost every woman on every date in every episode, it’s hard to take him seriously.

Catherine then debated whether to go to the fantasy suite because she’s traditional when it comes to relationships. Clearly. I mean, she’s on ‘The Bachelor,’ which is about as traditional as it gets, right?

'The Bachelor'
ABC

In the end, Catherine agreed to go to the suite (duh) and she expressed surprise he would ever be into her, but he pulled out his early 20s frat boy glossary and told her she’s “smokin’ hot.” They made out because that’s what ‘Bachelor’ bylaws require and she said he made her feel safe.

When all was said and done, Catherine said, “I fell in love with Sean today.”

Rose Ceremony

Sean said he woke up knowing who he had to send home. We saw him getting dressed and one look at his abs shamefully reminded me that I need to hit the treadmill more and spend less time watching cheesy reality shows and then recapping them for a gracious public. But I digress.

After chatting with Chris Harrison (hey, ABC has to justify flying him to Thailand), Sean watched videotaped messages from each woman, like some horrible early ‘90s dating service. AshLee broke down in her video because she’s continuing to prove that she’s thisclose to being unhinged. After watching her video, Sean had a stern look on his face — the same look my father had when I was 14 and he realized I was the one who tracked dog poop into the house.

At the Rose Ceremony, Sean reminded the women how tough this decision was and how sad he was to be breaking one of their hearts, which he also says every week. He handed the first rose to Lindsay and then set the record for longest pause in TV history (one that Ryan Seacrest will break at least three times this season on the elimination episodes of ‘American Idol’) before saying Catherine’s name.

AshLee, who wore a low-cut dress to let her two friends Buxom and Boobs get some fresh Thai air in a last-ditch attempt to score some points, looked mad. Like, Glenn Close about to boil the bunny in ‘Fatal Attraction’ mad.

'The Bachelor'
ABC

She walked away when Sean tried to explain himself before she finally stopped and stared icily at him. He said it was the hardest decision he ever had to make, yet another cliche he busts out every week. Boy, I’d hate to see this guy try to figure out what breakfast to order when he goes to Denny’s. Ashlee then got into the waiting car that would bring her to the airport to fly her out of the country because as everyone knows when a man breaks up with you, you must flee the country like Roman Polanski ASAP.

While in the car, AshLee said, “It’s the ultimate reject.” All I could think is that those abandonment issues she claimed to have worked through were about to resurface like a rash in Paris Hilton’s nether region. She also said this wasn’t a game to her, so someone obviously failed to send her an email about the premise of this show because she finished in third place — that’s a bronze medal. On the bright side, she could very well be the next ‘Bachelorette.’

'The Bachelor'
ABC

We’ll have to wait two weeks to see whether Catherine or Lindsay will win Sean’s heart. They’ll meet his family and maybe he’ll even pop the question. Next week brings us the traditional ‘Women Tell All’ special, ABC’s cleverly-titled special where the booted babes — you guessed it — tell all.

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