I usually look forward to The Women Tell All installment of “The Bachelor,” though I’m not quite sure why. As much as ABC hypes the crap out of it, and as many times as Chris Harrison promises the most exciting/most stunning/most whatever moment ever, it’s usually just some warmed over clips, some testy moments and much ado about not very much at all. As heated as things get during the season, by the time the women and the bachelor are trapped on a soundstage together for this episode, most of the fire has died down to a low simmer of resentment. The most hated woman is lightly chastised, then dismissed. The rejected flames get weepy, but say they’re over it. Well, most of them do, anyway.
Last night, all seemed to be going according to plan — at first. Tierra was taken to task for her rudeness and, clearly realizing she wasn’t smart enough to win against superior logic and the pesky truth, apologized insincerely to the other women, that eyebrow wiggling away like a live eel. Unimpressed but unwilling to waste any more energy or lipgloss on Tierra, the women accepted her feeble apology just to speed things along.
Next, we had the trail of tears. Sarah sits in the hot seat and squirms as she has to watch old footage of herself falling in love and being dumped. She still doesn’t understand why guys string her along, then dump her. That includes Sean. Des is more sanguine. No, her brother didn’t help matters, but hey, she’s moved on. Sean is happy for her, she’s happy for Sean, it’s all cool.
Then, we have AshLee. Although her new hair color does look quite fetching, that doesn’t save everything from going to hell in a handbasket. I wonder if she went to a salon and asked them for the exact shade of blonde that would make an ex-boyfriend quiver with regret.
AshLee, who refused to speak to Sean as she stomped to her exit limo, has no problem talking this time around. Sure, she’s over Sean (not really), but she doesn’t understand why he dumped her. Oh, AshLee, he just wasn’t that into you. Isn’t that reason enough? No, no it’s not. Sean misrepresented himself to her! He was a Southern gentleman to her, but a frat boy with the other girls. I would say AshLee got the better deal for the season, but she feels betrayed. Okay, fine. We all knew AshLee was going to get her feelings hurt, so it’s no surprise she’s not exactly Zen about all this.
Then, Sean comes out, so happy to see his harem of women. He has wonderful, warm thoughts about all of them! Yeah, that’s not exactly reciprocated. And, though AshLee pretends to be in a sweet, forgiving headspace, she might as well come at Sean brandishing a sword and a container of rat poison.
AshLee, who admits she couldn’t think of a thing to say to Sean when he dumped her, now has many, many things to say with Sean. Most of these things start with the word “why.” Why did he tell her he wanted her to meet his family? Why did he tell her he’d say “I love you” every day once he was able to say the words without a show producer shutting him down? Why is he a rank sumbitch who deserves a spanking by her adoptive parents, who are probably mad enough to do it as part of a Very Special Episode of “The Bachelor,” probably titled “The Bachelor: Retribution.” Why, why, why, WHY?
Sean tries to answer her questions, which only inspires AshLee to reframe the same question (WHY DID YOU DUMP ME???) in a new way, over and over and over again. He tries to tell her he knew what she went through because he went through it with Emily. But if he knew what she went through, why didn’t he check on her? Because that would have made things worse. But isn’t he a gentleman? Yes, but it still would have made things worse. But why didn’t he send her home as soon as he realized he didn’t love her? Why, why, WHY? AshLee makes me feel sorry for all men who have ever dumped a woman for any reason. I sort of want Sean to stand up, rip off his mic pack and shriek, “LOOK, I CHANGED MY MIND! WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME?,” then storm off the stage. Because I wouldn’t blame him after a certain point.
Finally, AshLee decides to pin Sean against the ropes with a nasty little nugget that is almost hard to believe. Sean (allegedly) told AshLee he felt absolutely nothing for Catherine or Lindsay, which is why AshLee was sure she was the one he would propose to.
As AshLee says this, Sean’s eyes dart nervously left and right as if he’s having a small stroke or trying to speed read. He absolutely denies this. AshLee absolutely remembers this. And here we have one of the most awkward, weird, unpleasant moments ever on a series that lives for exactly that. AshLee rephrases what Sean said, but won’t give. He told her the other two women basically meant nothing to him. Or so she says.
This is the ultimate he said/she said, and neither one of them gives an inch. Finally, we head to a blooper reel and a montage of poignant dog pictures in tribute to Magic (2004-2013), who apparently belonged to somebody on the show. It’s a little weird, as you see these types of tributes to dead people but not usually dead pets, and I’m thinking this could definitely drag out the Oscar memoriam segment if it becomes a real trend, but never mind. I’m still thinking about AshLee and Sean’s Big Possible Lie.
If Sean did tell AshLee the other two girls weren’t even on his radar, and said it on their overnight date, well, I’ve clearly been reading Sean wrong all season long. Maybe, as Des’ brother said, he’s a playboy. But (and I hate to shoot the messenger) I have to wonder if AshLee just misinterpreted something Sean said. There’s no way we’ll ever really know what happened. But if AshLee ends up being named the next “Bachelorette” (I’m expecting the show to go with the more likable Des), I’d be curious to see how she kicks guys to the curb. Probably very, very honestly.
Do you think AshLee was telling the truth? Or Sean? Or is the truth somewhere in between?