Is that enough English Lit 101 for the day? Sorry to get all Wikipedia on you for a moment, but I found myself analyzing the plot structure of the most recent episode of The Bachelor with those thoughts close at hand. I just didn’t expect ABC to cram in three conflicts in one episode when it’s not even Sweeps month.
With Brad as our protagonist, let’s examine them, shall we?
Man v. Self
This is an easy one to see coming. Poor Brad set the stage for himself last week, proclaiming how much he’s changed and even had his therapist offer a brief commentary. I was pleasantly surprised to see that Dr. Parker’s little voice is clearly echoed in Brad’s subconscious during each individual date. First with Ashley, Dentist and Hand Gesture Enthusiast, Brad looked surprised when she told him about her absentee father issues as casually as if she was ordering another glass of wine. (‘He was homeless most of my life…and probably still is,” she said lightly, with a wave of her hand). Brad responded reluctantly, but confessed some of his own plaguing, paternal problems. It was almost as a light above his head lit up (or maybe it was just the glare of the carnival?) as he heard Dr. Parker’s voice in his ear: tell her, Brad. You are safe. It’s just you, Dr. Ashley, her hands, and a national audience. Open up to his woman. You can do it, my boy. Dr. Parker is Brad’s Jiminy Cricket.
Then the same thing happened with Jackie during their “Pretty Woman” inspired date. (Is it just me, or is that kind of a slap in the face? I mean, let’s not forget Julia Robert’s character was a prostitute with serious fashion problems. Really? Do all women aspire to have a date that starts as a hooker with no taste?) Brad turned into Jackie’s therapist during dinner, telling cautious-and-what-appears-to-be-real Jackie that because she has only had two significant relationships in her life, she is “just like me, three years ago.” No Brad, she is not you. It means that she has an intelligent head on her shoulders and doesn’t idealize marriage the way you do. It also means she is likely 23 to your 40-plus years, so give the gal a break.
Anyways, it will be interesting to watch as Brad continues to wrestle with those internal demons. Listen to your head, or throw caution to the wind and find love in four weeks? Considering he’s done this once before, I’m guessing we all know the answer. This is, after all, The Bachelor: Contractually Obligated to Find Love This Time Around*.
Man v. Animal(s)
And by animals, I, of course, mean Melissa and Raichel. What the what? What was all of that drama all about? And why did Melissa go spilling her guts to Ali and Roberto (henceforth known as “Alberto”) during her interview? Could the two of them not leave each other alone for four minutes before declaring what they were all about? It was like watching chickens peck at each other. I’ve never lived on a farm, so I don’t know much about chicken behavior (especially when the rooster is in the henhouse), but my goodness ladies, this isn’t “Real Housewives of an Undisclosed Southern California Mansion.” This is ABC. Let’s pull it together.
(Wo)man. V. (Wo)man
By that, I mean Michelle v. Emily.
And this friends, is the reason I’m going to tune in next week.
I cannot imagine a more epic showdown than those two. I am praying (no spoilers! Don’t tell me!) they are the final two. The producers have done a masterful job in just two episodes of framing both women as polar opposites of one another (yet they are both mothers to girls. Interesting).
I can just see it now…(::booming voice::)…in this corner, weighing in at 117 pounds, is the dark-haired, pale-lipped Michelle, hairdresser from Utah and mother to one. She just turned 30 (did you hear?), likes Starbucks, always has turkey and water in her fridge and has a penchant for abnormally large earrings. She won’t hesitate to pitch a fit, wave a rose in your face, or make Brad play defense. And in the opposite corner, weighing in at 121 pounds (the extra four pounds is mascara), is blond-haired, angelic Emily. She’s sweet, she’s Southern, and she hasn’t told Brad that she is a mother and her fiancé died in a plane crash. (I mean, I know she said she’s not super open, but don’t you think that would come out in the first week or so?) She’s about as nice as the day is long, and definitely will not be the one to make the first move.
It’s like watching the Evil Queen v. Snow White. Or the Evil Stepmother v. Cinderella. Or Ursala (a very, very skinny version) v. Ariel.
All of which, coincidentally, are Disney movies.
Anywho, the other girls sadly fade into the woodwork when those two are around. It’ll be interesting to see how Brad reacts to Emily’s life story. Or to see if he caves (again) when Michelle pouts in the corner.
*sadly, I was not clever enough to make up this phrase. Kristen Baldwin at Entertainment Weekly coined it first. Nice job, Kristen.