I chose the latter. And cry, she did.
So, here we go.
Bentley, Bentley, Bentley.
Ashley wasn't even safe on the other side of the world from this dirt bag.
Clearly, ABC productions saw fit to fly this dude half way across the planet in an effort to continue wreaking emotional havoc on our dear Bachelorette. Probably out of fear that this was the most boring season ever, they needed to stir the pot with one, large, Utah-dwelling villain. Lots of folks on Facebook had been questioning what Ashley sees/saw in him, and I was thinking about that, too. As I pondered why Bentley had no qualms about flying like, 20+ hours to Hong Kong to continue messing with a girl's head, a light bulb went off in my head.
This isn't about Bentley. This is about Ashley.
More specifically, this is about the Smart Girl's Achilles Heel.
Ashley is a victim of her own success. More specifically, her history of success.
Bear with me on this -- okay, what do we know about Ashley? She's small, cute - but not pretty in the way, say, Emily is, but cute - and she's an overachiever. She's from a small town, moved away from there to make it in a big city, and will soon be Dr. Ashley Herbert. She's a perfectionist and a self-described "type A personality." She hates to be wrong. She prides herself on her ability to do things right, and the ability to wrap them up appropriately.
Which is the one thing Bentley wouldn't give her: a period at the end of that sentence, instead of his stupid "dot dot dot." (It's called an elliptical, Bentley.)
See, and this is exactly where Bentley struck: in the "closure" section of her brain. He knew she was a Smart Girl, a girl who prides herself on her ability to make people well/happy/safe, and he intentionally left her hanging. Now, for some other women, this would be no big deal. They would move on without another though. But Smart Girls like to dot their 'i's and cross their 't's and the idea of a guy leaving because of...?...is too much to bear (also see: Jillian and Ed). Ashley is nothing if not logical, and the "what if?" he left her with was too much to take. His departure weighed on Ashley more than their relationship ever did. Yes, she thought it was because she was falling for him (and maybe she was; he certainly was telling her what she wanted to hear), but it's more for the fact that Smart Girls often want exactly what they can't have. Mainly because 99% of the time, they are able to get what they want, 'cause they are smart. That remaining 1%, however, is enough to keep a Smart Girl up at night.
I know this because I am one. (well, most of the time. Not the Cool Girl, not the Trendy Girl, and certainly not the Fun Girl. I'm not the life of the party, but if you need something to get done, I'm usually fairly handy. And reliable.) And I know a lot of other very Smart Girls, since we run in packs, and I've watched all of us have that one guy, that one jerk that was intentionally messing with us, and we knew it wasn't good, but our own pride prevented us from letting go. Because we like things to be neat and clean and tidy in the end. And when it's not...well, we become neurotic and self-sabotaging.
Which is exactly what Ashley was doing.
I'm not going to give Bentley a lot of credit for knowingly and willfully crafting the one response that would make Ashley go crazy, but he did. In his small, pea-sized brain, he hit the nail on the head. But then during their last meeting, he slipped up - he said it was over. And just like that, the light went on behind Ashley's eyes like fireworks. Because she is a Smart Girl. She figured out his game, got her closure and immediately exited the premise without so much as a look back. I did love the terse, "Just wanted a vacay?" slam she offered before she departed. Ah, now we have a Sassy Smart Girl. You go, girl. Ask Brian - I was literally cheering from the couch.
And then she completely self-imploded at the cocktail party, but that's a whole 'nother conversation.
I will say this - I love JP. LOVE him. I don't know where he came from other than the one one-on-one date where she wore her classes (Smart Girls are often nerdy, too. ::ahem::) and he was really sweet and patient with her. But this date? Wow. Love him. The train ride, the champagne on the rooftop. Even JP jumping to her defense at the cocktail party when all of the other men got upset with her confession. If you watch his face during the champagne toast at the very end, he never takes his eyes off of her. He's into her, almost as though he is going to physically come to her defense. As I remarked to Brian, "He going to like, protect her from wolves and stuff."
I think he's a man in love.
As for the others? Was Ames really wearing two collared-shirts at the group date? Why does everyone hate Ryan? Are Constantine and Ben brothers? How fun was Ashley's make-up brush in the shot of her putting make-up on, complete with that gross pink lipgloss? (the 80s are back, folks.) Dislike on the lipgloss, major like for the brush. (It's a "highlighter brush," as I learned at Target this morning). Farewell, Mickey, ye of the bad table manners. And Blake, pin-striped suit dentist, we hardly knew you. I'm banking on a Ben/Constantine v. JP finale, with JP taking home the final rose.