BLOODY HELL this is it. Second last episode already. What’s been a whirlwind half-season is about to be over just as it starts getting going.
Frankly, not a moment too soon either – given how quickly Sam‘s heart is racing down the path. If this season went on any longer she’d have married and divorced all the remaining bachelors by the time it was through.
Episode 9 – down to the final three – is a tale of three dates, with three talking points attached.
DATE NUMBER ONE: In which Sasha gets royally screwed over.
First and foremost, we need to talk about how badly poor Sasha absolutely cops it. Sam’s got him “confronting his fears” yet again, this time by skydiving. The other two meatbags get cute, calm little dates – a roll around in the snow, and a nice little boat ride, absolutely zero mortal peril involved.
But not Sasha. No. Sasha has to confront his LITERAL BIGGEST FEAR, because apparently this is a test to see if they “can face anything together.” Something tells me this could’ve been achieved WITHOUT tossing your potential beau out of a moving plane, but I’m old fashioned like that.
What’s more, she has Sasha BLINDFOLDED on the car ride over, so all his anxieties can arrive at once, rather than being drip fed and slowly dealt with.
Because every pivotal date in your life should start with you audibly muttering “Ahh shit.“
But owing to the fact that he’s an absolute bloody trooper, Sasha saddles up anyway and the plane takes off – wherein all colour remaining in his face proceeds to drain away, and he goes through a series of four similar, yet distinct, phases.
BEHOLD, SASHA’S FOUR STAGES OF NOPE.
Stage One: “Nope.”
Stage Two: “No thank you.”
Stage Three: “Absolutely not.”
Stage Four: “Fuck all of this.”
Full credit to him though, he goes through with it. And in doing so pulls off one of the all-time great butt slides.
It’s like the rock ‘n roll knee slide! Except it’s on your butt!
And is if this date isn’t ridiculous enough in and of itself, Sam then gets a rush of blood to the head and comes down with what my more Doctorly inclined pals diagnosed as “a mild case of bullshit.”
Fortunately she makes a full recovery in time to sink piss later on.
What a ~trooper~.
DATE NUMBER TWO: In which I have no idea what more Sam wants Richie to do.
Having ticked the EXTREEEM SPORTZ box for the day, we’re off to the snow with Richie to just kinda roll around for a bit. No skiing. Nothing athletic. Just “hey let’s go put our butts into frozen water for a few hours.”
And it’s all well and good. In fact, it’s pretty darn cute. Much like every other time Sam and Richie have hung out alone together. They laugh, they have fun, there’s genuine, palpable joy in the air, and they CLEARLY have a great time together.
They’re clearly attracted to each other, as well. But in that awesome, giddy, start-of-relationship phase, where everything’s a little bit awkward. The “I don’t know what I should do with my hands when I talk to you/and you don’t know where you should look, so you look at my hands” phase.
But the problem here is that Sam’s heart is a runaway freight train. She’s a well balanced person, but she’s a romantic Veruca Salt. She wants all the gushy love and she wants it now.
Bless his heart, Richie is just afflicted with that thing a lot of people have where you have SO MANY feelings and all of them are trying to get out of your mouth at once. And maybe – prepare to be shocked here – he’s not quite ready to say “I love you” to someone he hasn’t *really* spent much time with in a non-competitive setting, and also whilst THERE ARE LITERAL FILM CREWS STANDING AROUND THEM.
You wanna know how Richie feels, Sam? You wanna know how he really feels?
THAT’S HOW HE FEELS.
HE DREW HIS FEELINGS IN THE FUCKING SNOW FOR YOU.
THAT – BY A MILE – IS THE MOST ROMANTIC GESTURE ANY OF THE BACHELORS HAS MADE THIS SEASON.
But because Sam is a complete and utter sucker for romantic speeches, this whole thing has become less of a quest for a genuine person, and more a test of who has the gift of the gab.
It shows when she practically corners Richie into speaking and he stammers out “I’m falling in you.“
And it ESPECIALLY shows on the next date.
DATE NUMBER THREE: Michael literally talks underwater.
If this whole exercise is a contest of the gab, no bloody wonder a Real Estate agent is winning.
And he is winning, too. Michael – remarkably – is your front runner. This, despite angling for a freaking marriage proposal from Sam on what equates to date number four.
This, despite clearly not giving a coloured stuff about seeing whales – the most majestic of all the sea creatures. Seriously, look at his blank “couldn’t give a toss” face.
“Woo. Big fish.“
And this, despite making asinine quips about dining “underwater” to the point of nausea – we get it, you’re technically *under some water*.
He is still the favourite in this race despite all of that, because time and time again he busts out the eloquent, gushy, genuine (sounding) love declaration feelings parade that is the brick that topples Sam’s Jenga tower heart.
And it’s because of this that Michael gets an ever-dwindling rose and Richie misses out, which leads to this moment when he stares ABSOLUTE DEATH through poor Rich…
…and this moment, where the cameras capture Richie having a full-on Ralph Wiggum moment.
Ugggggggghhhhhhhhh. My mighty heart.
I am not OK, for the record, about any of this.
I am not OK about this series only having one episode to go.
I am not OK about Michael moving on to the final two.
And I am definitely not OK about Richie leaving and pulling a sad walking away Incredible Hulk scene on us all as he leaves.
Cool bananas, Richie.
Cool bananas. 🙁