It must be the week before Halloween because this episode opens with a disturbing shot of a bedroom filled with at least six empty beds. It's an artsy shot that some frustrated reality-TV camera guy somehow forced into the final cut. Honestly, can you imagine anything worse than sleeping in a twin bed in a room full of these people?
The four remaining guys rehash Chad's dramatic exit from two weeks ago. (There was no new episode last week because as every network knows, if you've got momentum, just don't air the show!) Dillon, Brandon, Justin, and Eric are all that's left in this house, haunted by the ghosts of shade and desperation. Eric points out that the whole thing has turned into a "sister wives" situation, which is a great idea for a new show, Logo. Gay Sister Wives? Yes please. Or is that just the foreign translation of Hocus Pocus?
Lance Bass arrives and they all pretend this hasn't become tiresome. Lance tells them to get dressed for a group date with Robert and some of the most important people in his life. We obviously find out it's his family in the next scene, but take a moment and imagine if we'd gotten to the group date and Robert's group of most important people in his life turned out to be the cast of Lifetime's Drop Dead Diva. If only.
They mix and mingle with Robert's family, which includes his mom, his dad, and his sister Jennifer. Jennifer immediately reeks of difficulty and she quickly lives up to the assumption. She is a tough critic and her opinion seems to really matter to her brother. She grills Eric about whether his feelings for Robert are lust or love and Eric's eyes basically say, "Wow, lady, calm down, I've known this dude for like two weeks of filming a reality show."
After Jennifer does a series of one-on-one chats with each of the guys, Dillon is the one she clicks with the most and Justin is the one she clicks with the least. In fact, she doesn't like Justin at all. So much so that when she and Robert sit down with Justin, she tells him, "You seem more like a best friend." SHOCKING. Imagine someone's sister telling you that on a date? Imagining bringing your sister on a date?! I was really put off by this moment and I don't want to read too much into it, but I'm guessing it isn't a coincidence that the most effeminate guy is her least favorite. Not to be the Norma Rae of femme dudes, but the subtext is heavy. When Robert recaps the evening with his entire family, his father comments that he and Justin would be "two bulls in a pen together," by which I can only imagine is Dad talk for "nelly bottoms" but what do I know? I'm a top.
Justin is clearly hurt by this moment and I feel for him. To be honest, I would love to help him through this. I know they shot the season months ago, but still, I'm here for you babe. In the least surprising turn of events since Amanda Bynes tried to set that dog on fire, Robert chooses Dillon and Brandon for the one-on-one dates.
Dillon gets the first date with Robert and it's at … a circus school. Yeah, you read that correctly. Are they doing classic clown and mask work? No. They're swinging fabrics and leaping through hoops and hanging off acrobatic bars. They both look wonderful doing all of this and they seem to be connecting, but otherwise, I zoned out.
Brandon and Robert's date is on a boat, which is definitely more my speed. However, the boat merely circles Marina del Rey harbor and no one thought to bring lunch or even a modest charcuterie board so all they have to eat the entire time is strawberries. They end up making out big time — Brandon seems like he's a really good kisser — and the horrified boat captain ties the boat back into shore and plugs the boat rental company
Meanwhile, back at the house, Justin and Eric bond over not getting picked for dates. The remaining guys all have nice chemistry together and seem to be super supportive of one another. That's nice to see.
Robert does his one-on-one with Lance Bass. Lance asks him where his mind is at about everyone and Robert says that his sister's comment about Justin seeming more like a best friend has made an impact on him, so Justin's fate is obviously sealed. I'd like to point out that seeming like you could be someone's best friend shouldn't be a bad thing when deciding whether or not you could be in a relationship with someone. In fact, when you're stuck with someone for year after year, it's quite nice if you're best friends. But I digress.
I can't believe I'm writing the words "the Black-Tie Affair" for the seventh time in two months, but here we are. At the Black-Tie Affair, Robert sends Justin home, and we're all sad to see Justin go because he seems really nice.
If I were a betting man, I'd say Eric goes next. I was a little surprised he didn't go this week, especially after Jennifer called him "pleasant," a word I wouldn't use to describe my worst enemy.
Oh, and most important: Didn't Robert's lovely and kind father remind you of Bob Balaban? That was my favorite part of the episode.