Love is cruel, so they say, though if you’re on a reality-TV show in which 25 guys with six-packs vie for your attention (for the right reasons!), love can’t be that bad, right? Last night, the rose-giving roles were brutally reversed when Frank, who somehow made living at home with his parents and working in retail seem sophisticated (you can’t fool us with those little glasses and V-neck cardigans, Frank!), decided he was still in love with his ex-girlfriend, Nicole, and not our fair heroine, Bachelorette Ali.
Though Frank had never mentioned to Ali that he might possibly, certainly be in love with someone else, it seems he’d been “a wreck” for a while. “I’m falling in love with Ali, but I’m worried I might still be in love with Nicole. This is a pivotal moment in my life, and it’s going to change everything,” Frank says dramatically, as he goes “to find” his ex in Chicago (presumably he finds her in her apartment, but whatever, details). Frank has a sit-down with Nicole, who, short and dark, is a stark contrast to sunny California-girl Ali. They reconcile after Frank tells her how, in spite of his deep connection with Ali, “when I lay down at bed at night, I’m thinking about Nicole.” At this point, we would have been like, “Glad you had fun traveling the world with an ‘amazing girl,’ now get The F out of our house,” and yet, we are not an ex-girlfriend of a contestant on The Bachelorette, so really, what do we know? Nicole tells Frank that he “completes” her, and it’s all happy and Jerry Maguire–ish, until Frank realizes he has to go to Tahiti to break the bad news to Ali.
… Over in French Polynesia, Ali is happily frolicking with Cape Cod Chris and soap-opera-star Roberto, tanning, making out with everyone in sight, and doing all the running jump hugs one could ever hope for. She shows up at Frank’s room for their date, only to be quickly deflated by his dour, “We need to talk.” It’s so serious, in fact, that Frank has removed his bifocals. The clip below gets to the heart of the confrontation — Frank tearfully confesses he’s still with his ex, Ali gets angry that he led her on, Frank apologizes, the flower in Ali’s hair wilts in protest. It’s a very sad affair, and not even Ali’s freckles can lighten the mood.
But curiously, we have to side with annoying, off-putting, irritating (put other synonyms in the comments!) Frank. Of course, this show is make believe, but one of the most egregiously fantastical elements is that all 25 guys automatically fall in love with this one girl. She’s cute, sure, and happy, spunky, athletic, family-oriented, work-oriented, love-oriented … what are we forgetting? But once in a while, someone’s going to prefer the dark temptress in Chicago. And it’s kind of satisfying to see that play out. Plus, Ali’s still got Chris and Roberto to keep her warm in the Fantasy Suite, so our heart-strings aren’t feeling too overworked on her behalf.