What would this show be without precrap? It’s why they select someone to be the Prize who was a reject on a previous show, isn’t it? How else to obtain a ready-made source of precrap for not only the first episode, but also the Rejects Re-Babble and the Finale. It’ll be tough to return to the original method of just introducing someone, as they’ll have to do when Jessie Palmer is the next Bachelor.
Anyway, this chit-chat has been brought to you by me in the interest of avoid recapping the previouslys. I’m sick to death of revisiting the 25 min. Enough. Let’s just cut to the flippin’ chase. Oh and FYI? I’m not really pissed off: I’m just pretending to be a Matt fan.
Tonight Meredith brings Matt and Ian home to meet her family and then she gives them one last date at “her mansion” and then she has a last visit with Chris and then she renders her decision. It’s not as much of a photo finish as the producers would have us believe.
First at bat: Matthew.
For this date Mere has finally chosen an outfit that looks absolutely stunning on her. She has the right coloring for dark grey and the flannel coat and turtleneck look really good teamed with black pants.
For their date aperitif, Mere and Matt board a vessel oddly named The Crystal Dolphin. I search for meaning, trying as I do to find meaning in every moment. But this isn’t The Mole. Not since she got rid of Ryan M, anyway. In retrospect, a watery date seems to be Mere’s way of saying, “This relationship is sunk.” Even in Puerto Rico, Ian & Mere flew a kite and strolled thru an old city. Chad? Had a lot of watery dates. Now it’s Matt’s turn.
Matt DRs he’s just looking to get to know Meredith better. Now how many times are we going to have to hear him say something like that? He earns brownie points by remembering whom he’s meeting, recalling that her brother’s name is Matt. I’d actually forgotten that little detail, but that’s because I was picturing “Mere’s retarded brother,” a visual embedded when PigBlob visited. I’d just like to say that Mere’s family came across as being really great this time around. Is it just editing that made the same three people look alien and weird in PigBlob’s presence, yet warm, friendly and loving when Mere brings home her two guys? Maybe it’s that PigBlob makes people look and feel ill at ease.
Anyhoo, let’s undigress and note that Mere points out to Matthew that that’s why she calls him “Matthew.” And whether you’re gay or straight, it’s got to be weird to date someone with the same name as your sibling. I see it as kind of an insurmountable obstacle to taking the relationship all the way, don’t you?
They perform the requisite onboard cuddling and closed-lip smooching, with Mere voicing over that there isn’t anything about Matt, sorry, Matthew, that she doesn’t love. He wants to know what’s going on in her head and she tells him he’s smart and should be able to figure it out. Well, Mere, intelligence isn’t the same as being psychic. (Although, now I realize that she & Ian are kind of psychic when it comes to knowing what the other means to say.) They kind of rehash the same material over and over that we’ve heard on previous dates and had summed up in recrap mode. May we move on?
After the introductions, it’s time for the “main course.” Bro Matt sits Date Matt down for a Matt-to-Matt chat. Bro Matt is wearing glasses this evening and looking very smart. Bro asks Date what makes him think he’s the best Matt for Meredy and Date replies he doesn’t know that he is. Bro tells him that is the best answer.
In a DR (oh yeah, that’s shorthand for ‘diary room’ and indicates a confessional/interview thingy) Bro says at first he thought Date was a “glamour” boy, but then discovered he’s actually intelligent too. Bro is quite smitten with Date. I wonder if he’s seen this picture?
Matt fans, don't say I never give you anything
Over dinner, Dad asks tough questions while Mom serves up casserole. Camera focuses on the steaming dinner, the hottest thing in the room.
“Why did you go on the show, DateMatt and what kind of connection do you have with my daughter?”
Date Matt remembers all his lines and delivers them in a very convincing way. It’s something about her eyes, but luckily he doesn’t launch into his Eye Color Thesis. The Philips family beams. Good boy! Feed the prisoner, Mother! A full plate!
Indeed the whole family is very impressed with Date Matt. I don’t believe Uncle Steve weighed in, although he was present. In the kitchen Mere and Bro discuss how great Date Matt is. I reckon if Mere tosses him back into the “sea” Bro wouldn’t say no to a turn himself. How open to that do you suppose Date Matt would be? Oh okay don’t lynch me. I should take this kind of prattle over to Sucks, shouldn’t I? But is everyone in Texas like Lanny & Dubya?
Bro Matt tells us he’d like for Meredy to have someone treat her well, not like those “wild boys” she’s brought home before. Uh oh, is he casting aspersions upon my beloved Ian? I’m feeling happier generally about loving Ian, having coaxed more Ian fans out of lurkerdom here, as well as discovering the motherlode of Ian Fans at Television Without Pity, where the ratio is about 2:1.
Date Matt DRs that he’s looking for a marriage that lasts (harking back to his parents’ divorce) and that he’s pictured himself and Mere going to the grocery store and the movies. How, uh, romantic. And how often would that happen? He’d probably accompany her once to the grocery store, just to show her where it is. I’d love to know what movies he visualizes them going to see. Would he be more of an action/adventure buff, or a Disney fan? These days, you can have both. Pirates of the Caribbean, anyone? Mmm Johnny Depp. Ian has catapaulted onto my Johnny Depp list of yummiest men in the whole wide world with whom I'm unlikely to have a "liaison."
Could you see Matt & Mere going to see The Passion of the Christ for example? Heh, how 'bout Lanny? Sorry, that's just cruel. Have I digressed again?
After dinner the two head downstairs to have some alone-time in the family’s rec room. The décor screams “Untouched by human hands since 1977.” I mean, does anyone put wood paneling into the basement rec rooms anymore? During their (highly edited) snuggle, Mere tells DateMatt that she’d be honored if this ended with a ring. Naturally he begins to think he’s got a chance to be the last guy.
Heated debate ensued as to whether Mere led him on nastily, or the editors spliced stuff together, or Mere was prodded into saying stuff in order to help out the drama. Here’s what I think. We know Meredith does care for Matthew, and thinks he’s wonderful. At this point, she’s just had a terrific home visit, and her family loves him too. For those of us who watched the After The Rose special, the “reason” she offered just doesn’t cut it. I find it makes no sense at this stage to be trying to find out where Matt is at. I mean, even if he had been closed off and uncommunicative (which according to her he had not), isn’t she already at the point of being pretty sure about Ian? Sure to the point of not wanting to give someone else the wrong idea. So, I think it could be something along the lines of:
1. She was thinking about “what if” – what if Ian doesn’t even show up. Or he does show up, but her family hates him and convinces her he’s the wrong guy. Or seeing him in her own home makes her wonder what the hell she was thinking.
2. Or Ian does show up, everything goes well, and since she’s already sure of her feelings for him, she is just trying to give Matt some kind of consolation prize ahead of time.
Whatever the real reason, Meredith is ashamed of herself for her thoughtlessness. And I give her props for taking the beating publicly for it. I really think she’s normally a thoughtful person who takes care to avoid causing pain, even at the expense of looking wishy-washy.
I also think if she is going to explain the true reason, it will be to Matthew in private. And so publicly she gave the lame excuse that she did. But I’m leaping ahead to a different show. I just wanted to discuss it a bit here, since there’s no doubt that it was the wrong thing to say, and we now have about as much extra information as we’re likely to receive.
Back to Matt. What does Matt’s response of “really?” mean? I think it means he was surprised at the depth of her feeling all of a sudden, since he hadn’t been getting quite that vibe, and he took it as a huge come-on. Given the number of people who were shocked and/or unhappy that Matt didn’t receive the final rose, that part of it is definitely down to the producers’ misguided wish to create phony drama and pointless suspense.