Prologue: A busy newsroom. Editor Webby sits behind the desk. Webby: “Well, AK, looks like your blundering has cost us again.” AyaK: “Huh?” Webby: “Where’s the summary for The Bachelor 4 Episode 6?” AyaK: “Which one was that again?” Bebo: “The one where Bob went to meet the women’s families. Remember?” sleeeve: “You assigned the summary to someone who disappeared. Or died. Did you check if it was Meredith’s granny?” IceCat: “Anyway, now you have to do it.” AyaK: “Huh?” Webby: “No news writing for you until you get the summary done, bucko. Now get out.” AyaK: “Why can’t one of you write it?” Bebo: “I wrote Episode 5.” sleeeve: “My writing skills have spoiled.” IceCat: “I shape graphics, not words!” AyaK: “OK, OK. I’ll do it.” Webby: “We knew you’d volunteer.”
A quiz for Bob Guiney: What’s the difference between the four bachelorettes left and the female black widow spiders in the garage of the “bachelorette house”? Answer: The black widows wait until their mates are dead before they devour them, while you’re going to be the main course at dinner with the bachelorettes’ families this week.
Opening: the house of death in Malibu. Bob packs his baggage. Let’s see, ex-wife in this bag, struggling singing career here, body image issues in that bag, ooooops, Bob’s over the weight limit. Guess he’ll just have to wear the skullcap instead of packing it. Bob, a hint: don’t wear that when you're touring behind your new album.
In a tribute to the obvious, Bob says, “I think people opening up their homes and introducing their families to me is a big deal, because I think that that’s probably one of the most telling signs as to whether or not I could be part of these women’s lives and be part of their families in the future.” Geez, he’s just figuring this out? I guess too many one-night stands as the lead singer of Fat Amy caused him to miss out on one of the most stressful dating rituals for all men: meeting your girlfriend’s parents. This episode must be karmic retribution. There are basically four kinds of disasters that can happen on these dates: (1) you make a fool out of yourself; (2) the parents make fools of themselves; (3) the parents are openly hostile; and (4) you can’t communicate with the parents at all. Let’s see if Bob runs into any of these (hint, hint).
Bob gets to go on a screwy cross-country trip: from Malibu all the way to Tampa with Mary’s folks, then to suburban Chicago with Kelly Jo’s mom, then off to Portland with Meredith’s parents, and then finally back to nearby Beverly Hills with Estella’s mom. I hope he gets to keep his frequent flyer miles.
Subpart One: There’s Something Desperate About Mary
Mary leaves the mansion carrying the big teddy bear from Bob. Just a little, subtle hint that 35-year-old Mary’s biological clock isn’t just ticking softly, it’s reverberating off the walls of the house and the whales in the Pacific Ocean can probably hear it. Mary’s in no hurry to have children --- after all, she doesn’t think that she should be a mom any sooner than nine months after this trip. No artificial fetus growth acceleration techniques for her, mind you … unless they really work, that is. 32-year-old Bob is not sure he’s ready to father a baby, which would mean that he’d have to stop being a baby himself.
Mary and Bob discuss Mary’s dream family, spending Sunday at the beach. Mary seems to be thinking of beaches in Cuba or Florida, with warm, salty air. But I don’t remember Bob saying he was moving to Florida. However, the beaches in Michigan … or even better, Ontario … are nice too, especially because of the fresh water in the Great Lakes – but there’s only about a 3-month window (July-September) for spending time on them before either the water gets too cold (through June) or the air gets too cold (starting in October). Anyone still watching can see that this is doomed, no matter how attractive Mary is or how loudly and confidently she proclaims that she loves Bob and wants him for her husband.
Mary and Bob head over to her sister Carmen’s house. Her parents, Juan and Juana (times were so hard back in Cuba that they could only afford one name, and they had to share it…), don’t speak English. Juana is barely bigger than the teddy bear that Bob gave Mary. Juan tells Bob a story about fleeing Cuba. All of Mary’s Spanish lessons are to no avail – Bob looks completely lost, but he tries his best to pretend that he understands. He proves conclusively that he’d better make it as a singer, because he has no future in acting … and then proves it again at dinner, as Carmen asks Bob about where “his heart” is right now, and he answers that he has stronger feelings for some of the women than for others, implying that Mary is on the wrong end of that “strength-o-meter.” A Bob voice-over says, “Any time you meet a woman's father, you definitely want to make sure that you're letting him know, ‘Hey look, I've got the best intentions.’ The hardest part is when you meet him and you don't necessarily speak the exact same language.” Bob, welcome to “meet her parents” disaster #4 from above.
Meanwhile, Carmen and Mary manage to get away into the bathroom (if you can call being accompanied by a big camera, a big mike, and two crewmen “getting away”) to discuss Bob. Carmen says that she can tell just by looking into Mary’s eyes that Mary hasn’t felt this way about a guy before. The qualifier is interesting. Why doesn’t she just say that Mary hasn’t felt this way before? Because she has, but not with a guy? Well, now we know why she doesn’t have any children. So with whom? Or what? A woman? A cat? A teddy bear? A horse? A vibrator? Another secret we’ll never know, I guess. Carmen says that she doesn’t want Mary to be hurt. Too late, Carmen – she’s on a reality TV dating show, so she’s going to come back with a few emotional scars. They come with the territory.
After dinner, Mary and Bob head back to her house. Bob’s still thinking about the biological clock, and he says that he’s not sure he’s ready to have kids right away. But he is ready to get on with his breast-feeding lessons, and we dissolve. Bob says that Mary’s looking for something “a little more firm.” I have a hunch Bob showed her something meeting that description off-camera.