If EVER there was an argument against cloning, it is the first twenty minutes of this episode when Nick heads to Sydney to meet the Cass family. The women in the family are all pretty crazy.
It all starts calmly enough. Cass meets Nick at Northern Beaches horse place, because if living on the Northern Beaches isn’t pretentious enough, you can also stable your horses there.
“I just wanted to get you on a horse and see what you can do,” says Cass.
Great idea if you are dating Caligula, but not so much when your potential beau is a one hundred kilo rugby international. I think I can even see the horse quivering.
After a bit of dressage they sit down for some gin and tonic, cucumber sandwiches with the crusts cut off, and scones. Apparently that’s how twenty-three-year-olds party in the Northern Suburbs.
Night falls and they are off to dinner at Cass’s folks’ place. According the editing, they all live at the Avalon Surf Life Saving Club.
Cass’s Mum has pulled out all the stops. She has spent the last four weeks watching Tradies Undies ads on a 24/7 loop, and has splashed out on salmon for dinner. Very flash. She talks as much as Cass does and Cass has confided in her so she knows all the dirt. She also knows about “Cass’s list”. It has all the men that Cass is in love with, and the top ten are all named Nick Cummins. How weird? Like I’ve been on Facebook and there are only like twenty in the whole world.
So Cass’s sister goes in for the HARD question, which is the one that we will hear three more times tonight: “But you’re dating four women. What makes my sister the one?”
And Nick responds with the Bachelor standard about how hard it is and how there is a spiritual connection and how he doesn’t want to break anyone’s heart. Blah, blah.
Next minute, Cass’s mum is shoving him out the door with a bag of home-made biscuits and Cass is standing on the driveway giggling like a school-girl as she has for the entire series and talks about how she has feelings for him, but can’t bring herself to use the “L” word.
“I have feelings. I have feelings,” she jabbers.
Mary-Kay Le Tourneau had “feelings”.
Bill Cosby had “feelings”.
Jack the fricken’ Ripper had “feelings”.
Maybe it’s time to be a bit more specific.
Next, Nick is over to Perth to meet up with Brooke.
He may have thought she was a one-trick pony with her rugby skills, but no. She has a Sherrin in her hand which means she can play AFL as well. They spend the next ten minutes tackling and kissing before retiring to the grandstand for a beer.
Brooke reminds him of her troubled past: a mum who died when she was young, a series of foster homes, and and because of this her family date is a little unconventional.
Soon they are off to dinner and they are greeted by Pop Pete, possibly the friendliest male face to ever greet a Bachelor, and in an added bonus, after “Hello” he doesn’t say a word.
The fam sits down to a spag bog dinner, but Nick can’t get a feed in before he is taken away by Brooke’s friend.
She is not convinced about the relationship. After all, going on The Bachelor is not the normal way of meeting people – the proper way is through Tinder and eHarmony.
But more than anything, she is concerned about the tyranny of distance. Brooke’s in Perth; Nick’s in Sydney. Brooke needs stability in her life. That’s cool by Nick, because if he can’t offer that, he won’t pick her.
Forget about the tyranny of distance. What about the tyranny of height?
A few years back, we had one of those campervans with the wind-up walls and the beds that popped out the ends. I loved that camper, but because of its design, but me being quite tall, the bench was just a little too low and whenever I was prepping stuff I would get a back ache.
It’s like Nick is me and Brooke is the campervan.
But Brooke tells Nick she is falling in love with him, so all the back pain is worth it.
Next it’s off to Queensland to meet up with Sophie.
“She’s a classic bird,” says Nick, “but she has trouble opening up.”
Are you kidding, Nick? Were you not in that swimming pool? If she had opened up any further she would have been inside-out.
Sophie decides to take Nick jet skiing, and it is a pretty good date. In fact, I would have placed it as the best water-borne activity I had seen all day, except somewhere in New Zealand a seal slapped a kayaker across the face with an octopus.
Then it’s off to meet the family: Mum, Dad, a couple of sisters and a fiancé.
Clearly the family is unaccustomed to having this many people over, because they only have one sofa and it’s a bit of a tight squeeze.
They get through the main meal before they single Nick out from the pack.
“Nick, can you help us out with the dessert?” asks Ashleigh, Sophie’s elder sister.
Well let’s be honest. Nick cannot help with that dessert. Adriano Zumbo would be flat out helping with that dessert; a store-bought pavlova base with tub of un-whipped double-cream on top and not a skerrick of fruit.
At least he can give them something to feed back to Sophie.
“You need to let your guard down a little bit more,” the sisters offer Sophie.
Hmmm. Like spread-eagled in a pool, wearing a floss bikini and then shoving your tongue down his throat isn’t letting one’s guard down?
This takes Sophie by surprise. On the driveway she’s like a stunned mullet. Words come out, just not the right ones.
Finally, it’s time to visit Brittany’s family in Port Macquarie; where Nick and Brittany were both born, where their fathers both worked as life savers and where camels roam the beaches in their natural habitat.
Then it’s off to meet the family – Mum, Dad, a couple of sisters, and a brother who just may be adopted.
There’s a bit of casual conversation until Nick boasts about his 100% lay rate with the chicks.
Egg production or not, Brittany’s father has had enough, and takes Nick off for his little chat.
Nick is worried about Britt’s dad.
“He’d scare a dog out of a butcher’s shop.”
There’s no love lost from Dad’s side either.
“I don’t have a great deal of time for football players,” says Dad.
Oh come on! Let’s give Nick his due. He’s from the code where every second player has a hyphenated name. These aren’t the ones who simulate sex with dogs, send text their private parts to women and urinate on their own faces for fun. And sure, there a couple of homophobes, but aren’t they League imports? I just know that I seldom hear anything on the news about the RUGBY UNION INTEGRITY UNIT.
“I will attack anybody who breaks my daughter’s heart,” threatens Dad.
This is a bit like when chihuahuas front up to Great Danes. The Honey Badger is twice his height, half his age and plays a sport where hundred kilo men jump on top of each other and stomp their ears with footy boots. I know who my money is on.
Meanwhile the sister is about to drop a BOMBSHELL in the kitchen. After weeks if painstaking research in New Idea and the Daily Mail, she can reveal the truth to Brittany – Cass and Nick, were once and may still be, a thing.
And doesn’t that make for an awkward driveway farewell?
Not half as awkward as the cocktail party where Brooke and Sophie haven’t even bothered to turn up.
It’s just Brittany and Cass and Britt’s reception is icy…so icy that Cass is blowing mist.
“You have a relationship with Nick,” says Brittany.
“Um…yeah…I left out a couple of details. We went on a few dates and he came to my birthday party and…um….yeah…some stuff….”
“Well I feel like a fool. I feel embarrassed.”
And that’s a big call, because this is a girl who has driven a car blindfolded, crawled through mud in lycra, and face-planted off a segway. But now she is embarrassed.
The other two girls have re-appeared for the rose ceremony and it is a dour one indeed.
One-by-one Nick calls their names:
The tension is palpable. Nick fiddles with the rose in his hand. He avoids eye contact with either of them. His Adam’s apple bobs up and down…
But it’s tragic really. Cass’s little imaginary castle has come crashing down around her and she is having a hard time processing what has gone on.
“You’re a great chick, Cass, but I think what we have hit a ceiling,” Nick offers as some sort of explanation before bundling her into the back of an Uber.
Cass stares blankly into space, twiddling with her hair extensions, when suddenly her tears stop and a small smile plays on her lips.
All that stalking needn’t go to waste. All is not lost…because Nick has a brother…and she knows where he lives…