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For Love or Money, Episode 6: An Epilogue and a Prologueby Bruce Barker -- 07/09/2003
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Last week I suggested that viewers skip the first 90 minutes of this week’s episode to avoid the endless recaps and flashbacks that tend to plague the two-hour-long finales of the “dating” shows. The producers deserve credit for avoiding these trappings almost entirely. Instead however, before it is over, we will wade through an endless stream of consciousness session with Paige as her angst overwhelms her time and again. Someone also has apparently made the decision that instead of endless video recaps, we must endure endless monologues about the “good old days” way back a couple of weeks ago when everyone was younger.
The first five minutes of this episode are taken up with a more detailed recap of previous episodes than normal. This is necessary because a large number of people who lost interest in the show return just to see how it ends. In addition, there are two hours to fill and even with over a half hour of commercials, this represents a lot of airtime.
For a day shall seem a thousand years and a thousand years shall seem as one day.
The show begins in earnest as host Jordan comes in to speak to Paige and Erin, our two remaining ladies. He flashes the million-dollar checks to each of them and then drops the final bombshell twist of the series. Whichever lady wins Rob’s heart must choose between him and the million-dollar prize. Choose the money, he admonishes, “and for as long as you live you can never set eyes on Rob again!” This seems a bit extreme. How exactly does NBC plan to enforce this? Are they going to poke out the eyes of the winner? Will the winner have to report each day with a list of activities that will be compared with Rob’s own plans to ensure they never meet? “I’m sorry, you can’t do laundry at the Spin-O-mat today. It’s time for Rob’s annual washing day.”
Although we, the viewers, have been well aware of this particular twist in the rules for some time now, this is the first time either Paige or Erin has gotten wind of the decision one of them must make. The reaction is just about what you might expect. Erin looks almost relieved and seems to chuckle to herself at the irony. She had decided the money was more important in her mind some time ago and with the exception of moments of emotional weakness when alone with Rob, she hasn’t wavered from that opinion. Paige, on the other hand, is devastated. She was obviously counting on having both the man and the moolah to have and to hold. Jordan beats a hasty retreat to leave the women to deal with the ramifications of his announcement.
Erin tells us that she thinks Paige will choose Rob and Paige tells us she thinks Erin will take the money. Once again, there are no surprises here. Paige announces, “This is the hardest decision of my life!” This has been quite an experience for Paige. She’s been on three dates with each successive one being the “best date of my life!” She has found Happy Hands Rob to be “the most perfect man in the world!” and now she faces this. I bet it never gets boring around Paige. Each day brings the “best breakfast I’ve ever had!” and life is full of “the best trip to the bank ever!” and “the finest lint ball I’ve ever pulled out of my dryer!” moments.
We now see a new side of Erin begin to emerge. Rob will make his decision in 24 hours and Erin refuses to reveal her final decision to Paige. This is like strapping a bloody seal carcass to your chest and jumping into shark-infested waters. Paige makes a beeline to Erin and begins badgering her for the answer. Erin, the picture of patience, says that she might disclose her answer later, but isn’t going to say anything now. Paige, adrenaline squirting out of her ears, begs, whines, and then begs some more. She is twisting quicker than Chubby Checker in an earthquake looks like she’s about to burst quicker than a 5-pound bag with 20 pounds of potatoes stuffed into it. Forget global warming. Who cares about the whereabouts of Saddam Hussein or whether Tony Blair will survive the political fallout he is about to face in Parliament! Paige needs an answer! These almost biblical extremes of emotional state, where almost everything is of earth-shaking importance, will provide the backdrop of the show. The observant viewer might just detect a slight malicious twinkle in Erin’s eye as she observes Paige’s writhing. Perhaps it’s a trick of the light.
Thus came forth the demon bearing flowers. The innocent, bereft of the capacity to recognize the demon, accepted the gifts, blind to the thorns within and soon the blood flowed like a mighty river.
In an interview segment, Paige tells us, “If I choose Rob I feel like I’m choosing against my family because we really need the money.”
In the face of what will doubtlessly be an endless barrage from Paige, Erin relents and confesses that she will indeed take the money instead of Rob. She then turns to Paige and asks her, “Do you love Rob?”
And lo, there arose the sounds of 400 score lost souls. The fires began to burn and there was yea verily, a great wailing and gnashing of teeth.
Paige tells Erin that she doesn’t know. The question has sent poor Paige into a spiral of self-torture. Again, the brief twinkle appears in Erin’s eyes. Erin tells us that the last thing in the world she wants to do is see Rob face to face because she fears he will see right through her facades and read the truth in her eyes.
Thus it was that at the appointed time all the signs and portents came together and a great clamor was heard throughout the heavens.
The doorbell rings and Rob strolls in for a surprise dinner visit.
Over dinner, Rob and Erin engage in a spirited discussion of recently read books and Paige is left to quietly stew as she gets left in the intellectual dust of the conversation. It appears as if for Erin and Rob nobody else exists in the world but each other. Finally, Rob asks Paige if she would like to go for a walk. Paige races upstairs to brush her teeth, not sparing a thought as to what might be transpiring between the couple now sitting alone downstairs. Meanwhile, as Paige rides the Crest of her emotional high and sits on Topol the world, Rob takes Erin’s hand. In voiceover, Erin tells us she felt a definite connection.
For those who consort with demons shall thus become demons themselves.1 2 3 Next-->
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