Full Show Index
Advertise With Us
Write For Us
Decisions, Decisions: The Final Episode of ‘For Love or Money’by Betsy Wasser -- 07/10/2003
View Printable version of this article
The commercials before the final episode of For Love or Money promised us in melodramatic tones, “A television event so intense it actually is heart pounding.” Periodic checks of my pulse while I watched the show indicated that my own heart pounded strongest right after I’d run up the stairs during a commercial to get a snack. Nevertheless, I found this to be a better than average finale – in other words, it wasn’t full of recaps and filler. Stuff actually happened. And the focus on the show was without a doubt the decisions that Rob, Paige, and Erin had to make. In fact, if I were to create a For Love or Money drinking game (hmm, maybe for season two?), I’d have players drink every time someone used the words “decision” or “decide.” Rob had to decide (DRINK!) on the woman of his dreams. Based on Rob’s choice, Paige and Erin had to decide (DRINK!) if they would take Rob or the million dollars. Let’s look at their choices and decide (DRINK!) if they made the right ones.
The episode begins with Jordan, king of the dramatic pauses, showing Paige and Erin their million-dollar checks. Then, he tells them, “I want you to take a good look at them, because what I’m about to tell you could change everything.” The twist is, as we all know, that the winning woman must choose between Rob and the million bucks. The women’s reactions are as different as the women themselves are. Paige gasps and says, “Oh my gosh!” Erin gives a small smile and says, “Interesting.” Jordan tells the women that if they choose the money, “for as long as you live you can never set eyes on him again.” What? Really? Is Rob going to get a restraining order? Is NBC going to poke out her eyes? How exactly are they going to enforce that? Jordan tells Erin and Paige that they must have a lot to think about (including the possibility that their eyes might get poked out!), and that he’ll leave them to it.
Paige is totally freaked out. She says, “This is ridiculous! Why can’t we have both?” Erin calmly tells her, “That’s not the game.” Paige is so beside herself that Erin has to move her in the direction of the bedroom before she goes wandering off. The hand wringing continues, and Paige wants to talk things out. She asks Erin repeatedly what her decision will be, but Erin is reticent. Paige then suggests that they talk out all of the possible choices. Well, that wouldn’t take long, seeing as how there are two of them, love or money. Paige asks Erin if she knows what she’d do, and Erin admits that she does, but that she doesn’t want to tell Paige. Erin says, “I think you should think hard about it and listen to your heart.” Erin’s strategy of keeping her plan to herself suddenly falls apart, and she admits to Paige that she would keep the money. I wouldn’t be surprised if she caved so that Paige would shut up about it.
There’s our first decision of the night. No, not Erin’s decision to take the money, because she seems to waver on it a bit later. I mean Erin’s decision to share her plans with Paige. I think Erin made the wrong choice. Chances were good that the women would each have the chance to spend time alone with Rob before he made his final choice. Paige could easily drop some hints to Rob that Erin wasn’t in it for the right reasons. For example she could say, “Rob, I just want you to know that I am here because I care about you. I think that some of the other girls stayed for as long as they did because they wanted to win a competition. I don’t think this is a competition, I think this is a romance. Not everyone agrees with me, and I think that’s something you should keep in mind when you make your final decision.” Without mentioning Erin by name, Paige could easily cast doubt in Rob’s mind about choosing her. Luckily for Erin, Paige was not devious enough to try that trick.
That night, Rob comes to the mansion for dinner. In an interview, he says, “I know I have to figure out the motivations of these girls.” Over dinner, Erin and Rob share the titles of favorite biographies they’ve read recently while Paige sulks. The sulk continues as the two of them chat about what they did that day, when Rob makes his choices for elimination, and so forth. In an interview, Paige rages, “He was talking to Erin the whole time!” Maybe that was because Erin was talking back to him, not dramatically sighing and staring at her plate.
After dinner, Rob has the opportunity to spend time alone with each woman for the last time. Paige is first. In an interview, Paige says that this final moment together is critical. “I need to figure out if I’m really in love with him and if he’s really in love with me.” Rob tells Paige that she drives him crazy. He asks her if she thinks their age difference is significant, and of course, she assures him that it’s not. Rob then points out again that Paige’s Love/Celibacy promise ring is still gone. She tells him that it’s “gone forever,” and he stares at her meaningfully. In an interview, Paige says that she’s ready for another ring to take its place! Rob seems to have an eye on the future as well, and asks Paige if she’d like to have children some day. In an interview Rob says the two of them acted, “like we were teenagers in love.” The sweet nothings continue, as Paige tells Rob that he’s perfect. He quickly tells her that he’s not perfect, and she even more quickly tells him that she’s not perfect either. Fans of The Smoking Gun snicker appreciatively. At the end of their conversation, Rob tells Paige that he wants to express to her that he really likes and cares for her. In an interview, Paige reaches the conclusion that, “If he’s an honest guy and everything that I think he is, he’ll pick me.”
Paige and Erin spend a few minutes talking before Erin leaves for her time alone with Rob. Erin asks Paige if she’s allowed to kiss Rob, and says that it would be weird to kiss him if he just kissed Paige. I could not agree more. At first, Paige tells Erin that she can make her own decisions. Then when Erin tells Paige directly that she doesn’t want to kiss Rob if she did, Paige smugly tells her, “I so did.”1 2 3 Next-->
View Printable version of this article