Last week on Age of Love, Jayanna was tragically and unfairly eliminated, and Maria was outed as being totally crazy. This week, we begin with a quote from George Bernard Shaw (whom NBC helpfully identifies as a playwright): "We don’t stop playing because we grow old. We grow old because we stop playing." Really? And all this time I thought it was because of the free radicals. Back at the apartment, Jen is pretty broken up that Jayanna’s gone. You and me both, Jen. You and me both.
But wait! Jayanna doesn’t just live on in Jen’s memory — she lives on in a totally harsh video message to the remaining contestants, in which she completely trashes Amanda! Who is watching it along with everyone else! Awesome! Sample quote: "It doesn’t matter how down and dirty and nasty and backstabbing she has to be — Amanda is that desperate for a man." Hahahahahaha!!! Sad truth: as pointed out by you guys in the comments, Mark clearly likes Amanda enough to boot anyone she complains to him about, so in the end, I don’t think karma’s gonna get her as badly as Jen hopes.
Mark picks Maria and Amanda to go salsa dancing with him on the first date of the episode. In an interview clearly filmed prior to the Great Truth or Dare Freakout of ’07, Mark says that Maria’s great because she’s easygoing and doesn’t stress about things. Riiight. Mark, it seems, doesn’t really know how to salsa. The girls don’t have to know how, because they get put in such stripper-licious outfits that no one will be watching them dance anyway. Maria looks like a slutty baby doll, and Amanda looks like a slutty … slut. Magenta and black bra with crazy amounts of fringe, miniskirt, disgusting. Mark picks Maria for the first dance, and Amanda not-so-secretly hopes she’ll break a hip. Maria does, in fact, go crazy with the hip action. Between her craziness and his immobility, it looks nothing like salsa.
Amanda is a bit more chill on the dance floor, and has to keep tugging her skirt down to hide her butt cheeks. Mark notes that Maria was way more sweaty and tired by the end of the dance, but I think that has more to do with her spastic dancing style than her age. Maria puts Mark on the spot and asks him if he has anything to say to her or Amanda. It’s uncomfortable, and kind of a turn-off for Mark.
The next day, Megan and Mark head off to have high tea. Megan’s definition of high tea: "It’s a really good … tea." (Megan reading signs in the limousine: "’Par … tition?’ What’s a ‘partition’?") Mark thinks she’s really funny, but I don’t think he’s laughing with her, if you know what I mean. She is also unfamiliar with the concept of sugar cubes (or "spongy things"), and generally uncomfortable with the idea of a tea date. Fair enough, Megan — it looks really fussy to me.
That night, Jen gets summoned to a giant, lit-up, Cinderella-style carriage, where Mark is waiting to whisk her off on a romantic date. Possibly involving a Disneyland parade, from the looks of it. Mark chose her for the "incredible" date, because he wanted to "save the best for last." Suck it, Amanda! The horsedrawn carriage looks seriously goofy rolling along the streets and highway overpasses of LA. For reals. After the carriage ride, Mark and Jen go swimming, and then cuddle and make out next to the pool. Back at Mark’s apartment, more making out, plus tasty snacks. At about 2 AM, we switch to the grainy surveillance cam in Mark’s bedroom, which goes dark when they turn out the lights (right as she’s about to "give him a massage"). However, we still get great audio, which is … gross. Half an hour later, Jen heads back to her apartment, very much into Mark. They both agree that it was an amazing night. I’m guessing her son, who is Mark’s age, wouldn’t agree. I’m also hoping he didn’t watch this on TV. CREEPY.
The next morning, everyone’s super-jealous of Jen’s date. Megan is jealous of the carriage ride, while Amanda has a hilarious silent freakout at the mutual massage description. Don’t massage and tell, Jen — it’s unseemly! As Jen talks about how NBC is likely to censor the massages, Amanda is horrified to learn that (shocker) she’s not that special, and Mark is hooking up with all the ladies — young AND decrepit. Next, we’re back to the weekly discussion of whether or not Maria’s going to quit (she says she is). Megan’s onto her false promises. Fool you three times, shame on you?
The girls meet with Mark solo before the elimination. Megan’s meeting with Mark is short, and she doesn’t get to say everything she wants to. Next, Jen tries not to be too confident, and tells Mark that she’s really, really into him now. Mark agrees that he always has a great time when he’s with her. Amanda, on the other hand, takes Mark to task for hooking up with Jen, and he doesn’t seem pleased that Jen blabbed about it. If Amanda’s Reign of Terror is still going strong, Jen will get the boot for sure. But hey, if anyone’s going to survive after Amanda complains to Mark about them, it’s Jen. He tries to reassure Amanda that he’s really into her, and she falls for it hook, line, and sinker. Maria confirms to us that she’s going to quit (for real this time!), and gives Mark this meandering speech about slamming doors in her face, and limited time, and whatever. Mark’s all, "Um, you’re one of just four women left, and I’m contractually obligated to eliminate you one by one at this point, so what more do you want from me short of kicking everyone else off and choosing you right now?" She finally takes the plunge, and tells Mark she’s eliminating herself. Mark claims that had she not done so, he would have asked her to stay. Too late!
After an hour-long discussion with Maria, Mark goes down to visit the remaining contestants and deliver the news. They’re all fairly shocked that Maria finally followed through. And Maria’s gonna be pretty sorry pretty fast, because Mark tells the women that they’ll be headed to Australia with him to meet his family! Wow, that’s pretty awesome. But not for Megan, who is scared of flying, especially on such a long flight. Come on, Megan — when you think about it, the vast majority of crashes happen during takeoff or landing, so you’re probably just as likely to crash no matter how long the flight is. … Feel better now? Apparently not, as she has a last-minute panic attack when it comes time to board the plane, saying she can’t do it. Dude, take some Dramamine and sleep through it. It’s a free trip to Australia! Australia! Sadly, Mark has to put her in a cab home, where they finally have their first kiss. So … we went from four to two without Mark eliminating anyone? Seems like the closer they get to realizing they’re going to have to be with Mark, the less these ladies want to stay in it.
So … the description for this episode mentioned something about the women’s families getting a chance to grill Mark, and I was kind of looking forward to hearing what Jen’s son, especially, thinks of this whole thing. Sadly, I guess it was not to be. Ah, well. Next week: this whole crazy whirlwind comes to an end when Mark chooses between Old and Crazy, Fun and Young, Plastic and Plastic. Semi-unfortunately, I’ll be on a much-needed vacation at the time, so this is where I leave you. (Don’t worry — I’ll try and find someone to cover for me next week so you can get your last Kittens vs. Cougars fix). It’s been fun, guys!
For more TV recaps and commentary, visit Glowy Box.