“People want to know what happens in the fantasy suites; there’s curiosity,” Gerry Turner says during the tropical overnight date Gerry-athon that is Thursday’s “Golden Bachelor” Episode 8.
But the Indiana widower, 72, wants to draw a privacy line, adding emphatically: “Quite honestly, I feel like it’s none of their (expletive) business.”
It’s hard to argue with this sentiment as Gerry sets sail on the long-awaited Fantasy Suites weekend in beautiful Costa Rica. It’s a chance for the perpetually pained Gerry to enjoy subsequent dates, however long they last, with the final two contestants: Leslie, 64, and Theresa, 70.
This being an ABC reality show, we get valuable details of the dating doubleheader. Sometimes too many details, as exemplified during a Gerry discussion on “knocking boots” (dormant volcano in the background) that compels host Jesse Palmer to repeat “TMI” with his eyes closed.
But the stakes are high. In the November 30 season finale, Gerry will pick one of the two women to be his life partner. Who’s it going to be? Let’s break down the Fantasy Suites dates.
Last week’s “Women Tell All”:‘Golden Bachelor’ confessions and who Gerry sent home.
Gerry gets action during his date with Leslie
It’s not surprising to see Gerry ecstatic about rappelling down a 170-foot Costa Rican cliff to kick off the big Leslie date. But it is remarkable how Gerry just zips down the cliff face like he’s Tom Cruise’s dad. What other talents is he holding back on us? He kicks right into the outdoorsman chivalry mode he showed Leslie during their Episode 4 adventure date on ATV vehicles, this time hovering around his slowly descending partner while tossing out loving encouragement like, “You’re good!” and “You got this!”
The ATV date ended with Leslie and Gerry in a magically appearing hot tub, so it’s obvious where this action opener is headed. Score one for the Fantasy Suite! Leslie and Gerry agree to the odd formality of accepting Jesse’s written invitation to enter the double-bed couples sanctum as if Jesse is some sort of tech-billionaire matchmaker with new stationery.
There are no boots, however, only intertwined legs with bare feet before the cameras demurely fade, leaving some mystery. Gerry is smitten later, saying things like, “I think you’re the one.” Leslie doesn’t do herself any favors by referring to loving Gerry like “an old shoe.” And there’s a looming logistical struggle over where they’d end up — his hometown in Indiana or hers in Minneapolis.
But the fireworks can be summed up by the perfect Golden Bachelor post-intimacy moment — a bawdy thermostat discussion that adheres to Department of Energy guidelines.
“What do you like it at, 70?” Gerry asks, staking out a perch at the temperature controls.
“69,” Leslie responds, giggling.
Gerry might have proposed right then and there, if not for that pesky finale two weeks from now. But it’s clear that Leslie is in a prime position, even as Gerry ambles off on his next overnight date, with Theresa.
Theresa locks in and turns the Gerry tide during her date
Gerry is so besotted with Leslie that it visibly seeps into his Theresa time. Horseback riding through the tropical forest, he’s noticeably distant, wandering ahead as Theresa frets, bringing up the rear.
“At the same time, I’m thinking, ‘What’s Leslie doing right now,'” Gerry says, over scenes in which he’s ignoring his horseback chivalry instincts, Theresa and basic good manners.
But just when things are their bleakest, Theresa goes into Michael Jordan mode, bringing Gerry around in clutch time. You can feel the momentum shift during dinner talk of lost loves (she’s also widowed) and the discussion of what, exactly, Theresa does for a living. But wait, he’s just getting to Theresa’s job in Episode 8? How this basic information has eluded Gerry just shows the travails of reality dating.
Yet financial services professional Theresa takes that assist and throws up three-pointers, detailing a wildly impressive self-starter career. Gerry, a restauranteur who retired at 55, is visibly impressed. The game is on, even without Gerry thinking about his retirement stock portfolio, which would surely get a Theresa turbo charge.
Of course, the couple agrees to Jesse’s joint Fantasy Suite invitation, leading to Theresa draining a final clutch bucket upon entering the tropical love den. She offers Gerry the right side of the double bed! He doesn’t even remember telling her his bed preference, but Theresa had it stored away for just the right time. Critics can say what they want about Theresa, but she’s got game.
Time to fade out to a shot of the resort room’s “Do Not Disturb” sign.
Who went home on ‘Golden Bachelor’ during Fantasy Suites week?
No one goes home on Fantasy Suites week. Gerry ends a joy-filled adventure without going through his usual gut-wrenching rose decision. That storm is coming: The clouds literally appear in Costa Rica as Gerry briefly frets. But it’s distant thunder.
Whatever the predictions, or what the internet is speculating, from a reality-show editing point of view this is anyone’s ballgame. Looking two weeks ahead (there’s no “Golden Bachelor” on Thanksgiving), Gerry’s impossible choice is:
Leslie: Real adventure, excitement, sense of humor. But are there issues like location?
Theresa: Real bond over past loss, intense love, killer stock picks, threw up the final shot of the dating game as time expired.