‘The Bachelor’ Recap: Season 17, Episode 9

By Sarah McClanahan,

Sean explores Thailand with the women in the midst of the infamous fantasy suite dates, and narrows his choices down to the top two in hopes of finding his wife.

The final three women jet to Thailand. Sean admits he has strong feelings for all of them, and hopes the individual dates bring some clarity. He is not thinking about the roses at the end of the week so much as who he can see himself with for the rest of his life.

He likes different aspects of each woman. He loves Catherine’s nerdy and goofy sides, and he feels she understands him most. He believes he has the strongest relationship with AshLee and appreciates her big heart because he never has to guess about her feelings; she is very open and honest with him. His relationship with Lindsay has came so far from almost sending her home as the crazy (emphasized in a bad way) girl who showed up in the wedding dress. Now, he sees her as the best friend he had been looking for.

Date #1: Lindsay Yenter

Sean spends the first day with Lindsay. The two experience a culture shock as they maneuver a traditional Thai marketplace. At the start of the date, Lindsay reveals she is willing to try any exotic food except she will not eat bugs. Typical Sean seeking an adventurous partner chooses to test her limits, and she eventually caves for him and tries a grasshopper and cricket.

“You’re only in Thailand once,” is officially coined as the slogan for their date.

Lindsay reiterates that she’s ready to settle down and can’t wait to spend the rest of her life with Sean. However, she is waiting for the perfect moment to tell him “I love you” because it is such a huge step, but she knows if she doesn’t tell Sean exactly how she feels tonight, she may not get another opportunity.

At Yong Ling Beach, the pair realizes why it is given the nickname “Monkey Beach.” They feed scattered monkeys in the sand, and kiss in the ocean.

Their romantic day continues with dinner in front of traditional Thai floats, which consist of multi-colored lights. There, Lindsay reveals she is totally willing to move to Dallas to live with Sean. Right as she is about to tell him how she feels, they are interrupted by dancers.

After accepting the fantasy suite card, she gains confidence because she feels like they are a real couple. Finally, she tells him, “I love you” and feels it brought them closer together.

Date #2: AshLee Frazier

Next, it is AshLee’s turn to spend the day with Sean. She starts off by telling the audience she feels overwhelming joy whenever she is around him, and knows that if she is the one who ends up with him, they will experience a lifetime of unexpected adventures. This is first time putting her heart on the line and being vulnerable, and she can only hope her feelings for him are reciprocated.

Like the previous date, Sean wants to pull AshLee out of her comfort zone and routine schedules. He tells her to reach a private beach, they have to swim through Emerald Cave in total darkness. All he needs is for her to trust him.

AshLee is terrified, relating this experience to the fear of not knowing Sean’s final outcome. She realizes she must change her previous way of thinking and take the risk.
Sean opens up to her, saying he is not yet engaged because he has been focused on his career and the right girl has not come along.

Additionally, AshLee is worried about the option of the fantasy suite. Spending the night with someone is not something she takes lightly, and she is not sure where his head is, and how their relationship compares to his with the other two women. He reassures her that his expectations for the overnight date are not sexual in nature. His idea of the perfect night would be to spend hours talking. She is grateful their expectations are the same, and accepts the offer.

At the end of the date, she seems to be more head over heels in love with Sean than ever before. She considers him her soul mate. Before she met him, she had a broken spirit, but he has since healed her heart and convinced her to trust again.

Date #3: Catherine Giudici

Sean is looking forward to spending the day with Catherine because he is still questioning whether their goals match because of all the women, their lives are the most different. He wants to know if their relationship will be able to continue once the cameras stop rolling and the glitz and glamour fades away.

Immediately, Catherine apologizes for her sister’s behavior during the hometown date for bringing up uncomfortable topics. She reassures Sean that despite her sisters’ concerns, she is ready for marriage. She feels she has seen everything there is to see in Seattle, and is willing to move to Dallas to start a family with Sean. In five years, she sees herself married with a kid.

However, having grown up in a conservative family, Catherine feels a lot of pressure to make the moves in their relationship. Since he is not allowed to say them to her due to the nature of the show, she must be the one to express her feelings of love toward him to move their relationship forward.

She reveals to Sean that she is scared of the promise of intimacy in the fantasy suite, but Sean lets her know that his true intentions are simply uninterrupted conversations.

Furthermore, Catherine opens up that Sean has brought her out of her shell this season. When she was younger, she was teased for being “chubby” and she has never been in a bikini more than the time she spent on The Bachelor. She doesn’t know how she ended up with someone so “beefy” and “hunky” although his looks are only one facet of his numerous qualities. Always knowing exactly what to say, Sean responds by telling Catherine she is “smoking hot” and that he is the lucky one to be with her.

Sean now faces the decision of which woman to eliminate. He chats with Chris Harrison about how this is the toughest week to be sent home. Sean definitely is empathetic because this is the week he was blindsided when Emily sent home during the last season of The Bachelorette and he fears that the woman he sends home will feel the same way. The last thing he wants is to break someone’s heart, but it is necessary to reach the final week and find the love of his life.

Each of the women has left him a private video message, and he watches them in hopes they make his decision easier than more clouded.

AshLee breaks down in her video message, crying as she praises Sean for helping her become whole again. His face is solemn as he gazes toward the ground. Is this a hint at what is to happen at the rose ceremony?

At the rose ceremony, Sean gives roses to Lindsay and Catherine. AshLee is eliminated, and she does not take the time to say goodbye to the girls. Instead, she storms out in anger. Sean wants to explain himself to provide her with closure. He begins to say he thought it was her from the beginning because of the intensity of their relationship, but she doesn’t respond. Rather, she jumps into the car and slams the door.

In the car, she tells viewers The Bachelor wasn’t just a silly game for her. This is the ultimate rejection because she thought Sean was "The One."



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