There may have been some standout moments in tonight’s The Bachelorette: The Men Tell All episode (like Michael coming to Jake’s defense, Jillian commending Juan on his composure in dealing with David and the musical montage of Wes’ least likable moments), but the whole affair was overwhelmingly childish.

Hot-headed David, despite a genuine-seeming apology to Jillian for making her uncomfortable, spent most of the evening defending his outrageous behaviour on the show, attacking Juan yet again and explaining the ins and outs of something called “man code”. The rest of the former frat boys of the group spent much of their time getting on the cases of those who were simply different from them. Early eliminated sweet heart Mike explained it best when he described how most of them shared background and interests, leaving sappy gentlemen like Juan and Jake as outsiders of sorts. Quiet and calm Mark explained why he was one of the few men to come to Juan’s defense on the show and surprisingly funny Tanner F called Jake out on “pulling a Mesnick” (leaning over a hotel railing and crying hysterically).

The standouts of the evening were (not surprisingly) Michael (who sat quietly for the most part, made the occasional good-natured joke, spoke his piece when the others were out of line and made a lovely speech to Jillian about his new approach to love) and Jake (who dealt with the abuse from the other guys with a smile, explained his potentially off-putting intensity and his controversial return to the show, expressed his hurt over the sudden coldness of Jillian after their first date and let it be known that he was perfectly fine with how everything turned out, even Jillian ignoring his warning about Wes). More surprisingly, the other highlight of the night was Tanner P (whom I think was really a pretty normal and funny guy, the editors just chose to show the one really weird thing about him incessantly). Those who painted a less flattering self-portrait were Jesse (who seemed to be a passive supporter of the misguided “man code”), Sasha (who swore at Jake for absolutely no reason) and (obviously) David (who is simply a cretin).

But despite how the guys came off, the true revelation of the evening (apart from the bizarro world pronouncement that Molly and Jason have every intention of getting married some day) was how truly cool host Chris Harrison is. I’ve never noticed before, amidst all his formulaic questions of “how do you feel about so-and-so?” and announcements that “this is the final rose tonight”, that Chris is one of the few hosts with an opinion. In tonight’s episode he played fast and loose with the Wes jokes, flat out arguing with the guys who defended him, saying “he used Jillian”; he challenged the foundations of the so-called “man code” and demanded to know where “respect for women” factored into it; and he shut down the absurd argument over Juan’s behaviour by asking “who gives a crap?” about whether it was right that he only took half a shot and didn’t confess to it. This was the first time I have ever seen Chris be the guy that Trista Sutter has always insisted that he is (on her Eonline blog), and I really like him, I hope he shows himself more often.

Which brings me to next week’s finale. Ever since the beginning, we’ve been promised the return of some mysterious person who proposes to Jillian before her chosen guy has a chance to. Anyone who was paying any attention at all to last week’s episode should have figured out that it would be Reid returning (not only because of his exit interview where he took all the blame on himself and regretted not telling her he loved her, but because of her reaction to his departure, it was too intense, like Jason’s goodbye to Molly- it needed more resolution). So then when Reid doesn’t show up for “The Men Tell All” and Chris tries to pass his absence off with some excuse about “a prior engagement”, the astute viewer should have it all figured out. So why, then, did ABC think it necessary to ruin my fun by confirming my brilliant theories with a shot of Reid holding a ring in the preview for next week? It took all the joy out of my (not actually all that impressive) detective skills. In any case, I’ll be glad to see Reid again and sad to see his heart broken when she chooses either Kiptyn or Ed instead.

Sound off in the comments section:

Who do you think Jillian will choose (Kiptyn, Ed or Reid)?- my guess is Ed, it should be Ed.

And who do you think should be the next Bachelor (Jake, Michael, one of the 2 guys who’ll get their heart broken next Monday or someone else)?- my vote is for Reid, because I love him.
(Scott, if you are reading this, know that Alyssa and I are nominating you and there’s nothing you can do about it- ha!).