LAST EDITED ON 03-01-04 AT 06:45 PM (EST)
Did you catch the moment near the beginning of last week’s episode when Fredo confronted Larissa about the show being a career move for her?
And that wasn’t the only great moment from last week’s show. There was Fredo’s adventure on the submarine, Gil’s search for emotion, and -- last but certainly not least -- the incredible intellectual powers of Jim.
They’re all right here in this summary. So .... stay tuned.
Episode 8 begins with Larissa holding a trivia competition to see if any of the guys can remember the things that she has told them about herself.
But nobody remembers, and Larissa is just a little bit peeved.
What a shame. lol Didn’t the guys know her sign? (Virgo) Or how well she did in Miss USA? (Fourth place) Or how long her latest relationship lasted? (9 months) Or the name of one of her pet guinea pigs? (Pickle)
Guinea pigs? Gee, I never thought of Larissa as a guinea pig kind of girl. I was thinking more along the lines of pet alligators.
OK ... I’ll be nice ... how about cheetahs? Yeah ... I know ... she’s just a kitty cat. Meow, Larissa. Your place or mine?
Anyway, four questions and neither Gil nor Jim remembered a single one of the answers. A testimony to their marvelous brain power. At least Brian got one right and Fredo got two.
So Larissa awards a date to Fredo. The two go out and play some golf and tennis. Unfortunately, neither Fredo nor Larissa is very good at either golf or tennis. (We all know much Larissa loves sports!) So it wasn’t very long until the two retired to a massage, undoubtedly to soothe the pulled muscles they suffered during the golf and tennis.
During the massage, Larissa starts sweet-talking Fredo. “You’re such a giver, ”she tells him,” and you have so much to offer.”
“I think being there for someone is all you have to do,” he answers. He tells her they have such a good friendship going, and that’s the kind of thing that brings people together.
“I agree with that,” says Larissa.
Fredo thinks he has Larissa’s confidence, but later, after a little wine, he starts saying some things that Larissa doesn’t want to hear.
“I try to feel your situation too,” he tells Larissa.
Fredo has such a way with words.
”I try to feel your situation,” he says, “because you’re indecisive. You know that opportunity is going to be coming.”
Suddenly a funny look comes over Larissa’s face. It’s like she just swallowed an onion. Or was it a succotash? No ... I remember ... a cheetah. She’s a pussy cat. Meow.
“I’m indecisive?” she asks.
“Well,” he continues, ”I think you’re looking for opportunity.”
Larissa starts to get this tough look on her face, as if to say, “How dare you!”
Fredo, I think you just said the wrong thing, pal.
“So you think I’m looking for opportunities,” she repeats, just to make sure she heard right.
“Um ... to be honest with you?” Fredo says, “Yes and no. I mean, you could have just walked away from this thing at the beginning.”
“I didn’t seek this,” Larissa says. “It fell into my lap. And it would be dumb not to take advantage of any opportunity that comes into your life.”
You’ve got to hand it to Fredo. He’s got guts -- or stupidity. Here he is, a contestant on a reality show, vying for Larissa’s affections, and he’s asking Larissa if the show is just an opportunity for her career.
And you thought people on this bulletin board were the only ones wondering about that?
Oh come on, Larissa, lighten up. Fredo’s just jealous. Didn’t you hear what he said later?
“I’d prefer that she take things slowly,” he said, “instead of being out there and making out with everyone, because I wouldn’t be comfortable with that.”
Fredo’s just jealous that you’re not jumping him like some of the other guys.
Oh .... I guess you didn’t hear him say that. It was just a side bar that only the folks at home get to hear. Pesky side bars!
Fortunately, Larissa takes the high road anyway.
“I’m not going to lie to you, and I’m not playing any games,” she tells Fredo. “I want you here, because when I look at you, I assume that you’re a certain way, and you’ve totally blown my mind on so many levels, and I admire the fact that you’re not afraid to say what you think, and to question me, and to question my choices, and question my judgment, because it shows me that you're a strong person.”
Translation: your goose is cooked pal, but I’m being diplomatic about it.
Larissa then throws out a dart and asks, “so am I moving to Cleveland or you move to Los Angeles?”
Fredo is caught totally by surprise and fumbles with an answer. Larissa laughs, because she wasn’t serious anyway.
Later in the show, Fredo gets a real demonstration about where Larissa’s love interests lie.
Date with Gil
Larissa says she needs to have one more date with each of the other three remaining guys.
First up is Gil. Unlike Fredo, comedy doesn’t automatically occur whenever Gil opens his mouth. Being funny is tougher when writing about him. Maybe I’ll just play this section straight.
Gil, of course, is searching for emotion. He’s searching for a heart. Gil.... is Mr. Spock.
Larissa and Gil take a helicopter ride to a beautiful part of the island, where the scenery is breathtaking. The turbulence in the helicopter makes Larissa nervous. Being incapable of emotions, Gil takes her hand to calm her.
After the helicopter lands, they end up on a black sand beach, where Larissa finds out Gil is ticklish.
Larissa ruthlessly tickles Gil for the next few minutes, trying to bring out his human half. But Gil runs away.
Larissa says her goal is to get Gil to open up more. She notices that he’s really nervous. Is it the cameras? The situation? She hopes it’s not that he isn’t interested in her.
Gil tells us he’s not used to cameras. They don’t have them on the planet Vulcan, apparently.
Larissa tells him he has to just let go. Gil admits he’s holding back, so Larissa gently smiles and caresses him and tells him not to hold back. Gil says he’s very glad she let him stay and not send him home. It’s comforting to know that she likes him.
They hug and kiss. Then they find a small stream to play in, and then a beautiful lagoon. The water is very cold, so they hold on to one another for body heat, and more kissing.
Later, they arrive at a romantic cabin with an amazing view of the woods and the ocean. Gil cooks dinner. Larissa says she loves a guy who can cook. “It’s so sexy,” she says.
Larissa wants to know about Gil’s past relationships. Gil says he dated the way most people do in college. (Apparently they even do that on the planet Vulcan.) Then junior year, he says, he met the girl he had “that long relationship with” -- the longest relationship in his life.
Larissa tells us she noticed that when she asked more questions about this girlfriend, he started getting hot and flushed, and started sweating, so she wanted to know who dumped who. Gil said that the girl had left the Ft. Lauderdale area after college, and it was a mutual decision that since they were now so far away from one another, it wasn’t going to work.
Larissa asked him: if the girl was still in the Ft. Lauderdale area, would they still be together. Gil thought about it for a long moment, and then said quietly, “I don’t think so.”
Larissa didn’t like the long pause.
Gil says the relationship with the girl from college ended just two months ago.
Zounds! Now we get it! Gil is on the rebound!
Be careful, Larissa! You’ve got a Vulcan on the rebound.
Larissa tells Gil that she lives in LA. But Gil surprises us and says it’s no problem. “Obstacles are made to be overcome,” he says.
Larissa says she’s not scared of going with something if it feels right. She’s not tied to any one place right now.
Then, as a tropical rain comes down, it’s time for more kissey face.
Larissa tells us that the kisses with Gil are different. They are passionate, but she can still feel his hesitation a little bit. He’s not completely letting himself go.
Vulcan on the rebound, Larissa.
But Gil says this is the best date he’s been on, by far. He says he’s been swept up by this whole experience on Average Joe.
Hmm ... Will Larissa chose a Vulcan in the final elimination next week?
Date with Brain
Back down on earth, Larissa’s next date is with the very human Brian. Larissa says that when she’s with Brian, she completely forgets about everything else. He’s just so fun to be around.
Larissa has decided to take Brian to lunch for sushi. Going for sushi was a chance for Brian to see something that she likes to do, she says.
Brian tells us that sushi is a part of Larissa’s world, and he is willing to try it to show her he’s interested in things she enjoys, but if he was together with his buddies and one of the guys suggested they go for sushi, he’d say:
“Get outta heeahr. Let’s go getta buhrgah!”
Just love making fun of that Boston accent.
Larissa cracks up laughing when Brian jokes about someday getting an operator’s license for the chop sticks. “Brian was pretty funny,” she says. “It was cute to watch him try to figure it out.”
After trying the sushi, Brian says, “I have to admit, I liked it. It went down easy, and I was like, hmmmmmm, this isn’t so bad.”
Larissa tells Brian she’s really impressed that he’s giving it a try, “because a lot of people would be like no way.”
“I couldn’t poke around with Jim or Gil the same way,” she tells us in a side bar, “because they’re not as quick as Brian is. It says a lot about Brian that he was willing to try sushi for me. It’s very flattering that he would be willing to open up his mind and give it a try just for me.”
She says Brian will have to eat it a few more times, but she thinks he’s on the right path to enjoying it.
Is it a sign of things to come that Larissa is thinking about Brian’s future???
After lunch, Larissa and Brian visit the Botanical Gardens, which they both find to be absolutely beautiful.
Larissa asks him what his past girl friends were like. Brian says he dated for a while but never made a full commitment.
“I was sced of the C woid,” he says.
Brian tells us, “I’ve always suppressed my emotions, but when I’m with Larissa a different side of me comes out, and I just want to let her know how I feel. Not too many people have seen that side of me.”
Stay away from Mr. Spock, Brian.
“Brian has a lot of stuff going for him,” says Larissa. “He’s honest. He’s sincere. He’s more open than a lot of guys would be.”
Brian takes Larissa’s hand. “This whole trip is making me open up a lot,” he says, as he looks in her eyes. “You’re making me open up a lot. I want to follow my heart. I’m done with being scared of commitment, and I have to take that step.”
“I think you’ve already started taking that step,” Larissa replies.
“He’s completely throwing himself into this experience, and now I know he’s here for me,” Larissa tells us in a side bar.
The two walk to a black sand beach and take a ride in a double-hull canoe. Then it’s back to Larissa’s place, where they sit by the pool and chat. “Brian completely opened up to me, and it was stuck in my mind the whole day. I realized I have to let myself open up, and I have to express myself,” she said.
Hmmm. You’d better stay away from Mr. Spock too, Larissa.
“Watching people change is an amazing thing, because usually people don’t change,” Larissa said to Brian, with a smile on her face.
“I know,” he said, as he smiled too.
“The things that you told me and that you opened up to me, that you haven’t told anybody .... I really appreciate that, and I admire that. I feel like I can trust you.”
“I’m glad,” Brian said.
“Because I started thinking about some of the other dates that I had, and I kinda questioned my actions a little bit, and actions of some of the other guys. I feel like things moved too fast, and it’s ‘surfacey.' ”
“Mmm hmm,” Brian nodded.
“And I know that looking at the future and having a relationship would be great, because I know that -- no matter what -- you’re going to treat me like a princess,” Larissa said, as she broke into a big smile.
They moved up to the balcony and Larissa opened up even more.
“I was in a relationship for about 9 months with somebody, and it moved really fast, like way fast. At some point, I felt like I was in it for the wrong reasons. I realized in my heart that I wasn’t really in love. And I cared about him, and I loved him, but I didn’t feel like I was in love with him.”
Brian took her hand. “I don’t rush into anything,” he said. Then he paused for a moment. “But, I’ve never really felt a connection with anybody else like I do with you.”
“Brian’s got the most beautiful eyes,” Larissa said, “and they sparkle when he talks to me about the way that he’s feeling.”
“I think it’s absolutely ... I mean it’s a great feeling,” Brian said.
(They kiss again)
“I feel like I can tell you anything,” Larissa whispered,” and I can trust you.”
(More kisses and hugs)
Date with Jim
It becomes very clear at this point that Larissa is torn.
One the one side, there’s Brian, who has depth and honesty and shares how he feels. He’s someone who Larissa can feel safe with and avoid “surfacey” relationships.
And then there’s Jim.
“Jim is the only guy who really gives me butterflies as soon as I see him,” Larissa says. “There’s this intensity about him, and being on a deserted island with some hot guy has to be every woman’s fantasy.”
Talk about “surfacey” relationships ...
Larissa says she needs to find out more about Jim’s personality, and who Jim is.
Good luck, Larissa. I hope you find something there.
Larissa says she’s really looking forward to their date on the “deserted beach.” Jim says this is the kind of date he wanted, too. No outside distractions. Just the two of them keeping each other company.
But they’re not going to be exactly alone.
We see a shot of a submarine, and inside the submarine is Fredo.
“Today I was picked up from the house, and I wasn’t told anything,” Fredo says. “We came to the marina, and the next thing I knew I was going on a submarine ride, and here I am.”
Fredo has no idea where the sub is going. But we know.
I can’t help but think that the producers chose this sub ride for Fredo because he was giving Larissa such a hard time about “opportunity” on Average Joe.
The producers of the show can’t have liked that. Rule #1 of Reality TV: never step on the toes of the producers. Remember Stacy Stilman from Survivor 1?
Anyway, when Fredo gets to the island, he’s going to find out bigtime about what turns Larissa on.
Back on the island, Jim and Larissa find a box washed up on the beach with some provisions in it, a la Survivor. There are matches, a frying pan, silverware and ... Spam! The real Spam! They both laugh.
While he’s cooking the Spam, Larissa asks Jim where he wants to be in five years. Jim doesn’t know, and gives a very short answer.
Better get used to those short answers, Larissa.
Then Jim gets down to business -- or at least what business is for him. He gives Larissa a shoulder massage. “Nice,” she coos.
Larissa tells us that she wonders about the fact that he is so romantic and knows all the right moves. She says it worries her. Is he like this with every girl, or is it because he likes her?
Like ... duh!
Jim asks Larissa what she sees herself doing in five years. She says she hopes that by then she’ll be able to start a family, but she says she wants to make sure that she’s where she wants to be in her life and in her career, so that she can provide a good home for her children.
Back in the submarine, Fredo says he’s happy that he’s found someone like Larissa. He didn’t expect her to be like she is at all.
Dream on, Fredo. She’s not. .... Or is she?
On the beach, Larissa and Jim exchange ideas on what it takes to know when you are in love.
Always a man of few words, Jim says, “I dunno. I think you just know.”
Larissa says, “I think ultimately you know when you’re willing to give up everything for somebody.”
Jim is still massaging Larissa’s shoulders during all of this, so he leans over and whispers, “I’m gonna miss you a lot if I can’t see you after this.”
Yep, Jim is a smooth operator.
“I keep thinking about you,” she tells Jim. “I don’t know what it is, but when I’m with you, I feel like you look at me, and I feel like the world stops, like you don’t notice anything else.”
Still holding her as he massages her, Jim leans over and gives a long, soft kiss near her right ear.
Then, for all of us at home, Larissa lets us in on her little fantasy.
“When I’m with Jim, I literally feel like I’m in a high fashion ad or something. I mean, I feel like I’m in a Ralph Lauren commercial.”
No doubt about it. This girl is a model.
Back on the submarine, there’s some nautical talk on the intercom from the submarine crew. This is obviously intended to thrill the kiddies who might be watching the show, those who might not be interested in Jim and Larissa’s caressing.
We hear someone say, “Make your depth 5-0 feet, down bubble.” Fredo turns a few switches and dials, does some readouts and pushes a few levers and buttons. Boy, I sure hope the submarine doesn’t sink! “Final approach T-minus 5 minutes,” blares the loudspeaker.
Back on the island, Jim says he gets stereotyped a lot that he’s stupid. Larissa asks why, and he says, “I dunno. I just do.”
But Larissa ignores the stupidity. She’s still in fashion model fantasyland. “He’s just so ideal in his physical beauty and the way he handles himself,” she says. “He looks like he just stepped out of a romance novel.”
Jim takes her hand and they head off for a romantic walk down the beach. But before we can be swept up by their ecstasy ....
It’s back to the sub again.
Fredo is suddenly handed a computer monitor and an instant message pops up, telling Fredo that the sub is stationed 40 yards off a private beach, and Larissa and Jim are enjoying a private evening on shore.
Then the message says, “Your orders are to come to periscope depth and witness the truth.”
"Your orders?" What is this? JAG?
Up comes the periscope as there’s more fancy talk on the intercom. “Surfacing .... Surfacing.” Majestic music comes to a swell. You’d think this was “The Hunt For Red October,” with Sean Connery. Fredo says he can’t believe there’s a video camera on top of the periscope.
All of a sudden, Fredo sees Larissa and Jim on the computer monitor doing some major kissey face.
“Woooaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!” moans Fredo. He can’t believe what he is seeing.
There’s audio from the video camera too, and he can hear what they’re saying.
“Do you realize how handsome you are?” Larissa asks Jim between kisses and caresses.
Fredo has trouble getting words out. “I think she’s .... she’s showing a little bit of shallowness ... quite a bit ... because ... she’s ... basing everything on looks ... at this point.”
Jim whispers to Larissa, “I think I still have a crush on you.”
“Now that I’ve told you three times?” Larissa responds between kisses.
“She’s got a crush on him? He’s got a crush on her? What the hell is a crush?” says Fredo. “What the (bleep) is wrong with you?
Fredo is shocked! He thought he had built a relationship with Larissa, and Larissa let him believe it. He’s incredulous, and rambles on and on about how he just can’t believe it.
But he has some hilarious words to say about Jim, including his inability to carry on a conversation.
“I know him in the house. He’s not a conversation piece. That’s for damn (bleeping) sure. The dude tells people he’s a pilot and he works at Chile’s.”
But mostly, he’s disappointed in Larissa. “I just thought more of her than that,” he says. “I don’t know if I was wrong... I must have been.”
Finally, when Fredo can’t take anymore, the sub leaves.
Meanwhile, Larissa is still in heaven. About her date with Jim, she says:
“He is the ideal man. Beautiful eyes, great smile, he knows how to handle himself. When I’m with Jim, I feel sexy, and I feel like a woman.”
Well, we all want to feel alive, Larissa. I feel like a man just looking at you. But what was that you were saying to Brian about some people being “surfacey?”
At the elimination the next day, only three guys show up.
“Where’s Fredo?” asks Larissa, with her usual beaming smile.
Brian steps forward and gives Larissa the news that Fredo had left the day before and didn’t come back. He handed her an envelope addressed to her that they had found in the house.
Larissa opened it up and read the note inside:
We often spoke of the foundation that we were building, and I always will think of that fondly.
However, I think we both know it’s not taken us to the kind of happiness we both deserve.
I can’t continue with this process.
I’m on my way back to Cleveland. I wish you all the best.
Larissa had to collect herself for a moment after reading the note, but she tells the cameras that Fredo was the one she was going to eliminate anyway, so it makes things much easier on both of them.
She saves her speech for the three guys.
“If he were here,” she tells them, “I’d say I enjoyed having him. I had a great time, and he’s definitely very adventurous. I really would have liked to say goodbye in person.”
Then Larissa breaks out the good news. She only had to eliminate one person that evening, and with Fredo gone, she won’t have to eliminate anyone. She tells them she’ll be going to each of their hometowns now to get a closer look at their daily lives.
Smiles break out on all the guys and they pat one another on the back. Brian thanks everyone for a tremendous time in Hawaii. All three guys hug, shake hands, and pat one another on the back. Each of them hugs Larissa.
Larissa tells them she’s excited about visiting them in their hometowns. Hawaii is a wonderful paradise, but having them with her has made it a true paradise.
Larissa tells us she’ll have to think about who she wants to choose in the end. Each of them represents something different.
Jim is like the scarecrow on the Wizard Of Oz, she says. He obviously has enough on the outside, but he’s lacking depth.
Gil could be compared to the tin man, who is lacking a heart, and lacking emotion.
And Brian would be compared to the lion, who has the heart, and the passion and the sensitivity, but he’s lacking the courage or the confidence to follow through.
“In an interesting way,” she says, “they all have qualities about them that the others don’t.”
Larissa’s first visit will be to Jim’s hometown. The other two visits will be shown on the final show.
When I first saw that Jim lived in Scottsdale, Arizona, I laughed my head off.
People from Arizona have been some of the wildest contestants on Reality TV. Remember the bartender from Scottsdale on Survivor 5?
Half of the contestants on Paradise Hotel were from Arizona, and most of them were the wildest ones.
Larissa tells us she really wants to find out more about Jim. She’s still dealing with the fact that he is a little quiet, she says. She’s still waiting for his personality to show up. But will she ever find it?
She meets Jim at a mountain park near the city, and they take a mountain bike ride. It’s the middle of the summer, and Jim works up quite a sweat.
“He looked pretty good without his shirt on,” Larissa says. But she still wonders when his personality is going to show up.
“Jim was stroking my hair, and he definitely knows how to be affectionate,” she said, “but he doesn’t know how to bring on the conversation as much. There’s a lot of silence. A lot of pauses.”
Larissa: So where do you fly to?
Jim: We just fly all over the place.
Larissa: So what do you do around here?
Jim: I spend time with my dog.
Larissa: Do you have any roommates?
Jim: Yeah, one.
“I mean obviously I like somebody who make me feel good, and he knows how to make the right moves, but you need to have more of a complete picture,” she said.
Next, they go to Jim’s apartment. It’s in desperate need of dusting, vacuuming, and some potpourri on the walls. Jim has a blowup doll in one room, no sheets on his bed, and his dog is shedding and in need of a bath.
They take the dog for a walk. Jim tells Larissa that the dog likes her. She says the dog isn’t at all like Jim because he’s so energetic, but Jim says that he’s a lot like him because he’s quiet and never barks.
That evening, Jim takes Larissa to the romantic Arizona Biltmore Resort. As they toast a glass of wine, Larissa begins to rethink her feelings.
She thinks maybe she’s built him up in her mind to have an air of mystery, but is he really like that?
Larissa: So what’s your favorite book?
Jim: Favorite book? I dunno.
Larissa: What’s the last one you read?
Jim: I have no idea.
“Jim just doesn’t go in depth a lot.” Larissa says. “He just doesn’t have a whole lot to say.”
Lightning flashes and it starts to rain. As the storm begins, they kiss, and they go to their villa at the resort.
“I came in tonight with some serious questions about Jim, and honestly, I admit it, I can’t help but get caught up in the moment with him,” she said.
Later, in the villa, Larissa sits on the couch, thoughts running through her mind. She’s serious now. Gone is the dreamy smile we so often see on her face.
Jim: What’s up?
Larissa: Nothing. Just thinking.
Larissa: Don’t know. It’s just ... can you see us in a relationship, like for a long time? I mean really?
Jim: I really can.
Jim: Yeah. I definitely think that things could work between us very well.
Jim: Because of the chemistry.
Larissa: What is the chemistry?
Jim: I don’t know. It’s just been there since we met.
Larissa: You think it’s physical?
Jim: I think it was at first, yeah.
Larissa: Ok, so realistically, thinking about a relationship after this whole thing. What would that be like? What would we do?
Jim: You just keep on asking me all these questions.
Larissa: I can’t ask them?
Jim: You’re going to like me for me or you’re not, and I’m affectionate, and I like you, and that’s important to me that you know that.
We see a lightning flash and a thunderclap again, and suddenly it’s four days later at the final elimination night. A limousine pulls into that all too familiar airplane hangar we saw in the original Average Joe.
Larissa stand at the end of a red carpet, on one side of her is a bus, and on the other side a jet.
Jim is in the limousine.
Larissa says: I had a total crush on Jim, and I kept trying to build him up in my mind to be more complicated than he really is.
Jim gets out of the limo and walks up to Larissa. She takes his hands.
“Jim ... Well you’ve been here since the very beginning, and here we are at the very end. What can I say? (She shakes her head a little)
I feel like there’s this magnet that draws me to you. It’s like no matter where we are, we’re on our own private beach, and nothing else matters.
Which is what makes it really hard for me tonight. In the end, I fear that spark is not enough (She looks down, then back up and smiles sweetly.)
I still have that crush, but I need more. I’m sorry that I have to say goodbye tonight.”
Larissa says: Sending home Jim wasn’t easy, but in my mind Gill and Brian were the best two choices for me. At the end of the day, I kind of felt like either one could be the one, and making the decision between the two is going to be the hardest decision I’ve ever had to make.
In the previews for the finale, we see a quick review of all that Brian and Gil have done, and their relationships with Larissa to this point.
Then there’s a preview of her visit to each of their cities. Larissa seems to still be trying to get Gil to open up. But Brian and Larissa seem to be having their best romantic moments ever in Boston.
Does this mean that Brian has the inside track, or is it misleading?
Plus, there is one final twist: Larissa has a secret. We’re not given any clue as to what it is, except that the guys react as follows:
Gill: I’m extremely surprised.
When the final elimination arrives, all that Larissa can say is:
“The two guys on the way here are amazing, and it crushes me that I am going to have to send one of them home.”