The Courtship Episode 4
New suitors, a country fair, stolen kisses, and fencing!
Sorry this recap is late—I planned to post it on Thursday, but life intervened in the form of new boxes for our bee hives that needed to be painted. Swarm season is approaching, and if we’re not prepared half of our bees will go drape themselves over a neighbor’s tree. (It’s quite rude, when you think about it…)
But I digress. Let’s dig into Episode 4.
Our Regency romance ended last week with a surprise twist - two new arrivals.
Grab your macarons and champagne, and let’s prepare to swoon!
Two New Suitors
The two new suitors are Dr. Tamer “Tim” Hatem, an ER physician from Northern Ireland, and Mr. Jesse Judge, a college wrestling coach from a small town in Michigan.
We’re treated to a video montage of Dr. Hatem flexing his impressive pecs. Should someone tell him that bodybuilding doesn’t arrive in Britain for another 80 years? No…let’s just enjoy the show.
The other suitors are not happy.
Nicole, on the other hand, may need some smelling salts. “They’re gorgeous. I literally felt like my knees were going to give out on me.”
They try to pry information about the other suitors out of Mr. Bochicchio, but their efforts are interrupted by the delivery of The Daily Tea.
Today there will be the most joyous of Regency events: a country fair.
Expect prizes, a tug-of-war, and a kissing booth.
Everyone’s excited by this announcement, especially Mr. Cones. “Let’s hope there’s some corn dogs.”
The Country Fair
Mr. Edwards tells us what to expect. “Country fairs were the ideal place to let your hair down after a long day plowing the fields, or declaring war on France. A place where high and low society bonded over a shared love of tightrope walkers and a deep-seated hatred of coconuts.”
The games include the Coconut Shie, where suitors toss balls at coconuts in an attempt to knock them from their poles, a tug-of-war, and Hit the Nail on the Head, where the object is to drive a nail into a stump with one blow.
Winners of the tug-of-war get to enjoy happy hour with Danie and Tessa, and the ladies will be selecting Nicole’s next date.
Suitors who succeed at Hit the Nail on the Head get to visit Nicole in the Kissing Booth.
Mr. Bochicchio and Mr. Chapman are handy with a hammer, and they’re rewarded with kisses.
The other suitors fall short, but Dr. Hatem impresses Nicole with a backflip and gets a kiss anyway.
Once again, the other suitors are not happy. “He’s cheating!” Dr. Hatem has to be physically dragged away from Nicole, and Capt. Kim speaks for all when he says, “This is bullshit!”
Dr. Hatem brushes off the haters. “I suppose all’s fair in love and war.”
Dr. and Mr. Rémy ditch the carnival games in favor of evaluating the suitors.
Mr. Castronovo is one of their favorites, and he’s chatting up Nicole in an effort to redeem himself after last week’s appearance on her farewell dance card.
They turn their attention to Mr. Bochicchio. They ask if he’s there for love, and he says he’s seeking a connection that could turn into love.
They aren’t pleased with that answer.
A Shanklin Serenade
Mr. Shanklin decides to woo Nicole with a song he wrote for her, and afterward he attempts to kiss her.
She says, “Let’s take it slow.”
Mr. Shanklin has to settle for a hug and a kiss on the cheek.
He’s confident that he’s broken out of the friend zone, but it seems abundantly clear that he’s destined for the farewell zone.
Mr. Bochicchio Gets Bold
It’s hard for Mr .Bochichchio to watch Nicole kiss other suitors, so he pulls her aside and tells her he’s all in. “I gotta know if you’re serious, too. You can’t be serious with 11 guys.”
She can see he’s upset, and she reassures him that they have one of the strongest connections.
Privately, she’s worried he’ll lose faith in her, and she begins to cry as she discusses the situation. “I like him so much…I don’t know if I can keep doing this.”
Mr. Cones Offers [Comic] Relief
Needing a break from the tension, Nicole makes a beeline for Mr. Cones, a man with a great sense of humor and an even greater appreciation of corn dogs and roast beef.
She knows he’ll improve her mood. “That’s what I want in a partner. I want somebody that lifts me up, reminds me why I deserve love.”
Mr. Cones makes himself comfortable, removing his boots. “My little sausages need to be freed.”
She laughs at his antics, but the conversation quickly turns serious. She asks if he’s ever dated a Black female, and he says, “Of course I have.”
He’s surprised to hear that she was overlooked in high school. “A lot of guys wouldn’t ask me out because I was Black.”
He thinks she’s amazing, and he’s sorry she had that experience. “We have to do better. Why is this even a thing?”
He raises a middle finger to the sky. “To everybody back there, who just doesn’t get it. To everybody that’s still asleep!”
She laughingly removes one glove, because it doesn’t feel ladylike otherwise, and joins him in giving a middle-finger salute.
I have a feeling Jane Austen would approve.
They are clearly at ease with each other, and their conversation navigates deftly between serious and silly. She tells him, “I really want to grow with you,” and a moment later his wine glass topples over and they dissolve into laughter.
“I can’t take you anywhere,” Mr. Cones says.
The next day brings sunshine, and, according to Mr. Edwards, “sexy people holding swords.”
Danie and Tessa have selected four suitors to accompany Nicole for a fencing lesson: Mr. Chapman, Mr. Mumbray, and the two new arrivals, Mr. Judge and Dr. Hatem.
Nicole spends some time chatting with Dr. Hatem, the ER doctor, who’s into parkour and flying lessons, and a little too into himself, if you ask me.
Then she chats with Mr. Chapman.
She learns that Mr. Chapman lives in his van between modeling gigs, which is definitely not a match for her current lifestyle. While his vagabond existence might be a deal-breaker for some, she’d like to be more spontaneous and she finds it “kinda hot.”
He tells Nicole he’s missing someone to ride shotgun in his “soccer mom” van. “The last year I’ve just been driving from small town to small town, hoping I meet someone that makes me want to stay in one place. It hasn’t happened yet.”
Nicole says, “That was beautiful…I feel really connected to you.”
I think Nicole should connect to the reality of black water tanks and life in close quarters before she succumbs to the allure of Mr. Chapman’s “piercing” eyes, but that’s just me.
He leans in for a kiss, but he’s interrupted by Mr. Judge, who wants time with Nicole.
Mr. Judge hails from Sidney, Michigan, which has “a stop sign, a convenience store, and a bar.” He tells her he wants to be the best father, husband, and caretaker he can be.
Nicole’s charmed. “You have such a warm heart, I can feel it.” He leans in for a kiss, but he’s interrupted by Mr. Mumbray.
Mr. Mumbray says it’s nice to have time alone with Nicole. “Because I do quite like you.”
He confesses that it’s a weird feeling, as he’s never been in love before, and his longest relationship only lasted a few months. “I wasn’t loving myself, so it didn’t allow me to allow somebody else to love me.”
Afterward, Nicole shares her thoughts with the camera. She’s pleased he took the initiative to spend time with her, “but I don’t know if it’s enough for me to feel romantically about him.”
The Court Report
Nicole gives Danie and Tessa the lowdown on her date.
She finds Dr. Hatem to be “a mature, well-rounded guy,” and says, “I’m into Jesse for sure.”
The Farewell Ball
Mr. Castronovo, Mr. Shanklin, Captain Kim, and Mr. Bochicchio are the four suitors on Nicole’s dance card. If they can’t convince her their relationship is worth fighting for, they’ll be ushered to a waiting carriage. It’s do or die, or maybe dance or die.
It’s Capt. Kim’s third time, so at least the steps should be familiar.
He tells Nicole that watching her kiss other suitors at the fair reopened old wounds. “But you’ve helped me feel again and helped me understand that I want to be in love again and be hurt. But I want to make sure it’s worth it. So I just want to know the honest, brutal truth. How do you feel about me?”
She doesn’t answer the question. Instead, she asks, “Do you want to be here? Do you want to see this work?”
He says, “I wouldn’t be doing this if I didn’t.”
It’s the most emotion she’s seen from him thus far, but she allows him to stay.
Mr. Shanklin, the songbird, is up next.
It’s his second farewell dance, and Nicole feels his efforts to win her over might be “too strong, too fast.” He asks for another shot, adding, “If you let me go tonight, you’re making a big mistake.”
Not the best strategy, my good sir; you probably just shanked your chances.
Nicole doesn’t like having her judgment questioned, but Mr. Shanklin promises to respect her decision. “And I’ll still love you regardless.”
His admission of love shocks everyone, including Nicole. “You’ll still love me? Are you in love with me?”
“I think I’m falling for you, yes.”
Nicole’s not on the same page. “I don’t know if I can get there with you.”
A second round of shock waves passes through the room when he says, “I still love you, and I’ll just be watching from afar.”
Did they have restraining orders in the Regency era? Asking for a friend…
Nicole bids him farewell, and Mama Rémy turns to her husband—“I told you it was too much singing.”
Mr. Bochicchio has the next dance, and Nicole asks him where they stand. “I’m here to make more memories with you. So I’m not ready to go home.”
He kisses her, which generates much eye-rolling from the other suitors, but he gets to stay.
That leaves Mr. Castronovo.
Her parents adore him, and Tessa whispers, “I would be heartbroken if he goes.”
Nicole still isn’t feeling butterflies, though, and she releases him.
He tells her she’s an amazing woman. “I hope you do find true love. You deserve it.”
They hug, and he kisses her hand. He draws salutes from the balcony, and some tearful parting words from Mama Rémy. “We are going to miss you terribly, I tell you.”
He promises to come to Seattle and make them pizza, and then he departs, a gentleman until the end.
Next week’s episode (Wednesday 4/6 on USA) promises an emotional outburst from Mr. Bochicchio, plus a breach of etiquette, and another surprise arrival. Also, a commercial played during the show has Nicole claiming that someone “rocked her world.”
Shocking! Be sure to tune in on Wednesday, and then check out the recap here. It will probably arrive on Thursday, unless the bees attempt to make a break for it.
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