Until the latest episode of "The Bachelorette," Emily Maynard had been a sweet-natured little Southern Tinker Bell, all toothy smiles and charm. But Monday night, we witnessed the dark side of Em as she turned into a "West Virginia hood rat."
Apparently, that's what happens when you diss her kid.
The startling transformation came during what been a pleasantly doofy group date in London. It seems that arrogant, rich-boy nimrod, Kalon, had been making negative comments about Emily's 6-year-old daughter, Ricki, to the other guys, even referring to her at one point as "baggage."
Doug, himself a single parent, is appalled. So he narcs him out to Emily, and, oh, it is so ON.
"I want to go out there and rip his limbs off and beat him with them," she snarls, our little Tink seemingly on the verge of becoming a vicious Hulk-ette.
And then this:
"I want to go West Virginia hood-rat backwoods on his ass!"
We don't even know what this means, but we're certainly impressed. ... And scared. Immediately, we race to Wikipedia in an effort to learn more about hood rats, their wily ways and whether they're indigenous to the South, or can be found in hoods all over America. (Where is wildlife expert Gary Bogue when you need him?)
Meanwhile, Emily calls the guys together and confronts her prey, giving him a chance to explain himself.
Kalon, who is too pretty for us to trust anyway, really has no explanation. At least not one that makes a shred of sense. And Em basically goes off:
"Then get the (bleep) out!" she says, pointing to the door.
Declining to put up any kind of a fight, Kalon succumbs to the hood rat and quickly exits the party.
And so that goes down as the biggest blemish on "The Bachelorette"'s trip to jolly ol' London, where Sean and Jef were awarded with one-on-one dates, and five of the remaining 10 guys participated in a Shakespeare-themed group date.
Sean makes the most of his date. He and Emily take in the typical sights (Buckingham Palace, London Bridge, etc). and snuggle on a blanket in Hyde Park. He also scores big points by getting up on a soapbox in Speaker's Corner to deliver a moving speech about searching for a "great love."
Later, there's dinner at the Tower of London and a rave review from Emily.
He "blew me away," she gushes. He's definitely "marriage material."
The group date portion of our show takes us to Bard territory -- Stratford-Upon-Avon, where the guys dress up in tights and baggy shirts to perform scenes from "Romeo and Juliet" (some of them as women).
There doesn't seem to be any Oscar hopefuls in the bunch, but they get silly and have some fun ("This is like reading a foreign language," says Arie). Ryan even gets to play a hunky Romeo and plant a couple of smooches on Emily, which has some of the suitors debating whether the scripted kisses "counted" as real.
After all the where-art-thou foolishness is over, we're hit with all the aforementioned Kalon drama, which has Emily bummed out for a while and refusing to award a group-date rose.
Things improve a bit, though, when Jef (apparently his parents couldn't afford the second "f") and Lady Em head off on their one-on-one get-together. It begins with a really boring and stuffy etiquette class over afternoon tea that has us wondering why producers didn't send the couple off to someplace fun like Downton Abbey.
Eventually they escape and have a carefree night out on the town. And that's when Jef utters a line that has us rolling our eyes:
Referring to the ugly Kalon incident, he says, "If Ricki is baggage, then she's a Chole handbag that I want to have forever."
Hmm. It makes us wonder if Mr. One-f is really a good match for our Em (Will he want to share her jewelry spikey heels?) And it reminds us that he hasn't really displayed a lot of passion thus far.
Still, he's having a good time. Emily "gives me the feeling that people write fairy tales about," he says. ... Um, OK.
Back with the group, Emily expresses concern that some of the guys didn't have her back during the Kalon incident and then gets a thrill when Ryan reprises his Shakespeare act, highlighted by some very real smooches (This guy seems to be redeeming himself after mainly coming off as a pompous ass).
That leads to the rose ceremony, where Alejandro the mushroom farmer is given his walking papers, which is certainly no surprise since we forgot he was even here.
At least he didn't incur the wrath of the hood rat.