Last week, Logo ran a previous episode of Transamerican Love Story, which freed me up to do something else – I think I ended up sleeping, or something. Anyway, this week they were back with a new episode, so let’s dive in:
The episode opens with Callie playing her fiddle for Andrea – this girl really is multitalented! Meanwhile, the four remaining contestants (Jim the Writer, Mark the Razor, Mike the Christian and Shawn the CPA – I mean, Mr. Smooth) are playing two-on-two basketball – Mark especially gets a little aggressive on the court with Jim. I have to say that although Mark is big and bulky, I also would not want to find myself in fisticuffs with Jim (if I were the fightin’ type) – that dude would probably whoop my butt, with his scrappy self flyin’ all over the place. Anyway, the boys are interrupted by Andrea’s arrival, dressed to the nines as a cowgirl, with a big ol’ hat and everything. She leads them to a trunk (dum-dum-dum), explaining that they are about to head off to a challenge and they should put on the outfits they find inside the trunk. Cut to Jim in the video confessional: “I’m not worried at all, because that trunk is big, so I know there’s none of those freaking g-strings.”
Turns out he’s right: the boys are given tight-ass dungarees, plaid shirts (except Mike, who got a plain black one) and big ol’ hats of their own – they’re goin’ two-steppin’! After some whining about the tightness of the pants, the guys get used to it, and pile into the limo to head off to the local gay country bar. Yes, that’s right: the local gay country bar. There, they find Andrea and Alec Mapa waiting for them, along with four dancers who are going to teach them a thing or two about dancing. The boys do their best to learn the steps (Jim gets paired up with the cute butch girl), and Callie comes in halfway through to check out their progress. And may I just say: girl looks foine in her little outfit (teeny shorts, a tied-up shirt and cute little braids). If I could have legs like that – whoo.
Anyway, Callie dances with each of the contestants, and I just love the editing here – none of the guys were that good, but the editors have spliced bits of their video confessionals with the footage of them dancing with Callie: each one swears up and down that he was better than the other three, and each one is very critical of his competitors. The winner of the competition was supposed to get a one-on-one date with Callie, but she had such a hard time choosing (she’s so polite) that she decides to take all the guys back to the mansion and have a family-style barbecue. She takes off on her own and asks the guys to meet her at the house.
The guys pile back into the limo, and things are already tense. Mike begins expounding on the reasons why he thinks he did the best, Mark gets mouthy. Jim, who is understandably tired of hearing Mark mouth off about Ev.Er.Ee.Thing. chimes in. Uh oh. This is not good: now there’s a whole bunch of squabbling between the guys and it’s getting ugly. At some point, everyone gangs up on Jim. That’s uncomfortable.
Back at the house, the tension carries into dinner, where all four guys take turns at throwing cheap shots out at each other: Mark asks Callie how she’d like to live at home with Mike and his parents, then follows that up with some comments about Jim’s lack of self-control or something; Jim calls Shawn “Dad” and tries to expose Mark’s two-faced nature (which was accurate on Jim’s part); Mike mumbles a few incoherent things that are supposed to be insults, I think; Shawn mostly maintains his composure and points out that he has yet to insult any other contestant behind his back – hm. Good point.
Jim gets defensive at some point and poses the question, “If Calpernia was pre-op, how many of you would be here?” This question sparks some discussion between Donna and I: is it so wrong for any of them to say they would prefer a post-op MTF? Is it really so wrong to specify the limitations of one’s own sexuality? Of course, I think the answer to those questions is “It depends.” And I also think it depends on the people involved in the relationship. I don’t think anyone can honestly and accurately answer a question like that, so I’m not sure it was fair. But I can’t say I blame Jim for tossing the question out there – I imagine he’s feeling the pressure of being the only transperson in the house, and that kind of question has to be weighing fairly heavily on his mind.
Callie, though, starts crying. She tries to explain it away by saying, “I’m a big cry baby; it doesn’t mean anything when I cry.” My brain comes to a SCREECHING HALT.
The next thought out of Callie’s mouth: “I think it’s great that you’re all fighting for what you want, which is me, but you know, why would anyone fight over me?”
Again, I say: WHAT?!
Girlfriend, let me tell you something:
You are this incredibly brave, beautiful, talented, intelligent woman. You took on a very courageous path in this life, changing your visible self in a very dramatic way, knowing the whole time it could be a very dangerous decision. The things you’ve faced in your life would be enough to make some of the toughest cookies out there give up – and you haven’t. You’re still going, and looking for happiness – which you deserve. You have a lot to offer a person – who wouldn’t fight for you?
Ok, now back to the recap: Jim jumps up and awkwardly attempts to comfort Callie by placing his hands on her arms (hint to Jim: next time, just hug the crap out of her). Mike butts in and says, “I’d really like to have a moment with you.” Bugger off, Mike – my brillo pad called, it wants its hairstyle back. But she agrees, and the two make off to another room while Jim, Mark and Shawn continue to argue. Oh sigh. The arguing gets fairly intense. Mark turns on Jim and starts slagging him off, calling him an idiot and a moron, and snarling, “You don’t know what you are.” Whoo. Them’s some fightin’ words, Mark. Jim attempts to get Mark to clarify, but Mark plays coy and says, “You take from it what you want.”
And you’re going to tell me that Mark’s not a homophobe? Puh-lease.
Jim stalks off to have a cigarette, collect his thoughts and look for Callie. He finds her in the den with Mike, and soon all four guys have filtered in. Shawn and Mike are stuck to her like barnacles, while Mark is fairly stand-offish and Jim flutters around in the background, looking pissed he didn’t get there first. Finally Callie excuses herself for the evening, and escapes to her cottage, where Andrea – good friend that she is – is waiting with a hug. Callie expresses how hard this whole mess is to Andrea, and at which point I look at Donna and say, “She was not made for this reality tv dating stuff.”
The next day before elimination, Shawn meets with Callie for a few moments to put it all out on the table: he is going to have to jump a red-eye after the elimination ceremony because his best friend’s father (a man who filled that role in Shawn’s life) has passed away. He begins to cry in front of Callie, but pulls himself together as she hugs him. He tells her that no matter what her decision is at elimination, he’s leaving for the memorial service, but that if she asks him to stay, he’ll come back.
At the elimination ceremony, Shawn gets the first invite to stay: he accepts and skips off to the plane, looking considerably relieved. Mike gets the next invite, and he winks at Callie as she feeds him the little chocolate. Cue dramatic music: the final choice is between Mark and Jim. My fingers are crossed so hard the knuckles are turning white; Callie chooses Jim, who breaks out in a huge smile and just about flies up to take his chocolate. I breathe a huge sigh of relief: finally, Mark the Razor is gone. He maintains his composure during their final conversation (awkward!), and then says to the camera in his exit interview, “Am I disappointed? Not really. I wasn’t here long enough to get to know her to be really disappointed.” Uh-huh. This, after the previous episode where he could hardly stop himself from shaking violently when he thought Callie might pick Peter over him.
All I can say is that man can put up a good front.
So we’re down now to the final three. At this point, I’d be glad to know she ended up with any of these guys – they all seem like decent guys, and I think the tension in the house might decline considerably now that The Razor has gone.