Spoiler alert: If you haven't seen Monday's episode of "The Bachelorette" and plan to, don't read this column.
Near the end of their one-on-one on "The Bachelorette," Becca Kufrin declared: "Jason was worth the wait."
I would guess Buffalo fans were thinking the same thing. The show likely was worth the wait as Western New York native Jason Tartick finally was able to get some screen time on the ABC reality show.
Before Monday's show, it was hard to understand why our local hero usually got one of the first roses from Becca to continue on a program that started with 28 potential husbands.
Monday was his night, and he made the best of it.
One of the best things about it was the date came near the start of the program. It enabled me to stop watching after about a half-hour.
After all, my plan this season has been to DVR the show and speed through the two hours by stopping only when Jason appears.
Still, it took about an hour to watch the first 32 minutes featuring Jason because I was busy jotting down all the sweet, romantic things that Becca and Jason said to each other as they took a trolley in Richmond, Va.; kissed; made doughnuts; kissed; went to a bar and met three of Jason's friends; kissed; went to a gothic "unhappy hour"; kissed; had a romantic dinner; shared some painful memories; and kissed.
Let's look at some of the best quotes, which often require a viewer to talk back. In this case, I'm talking back.
Jason: "We just have a natural chemistry. It's been there in a short period of time. I think having more time today is going to allow the doors to open to the next level."
(Me: Natural chemistry? We've barely seen you guys together.)
Becca: "I've always felt like Jason was a great guy and I've always really liked my time with him. He always makes me smile and laugh and we are slowly opening up to one another, so today is his day."
(Me: A lot of great guys out there are probably thinking being called a great guy is a bad omen.)
Becca: "He's always upbeat and so fun. … It's been a slower start, but I think it's what we needed and how we needed to do this I think."
(Me: Slower start? The Mueller investigation is proceeding much faster.)
Becca: "Jason is really growing on me. … I didn't know there is this connection and chemistry coming from him. But like, damn, Jason can kiss."
(Me: I think this is the second time we've heard that Jason is a good kisser. If he doesn't win Becca's heart, at least he can get an endorsement deal from Delta Sonic.)
Jason after being surprised by a visit from three friends waiting for them at a bar: "For me to see my friends after it's been such an up and down journey was incredible, such a special and touching moment. For her to be that thoughtful and to make something so meaningful really was a moment I'll never forget."
(Me: I think the show's producers were the ones being thoughtful. I just wish they were thoughtful enough to name the three guys.)
Jason on Becca to his friends: "Everything I would want in a life partner, she has. Everything I would need in a best friend, she has. So everything is there for me to fall in love with. It's getting real and getting real quick."
(Me: I'm not sure knowing your life partner is kissing everyone else on the show is what everyone would want. But from the previews, we'll deal with jealousy next week.)
Becca: "It has all become clear. Jason is such an amazing man. … The fact I am so excited to see him again and don't want to leave him speaks volumes. It just feels good. … I could definitely see a future with Jason."
(Me: Of course, she also can see a future with five other guys on the show.)
We pause for some serious and moving conversations. Jason talks about going on a visit with his father to see his father's mother, who has Alzheimer's. Becca talks about losing her father after a five-year illness. I must admit it led to an emotion I didn't expect to have from watching this show. You made a TV critic suppress tears. No jokes here. Well done.
But back to reality.
Jason: "I felt like I am falling in love with her. She is everything you would ask for in someone."
(Me: That was a heckuva first date.)
Becca to Jason: "I had the best day with you. You have one of the best characters I have met in a man. There is something about being able to fall into you and open up that I haven't been able to do in a long time."
(Me: I wish she would define "a long time." Watching this show felt like a long time.)
Jason: "After tonight, I could see myself getting down on one knee, looking her in the eye and telling her, 'I look forward to spending the rest of my life with you.'"
(Me: I repeat. That was a heckuva first date.)
Becca: "Jason was worth the wait. I really could see saying yes to a forever with him. Like damn, I am falling for Jason."
That was it. I could speed through the rest of the two-hour show.
I imagine I felt a little like Jason. I didn't want to see Becca kissing the rest of her dates after hearing she was falling for the Western New Yorker.
But I stopped at the previews, which often provide clues about next week.
My heart sank when I saw Becca talking to Jason. Surely, she would say something romantic again.
"I feel it with you. But some of the guys are just more vocal with where they are at," said Becca.