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We begin tonight's episode with a rare, but naturally occurring phenomenon called a Bro-Pede*.

*Bro-pede (noun) broʊ-pid: 1. A stampede of bros. 2. A gathering of bros walking in one direction. Commonly seen inside fraternities, those weird all-male golf clubs, and the current White House.

And what are the men bro-peding towards? Why a chance to catch a glimpse of DeMario’s De-Sorry,yo Volume II. A beautiful mix of clichés- where he tells Rachel from now on he will,“keep it real”, and that to “to experience joy, you have to experience pain”, and in conclusion, he says the words that every victim on Law & Order SVU hears before disappearing, “I don’t take no for an answer”.

Rachel, because she's the best, kindly, yet directly asks DeMario to leave. She lets him know her issue was less his murky relationship status before the show, and more with his bold-face lying while caught in his own bullsh*&. Go, Rachel, go! Minor note- did anyone else hear one of the guys say, “if he comes back, I’m not talking to him”? I really liked that part. I love a good premeditated shunning.

…and we’re back to the cocktail party. Jonathan aka “Tickle Monster” aka “we still have no idea what his actual job is” aka “he likely does not have one” pulls out GIANT HAND SHAPED GLOVES/GLOVE SHAPED HANDS(?) THAT REMIND ME OF THE SALAD FINGERS CARTOON GUY. AHHHH!!!!

What in the actual F*&% is going on here? Stop him! Chris, please! No more! And despite his sound reasoning for having those giant, treacherous gloves, “when I put them on I thought they were awesome”, what makes it worse is that Rachel seems to find them/him amusing. Girl, stop! I’d almost rather have Whaboom and 76 Tromballs stick around, then watch more tickle-adjacent props infiltrate this show. (I said "almost".)

Ok, then we have banana-gate. What else is there to say? I guess we all considered googling what a “ketogenic diet” is. I said "considered". Because I didn’t, and I won't.

Blake seemed to “get it” for a second when he said that his continued obsession with Whaboom made him seem “bitter, and like I’m the crazy one!” Oh, Taylor 2. Too little, too late.

The rose ceremony finishes up and we say goodbye to Whaboom, 76 Tromballs, and Jayme who despite his self appraised $2000 suit, generally cold demeanor, and American Psycho hairdo surprisingly did not win over sweet Rachel’s heart. Then again Tickles is here, so… We’re not really at the trim-the-fat portion of the show, just yet.

Annnnnd we’re on to the first group date of the episode where the guys get to be on The Ellen Show! Clearly this show never aired in real time so does that actually count as being on The Ellen Show?

I love Ellen. (As any human-person does.) But most of this was pretty gross, no? Ellen repeatedly asking which of the guys had already kissed Rachel, Bryan referring to Rachel as his “sloppy seconds” in front of Rachel. Having the guys take their shirts off and aggressively hump on the audience members… It was a lot. I don’t hate Alex for peeing in the pool, but I do think he’s forgetting the first rule of Peeing In The Pool Club. Never Talk About Peeing In The Pool Club. Other notable group date moments include- Fred being adorable, a super fast shot of Peter with a lot of strange tattoos (GONNA NEED MORE ON THAT LATER, CHRIS), and Ellen agreeing that Tickle Monster is bad news.

I don’t want to linger too much on the Fred storyline because it made me feel actual real feelings of sadness and tenderness and I try to #avoid those. But, Fred is a sweetheart. I hope Fred meets a real sweet girl who loves him a whole lot. We’ve all had that childhood crush. Mine was on a camp counselor who I thought looked like a white version of the rapper Ma$e, but anyway… Best of luck to you, sweet Fred, you mysteriously naughty camper, you.

Moving on...Alex gets the group rose date. He is cute but he needs to watch it with the outfits. The purple pants, the purple cheetah suit?! Cool your jets, Rubik.

And now it’s time for Anthony and Rachel’s one-on-one date riding horses in Beverly Hills. How did this date come to be, exactly? I like horses. I like Beverly Hills. But together? I don't get it. Whatever, he’s cute. They had fun. I’m so happy they had a jazz quintet on that random hilltop as opposed to yet another random country-lite group singing a pre-recorded ballad I’ve never heard of.

Meanwhile, back at the house, Eric is slightly tweaking. He wants confirmation from Rachel that she actually likes him. Fair enough. But because these guys are stir-crazy and bored (Iggy hasn't left the house in 2 "weeks"?!) it becomes something we'll have to address later... Anyway…

Rachel brings “her girls” into the mansion before the second group date. Isn’t that like blasphemy on this show?? Aren’t the guys only supposed to see Rachel and only Rachel until they get eliminated/marry her? It kind of lowers the stakes to remind them that there are in fact other women living in the world, no?

Anyway- on their strange, stripper-y limo ride to the mud-wrestling date, (sorry, what?) Raven does some investigating and finds that both Lee and Bryce think Eric is not the right fit for Rachel. But we’ll put that aside for now...

The mud wrestling date was so so SO homoerotic. I’m not complaining. Just stating facts. It’s June. Climate change is real. I didn’t know what the non-literal meaning of a “pearl necklace” was, and I used it as a joke I didn’t understand for years. Anyway, that date was so homoerotic it kind of upsets the general heteronormative construct of the show. JK I didn’t go to Oberlin, I’m not going to write about that. It was hilarious and I liked it a lot. Especially when Kenny body slammed Hilly Billy Bobby Lee who we have since confirmed has at best, a lot of work to do on himself , and at worst, is a terrible racist and has no business whatsoever being on this show.

The evening portion of the group date is where things start to get messy. Eric and Rachel talk and she gives him the assurance he was looking for. She also tells him what Bryce and Lee said about him. Eric confronts Bryce and Lee about what they said as Kenny delightfully leaves the convo and says, “I’m gonna mosey on out...”. I LOVE KENNY.

Now, the conversation these three had was confusing but basically civilized, I think. I don’t remember the details, but I do remember Lee trying to confirm with Eric that he has never “experienced love”. F off dude. Of all the catch-22s in life, someone who has never been in a serious relationship before should not be discounted for one in the future because he hasn’t had one yet. That’s not fair. That's mean.

Ok, so Rachel doesn’t know about their convo, she gives Eric the group rose, and it seems like all is well… until the cocktail party where we go for round 2 with this silliness. Lee is clearly vying for the villain role this season. And Eric, who’s not a favorite of mine for Rachel, still deserves a metric sh*& ton more respect than he’s getting. Ugh, am I taking this too seriously? I just hated every moment of that. Eric seems to be experiencing a lot of complicated emotions brought on by this insane pressure cooker of a situation (what sane person wouldn’t?) and Lee and Iggy are using his vulnerability to mess with him and upset him on purpose. Ugh, I thought the Taylor-itis left with 76 Tromballs. Let Eric be Eric. I feel really bad for him. And I feel really bad for men in general after this episode. If you’re a man on this show you’re going to be objectified sexually, forced to show your worth via tests of physical strength and endurance, and then picked on when you display emotions other than happiness or drunken excitement. I guess what I'm saying is I'm a big fan of #mensrights. JK. I'm a fan of kindness, light jazz quintets on abandoned hillsides in Los Angeles, and my girl Rachel finding her soulmate and/or a really lucrative TV gig after this.

Let's carry on with this season, but I hope Lee is either dismissed quickly and/or the other men put him in his place. The blurb for next week with Will looks promising. As uncomfortable as it is, this particular season of this ridiculous show might actually help bring us all forward in understanding each other. Or, just understanding that Lee's a giant asshole. Time will tell...

*One technical note- to those few, but mighty people who "subscribed", I don't actually know what that means, but I think it's supposed to mean you'll get an email from me when I post a new entry. I haven't figured out how to do that yet, but I will. And when I do, it will be.... informational! Thank you for your support and love. Hi Mom.*

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