We begin where we left off, since ABC refuses to properly end an episode anymore*.
*That’s Strike ONE against ABC executives this week and I haven’t even finished m’intro.
Eric is telling Hilly Billy HatefuLee to keep his name out of his mouth. Seems like a legit request. Eric says something to the effect of, “it’s not about us, it’s about Rachel.” And Lee responds by saying (I’d say yelling, actually), “it’s not about you!” WHAT? I guess it’s not considered mansplaining when it’s two men talking to each other- but like, WHAT? His response makes no sense. This is what Hilly Billy HatefuLee does best. He doesn’t acknowledge what the person speaking to him says- he makes them feel unseen, unheard, and certainly misunderstood. It’s the preliminary to full-on gaslighting:
Gas·light (ˈɡaslīt) - manipulate (someone) by psychological means into questioning their own sanity.
It’s a favorite technique used by sociopaths everywhere. It’s very in right now. And if I wanted to feel gaslit, I could change the channel and find any number of programs to help get me there. But I come to Bachelor Nation to escape reality. To wrap myself in the loving embrace of candlelit uneaten meals for two, for picnics that take place inexplicably on top of 2x2 Jeep hoods, and for magical rose boutonnieres (hey pssst Anthony I had no idea how to spell that either) that clip onto any shirt fabric imaginable.
More later on how profoundly upsetting I find this Lee narrative, but for now, let’s get back into it.
Rachel has some one-on-one time with First Impression Rose Winner Bryan aka Bad Hombré, and after tonight, I think my initial nickname was dead on. Guys, I don't trust Bryan. AT ALL. Rachel says he’s, “so charming it’s scary”. Bryan responds by basically just not answering any of her questions about his actual weaknesses or what happens after this ends, and just saying that the "fairy tale" they're experiencing now is real. Breaking news: it's not. Fairy tales aren’t real. Take it from someone who went inside Cinderella’s Castle at Disneyworld- it’s not real. It’s a hotel room in the sky that no one sleeps in except for Tom Cruise. Are we ready to move on here? Plus, Bryan's already been on a dating show. Thanks to a little birdie for alerting me to this gem.
Ok, let’s go through this quickly- Lee interrupts Kenny again, Lee is a creeper, Lee tells Rachel a story about his grandfather’s knife (identify the nearest exit) and shows Rachel that he’s carved the word “enchanting” on a block of wood (gather your things) and tells her he made it for her (run!!!).
Later on, Rachel has some alone time with Bryce. Did we give him a nickname? Because now it’s Jawz. Wow, what a jawline on that guy. Anyway, Rachel hears Kenny and Lee “yelling”. This leads Rachel to have a bit of a breakdown about the “drama”. Here’s what sucks- Rachel doesn’t know what’s going on. Kenny's not trying to be "dramatic". He's trying to engage in a dialogue. He's trying to reach an understanding. I don't like Kenny being painted with this giant "drama" brush. How was he supposed to know that he was being purposefully manipulated? Advocating for yourself is good, y'all. More later...
A really awkward rose ceremony happens. Kenny stays. Lee stays too.
We say goodbye to Jawz, Brady the active-duty male-model, (PETER I GOOGLED YOU! YOU USED TO BE A MALE MODEL, TOO! AND NOW YOU RUN A “SMALL BUSINESS” THAT IS A PERSONAL TRAINING BUSINESS! THAT’S OK TO DO, IT JUST FEELS A LITTLE VAGUE. OK I’ll stop yelling about it, but we need to talk about that at some point, everyone) and Diggy. Why did Diggy leave so soon? He was so cute. He left before TICKLES? Or Adam of Adam Jr. fame??? Not cool.
Ok, ABC does it’s requisite 45 second Hilton Head hotel plug, and we’re off to Adorable Dean’s one on one with Rachel. I’m biased because Dean is on my fantasy team but, I’m feeling really good about my choice. Dean has everything- a bright toothy smile, easy laugh, unflappable hair, an adaptable fear of heights, and to cap it off - a Very Sad Story.
We also see how this show after 2500 seasons keeps reinventing itself. Helicopters and sea-planes? So last season. This year it’s all about BLIMPS!
Rachel's story about loving blimps reminded me that no matter how much you love someone, like I love Rachel, no one’s stories about how they used to pronounce words as a little kid is ever interesting to anyone except their own parents. Sorry. Not feeling #bimps.
Dean tells Rachel that forcing him to fly in a blimp has taken years off of his life. But like, love, guys! It also gets us the quote of the evening: “I’m a blimp pilot!”.
Meanwhile back at Reject Manor- the men discuss Dean and are clearly threatened by the traits I’ve listed above. To compensate, they mention that he is only 25. Interesting how incompatible that would make Dean for Rachel, huh? Have we forgotten last season? Have we forgotten how Nick was basically Old Father Time compared to most of his ladies? ANYWAY
At the evening portion of the date Dean reveals his Sad Story about his mother passing away from cancer when he was 15. It was legitimately sad and I don't want to say that I love when people reveal their Sad Stories on this show, but I do. And I’m so sorry that that happened to him. But I’m glad that he shared it with Rachel and I’m happy that they followed that up with another jazz quintet. OH WAIT. It’s a country-light ballad sung by a singer I don't know.
I think it was Gavin Creel’s third cousin wearing Rachel’s pants from earlier in the episode, but can’t be sure. Anyway, cool find Chris Harrison! (PS his name is Russell Dickerson, and I'm sure he's a lovely guy, I wish him the best, he has about 19,000 more Twitter followers than I do, so, he wins, I’m sorry.)
Let’s move on to the “I’m on a boat and then asked to spell ‘squirt’ for 12 year old girls” group date. I love when they do that one. The boys get silly, take their hair down i.e. take their shirts off, do some free-styling, and drink some delicious fruity cocktails. I’m enjoying myself. Peter established himself as the Phillip Glass of freestyling- imagining a time signature that’s never before existed. Cool! Kenny rhymes “bubbling like soap” with “dope”. It’s fun. And Josiah, you’re right- your body is delightful and honestly I would be super impressed if someone could do 20 push-ups with me sitting on them. I asked my husband if he had any interest and he just looked blankly back at me and said, “you wanna do that?”. We’ll see.
Ok, spelling test. The producers were clearly giving people words on a curve here. Anthony gets “schmuck”? That’s a yiddish word with extra letters that mean nothing! Alex gets “passion”? (I know it’s his second language, I know, but..) Anthony (again) is given “boutonniere”? A French word made up of entirely meaningless letters? Someone wanted Anthony OUT.
Side-note: Eric has been messed with enough, but his spelling of “facade” was quiet good. I’m sure he could use it in a sentence, though. “Lee puts on a facade with Rachel where he tries to be charming, but deep down she already knows he’s a deeply prejudiced, frightened person who has shamed himself, his family, and his country on national television.” Just a thought.
Josiah wins the competition with “polyamorous”. I love Josiah. I love his ankle pants, I love his joyful exuberance, I love him drinking from his trophy that becomes a goblet. I love him saying his full name and ending with “esquire”. If I was a lawyer, I would do that all the time. Dinner reservations, doctors appointments etc. etc...
And we’re at the evening portion of the group date. Iggy is a ridiculous person. I am not a fan. Josiah’s impression of him was perfect. I guess I’m just surprised by some of the men on this season. Back in the day, people ONLY told the bachelor/bachelorette if someone was bad news if they actually were. (Ok minus that time that where Leah Block*** said Lauren B was bad for no reason and Lauren "WON"..) ANYWAY- after the truth was revealed, the bachelor/bachelorette would usually not seem to believe them, and we’d all wait in suspense, like “when will they finally know??” But now we have people just making up stuff about anyone and everyone. People just lie now. A bunch of lying liars everywhere you look. It feels so familiar. Wait, wait no NO- I want to ESCAPE, PLEASE ABC, PLEASE, GIVE US THIS!
***SPEAKING OF LEAH BLOCK- GUYS IF YOU THOUGHT YOU COULDN'T LOVE RACHEL MORE...THIS HAPPENED.
Back to the group date- Peter pours Rachel some white wine out of some mystery wine closet and Rachel says thank you and acts like he somehow planned any of that himself. “How romantic!” Rachel tells Peter she’s licensed to practice law in Wisconsin. Is there some two-for-one bar deal with Texas and Wisconsin? Cool, I guess? Peter says something about “kinetic energy”. Remember guys, I told you Peter runs a personal training business. So he knows about Kinetic Energy. He’s the one who started 76 TromBalls on his Ketogenic Diet. JK JK HAHAHAH GYM JOKES!
Kenny talks to Rachel and he can tell she’s freaked out by the “drama”. But this isn’t Taylor and Corinne drama. This is a lying liar (not Iggy, the other one, who probably hates Iggy too) with the said purpose of “crumbling Kenny’s miserable world”. First of all, Kenny’s world seems pretty awesome. He’s a professional wrestler, he has an awesome daughter he adores, and he used to be a Chippendale. Lee is a "singer/songwriter"(?) As a person who makes their living being “creative”, ummmm… we creative people actually have the lockdown on misery. So, I call projection here.
My bigger issue- bigger than Lee specifically antagonizing all of the black guys on this show, which is ya know, A BIG ISSUE- is what in the actual F&^% is he doing on this show in the first place?????? His “private” twitter account has since revealed that he has tweeted all kinds of far-ranging hateful ideas. I’m not going to darken my blog with them, you can find them here. I also don't want to give this Lee person too much power- he's making a fool of himself and everyone on the show (except for Rachel so far) is hip to his bulls***. But why did we have to give him a platform in the first place? To quote Julia Roberts in PRETTY WOMAN:
Can you even imagine how upset and disrespected Rachel must have felt when she eventually found out the truth? We know she knows now, btw. (Putting this here again because you need to see it.)
Rachel spoke earlier in the episode about what a difficult, delicate position she was being placed in. Likely feeling like she's supposed to “represent” an entire group of people on this show- an unfair and impossible burden for anyone. And not to like, ya know, white-splain racism in America- but it’s REALLY REAL, Y'ALL.
Did someone think having Rachel on as the first black bachelorette and finding the usual mix of some good guys, some bland guys, and some mild personality-disorder guys wouldn’t be enough? They had to cast an actual quotable racist on the show to “spice things up”? It's RIDICULOUS.
It's incredibly offensive, and oh yeah, not entertaining to watch. This is a bad look. Racism is not a plot line. It's a scourge on our country. I love this absurd show but they need to right this ship and fast. Or else I won't be able to keep watching this show. I'll have to start writing a play or a novel or pick up a new language or invent a cure for adult acne with all the extra time I'll have and and NOBODY NEEDS THAT.
Speaking of Bachelor scandals-- Anyone else feel all kinds of weird about the whole Bachelor in Paradise fiasco? Filming is back on now? There was no misconduct? Why was I reading about limp bodies and poolside licking? I'm just. So. Confused. All I want is people tattooing their 8-day couple nickname on their wrists. (HI "GRACE"!) I want coerced hospital visits that turn into marriage proposals. (HI EVAN AND CARLY!) IS THAT SO MUCH TO ASK? Less sexual assault and more maple syrup. Call me a centrist, but I think that's one thing in these divided times that we can all agree on.