First let me begin by saying that 4 hours of Bachelorette content in one week might just be too much. Even for me. Or perhaps it wasn’t the quantity of content, but the content itself. Wowza, this was a rough two episodes. We saw so many guys go home. It was like the (insert correct war movie analogy here) of episodes.
Our girl Rachel is coming down with an acute case of “Becoming The Bachelor/Bachelorette Makes You Insane/Borderline Insufferable At Some Point During The Season Syndrome” and it happens to every.single.person in the long and storied history of this show.
Take Old Father Time aka Nick Viall- on BIP. He was so winning. He was trying hard to find love, he had a great sense of humor, and seemed to have a good sense of himself and his own demons/obstacles etc. etc. He becomes the Bachelor and poof! Eventually he’s savagely cutting Marcel The Shell the baby nurse and keeping Corinne and 19 yr old Russian Sad Story Gold Medalist Kristina way longer than he should.
Anyway- it happens to everyone, and it’s happening to our darling Rachel. More on that later… Let’s just jump into episode 1 of 2.
We begin the episode with round 3 of Kenny still thinking that talking to Lee will have any favorable outcome. Turns out you can’t negotiate with terrorists, or Lee. Because, turns out, in addition to being ignorant and malicious, he’s unreasonable. Who woulda thought??
Cut to Rachel on a sailboat with Bryan. Bryan tells Rachel that he doesn’t get caught up with stuff in the house. On the one hand, cool, good for you Bryan. On the other hand, you know there’s a pretty miserable dude sharing your house who’s made it his singular goal to antagonize most of the people of color on the show, and yet you don’t let it “faze” you. Pretty sure that means you a have dissociative disorder. Or maybe, you just don’t care about people. Either way, not a good look. Guys, I’m not into Bryan. Not a bit.
Now not to linger too much on Kenny and Lee. But Kenny was a veritable quote factory at the end of the group date. Here’s a selection of my favorites:
“You’re a dime store psychologist.”
“You’d be a stain on that couch.”
“I feel sorry for Lee’s parents because they have Lee as a son.” (Agreed)
“I will sh*&^ in your boot.”
(After being called ‘aggressive for the 17th time) “I’ll whisper it then, you’re a bitch.”
Group date ends, I don’t remember who got the rose, and I don’t care.
Onto to the most amazing one on one date of the season. Rachel and Jack Stone. Now, I personally feel like people are being really hard on Jack. Once you learn that Jack is not a human, but a composite of human people made by very sophisticated robots, you learn to appreciate all that Jack has to offer.
After all, he has white teeth and two eyes that occasionally blink. So what if the words that come out of his mouth are unintentionally harrowing? So what if he is 100% unable to read the room. He’s Jack Stone! He gets to have two first names where one is a name and one is a thing you can pick up and throw into large bodies of water if you feel like it. See? Now you’re picturing skipping stones into a lake and summer and love and togetherness. Told you, Jack’s great. Jack’s not a creepy robot. But he is a robot.
Back at the Norway House For Single Boys Will is tasked with catching Lee up on race relations in America in under 5 minutes. Apparently Lee skipped American History/being alive in the world and majored in "Wearing Cowboy Boots While Lifting Weights" in high school instead.
Will says to Lee, “there is a longstanding history in this country of regarding black men in america as aggressive to justify a lot of other things”. To which Lee realizes the error of his ways and starts crying and asking for forgiveness.
Lee responds, “so he’s the guy who gets mad and plays the race card and tries to get away with everything he does because he can’t control himself”.
Again, we don’t deserve Will. Because while I would have probably just started yelling, Will said, “he wasn’t playing the race card, he was truly offended”.
WE DON’T DESERVE WILL.
Back to Rachel's date… iJack Stone says step one of a dream date with Rachel is to "lock the door". UMMMMMM
This date is also memorable for being the least convincing I’ve ever seen a the bachelor/bachelorette be while on a date. Rachel was barely trying to pretend that she didn’t want to be literally anywhere else the entire time. Anywhere else, except of course, locked in iJack Stone’s bedroom in Dallas. Bye, Jack.
It's rose ceremony time. Tickles, and Iggy get the boot. Iggy is emotional in his exit interview and says that during this process he has “learned more about me in 4 weeks than I have in 30 years”. Masculinity is a prison, y’all! I hope he gains nothing but insight from this experience. I actually found that moment to be moving. Best of luck, Iggy. You can start by not gossiping about the other men you're in a polyamorous relationship with. That should be a relevant enough life lesson.
And we're off! Leaving Hilton Head (a pretttttttty white place to be) for OSLO, NORWAY, otherwise known as THE WHITEST PLACE ON EARTH! Home of Jefferson Mays’ character in Oslo, Elsa, and whoever this is:
The men gather and find out which guy is about to have a one on one date. Will says that “everyone deserves to love and be loved.” See: We Don’t Deserve Will.
Rachel picks Bad Hombré.
They start their romantic day with a quick public-bus ride (not awkward) to go repel off some ski thing. Cool. Rachel remarks that the drop is 187 feet which we learn is also the lawyer code for murder. I do love Lawyer Rachel. Ok, Bad Hombré and Rachel repel while making weird sex sounds. He tells Rachel that he doesn’t think their relationship is, "too good to be true, but it is a fairy tale”. Can we let the fairy tale metaphor go, please????
He also tells Rachel that “with everything that we’ve gone through so far, I’m falling in love with you”. WHAT HAVE THEY “GONE THROUGH” SO FAR? They’ve spent the last month on vacation together. Pretty sure that’s not the “for poorer/in sickness” part of the marriages vows. Whatever, Rachel really likes Bad Hombré and that makes me muy nervioso.
Next we have another group date, aka another opportunity to watch the men get physical in tiny outfits. ManMeat- it’s what’s for dinner. Will randomly played handball growing up so he crushes the competition. We Don’t Deserve.. you get it.
Rachel gets to play handball with the boys this time which is fun since she’s always saying how much she loves sports. The men like playing with her but mostly they just seem to like picking her up and batting her around like she's a toy. If you were a girl who didn’t get a lot of attention from guys growing up this is kind of a fun fantasy scenario. In my experience, getting attention from boys while they’re playing sports is like getting a child to listen to you while they’re watching TV. It’s amazing and not found in real life.
At the evening portion of the date Rachel seemed to be settling into a weird stank face with a lot of the guys. She didn’t seem to be buying what Will was saying, but then they cut to them making out in the dark somewhere. I’m confused, but happy they made out finally?
Then comes Josiah who… wow… came off as a total psycho. I hope that conversation was edited to make it worse than whatever really happened. I think, like Rachel said, that maybe Josiah got so caught up in the idea of Rachel that he was blinded like a little kid staring at the sun for too long and just couldn’t get it together. I still like him a lot. He just needs more time to mature. He's like a green banana. A ripped, green banana, who doesn't ask questions of the banana he's on a date with.
Next we have Rachel and Peter in the middle of a group date, humping in a hot tub. WOW. Definitely didn’t know that was a thing that could happen. What did the men think was going on that whole time? They didn’t ask? What a missed opportunity for the most amazing, “can I steal you for a sec?” in Bachelor/Bachelorette history.
Amazingly Peter does not get the group date rose which is hilarious and horrible. I don’t want to make a generalization based on stereotypes here, but had the gender roles been reversed for that, I think we would have had a bigger *storyline* there. “I’m good enough to hump in a hot tub but not get a group date rose?” etc etc.
And we’re on to the two-on-one date that nobody wanted because nobody watching this show wants Lee around anymore. Let’s make this quick. They hang out in the freezing Norwegian wood(s) with wooden lawn chairs and a thermos. Rachel’s wearing a parka and looks uncomfortably cold. Kenny talks to Rachel, then Lee lies to Rachel making up a new story about Kenny pulling him out of a van? Lee knows this is all filmed, right? Eventually Lee is left alone stranded in the woods of Norway. I just wish it had been more cathartic. Why couldn’t they have told Rachel what was really going on? It didn’t feel satisfying. Maybe because, oh right, racism isn’t a plot-line to be implemented to stir up “drama”.
Kenny leaves with Rachel (after going back to talk to Lee again). Not ideal, but the way he explained it later made some sense. He wanted closure. Impossible with someone like Lee, but I like Kenny and he’s a good dude. Kenny’s also the first parent on this show who I think actually has a meaningful relationship with their child. More on that later..
At the rose ceremony we say goodbye to Josiah and Anthony. Josiah I get, but Anthony? We’re sure we’re ready to say goodbye? I'm starting to question Rachel's decision making... At least we have Will..... for now....