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The Dog and P(h)ony Show

“Today is gonna be fun because it’s going to be uncomfortable for all of us.” - Arie Lyeyeyeyndk Jr discussing his first group date of Episode 3, and unknowingly, the entire season of the Bachelor starring Arie Lyeyeyeyndk Jr.

We begin episode 3 with a clip of Bibiana declaring that she is “broken”. It’s a good thing that Bibiana was (SPOILER ALERT) eliminated this week, because if a “stolen cabana” and Krystal “what’s more obvious about me-- my abandonment issues or my nodes?” Nielson*- can break you down, than this show is not for you.

*Yes, I had to look up her last name, and yes, they call me the *research bandit*.

Ok, let’s jump (with a resounding bang onto a wrestling mat) into this episode. Arie and the ladies are learning how to “wrestle”. As in, the choreographed fight sequence kind played to dramatic and comedic effect. Not the homoerotic, unitard-wearing, roll around with someone the *exact* same weight as you kind of wrestling. Though, upon reflection, we've now learned that they're quite similar. Fun fact about me: I randomly watched a lot of college wrestling as a kid and it made me feel a lot of feelings that I didn’t understand until years later. Go Penn.

Anyway, the girls are “learning” how to “wrestle” and they’re being instructed by some very mean former GLOW ladies. Could we not get Betty Gilpin and Alison Brie from the Netflix version? I imagine they would have been far nicer instructors. Those two “teachers” were absurdly cruel. Who thought that that would be a fun angle? I went to theatre school- that whole “break people down to build them back up” technique isn’t actually a thing, it’s just a way to excuse bad behavior by bitter instructors. I was not a fan of the meanness and I think Tia and especially Bibiana were right for taking a break.

Also- where was Arie during all of this? We could have had such a nice reductive male-savior moment here. Arie the Earnest could have told those "teachers" to back the f off. OR if things got really heated, wrestle them to submission! I would have married my husband on our first date if he had wrestle-danced an older lady to the ground for making fun of my name.

But… Arie was probably in another room learning his routine with Kenny. Or getting touch-ups on his makeup to ensure that his face was still a solid 5 shades darker than his neck. WHO DOES THE MAKEUP ON THIS SHOW? Oh great, now I’m having an Annaliese inspired #flashback to Rachel’s non-colorstay lipstick.

(PS Remember when we loved Dean?)

One quick word about the wrestling presentation… Was anyone else bothered by the blatantly fake suspension of reality where the girls were “worried” about Arie “wrestling” Kenny? It’s all choreographed. We all know that. We just watched them practice this exact thing for the last 15 minutes. This is some adults pretending magic is real at Disneyland kind of stuff that I just don’t do well with. IT’S ALL FAKE. The only thing faker than this entire show is WRESTLING.

Also this date was weird because it failed to make Arie look cool and sexy. It’s true that the qualities that make “The Bachelor” so appealing on this show-- i.e. being a vulnerable, yet toned, tanned, alpha-male kissing monster-- aren’t necessarily real-world values. Arie not being super buff or great at wrestling won’t matter much in Scottsdale, but we’re in Bachelor Nation right now, and I just don’t want to see him looking like a skinny, uncomfortable nerd. But maybe that’s just me. And Bekah, who straight up calls him a dork later in the episode.

I don’t really remember the evening portion of this date but they all went somewhere with candles and random area rugs and Krystal somehow keeps thinking that she's the designated narrator of the show. Her "speeches" make everyone within earshot roll their eyes with the specificity of a synchronized swimming team. Turns out that's not how to make friends and influence people.

Let's move on to Lauren #11's solo date with Arie. I don’t remember Lauren’s job title, but I’m pretty sure she’s a professional detective because after reading the date card that said, “You had me at merlot”, she surmised that, “I think it has to do with wine”.

The only real mystery to me was Lauren’s hair. I couldn’t figure out why half of it was straight and then at the ends there were these curly little tendril moments that made it look like she was wearing a hair-scarf. Finally I realized, she had on extensions. I CRACKED THE CASE!

(Ah, the good old days.)

Lauren and Arie’s date was sadly not magical or “amazing”. Quick note: the word “amazing” is so over used in general, but ESPECIALLY on this show. If everything is “amazing” than nothing is amazing. Can we please be more selective about our adjectives? I guess they don’t teach that in racing school. PS Did you guys know that Arie used to be a race car driver???

So Arie says goodbye to Lauren after Lauren has an acute case of identity crisis where she just can’t seem to be “herself”. Whoever Lauren was being, Arie wasn’t feeling it, and sent her home. Bye Lauren __. I sadly don't know who you are either, but I hope you took some merlot to go!

Next up we have the circus-dog group date. We also learn that Arie has brought his own dog back to LA. Pretty sure that Arie was instructed by producers to bring his dog in an effort to seem more desirable. Henceforth known as the #coppereffect.

However, even this “more chill” date could not save poor Annaliese from another traumatic memory. Turns out Annaliese almost “lost her eye” to a dog growing up. If that’s true, then UMMMM YEAH I WOULD BE TERRIFIED OF DOGS TOO! ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?! But seeing as Annaliese had already cried "bumper car", no one cares about Annaliese’s Sad Dog Stories and we move on.

And boy do we move on… to The Grove, aka My Favorite Place in LA (and yes I know that makes me EXTREMELY, UNBELIEVABLY basic). But not just The Grove. The Grove with Fred Willard commentating on the “dog show”. I'll take RANDOM for $500, Alex. But then again, we’ll always have the memory of 90 year old Fred “such a fan of the show” Willard saying the phrase, “doggie-style”, so let’s be thankful for life’s unexpected blessings.

Sidenote: I’m continually amazed by the quirks of Standards and Practices on network TV. They have to blur out dog poop??? Anyone else notice that?

The evening portion takes place where else, but in a hip but overdecorated “old bank”, to which the girls squeal with excitement. “I love old banks!” they say. Except of course Annaliese…because she has a fear of old banks...

Let’s move on to the cocktail ceremony, shall we?

Bibiana’s telescope/cabana moment is accidentally stolen by Arie and Lauren #12. Also- I checked and a cabana is by definition something that has a roof. You can't stargaze in a cabana. And furthermore- that wasn't a cabana. It was a couch with no sides. Aka a mattress. ANYWAY.

Sadly I'm so deep into The Bachelor vortex that the "cabana" reminded of this couch that Sean and Catherine now sell online. Also- that's too much couch. Just go to bed.

After their time together, Lauren #12 is relieved to tell the girls that she too can now join the exclusive 16 member “I Have Kissed Arie Now” club.

Krystal continues to talk to Arie like a soothing, nodesy, sex-phone operator/murderer and quietly spouts off gems like,”I’ve never had the opportunity for someone to respect me for who I am”. I feel like Krystal needs to learn from the MVP of Sad Stories, Kristina of “I ate lipstick to survive” fame- and say Sad Things sparingly for greater affect. (See, the girl who cried "bumper-car.")

Chelsea, the newly unseated villain (congrats Krystal!) mentions to Arie that the timing is perfect for her to be on the show. Not sure how the people responsible for taking care of her 3 year old child feel about this timing, but I have a feeling it might look something like this,

It's a dog. See, that's what you call a call back.

Bekah invents a new game called Extreme Armchair Psychoanalysis where she posits that Arie is into her because she doesn’t need him, and that’s also why Arie has enjoyed dating moms in the past. Bekah is coming in hot, y’all!

Finally we had the slow-motion destruction of Annaliese’s spirit as she eventually forced her way into a more definitive, “yeah, still don’t really wanna kiss you because I don’t wanna be with you” moment with Arie. Sad, but as Bibiana mentioned, the devil was in fact, working OT that night.

And so the episode ended as it began, with Bibiana figuratively shattered in pieces on the ground, broken down by the cruel whims of Bachelor fancy. The only valuable takeaways from her brief time on Mt. Bachelorious are a newfound love of “wrestling”, and 29 sister-wives she will inevitably spend the next 18 months hosting pool parties in Las Vegas with. For only then will she have access to the true cabana of her dreams.

Till next week...

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