This post is late because I had a busy week and also because watching that episode was like a full-body leeching- wherein all of my life-force and joie de vivre was systematically sucked out of my body. That was some long-form Tuscan Torture, y’all. Way to f up the “epitome of Italy”, as Becca called it.
Let's jump/dive/DRIVE in, shall we?
Ok, so Jacqueline is our Tweaker-Of-The-Week this episode and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Because she's right! GET OUT! Now, I’m not saying ending up with Arie is like going to the sunken place, but…. yeah, it’s just better if you can leave as soon as possible. Tweak away, Jacqueline!
Jacqueline worries that she can’t trust her own instincts (see: almost drinking her own pee), and starts to go down a rabbit hole of questions. She wonders if she’s falling in love with love, or falling in love with Arie. I’ll take "It’s the Former", for $500, Alex.
Let’s leave Jacqueline for now and go to Arie’s first one-on-one date in Tuscany with Becca. He picks her up in — wait for it— yet another sexier-than-he-is sports-car. Any one else think that the soundtrack to this entire season should just be Tracy Chapman’s “Fast Cars” on-loop? The connection being- if you want anything at all from Arie, it’s gonna be a fast car, and literally nothing else. This man has the personality of a blow-up doll and the sex-drive of the lonely person who buys a blow-up doll.
(PS I found an image of a male blow-up doll, and I'm choosing to save all of us from that image. You're welcome.)
Ok- Becca and Arie walk along some charming Italian streets, butcher the language, and have a picnic/choreographed make-out session. Arie was concerned that the chemistry wouldn’t be there- but it turns out Becca still has a mouth he can stick his tongue into, so all systems go! While they sit on a ledge and Becca strains her neck to kiss him, he says, “I care about you”. Way to bring the romance, Arie!
Meanwhile, back at Corporate Italian Vacation Headquarters, Jacqueline’s doubts have manifested into full-blown Peter-itis. She’s not ready to commit, she has too many questions, and as her sister-wife Kendall said, "she has to talk to him”.
Peter: Gone, but never forgotten.
Jacqueline heads to Arie’s room to break the news. I liked this part a lot. Actually, I loved every moment of it. Especially when Jacqueline gulped down Arie’s wine to fortify herself before he could even pour her her own. My kinda girl.
Sidenote- obviously the producers tell the bachelor whenever someone's coming over "unexpectedly", but I just love the idea of Arie sitting alone in his hotel room drinking wine in silence with no TV, no book, nothing. (Sidenote-sidenote: we all know Arie is basically illiterate, right? That must be what contributes to his 50-word vocabulary- more on that later. "Ya know?")
Ok, a few desperate kisses later Jacqueline breaks it off with Arie. Arie says he “doesn’t want this to be over”, and that she should come back if she changes her mind…. Um… can she, though? Please, please have Jacqueline come back during what will inevitably be the 12 hour silent-movie festival that is Lauren B’s hometown date.
Next we have Lauren B Volume II who shall henceforth be named Florence Lawrence- named after the famous silent movie star of the 1920s. I googled famous silent movie actresses and her name popped up and it made me laugh- so there ya have it.
Also starring: Florence Lawrence
However, calling Lauren B a silent movie actress is a discredit to silent movie actresses. They couldn't talk, but they certainly had more expressive faces than our lil Lauren B II. GOOD LORD WHAT IS HER PROBLEM? Sorry, I just can’t handle this storyline anymore. Didn’t we figure out the whole “it helps when you talk” thing, with Lauren last week?? Why are they making it so hard to like her? Or like them together? I want to be at least temporarily tricked into liking these people- help me, Chris Harrison, please!
Ok, Arie and Florence Lawrence go for a (silent) bike ride. Arie can ride a bike while standing on it, which honestly is the coolest thing he’s done all season. Yes- even cooler than pretending to drink his own urine and convincing his potential wives to do so, as well.
They spend the day together not talking, and Arie throws around enough wishful “break down walls” and “opening up” metaphors to make me want to break down the walls of my apartment and run through the streets of New York City opening up bottles of cabernet until I am in love with a New York City Police Department bathroom.
The only thing that could make this date worse is if they had to play soccer with local— oh wait, there it is. Rock bottom. I found you.
I would rather tell Arie the most embarrassing stories of my life on national television than play soccer with teenagers in some obviously staged pick-up game. Florence Lawrence runs around looking vaguely interested, and because we unwittingly joined the Low-Bar For Love Olympics, Arie’s heart is all a flutter.
At the evening portion of the date Arie says that Lauren is “amazing” but that she needs to open up more. HOW CAN SOMEONE BE "AMAZING" WHEN YOU DON’T KNOW THEM? I think basically what Arie is saying is that his boss, i.e. the Arie in his pants, reallllllly wants to get to the fantasy suite with Florence Lawrence. But in order to appear less shallow, he needs her to string a few sensible words together that at least give the impression of a personality. Like, “wow”, but more words before or after it. For example, “I like you, [wow].” Or, “[Wow], this food we're not eating looks gross.”
Arie tells Florence that “I have to understand you better to get to know you, you know?” WOW.
Lauren responds by inexplicably telling Arie that she is “starting to fall for him" with the enthusiasm of a person forced to order dinner at a C-rated restaurant.
And then... Arie leaves the table for no apparent reason. HOWEVER, I think this moment was created in the editing booth because I re-watched it and Arie's clearly chewing food when he leaves the table, but not when he excuses himself. Chris Harrison, explain! Actually, don’t. I’ll take any drama I can get. Faux or not.
While communing with the trees(???), Arie tells us he is ecstatic and says that he is “falling so deeply for this woman”. Like Jacqueline, I need to move on before I drink the rest of Arie’s lonely hotel room wine and leave this blog forever.
Next up-- Arie takes Seinne out for another one-on-one date. This time to hunt for truffles and to chat with a bunch of nosey Italian strangers. I’m not crying any tears for Seinne. Not only did she dodge an intellectually vacant, oversexed, Scottsdale-dwelling bullet, she had an amazing day finding truffles with adorable dogs and then eating delicious home cooked Italian food. Seinne wins The Bachelor!
Sidenote: When Arie referenced that he “used to work in a pizza place”, I died and was reborn. He’s talking about PIZZA HUT, GUYS.
At the evening portion of the date Seinne says something lovely and totally unwarranted about how this experience has “made her think of love as a strength as opposed to a weakness”. That’s beautiful and has nothing to do with Arie. Bye Seinne, I hope to see you on Bachelor In Paradise ASAP.
Ok, finally we have the last date with Tia, Baby Bekah, and America's favorite Amateur Cannabalist, Kendall. They hang out in a house that Arie told us was “once owned by Napoleon’s sister, so that’s cool”. This date was in fact, very "cool". Cool, as in ice cold. Grab your popcorn, folks!
Tia questions Bekah’s “seriousness”, which of all the things to question about Bekah is the absolute BEST for us, the TV viewing audience. Because if there's one thing I remember about being 22- it’s that I TOOK EVERYTHING SERIOUSLY. EVERYTHING. Except declaring my waitressing-tips, and overdraft charges. But basically everything else I experienced was LIFE AND DEATH. So for Tia to say that Bekah wasn’t taking this “seriously” was perfect. I think Tia just meant that Bekah isn't ready for marriage. Which, yeah hey- OF COURSE she isn’t, and you shouldn’t be ready to marry Arie, either, Miss Relatable Tia! Y’all met 4 weeks ago!
Anyway….Bekah got very emotional and we had some great TV. Finally, Arie let’s Bekah go, but sadly we miss out on this future moment:
Interior: Bekah's Mom's house
BEKAH'S MOM: Hi honey, how’s the weed farm? Also I filed a missing persons report on you— oh hello, Arie.
Oh, and also, Kendall gets a hometown rose as well. Taxidermists, rejoice.
In conclusion- these next few weeks might take our contestants galavanting around the world- but one thing is true. This season has been True Love: American Style. Ie. based on nothing but superficial appearances, sexual chemistry, and the word “yeah” said over and over and over and over and over and over and over again until words have no meaning and they’re just non-sensible syllabic nothingnesses sending us into a meditative trance for self-preservation. There’s hope in there somewhere, I just haven't found it yet.