Sunday night’s Women Tell All left us wondering if we could pull off wearing Baby Beka sized-earrings (answer: NO) and ALSO what Caroline was referring to when she powerfully and mysteriously told Arie, “I know what you did….” Well, after Monday's episode I think we know not only what Arie DID, but who Arie IS… a complete and total PSYCHOPATH.
Quick history lesson for those of you who haven’t been watching this show for the last 16 years. (OMG) There has always been ONE RULE on this show if you’re the Bachelor or Bachelorette— you can make-out, fondle, torture by way of extreme-sport date activities, even have lots of sex with, but you CANNOT say “I love you” to a contestant before the proposal.
Why? Because this way, we, the audience our left guessing who “wins”, AND as the Bachelor/Bachelorette, you avoid further mind-f*cking the strangers professing their love to you. If the Bachelor says “I love you” back, they think that means THEY'RE "WINNING". It’s cruel and unusual! Ben Higgins said it to Jojo and she basically started whispering “are you sure you want to say that with the cameras rolling?” AND THEN HE PICKED LAUREN B VOLUME I!
Listen, maybe this is confusing to some of you- but this is a show about polyamory until it’s a show about monogamy FOREVER. This show does not end in THROUPLES. The L-word is the only thing we have left by the time we get to the end. SAVE IT! Otherwise the word truly has no meaning.
Now there are lots of different kinds of love- but the one we’re watching people “find” on this show is the EXCLUSIVE kind. I love breakfast foods and I love my husband, but in very different ways. I don’t love anyone else the way I love my husband. Of course I tell my pancakes I love them before I eat them, but it’s different!
Now that we’ve established the golden rule, let’s get into the episode and why Arie is a textbook PSYCHO.
We’ve made it all the way to Peru which Arie revealing tells us is “known for so many things”. Cool. Let’s sand surf our way in starting with Kenny and Arie’s date in the dessert from Aladdin.
Kendall meets Arie in the middle of the Agrabah desert (whatever- I mean somewhere in Peru) and they go dune-buggying. Quick question- did anyone think maybe for a moment that they were being kidnapped? The whole handkerchief over the face and hat and sunglasses is pretty incognito, huh? I bet the driver didn’t even have to sign a release form to be on the show. I wish they had pretended to kidnap them- that would have “broken down some walls”, don’tcha think?
After dune-buggying they go sand-boarding which looks fun enough. I’m not really a sand person, or a sun person, or a skateboarding person, but I’m also not a 26 year old creative director (of what????)/taxidermy/cannibalism enthusiast, so obviously the date was not built for me. Kendall seems anxious in her interviews- she really wants to be in love with Arie and she hopes she can “catch up” to the other relationships.
Magically enough, like a withering plant, Kendall only needed 3.5 more hours of direct sunlight to bloom into a fully formed Ariephile. At the evening portion of their date she tells Arie that she is “falling” for him and Arie says “that makes me happy” and “I’m falling for you, too”. Cue: me singing my new hit single “I Don’t Care Because These Words No Longer Have Meaning”.
They spend the night in the fantasy suite together (shocker!) and make eggs in the morning. Anyone else feel gross watching this part? Somehow the thought of them making breakfast for the first time together seems more intimate than any of the staged international make-out sessions. It freaks me out that you could be planning to marry someone without even knowing what they like for breakfast. Call me old-fashioned, but it’s not right!
Next up we have Lauren B Volume II reciting once again her favorite lines from The Book of Sads. She says she is “at her worst” because she is so stressed out and in her head. WE KNOW. Arie meets her and they take a private plane ride to look at the Nazcal Lines. This was really cool and Lauren hated every second of it.
After their plane ride, Arie takes Lauren to an area that looks like what I assume the Silver Lake reservoir would look like if it ever had actual water in it. A green cesspool looking place? It needs some IMPeruVEMENTS.
(My puns are Koala-Tea)
They sit at an empty table while Lauren cries into her water glass about how she can’t handle the situation. I think this girl has some serious PTSD from her broken engagement and this entire enterprise has been one long trauma-festival for her. Sorry, girl.
Anyway, Arie comforts Lauren by making it sound like he is definitely picking her at the end of this. But he also says it in the most vague way possible when he replies, “but I feel like I know where we’re at”. Oh, ok cool. WAIT WHAT? That only answers anything if you’re inside Arie’s head- which THANKFULLY only Arie occupies. Anyway- it seems like Arie is for sure on the Lauren train so let’s wrap this season up.
At the evening portion of their date Lauren tells Arie she loves him and Arie tells her HE LOVES HER TOO. THIS IS NOT ALLOWED. And for those of you saying “well he already said he was 'falling for' Kendall, Lauren, Fantine, Cosette etc etc.” this is different. It's way worse. It's a big mistake. Big. Huge.
Whatever. They say the L-word to each other, obviously Lauren agrees to the fantasy suite and you can see that she thinks she has this thing locked up. To make matters worse- the whole evening date airs with a bad cover of “How Do I Live Without You” playing underneath. Has this show not made a gazillion dollars? They couldn't spring for the actual Leann Rimes version? Help Leann and help us! I’m trying to get behind this odd pair- help me!
The next morning we see Lauren B without makeup and she is so beautiful. However, what she lacks in pores, she also lacks in specificity when she says that there are “too many reason to name why I love Arie”. Can I buy these two an adjective?
Let’s move on to what we assume will be a really awkward date with Becca since we know Arie “LOVES” Lauren. Arie meets Becca and he describes their relationship as “the safest and most comfortable, with chemistry that is off the charts”. SAY WHAT???
Becca and Arie spend the day on a catamaran and lounge around and look at seals. They both say they have “no doubts” about their relationship. Ok, cool.
That evening Arie takes Becca back to the Agrabah desert for dinner and sex in a tent. Becca tells Arie that while looking at the clouds one day she realized that she loved him. Arie tells Becca that he LOVES HER.
The next morning Becca looks like a cartoon version of someone who had a “fun” night. Honestly, good for her. She said it was “literally perfect” and she and Arie keep saying “I love you” back and forth, with Arie saying “it feels so good to say that”. WHAT IS HE DOING? He says he “doesn’t want to hold back”.
But in addition to the completely preventable mountain of trouble Arie has already gotten himself into- another idiot man flies to Peru to make it worse. Finally it is revealed who Mr. Tan Suit is. And it’s Becca’s ex, Ross. This was all so awkward. Ross says he tracked Becca down and decided that if he needed to run, swim, (or be flown by ABC) to get there, he would.
There are two ways to see this- one as a giant romantic, but failed gesture, and the other as actually really scary and dangerous. I don’t really want to get into how problematic it is, so I’m just going to say that I hated his tan suit and I hated his tan shoes and I especially hated how they kept panning to said shoes after we already knew his identity. We get it! He’s wearing tan shoes!
One sidenote: I enjoyed the weird meta-ness of Becca accusing her ex of “living his life like a movie” while they’re both being FILMED FOR TV.
Ok, after Ross leaves, Becca goes to Arie’s room and apologizes for something she had no control over. Cool. Arie acts like he’s unsure of how to feel, but you know he likes it. After all, Becca picked Arie over her scary stalker ex wearing an all tan ensemble. If that's not love...
And with the ring of a random Peruvian bell, it's rose ceremony time. With a horse tied up in the background(?), Arie says goodbye to Kendall. We all knew this was coming. After all, he was only “falling in love” not actually “in love” with Kendall. Kenny looks sad but she'll be okay. In any case, she already has a taxidermied rat-couple of her and Arie- so their relationship will, in a way that only makes sense to Kendall, live on forever.
Now, all Arie has to do is break up with one final woman. One woman who loves him, who slept with him with 24-48 hours ago, who he told he was "in love with", and who absolutely believes that she will be accepting a marriage proposal. Have fun with that, Arie!
So yeah, in conclusion- Arie is a psychopath. Psychopaths are charming, they don't experience remorse, they have a grandiose sense of self, and they break the ONE RULE OF THIS FRANCHISE. Now we'll just have to tune in next week and see if Chris Harrison is actually telling the truth when he says that it will be "the most dramatic Bachelor Finale ever". Thanks to Arie's complete lack of regard for other people's feelings... I think he might be right!