We begin this chapter of The Book of Becca, Verse Two with a montage of our favorite Minnesota Sweetie riding a bike with a basket on it. Overlaid on top of the montage we hear Becca’s voice-over as she describes her intentions to, “chill out and ride the wave of this experience”. What an emblematic moment for this episode and likely the entire season. We couldn't get footage of Becca surfing while she said the stuff about “riding the wave”? That would have been some nice story-telling. But no, this season already feels a bit off. Like trying to ride a bike in the ocean, or surfing down a back alley in Santa Monica. Believe me, I want to "ride the wave" of Becca's #journey as much as anyone, but we're only two episodes in, and I'm having trouble #trustingtheprocess . And unlike with his success keeping Robin Hood out of trouble, I don't know if even Little John can save us. What's that? Lil John is not an abbreviation for Little John?
Coming to NBC Fall 2018: Lil John as Little John in Robin Hood "Live"!
It's time for Becca's first group date. It’s too early in the season for me to remember names, but let’s say 35 guys, or roughly 1/3 of the men in the house are invited. The date card says the guys will be “pampered” and when they meet Becca at an undisclosed location she's wearing a wedding dress. They’re instructed to change (on camera- thank you!) into tuxedos. Just a quick reminder that under normal circumstances it would be Code Red Crazy to dress up like you’re getting married to someone on your first date.
Sadly, the shirtless Cross Fit parade concludes. The men put on their tuxes and walk with Becca to the middle of a giant field. They are greeted by none other than Rachel Lindsay and her fiancée, Bryan Abasolo’s leggings. I mean, Bryan Abasolo. I love when previous couples return to the show acting like they’re the pinnacle of monogamous fidelity. Quick reminder- they met a year ago.
Ok, the guys do some kind of obstacle course wherein they have to do messy stuff quickly. I was a little distracted while watching this part (we had some technical difficulties surrounding an “antenna”). But I think Lincoln may have cheated his time in the cold water. And based on the earlier footage of him without his shirt on, I’d like to float the possibility of further cheating by way of performance enhancing drugs.
Currently not hating the player, just hating the game.
Lincoln describes hearing a voice in his head saying, “win, win win”. Turns out the voice was right. Lincoln won, but like his Presidential namesake, he faced some pretty sore losers.
Enter: Connor. Connor’s bitterness is matched only by his bouffant. New nickname: Bitter Bouffie. Connor's not handling this well. He can't stomach Lincoln parading around his framed photo with Becca. He says Lincoln keeps “hanging it out” and “dangling it in his face”. What are we talking about, again? Oh, a picture. Not a penis. Got it. And so Bitter Bouffie does what any young man who is incapable of processing his own feelings does- he destroys something. In this case, Lincoln’s picture. Nice move, bro. You're an a**hole.
Meanwhile Becca is getting to know (aka smooching) other men including Jean Blanc whom she praises for being able to maintain eye-contact. High standards here folks! Jean Blanc tells Becca he’s ready for commitment by confessing that he is, in fact, “ready to get involved in a situation”. That sounds like the beginning of an entrapment scheme, not a declaration of love, but ok. Smelling good, JB.
Later that night, Lincoln tells Becca what Connor did. Connor tells Becca that what he did 15 minutes ago (destroy someone else’s property for no reason) was “truly not me”. Sure, why not. The only thing hotter than an unprovoked violent outburst is a complete lack of personal responsibility.
Next up we have a one-on-one date with Becca and Blake (of Horse and Ox fame). Now this was a date for the history books. Becca said she didn’t know what to expect because, “Harrison took over”. “Harrison”, let it be known, is now the official alter-ego of Chris Harrison. Aka the Stephan to Chris’s Urkel.
Becca and Blake are greeted by “Harrison”, wearing a black suit, white shirt, and no tie. Harrison can get it. The theme of today’s date? Exposure Therapy: The Musical, starring Lil John. Finally, all these years later, the “what” of “Turn Down For What” has been clarified. It was all for this- this beautiful, surreal fantasy of destroying Arie-themed detritus. That’s what Lil John was asking us to "turn down for".
Despite Becca’s unbelievably odd claim that she’s not a “physical person” (sphincter says, “what???”) Becca seems to feel at ease very quickly smashing the windows of “Arie’s car”, a television set playing her proposal, and multiple bottles of “champagne”.
Becca really enjoys her time with Blake saying that he made her feel “so comfortable”. Whether the source of her comfort was Blake or the sweet musical stylings of Lil John, we’ll never know. But Blake looks about as happy as a pig in ___, so it’s all good.
(Speaking in terms Blake will understand)
Now for the final date of the episode- the men play America’s favorite national pastime- trampoline dodgeball. One contestant (don’t remember) describes another contestant (don’t remember, but I think it was the long haired stunt guy aka Samson) playing as if it were “the most important dodgeball challenge of his life”. High stakes here, folks.
The first several episodes of the Bachelorette always surprise me. I keep forgetting how weirdly wrapped up the men get in the competition. They get so intense about whatever sport they’re playing and only kind of pay lip service to how their competitive energy is being motivated by their interest in Becca. I guess that's what happens when you pick a group of, to use Becca's parlance, "physical people".
The evening portion of the date arrives and Becca appears looking like she's starring in her own non-union production of Chicago. Our lil Roxie is wearing sparkly earrings, not one, but TWO chokers, and a sequin dress. What would Rachel Zoe say??
Becca chats with a number of guys but is most notably thrown off when Colton (the Not For Profit Quarterback) tells her that he somehow managed to date Tia before the show started filming. I have so many questions, but they have nothing to do with Colton and Tia- it’s just time-related. As in, how was there even time for that? Didn’t Arie’s season end like, two weeks before they started filming? How did he meet Tia? Did they have some kind Bachelor/ette mixer? Are all of these people groomed on some compound like a minor league baseball team? I don’t know. All I know is, I don’t really care, but Becca seems to. A lot. If only Becca knew what we know, that Colton is a VIRGIN. So whatever he and Tia got up to, he didn’t exactly hit a home-run.
Finally, we’ve reached the rose ceremony. Becca and her stylist clearly love sparkles, and so we have another “hotcha!” moment. The men are all vying for her attention, but Jordan, the “male model” seems to think that talking to Becca in his underwear will really seal the deal and show her that he’s serious.
Listen, I don’t want to generalize here, but I don’t think women are usually rendered as charmed by that kind of move as a man might be. Corinne dressing up as sexy Inspector Gadget seemed to illicit no complaints from Nick. But I don’t know if seeing a man wearing nothing but boxer briefs and dress shoes really makes ya say, “I think I just met my husband”. Further, Jordan’s later ensemble of boxer briefs, dress shoes, and a blanket for warmth made him look like an off-duty adult-film star. Which, again, I don’t want to generalize, but doesn’t make ya say, “I think I just met my husband”.
Anyway, the penultimate scene before the rose ceremony is an Alanis Morissette Sponsored (read: ironic) confrontation between David, our resident venture capitalist/chicken and Jordan our resident fluffer, with David questioning why Jordan is “really there”.
They both get picked to stay another week, so lucky for us, we’ll be sure to find out.
Quick addendum: I was delayed posting this because I've been in LA this week editing the second season of my "lowbrow brilliant" podcast, @spptforthispodcast. If you haven't checked it out, give it a listen. You can find season one on iTunes, or wherever you get your podcasts.
And that, my friends, is what you call synchronicity.