March is coming in like a lioness with gel nail tips with tonight’s episode of The Women Tell All. It’s a rare opportunity to try to remember the names of all the blond chicks, relitigate cocktail party conflicts like they’re Plessy v. Ferguson, and find out who got lowlights.
This stroll down a potholed-riddled memory lane will recall Champagnegate, the unsuccessful remake of Tammy and the Bachelor, and Chase Rice’s last appearance before an audience of more than 250.
There’s also a segment to confront a disturbing phenomenon that’s becoming more frequent than an outbreak of coronavirus on a cruise ship. In its vital role as a social influencer for vapid Americans, the show calls on Season 13 Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay to address online bullying.
Rachel, the first woman of color to helm the show, was relentlessly harassed by internet bottom-feeders with souls darker than Steven Seagal’s dye job. Now she will read the loathsome tirades sent to this season’s contestants, most of which will contain more misspellings than a voice-to-text message dictated by a cockatoo. If you miss this part, you can always catch a Tarantino movie.
Most importantly, we’ll learn if Peter ever applied Mederma to his forehead. He doesn’t have to go around looking like a ventriloquist dummy that someone carved their initials in.
It’s down to the final three. Madison, Victoria, and Hannah Ann are in suspended animation as we await Peter’s choice. We already know Pete’s choice. In the studio, the crowd cheers wildly as Chris arrives on stage. He describes how dramatic the season has been, then introduces the rejects.
But first, we return to Australia to learn the situation with Madison and her damn principles. Victoria tells us Peter’s love is very pure, if his sperm is little depleted from overuse. But a rose must come her way for her to continue. Hannah Ann is also ready to start a gift registry at Target, although she is uncertain whether she wants the NutriBullet in white or stainless.
Pre-Rose Ceremony, Peter expresses to Chris his confusion over Madison’s strict standards for his behavior. You wonder how he got through pilot school when he’s so resistant to discipline. He wonders if she can continue with the show, knowing he has been riding the love subway to strange stations.
In fact, Hannah Ann and Victoria are the only two waiting for him at the wind-swept site overlooking where the echidnas walk. Peter gazes off into the distance, clearly torn between the sex he’s already had and the sex he hopes to have. Finally, Madison arrives. She relates to Chris her doubt and dismay, who nods agreeably, then goes to take her place beside the other two girls.
Peter is breathing like an obscene phone caller. Tearfully, he tells the girls that all three have a piece of his heart, although only two got some nooky. “This is destroying me,” he says in trembling tones. His Q rating has tanked since that Page Six scoop.
He lifts the first rose and calls Hannah Ann’s name. She accepts it as joyfully as a wombat accepts tussocky snow grass. Nearly weeping, Peter prepares to present the second rose. It goes to Madison. She hesitates, then steps forward to take it.
“Ya sure?” Peter says, recalling Tristan’s pledge of love to Isolde. Better than a rose, he should give them coronavirus testing kits.
Victoria has been banished from the outback. Peter tells her he was falling in love with her, but his heart belongs with the two other girls, as well as with a waitress at the Fresno Hooters. Victoria departs, basically shrugging away the whole business. Yet she’s still grouchy at Madison’s unfair ultimatum. Will Peter regret keeping her on? Will Madison regret saving herself for him when there are some really quality vibrators on the market? Meanwhile, Hannah Ann, Madison, and Peter toast to making it this far into the season without an ABC News special report ruining the momentum.
We now return to the studio, where Chris claims that was one of the most emotional Rose Ceremonies he’s ever seen, at least since last season. I’ve seen more emotion in the Fast Money round of Family Feud.
“Not a single person knows how Peter’s journey will end–not even Peter,” Chris informs us. Even the Farmers’ Almanac editors are stumped.
Time to check in with the overdressed hysterics at the studio. As usual, I forget who they all are, other than most of their names end in an “a” and everyone’s hair has mad Farrah waves. Chris wants to know what they think of Madison’s reluctance to accept the rose from Peter. Lexi feels it was naive of her to overlook what happens in the Fantasy Suite. Another girl respects her decision to remain pure while skinny-dipping in the cesspool that is reality TV.
The gals recall how many of their compatriots are as fake as the Renoir in the the Trump penthouse. Then there are diagnoses of various other girls’ neuroses. Following this are diary entries of their own frustrations and triumphs. Everyone laughs gaily when the footage ends.
There are so many nose jobs on display, it looks like a cosmetic surgeon’s fall catalog. Victoria P. is then accused of being scripted, either by herself, the producers, or a Bazooka Joe comic writer. Another girl defends her own obnoxiousness, which at least is an original angle. The scene erupts in shouting and pointing. Chris shuts it down to sell us some insurance and a couple of SUVs.
Now it’s time to revisit Champagnegate. Kelsey confesses to the flood of emotion she felt upon realizing someone else had opened her bottle of bubbly. She admits her wretched sobs, similar to the audio of Zero Dark Thirty, were a little much, especially when the champagne came from Walmart.
Tammy insists she didn’t accuse Kelsey of being a character out of a Lifetime movie starring Valerie Harper. There is some discussion of what names people called each other, much like a community theater production of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
Chris smirks as he listens to indignant demands for apologies, and descriptions of the terrible feelings experienced at the hands of mansionmates. An enraged Tammy’s mouth must be pixelated more than once. She’s auditioning for the sequel to Zack and Miri Make a Porno.
Kelsey now joins Chris on stage. Her dress covers less of her than a motel bath towel. We see footage of her time with Peter, whom she calls “the full package,” presumably referring to him above the waist, too. She had high hopes for a future with him until she was sent back like a sweater from Chico’s that was not the color you ordered.
Chris wants to know how that made her feel. She was surprised to be ditched, yet she misses Peter because she learned a lot from him, including how to analyze flight plans prior to takeoff. Chris asks if it’s fair that she was criticized for being so emotional. She’s proud of that trait, even if it means dissolving into a weepy, heaving heap every time her teabag string falls inside the cup. Tammy rolls her eyes so hard she’ll have to use Salonpas on her extraocular muscles.
Ashley I. arrives to cheerlead for overly emotional people, bringing along a giant bottle of bubbly so Kelsey can drown her feelings with a pound of caviar. Next gig: Sexy spokesperson for Paxil.
Chris moves on to the next intervew subject, who unfortunately is not Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Victoria F. had the most passionate relationship with Peter, if by “passionate”‘ you mean “lacking any intellectual or emotional interaction whatsoever.” We review footage of Peter investigating all the accusations of her ruining relationships and backing away from commitment. It might be the preview for Forensic Bachelor Files.
Victoria cries when she realizes how much Peter cared for her despite what a petulant little twerp she was. “Why couldn’t you let him in?” Chris asks, apparently referring to locations outside the Fantasy Suite. Victoria’s answer is not more substantive than the filling in a Twinkie, even the ones made in the ’60’s.
Next Chris asks how she feels about her and Peter’s seminal stoop conversation, which was so ineffectual as to rival Google Glass. “I was in love with that boy,” she asserts, as if he were a cold pizza crust and she were my dog.
Has she ever broken up a marriage, Chris probes further. What is this, Frost and Nixon? Victoria claims she has not, unless you count the one between dignity and this show. As she utters a stream of mindless bromides, Chris marvels that he now sees the woman we all missed during the show. Nobody missed the shorts that barely covered her hemorrhoids.
Before Peter appears on stage, Chris discusses the uniquely American practice of having Bachelor viewing parties, similar to how many of us enjoy tailgating and tax extension filings. This year, Peter and his parents are crashing such a party at the home of some dimwit who needs to try volunteering in a soup kitchen. Why is this so momentous? Did his parents refuse to show up for his graduation or something?
Now here’s Peter to face the music. He didn’t shave for the occasion, so he looks like Pete Buttigieg at the last debate, but without the brains or articulate speech. He marvels at the opportunity to have so many relationships at once that all the other girls also knew about but their contracts prevented them from dumping his cheating ass.
Chris invites Victoria F. to talk with Peter as we all gape at them. She thanks him for teaching her something she could have just spent $8.99 to read about in The 5 Love Languages.
Peter assures everyone he has learned from his many mistakes on the show, not the least of which was bashing his forehead into a golf cart. He continues to explain that it’s hard to be exposed to the harsh criticism of viewers, the general public, and people who deeply resent the cynical cheapening of our culture. Furthermore, he’s grateful for every relationship he’s had on the show, even the ones where he only made out with the girl once, and wishes them all happiness or a spot on Bachelor in Paradise.
Bloopers are next, none involving kangaroos, but when they end, there’s still 20 minutes to fill. That’s a lot of catfighting, cleavage, and contrived theatrics. Chris claims we have no idea how this story ends, but we can hazard a guess that it’s not with a performance by the Vienna Philharmonic.
First it’s Rachel Lindsay for the serious segment. Chris explains that there’s a lot passion out there, but some of it is not acceptable. Reserve your passion for attacking health insurance lobbyists and the plastic bag ban.
Rachel points out that online accessibility has made people comfortable flinging abuse and insults like toxic confetti, and it’s continually getting worse. The only way she can make people understand how very low this behavior is is to show it to us.
The words are cruel and violent, racist and ugly. Everyone has experienced it, but people of color get the brunt. As the other bachelorettes tell their stories, we can only hope the frank expressions of their fear and pain might make an impact on the worst among us. Credit to the show for trying.
Anyway, back to the happy cheers and applause for Peter as his journey nears its end. Chris reports that next week’s episodes will reveal one of the most unexpected and complicated endings a writers room has ever come up with since The One With Ross’ Wedding Part II.
We already know Peter’s heart in pulled in two directions by Hannah Ann and Madison. Another organ is pulled upward by both women. Peter’s parents are interfering with the whole thing, too. Is there going to be a The Bachelor: Pushy Parents special?
Before Peter can make a decision, though, Chris will reveal at the final Rose Ceremony whatever the hell it is that “we just found out.” Peter also never expected it to happen. Alien invasion? The Spanish Inquisition? Liz Warren getting the nomination?
Next week, they’ll take two nights to show us. It better be aliens.