By now, viewers can all agree on a few things:
- The remaining bachelorettes are as bland and vacuous as a student graduating from a school system run by Betsy DeVos.
- Sitting through this season’s The Bachelor: Women Tell All special is more dread-inducing a concept than shaking hands with the President.
- We should spell Nick’s last name “Vile.”
Meanwhile, our diplomatic relations with yet another peaceful nation stand to be ravaged since the finale episode this season takes place in Finland. Nick will tell a few reindeer that he felt a connection the moment they met.
Finally (WARNING: POORLY DISGUISED SPOILERS), according to Reality Steve and the darts I threw at a poster of Nick a few minutes ago, the final two women are named after 1) a form of wildlife that speaks in a well-known poem, and 2) the former Miss America who got fired for posing for nude photos. Nick understands the significance of first names, since his denotes what happens when you’re not careful while shaving.
Last week’s recaps remind us of the three women Nick ditched, how envious we are of them, and that it appeared Nick was thinking of leaving the show. That’s a bigger red herring than can be found in Finland. The gals are morose and silent as they reel in the aftermath of last week’s bloodbath. Raven feels Nick was crying over the possibility of not finding a partner on the show yet again, which also frightens me because it might mean he’ll appear on yet another series.
Nick and Chris discuss these troubling developments. Ever the wordsmith, Nick thinks it’s a crappy feeling. Chris nods compassionately. “Be honest,” he tells Nick. “Are you ready to quit and walk away from all this?” He asks because the producers’ attorneys are at lunch, and he’ll have to phone their receptionists.
Nick returns to see the girls, sitting in front of some very amateurish beach paintings. He explains how scared he is of having the rug pulled out from under him. Sports injuries can be hard to rebound from. He pauses, and the music grows tense as the girls gaze wide-eyed at him. What will happen next? Has he given up on finding love? Will there be time to shop before they leave St. Thomas?
But no. He thinks he will stay because all six of these women are better than Danielle. What a relief! Everyone feels hopeful, rejuvenated, and ready to resent each other with fresh ardor. Passing over both the cocktail party and Rose Ceremony, and likely another AA meeting, they go off to the island of Bimini. The girls’ villa is done in beachy tones and has a great view of the ocean. It’s in talks to appear on HGTV’s Beachfront Bargain Hunters.
The date card arrives. Vanessa gets the one-on-one. Corinne is upset that Nick might get closer with her, but that’s unlikely since they’ll spend most of the time either underwater or making out. The two meet to board a boat. Vanessa looks forward to being alone with Nick without distractions. Has she seen the footage from the previous five episodes? They commence to discuss being vulnerable and emotional.
Corinne feels Vanessa hasn’t got much to open up about. Her rival won’t get deep about her feelings, she assures herself, which in the case of Nick, may be to her advantage. “How much depth does Vanessa have?” Corinne muses. Surely her va-jeen isn’t even a semi-precious metal.
But indeed Nick and Vanessa are opening up, clarifying their feelings, and picking up where they left off. Vanessa feels very lucky that these vague, faux-clinical terms suggest something substantive to her. The two then make out underwater while wearing snorkeling masks, which is even more impressive than successfully casting three million illegal votes.
The other girls drink wine and jabber about how they feel about future dates with Nick. It’s like a Sartre play where the characters are trapped in the same conversations for eternity. Then the new date card arrives. Corinne, Kristina, and Raven get a group date, leaving Rachel and Other Danielle at home. Corinne is, of course, upset. No wonder she needs a nanny.
That night, Vanessa and Nick sit down to talk. She’s optimistic about the two of them, but probably because she’s Canadian. She tells him she wants him to meet her family, and can see a future with him. “It’s easy to be with you,” she enthuses, failing to acknowledge that all the time they spend together is scripted. She tells him she’s falling in love with him.
He explains that he knows there is a greater love for him than what he’s had in the past, even with Andi. He only wants to say it to one person, though. Didn’t that happen in his second season? Vanessa feels disappointed that they are not on the same page. She doesn’t want to end up like Nick did, staring at a paid-for engagement ring that has to go back to Neil Lane.
Kristina is nervous about the group date, so she walks pensively on the beach as the waves crash to shore like the opening credits from One Life to Live. Raven knows that if she is given the rose this time, she gets to take Nick home to Hooterville. The three girls then meet Nick at another boat, where they all strip to their bikinis so the camera can linger on close-ups of their bare flesh. Nick applies sunscreen to Kristina’s inner thigh. It’s a combination PSA and soft-core porno.
He tells the girls that they will explore ocean wildlife, specifically sharks. The Jaws theme was playing in my head long before this scene. But Kristina is scared, and has to get back on the boat. That seems like a good quality in a wife, unless you’ve already bought lots of life insurance for her.
That night, presumably with no one’s leg bitten off, the four gather with the rose in the room. Nick invites Kristina to go outside alone first. He wants to know if she rates a hometime visit. He has a fear of forcing this whole thing, he explains, and starts to cry. “You can only pick one of us,” Kristina counsels him sagely. She comforts him, proclaiming it a very special moment, not a weird, skeevy one like I think it was.
Raven admits to no ones surprise that she calls her father Daddy. Both her parents and Nick’s have been married a long time. However, Daddy had lung cancer and you don’t want to emulate that.
Back at the villa, Danielle gets the second one-on-one. She is happy, which means she’s doomed.
Finally, Corinne gets her private moment with Nick. She notes that she hasn’t had a one-on-one with him, and it makes her nervous, not to mention causing her va-jeen to tarnish. He explains that the two-on-one they had worked well for the show’s ratings. “You killed it,” he compliments her before they make out. You always want to look for a mate who can make you want to send away other women you made out with earlier.
Time to present the rose. They all stare at it like modern art they can’t understand, before he presents it to Raven. Maw will be right pleased with this young fella is a’comin’ down to the house. Corinne and Kristina are bitter, aging before our very eyes as Nick and Raven leave to dance in front of some guy with a guitar, an album to drop, and no shame.
Next day, Danielle arrives for her date, which will involve bicycling complete with Bike Cam on the handlebars. Too bad there’s no Nick’s Genitals Cam in the Fantasy Suite. They go to play some basketball with some local children, whom I hope were paid. Danielle loves to be with him–it’s so easy! Only three pages of dialogue to learn.
But Nick feels they are struggling to have a natural conversation with a crew of strangers listening in and filming them. He needs to know if their relationship has potential now that hometown visits are nigh. He also needs to know if her parents are rich before he agrees to meet them.
The final date card arrives, and Rachel is named. She wants to end the week on a high note, since they usually end on a drunk note. Meanwhile, Danielle is told Nick had “a fun and pleasant” day with her. “You’re fun to have fun with,” Nick tells her, sounding like a commercial for a candy bar.
Danielle reveals that she hasn’t had a serious relationship since her fiance died. The show hasn’t had a bachelorette with a dead lover since Kelsey. She nevertheless decides to lay it all out there for him. “My heart is very open to you,” she murmurs, much as one would tell a car salesman one’s mind was open to the interior protection package. She wants to take on everything with Nick, the good, the bad, even After the Final Rose. He looks impassively at her. He doesn’t see a future with her or, for that matter, much cleavage, so he must say goodbye.
“I don’t think my heart can get there,” he says, meaning he doesn’t think some other body part can. The lesson in all this is, don’t go on The Bachelor if you have any dead fiances. She returns to the room to be hugged by the remaining girls. Raven and Rachel sympathize with what a letdown it would be for any of them, while Corinne feels Nick and Danielle didn’t go well together. Relationships are like all the different flavors of Peanut Butter & Co. products. Cinnamon or chocolate are good, but not, say, sundried tomatoes.
Corinne is determined to stay. There’s only one way to ensure that, and it’s not leaving him a note signed with a smiley face. She musses up her hair, practices pouting, and sneaks out to Nick’s room. He offers her a drink and a Plan B tablet. She claims she wants to make sure he’s okay, and that she’s there for him now. “Sneaky, sneaky,” he says. It took three takes, but he eventually got it right.
We then see static shots of doors and a wine bottle while we hear audio suggesting they’re about to do it. But Nick decides they should not proceed. I thought that the moment I saw his twee striped sweater. He is afraid they will regret shtupping later, as he did in the case of Kaitlyn. Corinne should have been afraid of the crude and abusive tweets Kaitlyn got for doing that. Despite his sensible reasoning, she feels self-conscious and sad. Probably she can blame some of her discomfort on those four-inch stilettos.
Kristina and Raven still feel bad for Danielle, while Corinne is just a mess. Rachel swoops into the room, all ready for her date. Nick arrives, and off they go to have a drink in the middle of the day. He feels they need to talk about hometowns. Surely that’s not more important than almost anything else a couple should discuss before getting engaged. What if they can’t agree on chicken for the entree?
He’s nervous about how her parents will feel about his asking to marry their daughter when he has a few others on deck. The subject of her bringing home a white guy is also raised. Wow, Bachelor, edgy! Rachel feels her parents will understand that this is a white guy she’s really serious about, since she met him after being cast on a reality show. Dad will be fine, anyway, since he Googled and found that almost none of the Bachelor couples actually get married.
Despite no rose being presented until the ceremony, Rachel returns to declare the date a success, which worries Corinne even more. She grows more anxious by the moment. Vanessa is still there, Rachel is still there, and Raven has a rose. Corinne must receive one tonight to secure Nick. It’s more concerning than Michael Flynn talking to Russia before the election.
Nick must do the right thing now, he tells Chris, who agrees that’s what the script does say. Nick heads over to the villa, causing gasps among the girls, mostly because he’s never seen any of them without make-up before. He asks for Kristina. He’s probably decided he doesn’t want to spend a month in Moscow every summer.
Kristina is distressed. She knows what’s about to happen. Nick claims there are stronger relationships “in the house,” particularly with the girls who speak English without a foreign accent. Kristina feels he didn’t give her a chance. He thinks she’s amazing, though, and starts crying again at the prospect of one fewer pairs of breasts to ogle. They hug as tinkly piano music plays her off the porch. The other girls comfort her, although I bet Corinne is thrilled. Kristina gets into the limo to go back to being a dental hygienist, which no one wants to make a reality show about.
Next week: Nick is confused. We won’t believe what he decides, or who comes back to confront him. She has dark hair, so it’s not Danielle. The drama continues next week, and in the White House every day.