This episode precedes the State of the Union address tomorrow night. Thus the nation has back-to-back opportunities to watch artless, inarticulate reality show stars betraying a bunch of over-expectant people who rely on them for a happy outcome. Tonight, though, we present the opposition’s response to The Bachelor simultaneously.
Foreshadowing many disgruntled Democrats’ behavior tomorrow night, Krystal will boycott the cocktail party to indicate her resentment at the circumstances post-group date. She’ll be outside the mansion with a sign that says “Make Arie Pay Attention to Me Again.”
Chelsea goes on the first one-on-one in Fort Lauderdale, while Tia and Arie ride an air boat through the Florida swamps for their date. The swamp part sounds like many of my dates, only they were in New Jersey. Both gals reveal troubling details from their pasts, which was November of 2015, possibly endangering their chances of moving ahead in the competition. We can likely presume neither of them fired the deputy director of the FBI in a fit of rage.
So you won’t be overcome by shock at the unpredictable finish to at least one of those dates, prepare for it to end with dinner in some odd historic location, followed by the couple being serenaded by an unheard-of winner of another reality show.
The group date involves two teams going bowling. That seems far tamer than last week, when everyone was forced to eat maggots, although it could be more disgusting if they’re asked to have hot dogs from the concession stand. Not to mention, the compulsory shoes will ruin everyone’s outfits.
The show opens with the usual conglomeration of pre-caps showing indignance, sniveling, and Arie macking on various sets of lips, supplemented by beach scenes. Arie speeds to the scene in a sleek black convertible, like the opening credits of a poor man’s Miami Vice. The gals squeal at their penthouse accommodations before resuming their worry over capturing Arie’s affections. He arrives to visit with them and say “awesome” several times. He also asks Chelsea to go on the date with him. Did they run out of those little note cards, or did the license run out on the quirky handwritten font?
The couple boards a huge yacht, complete with hot tub and champagne. Back at the penthouse, the gals are concerned that they are not on the yacht themselves, even without Arie. Then Maquel returns to increase their fear of rejection. She has apparently recovered from the loss of Grampa. He was old, anyway. They all watch the yacht date through a telescope, like Rear Window only without James Stewart as the potential husband and nobody wearing Edith Head outfits.
That evening, Chelsea and Arie go to an antique car showroom, which represents. . .uh, things that have been waxed? They discuss her previous relationship, which Arie says helps him to know her better and also to know the previous boyfriend best of all. Chelsea explains that she was young and formless and easily impressed when she met him, and apparently remained that way through seven years and a baby.
Arie looks tearful as Chelsea discusses their ugly, painful break-up. “God, that must have been so tough for you,” he comments helpfully. But Chelsea assures him that her beautiful young son is something you can’t buy, unless you shop on the dark web.
Meanwhile, Tia learns she has the next one-on-one. She is overjoyed since she hasn’t considered that their couple name would have to be Tiarie or Boothyendyk. Arie presents the rose to Chelsea, telling her he loves her perspective, which is basically that he doesn’t need to spend a lot of money on her. Guys like that kind of thing, especially since the passage of the GOP tax bill. They go off to be serenaded by whoever the hell this is. It’s no Streisand and Diamond at the 1980 Grammies, that’s for sure.
“I exposed myself in such a way as I have never done before,” Chelsea marvels after the date. Wait til Arie wants her to wear crotchless underwear in the Fantasy Suite.
Time for the group bowling date. Becca unpredictably worries about getting enough time with Arie, but Krystal refuses to vie for his attention. She has too much integrity and self-respect, unlike all the other women also pretending to be sincere about finding true love on a cheesy TV show. Meanwhile, the competition between the two bowling teams “heats up” as the blue-clad girls to hammer the pink ones. It’s the opposite of the 2016 election.
The prize for the tournament winners is that they get to be alone with Arie at the party tonight. Krystal will be among them, which upsets the pink team even more. Then Arie decides it’s only fair that they’re all at the party. Those 16 seconds of tension were electrifying.
But as they return home, the girls report, Krystal goes ballistic on the bus. She will never trust Arie again; he is a liar, she proclaims ,among other disrespectful things, possibly some about Sarah Huckabee Sanders. She tells the others she will not attend the party because she wants her partner to include her in all decisions, which means if they marry, he will never wear plaid again. Bekah mocks her vocal fry, Seinne wonders how Arie will react to this unusual development, and I congratulate the scriptwriter for a slightly new angle.
Arie arrives to the party to be immediately informed of Krystal’s absence. To be fair, it’s hard to notice when an empty space is missing. He decides to go talk with her. Everyone else is frustrated that Krystal always gets her way, which makes you wonder why she didn’t change her name to something not from an 80’s night-time soap opera.
Arie approaches the unlocked hotel door and enters Krystal’s room, followed closely by a crew and cameras. She explains that she’s hurt because he changed his mind about the party attendees. She feels she’s been open and deep and raw with him, like a severe rug burn, so she resents that she doesn’t get to spend more time with him. Arie scolds her for being a moron who doesn’t realize that avoiding the party means even less time with him. He walks out, leaving her to think about what she’s done. He’s made it worse if she’s looking for a daddy figure.
Back at the party, the gals continue to mouth mindless platitudes at Arie that tell us nothing we haven’t seen in a Hallmark card. He declares Kendall quirky and intellectual before they commence making out. He worries about being vulnerable with the too-young Bekah before they commence making out. Becca wraps herself around his torso and says she wants to ask him so many things, but doesn’t before they commence making out.
Krystal decides things with Arie were left unresolved, so she gets dressed and heads for the party. The others are in the midst of making fun of her as she approaches. I’ve been to sleep-away camps where my bunkmates were more mature during bull sessions.
Krystal asks to say something to the women, which is that her feelings were really hurt today. I have some Syrian refugees to show her. Lauren B. becomes irritated and walks away. Bekah suggests she changed her mind just like Arie, so is she a liar? Point to Bekah. Krystal hems and haws, then appears to leave the room.
Meanwhile, Arie and Lauren go off to talk. She wants to play 21 Questions with him, starting with asking his favorite color and how he likes his eggs. While this provides scintillating insight into their deepest thoughts, I’d ask whether he’s got any STDs and if his portfolio is sufficiently diversified. After asking only three out of 21 questions, Arie awards her the rose. Becca is upset that draping her bare legs over his lap was not the effective tactic 50 Shades of Grey made it seem.
The next day, Arie is pensive over Krystalgate. But today is his date with Tia, so he must concentrate on enjoying that as they board the air boat in the Everglades. While their relationship has been building in the 37 total minutes they’ve spent together over these weeks, Tia is grateful to have the production assistant prompt her lines as she and Arie deepen their connection.
But first, they must shriek at an alligator sighting. “This reminds me that love can be scary,” Arie muses with the wisdom of a secondary character in a Bazooka Joe comic. They visit some old coot vending fried food from a shack that can’t possibly have been vetted by the health department, then sit in a porch swing and discuss how people like to go “frogging” in her home town. Love means impaling amphibians as a pastime. They kiss. “It jus’ feels normal, it jus’ feels raht,” the frog-murderer tells us rhapsodically.
That night, they toast to their amazing and briny day. Tia is scared to tell Arie her feelings, but knows she must in order to have the clip appear on people.com tomorrow. He loves that she’s very much herself, largely because she doesn’t know how to be the Duchess of Cambridge. She’s a doctor of physical therapy, though, and is happy to help patients who are not in Arkansas.
Tia asks, is a higher power is leading Arie to his fate? Or is it the producers? Finally, though, someone has brought up a topic of substance. Maybe now they’ll address whether it was Han Solo or the Rodian bounty hunter Greedo who was the first to shoot in the cantina in A New Hope.
Tia is finally able to tell Arie she is falling in love with him. He gives her googly eyes before handing her the rose. “I want you to stay you,” he says tenderly, which may spell lots of Botox in her future. They embrace under a large neon Live Bait sign.
Next, the gals head to the evening festivities, which Krystal has inexplicably joined. She explains that yesterday she wasn’t hiding; she was investing in herself and her future with Arie. Everyone looks at her like I look at that woman who reads the letters on Pat Robertson’s show. She leaves the room and they continue bitching about her. Krystal does not want them telling, or rather reminding, Arie what a clueless nimrod she is, so she confronts them.
Everyone is bored as she asks to talk with people privately about her feelings. Kendall agrees to give it a whirl. She cleverly suggests to Krystal that Arie is not the person for her if she’s going to accuse him of lying at the drop of a hair gel bottle. Tia joins them, apprently so everyone in the scene won’t be blond. Then Bekah appears to ask Krystal why she is still there. Krystal stares at her as we go to yet another cosmetic commercial. I ask myself why I’m still watching.
Jacqueline tells Arie he embraces life and has no ego. That’s what qualified him for a real estate license. Meanwhile, Krystal continues to repeat how upset and hurt she was post-bowling, and not because she drifted with her feet in the tenth frame. Bekah gives up. Krystal feels the others do not act at her level, which is heavily influenced by Megan Fox.
She yearns to tell Arie that she’s emotionally invested in him and their relationship. She is confident that will resolve all the issues, except possibly DACA. Arie tries to suggest their relationship is more advanced that everyone else’s, but her response yesterday set them back a full minute and a half. She pulls out the ol’ “I had a difficult childhood” card to defend her reaction, which only works in TV movies and the occasional aggravated assault case.
Arie reminds this annoyingly self-absorbed dimwit that life is full of conflicts and dissension, which she must be prepared to handle without a script. Instead of acknowledging his wisdom, she giggles happily that this is their first fight–even before their first comparison of drivers’ license photos.
Finally, we’re at the Rose Ceremony. What will be, will be, sighs Krystal. She may have to switch her investments to tech and healthcare. Arie first explains to Chris that he’s falling for some of the women, but has questions about the others, such as how the hell do you pronounce Marikh? The subject of Krystal comes up. Arie repeats that she’s “ahead” of the others since she met Arie’s parents. Can’t the others meet them later, or are they secluded in shame after being seen on national TV with Krystal?
The first rose goes to Bekah Sex–I mean, M. The next ones go to Seinne, Kendall, and Becca. After that come Jacqueline and Jenna. One rose remains, cruelly mocking the unrewarded from its tabletop position. Arie presents it to Krystal because the drama must continue unabated. Maybe next week she’ll call him a white supremacist.
Everyone else is angry that Krystal got a rose she doesn’t deserve. How about blaming Arie for being the dolt who gave it to her? It’s like blaming the couch cushion for my dog eating it.
Next week, Paris! France surrenders yet again.