After a week’s reprieve from watching the mindless antics of annoying single people, and also from The Bachelorette, we’re continuing to monitor Rachel’s progress in finding a guy she can take selfies with while on vacation. Let’s start with a spoiler: Supposedly, Bryan the Spanish-speaking chiropractor won. On the other hand, the same site also confidently asserts that Rachel is “looking to get married real soon as she’s never been more happier in her life.”
My neighbor down the hall thinks Rachel will go with Dean, because he has a nice smile and seems considerate of others. Then again, my neighbor down the hall uses one of those indoor peeing trays for her Great Dane.
Reality Steve originally projected Peter for the win, but has since admitted he was wrong, unlike some presidents I can think of. Meanwhile, the Magic 8-Ball says “It is decidedly so,” although that was in response to my asking if the show is as egregious an example of the decline of Western culture as I think. Indeed, these are the times that try producers’ souls.
Why does the show run from 8:00 to 10:02 PM? Can’t they afford to turn down a few more ads for tooth whitener and anti-depressants? The most likely people to be buying those products are rejected contestants from previous seasons, who are watching Bravo right now just to be spiteful.
Recaps remind us of how dull and predictable the last episode was, although it did bring us the immortal line “My name is in your mouth!” At the start of the new epi, during the pre-ceremony party, Rachel meets up with Jonathan, the tickle monster. That must get him a lot of looks on LinkedIn. Lee reveals how he enjoys pissing Eric off. The guys try to determine how to resolve the tense situation in the house, which seems to require drinking even more. Lee decides he needs to interrupt Kenny so he can speak to Rachel. He hovers around them like Joe Biden with a young woman until Kenny leaves. Meanwhile, Dean calls Lee a bitch.
Lee tells Rachel how his grandfather getting cancer “really bothered” him. Think how much it bothered the oncologist. The other men keep yapping about what’s quirky about their housemates. Nothing can excuse the quirk of that one guy’s purple jacket with a large black leaf print.
Bryan wants to talk about vulnerability with Rachel, which apparently does not mean learning whether her birth control is effective. She is scared by how charming he is. He’s too good to be true! Not according to my mother, because a chiropractor does not have an M.D. After they kiss, we return to the bickering boys. The producers ought to watch a couple of Shakespeare plays to get some ideas for more compelling dramatic conflicts. They could bring in a new audience if they portrayed Lee as Donald Trump.
Rachel can’t concentrate on the guy she’s with with all the back-and-forth going on in the other room. She’s getting irritated. Tonight was not a party, she declares, which usually have cake. Peter (Bryce? Jack?) reassures her that the artificial drama should not prevent her from moving forward. Good move, pal. Yet she still does not know how to handle the viciousness and accusations. She should read more Mary Worth.
These troubling developments have made Rachel feel the pressure of being a black woman in this position. She describes that difficult circumstance emotionally, writing a mic.com post as we watch. Even worse, her tears are wreaking havoc with her glittery lavender eye color.
Chris arrives to soothe Rachel, offering a precious portion of his three on-air minutes per show to offer sympathy and support. He then tells the guys that despite the disturbing emotion of the evening, she will participate in the Rose Ceremony tonight, much as Jackie Kennedy stood by LBJ as he was sworn in as president.
Will gets the first rose, followed by Dean and Jonathan and someone else. Sue me, I got distracted. Peter also gets a rose, as do Adam and Bryan. Next comes Matt, Josiah, and Jack. Iggy and Kenny follow, making Lee seethe. The final rose awaits. Lee gets it, of course. This kind of thing is not dissimilar to the butler doing it.
The rejects bid Rachel goodbye. Diggy is sorry he didn’t get more time with her or that cute production assistant.
Off everyone goes to a place with turtles, horses, and birds: it could be an Attenborough nature documentary or Hilton Head Island in South Carolina. Rachel is glad to have a fresh start in such a picturesque location with a cooperative tourism board. By the way, Hilton Head Island liked my tweet about that. What suck-ups.
The guys are also happy to be there to jump on the beds and scream from the balcony. The paying guests are not so happy that they’re there. The date card soon arrives, greeted by their lusty cheers. Dean gets a one-on-one, probably because he looks like a 70’s TV heart-throb before he falls prey to alcoholism.
The couple drive a dune-buggy type of vehicle to Bluffton, where they’ll have a picnic among the mosquitoes and relentless sunshine. Rachel hopes to take her relationship with Dean to new heights, which begins with a blimp sighting. They’re going for a ride in it, thanks to dedicated pursuit of a Goodyear product placement. Ironically, Dean is terrified of heights, but he is committed to making the day fun. This scene sponsored by Dramamine.
The tumescent airship approaches from above, gently and carefully, exciting Rachel. Oh, the humanity! Rachel is determined to allay Dean’s fears by seating him next to the pilot. That doesn’t allay the pilot’s fears. She approves of how well he adapts to the situation and doesn’t throw up. Dean thinks they are both people who like to do things that are scary sometimes. I hope that’s not on his Tinder profile.
Carrying the ecstatic couple, who are probably smoking a cigarette, the blimp floats by the hotel. It’s running a promo for the show on its side. This compels the guys to stop watching the game to discuss Dean’s chances with Rachel. He’s a few years younger than Rachel, someone points out, which they all see as a liability while women every where are cheering “do it for Demi!”
Back at the house, the group date is announced in a Shatner staccato by Peter. Everyone is nervous about the competitive nature of these outings, as they should be. I’m nervous about not being able to recognize one guy from another without a chyron.
Dean and Rachel will dine tonight under the trees. She is thrilled with him, but wonders if he’s ready to marry and start a family. Maybe he’s at least ready to shack up and adopt a dog. They discuss each other’s upbringing. Rachel was raised in a strict religious environment. As it happens, so was Dean. They never mention what religion, but suffice it to say the Amish don’t even know this show exists.
Cued by a mournful soundtrack, thus begins the story of Dean’s mom, who died of cancer after battling it twice. Rachel is clearly moved by the tragic moment when he learned of her death as a young teen. She emotionally thanks him for opening up and sticking to the script. He tells her he wants to be a father because his loss makes family all the more important to him. Dean rises to the top of the leaderboard tonight, but remember, next week is the paso doble.
Rachel tells us that Dean is the kind of person she wants as a partner in life, someone sensitive and thoughtful with the added benefit of being at his sexual peak at the same time she is. He gets the rose. They go off to a concert performed by some country guy named Russell Dickerson, where they dance in the dark as each declares how hopeful they are about the relationship. The scene is as predictable as me ordering the brioche bun at Bareburger. Come on, show, come up with some new cliched moments to drag out. The romance novelists have been doing it for decades.
Next day is the giant group date. Rachel is hoping that the men will leave the drama behind and have fun. They’re going on a boat ride, where they demonstrate their dancing chops. Then the shirts come off and they limbo salaciously. Next comes a push-up contest, because Rachel really wants to get to know these guys personally.
They dock as Rachel promises more intellectual pursuits to come, i.e., a spelling bee. To be fair, visiting a museum provides no opportunity for a fistfight. Chris earns some more overtime as the moderator. He probably has his eye on a Louise Nevelson piece. Rachel thinks intelligence is really sexy. She even has a poster of Stephen Hawking over her bed.
The first word, for Adam, is “squirt.” His doll does that after being in the washing machine. Since he asks for it to be used in a sentence, he loses already. Alex spells “passion” properly, while Jonathan passes with “caress.” I suspect no one will be asked to spell “nihilism.”
They give Anthony “shmuck,” which seems unfair. Kenny must spell “champagne,” which he fails to do. He usually just looks for the bunch of grapes on the box of wine. Peter’s word is “coitus,” which is used in a sentence about engaging in it with the Bachelorette. He cannot spell the word, so it’s coitus interruptus for him.
A few others mess up or manage to recall “bordeaux” from some online quiz about French words, until Josiah remains. He must spell “polyamorous.” His horsing around annoys the other guys, but he spells it correctly and thus wins. He caresses the award passionately, the shmuck.
Night falls and the group troops to the after-party. Josiah is convinced he’s the talk of the town because he correctly spelled a word that frequently appears in Juggs magazine. Peter drinks wine with Rachel first. She likes the organic nature of their relationship. He likes the kinetic element of their exchanges. Digging deep into each other’s deepest hopes and fears, they discuss preferences for wearing shoes or not in the house.
Next Rachel sits with Eric. She describes for him her typical day, which consists of watching TV and cleaning, which relaxes her. I prefer watching TV and barbiturates, but to each her own. Back at the sofa, Josiah spills wine on his crotch. Can he spell “laundry pen”?
Iggy sits with Rachel now, but foolishly uses the time to bitch about Josiah. It’s as common a blunder as failing to add acidity to your dish on Chopped. Then Iggy insists on telling Josiah what he told Rachel about him. The reaction is similar to having the Amazon delivery guy ring the bell when my dog is snoozing on the sofa.
Meanwhile, Lee raves to Rachel about how great their group date was, and how positive he himself is. That suggests his country songs aren’t going to be hits. She reminds him about the last party, when she heard him yelling at Kenny. As usual, the petty squabbles remain unresolved. Even worse, the horror that is Lee’s haircut also isn’t corrected.
Rose presentation time approaches. Will Lee get his comeuppance? Will Iggy? Can either spell “comeuppance”? Meanwhile, Kenny gets his chance to say a lot of words to Rachel that mean nothing. In fact, he freestyles at her, which has the romantic impact of sending a Hallmark card from 1964.
She likes to keep it real, though, so she brings up his fight with Lee. His point-by-point recount of inter-bachelor drama is like watching the final three minutes of a Perry Mason courtroom scene while you’re adding figures on an Excel sheet.
Kenny is disappointed that his time with Rachel was spent defending himself from charges of aggression. That often happens to me when I meet with my accountant. He confronts Lee, and they go outside, as men do in Raymond Chandler novels.
To be continued. . .and Chris says you won’t believe what happens, despite the fact that we always believe it, and are in fact quite unimpressed with it. He adds that it’ll be an unbelievable two-night drama. Two nights! Not only Kenny’s eyes will be bleeding.