Expect more turbulent confrontations that confuse viewers tonight than on an average episode of Don’s Lemon’s show. Lee and Kenny continue to have it out in an encounter described by imaginative ABC flacks as “compelling and impassioned.” Generally those terms are reserved for describing moments like the summation in the Scopes Monkey Trial or JFK’s inaugural speech, but okay.
The scene does offer Lee the opportunity to announce to his rival: “You’re a stack of bleeding muscle right now.” That’s more intriguing than “You have my name in your mouth,” but more believable than “Tonight, the most dramatic episode of The Bachelorette ever!”
So who gets eliminated this week, besides more of Rachel’s dignity and the mortgage on Chris Harrison’s third vacation home? We can’t predict, or at least the three poorly written sites I consulted couldn’t, since two consecutive nights of episodes pretty much guarantee a cliffhanger this evening. We’re less likely to know who goes home than the Senate healthcare bill is to be endorsed by Mother Teresa’s ghost.
We do know, however, that Jack, one of the less prominent among the macho, bickering lushes we’ve been monitoring like park rangers do bears with tagged ears, does not receive a rose on his one-on-one with Rachel. Hit the road, Jack.
Meanwhile, others wring their hands over the fact that Bryan, who grew up, went to college, and now lives in Florida, may wish to remain there. Will his commitment to giant mosquitoes and a diminishing inventory of oceanfront properties smash any hope of his marrying the Texas-born-and-raised Rachel? This agonizing conflict has ravaged many an otherwise ideal love match, such as that on Green Acres. In this case, maybe they could meet in the middle and settle in Eastern Mississippi, both of which need both lawyers and chiropractors. That is, unless the country ends up without courts or medical care for citizens with less than $5 million in assets. Then they could appear on DWTS.
We open with the usual unremarkable recaps as Chris gushes about more bland and predictable nonsense to come. “Jealousy. . . ego. . . all in the name of pursuing Rachel’s heart,” cries Chris ardently. People who need to buy human organs on the black market are less histrionic.
The episode opens with Kenny and Lee stepping outside as the other guys watch with feigned concern. Meanwhile, Bryan and Rachel sit in a docked boat and talk passionately about how great the other one is. It’s like me comparing Aerosoles sandals on Amazon.
Kenny resents Lee saying mean things about him, then calls him a “disingenuous snake.” Lee accuses Kenny of being violent, then tries to provoke him with more insults. “Bye, Snakey!” Kenny taunts, walking away triumphantly. It’s not exactly the Nixon-Kennedy debate.
It’s time to present the rose. Rachel gives it to Bryan, of course. After she bids the losers good night, Kenny compliments Bryan on not being a “bitchass dude.” He follows up with more delightful insults to Lee. I’ve seen junior high school girl slumber parties that were less passively vicious.
Still in South Carolina, Rachel will have her last one-on-one this week, with the dull, walking Lumineers ad, Jack. They ride a horse-drawn buggy while acknowledging how much they have in common besides being willing to appear on reality shows. They’re going to shuck oysters, just the kind of relaxing dating activity anyone who’s a professional fisherman enjoys. Then they take dancing lessons.
But Rachel feels there’s something missing, despite all the time they’re spending among huge crowds with cameras pointed at them. Jack seems to believe everything is cool because he thinks Rachel’s so beautiful and he wants to kiss her. Who needs conversation? Just spend your life with the cover of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue.
Night falls, and the guys are still pointlessly hashing out the Kenny-Lee conflict. Dr. Phil has less emotionally confused guests on his show. Will explains to Lee that there’s an issue with idly calling a black man aggressive or violent. Lee seems oblivious, but it might be all the liquor. “I don’t understand the race card,” he mumbles. Most people don’t understand Lee’s choice of haircut.
Now it’s dinner time for the daters. Jack is shocked at how strong feelings can develop so quickly, especially without pharmaceuticals. But nothing signals a Bachelorette who’s not interested more than wearing a gray cardigan to a romantic dinner. Rachel says today was all about finding out more about Jack, whose single-tone sculpted hair recalls the darkest days of G.I. Joe history. He tells her happily about those rapidly developing feelings, which he’s felt from the moment they met and even a little during his audition.
But Rachel isn’t feeling the passion. It gets worse when he suggests the best way to spend time together is lying in bed doing nothing. At least offer to make it when you get up, Jack.
He’s clearly convinced he’s getting the rose, but Rachel explains she just doesn’t feel a connection with him, probably because it’s hard to get close to an android. Piano music broadcasts Jack’s scripted internal agony, as his face apparently cannot. She offers to walk him to the Limo of Regrets.
As she gets dressed in a clingy number with a thigh-high slit, Rachel notes that she’s looking for a husband, not a friend or a pair of Spanx. They all gather for the Rose Ceremony. The men are solemn, worried because Rachel has canceled the pre-party. Will there be hors d’oeuvres afterwards instead?
The first rose goes to Eric, followed by Peter. Adam gets one, too, and he’s relieved because Rachel has only snacked on him when he wants to show her the whole kitchen. He must have an impressive faucet. Will gets the next rose, then Matt and Alex. After them comes Josiah, Anthony, and Kenny. Lee makes a face as the last rose glows alone on the table. Tension mounts amid mad tweeting around the world, some even about politics and sports, before Rachel gives it to Lee. Hardly unexpected, since Kenny isn’t bleeding yet.
Iggy and Tickle Monster depart mournfully, off to sign their contracts for Bachelor in Paradise. Everyone else is going to Oslo, Norway, which offered the best group discount plus free warm socks for all the cast and crew. Lee probably won’t understand the Scandinavian card either.
A little animated airplane indicates how they flew across the ocean to reach the country where brave children transported gold bricks on their sleds to be smuggled out of a the country by ships during the Nazi occupation. That was a much better book than Trista Sutter’s.
The guys find their suite satisfactory, a.k.a. “dope” and “insane.” I hope the proprietors are familiar with current American slang. Kenny believes he’s left the Lee drama behind, but the producers have not.
The day starts off with a one-on-one for Bryan. Dean suggests he might not come back, that Rachel will send him packing. Oh, Dean, you poor dear.
Rachel explains that she and Bryan have the physical connection, but still need to work on the emotional one, not to mention the financial issue since no way a chiropractor makes as much as an attorney. They ride a cable car to see the best view in Oslo, which apparently does not include the bridge where the guy in The Scream was standing.
Rachel tells Bryan they’re now going to rappel down to the ground, which should really cement their mutual hatred of the producers. Also, their hardhats seem like gratuitous protection for a fall from 300 feet.
Bryan is so supportive, though, Rachel enthuses. It’s not as if he designed the hooks they’re relying on not to die. Despite the fact that she finds his confidence sexy, she still thinks he’s too good to be true. How is he still single, she wonders, not unreasonably. I say Google the hell out him stat.
Meanwhile, Eric wonders to Anthony if dating “brothers” just isn’t her choice, since she seems to prefer the paler-skinned contestants. Anthony disagrees, pointing out that she sees them all as individuals, not Live at the Apollo.
As they go to dinner, Rachel fears her relationship with Bryan is not solid, and she may be hurt if she opens up to him. They discuss former relationships as if they were experiences at restaurants they’ve reviewed on Yelp. Bryan reassures Rachel that he understands her concerns, and there’s nothing to worry about. He is, in fact, as great as he appears to be, giving hope to everyone suspicious of Justin Trudeau. Rachel is ready to kiss Bryan some more, and then he gets the rose. They’ve taken their relationship to the next level, hopefully not the G Deck on the Titanic.
The next group date includes everyone but Lee and Kenny, who realize now that one of them is doomed. It’s just like wearing a red shirt on Star Trek. Kenny hopes to re-establish his connection with Rachel during the date. Lee uses the time to buff his cowboy boots. Bryan advises Kenny that if Lee causes problems, then Kenny should be the bigger man. He certainly has the bigger biceps.
The group daters will play handball, a popular pastime in Norway since they can’t hunt moose year-round. It’s different from handball here, but I’m hardly one to judge since for years, I thought the Jets played baseball. The guys don skin-tight rompers, and hopefully, heavy-duty cups. Rachel is impressed with how well they’ve adapted to running around a court flinging a ball at a net.
Lee’s strategy for his date is to make a strong impression, as if nobody has noticed him up til now. Kenny is convinced that Rachel already knows which is the better choice between a man and a snake, especially if the snake is an unheard-of country singer.
“We’re at the point where things are starting to turn,” Rachel remarks before the group date after-party. It’s important to use this opportunity to really get to know these guys. Of course, she said that at the previous six parties, but it’s not like she actually does get to know anyone at these things.
Will gets a good review and some kissing. The next guy (Alex? Matt?) reads her a sonnet of his own writing that she seems to enjoy. Josiah points out how glad he is to see her happy, and that her beauty radiates from her core. He believes she is the woman for him. An unimpressed Rachel counters that he never asks any questions about herself. He replies that he loves that she’s so perceptive. Nice try, Josiah, but Rachel ain’t buying.
Meanwhile, Kenny and Lee learn that their fate is indeed sealed, as their date card reveals that one of them will be a goner after the two-on-one date.
Back at the party, Rachel feels that Peter “gets” her, and not just her orthodontic issues. They retreat to a patio to make out. He says he wants to stop so they can talk more, but instead they strip and climb into the hot tub where they can make a connection of another kind.
Time to present the rose. Peter worked hard to earn it, but it goes to Will. Rachel says she saw a different side of him today, and not just the one sticking out of his romper. At least Eric can stop being so suspicious.
The next day, the guys ponder over who might be sent home on the remaining date. A helicopter approaches to collect the two going on the date. Rachel says the day is about what each man has with her, and if they can build on it. The scenery is fabulous, so it’s not a total waste to watch what comes. The copter sets them down in a field, but why Rachel is wearing a parka and scarf while the guys just have on lightweight shirts is not explained. Maybe it’s easier to punch someone.
Rachel decides to talk to Kenny alone first. Lee can’t even use the time to write a song about a Norwegian wood. Sadly, Kenny is compelled to talk about how awful Lee is. Rachel feels he is fighting for their relationship, though. He’s always fighting in some way.
Then the two men sit together awkwardly while Rachel is somewhere else. Lee thinks Kenny believes he’s “got this thing wrapped up.” But Lee’s in it to win it. When he’s cut, he’ll say we haven’t seen the last of him. He’ll open his food truck come hell or high water.
Sitting with Rachel, Lee immediately attacks Kenny as a violent, aggressive jerk. Rachel is appalled. “But it’s only when he drinks,” Lee assures her. She is getting two different stories from these guys, and the scriptwriters aren’t explaining why. She asks to speak again to Kenny. Lee isn’t worried, though.
She tells Kenny that Lee said he basically assaulted him, and has a dark side, probably his left one. Kenny angrily denies it and says Lee is lying to her. We’re back at square one. Why doesn’t she just watch the footage?
Kenny calls Lee a short-stack Southern piece of garbage. He could have written for Rickles. Laughing maniacally, he returns to confront Lee there in the frosty wilderness where once Vikings roamed and now elk nibble the green grass the grows upon the majestic slopes. The show ends abruptly as Chris yells that the scene leads to the shocking conclusion of an unforgettable Bachelorette week. Rachel cries, Kenny bleeds, and Chris earns more than I make in three years. See you tomorrow!