It’s only the second episode of The Bachelorette, yet disturbing controversy has already snagged the participants in its sticky web. Get some Goo-Gone, because reports are that Garrett, he of the First Impression Rose, previously made a habit of liking Instagram posts that were too offensive for both Roseanne Barr and Samantha Bee. Nevertheless, the canny producers must have predicted that this particular brand of opprobrium dovetails nicely with the mood of the nation, Bachelor or otherwise. Therefore, Garrett, who introduced himself to Becca as the World’s Greatest Dad since Red Forman, is reported to have lasted at least long enough to earn sufficient roses to make up a flower girl’s bouquet.
Further exhaustive research indicates that some anonymous blabbermouth on YouTube claims he won the whole enchilada. Even worse, that means Becca agreed to be forever checking her phone for how to spell Yrigoyen. First Impression Rose people often (always?) are the chosen one, though, so this person may not Reality Steve posing as a grandmother from Mizpah, New Jersey. Maybe Season 14 will break the cycle, though, or maybe someone from the Antifa will break Garrett’s nose.
Meanwhile, it is for us to only observe and sneer.
In other news, Becca tells Entertainment Tonight, largely because no one else asked, what she dreads most about seeing happen in the final shows. While she says she’s an “open book” with her new fiance, who probably doesn’t read much anyway, she is reluctant to witness the scenes of the two final breakups. That’s even with the lighting adjusted. She explains that those encounters “have so many emotions involved.” As if the break-ups on this show are typically as stoic as Klaatu when he’s about to decimate all mankind.
Also, repeating a trope that was already tedious before “Torn Between Two Lovers” debuted 40-odd years ago, Becca claims she ultimately fell in love with two men, thus experiencing an agonizing several moments when she first read the script for that episode.
Let’s try to guess tonight who #2 will be. Will he rate being asked to helm The Bachelor in 2019, barring Canada bombing us over the latest trade tariffs? Meanwhile, ask your healthcare provider if you’re ready for the mindless simpering of The Bachelorette.
At the show’s start, Becca recalls being blindsided by Arie’s shocking rejection, but soon she will see several men take off their shirts, so it was all worth it. We are in Venice, CA, where Becca will have her first date since Arie crushed her very future with the non-chalance she uses to blow-dry her hair. The guys marvel at the mansion, and speak excitedly about getting to know Becca. Chris warns them that while Becca has a great, fun-loving personality, she will jettison any man Jack of them with the bloodless dispassion with which she clips a hangnail.
The first date is a group at a ranch in Malibu. The model, Jordan, fears no one in a contest of physical appearance. Becca will pamper the men, plying them with champagne as she tenderizes them for the kill. Yet she is flustered as they undress to don tuxes, and all that muscle and sinew and waxed flesh is bared in broad daylight. Homoeroticism, thy name is a group date on The Bachelorette.
Jordan struts his stuff. He glories in his own command of style, but then he mentions Becca wearing pantyhose and all is lost. The men line up before an obstacle course, designed to find out if they’re marriage material or just famewhores without the dignity God gave a lab rat. They must first strap on a ball and chain and drag it around, a great way to evaluate a potential life partner. Other tests involve bouquets and other cliched marital themes. Let’s see them test their ability to respond to whether that dress makes her look fat.
After some cake-eating and aisle-walking, we drag ourselves back into this century to learn the results. Lincoln wins for having the most gorgeous accent, and also for beating everyone else at running across a slippery surface. Admittedly, that part could come in handy in a marriage.
At the after-party, Becca is pleased. She likes Lincoln for more than his great bod, although he loses points with me for his gray cardigan with a shawl collar. It’s more Mr. Rogers than Mr. Right. Lincoln likes that Becca makes him feel comfortable, and brings out the best in him, which is apparently a talent for finding rings in cakes using only his mouth. The other guys think he’s fake-fake-fakety-fake, muttering their derision through $35,000 veneers.
At the mansion, the remaining guys get the one-on-one date card, which is for Blake. He gloats. Becca and Blake could be as big a hit as Mork and Mindy or Mike and Molly.
Becca meets alone with the other guys. Meanwhile, Lincoln shows off his framed photo of Becca and him at the obstacle course finish line. The men feel they are being taunted. They all react with anger and resentment, but Connor actually smashes the picture and tosses it into the pool. This explains why the Joint Chiefs of Staff should be made up solely of women.
Jean Blanc tells Becca that she is the piece of the puzzle still missing in his life. But is it a basic jigsaw with a picture of some deer in a forest, or one of those with a thousand pieces all the same color? He goes on to tell her her lips look soft, so of course, she shows him they are. He felt fireworks, but they have something to do with her Tabasco lip gloss.
Lincoln tells Becca what Connor did to his photo, not to mention adding to the work of the pool boy. She confronts his rival about it, as this kind of behavior is usually reserved for Keeping Up with the Kardashians. He realizes what a tragic mistake it was to throw something in an emotional moment, instead of being vulnerable and authentic and opening up to the other men. Jean Blanc gets the rose.
The sun rises on a new day as the men reflect on PhotoGate. Maybe President Trump will pardon Connor. Meanwhile, it’s time for Blake’s date with Becca, who is hopeful for what’s to come. They travel in a limo to a rundown area of warehouses and old-timey telephone poles. Chris is waiting for them with a sledgehammer. I was afraid he would crack one day, but I hoped not like this.
The couple are given coveralls and their own hammers before they walk inside. Various items are there, including a junker racing car and a fish tank, all things associated with her relationship with Arie. Even his proposal is shown on a bank of flat-screens. Lil John arrives to explain that they must destroy it all to help Becca make a fresh start. That didn’t work when I built a bonfire with my ex’s vintage comic book collection.
Initially hesitant, Becca finally exhilarates in the mass destruction, which should probably be perceived as a bad sign for Blake. She even decimated a tier of glasses full of champagne. Next time, maybe try some Zoloft and an inflatable punching clown. But Blake feels it was therapeutic.
That night, they go to dinner at God knows where, sitting amidst a suit of armor. Uplifted by all the expensive and needless damage she wrought, Becca regards tonight as a shining moment for her future. As for Blake, he was nervous before, but now he is confident in their relationship. Becca describes being open and ready to commit quickly with Arie, which Blake has also experienced with equally bad results. In his case, he read his ex’s text messages, which revealed that she planned to break up with him. Worse still, all her friends used smiley faces.
At the house, another date card arrives. Bitterness and regret are rampant among those left off the group date. Maybe they haven’t cleaned the broken glass out of the pool yet.
Blake and Becca regale each other with memories of meeting each other for a full four minutes on After the Final Rose. He gets the current rose, and says dreamily, “Tonight is the beginning of our love story.” He must not know how the book ended.
The next day’s group daters rush from the house to climb aboard a yellow school bus. Becca is waiting in a field, clad in tiny silver shorts that look like something a former Roller Boogie fan sold on eBay. They go inside to a gym, where a bunch of kid slam the men with dodgeballs and scream orders at them like phys ed teachers from your nightmares. The men use Becca as a human shield. “Today is all about being silly,” Becca insists. I thought the whole franchise was about that.
Later they’ll play the game before an audience, while wearing hot pink or neon green uniforms. Nowadays dodgeball is less threatening, with an inflated bouncy court and padded walls. Probably no one gets bruises the size of grapefruits, either. Kids today are such wusses. Leo explains that winning comes from your heart, not brute strength or strategy. He is taken down posthaste. The green team wins, as do Crest WhiteStrips shareholders.
At the after-party, the winners’ trophy is displayed without provoking rancor. These guys can learn from experience at least as well as my dog. Becca sits with Garrett, who loves getting to know her and having the opportunity to guess her her bra size just by looking. She finds him attractive, too, but her body language with Leo is not so comfortable, possibly because he has nicer hair than her.
Becca discusses with Wills how her parents were a team, which is what she wants in a marriage, although probably with the husband remaining alive for longer than hers did. His parents have been married almost 50 years, a fact which compels Becca to gasp as if he’d said they were time-travelers from the Napoleonic Wars period.
Now Colton must reveal something important: He had a relationship with Tia, also a bachelorette from Arie’s season, who is Becca’s friend. Can Becca cope with the startling news that cast members from a franchise may spend time together off the air? Did Tia never mention it? How close could they be?
Becca doesn’t know how she feels about it, although she admits being a little bit sick, which may just be Colton going a little heavy with the hair product. Becca’s overwhelmed, as if Colton had been dating a 9-11 truther. Who else is lying to her, she wonders. I suspect the stylist.
Becca ruminates over all the emotions and drama she is enduring, which should eclipse our concern that Puerto Rico still has no power and the US has the highest infant mortality rate in the developed world. She questions whom she can trust, since the scriptwriters are obviously holding back. To find the truth, she presents her cleavage at the cocktail party. She wants clarity after such a difficult week. She hasn’t yet seen the country’s week.
Clay plays football with her, and she yuks it up mindlessly with some other guys. Connor apologizes for his terrible behavior. As penance, he asks Becca to smash a picture of himself into the pool. She really buys that violence is productive. Jordan wants to distinguish himself as something other than a self-aggrandizing, clueless airhead, so he strips down to his briefs to show off his bod. This should end well.
Resolute in his near-nakedness, Jordan marches over to seize Becca from another conversation. He tells her he’s spontaneous, although he always makes sure his hair is on point. He also wants to have a “mini-me,” a little Jordan just like himself, but likely with more body hair. Disgusted, David asks the camera if Jordan’s here for the right reasons. Only if this is a sperm bank.
The other guys call the model out. He steadfastly resists their judgment. They argue over the pronunciation of “disingenuity,” although they mean disingenuous. It’s a teaching moment, as Valerie Jarrett would say, only she would suggest we are learning to stop watching this idiotic show.
Back to Colton and Tia. Becca has not reached clarity on this topic. He wants to reassure her that he’s here for the right reasons, and will not strip down to his boxers before the Fantasy Suite. But Becca is still struggling with this thorny dilemma. She is conflicted about wanting to get to know him, but being unsure he’s committed to, I guess, not cheating on her with other bachelorettes? What is the big deal? Men used to marry their sister-in-laws after their wives died and no one batted an eyelash.
Time for the Rose Ceremony, Becca feels confident in her decision, despite how difficult this week was. Wherever Melania is, I hope she’s watching. The first rose goes to Chris R., followed by Jason and John. Next come Clay, Mike, and Connor. After them are Leo, David, and Gary (Cary?). Jake, Brian (Ryan?), and Christon also get roses. Jordan is fuming by now, but he gets a rose, too, even though she can’t clip it to his naked chest. Lincoln earns the next rose, and now one remains. Will Colton stay? Yes! Because Tia can tell Becca how he is in bed, and if it’s bad news, she can throw him off next week.
Alex is bummed and near tears, but probably because he owes back taxes. The others toast to next week, when sports will be played, dancing will happen in empty rooms, and The Tia Situation will be addressed with the woman herself present. Jordan will continue to be the villain, perhaps delivering a telegram to Becca’s father in Vienna.
See you next week!