Praise be to the Lord. The Warriors swept the Cavs in the NBA Finals, so ABC is able to air a new episode of The Bachelorette tonight. Ignore any TV listings that say otherwise, as they are obviously controlled by Russian trolls acting at the behest of the Intellectual Dark Web.
Even better, now the Almighty has time to work on preserving net neutrality and ensuring insurance companies don’t deny coverage to women with menstrual cramps. I hope Becca doesn’t have that problem. She’s can’t even handle Colton briefly dating her friend of less than a year.
Now for tonight’s spoilers. First of all, those are Justin Trudeau’s natural eyebrows. They just need some product to hold them in place. Surely Jordan could advise him about that. Anyway, keeping in mind that the Daily Mail posts videos of paranormal events and is critical of Meghan Markle’s hats, the outlet says episode 3 “is due to be the most insane to date.” I doubt it’s more insane than eating haggis or naming your children Ailbeart and Morag.
The wacky limey rag reports that two guys — two! Are they putting bath salts in the mansion orange juice? — will be hospitalized, two more sent home, and the character of another called into question. Apparently bored after their lunch break, ABC released a preview for this episode showing an intense confrontation between David and Jordan. To be fair, we have yet to see Jordan confront his own reflection without angry accusations from the mirror. David casts doubt on Jordan’s intentions toward Becca, citing rumors that he’s active on Tinder and—get this—may be there just to advance his modeling career. We already know he’s not there to qualify for the priesthood.
Finally, to the surprise of no one except immigrants seeking asylum from Chris Harrison’s inane tweets, there will be two group dates and one one-on-one. Oh, to be a fly on the wall! You could leave quickly without being noticed.
We’ve got more sports events, unfounded confidence in non-existent relationships, and efforts to learn if Garrett only auditioned because he thought Tia would be the star. That seems rather a complicated means to get another date with someone whose phone number you already have.
Anyway, here we go. Rain falls on the mansion, a metaphor for both the guys’ gloomy mood and all the wet towels on the bathroom floor. Jordan is sure he’ll stay, while David makes a messy omelette, a forbidding omen. Colton recalls his and Becca’s conversations that suggest his time with her is limited.
Chris arrives to report that Becca is already having feelings for some of the guys, especially after reviewing their net worth. The group date is first, with Jordan, David, Jean Blanc, Garrett and that guy with the Eddy Munster hair. Meanwhile, Becca prepares for a visit from the other gals from Arie’s season. They will be meeting the six group daters, so watch for two of them to hook up later. Tia is, of course, questioned about Colton. She only wants that Becca should be happy. Off they go to the spa to meet the guys and secretively pocket bottles of shampoo and body lotion.
The catch is that men will be doing the pampering of the female former contestants. That should be a window into their true natures. No husband should be emotionally withdrawn or incapable of doing a gel manicure.
When he sees Tia, Colton makes a face like when you open a Tupperware expecting to reheat last night’s pad thai, and instead find baked beans dotted with mold. After Becca forgets Jason’s name, and how could you blame her, the men go off to change into outfits usually worn by Buddhist monks who work in the monastery gift shop. Colton worries some more about Becca’s concern over his dating Tia. Her grudge-holding skills make the losers of the Peloponnesian War look magnanimous.
The guys rub feet and knead shoulders while casting coy glances at the women. Again, Becca hammers on her need to talk to Tia about Colton. She’s turned this meaningless circumstance into an offense worthy of the Warren Commission. Tia confesses that all she and Colton did was kiss, although she doesn’t mention on which body parts, and claims they never discussed the nature of their relationship. Friends? Lovers? Amazon Prime members?
Becca’s angst over this nonsense is like my grandma presuming germs remained on any surface you didn’t scrub in a circular motion. The drama must be eliminated, she declares firmly. The producers beg to differ. Meanwhile, I just want to see who gets taken away in an ambulance and why. Past experience suggests it will be little more than a stubbed toe or a burning sensation when urinating.
Tonight, Becca’s primary concern remains Coltonandtiagate, but Jean Blanc smoothly whisks her away, leaving the others disgruntled. They conjecture about who will get the rose without actually considering how to earn it. Jordan recalls the epic moment when he rubbed Becca’s feet, which he believes demonstrated some kind of valuable aptitude. Jason, who gets points for valuing his time with Becca, even if she forgot who he is, makes Becca feel both comfortable and nervous around him. Either she’s bi-polar or does not know how to use a thesaurus properly.
The guys discuss Jordan’s swiping prowess with disgust. He brags about having 4,000 matches on Tinder, which only proves my thesis that millennials are shallower than a finger bowl for Donald Trump. In addition, he’s always being swiped right. I’d like to smack him left. David proceeds to enact Rule 173b in the Guidebook for Bachelor Franchise Cast Members: He uses up his time with Becca to prosecute a case against his rival Jordan.
Jordan advises David that he is fighting a losing battle against the model with the Hitler Youth haircut. “You’re a skeleton of a man,” he pronounces. David merely laughs derisively. It’s the 2016 Republican debates all over again. Jordan then sits with Becca and tells her how rough it is to be a model. He’s looking for someone with brains, likely because opposites attract. “You’re the goal,” he tells her, as if she were the cover photo for GQ. When he returns to the group, he is again confronted by David about his suspect intentions, but Jordan will not stand for it, even with Annie Liebovitz doing the lighting. This conversation is more dead-end than a cul-de-sac in the Grand Canyon.
Back at the house, Chris gets the one-on-one. He is pleased.
Meanwhile, Becca is still ruminating over Colton and Tia, much like those people who remain upset about the ’74 Pinto. She snuggles with him in a tufted leather loveseat, and asks him if seeing Tia today did anything to harm their own relationship potential. He assures her it did not. Didn’t they have this same conversation at least three times before, or am I confusing it with the exact same conversation over the previous 13 seasons? Colton doesn’t want Becca to question his trustworthiness, although I would be more inclined to question his intelligence. He assures us he’s here 100 percent for her, or maybe it’s 93 percent her and the remainder for the paycheck. Finally satisfied, she gives him the rose.
Chris and Becca go off on their date. She feels he’s confident and can go with the flow. They arrive at Capitol Records, where Richard Marx is playing the piano. He manages to greet them despite being unable to move any part of his face. He sings with Becca, whose voice sounds like tin foil being torn off the roll by someone with a respiratory disease. The couple are then charged with writing love songs for each other. Cole Porter rests easy in his grave.
Chris feels this task puts him in a fragile place, mostly because he’s barely coherent when discussing the weather. He explains that he once he wrote a letter about his feelings that he sent to his father, and Dad didn’t award him the Man Booker Prize, so it was a deeply painful experience.
Becca writes about Chris’s smile, sitting beside him, and puppy dog tails. Chris’s words are less evocative than those in a Junior Jumble, yet Becca is deeply moved. Richard puts this writing to music and performs it, instantly infringing on Chris’ unregistered copyright. The music business is so cold.
Oh, no, it’s a Special Report on the North Korean summit in Singapore! At least that relationship is genuinely dramatic. Kim Jong Un also has problems opening up and being vulnerable. The two world leaders approach each other from opposite sides like figures on a mechanical clock and shake hands, making both history and really sweaty palms. Next Chris Harrison will come into the summit meeting room to tell the two that Becca is confident North Korea will denuclearize. If things go well, we end up with the worst final two ever.
After some pointyheaded analysis by George Stephanopoulos, we return to the real conflict, which is whose names are on the group date card. Colton says they need to stay focused on their relationship with Becca, but Jordan demands to know about Tia. Who did Tia shtup to get so much attention on this season?
Chris and Becca go to dinner. She needs him to open up and be honest. Is he okay in this strange situation, she asks? It’s no weirder than devoting enough time on Tinder to collect 4,000 matches. He claims that writing about their feelings was hard, as it reminded him of his parents’ divorce when he was a child. That would have made a better song. He repeats the story of the doomed letter to his dad, which made him believe no one would ever reciprocate his love. It would just make me distrust the post office.
Becca understands and would never judge Chris, except maybe on that haircut. All is well as they dance to Richard Marx’s frozen lips singing whatever that stupid song is that you always hear in the supermarket. I’m right here waiting for this schmaltz to be over.
Later, at the mansion, there’s blood everywhere. It came from David’s face. Is this now a crossover with Botched? Working overtime this week, Chris Harrison goes to fill Becca in on the details. David is in intensive care with a “busted nose, busted face,” Chris’s clinical description of the injuries. The man merely fell out of bed and landed on his face. Where was he sleeping, on the roof?
With all the precap implications that another bachelor attacked David, or the Manson Family grandchildren have come of age, put to rest, it’s back to business. The group date is football practice to prepare to play before a live audience who had to be paid handsomely to stay in their seats. So often these idiotic challenges involve testosterone demonstrations, lots of mud, and hoarse screaming. Yenta would never rely those factors to make a shiddach. Matchmaker, matchmaker, make me a match/Show me some gall, catch a football/matchmaker, matchmaker, sort through the cast/And get me a famewhore fast. . . .
The teams are all revved up to win the game, as scantily clad cheerleaders egg them on. I don’t understand football, so all I know is they’re throwing things, dodging each other, and sweating. It’s a lot like shopping at Costco on a Sunday. Clay, the pro player, takes charge and races through the bodies clutching the ball to score a touchdown. But it appears he has broken his wrist, and must join David in begging his health insurer to cover the charges. ABC’s liability expenses must be insane.
Later, everyone troops into the party. They miss Clay, but that’s the way the wrist fractures. Becca appears to be wearing a silver velveteen bathrobe as Garrett shows her some football moves. Discussing art or literature on a date is so 2014. Lincoln and Leo spend time with Becca as Blake feels resentful. He tells her that he has feelings for her, which is exciting yet terrifying, like sighting Sasquatch on your camping trip.
All of a sudden, Clay appears with his arm in a sling. He’s thrilled to see Becca, and she greets him happily, pronouncing him brave and sweet. He gets the sympathy vote. Good strategy, Clay. He kisses her with one hand around her shoulders.
The rose goes to Clay, who feels validated and confident about the future. His wrist better recover if he makes it to the Fantasy Suite.
The Rose Ceremony weighs heavily on the men as they gather for the cocktail party. What about David? Does he get a default rose? What if his face is ugly after the bandages come off? Will ABC introduce Disfigured Bachelor? Jason applies his lips to Becca’s like they’re those little suction cups on a plastic bathtub mat.
Clay explains that he needs an operation as soon as possible. Should he leave the show now so he can recover, and ensure he can continue playing football? What if that means he misses the opportunity to be with the woman of his dreams? More importantly, what is his view on kneeling during the national anthem?
After moments of reflection, Clay chooses football over Becca. That way he gets the ring. He bids Becca a regretful farewell over tinkly piano music, then returns the rose to her. She watches him leave, admiring his broad shoulders and weeping that she will never see him naked.
No Rose Ceremony tonight. Alas, we’re stuck with Jordan til next week, when they’re in the wilderness swinging axes and light-headed from the high altitude. Just so long as no one chops off a leg.