The Bachelorette 2017 Episode 2 Live Blog and Recap

Memorial Day is a fitting time for Rachel to send more defeated men home from the bloody battle for her hand in marriage. Both this season’s first solo date and the first two group dates are featured tonight, not that you were expecting the season’s first semiotics conference. An ominous report
reveals that one bachelor will betray her, and it’s not Chris Harrison. It’s only fair, though, since she betrayed the audience by keeping Wah-boom Guy around for another week.

Even more disturbing than the heartbreak of a defiled trust is that Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis appear on this episode. They’ll judge an obstacle course challenge that involves diapering and table settings. They only ever went to beach resorts on The Dating Game.

What’s more, either Rachel got the space between her front teeth fixed, or ABC has no compunction about blatantly photoshopping publicity stills. Fortunately, they have not yet stooped to lightening her skin.

With only 23 guys  left to separate from the chaff, it’s crucial to pay attention so you can match their names with their occupations and producer-generated character profiles. Anyhoo, it starts right now. Rachel and her dog, Copper, prepare for the day by running outside. I hope she brought plastic bags.

The guys discuss how much Rachel has to offer in smiles, beauty, and sexiness. Chris hopes they’re all there for the right reasons, which include admiring her Q scores.

The first date card invites Dean, Jack, Jonathan, Blake, Iggy, Kenny, Fred, and Lucas. They drink a toast to group dates. They arrive in the limo to find Rachel barbecuing, because apparently crafts services has the day off. Then it’s time to emulate the Kennedys by playing touch football while complaining about the flaws of the other people present. (Update: They indeed photoshopped her teeth).

Now the guys meet Ashton and Mila, “the most perfect couple in Hollywood,” after Brad dumped Jennifer and Angelina dumped Brad. The couple explains that Rachel seeks husband material, not just some coiffured slacker who wants a ghostwritten blog on People. The Husband Material Challenge will test whether the guys can handle every-day things that come up in  marriage, like Kimmel guest spots and having your  Neil Lane diamond appraised for the homeowners insurance.

The first task in the course is diapering a plastic baby, which will not pee on them or wriggle so much that poop smears their legs, so it’s not an accurate skill  assessment. Next they must don a Baby Bjorn and insert the doll correctly. Several grab the baby by the neck, while others squash it in so low an actual baby would suffocate. Following that is vacuuming along a stretch of ground. Where is the vital challenge of restocking the wine fridge and paying $750 for 800-thread-count Egyptian cotton sheets from Pratesi? Next they must set a table properly, but not so properly that they need grapefruit spoons and finger bowls.

Lucas wins, but he has a white baby in his Bjorn, so he needs to work on his understanding of genetics. Afterwards, Rachel describes her enjoyment of the day. The challenge was revealing in how it showed her which men can push a wheeled metal object 30 feet after giving a doll Shaken Baby Syndrome.

She wants to talk with Lucas first. He says he will do whatever it takes to win, which seems more menacing than devoted. One of the other guys tells the rest of the group that Lucas is not there for the right reasons. In fact, he has no commitment to running a Dirt Devil outdoors.

Rachel explains that she is very traditional about romance, and wants the guy to make the first move. Unfortunately, she’s finding the conversations mundane tonight, so any first moves will have to be physical or financial.

Back at the house, Peter gets the first solo date card. He’s pumped! It’s going to be awesome! He’s the one with the gift for oratory.

Blake is determined to tell Rachel that Lucas, whose ex-girlfriend is his roommate and probably also a former contestant on Survivor, that Lucas just wants exposure. Someone always talks trash about someone else on this show, yet the tactic never impresses anyone but Reality Steve’s commenters. He then tells Lucas he’s sick of him promoting his wah-boom. Lucas is sorry that Blake does not have a wah-boom himself, as are we all. Maybe the Shark Tank people would like wah-boom. How many units has he sold this fiscal year?

Dean and Rachel discuss how great it was to have Ashton and Mila as mentors. She probably wished she had Denny Crane as her mentor during law school. They have a good time during their 30-second chat, and she declares Dean”a complete breath of fresh air” for her. Later he regrets not going in for a kiss when he had the chance, and also for not diapering quickly enough to win the challenge.

Kenny sits with her next. He’s a pro wrestler, which made him intent on setting a table at record speed. His daughter is very important to him, which Rachel appreciates as if it were rare for a person to be fond of their own offspring. Kenny’s just looking for what’s real. He better not check her publicity stills.

Time to present the rose to Dean, who flashes his giant teeth in pleasure. He walks her to the limo and gets his kiss. She thinks it was passionate, sweet, gentle, and sincere. Wah-boom!

DeMario is determined to win Rachel’s heart, a theme that has been hammered since the first minutes of this episode and therefore broadcasting a fail. Meanwhile, Peter and Rachel drive to a hangar to board a private jet. Rachel reveals that her best friend is coming with them. A limo pulls up and out pops Copper the dog. I hope he didn’t throw up on the way over. He seems to like Peter, and not only because the crew rubbed him with Snausages before he left the mansion.

They arrive at Bark Fest, a giant party for canines. For the first time, I wish I were on The Bachelorette. Rachel appreciates that Peter enjoys dogs, and that he also has a space between his front teeth. The date is going so well that Rachel wants to get to know Peter on a deeper level, perhaps even going as far as discussing their political views and preferred Starbucks coffee drinks.

The next group date card has arrived. It includes Will, Diggy, Alex, Adam, Lee, Matt, DeMario, and some others I missed because I got distracted by the ugly decor in the mansion.

That night, Peter and Rachel bring Copper to dinner. But before he gets the rose, she needs to know more about him. What do his parents think of all this? They support him, he says, largely because they can’t afford a new water heater. Peter acknowledges their common tooth issues, and explains why he didn’t get braces as kid. She feels closer to him now that she knows his orthodontic history. Next they cover previous broken relationships, and he reveals how therapy helped him recover. She also got therapy after a break-up! And she likes soy lattes with a caramel shot, too! Peter earns the rose, and they kiss as fireworks explode. I hope this means Dean and Peter punch each other out later.

The next day, we’re on a basketball court, where Rachel is wearing black leggings that fit, one guy notes,  “like a Coca-Cola bottle.” Is that a unique metaphor or just more product placement?  DeMario feels confident he can ace this challenge. He never saw it coming.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar joins the group to coach them. Apparently, writing op-eds for Time doesn’t pay the mortgage. Rachel is keeping an eye on DeMario, who appears cocky. Kareem tells them they did a good job, except for the ones who stunk. They must now go to the locker room and prepare to play in front of spectators. Several men appear daunted, despite the fact that they’ve been dating before spectators all this time. Worse, Adam’s doll is in the bleachers.

Nobody is scoring, so nobody will score. But Rachel sees character, integrity, and cooperation in their game play. I see a bunch of sweaty guys jumping around uselessly., which is why I would never be selected for The Bachelorette or for that matter, Jeopardy! DeMario is putting on a good show, so Rachel is impressed. Athletes are her weakness. Maybe she should have been on Juan-Pablo’s season.

After the game, a woman approaches Rachel and asks to speak with her. It only took two takes to make it appear like it really happened that way. She explains that DeMario was her boyfriend for seven months before he disappeared. It sounds like an episode of The Incredible Hulk until she reveals that she saw him next on After the Final Rose.

Rachel is shocked and dismayed. She will take DeMario down like a set of curtains that clash with the new sofa. The lesson here is: Never appear on live TV when you’re sneaking around unless you know your girlfriend only watches PBS.

DeMario is pleased that Rachel has asked to speak with him privately, until he sees the girlfriend waiting to confront him in the gym. He insists to Rachel that he broke up with her, but the woman will have none of it. She swears on her father’s grave that DeMario is lying. Rachel is insistent that he explain himself coherently. The GF declares she has texts that prove her case. Don’t mess with Rachel–she knows evidentiary value. The producers know how to create drama that spans the ages.

“I’m really going to need you to get the f*** out,” Rachel tells DeMario with feeling. The camera follows her as she walks off in disgust. Chris lurks in wait to speak with her, but she’s not interested in his Designer’s Challenge platitudes. She goes to discuss the situation with the other guys, explaining that if anybody else is misleading her, they had better step forward. Even Adam’s doll is moved by her emotional plea. His fabric bleeds.

Night falls. Diggy was moved by Rachel’s pain, and wants to reassure her. It’s a great opportunity to exploit her fears and insecurities. Josiah grabs it by going all Dr. Phil on her. One reads her an inspiring meme on a card he keeps in his wallet. Another sings her a Russian folk song.  It’s changed from a dating show to The Gong Show. Everyone gets kissed.

Time to present the rose to Josiah. He showed her his protective side, so she knows he’ll be sure the current auto insurance card is always in the glove compartment.

Rain falls on the mansion, reflecting the guys’ gloomy mood over DeMario’s behavior. Not all men, you know. Pre-Rose Ceremony, Rachel reminds them that duplicity and insincerity are unacceptable, although spray tan is fine. Bryan has missed her so much that he has to stick his tongue down her throat. He wants to be her stress relief in the form of a free chiropractic treatment.

As the party progresses, DeMario returns stealthily to ask a crew member if he can speak to Rachel and straighten things out. Chris completes the final 1.5 minutes of dialogue required for him per episode to say he’ll ask Rachel about participating in this dramatic development. She considers what the script indicates, then claims she’s curious about what he might say to her. The other guys have learned of this development, and turn into an angry mob determined to kick DeMario out. This isn’t what Kareem meant by teamwork.

And thus we end the episode.

About E.M. Rosenberg 240 Articles
Favorite 40-volume series issued by Time-Life Music: Sounds of the Seventies. Favorite backsplash material: Subway tile. Favorite screen legend I pretend wasn’t gay: Cary Grant. Favorite issue you should not even get me started about: Venal, bloodsucking insurance industry. Favorite character from the comic strip “Nancy”: Sluggo, or maybe Rollo. Favorite Little Debbie snack: Nutty Bars. Favorite Monkee: Mike.