The Best ‘Bachelor’ Recap You’ll Ever Read: The Queen’s Gambit

Welcome back, friends, to your regularly scheduled Bachelor recap! I wish I could say that the most outrageous thing to happen over the last seven days was a sexually liberated millennial brandishing a giant sparkly dildo within 20 feet of Chris Harrison, but, you know, the coup. Despite the chaos our world is falling into, I’m still here, I’m still persisting. By “persisting” I of course mean that I’m half a bottle of Charles Shaw deep and have spent the last seven days Googling pictures of Matt James’ abs to keep up morale. We all do what we can. 

Last week The Bachelor started off with a bang, and I do mean that literally. Matt James spent his first two hours as ABC’s leading man being utterly delightful and setting off a chain reaction of female orgasms across the country after his rose ceremony prayer. Two seconds into this week’s episode and I can already tell that ABC is going to be capitalizing on that energy for this week. Before we can even transition into any dates we’re treated to at least five minutes of b-roll of Matt James reenacting every hot guy dating app profile pic in one morning. He’s on the Peloton, he’s doing sit-ups, he’s caressing his happy trail in the shower, he’s walking through fall foliage, he’s trying out some knits. I can only assume that a shot of him reading a devotional in only a towel will be on the agenda for next week. 

Bri’s One-On-One Date

Matt James and Bri

The first one-on-one date is awarded to Bri, and is it just me or do they already look like a couple? Or at least like two people who would look great together doing an unboxing video. Matt says he hasn’t gone on a date in “forever” and I guess we’re just not counting the month-long bacchanalian orgy that was the Quarantine Crew? Come talk to me when your last interaction with the opposite sex involves thanking your local grocery store cashier as he reaches around the plexiglass to put your change in your double-gloved hand, mmkay?

Oh, good. It seems Victoria is going to continue with this persona of a 13-year-old girl whose mother has the audacity to breathe near her in public. Carry on. 

QUEEN V:  I’m not jealous! I just, like, want that. 

YOU JUST DEFINED THE WORD “JEALOUSY”, YOU IMBECILE!!! I feel as if Victoria is the kind of girl who thinks Instagram captions count as “reading.” I tremble for the youth of America. 

Back to Matt and Bri’s date. Matt decides to take her ATVing through Pennsylvania forestry. I’m not sure what kind of girl he thought Bri was when he was planning this date, but the head-to-toe Revolve outfit she’s wearing should have been a huge indicator. Lol, Bri is equally skeptical. She’s like, “I’m glad I was able to leave an impression on him after the last rose ceremony but how was that impression… mudding??” You’re right, it doesn’t make sense!! 

BRI PRETENDING TO LOVE THIS DATE RN: 

Okay, this date is the stuff of nightmares. Not only will she be soaking that outfit with off-brand Dawn in her hotel room’s sink from now until the final rose ceremony, but he’s got to ruin her hair too?? Did anyone else see him practically give her a nuggie with his muddy fist after they took a tumble on that ATV? MATT, DO YOU UNDERSTAND THE FINITE RULES OF HAIR CARE?! DO YOU?? Honestly, I feel for this girl. 

Production must have decided that was enough emotional waterboarding of the influencer for this date, because they reward her with a Matt James hot tub soak. I love when they pretend these dates are about “making connections” rather than the thinly veiled excuse to have Matt disrobe on camera that they are.

 

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Originally, Bri and Matt had bonded over both being raised by single mothers. Tonight, we learn that Bri’s mother was actually 13 when she had her and, despite their close relationship growing up, their relationship is more tenuous now as her mother is pregnant and starting a family with someone new. This is so personal, I don’t even know what to do with this information. I’m pretty sure the most vulnerable I’ve ever been with a guy was when I told him my favorite book was a YA romantic fantasy and didn’t immediately backpedal the statement after he laughed in my face and said “no, seriously, what’s your favorite book?” Damn, this girl is BRAVE. 

Okay, I do actually really like Bri. She seems super chill and like she might actually be able to articulate her thoughts in an argument. I’m impressed with how well she carries herself, especially at her age. I’m pretty sure when I was 24 I was still blacking out at bottomless brunch and letting guys feel me up in random clubs in the Lower East Side. 

The Group Date

This week 18 girls—18!!!—are on deck for the group date. I’m sorry, but that’s a ridiculous amount of people for a group date. I’ve seen fewer girls getting packed in on a tractor for a Nashville bachelorette party. These girls are going to be lucky if Matt even says their name during roll call, let alone if they get any alone time with him! 

The women are asked to don wedding dresses for a wedding themed photo shoot, but before even half them can make it through their shoots, Chris Harrison decides to put a little twist on things. You know, if a casual fight to the death can be considered a “twist.” I guess nothing says “romance” and “happiest day of your life” like gladiatorial games.

QUEEN V: I think my team is a bunch of queens and their team is a bunch of gestures.

Yeah, and that “gesture” is the middle finger, Victoria. 

They begin this demented game of capture the flag, and I’ve seen cleaner prison riots. MJ is over there practically sharpening her shiv, Queen V is snapping wet rags in people’s faces with the full extent of her rage, and Rachael looks like she would rather die on that muddy field than lose out on any alone time with Matt. 

RACHAEL DURING THIS DATE RN:

Honestly, it’s hard to tell what exactly the objective of the game is, because it just looks like full-on mayhem. At some point Chris announces that the red team “wins” and we all just accept this to be true even though I could not tell you how that outcome was determined. Anything to stop Victoria’s blood-curdling battle cries from rupturing my eardrums through this screen. 

The rest of the group date progresses pretty uneventfully. The high points of the evening include a sweet moment between Lauren and Matt. She tells him that she’s looking for a “man of God” when it comes to her future husband. Funny, I didn’t realize men of God are usually so chill with practically flashing their pubic hair every week on national television. Low points of the evening include literally any frame with Queen V in it. At one point she calls Matt a “prize” and then looks at him like he’s a tiger she considered bidding on from the Tiger King park’s eBay page. 

QUEEN V: *opens her mouth once*
MATT: Can I take you back upstairs?

AHAHAHAHAHA. Honestly, never in Bachelor history have I seen the lead escort one of the girls out without being interrupted first. Conversation with her must feel like it’s own ring of Hell. 

 

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I mean, his eyes say it all. 

Sarah’s One-On-One Date

Sarah gets the second one-on-one date of the week, and I’m a little shocked there’s not a second group date. I guess after watching an angry mob of his would-be-wives perform illegal wrestling moves in a mud pit, Matt had seen enough. 

Here’s another date that’s straight out of one of my anxiety-riddled nightmares. Matt decides to test Sarah’s trust in “the process” by seeing if she’d willingly climb into the world’s jankiest airplane. They aren’t even properly shut in! It’s all open air! I’ve seen rural carnival ferris wheels that have more safety precautions than this contraption! 

Sarah’s like, “this is a first date for the books!” and something tells me that the craziest date she’d ever been on prior to this involved half-priced fondue night at The Melting Pot.

Okay, can we stop labeling people a “slow start” just because they don’t want to go public with their deeply personal sh*t? I’m all for people being vulnerable, but you shouldn’t be penalized for not baring your entire f*cking soul to a person you’ve known for all of three hours on national television. I barely want to give a guy my last name after a first date, let alone launch into a detailed account of my intimacy issues. 

MY ROOMMATE: Is he wearing another turtleneck?
ME: He loves a turtleneck.
MY ROOMMATE: I wish he would unzip it a little bit… 

Don’t we all!!

And as it turns out, Sarah does have some deeply personal sh*t that she seems less than forthcoming about sharing on national television. We learn that Sarah’s dad was diagnosed with ALS a few years back and his health has been progressively declining ever since. She even quit her job as a broadcast journalist to be his caretaker. Considering I still throw a fit when my dad suggests I pay for my car insurance, I can’t imagine what she’s going through. Matt takes all of this news in stride and asks what he can do to be a better partner for her. I’d say for starters he could get rid of the 25+ other women he’s dating, but it was sweet of him to ask all the same!

For her honesty, Matt rewards Sarah with the date rose. Honestly… I don’t see any sparks between the two of them, but it’s not like he could send her home after an admission like that. I’m interested to see how long she stays in this game. 

The Rose Ceremony

Going into the rose ceremony tonight, there are still half a dozen girls who didn’t get any date time with Matt this week. Oooh. While I’d love to spend an appropriate amount of time talking about this or even swooning over Abigail and Matt coming up with their own secret code signals, I think we have to talk about the main event of the evening: the showdown between Queen V and Marylynn. 

First, I’d like to say that Marylynn is an easy target. You don’t have to be an “empath” to see that she’s the weak one in the pack. She starts off the cocktail hour by crying to Matt about her insecurities. He does his best to placate her. And by that I mean he picked a random decorative flower off the nearest coffee table and said it was for her. Smooth. 

Victoria sees Marylynn experiencing an ounce of happiness and does a truly amazing job at sabotaging it. She tells Matt that Marylynn was “bullying” her, so much so that she was forced to sleep on the couch. Technically she did sleep on the couch, but it was less because of any sort of altercation and more because she got too drunk and wanted to give her roommate the cold shoulder, much like my dog does after I watch this show every Monday night. 

I think her story would be more believable if she didn’t show up to the rose ceremony looking like she shot herself with a tranquilizer gun first. Girl, you look a MESS. Not only is her eye makeup a straight-up crime, but TSA would flag her for those bags under her eyes.

 

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Okay, Queen V is UNHINGED. Like, what deserted island did ABC find her on? Marylynn attempts to apologize to Victoria, only to be SHUT DOWN by a woman with half her bra falling out of her dress. Can you imagine? I think if I were Marylynn and someone asked me how this feud started I would just gesture wildly to Victoria. I mean, whose account of events seems more trustworthy? Marylynn’s or a girl who looks like she was the result of a SheShed seance gone terribly wrong?

Before we can find out who will be the last girl standing at the rose ceremony (spoiler: it has to be Victoria, sorry but she’s contractually obligated to be in at least five episodes, mark my words), things come to a sudden halt when Sarah stumbles off stage. She dramatically whispers “I’m seeing stars” before a production intern screams to get a medic. Did she have one too many vodka crans during the cocktail hour? Did Queen V discreetly shoot her with that tranquilizer gun? Only time will tell, my friends! Until next time!

Images: ABC / Craig Sjodin; ABC (2); giphy (3); @shesallbach, @bachelornation, @tvgoldtweets /Instagram (3)