Welcome back, friends, to your favorite TV recap! I don’t know about you, but this season of American Horror Story has been especially gripping. By “American Horror Story” I am not so much referring to the Ryan Murphy brainchild as I am the journey ABC is leading Rachel on. I think ABC knew when they decided to cast two Bachelorettes in one season that they had offended the universe in some fundamental way. In order to appease the gods and save our civilization from an apocalyptic reckoning, they would have to make a human sacrifice. Rachel is that sacrifice.
While Gabby and her men are deepening their connections, butchering common French, and making out in the Parisian moonlight, Rachel is in full on final-girl mode. She’s just trying to survive whatever serial killer ABC wants her to marry next—and serial killer is perhaps a kind summary of her dating pool. I don’t think Ted Bundy would have let his girlfriend be subjected to armpit smelling, nor would he have hidden his crimes behind a compelling story about his dying dog!
Last week, not only did Rachel have to put up with ABC planning “dates” that could double as peewee football league-level hazing, but she also had to deal with Hayden. You know it’s a bad season when the villain’s name is Hayden. Hayden is not the name of a guy who should have any sort of power over your self-esteem. Hayden is the name of a guy who drinks Jager exclusively, has never met a girl whose bed he didn’t urinate in, and says things like “you’re not partying if you’re not pissing!”, leading people to immediately arm themselves with holy water and garlic. And to think, Rachel, you could have just downloaded Hinge…
Though Hayden did try to use a scrapbook of his cancerous dog like a literal shield, Rachel still eliminated him before the rose ceremony. This means he’s back on these streets, ladies! Be vigilant!! If you see a guy stroking a duck paw and muttering nonsensically about “dumb bitches”, run while you can!! The condition of your mattress is at stake!!
Hayden might be gone, but the hardships aren’t over for Rachel just yet. This week, another man wants to do her dirty. Logan, who accepted her rose not once, not twice, but FIVE TIMES, wants to jump ship and date Gabby instead. Again I say, this is some final-girl bullshit. Rachel might not be running from lunatics in Halloween masks or chained to a meat grinder by some guy named Jigsaw, but what she’s dealing with is worse. Much worse. She’s dealing with average American men.
Hey, Rachel? The call is coming from inside the house, babe.
Logan Jumps Ship
Last week’s episode ended with Logan ominously saying he needed to talk to Rachel ASAP. Never mind that Rachel is about one piece of bad news away from willingly walking the plank of the Virgin Mobile cruise ship. What? Is this journey supposed to be about the Bachelorette or something? But he’s a man with feelings and very little self-control! He can’t wait any longer to express himself. Five weeks spent in the company of a gorgeous, self-possessed, pilot is far too long when you have a boner that just won’t go away.
LOGAN: *knocks on Rachel’s door*
I love that when a man shows up to Rachel’s door, her immediate response is to brace herself for disappointment. Pavlov should have done this experiment with the dog.
Also, the timing of this little confession is sociopathic. He’s knocking on Rachel’s door as she’s getting ready for a group date to tell her there’s not enough cleavage in the world to make him stay on her team. It’s like he knew exactly how to implode her whole day. If Hayden is that guy who makes out with his dog and calls you a bitch in front of your parents, then Logan is that guy who dates you for two months, ghosts you when it gets the least bit serious, and then floats in and out of your DMs the second he senses you might be happy without him.
When Rachel asks why he accepted her rose the night before (great question, Rach!), he pretends not to hear her but tells us off-camera that he just didn’t want to break her heart so soon after Hayden’s horrifying exit. Look, cut the bullshit. I’m not buying what you’re selling. This isn’t about wanting to shield Rachel. It’s about trying to advance your own agenda. You want to have Rachel’s rose and fuck Gabby too, but you want us to think you have a complex about it. At least that’s what I’m assuming all the tortured glances in the mirror are about.
I’m sorry, but are you the brooding-but-off-limits senior in a Meg Cabot novel? Are you a Salvatore brother wrestling with your totally age-inappropriate feelings for your vampire brother’s human girlfriend? No on both accounts? Well then CUT THE SHIT WITH THE LONGING LOOKS IN THE MIRROR.
Naturally, Rachel takes the news very hard, but I would challenge her to question if this is really such a loss. His job title says “videographer” which is probably code for “makes TikToks nobody asked for.” I think you may have dodged a bullet, girlfriend.
After Rachel sends him on his way, Logan wastes no time in professing his feelings for Gabby. This is how I know Logan is the kind of guy who lives his life in the cinematic landscape of his own delusions. While he’s trying to tell Gabby about his very tortured and conflicted feelings for her, he vocalizes those feelings as if he were reading straight from a Bridgerton script.
LOGAN: I was on fire for you!
On fire for you? Stop butchering the Duke of Hastings’ best lines, Logan!
Gabby admits to Logan that he was the only guy both girls were interested in pursuing. Have you ever seen a man ejaculate without even touching him? Because Logan’s face right now is making me nauseous to look at. This is the emotional handjob he was looking for when he risked
everything moderate internet shaming for love five to seven more days of cruise booze-induced makeouts. Two bachelorettes fighting over him? He’ll be rubbing one out to that for the rest of his life.
In her bedroom, Gabby gives Logan a vague answer about needing to talk to her sister-in-trauma-bonds Rachel, but I can read between the lines. It looks like good things are going to continue to happen for men who don’t deserve them. The thing is, I do think Gabby likes him. Remember that during week two she wanted to call dibs on him, but Rachel got to him first. She only stopped pursuing him out of respect for Rachel’s feelings.
That doesn’t mean that Logan won’t have to struggle. During the rose ceremony, it dawns on him that his pining and mirror-gazing might not be enough when he’s competing with guys who have had way more time building a relationship with Gabby. Or, as he phrases it: “I need to pursue Gabby in a way that’s fierce.” Dear god, he needs to stop talking. It’s like he speaks exclusively in TikTok.
But you know what? It works. It all works. Logan beats out both Michael and Mario—a guy who got Gabby’s first impression rose, mind you—for her final rose at the rose ceremony. Oh, Gabby. I was rooting for you. We were all rooting for you!
A List Of Men Who Don’t Make Me Totally Embarrassed To Claim Them As Part Of The Human Species
The rest of the episode passes by in a haze. It’s as if Rachel’s pain and Logan’s self-importance are the only narrative structures ABC can handle at the moment. I won’t bore you with the episode details. Only one of us should have to forfeit those brain cells. Instead, here’s an update on all the men who don’t make me completely embarrassed to claim them as part of the human species. This is a tentative list, subject to change at literally any moment should one of them do something weird with their hands or wear a turtleneck. Carry on.
Nate (Team Gabby): Nate and his dad energy are as strong as ever. He seems VERY in love with Gabby and it makes me VERY concerned that she is going to break his sensitive little heart. There’s a sweet moment where Gabby thinks to buy a gift for his daughter from their Belgian travels. This gesture feels huge to me. It could mean she’s already thinking about hometowns and meeting his family. Meeting his daughter! Can you imagine Gabby as a stepmom? Because I can’t. I feel like her parental duties would extend about as far as helping her stepdaughter secretly buy a thong and then hiding it from her dad.
Aven (Team Rachel): Aven got a one-on-one date with Rachel, and he didn’t totally piss me off. That’s it! Those are the notes! When they tire of looking beautiful and sucking face in front of Bruges’ most scenic and historic landscapes, he tells Rachel about his rebellious teen years and complicated relationship with his mother. (Mommy issues are so sexy.) He didn’t really need to express complex emotions for me to root for him. He already has a jaw that could cut glass and is as tall as a small building. Say less.
Johnny (Team Gabby): Johnny snags Gabby’s one-on-one date for the week. Don’t ask me for further details about Johnny, because up until this episode I wasn’t aware he was on this season of The Bachelorette. Their date involves getting drunk off of wine flights, soaking in beer baths, and spanking each other with random branches. Again, don’t ask me for further details. I went catatonic when Gabby started screaming “DO YOU LIKE THAT” at a decibel that isn’t fit for human ears.
As if to explain away the random, primitive sexual energy between the two, Johnny says that normally he isn’t that aggressive on first dates but that “Gabby just brings it out in me.” Is it really “aggression” she’s pulling out of you? Or is it just a boner?
To their credit, they do try to dig deeper with each other. Well, Gabby tries. Johnny just mumbles something about struggling with self-confidence and depression as if he didn’t Google “manliest mental health struggles” right before this date. I’m only saying that he seems just as surprised as Gabby does at the words coming out of his mouth. Overall, they’re fun to watch, but I don’t see them going all the way.
Tino (Team Rachel): Tino is a god among men. Every week he makes me reevaluate my dating strategy (smothering my homicidal rage towards men while willing an Emily Henry book boyfriend into existence), because he continues to be both hot and heartfelt. Those two traits should seemingly not exist together in one human male without some sort of apocalyptic fallout—but they do in Tino! Every week, he shows up for Rachel and reminds her that not all men are trash. Only most of them.
During the group date, Rachel tells the men about Logan’s switching teams and then, in a very low, heartbreaking moment, offers to let them all switch to Gabby’s side if that’s what they want. She doesn’t say it angrily or even sarcastically. She means it genuinely. She doesn’t think any of the guys are here for her anymore, and it is harrowing to watch on screen. But Tino is there to pick up the pieces, and it is adorable.
TINO: I’ll take any piece of you any day
MY COLD DEAD HEART:
Those are all the men who don’t suck, which brings us to Erich—the only guy to blow as hard as Logan this episode, as far as I’m concerned. Erich, whose name is a phonetic abomination, is going to fuck up Gabby’s happiness, I just know it. He doesn’t get much air time this week, but that doesn’t stop him from taking a grenade to his own edit. He’s pissed that Gabby let Logan stay on. He’s pissed that he didn’t win the group date rose. He’s so pissed that he says on-screen, as if his whole stupid life isn’t being recorded, that he doesn’t know where he stands with Gabby, but “I don’t need to be here eight more weeks just to see what happens.” Dude, you have a MULLET. You’re lucky anyone allows you to be here for eight more weeks.
And that’s all she wrote, kids! Next week, the gang is off to Amsterdam, and I didn’t miss the way all the guys’ eyes lit up at that announcement. Well, all the guys except for Michael, Mario, and Meatball, who will not be returning next week. Also, I hate to break it you, boys, but you aren’t going to Amsterdam to watch live sex shows and get high. You’re going there to humiliate yourselves at various historic landmarks. Do not be excited.
Images: ABC/Craig Sjodin; ABC (1); Giphy (4)
Welcome back to the best Bachelorette recap you’ll ever read! When last we left off, the ladies had just been served a slice of humble pie. Well, not so much “served a slice” as had the entire thing slammed in their faces repeatedly by a guy in a man bun who lives life nipples first, but you get the gist. It’s clear now that the inmates are fully running the asylum. More than that, the Bachelor producers are totally fine with the foundation of this show crumbling to the ground so long as enough chaos (and tears) ensues in the process. Ladies, repeat after me: men. ain’t. SHIT.
Speaking of men and shit, apparently Meatball gets to live another day on our television screens! What a treat! I was just thinking that a guy whose entire personality is a subpar potluck appetizer really deserves to find love. Thank god for second chances!
Meatball isn’t the only one getting a second chance this season. Gabby and Rachel are getting a second chance at love along with actual rules with which to govern their seasons. Amazing. There are now two teams: Team Gabby and Team Rachel. Each team of men will only be allowed to date their appointed coach (Gabby or Rachel, but not both). Did the men get any say in which team they were traded to? Absolutely not. There’s no crying in baseball. Each week, filming will be on parallel timelines: two one-on-one dates, two group dates, two rose ceremonies, two more glasses of wine that I will need to consume.
Problem solved, right? Wrong. ABC never solves problems, people!! They only make them worse. No one is feeling the brunt of ABC’s bad decision making more than Rachel. During last week’s rose ceremony, multiple men refused her rose in favor of trying their luck with Gabby. Let me say that again: multiple men refused the rose of a sitting Bachelorette. That has never happened in the entire history of The Bachelorette. That’s sort of the whole point of this show is that the women can’t get rejected. This is a safe space for them to cultivate love and, as Rachel puts it, “feel chosen.” Refusing a rose is the opposite of feeling chosen—and it forces the very fabric of what makes this show work, what makes it entertaining and watchable, to start fraying at the seams.
Sadly, this week doesn’t get any better for Rachel. At one point Rachel even says that Clayton—the worst Bachelor to ever pollute our television screens—treated her with more love and affection than these men vying for her attention. Woof. That is bleak. Though she has a romantic one-on-one date with Tino (more on that later) the group date and rose ceremony were dismal, to say the least. And, if next week’s teaser is any indication, this is only the beginning.
On that cheerful note, let’s dive into the episode…
Falling In Louvre
After last week’s fuckups, ABC knew they had to give the women two things to salvage this journey: they had to give them rules and they had to give them Paris. It’s the same strategy Mary-Kate and Ashley’s parents used in Passport to Paris when they wanted their 13-year-olds to get off the head-sets please and broaden their cultural horizons. What I’m saying is, this plan has documented success and can absolutely not go wrong.
It’s actually wild that they filmed in Paris. Usually when the host proclaims that they’re going to “a city famous for romance,” they end up in, like, Cincinnati. But of course, ABC does not know how to let us have a nice thing. The gang might be going to Paris, but they’re staying on—wait for it—a cruise ship! So, they’re not so much “going to Paris” as they are going to stay on a giant floating toilet in a body of water somewhere near Paris.
JESSE PALMER: Anchors up! Welcome aboard!
ME: *hisses* you uncultured swine
To capitalize on the Paris momentum, ABC starts the week off with the more romantic dates. The ladies have one-on-one dates planned with Tino (Team Rachel) and Jason (Team Gabby) and the results are a chaotic 20 minutes of the camera crew trying to find narrative structures during two very dissimilar dates.
I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again: Gabby and Rachel are not the same kind of girl. Nor are they girls with very much in common aside from the trauma bond of having to date Clayton on national television. Rachel is much more of a big picture romantic. She wants grand gestures and flowery declarations. Gabby is more of a laid-back goofball. She thrives on the small moments and lets the serious conversations happen more naturally (if at all). Because of this, Rachel’s date has the vibe and narrative structure of an Audrey Hepburn movie, while Gabby’s has the vibe and narrative structure of Emily in Paris.
For example, as Rachel and Tino make out in a rain-soaked street, Gabby and Jason get their foreheads sized for berets (“I’m a size small?? Yay!!”) and get drunk off wine they can’t pronounce. Meanwhile, ABC is grappling to make these dates seem as if they can exist in the same thematic universe. The result is b-roll that feels Mod Podged at best; the only thing holding it together is the same score of swelling music.
I will say that Tino and Rachel have palpable chemistry. Rachel even admits—out loud and to Tino’s face!!—that she “really likes” him. And she wasn’t even being held at knifepoint or anything! Willingly expressing genuine human emotion is something I could only do under the duress of torture, and even then I might prefer the waterboarding. Good for you, sweetie!
But Gabby’s date moves a little slower than Rachel’s. She doesn’t immediately click with Jason and wants to know if there’s anything deeper to him. Gabby keeps saying that Jason is “reserved,” but is it that or is he just not interested? “Reserved” seems like a nice way of saying he’s a blank canvas on which we can project anything onto. Convenient, no?
When Gabby confronts Jason about his quietness, he admits that this process has been really hard on him. Why? He has tennis trauma. Tennis. Trauma. Do not ask me for details, I blacked out halfway through his spiel. It’s not that I don’t believe him, but it did feel a little like he was ad-libbing a sob story for the cameras.
Where Jason wins me over, though, is his reaction to Gabby’s own traumatic past. Jason seems genuinely empathetic when Gabby talks about her relationship with her mother. If you’ll recall, Erich’s reaction was to pray his dinner plate was some sort of Portkey that might transport him to the Triwizard Tournament (or really, any place where he wouldn’t have to console a human woman). In comparison, Jason’s reaction is downright heroic (the bar was so high, I know). Erich, take notes.
What’s French For “This Is Totally Fucked”?
The group dates are where things start to go off the rails for Rachel. She had a nice time with Tino but she forgot that good guys are the exception, not the rule. Oh, honey. We’ve all been there.
The first blow occurs during Gabby’s group date. As I mentioned earlier, there are two group dates this week, one for each woman. Unlike the one-on-one dates, Paris will not allow any more “dates” to take place on Her soil. I guess the berets thing was Her line in the sand. She really said, “you can bring one man to shore and THAT’S IT.”
It’s hard to say what Gabby’s group date even is. There is some sort of boxing element, though the men are doing a fair amount of grandstanding as well. Most of the guys dedicate their fights to Gabby with long-winded speeches that make me want to disintegrate into my couch I’m so embarrassed for them. I hate when ABC makes them seriously fight. This is Paris. Can we not just poke each other with baguettes on the banks of the Seine like CIVILIZED PEOPLE DO?!
And what is Rachel doing during all of this? Watching. That’s right, they make Rachel and her team of guys watch Gabby get serenaded for an afternoon. Do any of Rachel’s men think to serenade Rachel as well? Well, that would require them to use their two remaining brain cells.
As Rachel watches guy after guy shower Gabby with praise and adoration, the camera catches every break in her face. I don’t know why production would think this would be fun for Rachel. After all, until a few days ago some of these guys were still vying for her. It probably stings to suddenly watch them acting in love with her friend.
After the match, Rachel gives the men a verbal spanking, and it is…
She pulled the “I’m not mad, I’m just disappointed” line and executed it flawlessly. There’s nothing men respond more to than being called disappointments. They don’t want crying or loud confrontations. They want a woman who weirdly reminds them of their mom scolding them in a sports bra.
At this moment it’s clear that there are two different Bachelorette journeys happening this season. One woman (Gabby) is on a journey to find love. The other woman (Rachel) is running the gauntlet of Dante’s Inferno. Like, Frodo encountered less strife on his journey to the fiery pits of Mordor than Rachel has to endure in one episode.
After she begs eight men to pay attention to her, ABC sends her on a group date that could double as a season plot line for American Horror Story. The French are going to instruct Team Rachel on the art of seduction. I was expecting them to rub feathers down Rachel’s skin or learn how to write her sonnets. No, apparently France’s idea of “seduction” aligns more with the goings on in a middle school boys’ locker room.
What comes next is a testament to Rachel’s enduring human spirit. She watches as the guys—one of whom she may have to publicly claim in a few weeks—make out with their fists. Then the French blindfold Rachel, spin her around like a piñata, and thrust her face into the armpit of the nearest man. Tell me this isn’t some kind of biblical-level trial of the soul.
Rachel, sweetie, it’s not too late to run. Get out while you still have some semblance of your dignity intact!!
Rambo: The Bitch He Told You Not To Worry About
Every season ABC casts a guy who reminds me why, instead of giving a human man a chance, I would rather die alone in my apartment with no one to find my cooling body but my faithful dog. This season, that guy is Hayden. Last week he told Gabby that she was a little too “rough around the edges” for his tastes, a phrase she used to communicate her worst fears about herself and he used to throw right back in her face. Classy. This week he doubled down on that statement. I think his exact words were: “My dumb ass uses the verbiage that Gabby uses to describe herself, and she fucking didn’t like that. Well, bitch, maybe you shouldn’t use that word to describe yourself then.”
Do my ears deceive me? Did he just call the Bachelorette A BITCH and then roll his eyes about it with nary a care in the world? Did he?!
Another fun quote from Hayden this episode: “I’ve been comparing my ex to, like, this , right? They don’t hold a candle to her, and I don’t want to just settle. I can tell you right now, I don’t see how any guy here could be like, I’m fucking marrying these girls.”
Hayden is the kind of guy that thinks because he says the word “y’all” and smiles a lot that he gets a free pass for hating women. I’ve grown up around these guys. I’ve dated these guys. These guys are dangerous because they will say and do the most vile things behind your back and then lie right to your face about it.
Case in point: To smooth things over with Rachel, he spends the rose ceremony telling her about his dying dog Rambo. The first red flag here is that he named his dog Rambo. Is his pooch’s IG account sponsored by the NRA? And, I hate to say this about a potentially dying dog, but how do we know this dog even exists? Yes, he has a scrapbook, but “Rambo” could be any golden retriever on the internet. I would not put it past Hayden to lie about a dying dog in order to manipulate a woman.
And then! Hayden has the nerve to say that Rachel wasn’t appropriately sad enough about him carrying around Rambo’s duck paw. Buddy, you are not appropriately sad enough about being a blight on this planet. Let’s call it even.
But Rachel seems to be falling for the pet propaganda. She was on the fence about Hayden after he insulted Gabby last week, but he’s winning her over now. Meatball sees this and decides to do something for his country (he’s a maverick like that) and tells Rachel about Hayden’s alter ego. I did not think it was possible for a man who, two weeks prior, was rubbing meat sauce through his chest hairs to be the unsung hero of this episode. Who knew that Meatball—MEATBALL!!—would be worthy of a song by the bards??
RACHEL: Do you know why you’re here?
HAYDEN: I’m assuming this is about Rambo?
I’M ASSUMING THIS IS ABOUT RAMBO!! I love that he openly talked shit about the women in the house and can’t fathom that conversation coming back to bite him in the ass. No, this isn’t about your cancerous dog. This is about you being the scum of the fucking earth.
Rachel sends him packing but she should have made him walk the plank. Why else charter a boat, ABC? Hmm?
As Rachel storms back onto the ship, probably wondering what kind of centuries-old witch’s curse was placed upon her bloodline for her love life to be going this way, Hayden stares wistfully after her and says, “I wanted this to work, but… I wanted Rambo more. No one loves me like Rambo does.” Rambo only loves you unconditionally because Rambo doesn’t have access to a TV!! Just wait until he gets his paws on a working remote…
Here’s who else got eliminated this episode:
Team Rachel Eliminations: Hayden, Jordan
Team Gabby Eliminations: Quincey, Kirk
We’ll have to wait until next week to see what other horrors ABC has in store for Rachel’s soul. Until then!
Images: ABC/Craig Sjodin (2); Giphy (5)
Welcome back to your regularly scheduled Bachelorette recap! Last week, we got a taste of how this season would play out—and let me tell you, there were far too many milky white thighs involved for my comfort level. ‘Tis my cross to bear, I suppose…
But this week the ladies are refocused. After a rocky rose ceremony where they banished a man who dared to have opinions about their sex lives beyond “I will worship the lint between your toes if it means you might breathe in my direction some day,” they’re feeling pretty good about themselves. They have all the control. They hold all the power.
ABC PRODUCERS WATCHING THIS EXCHANGE FROM AFAR:
Ladies, ladies, ladies. That isn’t how this show works! Female empowerment doesn’t inspire higher ratings; misogyny and mild nudity does! Get with the program.
As if to illustrate this point, the cameras cut to the men, who are discussing which of the women make them feel tingly down there. No, no, no, NO. You do not get a say in this. Your job is to sit there and look pretty. Nothing else. Once they open their mouths, the fantasy is ruined.
The problem is the men are starting to realize they have options. Have you ever read If You Give A Mouse A Cookie? The cautionary tale of giving lesser species (in the book’s case, rodents; in the show’s case, men) a modicum of choice and control. Do you know how that book ends? With the mouse making grabby hands at every shiny object in sight. The men are doing something similar here. Instead of considering Gabby and Rachel’s feelings, they’re focused entirely on who *they* want to be with. I’m sorry, but if I wanted to listen to a man named Meatball wax poetic about who makes his nipples hard, I would interact with the comments section of a Barstool article. You never give the
Meatball mouse a cookie. You get that asshole a rat trap.
Sparks Are Flyin’
Before I get to the doom and gloom of the episode, let’s talk about the high points: the one-on-one dates. Rachel in particular struggled with her one-on-one date last week and ended up sending the pore-less Jordan home. He and his skin care routine will be missed.
This week things go a bit smoother for her. She invites Zach on her date, which is quickly crashed by Queer Eye’s Karamo. Wow, I definitely thought Queer Eye paid better than this. Karamo says that he just had to be a part of the fun—he loves Rachel so much! I would believe him more if he didn’t direct those statements to a random mannequin instead of Rachel. I don’t know what kind of Real World blackmail ABC has on that man, but if he’s gracing our television screens tonight then it can’t be anything good.
Karamo sends them to “an exclusive movie premiere” but not before styling Rachel like Oscar the Grouch first. (Seriously, that outfit was so mean of them). The “exclusive movie premiere” is not, as I guessed, a private screening of He’s Just Not That Into You (ABC clearly doesn’t understand comedic timing). The movie they’re attending is not even a movie so much as a cinematic scrapbook of their childhoods. Home movies on a first date should be illegal. Footage of me during a time in my life when I had unsupervised access to a hair crimper and body glitter? That’s not romantic, that’s a war crime.
^^12 year old me treating my shopping trip to Claire’s like a religious experience
Though watching home movies is a specific ring of hell for me, Rachel and Zach seem into it—and into each other. The two find out that they have so much in common: they were both once children and have watched a plane before (I paraphrase). Dare I say… they’re cute?
But not as cute as Gabby’s three-on-one date with Grandpa John and Erich. When I say I screamed at the sight of that old man and his knitwear. I have never been so happy in my life to see a man return to this show. I can’t wait to watch Grandpa John’s look of abject horror at learning how Erich spells his name.
Speaking of Erich, I can’t get a good read on him. He’s polite and engaging with Gabby and her grandpa, but does he seem to like Gabby particularly? I can’t tell. This becomes especially apparent during their alone time together. Erich is all for feeling Gabby up during the bowling excursion (hands, Erich!! Grandpa John is right there!!), but he struggles to comfort Gabby when she shows more complicated emotions.
During the dinner portion of the evening, she tells him a little about being estranged from her mother. At one point she even says that lack of maternal love has broken her in some way. Erich’s response? To stare longingly at his dinner plate in the hopes that it might transport him to an alternate dimension where he doesn’t have to deal with a woman and her emotions. Jesus Christ, Erich. I know you thought you’d end dinner with some light groping, but the human condition is a little messier than the condition tenting your pants rn. Have a heart, not a hard-on!
I will say, Gabby has never been more relatable than when she abandons the dinner table to cry in a corner with her white wine. That doesn’t make watching Gabby’s breakdown any easier. She’s been struggling this whole episode. She doesn’t think she’s deserving of being the Bachelorette and wonders if Rachel is more of a natural fit for the role. This is expressly what I did not want to see this season. They need to stop comparing themselves to each other (there’s no logic to that) and start comparing the men to the shit on their shoes (there is logic in that).
Erich eventually comforts Gabby—but only after she’s guzzled another bottle of wine and prophesied a future wherein she dies alone with only her dog to find her rotting remains. What I’m saying is, he waited far too long to get his ass in gear. He handles the whole thing very politely. But that’s just it: it’s polite, not genuine. I’ve seen Delta representatives show more compassion than what Erich’s giving me right now.
Erich, I’m watching you…
Men Do Not Deserve To Have Brains
This next part of the recap is a section I like to call: “Strong Evidence Against Men Being Allowed To Have Brains.” And let me tell you, the science is compelling! As I mentioned earlier, the men are starting to think this season is all about them. If there’s one thing I don’t want to see on my Monday night, it’s men exercising their rights. In fact, I would be totally fine with ABC keeping the men corralled in a pit underground, only to be brought out for dates and aesthetic purposes. But of course this franchise is not interested in my wants and needs. They’d much rather play a game of Jenga with the women’s emotional states. After all, who wants to watch strong, capable women navigate their emotional depths when you can watch production sauté their self-esteem so a guy with a man bun can feel like the biggest stud in the room?
Which brings me to my working hypothesis: men should not be allowed to have brains. I’m not convinced they entirely have them in the first place, but they definitely shouldn’t be allowed access to whatever sad synapses that do manage to fire off. Let’s look at the evidence:
Exhibit A: Bromance > Romance
During Rachel’s date with Zach, Gabby heads to the house for a casual hang. First of all, I could have told her that nothing good comes of a casual hang. The last time I got conned into one of those, it ended with him asking for my Snapchat handle and Venmoing me for half the six-pack he picked up.
Do the men take advantage of the extra alone time with their Bachelorette? Lol, as if! No, they would prefer to spend the day playing slap and tickle with each other.
It’s just… sad to watch. Gabby is doing her best to pretend like their disinterest isn’t bothering her, but there’s only so many times a girl can yell “nice fumble!!” before she slips into a catatonic state. I give her props for lasting as long as she did.
Exhibit B: Blood In The Water
Things only get worse for Gabby during the group date, when a large faction of the men give her the “it’s not you, it’s me” speech. In fact, it feels like almost every guy on the group date (and there are 19 of them!!) are not interested in dating Gabby. First of all, it’s week three. You’ve known Gabby and Rachel for less time than it takes me to do a load of laundry. You don’t know either of these women enough to write one of them off. YOU FUCKERS.
Not only are they not interested in Gabby, but they also vocalize these feelings with about as much sensitivity as an atomic bomb. I’ve seen sharks play with their food in more humane ways than what’s happening on my screen rn.
The worst offenders by far are Hayden and Jacob. Hayden tells Gabby that she’s more “rough around the edges” than he’d like for a wife, insinuating that Rachel is somehow “better” than Gabby. Then Jacob tells her that even if she was the last woman on Earth he would not compete for her attention. He’s like, “yeah even if you were my only option on this show, I wouldn’t want to date you.” Jacob, you look like you masturbate to your own headshots. Are you really one to talk about options?
Gabby spends the rest of the date crying off-camera. She doesn’t give out a rose. In fact, she looks like she would rather live the rest of her life in a bunker than interact with any of these men for a second longer. I can’t say I blame her.
Exhibit C: The Men Go Rogue
But perhaps where we really see the wheels come off is when the men simply don’t understand the assignment during the rose ceremony. In response to the group date, the women decide to have two separate journeys from here on out. There will be a set group of guys for Gabby and a set group of guys for Rachel. The women will be handing out roses to their guys, and the guys will only get to date the woman whose rose they accept. This is what should have happened from the beginning, but I get the sense that ABC didn’t want to have to do double the filming. The result is this farce of a season.
As the rose ceremony begins, Gabby looks like she is bracing herself for combat. Meanwhile, Rachel is confident in a way that makes me think production is about to screw her. At first, everything is fine. They both hand out a few roses without being rejected. The only downside is that the rose receivers start calling themselves “the winner’s circle.” That tells me everything I need to know about how serious these guys are about marriage. They’re like, air humping each other with their roses, for Christ’s sake. I’m sickened.
But still, at least the women’s dignity is intact… until it isn’t. Overly confident Rachel is the first to watch shit crumble. Termayne says he can’t accept Rachel’s rose when he’s really here for Gabby. That in itself is shocking. She’s getting rejected in public, in front of men she’s still trying to date. Then Jesse Palmer materializes like the bridge troll he is, only instead of accepting his payment in riddles, he strips Rachel of her roses. That’s right. Not only does Rachel get rejected, but they’re taking her roses from her. They’re punishing her for the men’s insolence. It gets worse. Alec turns Rachel down, followed by Meatball. Let me emphasize: Meatball turned a human woman down. Meatball!!!
This is so fucked. I’m seething. What kind of misogynistic hell realm have we fallen into where humiliating women on national television is supposed to be good wholesome fun? I hate ABC for doing this to us. I hate myself for not having enough rosé to dull this edge.
By the end of the episode we have our camps: Team Gabby vs. Team Rachel. The line-up looks like this:
Team Gabby: Nate, Johnny, Spencer, Jason, Mario, Kirk, Quincey, Michael, Erich
Team Rachel: Tino, Logan, Tyler, Ethan, Jordan, Hayden, Aven, Zach
We’ll have to wait until next week to see if the men are any more well-behaved… I think hell might freeze over first. Until then!
Images: ABC/Craig Sjodin; Giphy (3)
Welcome back to your regularly scheduled Bachelorette recap! Last week, ABC debuted a new kind of love story for us Bachelor Nation plebs. Instead of watching one woman survive a wasteland of overly-groomed men (I paraphrase), this season we get to watch two best friends on their journey to find love! Two best friends, or at least two individuals who are contractually obligated to promote the same products on Instagram for the next 6-12 months. You get the gist.
For a season that promised big drama and even bigger love stories, the season opener left me unimpressed. But perhaps I just had unreasonably high hopes. The Bachelorette is, after all, my favorite ABC abomination. Why? Because the women seemingly have some control over the narrative. You want to fuck a guy in a windmill? Fine. You want to abandon your season after 10 days to run away with a Party City model? Also fine. Fine, fine, fine, fine, fine. This season, NOTHING IS FINE. There are simply no rules—just ask Jesse Palmer! Oh, wait. You can’t. At all times, he is silent and stone-faced in the background, watching as Gabby and Rachel essentially descend into that scene from The Lion King where Scar’s hyenas catcall Simba on his way to Pride Rock. He emphasizes that this is Gabby and Rachel’s thing, and he’s just here for support. What kind of support? Well, he can gesture vaguely in the direction of the open bar.
The lack of rules and structure bleeds into their dates, and the amount of effort the men are putting into said dates. They’re starting to understand that they can reasonably date two women at once. In fact, it’s encouraged! Why intimately get to know one woman when you can make surface level small talk and maybe get to make out with two?
It doesn’t help that Gabby and Rachel’s approach to everything is to act cool girl casual at all times. The way they’ve set up the dates feels less romantic and formal, and more like a frat party gone awry. There aren’t even enough beds in the house for everyone! Within the first few minutes of the episode, we’re told that the housing accommodations are something akin to the Fyre Festival’s. The cameras pan to a slew of bunk beds that could double as set pieces from Orange is the New Black. I would not be surprised if production enacted some sort of Hunger Games-style cornucopia where the guys battle it out for linens and toothpaste.
While the season hasn’t totally gone off the rails yet, it’s getting there. You can see the strain in Gabby and Rachel’s relationship with each other (they’re still acting tentative about who they like and if it’s okay to like the same guys) and with the men. And on that very foreboding note (can’t wait to tell my old creative writing professor that, SEE, I do know how to write tension), let’s get into the episode!
The Group Date: There Are Some Things Your Eyes Can’t Unsee
You know that thing I said about there being no structure, and how that anarchy was fueling the format of the dates? That starts with the group date. Normally, group dates serve two purposes: to humiliate the contestants and simultaneously restore my faith in justice and the universe. Group dates are also structured like my friend’s baby’s playdates: everybody pretends to be on their best behavior, or else they won’t get a little treat afterwards. There’s usually an activity and then some sort of afterparty. A rose is given out to the most well-behaved good boy. This group date is all of those things and none of those things. Instead of the group date revolving around a structured activity, it’s more of a clothing-optional hang.
Gabby and Rachel invite the men to compete in a “pageant.” I’m using that term very loosely here, because “pageant” implies we will witness a modicum of talent, and not a man known only by the name of “meatball” lasciviously pouring meat sauce down his hairy chest like he’s Paris Hilton in a Hardee’s commercial.
To be fair, the ladies did only give the men 28 minutes to prep their acts, 26 of which were used to apply an obscene amount of body oil, and the last two reserved for calling their mommies to remind them what special boys they are. The amount of preparation shows. There are just some things my eyes can’t unsee. At one point my roommate, who watches this show only after I’ve bribed her with wine and cheese, but who always leaves an hour into every episode, gasps and says “are they allowed to show this many little penises?” Yes. In fact, I think that’s entirely the point. And there are so many penises. That little black bar is working harder than ABC’s producers for its holiday bonus.
Where is Jesse Palmer during this showcasing of fragile masculinity? Mentally, he’s doing push-ups at the sight of all those exposed pecs. In actuality, he is telling us that the winners of this “pageant” will get invited to an exclusive afterparty. The way he says “afterparty” has the same vibe as the guy who drove the party bus at my friend’s 30th birthday party. He also invited us to his timeshare in Florida after handing us his album Girls Kissing Girls.
JESSE: The winners will be invited to an exclusive afterparty!
JESSE PALMER IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWING THAT STATEMENT:
The “pageant” is about as horrific as you might expect. One guy does the worm and pretends his ballsack didn’t just slip out of his speedo. A lot of guys—too many guys—are into juggling. Tino wishes he didn’t skip leg day. Jacob, the guy who looks like a housewife’s mid-life crisis, straddles a chair (again, why is no one concerned about what may or may not fall out of their speedo) and goes through a Powerpoint on fixed-rate mortgages. Chris commits a crime against my eardrums and starts singing. How Gabby and Rachel are supposed to pick winners from this shocking display of talent, I do not know.
In the end they do pick winners—six of them—and Aven, Logan, Brandan, Jason, Johnny, and Colin are all invited to the afterparty. Do not ask me to elaborate on details such as what their talents were, or even how to describe their physical builds. As of right now, they are all still faceless mannequins to me.
While Gabby seems to hit it off with a few people, Rachel really struggles through the cocktail party. After some truly titillating conversations about *checks notes* how many American states she’s visited and what Harry Potter house she would be sorted into, Rachel is wondering where the nearest interstate is so she can walk straight into oncoming traffic. The feeling intensifies when Jason tells her he’s only into Gabby, and then immediately after that conversation she stumbles upon Gabby making out with Johnny (a guy she already called dibs on).
JASON: I’m actually here for… Gabby 😬
RACHEL: hahahahahahahahaha!!! Omg that’s totally fine!!! hahahahahahaha!!!!
Rachel’s experience on this date—a dinner party where there is minimal alcohol and you are constantly rejected—is definitely an outer ring of hell. So, it’s no wonder that by the night’s end she has strong-armed the last guy at the afterparty into a guest bedroom. Goddamnit, she wants to get felt up by a potted plant just like every other Bachelorette on this franchise! Logan says all the right things. He tells her she’s brave for coming on the show and that she inspired him during the “pageant” (reminder: his talent was the doing the worm). This would all be fun and cute (especially after they go to town making out on that guest bed!) if not for the fact that Logan has that exact same conversation with Gabby… and also makes out with her.
See, this is why I’m advocating for more structure and rules. Logan is getting way too comfortable about dating two women at once. He is literally rinsing and repeating his conversations.
Gabby, for the most part, is having fun. She seems to be genuinely enjoying the process, while Rachel worries constantly about finding “the one.” The only time things get weird is when Rachel reveals she made out with Logan and Gabby has to pretend she’s happy about that. She lets Rachel choose Logan for her group date rose, while Gabby chooses Johnny.
The One-On-One Dates
The one-on-one dates prove equally challenging for Rachel. She chooses Jordan, the race car driver from Georgia, to go on a zero-gravity plane ride. I have a few comments. First, I’d just like to know what Jordan’s skin care routine is because damn that boy is fresh-faced. My god, does he even have any pores? Second, I need more logistics about what a zero-gravity date entails. I looked it up, and in order to hit zero gravity they have to be flying through that layer of ether thingie right before space (“layer of ether thingie” is the technical term). How is it legal for two people who are not astronauts to just take a spin in the ether? How many holes are they creating in the ozone layer so Rachel can straddle him mid-air?
I will say, Rachel looks great. This whole zero-gravity thing is like a hair commercial for her.
But when they land, gravity hits hard. Don’t get me wrong, Jordan does everything he’s supposed to. He talks about how their lifestyles align (pilots and race car drivers are notoriously very similar professions in that they… both require a license?). He even brings up his parents’ divorce and appropriately dramatizes the split so it mirrors the PTSD of a Vietnam war vet. But none of it works for Rachel. She’s just not feeling it. She asks the producers if she can send him home, and I would genuinely like to know the answer to that question. What if Gabby was into him? Does she have to run her decision by Gabby? Who gets the final say over cutting a guy loose?
The answer to these questions is apparently “WHO CARES about Gabby, and I’m sending this guy home.” Rachel tells Jordan that she won’t give him the rose, but she does want to know what nighttime moisturizer he uses. Or is that just me? I’m actually astounded he’s just allowed to walk off the premise without Gabby having a say in any of this. Again… what! are! the! rules!
Meanwhile, Gabby’s one-on-one date goes a bit better. For her date she chooses Nate, the girl dad who wears more accessories than a Claire’s clearance rack. This is not a dig at Nate. Nate is hot and Nate stood up for the ladies when Chris was slut shaming them for sex acts they have yet to complete (more on that later). Nate seems very in touch with his feelings, as evidenced by the fact that he can’t stop crying (okay, I’ll admit that part was a bit of a drag). He also seems very in touch with his tongue down the back of Gabby’s throat.
The energy between them feels natural and easy. I mean, yes, Gabby does have a private helicopter pick them up like it’s a goddamn Uber, but for the most part their date is super normal. I’m rooting for these two. For now…
Worst Storyline: Chris As A Villain
Chris started off the episode by declaring himself a triple threat: a sports enthusiast, a music man, and a leader. Somewhere in a dance studio in LA, Beyoncé just stumbled during her choreo. Then, impossibly, Chris got even worse: he sang. Well, it was less singing and more tunelessly stringing together random words, but the overall effect will haunt my nightmares until my dying day. But the singing could have been forgiven had I only had enough wine to find it tolerable (my box ran out). What really sealed Chris’ fate for me was when he started running his mouth about the fantasy suites.
Why was Chris talking about the fantasy suites during week two? Why does a man offer any opinion unprompted? Why does a bear shit in the woods? Because they simply cannot control themselves. Chris says that when—not if—he goes to fantasy suites, he has a few deal breakers for the girls. Namely, that they not be intimate with anyone else.
CHRIS: If the female has sex with someone else, I wouldn’t be interested in that person being the person I’m with.
Slut shaming? In this economy, Christopher??
Chris is already trying to control the sexual choices these women make, and he hasn’t even so much as breathed in their direction this season. The audacity straight, mediocre men have is astounding.
I will say that it’s nice to see the other men quickly jump to Gabby and Rachel’s defenses. Nate gives an impassioned speech where he says that Chris needs to have more respect for these women. They could be their queens or the mothers of their children! Y’all. He called Gabby and Rachel queens!! The last time a guy called me anything it was by the wrong name, and as he was asking if I could buy him another Bud Light. So, yes, I am crying in the club right now.
During the rose ceremony, some of the guys tell Rachel about Chris’ presumptions. She keeps nodding her head but you can tell she has no idea who this “Chris” is. I’m glad she was able to block out his singing. I have not been so fortunate.
Gabby and Rachel confront Chris who looks as if women giving opinions is something he’s never encountered before. He’s like “no, no, no you misunderstood. I said it exactly that way but that’s only because I start a relationship at the ending and then work backwards from there!” He works his way backwards?? What does that even mean?? I do love when a man starts our relationship by immediately telling me the theoretical ways I’ll betray him in the future and how I should start making up for it. It does wonders for my blood pressure.
But Gabby and Rachel are having none of it. They’ve been entertaining an entire fleet of men for 10 days straight. They’re exhausted, and they can’t keep anyone’s names straight anymore. They especially don’t have time for Chris and his fan fiction. He can tap dance his way home.
This Week’s Body Count (Who Goes Home):
And finally, this week’s body count. Here’s who Gabby and Rachel kicked to the curb:
- Race car Jordan (one-on-one date)
- Music Man Chris (cocktail party/rose ceremony)
- Boston Ryan (rose ceremony elimination)
- A rando named Brandon (rose ceremony elimination)
- A rando named Colin (rose ceremony elimination)
- A rando named Matt (rose ceremony elimination)
- A rando named Justin (rose ceremony elimination)
- A rando named John (rose ceremony elimination)
And that’s all she wrote for this week! Until we meet again!
Images: ABC/Craig Sjodin; Giphy (6)
Welcome back to the best Bachelorette recap you’ll ever read! Coincidentally that is the exact endorsement my mother gave with the qualifier that it is the only Bachelorette recap she reads… Fine, I’ll take it. I don’t know about y’all, but it’s been a loooong three months living in a Bachelor-free world. God, it’s nice to have a reason to live again. And what a time to be alive it is. This season we’ve got not one, but two Bachelorettes: Gabby Windey and Rachel Recchia. Don’t you love when the entertainment industry treats strong female leads like a coupon deal at a Food Lion? Lol, the end of the world is fun.
If you’re wondering how I’ve prepped myself for this madness, let’s just say that my pre-Bachelorette viewing routine has only changed in the amount of wine I’ll be consuming: whatever quantity is enough to tranquilize a horse and/or allow the feminism to actively leave my body. Let’s get into it!
The Format: How The Hell Is This Supposed To Work?
Normally at the beginning of each season we have a basic idea of how the rest of the season will play out. Girl meets 30+ guys. Girl is somehow not disgusted by childish limo gimmicks even when gimmicks involve body oil and weird kid choirs. Girl is just happy not to be on Hinge. Girl dates guys. Girl loves guys. Girl contractually requires at least one guy to propose to her. Bada bing bada boom, we’ve got a season! But this season, not even Jesse Palmer has any idea how filming will work on a weekly basis. Will the women be competing for one spot, as was the case in season 11 with Kaitlyn Bristowe and Britt Nilsson? Or will it be more of a Hunger Games-type competition, where instead of fighting for food and resources they duke it out for male attention?
Whatever the case, the women are ready. They both seem cautiously optimistic about being co-leads and are just happy to not be doing this alone. They also seem to both hate men. I love that energy for them. At one point Gabby says that she has her guard up, and that after everything with Clayton, men have earned the right not to be trusted. I have never liked her more. She sounds like a soothsayer in that moment, and I briefly wonder what “men have earned the right not to be trusted” would look like in sanskrit as a tattoo…
I do think that Gabby and Rachel should lower their expectations for the evening. Right now it’s all champagne and body glitter and “let’s meet these idiots who aren’t good enough for us!” but, like, eventually they have to date one of those idiots… so.
They meet up with new Bachelorette host Jesse Palmer, who again emphasizes that he has no idea how this will work. It’s not in his pay grade, okay. He’s like “how can the guys date two of you at once??” and, you know, I think they’ll be just fine, buddy. In fact, I think that’s sort of their whole area of expertise prior to this show.
If Gabby and Rachel seem uncomfortable with the format, it’s nothing compared to the men’s reactions. Don’t get me wrong. They’re used to a two-on-one dynamic. They just aren’t used to the two knowing they’re dating the same one.
Their discomfort is apparent during the limo entrances portion of the evening. One guy pulls out noise canceling headphones so he can speak to each Bachelorette privately while in front of each other. Another guy calls Gabby by Rachel’s name and then looks as if he wishes the ground would open up and swallow him whole. The 25-year-old life coach (that descriptor is an oxymoron… what life have you lived enough to be able to coach it??) panics so badly he blurts out that he hasn’t had sex in over a year and the girls look at him pityingly.
If this is an indicator of what’s to come this season, then I worry for the fate of our Bachelorettes…
The First Impressions
As the men descend on the premises like locusts, I remain unimpressed by them. Where is the—and I say this in my best Abby Lee Miller voice—star power this season?? And MY GOD the gimmicks. How many gimmicks can we fit into one evening? The limit does not exist. There’s Roby the magician, whose sleight of hand tricks begin with pulling a rabbit out of a hat and end with knowing where to locate the clitoris. Then we’ve got Jacob, who shows up glistening and shirtless and riding a horse. He would definitely fuck your aunt at Thanksgiving. He cannot be trusted. There are a set of twins and a guy named Erich, whose spelling of his name is, in itself, a gimmick.
THE MEN: *breathe*
It’s not until an hour into the episode that the men stop arriving and Jesse Palmer finally deigns to tell us the rules of this circus. Yes, both women will give out roses during the rose ceremony. Yes, there will be two first impression roses. No, he will not be taking any followup questions.
At first, I was grateful for the limo shenanigans to be over. I can only mumble “Jesus fucking Christ” so many times under my breath before my dog will leave the room. But then, when Gabby and Rachel decided to Mary-Kate and Ashley the cocktail party, I knew this night was taking a turn for the worse. They start selecting guys to chat with privately together, and this can’t possibly be how the producers envisioned the show going. There is nothing flirty or romantic about this set-up. In fact, it’s giving me PTSD flashbacks to the one time Victoria’s Secret made me do a group interview in the mall food court for their register girl position.
The madness doesn’t end even when they bring in the twins. Now it’s a weird double date in which two of the hottest girls in Bachelor Nation are being courted by The Suite Life of Zach and Cody. But it’s apparent this format is really not going to work when Rachel asks the guys what their hobbies are, and Gabby asks them if they can read each other’s minds.
They just don’t date the same—and that’s fine! They don’t have to. They aren’t twins whose only difference is an errant freckle! They’re allowed to have different communication styles, different turn ons, different things that give them the ick.
Because of this, they decide that if they’re ever going to make out with one of these idiots then they need to divide and conquer. Though ABC does their best to follow their two journeys, something gets lost in translation for me. I don’t see any true connections in the making. There’s just not enough time to develop those conversations with ABC constantly panning between the two of them. That said, the women seem excited about a few guys:
- Ryan – Ryan is a real estate agent from Boston whose entire personality is a Boston bit. I can’t decide if his saying “Gabbers, shut it” is cute or if it makes me want to get out my Urban Outfitters book of basic bitchcraft and place an ill-wish curse on his beloved Red Sox. Only time will tell with this guy…
- Jacob – That boy has the most erect nipples I’ve ever seen in my life. Him and Gabby end up spread out over a bear-skin rug as he pretends to be self-conscious and Gabby pretends to be making a strong connection with anything other than his abs.
- Erich – I hate Erich already for bastardizing the spelling of a perfectly normal name. Gabby shares none of my pain points. She makes out with him instead.
- Mario – Mario was the first guy to ask Gabby about Clayton in a way that didn’t feel overly hostile or gimmicky. He genuinely seemed interested in Gabby’s experience dating on the show and the ways he could connect with her despite that experience. Take notes, boys: asking questions about another human being actually works! Not only does he snag the first kiss of the evening, but he also gets Gabby’s first impression rose.
- Hayden – Hayden gives Rachel a belated birthday card and she acts as if he reconstructed one of the seven wonders of the world. Let’s open the card and get a look at that message. I worry it says something like “in dog years you’d be dead… happy birthday!” and she’s trying to save face for the cameras.
- Aven – MY GOD THIS MAN. When he walked out of the limo I felt a surge of white-hot jealousy, the likes of which have not been seen since Grocery Store Joe debuted on my television screen. Aven is by far the hottest guy this season. Can’t wait to watch him ruin that for me by displaying a personality!
- Tino – Tino wants to christen the stairs with Rachel. He says he wants to make “new memories” in a traumatic space, but they end up dry humping horizontally instead. New memories, indeed. But it works! Rachel gives him her first impression rose. She says that she really enjoyed their conversation—and I agree with her. She got an excellent demonstration of his oral skills…
RACHEL: I loved our conversation
It’s interesting watching Rachel and Gabby talk through their connections with each other. They aren’t friends, exactly—more like two strangers who have trauma-bonded in a long-term hostage situation, and yet they seem eerily giddy about dating the same pool of men. Neither of them comment on the same guys, and I wonder if that’s intentional. For example, Erich had good conversations with both of them and neither of them mentioned that to each other. Of course, this is just the first night of many. If this were a horror movie they would still be innocently preening in front of a mirror as the serial killer lurked outside their window. I’ll save my judgment for the second act…
The Rose Ceremony
As I’ve mentioned before, there are no rules this season! ABC spent three months listening to the fandom question how such a format could possibly work, and their answer was essentially to let go and let God. Bible, that is the worst idea I’ve ever heard.
Gabby and Rachel want to talk privately with Roby the Magician and the twins. They very casually tell them to gtfo and that their journey is over. I love that they’re dumping people in little groups instead of during the traditional rose ceremony. It’s bringing me back to that time in Miami where I got booted from a private table for crying too much and “killing the vibe.” We’ve all been there, boys!
They tell everyone else that they’re canceling the rest of the rose ceremony and that everyone gets to stay. This is absolute anarchy. I’m telling you, the Titanic had more structure than this rose ceremony does right now. And we know how well that worked out…
Until next week, betches! Xoxo.
Images: ABC/Craig Sjodin; Giphy (5)
Welcome back to the best Bachelor recap you’ll ever read! Tonight is the night. Fantasy Suites. The night where we get to see Clayton play with the heart and souls of three women as if they were emotional Play-Doh. And on International Women’s Day, no less!
Last night was the second in a two-day, four-hour Bachelor event that literally no one asked for. Night one was the Women Tell All, in which the women told us nothing except the intimate details of their blinding hatred for Clayton. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a grown man chastised in such a way that it felt like 20+ women were giving him verbal spankings all at once—but it did put years back on my life to do so. Thank you for your service, ladies.
But if I was feeling even a little bit badly for Clayton, those feelings have all but evaporated after his rage-inducing performance on last night’s episode. One of the things I’ve struggled with this season is connecting to the storyline, to the women, and, especially, to Clayton. For the last nine episodes I’ve joked that Clayton’s existence is the result of a teen witch accidentally animating a stock image of “hot guy” and letting him loose on America’s most eligible women. I’ve compared his personality to whole milk, his deductive reasoning skills to those of a toaster, and his critical thinking skills to my dog’s daily debate on eating her own shit. What I’m saying is, I thought Clayton was just another hot, dumb jock who was going to bumble through his time as the Bachelor like he’s bumbled through every other aspect of his life. But last night we finally got to see the real Clayton, the guy behind those winning smiles and bland platitudes, and it was absolutely sinister.
Let’s get into it.
Rachel’s Fantasy Suite
In typical Bachelor form, the producers have all three remaining women staying in one hotel room where they’ll get the pleasure of watching their competition walk of shame home after their dates with Clayton. Diabolical. Rachel is up first, and her date card has an ominous message about finding out how “deep” her love for Clayton goes. I have a feeling Clayton’s intentions are less about mining the depth of their emotional bond and more about mining the depth of her cervix, but carry on.
It appears I’m wrong on both counts. Clayton was talking neither about their love nor about her vagina, but rather, about her impending death. They go spelunking through a dormant volcano (again, the sex metaphors abound) and this is the stuff of my nightmares. Seriously. I’ve seen The Descent and this is a plotline straight from that movie. Is he hoping that the vague threat of death will get her hot later? If so, I’m worried about the rest of what he considers “foreplay.”
Rachel says that while the cave stuff is fine, she needs an “I love you” from Clayton if she’s going to put out. It’s the same ultimatum I gave my first boyfriend before he took my virginity, and that definitely didn’t end in me getting dumped three months later in the middle of a beer pong game. But, you know, good luck with that Rachel.
Later, during dinner, Clayton tells Rachel that he’s been keeping this to himself but he thinks he really needs to tell her now: he’s in love with her. First of all, it should be illegal for the Bachelor/ette leads to drop the “L” word outside of the final rose. Congress may not have written up legislation on this niche issue yet, but it’s still, like, very morally frowned upon on this franchise. I especially don’t like it being used during the fantasy suites setting, a setting that emphasizes sex, when words like “I love you” could be interpreted as emotional manipulation to get someone to sleep with you.
And what do you know? It works! Clayton’s declaration succeeds in getting Rachel to sleep with him (or at least letting him do some very heavy petting that resulted in her saying “uh-huh, yeah, I definitely came” before distracting him with a hand job so she could just go to sleep). The next morning he leaves Rachel looking flushed and gooey, and he screams once more—on the very public streets of Iceland—that he’s in love with her. Like, are the other girls not staying in that very same hotel? He better hope they aren’t at the continental breakfast eavesdropping on the date when he made that daring proclamation.
Later, Clayton contemplates if dropping the “L” bomb was kosher. He’s like, “I didn’t plan to say it to Rachel, it just happened” which shows just how little thought went into saying those words during the date. He’s not thinking through the emotional consequences of saying those words to a girl who may or may not end up being his wife. Clayton, repeat after me: I. AM. AN. IDIOT. SANDWICH.
Gabby’s Fantasy Suite
Gabby’s up next and she’s especially excited for her alone time with Clayton. In her words, she says she hasn’t dated anyone for this long before without being intimate with them. This is fun because if you actually added up their alone time they have probably spent five uninterrupted days together—and even that seems generous.
More than some alone time with Clayton, Gabby would just like some champagne and romance. She didn’t fly to Iceland for adventures. She flew to Iceland to put on a Shein bikini that she pretends is Revolve and to get drunk in the hot springs. It’s what we all want, really.
WHAT GABBY SAID: I’m hoping for a whale watching cruise with strawberries and champagne.
WHAT CLAYTON HEARD:
Wow, you guys are really speaking the same language these days. Totally on the same page.
The rest of the night follows the same script Clayton acted out with Rachel almost to a T. He takes Gabby to dinner, tells her he’s falling for her, then he fucks her in a yurt. Swap out the girl, the yurt, and the dinner menu, and this was his exact date with Rachel. Almost the same words, even, were said to each girl. The next morning, just like the morning after with Rachel, Clayton loudly yells: “I’m falling in love with you!” followed by a little “whoop” that shrivels what’s left of my libido. If you’re looking for a tally, that means Clayton has now told not one, but TWO women he’s in love with them and bragged to the cameras about being physically intimate with both. Vomit.
It’s only after he’s put some distance between himself and the dates that he starts to wonder if having sex with two women two nights in a row will come back to bite him in the ass. You think?? These aren’t NFL groupies looking for a wild story and sex with the benchwarmer. These women came here looking for a lasting relationship with a mature man. They didn’t give you any sex ultimatums, but they were probably hoping you would save something for your potential wife—if not “I love you,” then at the very least, your penis.
Susie’s Fantasy Suite
Which brings us to Susie’s date. You can tell Clayton is hoping to recycle his wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am script one last time. Third time’s a charm and all of that. What he didn’t account for is Susie being more in the mood to drown herself in the hot springs than to entertain his horny ass.
All week Susie has been spiraling. She’s been watching girl after girl walk into their suite with goofy grins and sex hair. She’s got working eyes and ears. She knows what’s going on. To the cameras, she confesses that she’s worried Clayton slept with the other women—or worse—said “I love you” to them. Welp. She can read him like a book and it’s a sad, sad story.
SUSIE: I’m so all in with Clayton
ME, ALONE IN MY LIVING ROOM:
Never trust a man who shaves his chest, Susie!
Clayton tells Susie that he loves her too, because at this point why not? He’s already fucked himself. Why not make it a trifecta? But Susie is not following his script. Instead of crying or looking grateful, she asks him what he said and did with the other girls. How does she know she’s special?
SUSIE: I can’t be with you if you’ve slept with other women or told anyone else that you love them. That’s my hard line.
At first, Clayton dodges the question. He alludes that he’s expressed some romantic feelings to other women, which makes it sounds as if he was unsure about the feelings he expressed, when in reality he screamed his devotion on public street corners. Clayton tells Susie that she’s special, don’t worry, he’s the most in love with her. Again, I’m sensing an emotional manipulation is at play to get Susie to sleep with him.
I also feel for these other women. If a man fucked me and then screamed to the world that he loved me, I’d probably believe him. It’s an insult to those women that not 48 hours later he’s minimizing those actions in favor of salvaging his supposedly stronger relationship with Susie.
Eventually, Clayton tells Susie that, yes, he slept with the other women and, also yes, he said “I love you” to them. What of it? He’s the Bachelor. It’s his journey. Get on board or get the fuck out. I’m sorry, but was this supposed to make her feel better about their connection? Susie takes a moment to collect herself and that’s when Clayton’s nice guy veneer completely disappears. His regret and frustration quickly transitions to anger at Susie for daring to question his process.
The thing is, Susie is allowed to have these boundaries whether she’s voiced them or not. Should she have told Clayton her feelings before the fantasy suites? Probably. But she doesn’t owe him shit. If she wants to walk because he slept with other women, that’s totally her prerogative. Clayton can absolutely do what he wants as well. He can sleep with women, tell them he loves them, suggest they have a threesome if the final rose thing doesn’t work out, whatever. But he can’t demand they be on board with his polyamory. It’s not just that he slept with them, it’s that he told all three of them that he loved them. That’s kind of a big deal. What makes his connection special with any one of them if he’s having the exact same feelings about all of them?
It’s not even the situation that unfolded tonight that’s so upsetting to watch. It’s the way Clayton handled the situation. Susie is visibly crying and distraught. She apologizes multiple times for not telling Clayton her feelings sooner. “I know it’s too much to ask,” she says at one point. (Newsflash: It’s not). Clayton, meanwhile, screams in her face that she invalidated everything, that she should feel awful for the way she’s treated him. Then there’s the absolutely unhinged moment where he apologizes for yelling at her AND THEN BLAMES HER FOR IT. He’s like “this is so out of character for me… but you drove me to this.”
This is where we get to see the real Clayton. Not the Clayton who plays with puppies or gets sad notes from kids or smiles dumbly in front of the cameras. This is Clayton. A guy who is as likely to sleep with you as he is to scream at you.
His rage is scary. The way he strong arms Susie out of that building and into the car is scarier. There’s a moment when he’s yelling at Susie that you can tell she just shuts down. She stops crying and starts placating him. That is a survival instinct clicking into place, because it’s the moment when she realizes she isn’t safe in this conversation. That this could potentially escalate to violence. It was absolutely gut-wrenching to watch. This is the nicest man in America? The most eligible bachelor? If this is Clayton on his best behavior, I hate to see what he’s like in a relationship when cameras aren’t rolling.
Do I think Clayton is abusive? That’s hard to say. What I am saying is that this was the first time I saw any real emotion from him and it was unleashed anger aimed at a woman. Whatever respect I had for Clayton (and that was slim to begin with) is gone. I suspect I’m not alone in this feeling as I distinctly heard all of America sharpening their knives immediately after this episode ended. Good luck to you, buddy!
Images: ABC (4); Giphy (5)
Welcome back to ABC’s hostage situation, sometimes known as The Bachelor! Strap in, kids, because this week ABC is torturing us with not one but two TWO HOUR episodes. Night one (last night) is the Women Tell All, which is, as far as I’m concerned, 120 minutes of my life that I will never get back. Part two (tonight) is the Fantasy Suites, in which it’s teased that Clayton confused “female fantasy” with his personal fantasy of sleeping with three women at once and having them all be totally cool with it. Idiot.
But first, the tell-all! I’ll let you in on a little secret: I hate tell-alls. Rarely is “all” ever told. If anything, it’s just chaotic footage of a bunch of people speaking at such unfortunately high-pitched decibel levels that the immediate result is seismic activity. And it looks like tonight will be no different. The women are out for blood—and by “blood” I mean “tickets to paradise.” They spent weeks catering to every stupid whim that came out of Clayton’s mouth. Doing a scavenger hunt around the city in their underwear? Fine. Writing a comedy sketch that will ultimately bring shame and dishonor to their families’ names? Also fine. Using their masters degrees to explain to a grown man the intricacies of shrimp politics? Fine, fine, fine. But they want something out of it too! They want to be guzzling tequila on a beach in Mexico! They want Revolve swimsuit partnerships and to have Wells The Bartender autograph the smalls of their backs! Dammit, is that too much to ask for?
No one is more passionate in their quest for a Mexican vacation than Sierra. In fact, I think she had more speaking time this episode than Clayton and Jesse combined. What does she do with that speaking time? She uses it to roast the villains from this season: Shanae and Clayton. It’s a looooot coming from a girl who rolled in so much body glitter she could outshine a Cullen.
SIERRA ON THE STAGE RN:
As the unspoken host of this tell-all-turned-personal-roast, she guided us, the viewers, through every slight and petty insult. Again, it was a lot. This isn’t Gotham City, sweetie. You aren’t vanquishing the Penguin or outsmarting the Joker. You’re talking about Shanae and Clayton. My dog has better critical thinking skills than the two of them and I’ve seen her eat her own shit before. You’ve met them… what did you really expect?
Of course, there were other things that happened beyond just roasting Shanae and Clayton (though nothing nearly as entertaining). Serene, Teddi, and Sarah all got moments in the hot seat. Serene looked calm, cool, and collected and seemed barely concerned about her relationship with Clayton. Iconic. Teddi, on the other hand, seemed like she’d been emotionally pummeled by this entire experience while Sarah was still trying to summon those tears.
But enough about the boring stuff, let’s get into the true carnage from last night’s episode…
Shanae’s Still Not Sorry
It seems time does not heal all wounds, because the women still very much want to draw and quarter Shanae in the town square. In fact, the majority of this episode was spent talking about Shanae and her transgressions, which feels exactly like the point of said transgressions. She’s not here to make friends, bitches, she’s here to cause chaos and get more airtime. And guess what? You’re playing right into that!
Case in point: Shanae has yet to even breathe on the stage before the women are jumping in on her. I think Lindsey’s exact words were: “from the bottom of my heart, fuck you” and that is perhaps the kindest sentiment Shanae receives all night.
Most of Shanae’s time on stage is plagued by indecipherable cacophonous yelling and Shanae, sitting calmly through it all, shrugging smugly at the camera. The women, unsettled by the fact that almost nothing they say to her can rile her into tears, take a different tactic. In less modern times, this tactic would involve chaining Shanae to the stocks and pillory while the locals threw spoiled fruit at her face. Today, that tactic looks more like Shanae sitting in the hot seat while the women lob the term “gaslight” at her so many times it makes my head spin. I’m not sure which version of that tactic is more effective.
THE WOMEN: You’re a GASLIGHTER Shanae. You GASLIGHT.
Eventually, Genevieve joins Shanae in the hot seat. Jesse wants them to talk about their two-on-one date but Shanae dodges that question by accusing Genevieve of banging another Bachelor Nation contestant after getting dumped by Clayton.
SHANAE: After I got eliminated, I went home. I was grieving. I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t eat. And then when you get eliminated, you go home and fuck Aaron from Katie’s season.
Genevieve’s reaction is actually priceless. She looks like she just realized she’s in the Bad Place and Shanae is the demon from hell assigned to torture her for eternity. For the record, G swears up and down that nothing happened between her and Aaron, though it doesn’t really matter if it did. She doesn’t owe Clayton more than the gum wrapper at the bottom of her purse. The truth actually has no place in this conversation but, boy, do I love the way Shanae lies.
Everybody Hates Clayton
You know who everyone hates more than Shanae? Clayton! Even before Jesse calls Clayton to the stage, there is an underlying current of rage and hostility towards our Bachelor that is simmering just below the surface. The women are mad at Shanae, yes, but ultimately her reign of terror wouldn’t have existed without Clayton sanctioning it.
When Jesse does bring Clayton out to the hot seat, it’s wild to see him walking to his death like this and not even realizing it. He’s got that slaphappy grin on his face, and meanwhile, the crowd is waiting to tar and feather him at the first nod from production.
Clayton starts off by saying that he regrets nothing—not even dry humping to completion on that bar top with Shanae. Wow. The audacity of an apology from a mediocre white dude. It’s truly stunning to behold.
This does not please Sierra, who has gone full Batman on his ass. I genuinely think Clayton may cry during this interaction. The last time he was held accountable for his actions was by his mommy, but even she would end each scolding by acknowledging that he was a special boy. He’s a nice guy, ladies, he swears!!
My favorite part of Clayton’s verbal beating was by far when Sierra said that he doesn’t have what it takes to be a married man. I may or may not have fallen off my couch in a fit of glee. YOU DON’T HAVE WHAT IT TAKES TO BE A MARRIED MAN. Sierra, how would you know what it takes to be a married man? Have you dated one of those before, ma’am??
By the end of Clayton’s roasting no one is rooting for him anymore—not even his family members. Teddi lets it slip that after Clayton dumped her, his brother slid into her DMs. His brother. ET TU, BRUTE?! God, to be a fly on that digital message wall.
And that’s the tea, fam! Everyone hates Shanae and no one wants to sleep with Clayton. Don’t you feel like “all” was revealed?? I can’t wait to watch Clayton blow his life up even more in the Fantasy Suites. Until then!
Images: ABC/Craig Sjodin; Giphy (3)
Happy Hometowns, hooligans! I thought my day was rough when one of my students decided that an acceptable excuse for missing my class was “Buffalo Wild Wings had a special and now I’m horizontal and regretting my life choices,” but I think having to introduce Clayton—Clayton!!!—to the people that raised you might have me beat. Lol, can you even imagine?
That’s right, kids: Hometowns are here! This is the first real Hometowns we’ve had since COVID wreaked havoc on our world order—and by “world order” I mean our reality TV blueprints. The day has finally come where ABC gets to sub out La Quinta Inn conference rooms and papier-mâché state capitals for real homes and real towns. I’m sure to make it happen they only had to sacrifice their least favorite intern to a God of Old in the bowels of ABC studios. But was it worth it?? Absolutely not.
Historically, Hometowns are one of the more dramatic episodes of the season. It’s a time when the Bachelor gets to explain to the friends and family of the woman he’s dating that he’s seriously dating this woman… as well as three other women. And the cognitive dissonance the families must experience! Their blessing from this date basically results in their child traveling to an undisclosed location where they’ll play a game of “just the tip” with Clayton.
CLAYTON THIS WEEK: I will take such good care of your daughter. She means the world to me.
CLAYTON IN ONE WEEK:
So, yeah. Tensions are usually high. Usually. But during Hometowns this week, the messiest thing to happen on a date was watching Serene psychologically torture Clayton with an obstacle course. Where were the tears? The mothers getting drunk off Chardonnay? The fathers alluding to having favorite places to hide bodies? The jealous sisters trying to sabotage the favorite child’s happiness? Instead we got to watch four well-adjusted families and their well-adjusted daughters make small talk with the human equivalent of burnt toast. Boooo. Let’s get into it.
The Biggest Snooze Fest: Susie’s Hometown
The biggest disappointment this week was Susie’s date. I say “disappointment” because all 12 minutes of footage ABC allotted to Susie’s hometown were about as visually stimulating as watching blades of grass grow. Susie invites Clayton to join her in Virginia where she wants to find out if Clayton “likes to be choked.” Lest we all forget that Susie has a personality, and it’s Jiu Jitsu. I hope your grandmother finds that joke as funny as you do, Susie.
You can tell Clayton is relieved that the only choking he’ll have to do is to that nice-looking sensei over there. Clayton looks like the type to spank a woman in bed and then immediately apologize for it. In fact, I suspect that could be his kink: uncontrolled apologies.
Later, Clayton meets the family, and they’re cute but boring. That’s great for Susie’s well-adjusted-ness as a human but bad for our viewing pleasure. The only moment of tension we really get is when Susie’s father talks to Clayton one-on-one. He explains that when he was sick, Susie never left his side. That’s just the kind of girl Susie is. I think it’s fun that he’s emphasizing the importance of loyalty to a man who’s playing tonsil hockey with a small pledge class of women.
Susie’s mom is the only voice of reason. She tells Susie to proceed with caution—remember, Clayton has never actually said he loves you!—and Susie nods resolutely. She will definitely keep that in mind when Clayton asks to do butt stuff next week.
Hometown Winner: Gabby’s Grandpa
Every Hometown has its winners and losers, and this week’s winner was hands down Gabby’s Grandpa John. Personally, I’ve never understood the appeal of Gabby. Clayton, and America, seem to think that she is some sort of comedy savant. Well, this week watching her hike in what can only be described as a Euphoria x Dick’s Sporting Goods collab—I’m skeptical.
CLAYTON: Everyone knows that Gabby is the funniest woman alive
ME, A SELF-PROCLAIMED FUNNY GIRL:
I worry that Clayton has associated “humor” with just girls who laugh…
But you know who I do understand the appeal of? Gabby’s Grandpa John. John is, in short, a national treasure and should be protected as such. When Gabby’s family asks her what their first impressions of each other were and she has to admit that her first words to Clayton involved her asking him to sit on her face AND GRANDPA JOHN LAUGHS?!
Look, I’m not saying Clayton should propose to Gabby solely because he would get to do family dinners with Grandpa John, but I’m not not saying that, either. I mean, talk about a man who understands comedic timing. This man should have his own Netflix special. I’d watch it. Case in point? These iconic lines from the episode:
“You like Gabby? She’s always been a dingbat”
“What do I think of Clayton? He’s full of shit. Anybody who likes you is obviously full of crap!”
“If this isn’t forever, I’ll be really pissed. I’ll come back and haunt you.”
There is a point during Gabby’s hometown date where it becomes clear that I’ve had too much wine to deal with Grandpa John. He tells Gabby that the only person he’s loved more than her is his late wife and, y’all, I AM CRYING IN THIS CLUB RN. If I’m not careful this man is going to melt my cold, dead heart.
Hometown Loser: Clayton
Where there’s a winner, there’s a loser… Hi Clayton!! Every season ABC tries to make the Bachelor out as the idyllic life partner and, boy, have they had their work cut out for them with Clayton. Overall, Clayton has been about as dynamic to watch as a Looney Tunes character—and I’m afraid that’s being unkind to the Looney Tunes. You would think that Hometowns would be a time for him to really shine. After all, ABC has been telling us from day one that he’s good with dogs and kids! Think again. With the families he’s bland and awkward. With the women he has less cool points than a fanny pack.
Serene’s Hometown is a great example of this. From the opening moments of this date, I’m wondering what the hell Serene sees in Clayton. It’s like watching an earthworm try to court a gazelle. Because here’s the thing about Serene: she’s goddamn gorgeous. And Clayton is fully aware that someone as hot and smart as she is should in no version of reality want to date his measly ass. I don’t think Serene cares much for Clayton either.
This is particularly evident when she plans her hometown date for Clayton. Her dream date with him apparently involves making him wet himself on national television. Now I ask you, is that the kind of activity you would force upon a man you actually want to sleep with??
She’s like, “welcome to my hometown! Now, suit up, we’re doing an obstacle course that has only ever been completed by the at-risk teens in our town who got sent to wilderness camp.” Clayton looks hilariously horrified. He would like to go back to the time when the only obstacles he engaged in were self-made and involved him trying to hide his chubby from the cameras whenever Serene showed up to one-on-one dates in those corset tops.
I’m not sure what Serene was hoping to accomplish with this date, but it sure as hell wasn’t to induce any sexual feelings towards the man. She spends more time laughing at his terror than anything else.
SERENE: Yeah, it’s funny I’ve never seen a grown man scream like that before?
THE GROWN MAN IN QUESTION:
You and me both, honey. His screams will be forever imprinted on my brain stem.
Most Dramatic (?) Hometown: Rachel’s Hometown
Rachel’s date proved to be the most dramatic, but again, I’m using the term “dramatic” loosely. Dramatics would require 1) any sort of plot twist, or 2) for Rachel to speak above the decibel of rustling leaves.
The date starts out hot enough. The two go kayaking in a swamp (reminder: Rachel is from Florida so potentially being eaten by gators while they gyrate against a stump is probably a step up in the romance department from the other Florida men she’s dated). Eventually they happen across a kissing tree where the two proceed to make out in such a way that will definitely result in one or both of them getting a UTI. Ay yi yi. That tree said “kiss”, not fornicate!!
There is a brief moment where ABC tries to tease us into thinking that Rachel’s father will not support their union. We learn that Rachel’s father is notorious for hating Rachel’s boyfriends and even once threatened bodily harm to an ex. Sounds promising, right? Nope. Very quickly even that drama gets squashed with a brief promise on Clayton’s part to always support Rachel’s career. ABC!! At this rate the Hallmark channel has more drama and tension than what I’ve witnessed on this screen.
So, Who Goes Home?
Serene. During the rose ceremony Clayton chooses Gabby, Rachel, and Susie to advance to the Fantasy Suites. Your funeral, ladies. Clayton doesn’t really explain his choice except to say that he’s sorry, he had to follow his heart. Is it the heart thing or is it that you’re still trying to get the skid mark stains out of your drawers after that Fear Factor date? Be honest, Clayton. Either way, Serene gets
to dodge a bullet sent home and we have to wait until next week to watch Clayton set fire to everything he knows and loves. I do love watching a man destroy himself. Until then!
Images: ABC/Craig Sjodin; Giphy (5); ABC