Welcome back to your favorite Bachelorette recap! Last week, Gabby and Rachel headed home with their men and it was… certainly something. Give these ladies a Purple Hearts, because they have seen some shit. Gabby spent a harrowing 24 hours in both Florida and New Orleans, while Rachel faced off for Middle Earth with Tino’s dad and discovered that Tyler’s entrepreneurial ventures amounted to renting a Ms. Pac-Man machine somewhere on a boardwalk in New Jersey.
But if you thought there would be any sort of resolution from hometowns, think again, because this week ABC is delighting us with two hours of men explaining things to us. As if that isn’t my whole damn life, but carry on. Be prepared to watch a room full of America’s supposed “eligible bachelors” remind us why therapy is important. There will be screaming, there will be yelling, there will be Meatball refusing to tell us his legal name. Let’s get into it!
Hometown #7: Aven In Salem, Massachusetts
Before the men fight it out gladiator-style for relevancy and Instagram followers, we’ve got to round out hometowns with Aven’s date in Salem, Massachusetts. This should be fun. I can’t think of a better spot to foster deep, romantic feelings than the first place in American history where men fucked over women en masse.
Rachel seems worried that their relationship is as cursed as Aven’s bloodline. He mentioned several episodes back that his parents have never liked the girls he’s brought home to meet them. She doesn’t want his parents to hate her. She actually can’t have his parents hate her. Tino’s dad is already demanding a lot from her. He wants her to write a 500-word essay, written in her own blood, on why she likes his son, and then to track down Voldemort’s seven horcruxes. She can’t take on any more parental hostility at the moment.
I shouldn’t have worried, because Aven has been thinking about ways they can ensure his parents root for their love story. What does his rock-solid plan entail? A visit to see the “Love Witch”, of course!
RACHEL IN THIS WICCAN STORE RN:
I’ve never seen Rachel’s face light up quite like at the mention of half-priced crystals. Of course Rachel is into crystals. That is the most white girl shit I’ve ever heard. I worry she’s also the type that needs to consult her psychic before making basic adult decisions.
The Love Witch wants to do a love spell, because nothing says “unbreakable bond” like words chanted directly from an Urban Outfitters basic bitchcraft spell book. As if the universe can sense a white girl trying to change her fate, Rachel’s good vibes come crashing down—along with the table carrying the weight of their spell. I love that their love spell just chose to spontaneously combust rather than enter the world. Not a good sign, girlie. Your moon isn’t even rising right now!
Next up: meeting the parents. My first reaction upon seeing Aven’s parents is that the Wiccan store/love spell date suddenly makes so much more sense. His mom is definitely the type to charge her moonstones. It’s also incredibly obvious how his parents ended up divorced. Aven’s dad is the type to talk about how romance is more than fancy dinners and romantic trips, and Aven’s mom is a woman in her 50s with a nose ring. The one thing they agree on is that they support their son and, begrudgingly, Rachel. But don’t worry, Aven’s mom is already communing with the spirits to bless their union with happiness and a prosperous lineage of women. Aven’s dad will be ready and waiting with the divorce lawyer.
The Men Tell All… Or At Least, Whatever Their Brand Partners Allow In Between Breaks Of Their SponCon
What occurs next is a 90-minute montage of ads, trailers, and promotions. The last time someone was selling me something this hard, I accidentally liked my sorority sister’s IG story about her CBD business. Suddenly, the Euro trip budget makes so much more sense. Here I thought ABC’s bountiful budget was the result of the showrunners performing a human sacrifice of their least lucrative Bachelor contestants. Instead, it appears to be the result of ABC selling what little soul it has left to any advertiser willing to shill out for prime Tell All real estate. So, in a sense, they are still performing a sacrifice, just of our remaining brain cells.
No one is earning their paycheck more than Jesse Palmer. After spending an entire season practically being green-screened into each episode, the man is front and center for tonight’s Tell All. He tells us that we won’t get a rose ceremony tonight (all the men apparently make it to Fantasy Suites). He can’t be bothered to air that footage when he’s got Meatball in front of a studio audience ready to lather himself in marinara sauce.
I cannot emphasize enough how little tea is spilled. By all means, ABC, waste my time. You know how that thrills me. I’ll spare you the monotonous details and give you the highlights:
Jacob: Jacob was the guy this season who looked like he would have banged your mom the summer he lifeguarded at your neighborhood pool. He also told Gabby (to her face!) that she is the last woman on earth he would date. Him! A man whose entire sexual appeal is affixed to the tiny bun he wears on his head! Because of his faux pas, he spends the Tell All doing major image rehab. He seems sincere enough. I mean, it’s not often that you witness a man say “I was wrong” without immediately adding the caveat of “BUT” to his statement. He says that he shouldn’t have disregarded Gabby’s feelings. He also says that he’s trying to change. His black silk shirt says otherwise, but I suppose only time (and a free Mexican vacation) will tell if the change holds.
Roby: Roby came to the Tell All dressed in full Draco Malfoy cosplay. Roby, you’ll recall, was the magician Gabby and Rachel eliminated on night one because, well, come on. If they wanted to introduce their parents to an adult magician, they would have continued to online date. He does have one great line from the Tell All. After giving us his opinion on the romantic flip-floppers of this season, he dramatically screams “You need to grow some balls, Meatball!” How long do we think he was workshopping that?
Hayden: Hayden, a man who used the story of his dying dog as an excuse for calling the Bachelorettes “bitches”, refused to come to The Men Tell All. Imagine that. He preferred not to be burned at the stake by a crowd full of women drunk off complimentary champagne. Honestly, the odds weren’t in his favor. We’ll always have my fantasy!
Logan: If we can’t tar and feather Hayden, Jesse Palmer will just have to move on to his next human sacrifice: Logan. But even that public roasting lacks drama. Logan basically denies any wrongdoing and after two minutes of benign push-back, he ends his time in the hot seat by announcing his spot on Paradise. So, let me get this straight. The man plays with the emotions of a hot nurse and a hot pilot like the Bachelor mansion is his own goddamn Chuck E. Cheese, and he gets rewarded with a free trip to Mexico? This is what you’re telling me??
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Nate: If anything, Nate spends the most time in the hot seat. Jesse holds his feet over the fire for a whole five minutes while he grills him on social media rumors. Allegedly, prior to coming on the show, Nate had dated two girls at the same time, one of whom he dated for a year and a half and never even told he had a daughter. Just when I was starting to think men should be allowed to breathe the same air as me, they go and prove me wrong again. Smdh. To his credit, he does come clean about the rumors. He says it was all true, but he was a different man then. He didn’t even have an Instagram sponsorship yet! Oh, Nate. I was rooting for you, we were all rooting for you!
Meatball: If you thought the episode wouldn’t end with Meatball rolling his body through a Slip ‘N Slide of marinara sauce, well, think again. I’ve seen a lot of shit during these Tell Alls, but the sight of Chef Boyardee rolling down Meatball’s newly-waxed chest is a thing that will haunt my nightmares indefinitely. *shudders*
And that’s all she wrote, kids! Seriously, there is nothing else to write. Feel grateful that you were not contractually obligated to sit through two hours of trailers and commercials for the sake of “content.” Until next week!
Images: ABC/Craig Sjodin; Giphy (2); @thebetchelor /Instagram (1)