This episode opens up in a continuation of last week’s DeMario nonsense. Rachel talks to him because she genuinely wants to hear him out, and mentions then some bullshit about respecting that he came to the mansion (???). She lets him spout some honest-to-goodness terrible lines (“I talked it out with my Uber driver on the way here,” “I know this quote, ‘In order to experience joy, you need to know pain…’”) and Rachel shut him down in fantastic display. It’s honorable, it’s what we needed, and it shows everyone that she doesn’t play. The men are impressed! Or so they act. Their display of protectiveness over Rachel was cringey to watch because this is just another demonstration that she doesn’t need someone to protect her in the 1950’s sense. She’s a grown woman! When comforting her, the men had nothing new to say, other than, “That made me genuinely upset because I care about you so much” which continues to center their feelings over a discretion against Rachel! Ugh.
Oh, and Blake E. and Lucas got the boot. Well deserved. Their fight was tired and childish, and they were only brought on to continue their beef from another reality show. They both called each other clowns and got really offended about it. I was happy to end this chapter and move on to the remaining 15-or-so men that were willing to let Lucas do his Whabooming somewhere else.
The first group date was a trip to the Ellen show. I’m not a big Ellen fan, which is a story for another time, so I took the three minutes of contestants fawning over Ellen to answer emails. The Never Have I Ever game was fun, but Bryan lost a point when he called Rachel his “sloppy seconds” on a national talk-show. When the boys were told to dance with their shirts off, we got a nice close-up of what Alex can do with music and old white ladies, which I’m storing for later. Peter continues to exist with his gap teeth, and the Tickle Monster is… there. I guess. Fred makes a formal request to kiss Rachel, which was increasingly awkward, and she sends him home pretty much minutes after that encounter.
Anthony scores the one-on-one, which is great because I had no idea who he was. They go horseback riding down Rodeo Drive which looks terribly awkward. He seems sweet, but he’s had zero screen time, which I think means something. He gets a rose after a cute dinner date that is thankfully not on horseback.
The second group date was a mud-wrestling competition where the audience is a bunch of bad actors being fed lines. It’s awkward, but it actually makes the wrestling more enjoyable because at least that is genuine. As much as I want to like Kenny, I feel that I don’t know anything real about him. As much as him caring about his daughter is a show of emotionality, I wish he brought something else to the table. As for the rest of the date, now I know Dean’s smile will continue to be his focal point, even covered in mud and shirtless. That night, Eric gets a rose for opening up with Rachel. But not without stirring the pot!
By the way, Eric is absolutely right regarding his fight with Lee. Why are people attacking him? Sure, Eric is wrong when he suggests the other men see him as a threat, since that is literally the nature of an elimination-propelled reality show. And yeah, he whines about Rachel being closed-off , which is unwarranted and a misunderstanding of how relationships work. But in his argument with the other men, he’s right! No one here is a ride-or-die – they met less than two weeks ago in a very specific circumstance. It doesn’t make sense for the other contestants to be Eric’s relationship coach – unprompted, by the way. They aren’t really concerned about Eric – they want to “expose” Eric so they can feel that they helped weed out Rachel’s field, and look like a hero in her eyes, but it’s like they learned nothing from Blake E. and Lucas’ staged clown-off.
In Act 3, Eric shut. down. Iggy when Iggy tried to awkwardly insert himself in a conversation that wasn’t about him. Iggy’s performance as a concerned man was not convincing – 1 out of 5 stars, truly.
Also, the whole bit with Lee, a known racist, proclaiming that Eric yelling the night before changed his perception on Eric as a person. What? Why does this matter at all? And why does Lee keep professing his love for Eric when arguing with him? This isn’t about love, it’s about justice! And now it’s about race!
I didn’t even mention the most exciting part of this episode – the teaser. Lee/Eric bullshit is still around, but in the teaser, one of the black men in the house sit outside with Lee to explain the history of white men calling black men aggressive and its’ ties to racial violence. On ABC? Do the producers know this show is part of the Disney network? I applaud it and can’t wait to see Lee’s racist reaction!
In case it wasn’t known, Lee is a racist who shouldn’t even be on the show. His views are toxic and dangerous, and everyone should be condemning him for it. I think Vulture’s _____ is absolutely right when she suspects that Lee was a leftover pick from ABC’s pipe-dream of a Raven Bachelorette #13 – you know, before the producers invented diversity. Not sure what he said the first night to get picked over the beautiful Bryce E. who deserved at least a few more seconds than his 10 seconds of exposure. Please support my petition to change Lee’s lower third to “Racist MF’er”, thanks!
Tell me the audience would not be enthralled to get an After the Final Rose ceremony where Rachel condemns these tweets. I’m already waiting for the Men Tell All special, with its’ own set of drinking rules.
I feel bad for Rachel, I genuinely do. She seems genuine and kind-hearted, and it seems like the show’s producers picked people that would generate drama over good matches for Rachel. But then I hear the noises of slurping mouths and soft piano music, and hope that she’ll be alright.
- Iggy, Lee, and Eric are slapped with roselessness. The Lee/Eric fight has much left to be mined, but Rachel has showed us that she isn’t here for bullshit. Bye-bye, boys.
- Rachel makes a pun on being tickled to send Jonathan home in the next two weeks.
- My final six: Bryan, Kenny, Dean, Peter, Josiah, and Alex. Statistically, it’s all about who gets the early-show one-on-ones and special roses.