When William Shakespeare wrote that “all the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players,” he was probably not anticipating that this stage would include the Camarillo Air Strip in Southern California, and the most prominent players would be promiscuous Pete and his band of tenderfoot matrimonial minions. What would he say if he found out that 21st Century society had largely left behind the fickle and frivolous love of Titania and Bottom? That eyeballs were no longer enchanted by Hamlet and Ophelia’s slow demise, or Kate and Petruchio’s pugnacious kinship? You may posit that he would decry the state of modern entertainment; that he would scoff at the simplicity and shallowness of modern depictions of love. I think differently. “But soft! What light through yonder window breaks? It is the east, and the Bachelor is the sun.” Put Bill in front of last night’s Fantasy Suites episode and these words, normally entrusted to his Romeo in the Capulet’s orchard, would inevitably have been spilling out of his awe-struck and gaping jaw. Fantasy Suites – “Once more unto the breach dear friends, once more!”
The start of the episode had been teased in last week’s Hometown’s episode. Madison follows Peter out of the airplane hangar, they engage in a textbook example of pretzel-legs, and then Madison brings the hammer; the confession that will be a major Thor in Peter’s side moving forward. Peter once again approached the conversation with about as much tactical acuity as the USA-bear-poking General Ludendorff during WW1, but are we even remotely surprised at this point? “Are you ok?” he chides – Obviously not you fucking moron, she’s just dragged you out of the airplane hangar for a chat after being told she gets the free vacation of a lifetime to the Gold Coast for a week. Madison tries to warm Peter up to her eventual confession, but he is incapable of connecting any of the copious circumstantial evidence that Madison is presenting. Long story short, she gives him the ultimatum, reminding him that “actions speak louder than words.” Maybe Madison should have acted out “don’t have sex with the other girls” because Peter didn’t really seem to understand. In the indelible words of Dewey Finn, Peter, “read between the lines!”
To Australia! I’m not sure what kind of crystal ball Drake was using when he sat down to write the introduction to his smash hit Trophies, but he quite clearly crafted the opening lyrics by examining Peter’s predicament when he arrives in Australia and used the song to showcase himself as the exact antithesis of this poor, beleaguered pilot. Let’s explore line-by-line, Drake in italics:
“Had hit records on my demo” – Peter has never had a demo, let alone any hit records come from it
“Did y’all boys not get the memo” – Peter has only interacted with women for weeks, if he has any boys they most definitely are not responding to his memos even if they are getting them
“I do not stay at the Intercontinental” he is staying at The Intercontinental
“And anything I got is not a rental, I own that mothafucka”- His white range rover is a rental, his hotel rooms are all rentals, I would even go as far as saying that at least two of his dates are “rentals”
“Figured out this shit, it’s simple” – Peter has figured out about as much as a collection of newborns in an escape the room
“My stock been going up like a crescendo” – Enron, WorldCom and Lehman Brothers are all looking like more attractive stocks than Peter right now
Whoever decided that it would be a good idea to have all three of the girls living together in the same apartment deserves a position amongst the stars. A new constellation called Sirus Drama perhaps? I would liken the entire situation to a corona-virus quarantined cruise ship; a floating Petri dish of female dissension where everyone is highly suspicious of one another and the girls get temporarily removed from their purgatory to undergo a series of body-centric tests before being cast back into contagion. It was chaos, and prompted the kind of back-stabbing and shit-talking that makes The Bachelor what it is.
The hilarious conversations that their proximity engendered started immediately after they all realized what the living situation was. One such conversation resembled one of my favorite recent social media gimmicks which requires Twitter users to say something so uncharacteristic or absurd that it will immediately raise an alarm to your friends and followers. The challenge reads as follows: “You’ve been kidnapped. Your kidnappers allow you to keep tweeting/posting to pretend everything is alright. What would you tweet/post that would alarm your followers without the kidnappers knowing that you’re asking for help?” I think mine would be something along the lines of: “Does anyone have a spare copy of Donald Trump Jr’s new book I could borrow?” or “I like the integrity of this new-look Astros team, I think I’ll support them this year.” I foolishly thought that Victoria F would have saved her absurd, must-have-been-kidnapped assertion for a circumstance in which she was under duress… Instead she came out with it right off the jump by claiming that her hometown visit WENT WELL! Under absolutely no circumstances can a trip be classified as a success when the primary objective (i.e. introducing your philandering boyfriend to your cuter-than-cute family) gives way to an argument started over something of equivalent magnitude as Peter leaving the toilet seat up! Anyways, onto the Fantasy Suite dates!
Hannah Ann began her Fantasy Suite date by making her intentions crystal clear: “I hope he’s ready” is unambiguous in its sentiments and the date had a sense of inevitability to it right from the start. Hannah Ann coming out with the line: “Whatever happens this week just know I’ll still be here” does not seem like the kind of thing you should be telling the man you’re trying to lock down, but the issuance of her hall pass aside, the two had a nice jetski date, followed by an extended period of intimacy that included sand, sea and god knows what else. Their escalation to the Fantasy Suite took all of seventeen seconds, and the rest is history! When Hannah Ann returned to the lion’s den, she was greeted by dagger stares from Madi and Victoria. It would have been hilarious if Hannah Ann had come back in a wheelchair or something to really twist the knife into her competitors but alas, she accepted the compliments of the other girls despite the fact that “you look really tanned” is obviously code for “you’re glowing, what did you do last night you sinful harlot?”
“I love everything about Victoria, except when it comes to communicating” is about the reddest flag in the history of flags and perfectly sums up the dystopian dysfunction of Peter and Victoria’s relationship. It is also (finally) an explicit acknowledgment that Peter has kept Victoria around for exclusively sexual purposes, because what else does one do in a forever relationship other than maybe a bit of communication? The two were also celebrating the fact that they had made it a whole 45 minutes into a date without fighting (“yet”); this seems healthy. When Peter told Victoria that “there’s nothing that you need to work on” I started guffawing. Isn’t this what Ted Bundy’s female friends used to tell him before they went on rustic mountain drives? Their graduation to the fantasy suite took all of seven seconds, trouncing Hannah Ann’s previous personal best. “Last night took our relationship forward in more ways than one.” How many ways Victoria? Do elaborate. Four perhaps?
Madison is really taking liberties coming at Peter for being in love with three women when she is in love with three men: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. It was hilarious but also a little sad that Madison’s impassioned plea for Peter’s celibacy went in one ear and out the other faster than you could say: “maybe Peter will make some sexual sacrifice to settle down with Madison?” Peter could have at least given the illusion of not trying to hook up with everything in sight, something that shouldn’t have been so hard if he actually feels as he says he does about Madi, but no, there was blood in the water and big sharks gotta eat! Peter and Madison had a nice time scaling buildings. My big takeaway from their date was that the poor cameramen on this show need a raise. Imagine having to watch Victoria and Peter going at it like rabbits one night, and then having to scale the side of a massive building to film Peter and Madi making out on top of a skyscraper for 2 hours the next? This was all a nice precursor for the fireworks that defined their dinner date. Madi was blunt: “For me personally, I wouldn’t be able to say yes to an engagement if you have slept with the other women, those are my expectations,” and Great Expectations they are, unless you’re Peter and you pride yourself on putting the “Dick” in Dickens! Having your future husband sleep with someone less than a week before he proposes to you is obviously not ideal, but given Peter’s long and illustrious career in Fantasy Suites, what was she ultimately expecting? Pete to “not have sexual relations with those women?” It’s muscle memory at this point. Madi didn’t take it well, she left, they cried outside blah blah blah.
Things are perfectly poised for a rose ceremony that promises to be by far and away the most impactful of the season so far. I have a dentist appointment next Monday at 7PM. Hard cancel. Til’ Friday!