Yesterday evening I had the distinct pleasure of watching The Bachelorette with a couple of friends from college. One is a Bachelor Nation fan that makes Stan look like a casual listener to only Eminem’s most mainstream hits, and one had never before seen an episode… and what an episode it was to pop the cherry! Let’s jump in:
One noticeable element of this season to date has been the somewhat haphazard nature of the rose ceremonies. In this time of chronic uncertainty, there is something incredibly comforting about a traditionally constructed Bachelor episode (that is to say group date, cocktail party, one-on-one date, cocktail party, rose ceremony). In their eternal effort to spice up this new season, this delicious, hot-out-of-the-oven, chips-still-melty chocolate chip cookie cutter approach has all but disappeared. Any producer sins about content configuration however were immediately atoned by the fireworks that ignited 30-seconds into the episode last night…
Yosef looked like a prize fighter strutting to the ring when he went to confront Clare about the Dodgeball incident – all that was missing was a couple of angry looking Irish men in bath robes with sponges and Eye of the Tiger blaring in the background. Yosef’s argument was not a terrible one. Forcing the contestants to strip on national television could be considered classless, however Yosef basically said, “fuck being on some chill shit” and went 0 to 100 quicker than Drake after a Raptors NBA championship win. The conversation was similar to a nervous college freshman at their first dorm room pregame who took a couple of shots, didn’t quite feel the buzz, ripped 13 more and proceeded to tornado their way around the room until the health center was the only remaining viable option. Each line was more incendiary and mean than the last and it turned from what was a fairly respectful and productive airing of grievances, to a no holds barred character assassination that Joseph McCarthy would have been proud to have orchestrated.
Some choice lines from their encounter included:
“That type of situation being a father was unacceptable to me, you’re not setting the right kind of example for my daughter” – but playing shuffleboard in the DMs with half of the eligible bachelorettes in West Virginia is completely fine? All I’m looking for is a consistent slide here, and I’m not sure he’s applying the same rules of engagement to himself as he is to Clare.
“I expected a lot more from the oldest Bachelorette who has ever been” – now Yosef is making the age-old error of conflating age with maturity. All I will say is that as I’ve gotten older, my decision-making has become increasingly unpredictable, erratic, and more often than not detrimental to my overall health and well-being. Stay toxic Clare.
“Never in a million years would I think I would have to utter these words again, but I would never want my children to have a father like you” – in the grand scheme of men you wouldn’t want to be the father of your child, Yosef ain’t that bad. Imagine how Jared Kushner’s kids feel, or how Peter Weber’s will feel?
Closely followed by:
“You’re not fit to be a mother to my child” – OK this is all getting a little bit personal now.
“Remember, you’re almost 40” – so are Jessica Alba and Beyoncé. Settle down Yosef, Clare’s anatomy joined the Great Wall of China and The Great Barrier Reef as landmarks clearly visible from space so cut her some slack.
It should come as little surprise who came to the rescue… yes of course, Dale strolled over to his blubbering princess and immediately assuaged all of her fears and anxieties. Clare began recounting some of the things that Yosef had said to her, including that lots of the men were constantly trying to appease her. Dale’s reaction was quite clearly one of a man who had no idea what the word “appease” meant, somewhat astonishing given that he went full Neville Chamberlain on her ass during their conversation and left Clare well and truly appeased. By her own admission, all Clare has “ever wanted is a man like Dale,” and with appeasement skills like his, she won’t have to wait for Fantasy Suites to secure his piece for our time!
The cocktail party was cancelled due to Clare’s traumatic run-in with Yosef. Bennet was likely the most peeved at this. My man was looking ready to catch bullets, save the earth and then sweep Clare off her feet and fly back to Krypton leaving his Clark Kent glasses and 300-deep leather loafer collection far behind. The rose ceremony was pretty uneventful relative to some of the other happenings this episode, although what a freaking power move by Dale to rock up in a V-neck when everyone else is suited and booted and stroll out of there with the first rose (shocker.) We were treated to our first cringeworthy Dale toast to “Clare’s strength” after all the roses had been passed out. I can’t remember what Dale said, but I now can’t unnotice how minute and Shrek-like his ears are. Yosef should consider himself lucky he managed to get out of the house without seeing him, because the way he treated Clare? He was going the right way for a smacked Bottom!
On the following group date, all of the guys were talking about how they’re going to give their all to Clare, that they’re gonna go the extra mile and bring her back to the smiling, happy-go-lucky Clare pre-Yosef debacle… meanwhile, she is literally smelling Dale’s pants that she scavenged from a prior date before coming to meet them. It’s no surprise that she allowed Dale to hijack the group date and she probably even believed his “I was just going to the bathroom” excuse for his second crack at Clare of the evening.
Zak’s date was brutal right from the date card… “I’m looking for my best friend” is not the kind of message you want to get on a strictly husband-hunting show, and Zak’s status in the friend zone was set in stone after their botched attempt at a spa date and what will go down in history as “the miss.” It was all over for him when he went for the off-land flip (come on hardo, just do a cannon ball like the rest of us) into the pool, and while Zak is definitely creepy (and creepily shredded for a “cleaning service owner” in Utah,) Clare 1000000000% went in for the kiss before her DEFCON 1 abort mission buttons started flashing when she likely thought about how Dale might react. Tough bounce for Zak to get unceremoniously flicked after that, but he didn’t have a chance anyway.
The whole comedy scene was uncomfortable so I’m not going to waste much time in what has already been a long blog discussing it. All I will say is that Clare’s coping strategy for not being on a date with Dale of directing every conversation she has to be about Dale is kind of obvious and kind of annoying. I was half expecting Dale to get the rose on the date where he wasn’t on the date.
Clare gave herself a rose, because she just would. Give me Tayshia coming out of that swimming pool one hundred times out of a hundred.