Fantasy Suites never fail to disappoint. In a season that has been foraging the depths of the Marianas Trench trying to conjure up some decent storylines, the Fantasy Suites episode once again illustrated that yes, sex sells, but not as much as making people who are having sex with the same person sit around and publicly acknowledge that fact. During Fantasy Suites week, the proverbial elephant in the room isn’t just chilling in the corner hoping that none of the remaining men notice it… this elephant has its presence validated by decades of Fantasy Suite sexual conquest, and might as well be stomping all over the dignity of those in his room, giving stirring renditions of Marvin Gaye’s greatest hits as a constant reminder that monogamy is out of the office.
The episode started with a little therapy session from JoJo. I have no idea what she is still doing there since Chris has been back for a while, but for someone who is supposed to be the poster child for finding love on The Bachelorette, she sure seems pretty keen to be away from her husband for as long as possible. Maybe a reality television engagement starts to unravel when you’re forced to actually quarantine with that person as opposed to just snuggling on Good Morning America, or doing couples Cameos? Instead of alleviating any of Tayshia’s anxieties, JoJo actually seemed to make her situation worse by pretending that Fantasy Suites are anything more than the physical manifestation of to this point largely Platonic relationships… JoJo was talking about “jobs, relocating, family, and kids” – come on girl, that’s not what this is about!
Ivan had the first Fantasy Suite date, something that Brendan and Zac did not seem too pleased about. This fear was founded, as Ivan very quickly illustrated that he very much puts the nauti in aeronautical engineer! Their date began with an attempt at The World’s Longest Coldest Kiss. Yes, they had to kiss for like 6 minutes in an ice bath. I’m not sure what was more pathetic, the actual challenge itself, or the fact that Ivan viewed the accomplishment as some kind of heady relationship mandate. “If Tayshia and I set our minds to do something, we can really accomplish anything” is equivalent to saying that because you made your bed in the morning, you’re subsequently qualified to perform open heart surgery or something.
Another thing… Was this a Guinness Book of World Records record? I’ve seen some of the shit in there and by comparison, Tayshia and Ivan’s feat would have barely cracked the Keystone Ice Book of World Records. Not to continue to dunk on their coldest longest kiss hijinks, but the official longest kiss ever was clocked in at over 32 hours and some Austrian geezer spent over 2 and a half hours in a custom-made glass box filled with ice cubes up to his shoulders. By this logic of just combining record conditions to create new ones, I am now the world record holder for eating 4 bags of sour cream and onion Ruffles whilst wearing a Mason Ramsey concert tee at my house on August 14th, 2020 – give me my fucking trophy; ain’t nobody beating that one!
Are we just not going to acknowledge that Ivan’s Fantasy Suite was the Derek Shepherd “my-wife-cheated-on-me-so-I’m-moving-to-Seattle-and-living-a-Spartan-life-where-I-can-drink-beers-on-the-porch-and-sleep-with-my-subordinates” airstream trailer from Grey’s Anatomy? By the looks of things, surgical examination and anatomical exploration were high on the list of agenda items. Hey Ivan, congrats on the sex.
Zac’s date began with an awkward you-slept-with-another-man-last-night hug, however any hard feelings quickly evaporated when Zackson Pollock started flicking paint all over the place and rolling around with Tayshia on the canvas on their painting date. I always thought the phrase was “you made your bed now lay in it,” it turns out the same applies to “you painted your bed,” as the two wasted little time sprawling all over their newly painted billet. “He’s just like the biggest dork and we just laugh” and “Apart from that, Zac is extremely attractive and tall” are not generally the prerequisite requirements for those about to be engaged, but hey, this show is weird.
Zac is the king of tell her what she wants to hear – to go from wanting zero kids to all of a sudden being content with Tayshia’s preference of five seems like quite the shift. Whether this was just a ploy to access the Fantasy Suite or a genuine about turn, whatever child-related ruse that Zac pulled, it clearly worked, as the two exchanged “I love yous” followed up with “I don’t think I’ve ever felt this way befores.” Again, saying “I don’t think I’ve ever felt this way before” isn’t necessarily a good thing (to go back to my Ruffles world record, I hadn’t felt that way before, nor do I want to again) but they do have undoubted chemistry, and it wasn’t long before Zackson was Pollocking the door to their room. Hey Zac, congrats on the sex.
Quick aside, Chris Harrison has excellent handwriting on these Fantasy Suite notes; probably for the best; I’m pretty sure that some contestants (looking at you Ed) can’t read cursive.
Onto Brendan’s date. Of course, they send the only guy who has (understandably) major pause about proposing after like three weeks to hang out with Neil Lane and start trying on wedding rings. Brendan was not having a good time on the date at all. He was sweating bullets, and it wasn’t just the 110-degree Palm Springs heat this time but the clear weight and intensity of this wedding ring situation that was opening his pores for business. It’s all fun and games watching fireworks and making out on unnaturally positioned outdoor couches, but when Neil Lane is toasting and boasting about the friends he’s made at Bachelorette reunions, it really starts to hit home.
Tayshia and Brendan had dinner in a knockoff version of the Na’vi Tree of Souls and fortunately for both of their sake’s, the cornucopia of hanging orbs shed some much-needed light on their relationship. The Bachelorette is like Fight Club, and over dinner, Brendan broke the only freaking rule – “don’t talk about The Bachelorette.” As soon as you acknowledge the fact that you have to meet, compete for, and then propose to someone over the course of only a couple of weeks, you have displayed a level of rationality and clear-headedness that makes you fundamentally incompatible with pretty much every core tenet of the show. While Brendan could theoretically install a commercial roof over her head, Brendan and Tayshia won’t be building a home together. The fact that Brendan didn’t even stick it out for a night with Tayshia in the Fantasy Suite really illustrates his maturity/his careful cultivation of the kind of tortured soul that would be PERFECT as the next Bachelor…
Ben is back and while I’m sure he has taken part in some covert operations before, hiding in the bushes at the La Quinta in the off chance that one of the men goes home and there’s a Fantasy Suite going spare? The joint chiefs of staff are probably knocking down his door right now trying to get him to resurrect his military career. I have no idea what’s going to happen tonight, but for pretty much the first time this season, I’m actually intrigued to find out!
Happy watching people!