I don’t really like to ever consider the possibility that my Bachelor-watching days could come to an end; but if by some divinely ordained twist of fate (children/Bourne-style amnesia/Monday night softball league/Amish conversion) I do ever stop watching, you can be damn well sure that I will still tune in for Fantasy Suites just to see the looks on the girls’ faces when the first Fantasy Suite participant comes back for the post-coital common room debrief. Take those faces, frame them, and hang them in the goddamn Louvre. Three remaining ladies, three Fantasy Suites, and three chances for Matt to slither and slide his way out of telling these poor women that he’s in love with them. Let’s jump in.
This is most everyone’s favorite part of the season. It’s the episode where the women get to say the quiet part out loud over and over again, the most popular refrain going something like “I am in love with Matt, and he’s with another woman right now.” Who knows what exactly goes on at Guantanamo Bay, but if we ever were to capture a young, beautiful, aspiring influencer who also happened to be plotting a terror attack against the United States, then concocting a fake reality television scenario where she falls in love with a guy who is sleeping with several other women and then has to have intimate contact with those women, then I have no doubt she’d be spilling her secrets faster than Morgan Wallen’s PR team gets an apology video up on Instagram after *insert unacceptable but nonetheless disappointing-because-his-new-album-is-so-fire transgression here.*
Every season there is one scene that has good intentions, but is genuinely uncomfortable to watch. Matt’s reckoning with his dad was this scene. I don’t really understand what the premise of their conversation was, as Matt seemed intent on hammering home the point that he was not like his dad, something that his dad didn’t react particularly well to. It started out cordial enough until Matt’s dad started pinning his paternal paucity on the fact that his dad had been killed when he was 5. Hmmm. The next sequence concerned his dad’s infidelity. “I came home one day and she was gone” seemed like a fair response to Matt’s question of why did you abandon us, however Matt’s next lines “who is going to stay with a man who isn’t going to be faithful to them?” and “would you want your daughter to be with someone who would disrespect her like that?” was when the uncomfortability really started ratcheting up. I’m not going to dwell on the double standard between Matt castigating his dad for being unfaithful when he’s about to sleep with three different girls on three consecutive nights, all of whom he has been diabolically leading on for weeks with mild displays of affection, is notable nonetheless.
The best line of the exchange was “this isn’t a celebration, this is a journey for me,” followed by “if we were celebrating we’d be at ChuckE Cheese right now.” The fact that Matt classifies ChuckE Cheese as a celebration is the most relatable thing he has said all season… someone should probably tell him that Dave and Buster’s is likely a better option if he wants to avoid awkward interactions with Kit however. For two guys who were really at each other’s throats a moment before, Matt and his dad really reconciled things quickly and it was a paradigm shift from “you cheated on my mother you scumbag” to “I love you dad no hard feelings.” It was the most dramatic reconciliation event since Chaz Michael Michaels and Jimmy MacElroy put aside their differences to pull of the Iron Lotus at the 2002 Winter Olympics.
Onto the actual dates…
Michelle calling Fantasy Suites “overnights” is quite cute – leave it to the grade school teacher to PG-13 the fuck out of this raw, overtly-sexual event – and it was Michelle who received the first date card, reading “it’s time to get even closer – Matt.” Michelle was treated to a Pennsylvania Dutch spa experience, whatever that is. From the looks of things, it involves taking the products of a cow, and smearing them all over yourself after an introductory oatmeal pedicure. It’s interesting, Matt and Michelle don’t really have electric on screen chemistry or super stimulating back and forth convos a whole lot, but I get the sense that beyond the camera, Michelle is actually a lot of fun to be around and has a much more outgoing and bubbly personality than Rachel or Bri. Their principal topic of conversation was not about being in love, but “staying in love,” a concept that unsurprisingly Matt “liked a lot.” They enjoyed dinner in the shadow of a painting depicting three enormous red roses, before Matt instigated their trip to the Fantasy Suite with the painfully cringeworthly line: “let’s get out of here.” You’re a week away from potentially getting engaged to this woman and you’re soliciting her like it’s last call at the local watering hole. It’s no surprise that the college bar crusader responded to Michelle’s “I love you Matt” by leaning right in for the kiss and hitting her with the “thank you for telling me that.”
On to Bri’s date. There was definitely a second where Bri thought that their Fantasy Suite was actually going to be in the woods and her unhappiness at this possibility was compounded when Matt started calling her Dora the Explorer. While she certainly shares Dora’s diminutive stature, Bri lacks Dora’s tenacity as well as her readiness for compromising situations. That compromising situation was her pouring her heart out to Matt and receiving absolutely nothing in return. In a similar vein to his “thank you for telling me that’s,” Matt responds to a lot of the questions he fields with an instinctive “that’s a great question…” once again, this is love Matt, not desperately trying to buy some time in an interview because you didn’t prepare an answer for “where do you see yourself in five years?” The two then went to dinner and Bri laid it all on the line. “Bri told me that she was in love with me, and it’s a great feeling.” Once a fucking gain, this is supposedly life-lasting love Matt, not getting a surprise B dash on a test you thought you bombed! I wonder which focus group it was where they found out that Tayshia’s season didn’t have enough professions of love, because these women really got the message and were tossing out I love yous left and right. Bri and Matt went to the Fantasy Suite… shocker.
Rachael was absolutely freaking out when both ladies returned from their dates. Yes, it’s an uncomfortable situation, but you know exactly what’s coming so it shouldn’t have come as much of a surprise. The two went on a pottery sculpting date, and while Matt was busy digging his fingers into the clay, Rachael looked like she was going to cry the entire time. They had a long conversation where Rachael made it clear that she “didn’t want to wait around for the heartbreak,” and Matt got the message, responding to her affection by saying that he was falling in love with her. The rest of their day was pretty unspectacular to be honest, with the only notable thing happening in the Fantasy Suite being the fireworks that she was afforded… talk about white privilege!
Michelle and Rachael got the roses and progress to the finale on Monday!