Apologies for the lack of a blog last week – hope I can make up for it with some characteristically unimaginative analysis this go around! Let’s jump in to Monday’s episode:
Katie had “two friends” helping her with the group date. Much to my disappointment, it was not the pre-release of Big Bootie 20, but it was Kaitlyn and Tayshia, who are not her friends, they are the FUCKING HOSTS OF THE SHOW! As if the coddling of the American mind with participation trophies and “you did great honeys” wasn’t enough, now we don’t even get to watch the Bachelorette struggle, solo, with the crippling weight of carrying a franchise and reconciling the entertainment of millions with her own personal health and well-being? Give me a break!
The truth or dare scavenger hunt is always good… until you remember that the truth or dare scavenger hunt was literally in the last season of the Bachelorette and you start to wonder if there is any originality in this fickle Bachelor universe. There were a couple of highlights, notably Greg being about as proficient at dirty talk as the Virgin Mary and Christian waxing Tre’s ass with the speed and skill of Lewis Hamilton at the Monaco Grand Prix. The weirdest bit about Christian’s waxing performance wasn’t the waxing itself, it was the incredible proficiency with which he waxed Tre’s ass. The guy went full Michelangelo in the Sistine Chapel with the wax brush, displayed immaculate upward ripping form, and even had a little song that if my memory serves me correctly went something like “and a 1 and a 2 and a rip doody doo?!” Talk about waxing lyrical! The habanero proposal bit is fun too, but honestly, I’m surprised Tayshia allowed it to happen after Bennett said the weirdest shit to her on one knee in the last season. They even used the same enormous fake ring as the last go around…
Andrew S took the first bite of the apple during the evening portion of the group date… well, really it was the first bite of the Taco Bell, as he introduced their little couch canoodle by speaking the little known sixth love language: “So I hear you like T Bell?” I don’t know if he’d been watching a little too much Gordon Ramsey’s Kitchen Nightmares, but a spread with cut sour straws, Ritz crackers and cold Taco Bell? Come on man, what are you? An idiot sandwich? Taco bell kisses really hit different, but not nearly as different as everything that comes out of virgin Mike’s mouth – I would even go as far as to say he’s the sweetest, most conscientious guy in the history of the franchise.
Greg got hit with what I will now call the “Colbie Callait” (every time Katie says, “I’m falling for you” (btw this is the most elite music video since Eric Prydz’s Call on Me – worth a watch and subsequent journey down the Colbie rabbit hole)) and then proceeded to look like the coldest man in the world for the rest of the episode. I know they’re in the desert and in my long storied academic career I learned about the dangers of wildly fluctuating diurnal temperatures in the desert, but it’s still weird seeing the guys wearing jackets and coats and they’re still all obviously still freezing on the set. It’s interesting, when the men are not lounging on couches or pouring their hearts out at the pop-up prison yard gym, they all seem to be palling around in the hot tub… I pray to God that a return to Bachelor mansion and some international travel are on the horizon!
During the last episode, Thomas admitted that he wanted to be the Bachelor… what a fuckin’ idiot. This is perhaps the most obvious “don’t say the quiet part out loud” question in entertainment history. If you are blessed with a narcissism threshold that allows your pursuit of love to be beamed into millions of people’s homes every Monday night, no fucking shit you come into the show with the prospect of sustaining this fifteen minutes of fame through a show dedicated to you in the back of your head. The Thomas situation led to an interesting philosophical tug-of-war between the tell Katie about Thomas crowd led by Tre and the don’t tell Katie about Thomas crowd led by the Andrew S in the Matt James turtleneck. Ultimately, Tre told Katie about the Thomas drama and was rewarded with the group date rose for his candor and honesty about the whole situation.
Two things changed after Tre’s revelations about Thomas. The first was Katie’s mood, which went from happy and care-free, to visibly disappointed at the fact that she may have to take action against a toxic, manipulative, (but charming and hot) man; the second was the sudden realization amongst the men that they key to Katie’s heart is to ruthlessly betray your fellow contestants – no 30 pieces of silver necessary! Exactly the hand that Katie played in creating such an environment is a little ambiguous, but either wittingly or unwittingly, she managed to create an army of surreptitious and conniving Stasi informants by rewarding Tre’s Thomas revelations with a rose. All of the men fell in line, trashing Thomas at every opportunity as if their families would be whisked away to an internment camp if they didn’t. Karl tried to endear himself to Katie using the back-stabbing method, but his revelations about intentions weren’t good enough. Evidenciary standards are high in Katie’s world… you gotta have names, you gotta have receipts, you gotta embellish every little thing that this person has done and spin it to your advantage. Snitches no longer get stitches; in Katie’s house, snitches get roses.
One of the most hilarious things so far this season is the producers trying to slow reveal Blake Moyne despite the fact that every single promo this season has shown Blake’s oddly angular facial hair and male pattern balding rocking up to the party four weeks late with a smile and how are ya eh? Possibly even funnier was Tayshia’s characterization of Blake as “such an amazing guy.” Remember, this is the man who has fallen desperately in “love” with three consecutive Bachelorettes and who Tayshia cut loose like an amateur fisherman would a smallmouth bass after their strange sexual awakening date… I half wanted another Heather situation where she had to quarantine for 2-weeks, rocked up, poured her heart out and then was unceremoniously flicked after 15-minutes, but a bombshell admission that Katie and Blake had been DMing before the show makes that seem unlikely. I dread to think what kind of things Blake Moyne says in the DMs…
The Thomas situation reared its ugly head again towards the end of the episode… Thomas poured his heart out to Katie, even offering to “sign something” saying how much he was into her… what is this? Some kind of middle school engagement contract where if you’re both 40 and single then you’ll get married?! It requires a level of confidence and toxicity very few possess to even try and pull off the red blazer look, so when Thomas interrupted the rose ceremony to basically say that he was sorry but really everyone was overreacting, it wasn’t in the least bit surprising.
I’ve been complaining a lot in recent seasons about how there isn’t really any genuine, Hitchcockian, grip your seat, white knuckle suspense… this rose ceremony was different. Thomas got called up to receive a rose and Katie hit him with an ice-cold wall that would have made a prime Frozone proud. “You told me things I wanted to hear – but what I learned tonight is that you’re selfish, unkind, and a liar. YOUR AUDITION FOR THE BACHELOR ENDS TONIGHT.” Wow. This was defeat snatched from the jaws of victory; an Iguodala-Lebron stuffed at the rim moment; I haven’t felt this way since The Red Fucking Wedding!
A couple of final observations: I thought that Michael was the biggest squid in the entire world at the beginning of the season but he is maturing into kind of a stud. The shadowy beard, the rose strapped to his chest, his perfectly coiffed hair, his sweet demeanor mixed with stark realness about how to treat Katie’s fragile heart. Maybe I want to get engaged to Michael?! Also, every time Hunter opens his mouth and isn’t wearing a long-sleeve shirt, I cannot take anything he says because his tattoo sleeve of a mystical cosmic universe makes him look like the love child of Thanos and a really bargain-basement Adam Levine.
Its episode four and I’m still finding myself saying “who the fuck is this guy?” Hopefully I will know everyone’s names soon!
Until next week folks