Becca Kufrin is a fabulous date. Bachelorette foibles aside, Becca is attentive, interested, and just chill enough to put her suitors at ease. She’s also making this process much easier for us because she keeps labeling her contestants.
“You seem like a romantic a little bit,” she tells Leo, who most certainly is a romantic. She also tells Christon, the one guy unafraid to whack her with a dodgeball, that he “keeps her on her toes.” Mark my words: Becca knows the names of all her contestants. (She’s also, by extrapolation, probably a mean publicist.) She’s not just letting the contestants date her; she’s actively dating them, which is always exciting to see. No matter how frivolous this show gets — there was a pink fur blanket heavily featured in this episode — hints of the real world always bleed through, proving that we’re not at smart as we think we are.
Maybe because Becca’s such an exacting Bachelorette, this season is already more dramatic than others. The two main conflicts in this episode feel, well, real. (I know. One is about a photograph. Hear me out!) First, Connor destroys a photo beloved by Lincoln, the winner of a group date challenge. Later, Colton reveals that he briefly dated Tia from last season of The Bachelor. Both of these incidents unsettle Becca, something that shouldn’t be discounted. Becca has good instincts. At least, she does so far.
Group Date # 1
A wedding date! (Sadly, though, not one starring Debra Messing or Dermot Mulroney.) The men don tuxes which, ironically, don’t look that different from their usual cocktail attire. There’s some “people are naked” giddiness going around the date while the guys strip down in front of Becca. Here, Jordan drops some knowledge: Before you put on clothes in the morning, you have to put on your confidence. It’s not bad advice. Embroider it on a pillow, Jordan. Someone will buy it.
This date would not have been interesting were it not for Rachel Lindsay. Rachel is glowing and — dare I say it? — Bryan Abasolo is downright charming. They introduce the date, an obstacle course for marriage. It’s cheesy, purposefully so. There’s a “ball and chain” challenge as well as a “cold feet” challenge. The best one? They have to use their mouths to find a ring in a giant wedding cake. No hands allowed here.
In the words of Rachel Lindsay, “What that mouth do?” Cunnilingus just made it to The Bachelorette! We have arrived! Rachel, we missed you. Bryan also slips in some blue humor when the men jump into cold water, saying, “Don’t worry about shrinkage, guys. It happens to the best of us.”
The drama begins when Lincoln (“Wanker” guy) cheats on the challenge, speeding up his timer so he can win. David (chicken guy) almost beats him, but doesn’t. Now, the rest of the guys are pouty, and Lincoln is glowing. He wins a photograph of himself with Becca as well as a kiss. The kiss, in his words, is like “riding to the moon on the wings of a Pegasus.” Lincoln’s giddy poetry quickly becomes a source of conflict. How dare he gloat about his win?
Here’s the asinine part: Connor, a “fitness trainer” (just say he’s a personal trainer), is angered by the photo. So much so that he feels the need to turn it face-down. Then, Lincoln turns it face-up. Connor puts it face-down. Lincoln turns it face-up. Connor decides to end it all by throwing the photograph in the pool. Very chill of you, Connor.
Lincoln isn’t exactly being sane about this, either, but he didn’t throw a picture into a pool. Connor ends up looking like the man with a violent streak. Becca, my brilliant Becca, asks Connor if he’s done things like this before. If throwing things is his way of fixing a situation, then perhaps it’s best to escort him from the premises?
“I’m looking for a man that can still stay respectful,” Becca tells him. “I don’t want to deal with the bullshit of the drama with the other guys.” Whenever a Bachelorette has to deal with this type of infighting, the situation starts to feel grossly maternal. Becca, faced with idiocy, suddenly has to play mom to these guys. (A low point of last season was when Rachel had to question Lucas Yancey about his banana-eating habits.) And, what, she’s supposed to want to sleep with some of them after all this?
Luckily, the photograph doesn’t destroy the group date. A frontrunners emerges: Jean Blanc, the colognoisseur who almost certainly has a secret real job. Becca awards Jean Blanc with the rose for being extra attentive to her. He winked at her during the challenge! That is — one person’s opinion — kind of charming.
“I didn’t think you saw that,” he tells her. Becca is a fabulous date.
Unfortunately, a non-frontrunner also emerges. David, the chicken, tells Becca, “I like to be pushed intellectually, and I get the feeling that you like to get pushed intellectually.” And there he is, a guy who probably packed a copy of Infinite Jest.
Becca’s first one-on-one is one of the weirder dates the show’s presented, but at least it seems fun. Chris Harrison organized it and, if that’s true, he’s got some kinky taste. (Alright, Chris!) Becca and Blake (horse guy) go to a warehouse where there’s a bunch of Arie paraphernalia. There’s “his” racecar. There are televisions playing his proposal, which feels like years ago. There’s even a gray couch, pilfered from an Airbnb, where Arie dumped Becca in January. This is all for Becca and Blake to destroy while Lil John provides a soundtrack. Turn down for what?
I’m not sure what Blake is supposed to get out of this date, but the cameramen had a great time here. All of a sudden, they’re taking slow-mo shots of Champagne breaking. This is, like, the best Bachelor cinematography ever. Someone’s film school degree came in handy today. Who says The Bachelor isn’t art?
Blake’s fate feels inevitable: She likes him. He’s tall, slightly doofy, and he works with horses. Plus, he was brutally dumped not too long ago. He told a girl he loved her and then saw text messages from her friends asking “if she’d done it yet.” (She was in the bathroom when he saw the texts. Poor girl was pooping when her boyfriend discovered he would be dumped.) Blake is sympathetic and also, there’s that horse. He gets a rose as well as some kissing against a way. What that mouth do?
Group Date # 2
What’s better than trash-talking the men of The Bachelorette? Little kids doing it for you. Becca graciously invites three kids — from central casting, I hope — to coach her men through dodgeball. The kids are vicious, or at least that’s what the men are told to say. Christon says the one girl, who’s wearing glasses and pigtails, is “savage.” One of the little kids hollers “trash!” when a guy can’t hit an incoming ball. Becca briefly plays dodgeball with the men in a pair of enviable silver shorts, and the men are afraid to hit her with the ball. It’s a Catch-22, guys: Either you hit her and look like a vicious winner, or you don’t hit her, and you're a very kind but very cowardly player.
Leo, who is challenging Jordan as Most Quotable, says, “Love is pain, I guess.” He’s also a stuntman, so he’s probably comfy with pain. Leo later almost takes his team (Team Pink!) to victory, and, thankfully, there is no “bowling date” blowout. On The Bachelorette, all the teams get to go to the cocktail party.
The cocktail party introduces the Colton Drama, which is rich. Colton didn’t just date Aly Raisman. He also dallied with Tia, and he decided he’s rather pursue Becca on The Bachelorette. His interests seem apparent: He was playing around with various D-listers in Hollywood, and decided he’d make a play for true fame by going on The Bachelorette. Becca is visibly upset.
“It makes me feel a little bit sick,” she says. But, there’s something about Colton she likes! There’s just something about an ex-football player.
Colton drama aside, this date provides another frontrunner: Wills, who gets the date rose. Wills tells her that his parents are his inspiration — they’ve been married 50 years.
“Those are my people,” he says before kissing her. He describes the kiss as “sultry.” (What that mouth do???)
The Final Rose Ceremony
Well, someone finally did it. Someone got naked on The Bachelorette just for attention. Jordan disrobes just to prove to Becca that he’s spontaneous and wild. Neal Reddy of Queer Eye fame rightfully pointed out on Twitter that, erm, walking around in your boxer briefs is pretty common. I can name a hefty chunk of the population that does it before bed. I even think Tom Cruise does it in Risky Business? Not to mention, this episode was filmed when it was cold. Jordan quickly trades his birthday suit for a lush pink blanket that has to be purchased exclusively for him.
The one who reacts, though, is the one who fails. David — the intellectual chicken — decides he’s going to take the opportunity to question Jordan’s viability. “Are you more than a model?” he says. It’s supposed to be a challenge.
Jordan parries with, “Are you more than a human?” proving that nothing is harder to argue with than crazy. Let the man do his naked thing, David. This is The Bachelorette. The competition is ruthless and anything helps. (Except offering to push someone intellectually. That sucks.)
After a bit of conflict about Colton, Becca keeps him around. After all, Tia’s coming onto the show next week. Now, that’s a “damn thing” I’m interested in doing!
The Dearly Departed: Rickey, Alex, Trent
“Do The Damn Thing” Count: Thankfully, zero