It feels like it’s been no time at all since we last caught up with Rachel and her gang of sports playing, love seeking, insult throwing suitors. That’s because it literally has been no time; the most recent episode aired just yesterday, and now less than 24 hours later we are forced back into this completely bonkers world where everyone (ahem, our girl Rachel) is suddenly crying.
Let’s back up for one quick second. On last night’s episode three important things happened that are freshly relevant tonight. Two roses have already been given out: one to Bryan for repelling down a crazy tall Olympic ski lift and one to Will for being “vulnerable” on the group date. Oh also, the whole team is in Norway now. None of this matters. What matters tonight is that Kenny and Lee are STILL FIGHTING. And we have gotten a whole 2 hour episode to deal with it.
Kenny and Lee hate each other for reasons that seem crystal clear. Mostly that Lee -- as we have seen in episodes one, and two, and three, and four, and OH five --is a racist. So of course and the show has dropped him and his favorite person to fight Kenny (a black man) in the middle of the freezing cold Norwegian forest as some kind of torture and called it a two-on-one date. Let me be clear. LEE. IS. TERRIBLE. He is consistently provoking other people in the house, using phrases like “play the race card.” He has nothing to gain from this. No one has ever won a Bachelor franchise by waging a pettiness war.
“It really comes down to who I trust,” Rachel tells us as the episode opens and immediately we are in it. “It must feel terrible that you have to lie,” Kenny ridicules him. I would quote what he says but so much of it is blurred and bleeped out that there is literally no way to do that. Rachel, being a smart woman and the only adult on this date sits between them like they are children, and explains carefully that it comes down to who she believes at this point.
“That’s okay sweetheart,” Lee says patronizingly, and then immediately tattle-tales on Kenny calling him out on his lies. But she doesn’t give Kenny the rose either, and instead of getting into the helicopter with Rachel, he goes back to taunt Lee! “What could you possibly be saying?” Rachel wonders, and she’s right. He’s not saying anything. Petty behavior does not get you a rose, and this whole feud is dripping with pettiness.
All of the men are happy when a producer comes to take Lee’s luggage away, but this date is not over. Rachel and Kenny have a little one-on-one convo on her couch where he sweet talks a bit and promises that he’s “a romantic looking for love.” Ultimately, she gives him the rose, and Kenny gets to stay. This seems like a happy little resolution.
Our next cut is too our first Norwegian rose ceremony, where Rachel is wearing a sparkly dress. Dean, Eric, Peter, Alex, Adam, and Matt get to stay, which means we are saying goodbye forever to Anthony (bye) and Josiah (sad!). “I had my reasons,” Rachel promises the mean, which okay.
VROOM! We’re off. And now Rachel is in Denmark with the boys riding bikes and drinking beers. The first date card goes to Eric, and they are off to explore the city of Copenhagen. They are in a boat with champagne, everything is sunny and nice. They get in a hot tub in the middle of the city and go to a little festival. Honestly, Rachel hasn’t gotten to have enough fun on this season at all, and she deserves this great date with Eric. He gets a rose! It seems great!
But god forbid the bachelorette be happy for more than a second. We move on to the group date where Rachel and 7 men are off to become vikings. No one is wearing hats with horns on them, but the men are all in a fancy viking boat rowing oars pretty poorly while Rachel just holds her oar and looks pretty. And now they will viking fight in a lot of strange games. Finally Kenny and Adam fight with swords and shields to win Rachel’s heart.
For weeks, we have been seeing a preview of Kenny with one eye squinted shut and blood spurting out from below his eyebrow. Instead of a cool and dramatic fist fight with Lee, Kenny gets his eye scrape here. But Adam ALSO gets an eye cut, and for the rest of the episode they have to wear bandaids on their faces. In the aftermath of the viking date, they go to the cocktail hour where best kisser Bryan makes Rachel cry because he’s so nice. But the drama with Kenny isn’t quite over yet.
“This is getting more and more difficult for me as the days go by,” he tells Rachel. And he admits that his protection of his daughter is holding him back from connecting fully. “If I’m just keeping it absolutely 100,” Rachel says. “You should go home.” They obviously care about each other, obviously understand each other, and obviously appreciate each other. But love is a tricky, complicated thing, and Kenny leaves blowing kisses out the window of his van.
The group date Rose goes to last night’s make-out phenom Peter, who is wearing plaid pants! Peter wow!
“I’m in wifey mode right now,” Rachel promises as she begins her one-on-one date with Will. Off they go to Sweden where they eat pastries and play more viking games and meet an old Swedish couple. But Rachel is a little disappointed, because she wants “more from Will.” And by more she means kisses. You can see the frustration on her face that he’s not making a move. She puts him on the spot about what he’s attracted to and he admits that he usually dates white girls. This answer is obviously bad! Bad answer, Will. Rachel continues to dig, and she only becomes more disappointed and frustrated because he says he’s physical and passionate, but she doesn’t see any of that. And so she keeps her rose, and Will goes home.
“I really underestimated how hard this was going to be,” Rachel’s voice-over explains as she gazes out over a fjord in a paraphrase of a classic Bachelor franchise phrase: I never knew it was going to be this hard. And it only gets harder. Rachel only makes it a few moments in front of the men before she has to leave to cry. She returns composed and says “the hardest goodbye that I have to say” to Alex.
The episode ends with only six men left, and the promise of infinitely more tears. But at least Lee is gone.