The Bachelorette Season 14, Episode 9 Recap: Baby Elephants &, Er, Blake

Photo: Courtesy of ABC.
The Bachelorette train is hurtling towards Garrett, and, personally, I'm very fascinated. Becca has three men left (as of the beginning of this episode) and, more and more, she's making it clear that she has the hots for Garrett. Maybe it's his teeny southern accent. Heck, maybe it's even his Chris Farley impression, which reared it's ugly head in the season's premiere episode. Whatever it is, Becca Kufrin is horny for it. She just has no idea what we know — that Garrett also happened to "like" a post on Instagram claiming that David Hogg is a crisis actor. That'll kill your boner pretty quickly.
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With three men left, Becca's preferences are beginning to show. She also says in the opening moments that she's in love with two guys and falling in love with another. The unfortunate third guy is Jason, the sincere Buffalo fellow with a taste for hair gel. He's cool, but he's slightly dweebier than the others — notice how he and Becca grabbed giant smoothies on their date? Smoothies, especially giant ones, are dorky.
The episode busies itself with Jason's departure, most likely as a way of prepping him for The Bachelor. As a result, erm, not much else happens. Garrett tells Becca that he's in love with her, a first for him. And Blake starts to get nervous, something that was also happening two weeks ago. They are both truly, deeply, madly in love with Becca. Garrett is a bit more puppyish in love, smiling like some sort of fish, while Blake is in stern, let's-fucking-do-this love mode. Blake is also more a of thirst hat. (Like a thirst trap, but way more vanilla. Missionary thirst trap.) Becca says she's in love with both, too, but there's a clear lean in the Garrett direction. Garrett will win this whole thing! And then, friendlies, we'll get to watch the world's most bizarre social experiment.
For the sake of recapping, though, let's go date by date. They're in Chiang Mai, Thailand, for this episode, and things are beautiful but sweaty. ("Everywhere you walk, it smells so good," Becca says, helpfully describing the scene.)
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Blake gets his one-on-one first. Becca wants this to be clear: She likes Blake. She just can't describe what it is about him.
"There's just something about him and the way he makes me feel," she says. She does, unfortunately, later use the word "indescribable." They go hiking on a trail where kissing isn't allowed. This would mean mounting sexual tension, but kisses on The Bachelorette rarely feel more than obligatory. They reach a temple, where they undergo a ceremony with a monk.
Says Becca, ""There's something so old and cultural about interacting with a monk."
Blake at this point has decided that he's madly in love with Becca. He says he's certain that the other men don't love Becca the way he does, and he might be right. He seems to be the most stalwart of the men left. He loves Becca, but he's actually going to provide the 50/50 relationship she's seeking.
"I don't take it for granted. I know how lucky I am," he says. But, he's worried she likes the other men more than she likes him. Such is the risk of The Bachelorette.
Throughout this episode, Becca drops a few interesting details about Arie. Here, she says Arie told her he loved her before she went into the fantasy suite. I don't recall him doing so — after Ben Higgins' season, I thought The Bachelor clamped down on men spewing random "I love yous" before the absolute final rose. But, apparently, he did, and that's why Becca felt so confident going into the final rose ceremony.
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Blake doesn't have this reassurance, but he does have Becca saying, repeatedly, "Knock on wood!" when they talk about their blissful relationship. He spends a night in the fantasy suite with her and emerges a half-dressed boy in basketball shorts. Okay! Thirst hat!
A minor grievance: When Becca "woke up" the morning after, she had a full face of makeup. Either some producer neglected to give her face wipes — cruelty! — or she had her makeup done before filming. Either way, I'd really love to see the Bachelorette without so much face. At some point.
Following their night in the fantasy suite, Blake cares even more about Becca. Becca — knocking on that wood — seems satisfied.
Jason gets date two, and here's where things go awry. During their jaunts about Chiang Mai, they grab giant smoothies and shop. Becca jokes at one point that they should buy something for their "place." It's a weird thing to say if you're early in a relationship with someone, and definitely something that will change the air pressure. Suddenly, Becca's thinking about his high rise in Seattle. She's thinking about how that's maybe not what she wants. She pulls aside a producer and says she can't explain why she feels so strange.
Later, at dinner, poor Jason reiterates his feelings for her, but she can't reciprocate. "Where's your head at? I've done a lot of talking. How do you think about everything? Where does Becca stand?" he asks, sensing discomfort.
She recalls talking about the future earlier in the day. "Something felt a little off," she says. "And I don't know what it is. I don't know what it was."
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With that, she sends Jason home, feeling guilty all the while. There's the difference between the Bachelor and the Bachelorette — the Bachelorette always feels guilty sending people home.
"I'm just questioning what the hell is wrong with me," she says. Then, it's bye-bye Jason.
Before he leaves, Jason gives one last kindness to Becca. He says, "I came into this rooting for your happiness...so I hope you find it."
Becca: "I want you to find it, too."
Jason: "Sure."
Ow! Jason! I would feel bad for him, but he's being Ben Flajnik-ed. Ben left Ashley Hebert's season of The Bachelorette in full hysterics, genuinely deterred about the breakup. Enter: The Bachelor, where he fell in love with model/villain Courtney Robertson.
Finally, Garrett gets the last date. They go bamboo rafting on the river, where there are more people than production anticipated. Becca keeps saying that it's "crazy," but it looks more like a fun time to me. The main issue is that Garrett hasn't said he loves Becca. This is a concern because Becca wants that 50/50 relationship, and Garrett hasn't arrived at 50%.
Here, again, she shares Arie gossip. She claims that, after getting engaged to him, she realised that he wanted to absorb her into his lifestyle. He didn't want to mould his lifestyle to fit hers. This is all very interesting, considering Lauren Burnham is currently taking real estate classes and living with Arie in Scarsdale.
Garrett does say he loves her after telling Becca that he's the happiest he's even been. "I hope you're the last woman I ever have to say that to," he says. He might be right. Later, he tells the cameras, "I love the girl."
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When they awaken after their overnight date, Garrett is swaddled in the blanket like a tiny baby. That's all I have to say about that.
For it's final killing-time-in-this-2-hour-episode act, the Bachelorette brings back Jason for no reason other than for us to really fall in love with Jason. Jason, despite his Kim Kardashian slick, is kind and loves buffalo wings. He's not a great guy — for example, he probably doesn't watch One Day At A Time — but he is a good guy — like, he probably does watch Brooklyn Nine-Nine.
"It means a lot that I could come on such an unconventional journey," he tells Becca. He seems upset that he spent all this time learning to be a reality star only to throw it in the can. "I didn't feel good about the door that we were closing and how we were closing it."
He gives her a book of things, which ABC doesn't put on screen. (What's in the booook?)
With that, Becca goes to her last rose ceremony, and gives roses to Blake and Garrett. All the while, Blake really has to pee, per the episode's very well-edited post-credits sequence.
My final thoughts on this episode: not enough elephants.
The Dearly Departed: Jason
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