Last week was…a lot. I hope you’re babying yourself and nursing that hometown hangover with plenty of fluids. We pick up where the previous episode’s cliffhanger left us, when former Bachelorette Andi Dorfman (she and Nick, you see — they did a sex to each other) shows up unannounced at Nick’s hotel room.
Doing her best to conceal the steely contempt in her eyes, Andi has come to find out how he’s holding up through this Journey with a capital J. Nick says he won’t propose to anyone just because he’s the Bachelor, or because that particular woman is the only one who remains.
With fantasy suites (every time I type the phrase “fantasy suite,” I feel like I need to take a shower) coming up, Andi offers some unsolicited sex advice: If you’re into it, be intimate! “You’re an adult,” she reminds him, in a “feminist rant” that’s really more of a master class in passive aggression. (Quick refresher: On Andi’s season, these two slept together, then he publicly slut-shamed her on “After the Final Rose.” Not a good look, Nick!) We do get some more explicit closure when Andi asks Nick if he regrets what he said to her — "If you weren't in love with me, I don't know why you made love with me” — on national television. He does. It’s fine. They hug.
Meanwhile, Rachel, Raven, Vanessa, and Corinne (who has somehow become my favorite now that Rachel’s a lock for The Bachelorette?) are shivering out on a terrace, waiting for the goddamn rose ceremony to start. Unsurprisingly, Nick eliminates Corinne, my dear woman-child, who must head home to Miami and the embrace of Raquel’s unconditional nanny love. She sobs, apologizing to Nick for anything she may have done wrong — it’s actually heartbreaking, the way she immediately blames herself — and he manages to comfort her like a reasonable approximation of a human being.
In the backseat of the black car taking her to god knows where, Corinne has a powerful moment of clarity and self-discovery. She doesn’t need to be performing emotional labor for fuckboys, and she definitely doesn’t need to be anyone besides her truest self. I have printed her words here, and you are just going to have sit there and read them, because I make the rules.
“I’m trying to, you know, say things that men think are appropriate — and you know what, I’m done. Done trying to show my men how much I worship them and I love them and I care for them and I support them. I need that. So if someone feels that way about me, they can come and tell me, and they can bring a ring to go along with it. I am done trying to impress these men. I want it to be me. And whatever happens happens, but I will never kiss up to a man ever again in my life.”
There is water on my face. Please tell me that someone has already bought Corinne’s life rights in order to make this speech into the pivotal rom-com scene it’s dying to be.
Then, in true Corinne fashion, she falls asleep. Flights of angels sing thee to thy rest, sweet princess.
Nick and the three remaining women are off to Finland, a country that I have heard of. It is very beautiful — like, frozen reindeer wonderland beautiful — and it looks very cold. I would not be shocked if Santa made an appearance in at least one of the fantasy suites.
Raven — who’s only had sex with one person, and never told anyone that she loves them — joins Nick for a chilly helicopter ride, then they play darts at a local pub. She’s nervous, both because she wants to drop the L-word and because their night together in the fantasy suite looms ahead.
Over dinner, and after a lot of sweet hemming and hawing, she says “I love you” in an adorable speech. Yes, you have to read this one, too:
“My dad used to tell me, as a little girl, that he prayed that I would have an easy love. And from the very beginning, it was easy for me to see you as a partner. And it was easy for me to see you, after seeing you with Bella, as being a dad. And then it was too easy, how comfortable I felt with you. And with every step of the way, you have made it so easy for me to love you…I had to tell you that I do love you. And it would be the worst thing I could do to not tell you that.”
How are the contestant’s monologues so well written this week? How have I cried not once, but twice, at an episode of The Bachelor? Anyway, this is the best evidence yet that Raven is a legitimate contender to win this whole thing. (The Bachelor is not really about love, of course; it is about winning.)
Before Raven, Nick, and Nick’s aggressive turtleneck retire to the fantasy suite, she reveals that she’s never had an orgasm, which seems like kind of a lot of pressure to put on a person in this exact moment, but Raven needs to do what, and who, is right for her. Also, if Andi really wants to be in the business of delivering feminist rants, it seems like at least one of our contestants could use a lecture on the wonders of masturbation.
This episode is only an hour long, so believe it or not, it’s already time to say goodbye. See you next week, for a bonkers three-hour Bachelor extravaganza that includes the never not insane “Women Tell All” special! And in the meantime, Raven, good luck with that orgasm.