Welcome to the Men Tell All, or, how Jordan Kimball proved that there is only one way to win The Bachelorette. The Men Tell All is little more than an excuse for the men who, previously constrained by the rules of The Bachelorette, are free to exorcise their demons onstage. There is a lot of yelling. There is some posturing. Eventually, the Bachelorette arrives and all the men supplicate at her feet, eager to please their once-girlfriend. It's all an elaborate way for ABC to extract event more content from the Bachelorette footage it already has. Tonight, it worked! The Men Tell All was rowdy; the word "pussy" came up at least three times. Jordan Kimball said at least 20 things that I want printed on a T-shirt. Wills told Becca "I love you" and meant it. Jason Tartick used the word "competencies" at least twice. (He also used it in an interview with Refinery29, but we won't fault him for it — it's, erm, a great word, although I wouldn't call it sexy.)
The whole shebang starts with a trailer for Bachelor in Paradise, which is fun but worrisome. The trailer demonstrates that Shoshanna, a contestant with a vaguely Russian accent, will be labeled a "Russian witch" for no apparent reason other than... she has an accent and she's a woman. Bachelor in Paradise can easily become Bachelor in Problematic, and I'm not looking forward to unravelling whatever disasters this show has in store for season 5.
But let's not get ahead of ourselves — the men of The Bachelorette are here and ready to prove their reality TV worth.
First up, there's a roundtable discussion — like Plato's Symposium but hotter — about the events of the season. Jean Blanc and Colton exchange heated words, leading us to our first mention of the word "pussy."
"Colton, you talking like a pussy, but you've never been inside a pussy," Jean Blanc points out, taking a swipe at Colton's much-publicized virginity. It's a low blow, but also, Colton's being unnecessarily cruel to Jean Blanc. This cast of The Bachelorette has a particular distaste for Jean Blanc, who fumbled his chance when he told Becca that he was falling in love with her just a smidge too early.
"Love is a very, very powerful emotion, and I have no respect for anybody to abuses that emotion," Jason says. Jason is going to be our moral compass for this episode, so listen closely. He thinks Jean Blanc owes an apology to Becca, as well as the rest of the cast. I think Jean Blanc told Becca that he told her what she wanted to hear, which was the honest truth, and he got punished for it. Meanwhile, saying what the Bachelorette wants to hear is the name of the game on this show.
Onto Jordan, who has so many things to say in so little time. Alas, I only have 10 fingers. We cannot transcribe all that we hear, friends. Take this as a lesson: Learn to be better stenographers.
"I'm the mouse, they're the elephant," Jordan says of the rest of the men. Apparently, there are billboards in their minds featuring Jordan.
"Put a little wax across your hood and slide around," Jordan says later, explaining that he likes to have fun. He gets into a spat with Christian, a guy who left on night one. Christian says that he's also a model — in his spare time. Jordan makes fun of Christian for wearing short pants. It's all very well and good and further proof that Jordan is winning this game with pure igenuity. He's the mouse! You're the elephant! He's sliding around in wax! You can't argue with these images. Jordan is so confident in his ludicrousness that it makes a sort of radical sense. Yes, he is sliding around in wax. Why wouldn't be be?
Jordan later tells Chris Harrison, "A lot of [what I do] is very humorous. It's very laughable...Whether it's friends, or whether it's a cardboard box, I'm always having fun."
He confidently asserts that he could have fun in a cardboard box. Jordan Kimball should be a writer, or at the very least a performance artist. (Later, he says that he would throw a "fucking Slurpee" at Christian. I would hope he's more respectful of Slurpees, but you can't have it all.)
Post-Jordan, things return to stable Men Tell All-ishness. Joe the grocer takes the hot seat, where he has literally nothing to say. Chris Harrison asks him what it's like when fans come up to him on the street.
"They wanna take pictures," Joe says, shrugging. He seems shy, and possibly even a bit bored. Chris Harrison chides him for not being more chatty, which isn't Joe's fault, really. He has nothing to talk about! Moreover, he's going to Paradise, so he can't really talk about his relationship status. And that's Joe, folks: reticent, cute, and ready to mingle, maybe?
Next up is Wills. Wills has little to say but that he did care for and love Becca — they know the same nursery rhyme, and, remember, they're both nerds. Chris Harrison later asks him about his fashion sense, and Wills says he gets it from his dad.
"My dad used to be a little bit of a peacock," Wills says.
Then, there's Colton: He tears up discussing his life as a burly, professional footballer who also happens to be a virgin. He has, in some circumstances, pretended not to be a virgin. He did love Becca, he says, and he had nothing to do with Tia Booth imploring Becca not to pick him. (Based on the Bachelor in Paradise trailer, he and Tia pick back up, but things do not go, how shall we say, swimmingly.)
At long last, our fallen Milo Ventimiglia Jason is there, throwing out the word "competencies" like it's a colorful frisbee. Jason is very wel-spoken. I bet he gives very good pitches at work. I bet he uses Prezi instead of Keynote. He tells Chris Harrison that his breakup from Kufrin was "heart-wrenching." He and Becca shared best friends. They shared memories. He didn't see the breakup coming. Neither did we, actually, but the Bachelorette has a way of making things work out for the third runner-up. (The force is strong with Jason for Bachelor.)
The episode concludes when Becca arrives. The party don't end until the Bachelorette says her goodbyes — she does so with aplomb, telling Jordan, "You always kept me laughing." She accepts Chris's heartfelt apology, which comes with its own choir. Wills tells her, plainly, "Love you." Becca is beloved.
Should...should Becca Kufrin be the next Bachelor?
Next week, she'll get engaged. Who to pick: Blake, master of oxen and dancing, or Garrett, who, in the bloopers, rubbed her hat with pom-poms and said, "I like your balls"? The Bachelorette is a journey filled with tough choices.