I have to admit, I was pretty excited to watch this one when I saw this:
I would argue that global warming is causing our atmosphere to become toxic, but hey, we saw a few
producer-fabricated storms brewing last week so let’s get right into it.
We open with a cliffhanger – one of the ladies bows out of the rose ceremony and claims she is about to pass out. The other ladies clutch their pearls in awe. I couldn’t tell you who this woman is because there were at least 45 in the last episode, but I know for sure it’s not Queen Vic.
I suppose it’s a surprise to no one that Matt likely begins every day with a jog, but does this episode really have to do this to me whilst I’m elbow deep in fried chicken? If that wasn’t bad enough, he then hops on his peloton for another workout and tells us how ready he is to fall in love. I’m feeling pretty in love with this chicken.
The ladies arrive to their mansion, and Sarah, a broadcast journalist, is the first to speak to the camera. I have a strong suspicion she was the one to dramatically leave the rose ceremony, but I can’t be sure and I don’t want to rewind for fear of running into another Skip the Dishes ad with Jon Hamm.
Katie is nervous about being around so many women because she was never in a sorority or anything of the sort. Hmm. I guess your choices are sorority, or no female friends. There is no in between. Queen Vic also says she’s here to make Matt fall in love with her, not to be in a sorority. What do these women have against sororities?!
OG Bach Daddy Chris stops by for a visit! This week, there will be three dates – two one-on-one dates, and one group date. Because there’s a record number of women, some shall remain dateless. No skin off my back, I’m sure they’ve got free food and no wifi in this joint. Inner peace = achieved. But yes, lots of the women are understandably anxious.
Bri gets the first date card, which says “love is an adventure”. In an abrupt editing decision, Bri and Matt are suddenly hand in hand, walking towards a couple of ATV’s. The other women stand and awkwardly watch a few feet away as the couple drive into the wilderness. When they get back inside, tensions begin to run high. 6:38 minutes in, Queen Vic’s negativity has infiltrated the mansion. She is sick of the other contestants, and only wants to hang out with Matt. Everyone is fake, according to her, and if I could borrow a phrase from yet another beloved reality show, America’s Next Top Model, Queen Vic is clearly not here to make friends. The other women are worried her intensity may cause her to become ostracized, and somewhere in the corner the producers are clinking glasses of champagne, wondering how they got it so easy with the villain edits this season.
OH MY GOD JON HAMM HOW MANY SKIP THE DISHES ADS DID YOU FILM? WAS IT REALLY THAT WORTH IT?!
Elsewhere, Bri decides to hop on the back of Matt’s ATV (not a euphemism!!!), and within 30 seconds, our cute first date couple is on the ground. It appears Matt took a wrong turn into… CUDDLE LAND!
The lovebirds are uninjured, save for Matt’s ego. In his confessional, he begs Bri’s mom for forgiveness. They pull up to something called a wood fire hot tub, and
unprompted by the producers Matt removes his shirt to chop some timber. The lovah’s get into the tub, chat about their near-death experience and how they avoided a similar fate to Romeo and Juliet, and then… MAKEOUT SESH.
Back at the mansion, Queen Vic is once again ranting to who I thought was one of the other contestants, but the woman in question turns around and reveals her mask. That’s right, Queen Vic is making this song and dance way too easy for the producers by literally seeking them out.
Bri and Matt have a dinner date (without touching any of their food), and open up to each other about growing up with single parents and seeking out friends with big families. Bri is hoping the person she falls in love with can be her family. It’s a very sweet conversation.
The women at the mansion receive a group date card, and it contains a whopping 18 names. This gives me stress hives. Getting a restaurant (remember those?) reservation for 18 people is the stuff of nightmares. In most scenarios you can have a good conversation with 3 or 4 people, tops. The women are understandably nervous that they will have to be ultra-competitive to get time with Matt on the group date. Queen Vic, who is now telling anyone who will listen how much she hates everyone except Matt, is on the date card, which does not bode well.
Matt is impressed with Bri’s ability to open up to him, and drops the v-word again. Bri gladly accepts a rose, and is feeling a deep connection with our bachelor already. As they smooch, fireworks go off, and it appears Matt and Bri are so close to the mansion, the other contestants can also enjoy the show. This seems cruel, but then again, this show is not exactly known for being considerate. That’s showbiz, baby! Grab your gummy vitamins and don’t let the door hit you on the way out!
The ladies grumble about how difficult it is to think about Matt and Bri smooching under the fireworks right now (cut to: Matt and Bri smooching DIRECTLY underneath the fireworks. Nice work editors. Did you guys know I went to film school? Are you hiring?), and for some reason this sets of Queen Vic, who lashes out at the women who were rude to her that very morning for grumbling about not being able to see Matt. Vic calls out Marylynn (her roommate) specifically, which leads to our queen packing up her stuff and moving to the couch to avoid sharing a room with her. Honestly, even with producer manipulation and editing tricks, I’m not sure Queen Vic is helping herself at all.
It’s group date day, and it’s a rainy one.
Alas, the contestants are undeterred! They squeal and jump into Matt’s arms upon seeing him. Yes, all 18 of them. Lauren reveals her last interaction with Matt was her limo entrance, and I am once again getting stress hives thinking about Matt memorizing the names of 18 strangers/potential romantic partners. One time I went on a tour of Europe with 30 people for two weeks, and it took us approximately 19837 icebreaker games to master each other’s names.
The group date is a bridal photoshoot with Matt, and one by one, the girls pose in their wedding dresses with their bachelor. I know this is typical bach fare, but if the winner is in this group, wouldn’t it be strange for her to have done a bridal photoshoot with 17 other women watching and waiting for their turn?
When Queen Vic’s turn comes, I think Matt’s facial expression speaks for itself.
I won’t say any more about her pictures because the whole thing is starting to make me feel quarantine levels of sad, and I ASKED TO BE ENTERTAINED!
Chris interrupts the photoshoot halfway through, and whisks Matt away, to the disappointment of the 9 women who did not get their pictures taken. They are told they now need to fight for time with Matt, and things are about to get down and dirty. A game of Capture the Flag has been set up, and the contestants must tag each other out with paint. “These gorgeous wedding dresses are about to be RUINED,” Chris states with the grin of a man who likely owns a private jet.
The stakes are high: the losing team will have to return home. Cue In the Hall of the Mountain King. Bless Franco, the bridal photographer, who decides to go rogue and capture the intensity. There are no rules, and for the first 5 minutes, the women seem to blindly launch paint and cake slices each other, until MJ pulls off the win for the red team.
The yellow team walks home in a cloud of paint and wedding cake and defeat. Katie is uncharacteristically quiet, and later breaks down in her confessional, concerned about how little time she has had with Matt so far. Later on, Sarah gets the last date card.
The group date ends up being an outdoor cocktail party of some sort about a block away from the mansion. This is the first time in history that women in America have something in common with the Bachelor producers — coming up with date ideas during a global pandemic is not fun. The women seem to be in a “who can be the most vulnerable” competition as they each have one-on-one time with Matt and reveal their fears and what they are looking for in a partner.
It turns out Queen Vic has insecurities too, which becomes apparent in her one-on-one portion. She skims the surface of her body image issues, and following a very chaste kiss with Matt, reveals that she hasn’t been “deep” with someone like that in a while. At this point, it appears Queen Vic knows exactly what she is doing – and it’s working. I guarantee she isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Despite Queen Vic’s vulnerability, Lauren gets the group date rose.
Matt’s date with Sarah are getting on an old timey plane for what is sure to be one of this season’s many, many plane dates. I feel like they should be wearing… helmets or something.
In a cruel
producer-planned twist of fate, the plane flies over the mansion and the other contestants get to watch in envy as Sarah wins the best date of the week award. They all wish they could be inside that plane. This show is so stupid. I love it. You know, it really isn’t pretending to be anything else, and I can respect that.
In a rare display of emotional maturity, Sarah tells us she isn’t sure she is ready to bring up her complex family issues with Matt (rightfully so!!!!), but she is aware of the risk this brings to her date with #1 vulnerability fan Matt James. Indeed, Matt asks Sarah about her dad, and she remains vague, neglecting to inform him of his illness. Instead of respecting her boundaries, Matt compares her to the other contestants who have been “authentic” and “real” thus far, and is disappointed she is holding back. This is icky and I don’t like it. Yes, Sarah went on one of the most famous reality tv shows of all time, but she is not obligated to tell a complete stranger everything about her family on the first date!! I hope Sarah doesn’t feel pressured to open up just to get a rose.
Sure enough, one of the first things Matt brings up on their dinner date is Sarah’s family. I DON’T LIKE IT. For some reason I am inclined to protect her privacy. She seems like a very nice person who has been dealt a tragic hand. After hesitating for a few minutes, she opens up about her dad’s ALS diagnosis and how it has impacted her. Matt is honoured that Sarah would leave her family behind to come on the show. He thanks her for her honesty and gives her the rose. The two lovebirds retreat to the pool. It still makes me feel strange that Matt essentially pressured Sarah into talking about something she very clearly wasn’t sure how to navigate, but Sarah seems pleased that she was able to open up about her dad’s diagnosis to a potential suitor for the first time.
The night of the cocktail party is here! The highlights:
- Abigail gets to catch up with Matt for the first time since he gave her the first impression rose, and they come up with a signal to let each other know they are thinking of one another – they will tug on their ear. Once again, I am asking you to vote for Abigail.
- Marylynn feels neglected because she didn’t get a date card this week, and to soothe her, Matt pulls out … an orchid? From behind the couch? To let her know he was thinking about her? I am perplexed. Marylynn is thrilled that Matt even remembered her name, let alone produced her favourite flower from the ether. Dear Men – please treat Marylynn better.
- When Queen Vic sees the orchid, she begins to rant about Marylynn’s “toxic energy”. Because she is an empath, she deeply feels negativity (?) and she will not let this stand for much longer. She heads straight for Matt and informs him that Marylynn tries to manipulate situations and is “straight up toxic”. She is unable to present any evidence except for the fact that she moved out of her room and onto the couch. Matt promises her he will get to the bottom of this.
- Matt says he is not sure how to feel about Marylynn if she is bullying Victoria. He asks if he can talk to her one-on-one, and she can sense that she might be in trouble. This episode is 300 million hours long.
- The other contestants are shocked at Victoria’s allegations, and our queen maintains that the way Marylynn treated her was NOT OKAY, despite presenting ZERO evidence. No one believes Victoria.
- Marylynn attempts to defend herself to Matt, but acknowledges it’s her word against Victoria’s. Matt is concerned. He wants justice. He says he has a lot to think about. Matt is being stupid.
- Marylynn approaches Victoria with 0% confrontational energy, and asks if they can speak. Victoria straight up refuses to sit next to Marylynn, and continuously interrupts her after Marylynn apologizes, eventually storming off because Marylynn is “too much”. Once again, I am perplexed. Marylynn is hurt, Victoria is defensive, and Chris appears to announce that it is time for the rose ceremony.
Naturally, Victoria and Marylynn are standing right next to each other for the ceremony.
Victoria wants Marylynn to go home, because she “hates her”. WHY?!? She hasn’t given any concrete reason to back up her claims yet!! Reader, Victoria is
doing what the producers told her to do getting under my skin.
Matt says he heard some concerning things tonight, but he will continue to follow his heart.
Piper, Kit, Maggie, Rachael, Abigail, Chelsea, Jessenia, Katie, and Serena C. get roses. Before Matt can continue, Sarah steps out of the room. In her confessional, she admits that if Matt keeps Victoria, she’s unsure if that’s the type of man she wants to be with. Sarah crouches down, and tells producers she feels like she is about to faint.
TO BE CONTINUED.