The past few episodes of The Bachelorette have been akin to standing at a really bad low-budget roadside zoo, watching the zookeepers (producers) poke a sad, mangy bear (Chad) with a really long stick (Jordan Rodgers). This week, that bear was shot with a tranquilizer dart and rolled into its oversized dog kennel of a cage, never to been seen again (until Bachelor In Paradise, which is an entirely different kind of zoo).
As what’s seeming to become the norm, last week did not end with a rose ceremony, but with Chad walking through a forest and standing threateningly outside the cabin. This episode, which would be shaping up to be a lull in the season with Chad’s elimination, features a preview of Jojo crying and the rest of the guys looking especially serious, which is reminiscent of when Bachelorette Ali discovered that one of her suitors had a girlfriend back home, so one can only hope that the producers will crank the drama for this episode.
The episode begins right where last week’s left off, with the men celebrating Chad’s departure by spreading Chad’s protein powder ashes. Chad shows up at the house and Damn Daniel lets him in. Chad pretends he didn’t get eliminated for awhile before admitting that all of the other guys are the problem. Jordan tries to broker a peace while Damn Daniel eats Spaghetti-Os, and Chad leaves. Alex returns to the cabin from his date, the men adorably call him a dragon-slayer and shower him in party hats and confetti.
On our commercial break, there is a Bachelor in Paradise commercial featuring Chad and deli meat.
The cocktail party begins pretty positively. Robby says that his relationship with Jojo is “miles ahead” of other guys at the exact moment when I said out loud “who are you.” James F (I think, I honestly thought this guy was a producer), reads a weird poem to Jojo, and Damn Daniel’s beady demon eyes seem way more obvious when not overshadowed by Chad’s crazy eyes. For seeming so disinterested last week, Luke seems to have genuine feelings for Jojo, and is consequently antagonized by Evan, who seems to be trying to pick out a villain.
Derek receives the first rose, and Wells is convinced that he’ll be going home. He gets a rose anyways with a “hell yeah.” James F and Damn Daniel are sent home, giving Evan the last rose of the ceremony, even after he says some creepy stuff about how devastated he would be since he spent the last month “pursuing” Jojo. Damn Daniel says that Jojo is clearly going after personality and his personality is shit, but if Jojo was more shallow and just going off looks he would clearly win (okay, Serial Killer McAlienFace).
Jojo and her eleven suitors head to Uruguay as their next destination, and the discussion is all about The Right Reasons, which seems like heavy foreshadowing to someone not being there for The Right Reasons. Jordan gets a one on one date, and the date card hint is “Let’s seal the date” which I am HOPING TO GOD means it involves seals. Wells and Derek are both incredibly skeptical of Jordan, and Vinny mentions that there’s a “twinkle in Jojo’s eyes about Jordan,” but I think it’s more of a twinkle in the producer’s eye. Vinny says that Jordan isn’t there for The Right Reasons, and the rest of the guys are pretty bitter while Jordan and Jojo PLAY WITH SEALS.
Vinny, Derek, and Alex read an InTouch magazine about how Jojo is really in love with her ex, who is also named Chad, but the underscoring music doesn’t necessarily indicate trouble so I don’t know how to feel about it, other than OF COURSE THE PRODUCERS GAVE THEM THAT MAGAZINE. The Bachelor contestants aren’t even allowed to bring books to filming, so there’s no way an InTouch magazine featuring Jojo slipped through the cracks, let’s be real. Speaking of which, I have also been informed that is literally a plot point in the second season of UnREAL.
Jordan and Jojo have an actual real conversation about previous relationships and how they’ve grown as people because of past relationships, which is one of the very few genuine conversations to happen over Bachelor-Fake-Dinner-Where-No-One-Eats. Jordan gets a rose, but the “coming up on The Bachelorette” segment features more of Jojo crying, ostensibly about the planted InTouch article.
After the break, the producers show Jojo the InTouch article and she understandably reacts with anger about her ex-boyfriend being a douchebag. The whole thing feels legitimately scummy, especially when you hear how eager the producers are to give her a copy of the article. Jojo has a heart to heart with the guys, who all agree that the whole thing stinks of bullshit. For some reason, most of the guys are shirtless or in wifebeaters for this exchange.
For the group date, Jojo looks like a character out of Mad Max standing on a sand dune as the guys try to RUN on SAND. The group date is sand surfing, AKA a lot of falling. Robby gets the last date card of the episode, a one on one, and Derek continues to look super uncomfortable at the cocktail party. Alex is way too concerned with other dudes during the cocktail party and accuses Derek of being fake, while saying that he himself is the perfect man. Derek gets the group date rose and Alex calls him “an insecure little bitch,” and the Alex suddenly becomes The Chad.
Okay, sidebar here. WHY. WHY do these dudes feel it necessary to tear each other down? Have they ever watched The Bachelor(ette)? There’s been a total of one season where the asshole wins. Out of like 20. Not great odds. Plus being a dick just makes them unappealing to everyone.
Alright, Jojo and Robby have a one on one date on the beach and Jojo plays with a hella cute dog. They do some city exploring and cliff diving, and Robby keeps talking about how he’s in love with Jojo, which I suppose is believable but hasn’t really been expressed all that much before right at this moment.
Robby tells a sob story about his best friend dying and how his friend’s death inspired him… to come on The Bachelorette. He confesses his love for Jojo and she responds with a “thank you,” which might be the first official “I Love You” of the season. There’s some fireworks on the beach (literal fireworks) and Jojo says something about how Robby makes her feel loved, but honestly I still just feel pretty scummy about how terrible Alex has been this entire episode.
Secondary sidebar: if I die and my best friend goes on a reality dating show, I hope they refrain from using my death as fodder to keep themself from getting eliminated, unless my premature death is really interesting and relevant, like I died getting a rose pinned to my lapel.
At the cocktail party, Derek pulls Robby, Chase, Alex and Jordan aside to essentially call them out on being dicks to him. Jordan calls him “petty and a non-issue,” and Alex calls him “sensitive” which is EXACTLY THE SAME BULLSHIT CHAD PULLED LAST WEEK. Wells speaks in defense of Derek, and Handsome Squidward appears out of nowhere to say that he wants a kiss from Jojo. At this point, a wild Chris Harrison appears to tell the men that there won’t be a cocktail party, and instead they’ll be going straight into a rose ceremony and three of them will be going home.
At the rose ceremony, Luke gets the first rose. Wells gets the final rose, booting out Evan, Vinny, and Grant (Handsome Squidward). This week had its share of manufactured drama, but also had its share of surprisingly poignant moments. This is the first rose ceremony where all of the men sent home are genuinely sad, with no gross misogynistic comments towards Jojo or the other men, which is a definite shift in tone towards the more serious second half of the season.
The preview for next week is also a teaser for the finale, where we see Jojo breaking down in front of a faceless tall gentleman in a blue suit, whom I can only assume is Jordan based on the stature. We also see a teaser of next week’s rose ceremony, where it looks like Jojo walks out of the ceremony before giving out a rose, and possibly a 2-on-1 date.
RIP Bear Chad, we hardly knew ye.