This was the bitchiest episode yet.
I know I said that last week’s episode felt like it had too much going on, but episode 3 managed to feel even more scattered. Four guys go home! That’s a lot of action for one episode.
The episode begins with Rachel having to deal with the loose ends from last week’s DeMario shit-show. Rachel meets DeMario at the mansion gates as the guys file out of the house, muttering about how aggravated they will be if Rachel lets DeMario stay. DeMario feels confident that he will win Rachel over – he admits that his Uber driver told him “not to take no for an answer.” He pedals the kind of fluffy nonsense your friend from high school posts on Facebook when he’s going through a break up – “In order to experience joy, you need pain.” I wanted to throw up. DeMario’s attitude about this situation demonstrates his immaturity, and that he is more concerned with winning than with Rachel’s feelings. In addition to exposing how shallow DeMario is, this scene is a study of the ridiculous idea that all a man has to do is express interest in a woman and then he becomes entitled to her attention. That she is somehow obligated to accept him once he puts his pride on the line to discuss his emotions. We see this trope in countless romantic comedies – She’s All That, Can’t Buy Me Love, etc. – and it always rings false. It paints women as children who do not know what they really want, who need to be guided by men to find fulfilment, and it reinforces the idea that men should be rewarded for merely communicating effectively and that women need to lower their standards if they are seeking a partner who is as compassionate, ambitious, and thoughtful as they are.
Thankfully, The Bachelorette rejects this idea. Rachel sends DeMario home and when the guys ask if he will be returning to the mansion, she replies with a triumphant, “Fuck no.”
With DeMario officially out of the picture, Rachel goes back to talking to the guys before the rose ceremony. The Tickle Monster spends his one-on-one time with Rachel prodding at her with enormous puppet hands and Rachel pretends like this isn’t the creepiest thing that’s ever happened to her. “He always makes me laugh,” Rachel says, justifying why he’s still on the show. No sane adult woman would go near the Tickle Monster unless a hoard of producers were pressuring her to do so – not even with giant fake hands.
Rachel meets up with Whaboom and she asks about his rivalry with Blake. Whaboom claims that he found Blake standing over his bed while eating a “wholly peeled” banana. Obviously, Rachel finds this odd and asks Blake about. Blake denies it. It’s impossible – Blake doesn’t eat carbs! Duh! God, Blake is just terrible and no fun. Though Rachel asked Blake about this accusation, the whole thing is pretty much immediately glossed over, which I found bizarre. Whaboom is claiming Blake watches him sleep while eating a banana! That’s really weird! It deserved more of an explanation.
At the rose ceremony, Rachel sends Whaboom and Blake home, proving for the second time in a single episode that she is the Baddest Bitch™ to ever grace network reality television. I cannot express how satisfying it was to see both of these fools go home. Especially Blake! I don’t think I’ve ever hated a reality star so much and I endured the trash-bags-as-luggage-Kim-Kardashian-of-Staten-Island sloppiness of Angelina from Jersey Shore!
Inevitably, this leads to both men getting into an argument outside of the mansion when they’re trying to give their respective final thoughts in the confessionals. Blake, enacting the full force of his douchiness, interrupts Whaboom’s confessional – “I just wanna say fuck you, bro. You’re a piece of shit […] I got drug into your shit.” NO, BLAKE. You involved yourself! You made sure that the only thing Rachel and the viewers would think about you is that you hate Whaboom! Ugh. What follows this comment is maybe the most ridiculous exercise in fragile masculinity I’ve ever seen on reality television and I remember when The Situation punched a concrete wall on Jersey Shore! They devolve into screaming and mocking each other. Lots of arm flailing here. Whaboom says something like, “It’s not about winning, it’s about the world.” I’m all about hippy-dippy, woo-woo sentiments, but this was just flat out nonsensical. The argument reaches its climax when Blake shouts, “I’m not a clown! I’m not a failed comedian! I’m a personal trainer!” Whoa, Blake! I thought you were an aspiring drummer. Who are you? Whatever. Bye, Blake!
The next day, Rachel takes six of the guys on Ellen – Bryan, Alex, Will, Peter, Fred, and Tickle Monster. Ellen DeGeneres asks why the Tickle Monster is still here once Rachel admits he tickled her as soon as he got out of the limo during the season premiere. Um, has no one told Ellen that the producers needed to keep at least one obvious lunatic if they were going to oust Whaboom and Blake? Ellen turns the tables and tickles the Tickle Monster as soon as she meets him. Sexy Columbian Chiropractor Bryan steals the moment, by holding out his arms to Ellen for a hug and saying, “What do I get?” Holy smokes. Bryan is so smooth. He manages to make every scene he is in about him. As charming and romantic as Bryan is, I do not trust him. He is too much of a lothario to wind up with Rachel.
Of course, the guys get brought out on the show and are made to dance without their shirts on. Alex is the MVP – not only is his body insane, but he proves he’s goofy and fun! He commits when he dances, which is definitely the most important thing for a straight man to do when on the dance floor. Few things are harder to watch than a straight guy awkwardly swaying side to side while praying for a girl to grind on him as “Gold Digger” plays in the background. The group goes onto play Never Have I Ever. Important takeaways: Peter has sent nudes and some of the guys are shocked to find out that Rachel has been kissing their fellow contestants. I don’t know why? Rachel is an adult and she has a bunch of gorgeous men at her disposal, of course she’s kissing them! There’s nothing important plot-wise about the fact that Peter has sent nudes. He’s just incredibly attractive and it’s nice to think about.
In the one-on-ones after the date on Ellen, Fred asks Rachel if he can kiss her, which only reinforces Rachel’s perception of Fred as a little kid. They have the most awkward kiss of the season so far – so awkward that Rachel sends him home right there. He doesn’t even make it to the rose ceremony. Amazing. After a stellar one-on-one with Rachel, Alex wins the group date rose. He’s so cute and fun, but he won’t be the one who ends up with Rachel. I doubt it’ll happen, but I really hope he is next season’s Bachelor.
Rachel and Anthony (?) go on a date, where they ride horses along Rodeo Drive. Yawn. Nothing significant happens on this date. I give Anthony two more weeks max before Rachel boots him off.
Next, Rachel and her gaggle of former Bachelor contestant gal-pals watch as the men participate in a mud-wrestling competition. Somehow, Kenny the Professional Wrestler and Father (these are the only two things I know about Kenny, even though Rachel claims that she learns something new about him every time they interact) loses the competition to whoever the hell Bryce is.
Since Blake and Whaboom are gone, the episode immediately launches into setting up its next villain: Lee. Some racist, sexist social media posts of Lee’s came to light earlier this week. There is no way in hell the producers did not know this about him. In fact, they probably leaked the posts themselves to ensure higher ratings. It’s disgusting that Lee was allowed on the show and that creating conflict for “good television” was prioritized over the feelings and well-being of Rachel and the men in the house.
Bryce and Lee tell a couple of Rachel’s friends that they feel like Eric is not on the show for the right reasons, whatever that means, but they fail to actually accuse him of anything concrete. Before the rose ceremony, Lee and Iggy decide to spend their time with Rachel ganging up on Eric. Eric passed comments earlier in the episode, where he appears to doubt how genuine Rachel is in this process and is frustrated that she does not pay as much attention to him as he would like. I’m not especially fond of Eric – I think he is boring and entitled – but I think he is being treated unfairly by Iggy and, especially, Lee. Iggy and Lee are catty and, ultimately, out to benefit themselves but are choosing to do so under the guise of feeling “protective” of Rachel. Their attempts to bring Eric down fail. Rachel opts to let Eric stay – for now.
As disjointed as this episode felt, it served to demonstrate how poised and strong Rachel is, even when faced with a slew of petty, bitchy men who prioritize their pride and egos over her.