Mea culpa: The internet LIED to me and told me that some show about 500 questions was preempting The Bachelorette last night. Once the error was noted, I kept the vessel pure and am recapping nonetheless. Guys: Never believe anything you read on the internet.
OK, now, climb into your time machines, dateline: Mitt Romney’s 1960, where women can be criticized for having sex outside of marriage (not like today, where women are treated as equals) and can be either a “natural” or “trophy” wife, where The Bachelorette: Kaitlyn clearly takes place.
Just a stray overall observation: We’re three episodes in, and there’s already a real Altamont vibe to all of the proceedings, just a malevolent, apocalyptic undercurrent to all of the interactions and to the way the men respond to one another. It feels like someone is going to pull a knife at any moment.
LOOKS LIKE WE’VE MADE IT.
Farmer Chris brings us up to speed, wandering his empty fields in Iowa, on the stakes. Basically, Whitney’s all in, and Becca’s playing hard to get. Do I go with the girl who’s being open, or the girl who is playing hard to get? ‘Tis the conundrum suffered by attractive men through the ages.
We see Farmer Chris’s family again, and they are eager to meet the women.
Family Time: Whitney
I can’t with the pink lipstick, Whitney. I cannot. I love you. But it’s too pink. Whitney tells Farmer Chris immediately, “I am in love with you and cannot wait to meet your family.” Whitney greets everyone buoyantly, and, with the assurance of a doomsday prepper, tells us of her destiny to meet Farmer Chris, and emotionally toasts the family.
His sisters REALLY like Whitney, and the editors do a number on Farmer Chris trying to explain to them what is wonderful about his relationship with Becca.
Whitney next sits down with Farmer Chris’s mom and tells her why she is in love with her son. Whitney is a fan favorite in this household. When the men sit around the barn drinking later (no, really) Farmer Chris talks about how he knew Whitney was going to be a hit, but wait ‘til they meet Becca. Farmer Chris is super-defensive about Becca. Some member of his family explains the concept of “the hard-to-get-girl” to Farmer Chris, and he looks as if he has never heard of this before.
Chris Harrison acknowledges that this has been an exquisitely mad and peculiar season full of well-cast lunatic women, and tonight’s “Women Tell All” will be exceptionally interesting. But FIRST: we have a segment during which Chris and Farmer Chris run around surprising The Bachelor viewing parties. I have nothing to say about this.
Round One: Welcome to The Henhouse Thunderdome
Chris Harrison invokes Charles Dickens in his introduction: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” Indeed, times of foolishness, wisdom, belief, incredulity, light, darkness, hope, despair as we wait patiently for revolution have been very much a part of the last two and a half months.
This scripted moment on season 19 of The Bachelor was an entirely accurate use of A Tale of Two Cities.
We’re in Bali – a fact that no one participating on this show will allow you to forget — staring out at bodies of water, surrounded by tiny monkeys, while Farmer Chris catches us up on everything that happened and, of course, that he’s there for the right reasons.
One-on-One Date: Kaitlyn
They visit a local temple, where they have to wear sarongs and be respectful, which they are. (Also: there are at least four nail colors named “Sarong So Right,” as I discovered on Google).
They follow this with a wander through Bali. Farmer Chris refers to Kaitlyn as his “girlfriend,” which bothers me a lot (I’m guessing the locals would lose interest if Farmer Chris explained the complexity of his situation). They visit a park, where they are able to feed some of the monkeys. One of the monkeys urinates of Farmer Chris.
They talk about their relationship. It’s the same talk that everyone has on this show, about feeling confident about moving forward. Kaitlyn is quite smitten with Farmer Chris.
That evening, they have a poolside dinner. Kaitlyn’s nervous because she needs to tell Farmer Chris how she feels (she’s in LURRRVVVE). They talk a lot more about being less guarded. Listening to other people talk about their relationships is boring.
They determine, after looking at the fantasy suite date card, that they “deserve” this time together.
One-on-One Date: Becca
Farmer Chris comments in voice-over that “things are falling apart” between him and Britt. But he’s excited to spend time with Becca.
Farmer Chris is once again apologizing for the fact that he lives in Iowa as they hang at his The Bachelor-appointed accommodations in Des Moines.
Becca shares some details of her awful-sounding previous relationship, which was full of vacillation and back-and-forth. Then they watch the sunset and make out.
It’s that time again, wherein I question my life’s decisions: the special two-night event of The Bachelor.
Farmer Chris recounts his difficult week in Deadwood, and we head straight into a cocktail party. Immediately, Farmer Chris sends Megan home, both of them recognizing that their relationship is not moving “as quickly” as some of the others.
They will always have the exotic shores of the foreign land of New Mexico.
Chris Harrison arrives and lets them know that there will be another rose ceremony tonight. Everyone is horrified in this “I just got selected to compete in The Long Walk” way. Farmer Chris is so stressed out, he says to Chris Harrison – in a not-at-all-staged moment – that he has strong feelings for all of the remaining ladies, and he can’t do it.
Farmer Chris tells the remaining women – Kaitlyn, Carly, Becca, Jade, Britt, Whitney – that they are going to IOWA. Everyone cheers and hugs as if they are going anywhere besides Iowa.
We pick up where we left off in last week’s cliffhanger: at Kelsey in the midst of the world’s most convenient anxiety attack.
Kelsey is Not Julianne Moore
“The past has shown us that Kelsey has a tragic story and uses it at the right time,” Kaitlyn points out astutely. The girls throw some serious additional shade on this situation. I do not blame them, as it is super-convenient. Kelsey asks for Farmer Chris and is well enough to joke that she “better get a rose tonight.”
What. Are. You. Talking. About. Kelsey. Also: Bravo. This is the height of The Bachelor bat-shit-sanity.
Kelsey explains to the other girls that she was so overwhelmed by the feelings that she fainted, and she’s giggling about all of the things she said while under the influence of said fainting/breakdown/whatever. Kelsey is quite certain that her love story will continue, she comments smugly to the camera.
This nervy b is the phoniest of the balonies, friends.
Dateline: Santa Fe, NM.
We’re checking out of the Hotel California and heading to…well, it’s New Mexico, America, and I am going to have to geography-shame Megan for the following comment: “I think that New Mexico is going to be a culture shock. You know the hats, sombreros, that they wear in Mexico…I don’t know if they wear those in New Mexico. I’ve never been out of the country, so this is awesome.”
The women arrive in Santa Fe, New Mexico, America. There’s lots of running around the hotel room. Some of us are talking about how we need to recover from confessing that we are virgins to Farmer Chris.
The look of rage that crosses Ashley’s face when Pinkie Pie Carly gets the first one-on-one date is terrifying. She needed that date, she explains to us. You don’t have to convince me.
Fairy Tale Date. It’s LIKE CINDERELLA.
Chris Harrison arrives at the house to greet the women and informs them, as he has before and will again and again, that Farmer Chris believes his wife to be in this house.
This week, the twist is, Farmer Chris’s three sisters will decide who gets the one-on-one date this week
But first, a group date.
Seven-on-One: Earnest Goes to Camp
Megan, Kaitlyn, Ashley S., Ashley I., Juelia, Samantha, Mackenzie, and Kelsey get invited on a group date. The theme? “Let’s do what’s natural.” There is some commentary around how some of the girls in the house (looking at you, lost Kardashian Ashley I.) prefer to look like grown-up Bratz dolls all the time.
Jimmy Kimmel arrives
Jimmy Kimmel arrives to the sounds of a rip-off of the resplendent Bernard Hermann score from both the 1962 and 1991 Cape Fear (directed by Martin Scorsese, my penultimate rose recipient), and rouses Farmer Chris.
Chris Harrison introduces the ladies to Jimmy Kimmel’s presence with the comment, “This week, there will be another man in your life.” Guesses from the crowd before Jimmy’s arrival include a “pig or an animal,” an “or something,” and “a dog.”
Everyone’s excited. Jimmy introduces the “Amazing” jar, in which women must contribute a dollar every time they say “amazing.” (It is FULL by the end of the episode).
The first few episodes of every season are always a study in chaos, and tonight is no exception.
We start precisely where we left off, where Yoga Teacher Kimberly is walking back into the house while all of the other girls are cheering for their roses. A cacophony of “What is she doing here”s begins amongst the interchangeable women. Notably, it is light outside, which means they have been filming ALL NIGHT LONG.
Kimberly gives an impassioned speech to Farmer Chris, who looks stunned. He talks to Chris Harrison, unhelpful as always. “It’s your wife, there’s no rules…if you want her to stay, she can stay. If you want her to go, she goes.”
Farmer Chris brings her back into the fold of the chosen 300 (actually 23). Everyone claps supportively, and then talks garbage on confessional camera. Also, it is pointed out a few times that Farmer Chris is going to make his own rules.
He’s a Cowboy. On a Steel Horse He Rides.
Open on a dramatic view of a silo, of Chris Soules riding a motorcycle, telling us he is the luckiest man alive. We witness him aw-shucks-act his way through, literally, the lyrics of “Sex Farm.” He hoses down barn doors, bothers livestock, and pulls out his pitchfork. Some other atmosphere includes him chilling in his void-of-people hometown, including in the wood-paneled local bar. As he works out with Cody in a very “Playing with the Boys” sequence, he voiceovers that in order to do this show, he will have to miss harvest. But it will be worth it.
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