Hi, I’m back to recap The Bachelorette! But I’m not gonna get into the Bachelor in Paradise stuff because a) we don’t know for sure what all happened and b) DeMario is gone at this point anyway. Still, let’s all take a moment to remember that it’s never under any circumstances OK to have sex with an unconscious person, and that if you’re a producer on a reality show where you’re giving people alcohol and putting them in sexual situations, it’s your job to protect those people against unwanted contact. But on to better, happier, Rachel-ier things!
The men are fighting, as men are wont to do. Rachel looks gorgeous in a sparkly dress, as she often is. Lee is being a total drama starter. If people ever say that there’s like, no equivalent to Regina George-type mean girls, well, show them Lee, because he’s a mean boy. But a dumb boy, because he tries to get Rachel away from Kenny. Kenny the wrestler.
Lee has some story about how his grandpa got cancer and a knife and he…carved “enchanting” in a block of wood which is romantic because…I’m lost here. I don’t get it? That’s not a good gift. That’s a paperweight. Inside, the men discuss the meaning of “quirk” and “quark” and “cork.” (A quirk is an oddity in your personality; a quark is a subatomic particle; a cork goes in a wine bottle. The more you know!) Then Dean insinuates that Lee is racist, which he probably is. Not because he’s from the South! There are lots of people all across the country who aren’t racist. But there are also lots and lots of people across the country who are—and if it talks like a racist and walks like a racist, it needs to be kicked off of this show because Rachel (and all women, and all people, actually) deserves better.
Bryan simply cannot be bothered with drama and instead focuses so intently on being romantic with Rachel that she’s like, Wow you’re sweet, but are you a serial killer? They kiss more.
Kenny respectfully pulls Lee aside to talk about Lee’s disrespectful behavior and Lee is super condescending and rude about it, not to mention smug and smarmy. And also drunk. Rachel is less than interested in all the petty drama, so Hot Peter brings her to the fireplace to be like, It’s fine, just look at my hot face and let’s neither of us talk to anyone else.
Rachel opens up to camera about the pressures of being a black women and cries. (Rachel, don’t be sad! We love you, but also I definitely don’t know your struggle and you are super entitled to all of your feelings, but I’m just saying we’re here for you and you’re the best.) Chris Harrison tells Rachel that he can “facilitate anything,” then goes to the men to explain what’s gonna happen: the Rose Ceremony!
It goes about as expected except that the final rose goes to Lee (?!) which I have to imagine was a decision by the producers to keep the house dramatic. Or else maybe Rachel is just super forgiving and wants to give him another chance? OR maybe Rachel knows tat Lee brings out the worst in people and she wants to use him to get the men to show their dark sides so she can send them home and end up with someone awesome? Oy.
Also, before we move on, point of discussion: Is it possible that Rachel doesn’t have the best taste in men? She’s really easy-going and fun and laughs at everyone’s jokes. She’s confident and laid-back and brings out the best in others. It seems like maybe men show Rachel their best side because she’s so lovely in all ways, and maybe she doesn’t realize when she’s spending time with someone who doesn’t deserve hers? Case in point: Nick Viall.
OK, moving on. We’re in South Carolina, and it’s beautiful! Rachel is on a boat, and she’s beautiful! (But why does she always wear coats and jackets “fashion style” a.k.a. over her shoulders without putting her arms in the sleeves?) Everyone is zipping around on golf carts and happily enjoying the hotel amenities. But will the peace last?
Dean gets a one-on-one, so while the menfolk stew in their disappointment and testosterone, he and Rachel head off to a meadow to picnic. While sipping champagne on the hood of a Jeep (is this a Friday Night Lights role-play?), they spot a blimp, and wouldn’t you know it? They’re going on the blimp!
Blimp is one of those words that doesn’t sound like a real word. Blimp. BLIMP! Bliiiiimp. Blimp.
Up and away they go, Dean being a good sport even though he’s nervous. I usually wouldn’t give bonus points for something like “expressing a vulnerability,” but the men this season have been so full of toxic masculinity and bravado that it’s actually really refreshing to see Dead experiencing fear and not being a jerk about it. He’s open! It’s cute! They take turns driving the blimp and then they go to the back of the blimp to flirt and seriously make out.
They fly the blimp over the hotel where the other guys are, and they’re a little concerned that Rachel is into someone so young. Some generally good dudes, plus Lee, get the group date, which means Murder Face Jack Stone gets the one-on-one.
Dean and Rachel have dinner under a big lit-up tree with actual chandeliers hanging from it, so props to the prop department (har har har) because it’s romantic AF. They discuss their upbringings (both very family-focused and religious), and Dean reveals his sad backstory: His mother died of breast cancer when he was a teenager after battling the disease for many years. It’s a very moving story for him to open up about and also explains why he might actually be ready for Rachel even though he’s so young; he had to grow up earlier than other people! Rachel is very impressed with his demonstration of vulnerability and character. He gets a rose, natch.
Once every season, the Bachelor/ette in question and a date are serenaded by some musician no one has ever heard of, and tonight is that night. This season’s musician is Russell Dickerson, who is…OK? Rachel and Dean dance and sway and smooch.
On the group date on the boat, the men are trying to show their…talents? Dance moves? Some of them are good, some are not, but as long as you’re confident with yourself and humble enough to have fun even if you look silly, who cares? Hot Peter doesn’t take his shirt off, but he does reference Titanic, the greatest film ever made. Josiah is talking a big game and TBH it’s funny. Kenny freestyles and is actually pretty good. Hot Peter also tries to freestyles and it’s…well, it’s not bad? It’s…fine? It’s fine.
Then they go to a spelling bee (judged by kids! Cute! Also the doll Adam Jr. is in the audience!) which, look, I know picking on people’s spelling is elitist, but also, spelling is not that hard and people should know how to do it IMHO. Words: squirt, passion, caress, schmuck, euphoric, champagne (Kenny misses it by a hair), boudoir (Iggy spells as bordeaux?), façade (butchered), etc.
Then the kids put on headphones so they can spell seeeeeeexy words. Or, uh, not spell them. Hot Peter! And then the, uh, very confident Josiah gets “stunning,” which is seems like an easy word, especially before Anthony gets “Boutonnière,” which, yes, I did have to look up just now. Josiah wins. His word? Polyamorous.
Hot Peter brings Rachel to the romantic wine cellar to look lovingly into her eyes and hold her hand and be all gooey. He drops hints that he would move to Texas for her; she tells him that (for some reason) she passed the Wisconsin bar, so…that’s certainly interesting.
OK, Rachel is basically babysitting Eric. He’s so neurotic and nervous and she has to constantly reassure him that she’s having fun and hug and comfort him. Let him go. Let him go! She says she really likes him, but I have doubts. And also LOL of course Rachel loves to clean.
Josiah and Iggy have beef. If there’s a reason, sorry, I missed it, I have literally no idea why they don’t get along. And then Iggy makes a weird dig at Rachel for not seeing through Josiah, and it’s like, leave the other guys alone! Just focus on your relationship with Rachel! And then Iggy goes back and tells Josiah that Rachel asked him about the source of tension in the house, which isn’t true because Iggy brought it up. Men are honestly so gossipy.
Josiah asks Iggy, notorious shit-starter, for a specific example of what he’s spreading rumors about because Josiah is an attorney and he needs evidence. Iggy can’t name one. #Lawyered.
Josiah randomly mentions that Iggy “shoots steroids into his nuts” and then leaves with his spelling bee trophy. Lee tries to tell Rachel that Kenny “screamed” at him, which didn’t happen because, frankly, I think he has a racial problem. I think he interprets a black man standing up for himself as aggression.
So Rachel talks to Kenny herself, and he freestyles to her about how great she is and like…that is cute! Clearly, he’s practiced doing it on a lot of ladies, but it’s cute! IT’S CUTE. Rachel does not seem that into him, chemistry-wise, but the most important thing is that she gets his side of the Lee issue. Kenny gives a fair and humble recap of what happened, owning up to his part of the argument while Lee is back in the house snidely talking a bunch of nonsense to the other guys.
And then Bryan takes Rachel onto a little boat, so, bye!
But wait, not bye, Kenny is trying to talk to Lee again, but wait, they’re not gonna talk, they’re gonna fight. To be continued on a two-on-one. This is so rude.
Parting thoughts: If they made a movie of this season, Rachel could be played by Janelle Monáe. They both have that inner glow, you know?