Warning: This recap of The Bachelorette contains spoilers.
And we’re right back in it, rose lovers! Rachel is on her way to meet DeMario, because she feels like she should let the guy explain himself, “out of respect.” Gurl, the respect ship sailed long ago — but okay.
As DeMario apologizes for not being “100 percent truthful” regarding “the Lexi situation,” the guys gather a few feet away, grumbling to Harrison that DeMario shouldn’t be given a chance to “save his ass.” Once again, gentlemen, there’s no need to worry — Rachel’s got this. She listens politely as DeMario pledges to regain her trust, and says he’s “begging from the bottom of my entire heart” for another chance. He even told his Uber drive her about her — so, like, they’re Uber official, you guys! But our Bachelorette, she’s a lot smarter than that.
“What you’re saying is not true,” Rachel says simply, interrupting DeMario’s stream of non-stop BS. “I need someone who owns their mistakes when they’re presented to them.” She goes on to inform DeMario that if he had admitted to his history with Lexi when she confronted him in the gym — rather than attempting, quite poorly we may add, to lie about it — “you honestly probably would be in the mansion right now.” Sorry, DeMario, but you’re a boy — and our Rachel needs a man. So make your way to the left, to the left, sir, because the Bachelorette is headed inside to hand out some roses, and you’re headed to Dumpsville.
With a dismissive “Thank you,” Rachel turns her back that loser and marches toward the mansion. “He’s not coming back, is he?” asks one worried guy. “F*** no,” retorts our Bachelorette triumphantly. Boy, bye.
Once the cocktail party is up and running again, things start off a little weird.
Maybe everyone’s just feeling playful now that DeMario and his toxic energy are gone? Alex attempts to impress Rachel by (partially) solving a Rubik’s Cube, and Will goofs around with a toy basketball hoop before dropping a little suave bomb: “I won last night, and I’d like to think I won again tonight.” And she LOVES it. “Aw, f***, look at Will with the lines!”
On the opposite end of the suave scale, here comes Lucas, who is either very tired, very drunk, experiencing a propofol hangover, or some combination of all three. As a result, during his precious few minutes with Rachel, Lucas makes the decision to talk about Blake. “He just doesn’t like me,” explains Lucas. “I don’t know if, like, he has a crush on me.”
Pause here for Rachel’s excellent lack of reaction to that statement.
Lucas proceeds to tell Rachel a story about Blake eating a banana suggestively near his bed, and it’s so clearly made-up-BS-for-TV that I am offended on Rachel’s behalf. WHY ARE THEY STILL WASTING HER TIME WITH THIS BOZO? Deadpan to the end, Rachel asks calmly, “Did he finish the banana?” (Our Bachelorette’s a pro — she knows they’re going to air this asinine segment, so she may as well be funny in it.)
Naturally, Blake denies the Banana Incident — “I don’t eat carbs because I’m on a ketogenic diet” — and we’re left to cross our fingers and say 1,000 silent prayers that Rachel will send both Blake and Banana Boy home at the rose ceremony. Survey says…
and, of course,
Happy news! Lucas and Blake (along with some guy named Jamey, who seems nice enough) are sent packing, while Brian, Bryce, Eric, Anthony, Will, Jonathan, Jack, Matt, Alex, Adam, Kenny, Brady (who?), Lee, Iggy, Fred, and Diggy join Dean, Josiah and Peter in the Rose Circle.
Lucas keeps his goodbye with Rachel short and polite, but Blake refuses to go quietly into the waiting embrace of the Reject Limo. “Honestly, I didn’t expect this. It’s just unfortunate that I was in the same category as… that drama,” he tells Rachel, talking over her as she tries to respond. “I know, I get it.”
Once outside, Blake lets all his rage out. “I hate him,” he huffs. “He lives in my town! I can’t get away from him.” Meanwhile, about 50 feet away, Lucas is giving his woozy exit interview, calling his feud with Blake “literally garbage,” and bellowing, “I don’t give a f*** about Blake!” And just as producers had hoped, Blake overhears Lucas’s ramblings and decides it’s “time to kill this guy.”
And thus ends the “mature discussion” portion of this encounter. Blake flips Lucas off and starts to storm away — but as soon as Lucas tells him to go back to his “garbage, clown life,” Blake starts frothing at the mouth again. “My clown life? I’m a clown?” How DARE the Whaboom call him a clown! After all, Blake thinks Lucas is the human equivalent of a fart joke, while he is a personal trainer. After another minute or two of sniping and trading derogatory imitations of each other, Blake gets in one final dig before leaving: “Let me know when you change the world, one Whaboom at a time.”
My God, it is so good to be done with these guys. (Until Paradise. Sigh.)
The next day, Harrison does his usual date card drive-by: Bryan, Jonathan, Peter, Alex, Will, Fred, get ready, because you’re headed to the set of Ellen!
Yes, Ms. DeGeneres is a proud member of Bachelor Nation, so she’s invited our Bachelorette on the show to put some of the guys through a little test. First, Rachel debriefs her on the six men on the date. When Ellen learns that Jonathan tickled Rachel on Night One, she is not amused. “I don’t like that,” she tells Rachel. “Why is he still here?” Good question, honey! Sadly, we don’t hear Rachel’s answer — but we do get to see Ellen assault Jonathan with a revenge-tickle.
While the guys are waiting backstage to make their big entrance, Ellen taunts them by having Rachel talk about her first kiss on the show. Jonathan says he’s “surprised” to learn that (at least) one of the guys has already kissed Rachel, which means he’s clearly never seen this show in his life. Once on stage, Bryan marks his territory by grabbing the mic from Ellen and announcing, “She’s a great kisser.” Ohhh, snap! Not to be outdone, Will jumps in with, “I’ll second that!” After a crude “sloppy seconds” retort from Bryan, Ellen shuts him up real quick: “Well, now we know that he kisses and tells.”
Enough talking, boys. Time to strip down and dance!
Yes, Alex is definitely “too into it,” as Rachel notes wisely. And yes, Ellen is correct with her observation that “tickle guy does not dance well.” Are any of us really surprised? Overall, though, the exercise is a successful one, per Rachel: “Mama was pleased!” This, of course, was before she learned that (at least) one of the guys has peed in the pool at Casa Bachelorette.
Ugh. Alex is gross. As are Will and Peter for admitting that they have texted someone “a nude selfie” at some point in their lives. Another fun fact gleaned from this round of “Never Have I Ever”: Frederick once hooked up with a woman twice his age. “Go figure,” says Rachel wryly. But it doesn’t matter — to Rachel, Fred is, was, and always will be the “bad kid from camp,” and if we get another rose ceremony this episode (doubtful, I know), I expect he’ll be headed home. But for now, Fred’s not done fighting, and he vows to “step up” and “show her my manly side” at the after-party.
With the kiss count at the after party rising — Alex (despite the urine issue); Will; Bryan; and Peter — Fred decides it’s now or never. “I’ve been waiting to kiss her for, like, 20 years, man,” he says. “But I just don’t know when the time will be right.” Um, I can hazard a guess here: Never. The time will never be right. Also, a little tip: If you want to create a romantic moment with a woman, do not announce to said woman that you are currently “creating that moment” by asking her permission to kiss you. As you might imagine, Rachel — a woman who is looking for a man, not a boy — is less than impressed.
Fred protests that he’s just trying to make Rachel feel comfortable, but his efforts have failed miserably. “Now I just feel awkward,” she says with a giggle. “I’ve never had anybody ask me — they just do it.” Fred’s all, uhhh, okay, and he clumsily scoots across the couch and smushes his face onto Rachel’s.
I’ll admit it, when Rachel picked up the date rose and asked if she could talk to Fred in private, I was momentarily horrified, fooled by Team Bachelorette into thinking she was about to go all Mary Kay Letourneau on us. Rachel, I am so sorry for doubting you.
“I just can’t reciprocate the feelings you were giving me today,” Rachel tells Fred, once they are alone. “I’m sorry.” Rachel, still carrying the date rose, walks Fred to the Reject SUV and then heads back inside and hands out the group date rose to Alex.
Remember Anthony, guys? Me neither. But we’re about to get a refresher, because a new day has dawned and Anthony, the 26-year-old education software manager from Chicago, has earned this week’s one-on-one date. And it’s a weird one.
Though he’s flummoxed by the date activity, Anthony the self-professed “city boy” simply chuckles and mounts his steed. As Rachel and Anthony ride their horses down the sidewalk, onlookers stop and point, yelling things like, “Wow, it’s the one-on-one!” and documenting the scene on their cell phones for Reality Steve. The date is not only sporty — it’s also a shopping spree. First, they stop in a chichi Rodeo drive boutique for some luxury cowboy duds (those boots Rachel left with go for $575.00), and after a quick cupcake pitstop, the duo heads to another store that sells ugly Beverly Hills letter jackets and slogan tees.
And of course, Anthony’s horse, Ted, poops in the fancy store — just as producers had hoped.
“Ted’s too glam to give a damn!” declares Anthony, quoting one of the store’s awful slogan tees. Rachel laughs heartily, because she knows a good callback when she hears it. That night at dinner, Anthony talks about his “perfect” childhood that was “rich in love.” He and Rachel seem to get along nicely, but I’m not really sensing a ton of chemistry. Still, Anthony gets a date rose — and he finally works up the courage to kiss her.
Later, back at Casa Bachelorette, Eric’s been stewing all day in his own insecurities, primarily about how Rachel seems “emotionally unavailable” to him. The Bachelorette, says Eric, is “playing a game” with him and any of the other guys she’s not really that into — just stringing them along until “she gets where she’s supposed to get.”
Well, duh. Once again, Bachelor Nation screams in unison at their TV: What show did you think you were signing up for, dummy? Frankly, it would be weird if Rachel saw a potential future with all 18 guys who are left, but producers need this show to last 10 weeks, so she’s being a team player. Iggy — who happens to believe in the integrity of the “process” — butts into the conversation and scolds Eric for his cynical point of view, and Eric does not appreciate that at all. “No one asked you for your input!” he barks. Did Eric get a little too heated too quickly? Probably. But in his defense, Iggy and his “clarity” were being pretty damn annoying.
Our final date of the week goes to Brady, Dean, Adam, Kenny, Bryce, Lee, Jack, and Eric. Their date card said, “Sometimes in relationships, the women have to take charge,” so before heading out the guys all sit around trying to decode this incredibly cryptic message. Will they be going shoe shopping, because that’s something women like to do, and they use charge cards to do it? Nope, it’s worse.
That’s right, boys, Rachel’s “friends” Alexis, Jasmine, Corinne, and Raven have planned the entire group date, and they’ll be tagging along and judging your every move. Now all aboard the stripper bus, fellas!
The tawdry shenanigans don’t end there, as the actual date consists of mud wrestling in front of a bunch of thirsty “ladies” in some LA “saloon.” (Leave it to Corinne to plan something classy, right?) Doesn’t Dean look excited?
Not surprisingly, the only guy who doesn’t seem nervous is Kenny the professional wrestler. “These dudes is about to get they ass whupped in there today,” he tells us gleefully. It’s tournament style: Brady takes on Bryce (the latter wins despite the former’s indestructible hair); Dean overpowers Eric; Lee pummels Adam; and Kenny — of course — trounces Jack.
Round 2 finds Lee facing off against Kenny. (Luckily for Lee, this was before all those tweets of his came to light.) Still, it does not go well for the Southern singer.
Kenny may be a beast in the ring, but he’s also a gentleman — so he pauses mid beatdown to blow Rachel a kiss. Awww. Unfortunately for the pretty-boy pit bull, though, by the time the final match rolls around he’s exhausted, and Bryce edges out a victory.
While the guys go out back to get hosed off, Rachel asks her squad for their opinions about the guys. Everyone’s pro-Dead, but Raven reveals that two of the men told her Eric wasn’t the right guy for Rachel. The Bachelorette is shocked — shocked! — to hear this, and she vows to explore those “red flags” at the afterparty. But first…
God bless Kenny and his Chippendales past.
When Eric sits down with Rachel, he admits to “running” from his feelings in the past, but right now he’s “so vulnerable” and wants to know if she feels anything for him. “I’m happy that you’re here and I’m feeling that,” she assures him. “I want to get to know you.” Oh, and by the way, adds the Bachelorette, Bryce and Lee both told Raven you’re not here for the Right Reasons™ .
Yeah, it’s on. Eric returns to the holding pen to confront Bryce and Lee. As Jack and Kenny flee to the safety of the restroom, Lee informs Eric that he doesn’t think he’s right for Rachel because he “has the least relationship experience out of everybody here.” Also, adds Lee, there’s the little matter of Eric’s temper. “Last night, I walked in and you were screaming,” he says. “I still love you to death, and I think you’re an amazing individual. But hearing you yell at Iggy like you did last night… I never saw that side of you.”
It’s not a great side, that’s for sure — but Rachel has yet to see it. Instead, she sees her relationship with Eric going to “another level” after their chat tonight, so she gives him the date rose. Eric is beyond relieved, and thrilled that he can go into the rose ceremony with “peace and grace.” But we all know from the promos that his plan will, of course, be foiled.
Rose ceremony night arrives, and Iggy — who’s especially irked to see that Eric has a rose — pulls Rachel aside first to tell her about his “very heated” conversation with Eric. “I think that he thinks the loudest guy in the room is the rightest guy in the room,” says Iggy, who walks away thinking his one-on-one time with Rachel went “really well.” He then inexplicably decides to find Eric and fill him in on everything that he just discussed with Rachel — though he lies and says he didn’t reveal the fight was with Eric until Rachel asked. “I think your opportunities for growth are, to listen a little more,” continues Iggy, as though he’s a manager giving Eric an employee evaluation. “You’re so certain about what you want to talk about that you don’t listen enough.”
Eric doesn’t really understand why Iggy is trying to give him life advice — “What does this have to do with me finding love with Rachel?” — but he manages to keep his temper in check. At least, until he learns that Lee has been trashing him to Rachel, too.
“I would be lying to you if I didn’t tell you that my antennas are up,” Rachel says, “just because of what people have said to me.” Embarrassed and hurt, Eric gathers all the guys in the living room to yell at them. “Don’t make this thing about me, man. Make it about Rachel,” he says, pacing in front of his rivals. “If I’m meant to be here, let it be, and if not, don’t let that be your business.” Bryce and Lee try to remind Eric that he’s on a reality show and so yeah, people are going to talk about him behind his back, but Eric just yells louder for people to stop talking about him.
Hey, could someone please hold Bryan’s hand? He seems really freaked out right now.
Hang in there, Bryan, because Eric’s not done. “It is about me,” he bellows at Lee. “Because MY NAME IS IN YOUR MOUTH!”
Wouldn’t you know it, but our time’s up for the week. Looks like we’re gonna be on the “To Be Continued” train all season, rose lovers, so plan accordingly. Before you go, let me know what you thought of tonight’s episode. Which cut made you the happiest: Lucas, Blake, or Fred? Is it me, or was Kenny totally robbed of that mud wrestling belt? And honestly, who was that idiot male model and why were producers letting him talk to Rachel about boogers? Post your thoughts now! And be sure to check out Chris Harrison’s exclusive blog here.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have the sudden urge to apply a mud mask.
The Bachelorette airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on ABC.
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