Monday night’s episode of “The Bachelorette” left off on a dramatic cliffhanger: Chris Harrison told season villain/deli-platter enthusiast, Chad to go to the house and make nice with the guys. Chad, at peak roid rage, fumed toward the mansion. Clips showed bloodshed, while Chad spouted graphic descriptions of limbless torsos.
But this is ‘The Bachelorette,’ and it really shouldn’t surprise anyone at this point that almost everything was a tease. Chad is still an unlikable jerk, but the “dramatic showdown” basically doesn’t happen. And the bloodshed? Evan gets a bloody nose at the pre-rose ceremony pool party. “Apparently Evan just bleeds thinking about me,” Chad says.
When the rose ceremony rolls around, Chad is safe (for love and ratings); as are some other questionable fellows like meme aficionado Damn Daniel and horizontal-hairlined barber Vinny. Meanwhile, say goodbye to… diversity!!! Ali and Christian both leave rose-less, as does Saint Nick, who presumably sobbed “Jo-Jo-Jo” all the way home.
The remaining Bachelors escape from Southern California to travel to scenic, exotic rural Pennsylvania. Here we see shots of barren trees, dirt trails, and the occasional wild bear. Luke is the lucky man to take it all in during the first date of the episode.
JoJo takes Luke dog sledding down a woodland path. (Was this shot during an unusually warm winter? It really feels like there should be snow.) After a bumpy ride, they go to a hot tub in a field (remember — the last “Bachelor” franchise date that took place in a hot tub in the middle of nowhere ended with true love). Luke gets the rose, and the two wrap up their date like only “The Bachelorette” would — at a concert with a relatively unknown band, and a hired crowd of hundreds, snapping pictures and taking videos the entire time.
Next, JoJo embarks on a group date — the second one this season that has catered specifically to one of the guy’s real-life professions. (Remember that firefighting challenge won by actual firefighter, Grant?) This time it’s football with “Former Pro Quarterback” Jordan, and ten other scrubs.
With the help of Pittsburgh Steelers past and present Hines Ward, Brett Keisel and Ben Roethlisberger, the Bachelors run through a series of drills that end with friendzone-able singer-songwriter James Taylor covered in blood. It’s not pretty, but he perseveres and the men play on.
“I hear one of these guys has a famous brother,” says Roethlisberger, casting an Aaron Rogers-sized shadow on Jordan.
It’s worth mentioning that, at this point, we know the episode is coming down to a two-on-one date between the only two dudes left: Chad and Alex. ABC breaking news cuts in to let us know that Hillary Clinton has made history as the Democratic party’s presumptive nominee, but we have important, pressing matters on our hands. Like, which ex-Marine will JoJo choose? And who will win the five-on-five flag football game at Heinz field?
Shockingly, the answer to the latter is a team that includes bloody-faced James Taylor and Evan, who gets his second bloody nose of the episode. But Jordan scores the only touchdown that matters when JoJo gives him the group date rose.
Back in rural Pennsylvania, which, with the right music, would make an excellent setting for horror film, it’s almost time for the much anticipated two-on-one date. Alex prepares by pulling on his lucky American flag socks, and Chad gets ready by threatening to find and hurt Jordan after the show is done taping. JoJo really has a tough choice to make.
“It’s my last chance to figure out who Chad really is,” JoJo says going into the date. She also ponders whether she and Alex will be able to “take things to the next level,” which is her way of saying, “He’s short.”
When Alex tattles on Chad’s threats, JoJo is upset, confused and overwhelmed. Things are not looking good for the human protein shake. Chad sits next to Alex while JoJo is off collecting her thoughts. “I’m not mad. I’m just disappointed,” Chad tells Alex, adding, “It’s just unfortunate that I can’t hurt you right now without getting in trouble.”
“Hay’s in the barn, dude,” Alex says. “Pigs are in the castle,” Chad replies. “Alex, will you accept this rose?” JoJo asks. Alex accepts.
As Chad walks toward the house like a hungry bear through the dark woods, a horror story plot starts to unfold in real time. Chad stands at the front door and slides his fingertips down the glass window.
To be continued…
What will Chad do to take revenge? What will happen this season once the Chad show is over?