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‘The Bachelor’ Recap: Nick Takes Two Swamp Monsters on a Date to Their Natural Habitat

the-bachelor-season-21-nick-viall
Courtesy of ABC

This week’s “Bachelor” episode picks up right where we left off — watching Corinne and Taylor argue beside a raging fire. All this talk and strategic fire placement, and no one gets tossed in? Not sure whether to be proud of disappointed.

Taylor tries to tell Corinne that she doesn’t have the emotional maturity to marry Nick. Corinne puts Taylor on the defensive by telling her that she’s mean and disliked by the other women. “You have this stank face on your face,” Corinne informs Taylor.

This absurd squabble is, of course, only to set up a two-on-one date between the rivals at the end of the episode. More on that later. First, at the rose ceremony, Nick says goodbye to Sarah and Astrid, and takes everyone else to New Orleans. It seems at this point that Nick probably knows who he will keep to the end, and is saving the rest of the women because he understands Good TV.

For example, national treasure Alexis (who, for the record, has probably never seen “National Treasure” judging by her outspoken fear of Nicolas Cage). And Raven, who shows impressive foresight with the comment, “I would not be surprised if one of these girls went and bought a voodoo doll.”

Rachel gets the first date — a one-on-one — which she spends walking around the city with Nick. At the French Market Nick picks up an alligator head. “I want to eat you,” he says to Rachel. But it only gets more romantic from there when Nick eats a beignet. “It was fun to see him eat one for the first time,” Rachel remarks. Sounds fun!

Rachel and Nick dance in a second line parade, and spend the rest of the date in the company of leftover Mardi Gras floats. In typical “Bachelor” form, they hit every stereotypical attraction in the span of a four-minute segment as if you can almost see the city’s tourism board checking off boxes while handing over wads of cash.

Next, this week’s group date takes everyone (except Rachel, Corinne and Taylor) to a house that’s haunted with the ghost of a dead girl named May. “I’m going to rebuke that thing in the name of Jesus,” Raven says. And after her story last week, we know to take Raven’s threats seriously.

Inside the house, they meet a tour guide named Boo (What else?) who shows them around the house.“I may not fully believe in ghosts, but I respect them,” Jaimi states diplomatically. Jasmine tries on May’s hat, and the other women slowly start to unravel in a bizarrely produced and incredibly staged sequence of events. During the date, they play with a ouija board, the lights go out, a doll goes missing, things start to breaks and (Does it even need to be said?) by the end of the night all the women are, of course, full-fledged ghost-believers. If you’re still interested in the whole “love” part of the show, Danielle M. gets the rose.

At long last, the two-on-one date between Corinne and Taylor commences. “Whoever he chooses he’s going to choose,” Corinne keeps saying like it’s a statement that carries any meaning whatsoever. From the viewer’s perspective, Nick’s choice seems simple — send them both home. But before the two swamp monsters head with Nick to the bayou, they make their final pitches to the camera:

“Make America Corinne again,” Corinne flips her hair and grins.

“I am going to take the high road,” Taylor says with much ‘stank face on her face.’

I have neither the time nor the energy to put together a convincing argument that this whole season so far is a thinly-veiled metaphor for the recent presidential election, but guess who wins. Let’s just say, he ‘chose who he chose.’

The date itself is quite the production — each of the two hopefuls takes her turn getting cards read, while the other spends time with Nick. There’s just “too much tension” for them to have it done at the same time, or something. Corinne asks the woman reading her cards, “How do you make a voodoo doll specific to a person?” fulfilling Raven’s prediction. And, well, whatever Corinne does works (she lies) because Nick sends Taylor home. But is this really the end? The episode leaves off on a cliffhanger when Taylor barges back in on Nick and Corinne and demands to talk.

Did Nick make the right choice? Is there a chance that we’ll be caught in a never-ending loop of Corinne and Taylor’s feud? Weigh in below.