There was a moment on last season of “The Bachelor” when Rachel Lindsay told Nick Viall “I love sports, but I don’t play games.” On tonight’s “Bachelorette,” Rachel made good on that promise. She committed to that promise so hard that at one point she caused me to physically scream and start clapping. I applauded for so long that I probably missed something important. So apologies if there are some gaps in the timeline, but it’s worth it just to know that Rachel has changed the game … uhh … journey to find love? … for the better.
But that’s not to say that every moment of this episode was a blast. It happened on last season of “The Bachelor” with Corinne and Taylor, and it’s happening again on this season — “The Bachelorette” has found a way to take the one of the most frustrating people on the planet, and pit them against someone impossible to root for. This time Mr. Frustrating is named Lucas, a.k.a. Whaboom, and Mr. Impossible is called Blake. It all goes down during the first of three dates, so let’s get to it.
“I’m looking for husband material.”
For the first of two group dates this week, Rachel calls on Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis for help. Seriously! Not some D-list band that no one’s heard of — there are actual famous people on this season of “The Bachelorette.”
“We came on because we love Rachel,” Mila Kunis says, and proceeds to ask the men, by a show of hands, who has health insurance. “Every guy here has a job?” she asks, sounding surprised. It is, after all, “The Bachelorette.”
As the segment goes on, it’s not particularly convincing that Rachel is excited by her company, or even … knows who they are. But together the three stage a baby-themed relay race to find someone who’s “husband material.” A few stray observations regarding the race: They blur the baby doll poop … Why?; at one point the camera shot bizarrely switches to a POV angle from the head of a vacuum cleaner; the baby doll’s skin color matched that of the potential father. The whole thing is just sensory overload.
Anyway, ugh, Whaboom wins. “I’m husband material,” he shouts as he spikes his baby doll into the ground. He then tries to get Ashton Kutcher to say “Whaboom.” Ashton Kutcher does not humor his nonsense for one second, and earned 105 integrity points, or one for every point he lost hosting an episode of “Punk’d.”
After the date, everyone heads to a warehouse filled with “retro stuff,” where they spend the next few minutes of the episode flirting with a grown woman while surrounded by lava lamps and lawn chairs. That’s where the embers of Whaboom and Blake’s feud are fanned. “I know Lucas from a previous encounter,” Blake says ambiguously. Later, when he gets time alone with Rachel, he is more specific: “I live with his ex-girlfriend. She’s my roommate.” Wait, what??! Which is pretty much Rachel’s reaction as well, and it’s difficult to believe that she heard whatever he said next to try to bash Whaboom because Blake is unfortunately not a very engaging speaker.
Oh! And Dean gets the group date rose. He mumbles like Nick Viall. They kiss. (Rachel and Dean, not Dean and Nick, although …)
“Welcome to Barkfest.”
Rachel chooses Peter for her first one-on-one date, and tries to tease that they’ll be joined by a mystery third person.
“It’s her dog,” I shout into the void. It’s her dog.
Rachel, Peter and Copper (the dog) head to Palm Springs where they hang out by a pool with a bunch of people and their dogs at something appallingly called Barkfest. There they have a conversation during their first date about moving that Nick Viall and his chosen one, Vanessa Grimaldi, did not have until after the show had finished taping.
They also have an adorable chat about their endearing front teeth gaps. Peter’s dad’s entire side has it! Rachel’s dentist told her it adds character! They both went to therapy (unrelated to their teeth, but more things in common)! Peter gets a rose.
Rachel teased the final date like so: “The date card said ‘Swish,’ so hopefully the guys can pick up on what the date is. If not, that’s a problem.” Aaaaa … Katy Perry concert?
It’s basketball. And their coach is Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who, unlike some other famous guests on the show, Rachel seems genuinely excited to have around.
While the date may not have had anything to do with Katy Perry’s song “Swish Swish,” Rachel does come across some receipts in the form of a woman named Lexi, a (now ex-) girlfriend of one of the contestants, DeMario.
Lexi tells Rachel that DeMario is there for *gasp* the wrong reasons, and just wants to be on television. If his line from earlier in the episode is any indication of his future of television — “You can either sink with the fishes or swim ashore … so we’re gonna figure out who’s built Ford tough” — it’s going to be a long, hard road, so he’d better have four-wheel drive and an extra set of gills, or something.
Does Lexi seem a little too happy to shut DeMario down on national television? She does. Does DeMario look like a fool? Oh yeah. And does Rachel handle the situation like a pro? Absolutely. “I’m not here to be played. I’m not here to be made a joke of. So I’m gonna need you to get the f— out,” she tells him. Standing ovation. The whole franchise could have honestly ended here and no one would have the right to be too upset.
But DeMario wants the last word. Before the episode ends (on a cliffhanger), he shows up back at the mansion before the rose ceremony and asks to speak with Rachel.
“I’d be lying if I didn’t tell you that my curiosity is at an all time high right now,” Rachel says. “I am very curious what he could possibly say to me.”
And so must we all be curious. Until next week.
What do you think DeMario has to tell Rachel? Do you think she’ll let him back on the show? How to do you think Rachel is doing so far — perfectly, or some other synonym of “perfectly”? Weigh in below.
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