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‘The Bachelorette’ Recap: Rachel Takes a Leap of Love in Norway

It’s episode five of “The Bachelorette” Season 13 and Rachel Lindsay finally gets rid of the professional “tickle monster.” He asks for one last tickle before he leaves! Oh, Rachel. Poor, poor Rachel. The pickings are truly slim!

This sentiment of — what do you call it? Ah, yes, pity — persists throughout the first of a two-night “Bachelorette” event, which kicks off with a tale of two one-on-one dates. First up is Jack Stone.

One thing to know about “The Bachelorette” is that it is a show that requires only one name for contestants. And yet, Jack Stone remains Jack Stone. Together, he and Rachel shuck and shag … shuck oysters and do the “Carolina shag” dance, that is. (Get it??)

“I feel like there’s something missing with Jack,” Rachel says a few minutes into their date. Her comment is followed by a horrifying edit that may as well have cut to the producers foaming at the mouth over a photo of the perfect storm that becomes Jack Stone’s crazy eyes, strong brow and vast forehead.

Jack Stone, like Rachel is a lawyer from Dallas, which she suggests should make them a perfect match. In reality, if it took a national television show’s casting call to match her up with someone in her own city, with essentially the same job, we have Jack-Stone-forehead-sized problems.

Rachel asks Jack Stone about his dream date in Dallas. “I’d like to take you home and lock the door,” he says. “That didn’t sound great to me,” Rachel says while blinking in morse code “SOS.” Jack Stone is sent Jack home.

Then, at the rose ceremony, Rachel says farewell to two more gents — Iggy and, as was previously mentioned, Jonathan. Rachel tells the remaining top 12 that they’re headed overseas … to Oslo, Norway! There, the second one-on-one date of the episode goes to Bryan.

During Rachel and Bryan’s boring, romantic date, I took a “Harry Potter” sorting hat quiz — I’m in Ravenclaw! “Things are always hot with Bryan and I,” Rachel says at one point. Rachel thinks that Bryan is too good to be true. He tries to reveal a vulnerable side of himself by saying that he used to be skinnier in high school. Must have been tough. She tells him that she is insecure because her sister was always “the pretty one” while she was “the cool one.” OK, safe to say these people aren’t super relatable. Bryan tells Rachel that he’s falling in love with her, and gets a rose.

Next, Rachel takes nine men on a group date to play a competitive game of “popular European sport” (and definitely not also a standard American high school gym-class and summer camp activity) handball. They dress up in spandex for no explicable reason other than to be objectified. Will plays really well, and Rachel says that he’s “like Jordan in the ’97 finals.” He gets the group date rose.

OK, with all that out of the way, do we have to talk about the Kenny and Lee thing? Throughout the episode the two men continue to feud. Lee continues to call Kenny aggressive. “Do you see how calm I am?” Kenny whispers overtop of menacing, ominous music.

Later, Will and Lee talk in private. “There is a long history of people calling black men aggressive,” Will says, referring to Lee’s ongoing drama with Kenny. “He’s the guy who plays the race card,” Lee says attempting to minimize Kenny’s feelings and devalue the weight of American history.

Kenny calls Lee a snake, then later “reptil-Lee-an” and a “Lee-zard,” which … you know, he tried. He also calls him many other things, most of which are censored.

Of course the two are put together on a two-on-one date which will not be resolved until tomorrow night’s episode. Rachel takes them to the Norwegian wilderness to find “clarity.” There’s some pretty heavy-handed b-roll footage of a snake. After Rachel and Kenny talk, Lee tells Rachel that Kenny confessed that he has a “dark side” that only comes out “when he drinks.” To my knowledge, this alleged confession was never aired, so the segment makes Lee out to look like a liar.

“I said that I was going to leave lawyer Rach at home,” Rachel says, but, alas, she cannot. Tomorrow night, she will finally make a decision. The previews tease Kenny with a bloody face, and then a quick cut to Rachel in the dark saying “It’s not fair.” Chances are whatever happens will not be as dramatic as that implies. However, the frustrating truth of “The Bachelorette” is that we’ll just have to tune in to find out for sure.

Who do you think Rachel sends home — Kenny or Lee? If you were Rachel, would you allow the “tickle monster” one last tickle? Weigh in below.

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