This week, we return to find our heroine, Rachel, accompanied by her pack of hunky dum-dums in South Carolina. Lee is stirring up drama like a giant bitch, while Rachel ignores him to canoodle on a boat with Bryan and live her best dang life. It’s crazy that we’re still in the middle of the group date from last week – they really need to end these episodes in more logical places! Anyway, back to Bryan, who is having one hell of an episode – he earns the group date rose and later, the coveted one-on-one date, simply by minding his own fooooookin’ business. At one point while all the guys are fighting, he even says, “Let her see that they’re not as serious as I am,” and boy, that is *exactly* right. I’ve said it over and over but it bears repeating that all these dummie idiots who spend all their time with Rachel running their mouths about other dudes are wasting their time and preventing their relationship from progressing at all. Well done, Bryan with your steamy ass vibes and whatnot.
Not everyone can be as focused on our angel bachelorette, however. Lee is still making everyone want to pull their hair out and/or throw heavy pieces of furniture. It’s so stressful to watch this, and I can’t even imagine being present for it. He insists he’s just being “honest” and that his best defense against Kenny’s non-existent “aggression” is to “just smile.” Lee is the absolute worst kind of troll – he spends time purposely kindling this tension in the house, and as soon as a spark ignites it, he pulls back and insists that everyone else is at fault. He was just being honest, after all. No dog-whistles or provocation here! Lee admits that he’s simply delighted to have gotten under Kenny’s skin and even goes as far as to say “I’m here to mess with everybody,” which is funny because I thought he was here for Rachel.
It’s impossible to deal with people like this because they’re deeply cynical and have nothing to lose. When you get mad, they’ll laugh at you and say you’re overreacting, which will make you want to shoot a fucking cannonball through their body. It’s so hard not to play into a troll’s hand, but you must deny them the attention they so crave. Understandably, though, Kenny cannot take this lying down. He tells Lee in a calm whisper tone that he is indeed a little bitch, and tells the cameras he feels bad for Lee’s parents who have to live their lives knowing that Lee is their son. I mean, Kenny, YES. Unfortunately, though, his fighting back allows the show producers to frame this as a mutual feud between two equals who simply can’t agree on a certain topic, instead of what it really is – one dude, with all the arrogance of a man named after a confederate general, being a serious fuckhead for no reason.
Will decides to speak to Lee about the tension in the house and very calmly explains how his accusations regarding Kenny’s “aggression” might appear a bit racially charged. Instead of saying something like, “Ahhh, I see. I certainly did not mean it that way, but I can understand where you’re coming from. I still have an issue with Kenny, but will try to use less inflammatory language in the future. Thanks for explaining that and not punching me in the face even though I so deserve it,” he chooses to go with, “OH OKAY SO KENNY’S JUST GONNA PLAY THE RACE CARD THEN?” America lets out a collective sigh. Will has more patience than I could ever muster, and I applaud him for his attempt to handle this situation, even if he failed to get through to Lee.
To get away from the awfulness of the house, Rachel takes Jack on a one-on-one date. They’re a perfect match on paper, so of course the date crashes and burns. You can tell pretty immediately that she is not feeling this dorky ass dude. The producers give him a TERRIBLE edit and make us all cringe and beg for mercy. Jack is already jumping to the “I can see myself falling for Rachel” stage, but Rachel can only see herself getting out of this uncomfortable situation as fast as she can.
The weirdest moment of this date has to be when Jack proclaims his certainty that Rachel’s dad has a great sense of humor, to which Rachel replies “…..You don’t even know him.” It was so bizarre and Rachel had no choice but to pull the plug on this date. After sending Jack home, Rachel figures she’s on a roll so why not just cancel the cocktail party and get rid of a few more of these duds while she’s at it? Good riddance to the Tickle Monster and Iggy. The former is disappointed but vows to find himself a “girl who appreciates a good set of tickle hands,” while the latter JUST NOW realizes that his decision to spend all of his time with Rachel talking about other dudes was a waste of time. Thank god I don’t have to look at either of those losers anymore. No one will miss either of them.
Unfortunately, though, the producers are not finished exploiting racial tensions, so Lee gets a rose. Kenny’s snake impression arm wiggles are simply not enough to send Lee home, but I enjoyed them nonetheless. In fact, I’m a fan of the whole “snake” joke theme. Reminds me of that time Kim pulled the receipts on Taylor and everyone commented the snake emoji on all of Taylor’s instagrams until she was literally forced into hiding for a year. SIMPLER TIMES!!!
Rachel and the men are off to Norway! The first date card arrives and it’s a one-on-one for Bryan because apparently Rachel does not feel that she has spent enough time mouthfucking that dude yet. Tiny Lil Dean squeaks out, “It’s possible that Bryan won’t come back from this date!” and all the rest of the dudes are like YEAH OKAY DEAN, SHE CLEARLY FUCKIN’ LOVES THIS GUY. It’s pretty clear from the date that this relationship is progressing quickly and that Bryan’s spot in the house is very safe. I have nothing really to mock here, except for how fucking loud and juicy-soundin’ their makeouts are. I had to turn down the TV when they were playing tonsil hockey in the sky. But in all seriousness, Bryan is hot and seems nice, so good for them. Also, I have scoliosis and he’s a chiropractor, so I would be trying to hold onto that dude for as long as possible.
Next up is the group date! The guys get into some very tight singlets and play handball. You know, normal date stuff. We get to see some of the typical competitive posturing, but mostly the men are on their best behavior and everyone has a pretty good time. Peter has a pretty standout day despite the presence of like 17 other guys. He continues to be an 11/10, flirts openly with Rachel during the game, and grabs him a “handful of ass,” according to Josiah.
Peter and Rachel also make out on the balcony for a while, and he stops kissing her only because he says they have “too much ground to cover.” This is very sweet and Peter is adorable, but Rachel has no time for his sensitivity – she hits him with the absolutely SAVAGE line, “wanna cover it in the hot tub?” Rachel is just slaying my entire life right now. This woman is a national treasure.
Now, I am just dying to know what these other men were up to while Rachel was jumping Peter’s bones in the hot tub. Are they playing a fucking game of Catan while she gets freaky on top of this gap-toothed angel? In any case, she cleans herself up and returns to the party as if no fluids were just exchanged in that hot tub, and then gives the rose to Will!!!!!!!!! Peter is understandably very confused. I would be paranoid as fuck about my sexual prowess if that happened to me, but honestly, I think she just figured that Peter has already gotten a lot of reassurance and should be pretty confident in their relationship, while Will hasn’t really had a lot of chances to stand out yet. Will deserved a little boost, so I definitely understand why she gave him the rose, even after that softcore hot tub scene with Petey.
The only other notable group date interaction is with Josiah. Rachel basically tells him that he doesn’t appear to give a shit about getting to know her, and he entirely misses the point of her feedback. Pretty uncomfy to watch, and it seemed like foreshadowing of issues to come – he’s probably going home soon.
And finally, we have the dreaded two-on-one. I just don’t want to deal with this stupid bullshit. I’ve said it before, but it’s really terrible that Lee was put on this season of the show at all. It’s disgusting that they’ve pitted him against Kenny and facilitated a conflict between them, and even worse that they’re now forcing Rachel into a two-on-one date with both of them in the middle of a Scandinavian forest!
In preparation for the impending disaster, Kenny is receiving some genuinely good advice from Bryan about keeping his focus, while Lee is WORKING OUT IN JEANS AND COWBOY BOOTS. Guys. GUYS.
We only get to see half of the date, because ABC is determined to squeeze as much out of this exploitative bullshit as they possibly can. In the first bit, we see Kenny do a nice job of telling Rachel he wants to put this tension behind him and focus exclusively on their relationship. He does exactly what he should do, and then motherfucking piece of garbage Lee comes in and ruins it. He uses his time with Rachel to make up some complete lies about Kenny. I’m sorry Lee, do you really think that if Kenny had yanked you out of a van, that ABC wouldn’t have shown that footage 17,000 times? GET THE FUCK OUT OF HERE!
There’s more bullshit tonight, so check in tomorrow for another recap!