Let's just start here, shall we?
The mens are starting to lose their damn mind, y'all. The testosterone rages. We're gonna have to watch them argue, it's both hilarious and boring. They're all "we're gonna handle this like men," and then they stomp around like children. Most of this week's drama centers on Lee. Racist Confederate Flag Lee and his High Hair.
Lee's gaslighting Eric and taunting Kenny. He interrupts Kenny's time with Rachel and after she's like give us a minute, he stands on sidelines waggling his fingers at her, ostensibly to count down the seconds but it just looks predatory, like he's aggressively fingering the air with one hand while sloshing a whiskey around in the other. Lee is serving date rape frat party realness. Poor Rachel. When Lee finally does sit down next to her, he pulls out a POCKET KNIFE and I can't believe she's not waving for the producers because this fool has a weapon. Instead she placidly receives a block of trash wood that he scratched ENCHANTING into and it looks like some serious ten year old boy bored in the woods made some shit bullshit and I'm scared for her and also worried it's got a hillbilly curse. Also, did I mention Lee is actively carrying a weapon??? Clearly the Office of Risk Management for Bachelor Nation is on vacacion.
During this lovely exchange there are some bored bros in the house all confused about the difference between quirks / quartz / and quarts and it's some beautiful foreshadowing to the group date where the men will be so so confused by words like "coitus."
Rachel and Bryan huddle together by a stone fireplace. Rachel says—
"You're so charming it scares me."
"It scares you?"
"It scares me."
and then Bryan says—
"Welcome to the fairytale."
and I throw up in my mouth. Bryan recites some things he’s heard at his fraternity brothers' weddings. “When you’re weak I’m going to be strong,” and “I won’t start cheating on you until you’ve birthed our second child and have heavy hips.” THEY MAKE OUT WITH SO MANY TONGUES AND LICKING.
Kenny's pissed at Confederate Lee. This won't be the last time I have to write this sentence tonight, so just bear with me. Kenny's pissed at Lee. He decides to confront Lee because television. Kenny is dressed like a preacher and is ready to throw down some gospel on Lee’s shaved part. He steeples his fingers. He air quotes "friendship." Meanwhile, Rachel is talking with Bryce who looks scared outta his mind, like Chris Harrison is standing behind him with a gun to his head, “I didn’t know she’d be black. I didn’t know there would be cameras," he stutters.
Rachel's had enough and sheds some tears about the pressure she's under and what it's like to be the first black bachelorette. Except she doesn't actually tell us what it's like to be the first black bachelorette. She says it's a lot of pressure and judgement. And this moment is pretty much how we've dealt with race so far this season—sort of acknowledging it's there a little bit and then moving on.
ROSE CEREMONY TIME. Chris Harrison gives a speech. Tonight has been stressful. Jack Stone says, "It's almost like going back to high school." Yes! Exactly like that! High school, when we would stage elaborate rose ceremonies in mansions furnished by Z Gallerie. We survey our mens on the chopping block and wonder, why isn't there just one guy with a beard and belly who makes homebrew? Can't just one guy have yellow teeth? And in the most shocking elimination yet, Rachel sends home our boy Diggy of the bowties and 34987324597 pairs of shoes. We are sad.
ONE ON ONE TIME. Rachel picks Dean because she inexplicably loves Dean. Shockingly Dean is terrified of heights so there’s a blimp, or as Rachel says it, BIMP. Dean’s a mumbly mumbler, especially when he’s nervous. He tries to put his seatbelt on when they let him drive the blimp. (Again, where the fuck is Risk Management???). They sit down for dinner under a cypress tree dripping with lanterns and icicle lights. Dean opens up to Rachel about his mother's death and you can literally see her thinking "We will get married under this tree of lights. We will recite poems about putting down 'roots'."
Who the hell is Russell Dickerson? One twang outta dat mouth and we're fast forwarding straight to—
THE GROUP DATE. The men are released from their vans and they all charge at Rachel. Praying Lee doesn't have his knife. A dolphin! A yacht! Silly straws! The men are thrilled. This date is like a frat party. Booze. Topless bros who think they are so great. White dudes rapping. Feats of strength—
—and I'm so glad I'm not on this date. They get all drunk and get off the boat and arrive at some sort of event. I say, I hope it's a spelling bee! AND THEN IT FUCKING WAS. It was unbelievable. But I am a Pisces, so...
No one looks happy about the spelling bee because they know in their hearts they're a bunch of dummies. All the words are bachelorette themed—squirt, passion, caress. YUCK. Why can’t the words be restaurant. Esoteric. Hors d’oeuvres. Douche nozzle. Josiah holds the mic like he's strangling a bitch. Then he strangles his trophy and makes out with it. It’s a lot.
The mens retire to a yacht club to have some alone time with Rachel. “I like to clean and I like hugs” says Eric. And now I have to change my mind about him, because really what am I looking for in a man? Cleaning and hugs. I mean really that’s it. Iggy is wearing a bomber jacket from Forever 21 when he tries to "throw Josiah under the bus," to Rachel. Triumphant, he returns to the mens holding room to sit on the ugliest couch of all time, right next to Josiah, and says, pssssst, I just talked shit about you. Eric says Josiah is in the sauce of the mixing pot. Huh? Josiah is like fuck y'all and goes to talk to his boys in the hall. They’re all sitting / standing at different heights on the stairs and I am waiting for them to bust out some Boyz II Men harmonies. Has Josiah come to the end of the road?
Suddenly we're back to Kenny and Lee and their drama. Kenny's pissed at Lee. Rachel interrogates him about it. Why does Rachel want to know about their fight? I’d rather know about how Kenny became a Chippendale and how much money he makes as a wrestler. That’s the real info I need to know to weed people out. I'd like to have a quick chat with your ex wife and access to your tax statements.
Look, any reasonable person knows Kenny wasn't being aggressive at all and Lee is trash. But apparently ABC is gonna make us sit through another episode of these two fighting out a microcosm of American racial tensions next week. Did Lee punch Kenny? Or did he just like fall into a boom mic? We'll find out next week at the TWO PART BACHELORETTE EVENT!