The Bachelor, Ep 2: Bad Boy
We begin tonight's episode with a few things on our mind. Arie is worried that he won’t be able to choose just one woman but, unfairly, ABC won’t let him enter into a 17-way marriage, and I’m worried about the health of my eyeballs after I force them to watch so much close up kissing. Such is the nature of The Bachelor.
The women start the episode in full-blown absurdity mode. They sweat, pant, and drool over Arie, saying various unbelievable things like “Arie makes me lose my words,” and making much of his “hypnotic eyes.” You’re all familiar with the iconic “Sure Jan” meme? Right?
Chris has arrived straight from a bender, apparently, because he can’t even be bothered to wear a shirt that fits properly. I’d say showing up in a fitted shirt is about 70% of his job, and yet!
The women FREAK THE FUCK OUT THAT Arie is coming to visit like it’s some goddamn surprise. Did y'all think that the second time you saw him would be at your scheduled proposal?
Because of their heightened state of frenzied lust, the women soon beat the Date Card out of Chris. It goes to....Becca K! And the card reads: “Hold on tight.”
“Hold on to SOMETHING, girl.” One of the other contestants cheekily suggests. Here’s your weekly reminder that this show is #profane and America is full of puritanical hypocrites.
Arie arrives in a super last-season brown leather jacket. The women do their best to overlook this fact.
Becca’s fabulous date begins with a dangerous motorcycle trip. How fun! The girls, incredibly jealous of potential injury, look on in envy.
For what it’s worth, Arie looks like he’s going about 10 miles an hour. #badboy
They soon arrive at a mansion, where they fall back on this show’s crutch: alcohol. It’s a helpful salve for what pops out of the shadows next: Rachel Zoe!
Turns out that this date is all about Becca being forced to try on a succession of outfits while Arie Pretty-Womans her. Arie (through the producers) then gifts her the entire rack of clothing she just tried on. This is one of the show's better dates because there is a tangible reward. Remember that ep on Nick’s season where he made them all shovel shit? Though at least that date had Corinne going for it. #neverforget
Later, while relaxing outside, a stranger with a briefcase accosts them with a note from Neil Lane. It’s a fun crossover promotion with the new Liam Nesson movie, Taken 13, or whatever they're calling it. Neil Lane has kidnapped Arie's daughter and they must fight to get her back!
LOL JK I WISH!
Instead, Arie gifts Becca with jewelry, so she basically has no choice but to kiss him. She honestly.....seems not into this. They then talk about how Arie has grown so much since the last time he was on, blah blah blah. He talks a lot about how he was "a boy" before. Did he just throw fits all the time and wet the bed on his last season?
Back at the house, the women get more opportunity to flex their acting muscles: “Is it weird to say that I miss him?” Some blonde says. LOL Yes, and also great job. Your acting is really coming along nicely.
Sidebar: Is this one of those situations where Arie looks much better in person than on camera? Or maybe was there an alternate reality where all the women filmed their talking head interviews thinking they’d be on a season with Peter, and then had to film this season as a re-shoot? Because that honestly makes more sense than what's happening now!
Becca returns with her haul, and the girls are appropriately envious of her product-placement gifts of love. Yet Becca's date is not over, unfortunately for her. She must soon join Arie on the customary dinner portion of the evening. There’s some idle chat about Arie fixing Becca's brakes, though weirdly no official investigation into who among the cast disabled them.
The women back at the mansion are engaging in some raunchy locker room talk about Arie’s pillowy, pillowy lips. Listen. I have had female friends for 3 decades at this point and I can’t recall a single instance of us getting together and talking about a man’s “pillow lips.” This is just bad writing!
This reverie is interrupted by the arrival of a Date Card. Surprise! It’s another one-on-one date, this time with KRYSTAL! The non Krystal-girls can be categorized as #nothappy.
Back at the date, Becca and Arie talk family. “Family’s important.” Arie says. Remember earlier when he said he was wiser this time around? Behold, this wisdom in action.
Of course Becca easily gets the rose. Sorry, girl.
“She’s not afraid to take a risk and be funny.” Arie says, of Becca. LOL. Typically it's such a risk for a woman to display a sense of humor, but in this once very specific instance, it paid off.
The date goes on for about 17 more minutes of smooching, until finally we're blessedly given a commercial break.
I say this every year, but if all the close up kissing was edited out of this show, it’d basically be a half hour special about two bros, Arie and Chris, in a reverse She’s All That situation in which one of the contestants must transform Arie into Prom King. Come to think of it, Freddie Prinz Jr. could play Arie in the inevitable movie version!
Also, if I were a contestant on this show, I would actively campaign to NOT get a date. The women who are off the hook get to just hang out with a pool nearby with the rest of the girls and drink wine.
As if to confirm my every worst suspicion about dating Arie, Krystal finds out she is being whisked away to.....Scottsdale. Unfortunately for her, she can’t think of an excuse not to go.
My boyfriend has a theory that ABC is getting its audience progressively more comfortable with worse and worse bachelors, until we’re somehow rooting for Joe Francis or Scott Peterson to find love. Of all the theories I've heard, this is one of the more plausible.
Though they have a personal jet at their disposal, Arie and Krystal still choose to go to Arizona. Arie takes Krystal on a tour of his town, including his former high school. “I was a bit of a troublemaker,” Arie says, with absolutely no credibility at all. “I was an art nerd.” Krystal says. It’s fun when two people lie to each other!
Arie then takes Krystal on a beige tour of his suburban home. Krystal does a GREAT job of acting intrigued. I mean, for real. She legit looks like she’s already in love!
“Seeing these photos, I got a little emotional.” Krystal says during an incredibly boring slideshow of Arie's childhood. To be fair, disappointment and dismay are emotions.
Arie then crosses all boundaries of good taste with a surprise trip to his parent’s equally beige suburban home, all on the first date! Krystal is all “hey I wish you’d warned me!” but in the nicest and least confrontational way. It all sails well above Arie's head.
Also I’m sort of...deeply creeped out that Arie’s mom looks a great deal like half of his cast. Seriously!
Though at least there’s one good member of the family.
Arie tells his family about the smoking hot red dress Krystal was wearing on the first night they met and how into it he was. Cool tactic. Another interesting tactic is when Krystal who, after finding out that Arie’s parents just celebrated their 36th year of marriage, no joke, is all “surely some of it sucked, right?”
LOL. Way to needle them, Krystal!
Back in California, a date card arrives to send all of the women into an emotional tailspin!
The girls who are chosen for the date are significantly less excited about it once they realize that this date has 15 girls on it. Kinky.
Back in Arizona, Arie takes Krystal to a “vintage’ building. Isn’t that just...most buildings that are not brand new? Is this crafty real estate speak? They have dinner, and Arie asks Krystal about her background. Krystal says she had an nontraditional childhood, and that her parents divorced, her dad wasn’t around and her mom was emotionally unavailable. Sounds pretty traditional to me, tbh.
To be fair, she does tell a fairly heartbreaking story about saving up her money to buy a comforter as a kid, and about how her little brother is homeless.
I find it very odd that there’s this narrative on the show about people with a difficult upbringing and how it might be a point against them with the suitor. It's like with Dean last year, who had arguably one of the most reasonable and understanding suitors in recent memory, but he still worried that Rachel would judge him for his childhood. It's wild.
Arie responds to this gentle opening up and vulnerability by saying “I love your story.” Number 1: it’s kind of a fucked up story, Arie, not sure what there is to love about it, and Number 2: it’s also not a STORY. It is legit her life.
Anyway, all questions are swept aside as they ram their pillowy lips against each other. UGH, just get to the 15 person orgy date already!
We'll get there eventually, but not before Arie reveals that he has another “surprise” for Krystal. Considering his track record of surprises on this date, I'd keep your expectations low, Krystal.
True to form, this surprise turns out to be a solo serenade from Connor Duermit, a dude I know is a singer simply because he is currently singing on this show. Let’s get some new date ideas, producers! This whole “slow dancing while an unknown white male singer croons” date is creepy and played out.
Sidebar: I wish some woman would come on this show and play along and do the whole “looking for love” thing, and then in her talking head interview segments is all “I’m just here to get famous! Give me my sweet Instagram sponsored post money!” I would have a ton of respect for that tactic.
Another sidebar: If you got 15 women together, I don't believe they could agree on one cute guy. Why is Arie the one who does it for all of them? Should we be shuttling these women off into a government-funded study on mass hysteria and delusion and its effects on sexual attraction?
ANY-wayz, it turns out the 15 person date is a destruction derby. Naturally, this sends Annaliese into a fit of weeping. “This is my worst nightmare.” She says (and not about spending time with Arie!).
For you see - Annaliese has something called “bumper car trauma,” because when she was a kid, she got stuck in a bumper car in the middle of a rink and people kept....bumper car-ing into her? Is that it?
ABC does a black and white reenactment while she tells her harrowing tale. The other women laugh. NO ONE is taking this seriously. I’m sure it’s possible to have a traumatic experience in this manner, and far be it from me to question someone else’s trauma, but....given the nature of the show, it feels disingenuous.
It’s certainly one of the more unusual bids for attention I’ve seen on this show. Also - is it wise to loudly announce your major weakness BEFORE going into battle with the people who are planning on bumpering their car into your car?
Chris Harrison is there to narrate this, because no one else agreed to do it. But he more than earns this week’s paycheck with this little gem: “Could this be the first time Arie actually wins something on a race track?”
OOOOOOOO Chris! You catty bitch!!!! There are many versions of Chris Harrison, and bitchy, tea-spilling Chris is my absolute fav.
The women are unleashed upon each other to do battle, and truly they pull no punches. Annaliese is the first one hit, incidentally, but she in turn is a pretty vicious driver. Bibiana also really takes to racing. Brittany T goes after Arie, which is hilarious and I absolutely love it. Good job girl!
I grew up in the country, so I’m extremely familiar with destruction derbies. This is a good date! Not for the girls, of course, but for the audience.
Seinne and Tia are the last two standing. Tia’s engine dies, and Seinne takes the cup. See, Arie, THAT’s how you win!
“I definitely want to reward her with some time tonight.” Arie says of Seinne.
“Oh shit,” Seinne thinks.
At the evening portion of the date, we learn that Brittany went home because she wasn’t feeling well after ramming her car into so many other cars. Coincidentally, she has to miss the talking with Arie part of the date. LOL Brittany I SEE YOU!
Elsewhere, Chelsea waits less than 10 seconds to steal Arie. The women react with a mixture of jealousy and pure respect. “Classssssic Chelsea.” Bekah says. Do they really know each other well enough at this point to be able to label a move as “classic?”
Turns out Chelsea has a reason for such aggression, and it’s because she’s chosen now as the time to reveal to Arie that she has a child. His reaction? “Awwwww,” with the exact same tone that you might employ to respond if someone told you “I just got a puppy.”
Arie reveals that before Emily (who was also a single mom), he dated a girl with two kids. There’s a word for this sort of dating history and that word is: fetish.
As if to prove my MILF-theory, Arie immediately makes out with Chelsea.
Later, Seinne let's two bombs drop: She’s from Scottsdale, and she went to Yale. Truthfully Arie seems more impressed with the Scottsdale reveal.
“I barely graduated high school and worked at Pizza Hut.” Arie says.
Incidentally, Arie’s pillow lips get quite a workout as he makes out with anyone unfortunate enough to get within a few inches of his face.
In the later half of this episode, the main subplot turns towards Bibiana and her slow descent into madness, as more and more women spend time with Arie while she does not. As she works herself up, and drinks more and more (I’m assuming), she starts getting pretty punchy with the other girls, and threatens bodily harm to the cameramen if they continue filming her in this state. Not entirely sure where this rage comes from. This is the man she’s desperate to spend time with:
After about the dozenth occurrence of seeing Arie’s tongue outside of his mouth, I give up. His kiss with Bekah, who is 14 years his junior, lasts for hours. With his little fisherman sweater, he looks like some creepy college history professor and I just want to get Bekah out of his grips.
Seinne gets the date rose. Chelsea gets to make this face in response.
Tonight it's the rose ceremony! Not to harp on this, but I am willing to bet $100 PER WOMAN that if they were all at a bar and Arie tried to send over a drink, 90% of these women who be like “eh no thanks.” And they REALLY like drinks!
Arie checks in on Brittany after her terrible faked injury, and she’s all “I’m not into you dude.” Arie, not reading the cues at all, gives her the award for “Most Hardcore.” Yet another award Arie didn’t win on the racetrack!
I think Bekah is super cute, but....there is something about her that rubs me the wrong way. Can anyone please tell me why I feel this way? Am I way off base? I’m fairly sure her coat is not real fur, so I don’t think that’s what’s bugging me.
As if reading my thoughts and deciding to be very contrary, Arie says of Bekah: “She has such good energy.”
And then she says: “I’m simple and no drama, and easy to please.”
UGGHGUGHGUGHG . And that’s what’s been bothering me! Bekah hasn’t aged out of the “cool girl” phase. She hasn’t gotten past the “men don’t have to work to make me happy in a relationship" lie, and is eagerly presenteing herself as a package, rather than a complicated person with desires and thoughts and flaws. To be fair, all of the women are presenting themselves as a product on this show, but hers seems particularly obvious and manufactured to me. She’ll learn, it’ll just take her some time to get there. Remember, she's only 23.
Also who is this?!
Bibiana is still upset that she’s not hanging out with Arie, while simultaneously doing nothing to hang out with him. It’s certainly a unique strategy.
Krystal has a rose and yet still steals time with Arie. It’s a move designed to cause MAXIMUM DRAMA and I approve. Because she's the most volatile at this moment, Bibiana is immediately informed of what Krystal is doing. This is a classic recipe for drama, and it’s about to come out of the oven, piping hot!
Honestly I would support a policy on this show in which the producers left notes around the set with wild accusations about all the contestants, signed by another cast member. Anything to get this party started. I can't trust Arie to do the heavy lifting of being entertaining.
Bibiana FINALLY gets her chance to chat with Arie, and with all this buildup, what a disappointment when you actually get him in front of you. In fact, she looks real bored.
Reluctantly, I grant Arie his first few points of the season when he says that he brought his dog home with him, and that he adopted him from the Humane Society. FINE.
Krystal again tries to steal some of Arie's precious, finite time, and of course this time it's while Bibiana is chatting with him. I’m sort of confused by this tactic of Krystal’s. She’d previously been playing the sweet do-gooder, but suddenly she’s a drama stirrer? Pick one archetype, at least this early in the game!
Bibiana returns from her time with Arie and gives Krystal several pieces of her mind. I will say that Krystal looks gorgeous while getting chewed out.
Also, it doesn’t really make sense that the girls don't understand Krystal's actions. It’s not like Arie’s attention and memory gets reset every week, and thus there's no point in spending time with him if you’ve already got a rose. Theoretically you are building a relationship, and every little moment counts. It’s a self-preserving strategy, but it’s a good one.
After she's said her piece, Bibiana shouts “Mic drop!" without having really made any salient points, apart from telling Krystal to sleep with one eye open.
Chris Harrison shows up for his weekly dish of gossip. Here's some: Arie needs to seriously re-think his level of spray tan.
Arie monologues about whatever enters his little head, and pretty soon the roses are being doled out.
Soon enough, ONE ROSE REMAINS! We know this, of course, because Chris Harrison shows up to point out that there’s only one rose tonight. Thanks, Chris!
It goes to......Bibiana. One of the blondes is.....PISSED.
She walks right out without saying goodbye to Arie and I actually shout “yes!” because now the veneer has dropped away and this woman can act around Arie as she would in normal life.
Arie chases after her and tries to hug her. This is how it goes over.
“I definitely don’t think is for me.” She responds. And also: “I’m not sad about you, I’m sad to leave my friends." LOLOLOLOL! Yes girl!
As she strolls out, she laments: “I literally thought I’d end up with him.” After just saying that she wasn’t sad to leave him. If I were writing a thesis about the strange artifice of The Bachelor, this would be one of my main points of evidence.
I will say that Arie didn’t have to chase after her to calm her, so that was nice. Additionally, he doesn’t talk any shit about her after she’s gone. So that’s maybe one or two more points in his favor. Basic human decency from a man, I guess. I have an incredibly low bar.
Next week: The ladies do their best GLOW! That’s fun!
Someone says “This is so weirdly sexual.”
THAT’S EVEN MORE FUN!!!!!!!!!!
The outro involves Kendall showing Arie some of her prized taxidermys, specifically her pickled bat.
“I mean, I knew you were artsy....” Arie says, while glancing around to make sure show security is within range.
SEE YOU NEXT WEEK!