Episode 4: Love Makes The World Go Flat

My apologies for not recapping Week 3’s idiotic episode.  I was consumed with the nuptials of two dear friends, and decided it would be best to devote my time, energy and attention to the wholesome love of two stand-up human beings rather than fully engulf myself in the flames of episode 3. But fear not, I am back with a vengeance.

After being left with a cliffhanger and no rose ceremony last week, I was eager to see where the network would take things. Please see below a series of thoughts and opinions on what we witnessed on Monday, June 17th.

THE UNIVERSE WORKS HARD, BUT THE PRODUCERS WORK HARDER…

When David the Busted Chicken Man returns from his stint in the ICU (WHAT?!) the men of the mansion are taken aback by his bruised and swollen face.  David’s top bunk topple was serious as shit.  After David bids a quick hello to the boys, Becca invites him to chat in private.  His speech about being happy to continue his journey with Becca because he is excited about what they have felt very rehearsed, and David barely managed to keep it together as his voice quivered through physical pain and pure embarrassment.

During the air-tight screening process, David was probably quickly identified as competitive and as having traditional (read: harmful) ideas of masculinity.  Boom. All they have to do is pair him with someone like Jordan who is supremely confident, not self-aware at all, and way more concerned with his image in a way that reads as more feminine to David.  (I can hear David describing Jordan as a pretty boy, and I am gagging.)  This dynamic duo is like oil and water.  Even though David seems embarrassed to have suffered his bunk bed injury and he probably knows he stands zero chance of winning Becca’s heart, all the producers had to do is bait him with Jordan. Wouldn’t you love to see the look on Jordan’s face when you come back?  You can’t let a guy like that get in the way of you getting what you want.  He doesn’t deserve Becca. He’s running around in his underwear after we told him to do it to piss you off, but you’re so headstrong and can’t fucking help yourself.

This interaction shows how the genius of this show lies in the creation of the narrative, and the ability to anticipate people’s reactions and gauge their emotional intelligence to know who to pit against whom and how to ensure a certain outcome from someone and thereby create “characters” and “plot lines.”  This show sticks so closely to it’s tired pattern that it’s probably very easy to come up with a grand plan for what they want the season to look like, and then can cast accordingly.  There’s potential for a more nuanced, more real version of a still very contrived scenario, but because there is such a firm grasp on low hanging fruit we are left with an only slightly different iteration of pettiness and predictability each season.  OVER IT!

THE FRANCHISE PROFITS OFF OF HARASSMENT

Early on in this week’s episode we see Becca pull Jordan aside to gift him the gold shorts she wore to the dodgeball group date last week since he has show his enthusiasm for parading around the mansion in his underwear.

This was definitely not her idea.  This “gift” is the currency the producers dole out so that Jordan can buy himself another unwanted sexual advancement towards Becca later in this episode. These gold briefs are the foundation on which Jordan is able to proudly stand, unzip and pull down his pants to reveal that he has taken advantage of Becca’s gift and would now like to take advantage of her and kiss her with his pants off. Becca awkwardly laughs because this is just so ridiculous omg haha how could she possibly take him seriously omg lol.

NO. NO. NO. NO.

Women are shown over and over and over to just let men do whatever they want because if we don’t, we might be at the receiving end of their physical and emotional abuse. Mike Fleiss, the creator of this show thinks the absolute fucking world of himself.  He proudly tweets “anti-Trump” sentiments on Twitter, but he is the bellows to Trumpy flames in his darling franchise so that he can play God and have “the good guys” show the “bad guy” how uncool and disgusting their attitude and behavior is. This is at the expense of Becca. This is a problem.

Here’s the thing is, Fleiss, human beings are fascinating without you doing heavy duty meddling, and we are shown time and time again that you are OK with giving the green light on harassment. Why would you let Jordan do this? It’s not funny it’s fucking harassment, and the network is profiting off of it.

DENYING GRAVITY

If Lincoln is still willing to overlook the unequivocal scientific evidence to support the fact that our beloved planet earth is in fact round, what other undeniable truths is he willing to deny…Hope this doesn’t keep you up at night.

HUNTIN’, FISHIN’, LOVIN’ EVERYDAY

Becca’s fascination with Garrett reminds me of Rachel’s fascination with Bryan. It’s undeniable. Becca hasn’t looked at any of the other men the way she looks at him. She is a giddy schoolgirl in her private interviews when she talks about him. She describes Garrett as like her father and reminiscent of home. What’s worse is that Garrett, whom we know has liked homophobic, transphobic and racist instagram posts, seems genuinely very excited to be with Becca. He has this naive, childlike excitement in his face. He’s like a young boy running around with his high school crush, grinning from ear to ear.

When Becca and Garrett are introduced to the lesbian Olympic bobsledding couple, I had to ask myself, did the network really NOT know that Garrett is not about the gays? I don’t believe it for a fucking second. They knew. They knew. They knew. This is not a coincidence. I want to be happy that a lesbian couple was included on a show as an example of a happy, loving, romantic relationship, but in light of what we have recently learned about Garrett, I can’t help but wonder if this isn’t progress but instead a tactic to try to get Garrett to say or do something that they could later punish him for. I would LOVE to know what the Olympians have to say about what we now know about Garrett. Do they feel played? Do they think it’s a coincidence? How were they pitched to come onto this show?

The last thing I will say about Garrett, is that he gave off an earnest, in pain vibe a la Dean Unglert in Rachel’s season of The Bachelorette as he revealed to Becca that he was previously in love, engaged, and married to a woman he describes as emotionally abusive. He’s a man who has gone through something really tough and who is looking for relief, direction, attention and validation. I didn’t expect to see this more tender side of Garrett, or to empathize with it, but I am. His past relationship is clearly a source of pain and stress for him, and I can appreciate him wanting to heal and wanting to be in a healthy relationship. It’s complicated to watch someone who has done fucked up shit go through something relatable and painful. Bottom line: I am still pissed Garrett was allowed as a contestant onto this show.

FUCKING COLTON

If I have to watch one more Colton interview where he has a stupid smirk on his face that does not in any way match the cue card lines he is reading about Jordan disrespecting Becca I’m going to lose my mind. He recites his lines like the 3rd grade narrator at the class play of Chicken Little.

I’M ONLY WATCHING THIS SEASON BECAUSE OF WILLS

Wills must be the next Bachelor. He must. He must. He must. We are long overdue for a Black Bachelor, and this man did all the right things on his 1:1 date. He addressed Becca’s feelings being hurt by Jean-Blanc’s strange tactic of saying he was falling in love with her and moments later saying he actually didn’t mean it.

WILLS.

Wills also opened up and said that he fears not being enough. Becca encourages him not to be so hard on himself. He is being primed for the Bachelor glow up where he transforms from feeling not super confident or worthy to being more empowered and ready to run the show. He is good looking, he is kind, he likes Harry Potter, what else do you fucking want?!

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