We pick up amidst Kenny and Lee duking it out during the cocktail party after the spelling bee. Lee is sauced with squinty eyes as he clutches his whiskey neat and goads Kenny to keep talking while Kenny is already talking. Kenny is sharp and tight with his words. Kenny calls Lee a “dime store psychologist” and warns him to quit running to Rachel with lies about Kenny being violent and aggressive. You go Kenny!
Bryan whisks Rachel away to some boat and magical music underscores their tonguey kisses and Bryan’s pick up lines, ie: “When I’m with you nothing else matters.” Rachel appreciates that Bryan is distancing himself from the drama, and she is sucked in to every romantic bumper sticker he quotes. This short segment sets up a major theme for the two-night extravaganza that aired this week: Bryan is the bar by which all these other jabronis are being measured.
Rachel gives the group date rose to the man who has been confident in who he is and what he and Rachel have: Bryan.
See what I mean…?
Jack Stone’s 1:1
Jack Stone is also an attorney from Dallas. This sounds promising, and Rachel Stone definitely has a nice ring to it, but nothing, not even their career and hometown similarities, could save Jack Stone from Jack Stone. This date included a horse drawn buggy, oyster shucking, and shagging, but not that kind off shagging. It also featured Rachel’s polite fake laugh and smile and Jack’s creepy prolonged eye contact, his inability to read Rachel’s body language, and his lack of *emotional intelligence* in deciphering his dynamic with Rachel. The real kiss of death was not the actual kiss that Jack gave Rachel before she pushed him away because she is “contagious”, but the way in which he answered Rachel’s question: “If we were back in Dallas, where would you take me and what would we do?” Jack said he would lock the door, lay in bed, and talk. YIKES. To make this all the more cringe worthy, Jack Stone was really feeling himself on this date and he felt like his connection with Rachel was exponentially growing with every moment they shared together. To be honest, I am surprised he even lasted this long. Bye, Jackie Boy.
“I’m not looking for a friend, I’m not looking for someone to date. I’m looking for a husband.”
While Jack is getting 86’d, Will embarks on a fool’s errand: attempting to educate Lee on why it’s problematic to toss around the word “aggressive” when describing a black man (Kenny) in this country. Lee does not have the capacity to learn or unlearn. Lee is a monster. Will is my future husband. Kenny is a hero. Lee takes what Will has said, throws it in a food processor, smothers it in batter, deep fries it, takes it to his county fair, sticks a confederate flag toothpick in it, and labels this racist repurposed Paula Dean biscuit as Kenny “playing the race card.” Someone call 911.
Rachel is starting to realize how fckn serious this process is. Every week the goodbyes get harder. She’s a woman who knows what she wants, so she decides to forgo the cocktail party before the rose ceremony. Even though ABC has been promoting footage of Kenny and Lee’s 2:1 date, I am still hopeful she will get rid of Lee.
The Tickle Monster and Iggy get the axe. Ten lords a leaping remain: Eric, Peter, Adam, Will, Matt, Alex, Josiah, Anthony, Kenny, Lee. And we are off to Norway, cowl necks included.
Rachel meets up with the guys in Oslo and pulls the ultimate power move: she snags Bryan away for a 1:1 in front of the rest of the men. No date card, no bullshit, just Bryan and Big Rach.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if Bryan didn’t come back.”
Dream big, Dean.
Rachel lets the guys know that traveling with someone is the best way to get to know each other, but can she really get to know the real Bryan when he’s got his tongue down her throat the entire time? These two idiots putz around the city and then they take an elevator up to the top of an Olympic ski jump where Rachel reveals that they are going to repel down. She sure picked the wrong day to wear black booties and chunky rings. Of course Bryan keeps it cool the entire 187 feet journey back down to solid ground. He even pulls Rachel close to him in midair so they can play tonsil hockey. Rachel’s got her swag goggles and Bryan blinders on, and they’re not coming off.
“I get bored easily. Bryan doesn’t bore me.”
Over dinner with Bryan, Rachel shares that she is guarded with her emotions because she’s afraid of getting hurt. Bryan takes this opportunity to “get vulnerable” and share that he was a super insecure, gangly, pimply teenager. He also shares that had a four year relationship but every time shit got serious he would deflect and not let things get past a certain level. Damn. God bless the bitch that dealt with deflection for four years. Now he realizes that this behavior isn’t sustainable, and he is ready to be open and a part of something real. Oh and duh, he admits he is falling in love with Rachel. Rachel is giddy as fuck and says: “He’s been so real, I have no choice but to believe him.” HOLD UP. You also said that you are terrified at how charming he is. Interesting. How about you cross-examine yourself, Lawyer Rach. Also, those fake eyelashes are like geisha fans and it’s distracting and unflattering.
Date Card: I want a guy who’s good with his hands.
Featuring: Adam, Dean, Anthony, Peter, Matt, Will, Alex, Eric, Josiah
Let’s play some HANDBALL! The Norwegian coach who ran this Group Date did not smile once. Lord knows how much ABC had to pay him to participate in this idiotic circus. There were also some real Norwegian handball players sitting on the sidelines just talking smack, eating snacks, and cracking up at a bunch of Americans making fools out of themselves. Yeah, ok, it was delightful to see these nine men in tight water polo-ish body suits, but this entire date was just an excuse for the guys to get handsy with Rachel. Peter unnecessarily picks her up, Josiah is jelly that Peter got a handful of Rachel’s jelly, Dean ties Rachel’s shoe (?), and Will just totally dominated the court. Dean and Will had multiple give and go plays and it filled my heart with the spirit of sportsmanship and intense desire to be in a Will/Dean sandwich.
The cocktail party after the handball game was full of emotional unveilings. Will tells Rachel that his ex left him for someone else and as a result he is typically pretty guarded. The Russian reads Rachel a handwritten letter, and Matt gifts Rachel a velour cloth embroidered with song lyrics. Josiah tries getting “vulnerable”, but Rachel immediately calls him out for never asking her questions when they’re together. This is like every online dating app actualized in person. Josiah has no idea he is the worst. Peter steals Rachel away for a heart to heart/lip to lip that turns into a fucking three and a half hour event complete with stripping down to their undies and sucking face/humping in the hot tub. Those poor SOBs just fucking waiting for their turn and then Rachel strolls up smelling like chlorine…I am not strong enough for this show. Will-i-am lands the group date rose, Peter is bewildered as hell.
Date Card: Your fate is up in the air.
Featuring: Kenny and Lee
That Lee was kept on long enough to even participate in this terrorist attack of a date is a federal offense. These three head to the wilderness and Rachel dons her lawyer hat to better understand the two drastically different tales she is getting from Kenny and Lee. To Be Continued…
Isn’t it good Norwegian wood,