Warning: This recap for episode 4 of The Bachelorette contains spoilers.
Well, this is awkward. Since we last met, rose lovers, all hell has broken loose in Bachelor Nation, thanks to a lethal combination of alcohol, television cameras, and exceptionally bad judgment. The situation is terribly ugly and sad, and it’s hard not to feel like everything under the Bachelor Nation umbrella has been sullied by the scandal.
On the other hand, what does it have to do with Rachel, the universally-beloved star of The Bachelorette Season 13? Other than the fact that The Incident involved a former Bachelorette contestant, the answer is nothing. So with that in mind, let us forge ahead and support Rachel on her “journey” to find “love.”
In case you forgot where things left off (and I sure as hell did), a quick refresher: Lee told Rachel that Eric yelled at Iggy. Eric found out and then yelled at everyone. Then producers gave us that annoying “To Be Continued” card and the show disappeared for two weeks.
The action resumes with Eric telling Lee, “Don’t talk to me ever!” Of course, the pot-stirring “singer/songwriter” has no intention of leaving his rival alone. “I’m not willing to make peace with Eric,” he informs us. “I don’t care about those other people.” Also, is it me or did Lee’s hair grow two inches higher since the last episode?
With making trouble for Eric in mind, Lee heads off to talk to Rachel again — rudely interrupting her chat with Kenny, I might add. But just when you think he’s going to spend his time badmouthing Eric, instead he brings Rachel a block of wood roughly engraved with the word “enchanting,” which Lee carved with his dead grandpa’s knife, or something. Dude, that’s not a gift. This is a gift:
We interrupt this recap to school three idiot contestants on the English language:
Quirk (n): A peculiarity of action, behavior, or personality.
Quark (n): A hypothetical particle in physics.
Cork (n): That thing that goes in a wine bottle.
End of lesson. Here’s something interesting: Dean is attempting to explain that Lee doesn’t like black folks, though he’s being a bit too diplomatic for the producer’s liking. “The only people that I’ve seen Lee pick fights with have been people not the people that, uh, he’s been used to seeing on a daily basis… from a cultural perspective.”
“You know exactly what I mean, when I say that,” replies Dean, who is not about to be caught on camera calling Lee “a racist.” (Just leave that to the Internet.)
Man, will this cocktail party never end? While Rachel and Bryan make out some more, Kenny confronts Lee about interrupting his conversation with Rachel. Things get heated enough that the Bachelorette can hear the conversation from another room.
Lee, who “gets tickled” whenever he pisses people off, plays dumb with Kenny — which only makes Kenny angrier. Rachel, meanwhile, is “ridiculously annoyed” by all the drama. “If I’m 100 percent honest, I was disappointed by the guys tonight,” she says grimly. “The pressures I feel about being a black woman, and what that is…” Rachel, who’s getting emotional, stops herself for a moment, and then continues. “I did not want to get into all of this tonight, and I already know what people are going to say about me and judge me for the decisions that I’m making. I’m going to be the one who has to deal with all that.”
Gah! I hate seeing Rachel upset — especially at the prospect of ignorant people disrespecting her. You are a queen, Rachel Lindsay, and Bachelor Nation loves you.
Chris Harrison’s Spidey sense must have been tingling, because suddenly he is by the Bachelorette’s side, offering to help her “facilitate anything.” In this case, all Rachel wants is to get the rose ceremony over with. So let’s do this. Robot roll call:
Will, Dean, Jonathan, Peter, Adam, Bryan, Matt, Josiah, Jack, Iggy, Kenny, and Lee (sigh) join Eric, Anthony and Alex in the “winners” circle. Which means we must say goodbye to Diggy, Brady, and Bryce. Later, gentlemen! See you at the Men Tell All.
After a toast to saying goodbye to “the drama and the negativity” and moving forward to “something better,” we rejoin the Bachelorette on a sailboat in Hilton Head, South Carolina. Once the guys are settled, Dean learns he’s getting the first one-on-one date of the week. He and his triangle tattoo are very excited.
Rachel brings Dean to an open field, where they sit atop the jeep and drink champagne… until the blimp arrives. Of course, Dean is “terrified of heights,” but Rachel promises to hold his hand throughout the entire ordeal. “But if you puke,” she notes, “I’m not holding the puke bag.” Damn right she’s not.
Relax, Dean. Team Bachelorette hasn’t killed anyone… yet. Rachel peer pressures her date into sitting in the co-pilot’s seat and working the controls for a few minutes — and darn it if the boy doesn’t have a little fun.
Awww, these two are pretty cute, aren’t they? When the blimp flies over the resort, the guys all grumble that Dean is too young for Rachel, and that she only chose him for the date because he’s hot. Damn right she did.
Of course, though, Rachel knows Dean is the youngest guy in the house, so over dinner she wants to “go deeper” and learn whether he’s actually ready to get married. They chat about their respective upbringings (both had “strict, religious” parents), and then Dean reveals that his mother died from breast cancer when he was just 15. When she was in hospice, Dean hoped that his mother — who had gone into remission once before — would beat cancer again. “I leaned over to her and said, ‘Hey mom, when are you coming home again?’ And, uh, she leaned over to me and said, ‘Never.’”
OOOF. Please excuse me while I go hug my child.
Aaand we’re back. Rachel is of course incredibly moved by Dean’s story — which, by the way, gets even sadder. After his mom died, Dean says his family “fell apart,” and he was basically alone from age 15 to 18. “I hate talking about this,” he says, with a sad laugh.
Despite, or perhaps because of, his loss, Dean is looking forward to having a “very close-knit family.” And she LOVES it. Of course, he gets the date rose — and the season’s first “surprise” concert, in this case by a guy named Russell Dickerson. He seems nice.
The next day, it’s time for the group date, starring Alex, Anthony, Peter, Bryan, Jonathan, Adam, Matt, Kenny, Lee, Iggy, Eric, Will and Josiah. Rachel’s a little nervous about hosting such a big group, but she’s optimistic enough to hope that they’ll “leave the drama behind.” And since they’re all going on a boat, Rachel suggests they leave their shirts behind, too.
The booze is flowing, as is the showboating (no pun intended). The guys show off their dance moves, their push-up prowess, and their freestyling skillz. Kenny’s not bad, but Peter is pretty terrible. Still, he manages to keep a straight face while spitting a rhyme about farts.
After the boat ride, Rachel brings her boys ashore where Chris Harrison and a crowd of spectators are waiting. It’s time for the Bachelor Nation Spelling Bee! Tell us how well you’re gonna do, Iggy.
Yeah, this is gonna be rough. But Rachel, who needs her man to “have some smarts,” isn’t afraid to embarrass these dudes in the name of finding a suitable mate. Adam’s up first, and naturally his sidekick is there to cheer him on.
The early words are easy enough (squirt, passion, caress), and everyone’s doing fine… until we get to Kenny.
Ouch, that one hurts. Especially because it makes Lee so happy. Once Kenny falls, though, the guys start messing up left and right. Iggy tanks on “boudoir,” Eric gets all but two letters wrong in “façade”…
…and pretty soon the “detention” area is all but full. “Rachel, does this worry you?” Harrison asks. “A little bit,” she admits. And it only gets more troublesome when Peter spells “coitus” with a “q.”
At last it’s down to Josiah, Anthony, and Will — and if you ask me, the final rounds are rigged. Josiah gets “stunning,” and Anthony gets “boutonniere,” a word I have to google every single time I need to write it? That’s some BS. Will is knocked out with “physiological,” and then Josiah secures the W by properly spelling “polyamorous.”
That night, Rachel kicks off the after party by gently reminding the guys to keep the good energy going. And for a while, they do. Eventually, though, things start going wrong for Josiah. First, he spills on himself:
Then, Iggy decides to once again use his alone time with Rachel to trash-talk another guy. Josiah, says Iggy, covers up his “insecurities” with “a false sense of bravado.” Hey pal, that’s kind of like covering up one’s insecurities by badmouthing other people, isn’t it? Iggy goes on to call Josiah the “pariah” of the group, and informs Rachel he’s only telling her this stuff because he’s so “protective” of her.
If that’s not annoying enough, Iggy returns to the group and promptly announces to Josiah that he just told Rachel that nobody likes him. (Just as he did with Eric, Iggy lies again, saying it was Rachel who brought up Josiah’s name, when we all know that’s not how it went down.)
Agreed. (As for Josiah’s claim that Iggy confessed to the guys that he “shoots steroids in his nuts”? Let us never speak of it again.)
When it’s Lee’s turn to sit down with Rachel, he explains to her that Kenny “screamed” at him because he interrupted his chat with Rachel. “He was yelling at me and yelling at me,” says Lee. “There was a side of him that came out that night that was very aggressive towards me, and I can’t explain it. He gave me the finger. It was aggressive.”
The Bachelorette can’t quite believe that things were as bad as Lee claims, so she decides to get the story from Kenny directly. In the interest of “keeping it real,” Rachel tells Kenny that she heard him yelling at Lee on rose ceremony night, and it’s been bothering her ever since.
To Kenny’s credit, he admits he didn’t handle the situation with Lee well. “He was dismissing me at every turn,” he tells Rachel. “And when you’re trying to express an emotional point of view to somebody who you think is your friend — and again, I kind of feel like he was baiting me, and I’m dumb for even allowing that to happen… I was ashamed of myself.” But Kenny also stands up for himself, reminding Rachel that “maybe Lee doesn’t necessarily tell the truth.”
If only Kenny had left things there. Despite telling Rachel that he’s not, in fact, an aggressive person, Kenny can’t stop himself from confront Lee yet again. Lee, the guy he knows is “baiting” him. “Lee’s a liar, a fabricator — he’s an alternative facts piece of garbage!” Kenny fumes. “And it sucks that someone like that has got me in this spot.”
You guys, I’m beginning to think we’re not going to see Jack’s one-on-one date tonight.
Indeed, Kenny finds Lee at the bar, and puts a hand on his shoulder. “Me and you need to have a chat, bro.” Lee groans, “Oh my God” — and for once, I’m in agreement with him. Lee is an asshat, but Kenny is just playing right into it.
The guys watch with nervous anticipation as Kenny and Lee head out to the deck. “It looks like there’s a fight that’s gonna happen,” reports Adam. “Blood’s gonna be shed. It’s freaking me the hell out.” Hold that thought, pal!
Yes, next week Team Bachelorette will not only give us two episodes (Monday and Tuesday), they’ll also bring us the Lee-vs.-Kenny two-on-one date we all knew was coming. Until then, let me know what you thought of tonight’s installment. Does Dean have a shot at the final rose? Are you surprised that Peter didn’t have the first idea how to spell “coitus”? And am I wrong, or is this the first time anyone’s referenced Game of Thrones on this show? Post your thoughts now! And be sure to check out Chris Harrison’s exclusive blog right here.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to send Carly and Evan a wedding gift.
The Bachelorette airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on ABC.
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