Sometimes it takes the clear and brilliant eye of an outsider of the Bachelor Nation to provide insight to the personalities and inner workings of the system. I sat down to watch this episode with my boyfriend, who never watched any part of the Bachelor franchise until he met me, and mere moments into the episode, such a powerful and poignant truth tumbled out of his lips that I was struck dumbfounded. “Chad is Donald Trump.”
He’s loud. He’s a dick. He doesn’t care if you call him a dick; that just makes him more powerful. He thinks every one of his opponents is weak or a child or short. He eats everything you put in front of him and doesn’t save any for anyone else. He revels in saying what he’s thinking with no filter. He even works in luxury real estate.
As the episode went on, more parallels to the monstrosity that was the GOP primary became clear to us, Daniel is a dopey Canadian Chris Christie. Alex is a diminutive Jeb Bush. Jojo is the American populace, a tragic rube blinded by Chad/Trump’s big city sheen. “I just appreciate his honesty. It’s what my puss... I mean the country needs right now.” Her heart has been broken before, and she just wants someone powerful to make love great again.
This episode starts with a toast from Chad that ends with “Fuck you guys, I’m gonna make her my wife.” That’s a real thing Chad says out loud to everyone. Host Chris comes in to announce that there will be two group dates and a one-on-one date, and the person who goes on the one-on-one date has to get a rose or pack his bags and leave. The first date card is dropped right then and there. Luke, Grant, Will, Evan, Daniel, Vinny, Ali, James F. (dang, there are still too many of these dum-dums here), Wells, and Robby are all going on the first group date. While they sit around waiting for Jojo to arrive, there’s a big crash outside and they rush outside expecting to find maybe a Cloverfield monster or a bunch of raccoons knocking over trash cans. Instead they find a limo on fire and Jojo rolling up on a fire truck in those big-ass pants. She hops off and extinguishes the limo while some ’80s power guitar riffs played in everyone’s head fulfilling some weird 8th-grade wet dreams.
The contesticles spend the next four to six minutes talking about how hot she is. Does anyone actually think she’s a nice or interesting person or do they all want to jump into those big firefighter pants with her?
It’s time for the date and Chad to shove a Costco-sized tub of whey protein in his suitcase, strap it to his waist, and do pull-ups. The contesticles arrive at a parking lot where Chief Tracey is going to see how the men would do if they had to save Jojo’s life. The winner gets some special time with her. Considering Grant is an actual firefighter for his real-life non-Bachelorette job, he should have this thing in the bag. Wells looks like one of the Little Rascals trying to infiltrate a firehouse to steal the chili recipe before the big cook-off. Because Wells weighs about 85 pounds, he gets heatstroke and Chief Tracey asks for someone to “take a look at him.” Chief Tracey operates the kind of no-nonsense firehouse I like to see.
Wells is given a fainting couch and Jojo rushes to his side, and he immediately recovers enough to charm her. Chief Tracey selects his top three contesticles of the group date to run a race to save Jojo from a tower. Has The Bachelorette decided to lean in full tilt into the whole princess theme? Does Chris Harrison get rite of prima noche? Chief Tracey selects Luke, who is currently leaning against a fire truck ruminating about the parallels between firefighters and soldiers. First parallel: hats. Chief Tracey selects Grant because, duh, and he picks Wells to see if he’ll die. Luke gets an early head start, but of course Grant wins because this is literally what he does for his job. He kisses her forehead and carries her out of the building. Still, somehow, Jojo gives the group date rose to Wells for not dying, I guess.
It’s time for the next date card, and Derek gets to go on a “choose your own adventure” date with Jojo. Okay, half of the contesticles spend this episode literally draped over Jojo or kissing her. The complete lack of physical distance between Jojo and the contesticles is driving me up a wall and giving more credence to my “everyone thinks Jojo is majorly hot” theory. Everyone just wants to get it in this season, including Jojo. You can almost hear a Tex Avery wolf whistle when she looks at Chad or Jordan or Christian or Grant. Anyway, Derek and Jojo talk to each other on the date about the date they’re currently on. “Can you believe we went in a private plane?” “We went in a private plane.” “Your shoes are sparkly.” He gets a rose.
Back at the mansion, the contesicles are rehearsing a song that James Taylor, or Tee as they all call him, wrote about Jojo. Chad finds this childish and foolish. Would you say they’re acting like losers, Chad? It’s time to see who is going on the next group date with Jojo. It’s Christian, Nate, James, Tee, Alex, and Chad. Oh goodie. Three of the contesticles don’t get any sort of date this week. Oh brutal.
The group date begins with the men approaching the ESPN building and freaking out because men! Sports! Archetypes! Jojo is robotically delivering an opinion about Steph Curry on the set of Sports Nation that will become Bachelor Nation. The hosts are going to act as Jojo’s brothers and do a power-rankings of the guys they would most like to have as brothers-in-law … or something. Jordan also says the sentence “My brother is Aaron Rogers, quarterback of the Green Bay Packers.” Dude. We know. The contesticles are put through a series of challenges that would be most at home between innings at a baseball game. When they’re asked to spin around a baseball bat and then propose to Jojo, Chad refuses to say why he loves Jojo or call her his queen. Why? Because she should know why. My eyes rolled back so far into my own head I saw the memory of my 8th birthday party. When Jojo calls him out on it, Chad says she’s getting a little naggy. She totally lets him get away with it because he’s upfront and honest. Would you say he says what’s on his mind? Like a certain Cheeto-colored politician?
Time for the Rose rankings. Chad squeaks by Alex, but Tee ultimately wins Most Likely to Be an Okay Dude or something. Jordan tries to confront Chad, but quickly learns that no one can out big-dick Chad. Chad is one of those guys who is probably great at PIV sex but terrible at giving head. He knows Jojo is totally hot for him, and he doesn’t have to work hard at all. He’s got a cute little dog. Everything he says about winning over Jojo is framed as how she has to get to know him too. He’s a great guy and she’s gonna pay for the wall … or something. Tee reads Jojo a poem/note he wrote about coming on the show, and she cries. (What points do we get for that in our Fantasy Bachelorette leagues? Someone ask my friend Erin if we get points for Jojo crying.) Tee gets the group date rose.
It’s time for the cocktail party, and Chad sits outside the mansion and intercepts Jojo before she can even set foot into the house and gives her a drink and a kiss. At this point, I went “whooooooooa” out loud in my living room. Chad is a mad genius. He’s playing this whole thing exactly right. He’s creating chaos but does not give a single solitary damn, and the rest of the contesticles can’t take him down. They try, and boy how they try. From telling him to stop eating so much lunch meat (but he’s been saving his cals!) to asking him to leave other guys alone, almost every dude tries to put a stop the madness — but there’s no stopping a Chad once a Chad gets going. Chad steals Jojo away like three times.
Time for the rose ceremony. Chad brings in his own lunch meat to the ceremony. Alex says the rose is going to represent garbage if one goes to Chad. Alex, Christian and his 38 abs, Robby, Luke, Chase, Jordan, Grant, Ali, Daniel, James F, Nick, Vinny, Evan, and Chad all get a rose.
Next week, they all punch each other.