The Bachelor Recap: Race to the Finnish

The Bachelor

Week 9
Season 21 Episode 9
Editor’s Rating *****
Nick Viall. Photo: Jeff Daly/ABC

Have you ever been writing something and you feel like you’ve written all you can write? There’s no more within you. You’ve explained your points and your thoughts; you’ve woven together your references and your brilliant bon mots. You even have a clear and well-thought-out topic sentence for each paragraph. You are a poet. You are a scribe. You are the spirit of writing incarnate. Then you look at the page count. Damn it. So you just start trying things. What if I make every period 14-point font? How would this look in Bookman Old Style? Can I get away with adding a long-ass header? You squeeze maybe another half a page, maybe two, out of all the tinkering, but to what end?

That’s what this stupid episode feels like. The ABC production team woke up hung-over from the Oscars and realized they had an episode due, but unfortunately, the actual 25 minutes of plot development they had would not be a full episode so they scrambled to throw something together. Also, it doesn’t help that this is the first rose ceremony in what feels like three years. This season and this episode might feel a little more reasonable if it just followed the formula of every other season of The Bachelor ever. Let’s get to this Garamond of an episode.

The episode opens with Nick welcoming Andi into his hotel suite and offering her a drink. She just “heard” he was in town so she decided to just “see” how he’s doing. Can we drop the act? She wasn’t in the neighborhood and any insinuations that she’s there to sabotage him or try to get back together is all editing and possibly in Nick’s head. He is shook to see Andi. All the ladytestants are filing into the rose ceremony in gowns and winter coats while Nick is upstairs gabbing with Andi. Also, let’s talk about these gowns — specifically Vanessa’s gown and Corinne’s gown. Vanessa’s gown looked like someone made a formal “Rey on Jakku” ensemble as envisioned by Nasty Gal. Meanwhile, Corinne is wearing something from the Vampire Diaries for Forever 21 collection. It’s more cutout than dress. It’s a dress designed by the censors, with thick black bars to cover her bits. I love it. It won’t be able to contain my fat-ass thighs, but I need it.

What is Andi doing there? To taunt Nick about his misery? Honestly, I would have preferred that. Instead, we get some mealy-mouthed conversation about how Nick still doesn’t think he’ll find love despite the fact that every woman is falling in love with him and Corinne told him she loves him. He says he’s not going to get engaged just because he’s the Bachelor and he’s not going to pick someone because she’s the last one standing.


Nick. What are you talking about? That’s the whole point. I mean, we all kind of accept the façade that you have to stay together for a contractually obligated amount of time to keep the ring, but what is this “not going to pick someone because she’s the last one standing” nonsense? What are you proposing happens in the last episode? You’re standing on some rose-petal-anointed platform with one of the final two and then what happens? You just go home, put on your sweatpants, and fire up some Suits on the ol’ Hulu Plus? Screw that and screw you. We all sat here and watched you and you’re gonna pick someone for us. Fulfill your contract, you animal.

It’s time for the rose ceremony. The ladytestants have been standing outside in the cold for over 40 minutes in their gowns and coats, waiting for Nick to quit jabbering on with his “ex.” Their eyes are full of tears, their noses are running, their shoes are filling with blood. Release these women from this prison. Give them a rose! FREE THEM! Raven gets the first rose. Rachel gets the second rose and it’s between Vanessa and Corinne for that final rose. The camera keeps focusing on Corinne’s snot-stained face. Vanessa gets the rose.

As Corinne is in the limo, she has a feminist awakening and it is beautiful. First Corinne breaks down while she’s with Nick and apologizes if anything she did made him upset, and when Nick finally puts her in the limo, she starts weeping. After a moment of sobs, she starts to talk about how a relationship should be. She wants a normal relationship. Then she starts talking about how she always tries to say things in a relationship that the man finds appropriate and show them how she worships them. Then she says, “I’m done.” She’s done trying to impress men and fawn over them if they don’t do the same for her. She needs that too! She’s never going to kiss up to a man again. She’s done. She wants to go to sleep. Sleep well, my princess.

Now it’s time to take the ladytestants to Finland! The country with the world’s highest milk consumption! The home to 187,888 lakes! It’s romantic, I guess! What is with this season? Can’t we get the Fantasy Suites in a tropical location? Is Nick that in-his-head about his sexual choices he needs to put layers of wool between him and the ladytestants?

His first date this week is with Raven. WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT RAVEN. Raven was in a two-year relationship with an ain’t-shit dude. During that time, she beat him with a shoe because she caught him cheating, but she also never said, “I love you” and she never had an orgasm. I don’t know which one causes me more anxiety. I do have to remember that Raven is 25 and being with someone who is garbage for way too long is definitely under-25 relationship stuff. But no orgasms? Does she know masturbating is a thing? She’s allowed to do that. Someone tell Raven she’s allowed to masturbate.

Raven says something about not feeling she could trust her boyfriend enough for him to give her an orgasm. I mean … sure. That’s a thing you can decide is a fact, but it’s also very likely that your ain’t-shit boyfriend was more worried about sneaking around with whichever Whataburger employee he was screwing than your sexual satisfaction. Raven, ask any woman over the age of 25 and she’ll tell you that she’s definitely had an orgasm at the hands of a man she didn’t like, respect, or trust. Watch an episode of Judge Judy. Any woman on there who loaned a boyfriend some money or paid the vet bills for his pit bull and he turned around and said, “It was a gift, Judy,” is a woman who had an orgasm with someone she cannot trust.

All that to say, Raven decides that she’s going to tell Nick that she loves him after spending the day in a local Finnish pub arguing about the merits of ironing versus steaming. (At the pub, Nick describes her as having a little bit of a crazy edge with her southern sweetness and he wants a woman who makes him feel a little bit crazy and Nick as a man comes more and more into focus.) When they get to their little love cabin, her speech about being in love with him is pretty damn cute. Every time they cut to Nick in that giant turtleneck grinning like a dweeb during her speech, I laughed out loud. She tells him her dad prayed when she was little girl that she would have an easy love. That’s a weird thing to pray for. She feels like she’s completely comfortable with Nick and the worst thing she could do is not tell him she’s in love.

Then she tells him she’s never had an orgasm and they retire to a glass-ceiling room and Nick starts working on correcting that.

The Bachelor Recap: Race to the Finnish