The Bachelorette Recap: Why Is This Happening?

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Photo: Thomas Lekdorf/ABC
The Bachelorette

The Bachelorette

Week 5 Season 13 Episode 5
Editor's Rating 3 stars

Can we all just sit down and deal with what is happening here? Can we just sit down and think about the fact that ABC is literally pitting a black man against a racist white person for the affections of a black woman … as a fun reality show? Let’s all just join hands and reflect on what is going on. They dropped a black man, a black woman, and a WHITE RACIST PERSON in the middle of the Norwegian forest just because. I wouldn’t want to go to a Forever 21 if I found out there was a white racist there. And I’m not talking a mall Forever 21. I’m talking a freestanding Forever 21 with the plus-size section. Why? Because racist people are dangerous. They’re dangerous, y’all. They can cause physical and psychological harm to people of color. But this whooooole thing is being played off like Lee is just “jealous” or “egotistical” and that Kenny has played some part in this. According to ABC and The Bachelorette, it’s all just a difference of opinion.

Can we all just acknowledge that’s what’s happening here?

Okay. I guess we can “have fun now” or whatever and watch Rachel fall in love or whatever.

This episode not only ends with Lee and Kenny’s so-called feud (we should call it what it is: Lee’s racist manipulations), but it starts with it too. These white people do not pay me enough to watch this much racist nonsense. I’m just like the rest of you: I avoid consuming too much racist media and just want to see some butts. Can’t we all agree on butts? Kenny takes Lee outside at the yacht club in South Carolina and tells Lee that the whole thing is a dead issue. He calls Lee a “disingenuine snake.” I went through such a journey to try to spell “disingenuine,” but turns out it’s not a word.

Lee describes Kenny as the following things: “violent,” someone with “unrealistic violent tendencies,” “a stack of bleeding muscle.” These feel like ways people describe the black men they’re forcing to fight in Django Unchained. Lee is a character from Django Unchained. Lee is the Quentin Tarantino version of a racist: a racist who thinks he’s super charming and cool and really funny who still likes to pursue black women and listen to “race records.”

Lee also keeps describing his word choice as him being honest, and he’s just not getting how or why Kenny would be so worked up to be called aggressive. Will asks Lee if he’s ever considered the racist connotations of the language he’s using. Lee says he doesn’t know how Kenny would be upset because it’s just a word. Lee is a songwriter. He literally picks words for a living. He also accuses Kenny of “playing the race card.” LEE. IS. GARBAGE.

Remember, we’re still on a group date from last week. What year is it? Is it still 2017? Rachel gives Bryan the group date rose for talking to her in a sailboat.

Now that Rachel is gone, Kenny decides to congratulate Bryan on his rose and says, “Bryan is the guy who has done it the right way. He hasn’t snaked other dudes. He hasn’t been a bitch-ass dude” while making direct eye contact with Lee. Then he pulls the greatest petty move in history and whispers to Lee, “I’ll whisper it: ‘Lee, you’re a bitch.’ No aggression in that.” Lee is playing the tuba and Kenny is playing the harp of pettiness. That’s finesse.

I’M FRUSTRATED THAT LITERALLY ANY PART OF THIS IS HAPPENING. Can we put Kenny in short shorts again? Can’t we all agree on buns?

On his way out, Lee tells Kenny to shut up. GOD DAMN. Why are you like this, Lee? Oh, right, I forgot: This country was built on systemic and institutional racism and if those biases aren’t challenged on an individual level, white people are doomed to repeat that hateful rhetoric. That’s why.

Finally, JACK STONE gets a one-on-one date. He takes a break from solving mysteries involving priceless artifacts to go shuckin’ and shaggin’ with Rachel. Boy, oh boy, did this policeman in a Lifetime movie where he turns out to be the one trafficking the girls from Eastern Europe get a loser edit. This is one of those “good on paper” one-on-one dates. They’ve been inoffensive so far, so let’s just see what happens. It’s like if you actually went on the date with that guy your mom has been trying to set you up with. “He’s got a job and all his teeth? Yeah, let’s do this. The last guy I went out with lived in a pantry in an apartment.” (I did go out with someone who lived in a pantry. He shared his apartment with a few other dudes and his bedroom was off the kitchen and had built-in shelves. It was a pantry.)

What can I say? JACK STONE just kept talking directly to the camera about how much he loves Rachel and she kept saying, “I dunno, he’s … nice? We’re from the same city?” The final nail in the coffin is when Rachel asks him what he’d do with her all day in Dallas and his answer is “lock the door and lie in bed all day.” Sir. SIR. Did you forget she’s from there? Just name any restaurant. “Olive Garden followed by Build-a-Bear Workshop” would have been a better answer. JACK STONE also says, “I love parents.” He doesn’t get a rose.

Rachel heads back to the resort and puts on a dark lip and a slinky black gown with a slit up to her hip and gets down to business. It’s time for the rose ceremony. No cocktail party! Cocktail parties are for closers!

Eric, Peter, Adam, Will, Matt (WHO?), Alex, Josiah, Anthony, Kenny and … Lee all get roses. God damn. The best voice-over during the rose ceremony is Adam, who says, “She hasn’t had the whole Adam yet. She’s had a snack.” He’s the snack. Kenny also makes a slithering snake with his hand and uses his other hand to chomp at the “snake.” Kenny is a GIF machine.

Jonathan tickles Rachel one more time on his way out and says he’s looking for a woman who can appreciate his tickle hands. No woman is looking for that. If she’s looking for that, she’s looking to cut them off and keep them in her collection of tickle hands because she’s a serial killer. Iggy also goes home. BYE IGGY. GET YOUR LIFE TOGETHER.

The whole gang heads to Norway and Bryan gets the first one-on-one date. Rachel loves her some Bryan. All they do is pant at each other and make out. They rappel down the Olympic ski jump in Oslo and make out in the sky. This show needs to turn down the mics when they’re kissing. I was into Bryan’s kissing style but it’s getting too … moist sounding. Rachel says that when she’s with Bryan she’s never bored and when she looks at him she sees the future. We can all agree that at this point, it’s Bryan’s to lose. He could have a freakout but Rachel is into him.

The week’s group date is for everyone except Kenny and Lee because THIS COUNTRY ISN’T FAIR and they’re going to play handball in some ridiculous singlets. Coach Tom is way too intense and stares deep into the contesticles’ souls and says, “Handball is life,” with no irony or sarcasm. Peter picks Rachel up over his head and grabs a whole handful of ass, as Josiah puts it. At the cocktail party after the group date, Peter and Rachel go on the patio to make out and she suggests they go in the hot tub. Has that been an option the whole time? Just to break off from the cocktail party and get to second base in the nearest hot tub? I’m surprised Rachel and Peter didn’t come back to the party in their towels. Despite Peter grabbing a whole lot more than some ass in the hot tub, Rachel gives the group-date rose to Will.

Before Kenny and Lee head off on the two-on-one date, Kenny video-chats with his daughter and it’s impossibly cute. She didn’t get a sticker at school! He cries when he tells her that he misses her. I can’t imagine the emotional toll that this would take on a man, being away from his child at the same time he’s being racially antagonized. I just want Kenny to be happy. Lee works out in jeans and cowboy boots.

It’s time for the date and Lee and Kenny fly away with Rachel in a helicopter to a remote part of the Norwegian forest. Kenny explains how he feels about Rachel and how she could be a great role model for his daughter. Then it’s Lee’s turn to talk to Rachel. Here’s where he screws up: It’s one thing to claim that Kenny is aggressive or scares you, but it’s an entirely different thing to invent Kenny putting his hands on you. This is a reality show. If there’s footage of that, Kenny would be asked to leave. When Rachel tells Kenny that Lee said he put his hands on him, Kenny creates a series of “disbelief” GIFs and walks back to Lee and laughs in his face. That li’l racist fucked up now.

The Bachelorette Recap: Why Is This Happening?