Do you want to know why ABC ain’t right? Why they need to bathe themselves in the waters of Lake Minnetonka for purification and forgiveness? Why they need to march their asses down to the godswood and kneel in front of the old gods and some of them new ones too? Because for all their talk about starting a conversation and breaking down barriers, this episode devotes more screen time to Will not dating black women than it does to Lee.
We got dragged and strung along about the epic confrontation between Lee and Kenny. By the end of it, we were supposed to be rolling our eyes that Kenny went back to talk to Lee again, as if we’re not supposed to recognize this is a man who has been gaslighted and traumatized in an already high-pressure situation. Rachel feels miffed and I understand that completely, but without labeling what’s happening here, Kenny is still being painted as “aggressive” or “volatile.” I can’t tell if Rachel is missing a piece of context or just doesn’t want to deal with it, BUT CAN WE JUST NOT? Would it kill this show to just jet us off to the Bahamas or something? Can’t we travel to Cuba? Somewhere with some Afro-Latino-based music.
The two-on-one date ends as we all hoped, with Lee being left in a Norwegian forest to be eaten by whatever the Norwegian version of a yeti is. Rachel and Kenny jet off into the sky to go on the evening portion of the date. It’s a bit of an awkward date because it’s really hard to turn on the charm after being accused of throwing someone out of a van. Kenny feels like their relationship isn’t where it needs to be. Hmm, I wonder why. Rachel does say that Kenny is a devoted father and that’s inspiring and she knows that he’s really here for her. He gets the rose and all I want is for Kenny to be happy. After the date, he video chats his daughter and she tells him that he deserves to be happy and if he really likes Rachel, then he really likes Rachel! Kenny’s daughter is amazing and I want to be her best friend. I feel like I could learn a lot from her.
It’s time for the rose ceremony at Lobsy Gods Manor, which sounds like what would come out of a castle-name generator. Rachel is not messing around with cocktail parties anymore. Josiah gets a loser edit because he’s going into the rose ceremony saying that he will be the last man standing. We all see where this is going, right?
Dean, Eric, Peter, Alex, Adam, Matt (WHO?) all get roses, so that means Anthony and Josiah are going home. As he exits, Josiah takes shots at everyone who got a rose. He calls Alex a KGB agent and questions why someone who brings a doll to the mansion is better than he is. Then they cut to that goddamn Adam Jr. peeking through the windows and it is legitimately the stuff of nightmares. I’m glad I won’t be around when that thing becomes sentient and starts enacting its revenge. Anyway, we got so caught up in Josiah’s reading session that we didn’t even get to say good-bye to Anthony and his face made of chins.
Now they’re jetting off to Denmark! Why? Who in the EU has this show by the balls? Rachel is heading up to her hotel room and she’s carrying her own bag. WHAT? Who let this happen? Which PA needs to get fired for shattering the whole romantic image of traveling to Denmark because the lead is struggling to roll her bag up the stairs?
The first date card of the week goes to … Eric! I’m gonna say something I’ve decided about Eric that, in my mind, really informs how I view him: I think Eric really looked up to Nick Cannon at some point in his life. That’s just the vibe I get from him. Eric probably knows every line in Drumline. For their date, Eric Cannon and Rachel are going to explore the city. He asks her how many kids she wants to have because he wants to have ten. Does he think people have children in litters? I’m all for a big family, but yeesh. As they’re walking around the city, they stumble onto public hot tubs. Rachel is ready to jump in, but I need to know the cleaning schedule for public hot tubs. They hop in and make out while several giant Danish men expose themselves in shows of Viking dominance. Eric Cannon and Rachel head to an amusement park and dinner, where they open up about how neither of them like feelings or emotions or love. Eric gets the one-on-one rose.
It’s time for the group date. Dean, Kenny, Bryan, Alex, Matt (seriously, who is this person?), Peter, and Adam are heading to the shores of Denmark for some more Viking displays of dominance. Everyone strips from the waist down — just like the Vikings really did it. First, they have to row in an ancient Viking ship to go meet Morton and Tom, my two new favorite people on this Earth. Morton introduces himself by saying, “I’m Morton. I know exactly the same thing as Tom.” The contesticles dress up like Vikings and, speaking as someone who is into uniforms, it wasn’t as sexy as I’d hoped. They were more cape-based than thigh-based. Kenny jokes that he’s Viking man of the month in Viking magazine. The first game involved grabbing a greasy stick out of Rachel’s hands. What were the Vikings on? Peter just picks Rachel up and tries to shake the stick out of her hand. Adam (who is a borderline WHO?) just picks Rachel up and tries to dash off with her. Kenny and Adam are deemed the two most worthy Vikings and they face off inside the ring. They both smash their heads into each other, so that damn clip of Kenny bleeding was from this activity. ABC kept teasing it as if it was from a race war, but it was a damn VIKING GAME?
At the cocktail party after the group date, Rachel and Kenny sit down and he says that he feels like his heart is being tugged in two directions — back home and with her — but he doesn’t think they are where they need to be. Rachel knows how committed Kenny is as a father, so she knows that it’s time for him to go. It isn’t fair to keep him there if they aren’t clicking in the right away. AGAIN, I WONDER WHY. Rachel sends Kenny home and I’m fine with it. I’m starting #KennyForBachelor right now. Usually when a man of color comes to the lead and says that he’s not where he needs to be, it’s painted as the guy with CAH-RAZZEEEE expectations, but thankfully, Kenny gets a sweet send off.
Also, Peter gets the group-date rose. I’m fine with that. He cute.
Will gets the one-on-one date this week and they’re heading to Sweden! What Nordic outfit is holding this season hostage? They dance in the square to the Swedish Ed Sheeran and walk by people playing Kubb, which is a Swedish yard game that my little brother bought for our family reunion. No one believed it was an actual game and not just a bag of sticks. You’ve been vindicated, lil bro. The day portion of the date ends with Will and Rachel just staring quietly into the sea from the top of a castle. It’s not going great for Will. All of the interest on the date came from the passersby in Sweden and they didn’t even do anything ABBA-related. It was like second-tier Swedish stuff.
When Rachel asks Will what his type is, he says, “Oh, well, I’ve dated a lot of white women,” and it is over. Why would you say that? A woman asks you what your type is and you mention her exact physical opposite? Why not just say, “Someone like you. Intelligent, beautiful, ambitious.” Men don’t know how easy they could have it if they just got out of their own goddamn way. Rachel went into the date ready to make out with Will in a Swedish hot tub that was bubbling just out of frame, but he had to go and say. “I grew up in a white town and just never dated black women.” WILL. Just say, “My type? It’s you.” YOU COULD BE IN THAT HOT TUB RIGHT NOW, WILL. WE WERE ALL ROOTING FOR YOU.
Will doesn’t get the rose and heads home.
It’s time for the second rose ceremony of the episode and Rachel is so overcome with emotion she has to go into the other room and collect herself. She even tells the contesticles that she’s feeling really emotional, which leads Eric to announce, “I can tell she’s feeling emotional.” What happens in men’s heads where they repeat things women tell them as if it were their own thoughts?
In the end, Bryan, Matt (WHO? SERIOUSLY? IS THIS A PRANK?), Dean, and Adam all get roses and our favorite Russian hunk of man, Alex, is going home with his man-bun. I’m gonna miss those arms.