The Bachelor Recap: The Patriarchy Throwdown

The Bachelor

Week 3
Season 19 Episode 3
Editor’s Rating 2 stars

The Bachelor

Week 3
Season 19 Episode 3
Editor’s Rating 2 stars
Photo: John Fleenor/ABC

I hate Chris. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a man who was a bigger dolt than Chris. When he talks, he barely opens his mouth enough to let the words out, and then they have to climb over his lips and five o’clock shadow. When he stares deeply into a ladytestant’s eyes, he looks like he’s about to cry. It’s like he has an animal brain, and the space between arousal and sadness is so small that he can’t differentiate between the two impulses. I deeply and passionately can’t stand this person.

I don’t think I’ve ever hated an episode of television more than this episode of this show, and I’m a black woman who watches Girls. This episode takes all of the gross aspects of dating shows and holds them up in front of us. I felt like I was staring into the mirror after being out all night with my mascara running down my face and a condom wrapper stuck to my thigh. I don’t recognize the man I woke up next to. Everything is terrible. My head is pounding. I’m covered in fluids, none of which I can quite identify.

Jimmy Kimmel takes over the episode for synergy or cross-promotion or vertical integration. Yes, the former host of The Man Show. The man who tells parents to traumatize their children by lying about eating their Halloween candy. This was the choice to take over the episode? There had to have been better choices.

Imagine if Jimmy Fallon took control of the episode instead: The ladytestants and Chris would have to dance the Watusi while wearing Elsa and Hans costumes, and the ladytestant who did the best imitation of an old-timey soda shoppe employee would win a rose. 

Imagine if Jimmy Stewart took control of the episode instead: The ladytestants and Chris would have to make impassioned speeches about our democratic process and the one who filibustered the longest went on a date with Chris and his imaginary rabbit friend.

But nay, America, nay. We are stuck with Jimmy flippin’ Kimmel. The first thing he tells them is that he’s here to have sex with all of them and give a report to Chris. I got that mascara/traffic cone/fluids feeling.

New rule: Everyone has to put a dollar in a jar whenever they say the word amazing.

Jimmy sends Chris and Kaitlin (who wears a very Kylie Jenner–inspired outfit) on a date to Costco. Chris and Kaitlin make the best of their afternoon alone by hopping in an inflatable beach ball and making out while tiny Latino children roll them around the store.

They have a dinner party with Jimmy Kimmel. This segment of the episode is filled with lots of jokes about men and women: “Men like to watch each other grill meat!” “Kaitlin likes whiskey and beef so she’s a dude!” “It’s funny because you laugh like a girl and I laugh like a guy!” This dinner is delicious! Pass the economy-size package of gender roles!

Jimmy asks Kaitlin if it’s okay that Chris is having lots of sex, which is apparently his God-given right as the Bachelor. I must have missed that section of Deuteronomy. Kaitlin, who is a cool girl and not like regular girls, says sure it’s okay, but after they get married, she gets her “hall pass, too.”

“No! This is one time and one-sided!” Chris shouts at her.

That’s what every good marriage should be built on: a rigidly enforced sexual double standard.

The next day, Jimmy forces 12 women to engage in a series of farm games called the Hoedown Throwdown. They have to shuck corn, fry an egg, milk a goat and drink the milk, shovel manure, and catch a greased pig. Chris and Jimmy call the whole thing “kind of erotic.”

Carly is lactose intolerant and says “screw it” and chugs half a pint of goat’s milk to win a blue ribbon, just like a piece of chattel. One of the other ladytestants says she’s glad she didn’t have to chug the milk because it’s “salty and warm” and she doesn’t like things like that in her mouth. There goes her social life.

If Jillian doesn’t win, she should audition to be a WWE Diva.

At a post-hoedown hang, Mackenzie confronts Chris because she kissed him, and now he’s kissing other women. She thinks she blew it because she told the man how his behavior makes her feel. Dating in the 21st century, everyone.

Becca gets a rose because she hugged him on a rooftop, I guess.

Chris goes on a solo date with Whitney. He says he wants a woman who can roll the cob, because that’s a totally normal phrase that everyone knows. It means someone who can shoot the shit, just cool, can hang. Not like a regular girl, a cool girl. So the pair crash a wedding where Whitney can show off her conversational skills.

They are worried that everyone is going to recognize Chris from the show, but I think they should be more worried that someone will mistake him for Encino Man any time he opens his mouth. Chris steals a rose from an arrangement and gives it to Whitney. Chris is also super good at the Lawnmower. I’m telling you, get Jimmy Fallon in there.

At the pool party, all of the ladytestants freak out because they don’t have enough time to get ready, and Ashley I. is anxious she won’t be able to do her whole Kardashian look. Still my kind of fierce bitch.

Juelia takes Chris aside to talk to him about her husband’s suicide just after the birth of her child. It was a truly genuine moment of one human opening up to another human about their heartbreak, loss, and emotions and being honest and vulnerable about the moments that made them who they are. The producers then acted out her story with Barbies and G.I. Joes so Chris could understand it.

Britt forgoes talking about her feelings and just starts mackin’ on Chris’s face.

The women spend the rest of the afternoon trying to maneuver for access and opportunities and equality. Crying and scheming for power and influence. Seriously, is this show supposed to be a massive, 13-year metaphor for the struggle for women’s liberation in America? We begin with rigid gender roles and end with women making their own opportunities. This show might be deeper than we thought.

Wait, they’re all still going after a man. I was wrong. It’s about bitches be trippin’ thirsty for that D.

The women who get roses are Jade, Samantha, Juelia, Mackenzie, Kelsey, Britt, Megan, Carly, Nikki, Jillian, Ashley I., and …

Ashley S.!