This season of The Bachelorette should maybe show us why the Bachelorette herself should be a person with some life experiences and a little maturity. A little perspective could have gone a long way this season. It’s hard to feel bad for a 25-year-old completely ignoring her parents’ and siblings’ advice, having a crying fit on a beach in Phuket trying to decide which former athlete to let slap a giant diamond ring on her finger because it’s all just sooooo hard. I’m literally two years older than JoJo but watching her this episode, I wanted to swaddle her in a blanket and put her to sleep under a mobile.
JoJo is younger than Tim Burton’s Batman starring Michael Keaton. She’s younger than Game Boy. She’s younger than “The Wind Beneath My Wings.”
She needed to go to bed. She’s too young to be running around these streets like this. The streetlights are on, JoJo, and I’m standing on the porch counting to 15 and if you’re not at the dinner table by the time I get to one … I’m 27. Why am I talking like this? I’m so worried for another full-grown adult.
Lil Baby JoJo starts her week of passion and questionable decisions in Phuket. She models no fewer than three rompers and maxidresses in this opening montage. Lil Baby JoJo is torn because she’s in love with two men and she knows she doesn’t want to say “I love you” just yet. Her family has to meet them first.
Lil Baby JoJo’s family is pretty sedated this episode. Her brothers don’t attack either contesticle with a barrage of questions and her mother didn’t straight-up chug wine from the bottle. Robby walked in with a custom bottle of wine in the first episode. Where did that bottle go? Did it make it to Phuket?
Jordan is up first to meet Lil Baby JoJo or LBJ’s family. LBJ’s main concern is that Jordan is the type of guy she’d usually go for. Hey, girl. Jordan and Robby are literally the same man. They are Replicas from the middle-school book series Replica. They were designed by Project Crescent. Jordan keeps talking about how he’s going to “get on a knee” for LBJ instead of saying “get down on one knee.” It’s a subtle but significant difference. “Get on a knee.” “Get down on one knee.”
One is a proposal. The other is a halftime huddle.
LBJ’s mom is instantly skeptical of Jordan. He’s a little too popular. It doesn’t help that Jordan’s gift to the family is to honor one of his family’s traditions: the embarrassing hat exchange. Maybe we finally know why Aaron Rodgers doesn’t talk to his brother. He was like “I gotta get the fuck outta here. This idiot keeps giving me weird bonnets.” LBJ’s mom sits Jordan down and makes him sign a blood oath to never hurt LBJ. JoJo’s dad, Joe, tells Jordan that he’s worried about his daughter’s trust issues. A phrase we’ll hear over and over again as LBJ completely disregards all good sense and advice. Jordan doesn’t ask LBJ’s dad for her hand in marriage, but she doesn’t know that yet so she sends Jordan off into the Thai sunset shrieking that it went so well because in her mind, it has to. Jordan is the one she’s going to marry so he had to ask for her father’s permission. Reality or facts be damned!
It’s Robby’s turn to meet his future potential maybe one day in-laws. I’ve always felt a way about Robby, but couldn’t put my finger on it until this episode. Robby talks like a person who’s only learned about love from books. Homie says “yearns.” No one says “yearns.” He says he’s been waiting to ask for her hand in marriage since he knew he was in love with her. Did he read some Arthurian court romance at a young age and it imprinted on him?
Despite how Robby learned to love, LBJ’s family capital L-O-V-E loves him. Her mom thinks he has a gentlemanly demeanor and he’s gentle and soft. LBJ talks on and on about how much Robby loves her and how cherished he makes her feel, and we all know that is going to send her running for the hills. Robby gets her father’s permission to propose to a woman who’s dating two men at once. LBJ sits down with her brothers and they tell her that Jordan would make a better New Year’s Eve date than a husband. That’s an older-brother burn. They prefer Robby.
Everyone prefers Robby. I do a children’s improv show and we got the suggestion of The Bachelorette and we said that we were “Team Robby” and the entire audience cheered. That’s not made up. That’s a real thing that happened to me at my job. LBJ even says that all Robby wants to do is tell her he loves her, unlike Jordan. If the sentence involves “love me” and then “unlike [INSERT PERSON’S NAME HERE ],” don’t pick whoever follows the unlike.
Her family tells LBJ exactly how much they love Robby and her reaction is “But Jordan’s nice too, right? Right? We all liked Jordan. What I’m hearing is ‘you gave Jordan your blessing’ and nothing else!” Girl. We also got to witness LBJ act like a complete baby when she asked her dad if Jordan asked for her hand and her mom chimed in with “Well, he didn’t ask me” and LBJ snapped, “MOM! I’m asking DAD!”
LBJ gets one more day with Robby and Jordan to climb all over their junk in some Thai caves. She confronts Jordan about not asking for her hand in marriage because this is 1952. Jordan makes a pretty good argument: I didn’t know if I wanted to ask for her hand when I might not even get that chance. But LBJ knows that he’s going to get to propose, so why doesn’t he? On her date with Robby, he imagines their future together in all too specific yet general detail. They’ll be on really comfortable living-room furniture. There will be a dog. They’ll burn a meatloaf. They’ll be drinking sauvignon blanc. Is Robby a Relationship pre-cog and JoJo is his minority report?
It’s time for the big proposals. After picking out diamonds from Neil Lane and writing JoJo one last note (Robby wrote half of his in second person for some reason), JoJo takes her perch on her altar where she will be sacrificed to the marriage gods and reborn a fiancée. She will emerge from the flames unburnt and un-single.
Robby is first to arrive at the pyre as JoJo is stepping into the flames carrying nothing but a rose and two dragon eggs. He describes what’s going to happen with serial-killer-like intensity: “I’m gonna tell her I love her. She’s gonna say it back. I’m gonna propose and she’s gonna be my fiancée.” Robby is also sad that someone else is gonna have to go home. Right in the middle of his speech where he confesses that he yearns, and their love isn’t just found in fairy tales like the only entertainment he had in the attic where he was raised, JoJo stops him. She can’t let him get down on one knee and take that moment away from him. Then she does that same old shit she does every time and rambles on about how hard this is and how she wanted it to be him and how she’s in love with him — wait, what? Oh bitch. You done did it now. She is the worst breaker-upper in human history. And again, this is from someone who has been broken up with while naked in bed twice. By two separate people. She’s the worst.
Robby rides off in the Toyota SUV and Jordan approaches in his. As he gets out of the SUV, I notice that they’re wearing the same suit. Jordan and Robby are even wearing the same suit in these final moments. As JoJo is devouring that horse heart, Jordan tells her that he’s going to choose her every morning until she won’t let him anymore. Okay. Sure.
JoJo stops him to tell him that she’s majorly, totally, butt-crazy in love with him. We all saw this coming a mile away. Jordan gets on that knee. Pops a ring on her dumb finger and these two dum-dums are engaged.
And Jordan accepts the final rose and he says it’s the heaviest one he’s put on it. Yikes. I hope that’s not an omen for anything.
See you in Paradise!