“She can’t come in here,” a beleaguered covid compliance officer says staring at a white minivan outside the Fat Bird resort gates.
“She’s coming in here. Look at her. We need her. She’s best friends with his best friend’s sorta-ex-girlfriend and she’s never been kissed or is a mega-virgin or whatever the fuck. LET. HER. IN” screams an ABC executive. Her KN95 is dripping with sweat. They need at least 13 more Drama Interaction Relationship Transactions, or DIRTs, before the season ends or she’s not getting that cashmere sweatsuit she picked out as an end-of-the-year gift to herself. She can buy it without the DIRTs, but it means so much more as a reward. “I don’t care how you do it. Spray the girl down for all I care. Get her into that cocktail party.”
“I don’t know what to tell you. There’s literally a global pandemic. Have you forgotten? Has everyone just forgotten? What do you think I’m doing here?” The covid compliance officer is pacing back and forth. “Please, just send her home. I’m sure she’ll meet Matt in Pensacola in about three weeks or whatever. Two very attractive people meeting because they’ve both been on this god-forsaken television program is inevitable. It is as inevitable as the heat death of the universe so please, let me go back to disinfecting a dozen bowling balls. There are so many holes….”
“Quarantine her. Do it for like three full days, max. We gotta get her in there to completely humiliate herself when Matt eliminates her that day or on the first group date she goes on. Mama needs that soft soft sweatsuit,” the ABC executive grabs the covid compliance officer’s 6-foot-long pool noodle and thwacks them in the head with it. “DO IT! GET THAT DIRT!”
Let’s get to it.
We’re still on the two-on-one with MJ and Jessenia and they’re going to make us watch almost all the footage we saw last week. Does anyone else feel personally let down by MJ’s fun hair? There is nothing that fills us with hope like a white lady with fun hair, but instead of being Ali Larter in Legally Blonde, MJ is Ali Larter in Obsessed, and there’s no Beyoncé here. Finally Matt arrives and he’s looking for a wife, you guys. He’s going to get to the bottom of the thing that there is footage of. In a situation like this, you know you’re going to end up with a she-said-she-said, so why not just poll the house? “Hey everyone, who remembers MJ saying that thing? Oh, everyone? It’s unanimous? Cool, bye MJ.” Instead Matt takes MJ and Jessenia aside to let them monologue at him. When MJ isn’t with Matt, she decides to spend her whole time crying and calling Jessenia a little bitch. So obviously, she’s a thought leader in the house.
MJ also tries out crying on Matt because she’s never lied in her entire life and she always preaches peace and harmony. Jessenia just tells the truth, so no need for waterworks. After some deliberation, Matt sits back down with the two of them and tells MJ that they have an undeniable connection. Okay…. sure. But ultimately, Matt can’t give MJ that rose so he’s going to have to walk her out. He just puts her in the limo in absolute silence and watches her drive away. MJ rides away talking about how Jessenia sabotaged her and how petty Jessenia is. When there’s footage of you being really mean to people, find a better moment to insist that the woman who got to stay is the petty, unpopular one.
It’s time for the cocktail party but actually not at all. Matt knows what his heart needs to do so it’s time for the rose ceremony. Katie and Serena C start immediately chugging their drinks and I’ve never related to a woman on this show more. Also, Serena C takes this moment to make this Katie’s fault??!?!?! Serena C must realize that there is no one to challenge her for Head Mean Girl anymore and she can finally be the raging monster that she’s always dreamed of being. Katie gently told Matt that some of the girls in the house were kinda mean, so obviously any inconvenience that happens from that point on is Katie’s fault.
Time for the rose ceremony! Serena P, Michelle, Pieper, Bri, Chelsea, Katie, and Serena C all get roses. That means our dear sweet Magi is going home! She was trapped in a pumpkin! Justice for Magi!
The next morning, Chris Harrison arrives to let everyone know that hometown dates and the fantasy suites are coming up at some nebulous point in the future so they better start melting down in anxiety now. Pieper gets the first one-on-one date for the week and that leaves a whole house of women to continue to emotionally spiral.
Serena C decides that it’s a great time to attempt to completely destroy Katie, because someone like Serena C, whose entire identity is based on being “That Bitch,” needs a trifling enemy. Usually a coat check girl or a snarky bartender will do the trick, but in the absence of a service industry employee to terrorize, Serena C is going after Katie. Her logic in this moment is “Katie told Matt about us being mean so she’s not here for the right reasons.” Well, you were being totally mean and Katie didn’t name names. Katie says the whole thing is pathetic and if Serena C has a problem with it, take it up with Matt. This is also clearly a narrative attempt to justify Katie’s departure in some way. Can’t wait for it to come up at the Women Tell All.
Heather Martin pulls up and… y’all. I can’t do this. I can’t pretend that this isn’t the most obvious producer manipulation. Hannah Brown said that Heather would be a great match for Matt so instead of fixing them up, she told her to drive a minivan to the Nemacolin resort? She would have to quarantine for two weeks but is magically ready for the cocktail party? Sure sure sure.
It’s time for Pieper’s one-on-one date. He leads her into the woods and hands her a lantern because where they’re going is very dark. Okay, that was his white side thinking that was a fun and sexy idea. Pieper flips a switch in the woods and reveals a carnival manned by ghosts. It seems that Matt is mainly concerned about if the women are someone he can have fun with. That’s literally the only quality he is able to identify and that is also the only thing the teens in Freaks and Geeks care about. Please tell this man about communication skills. For Pieper’s night date Important Conversation, she reveals that her family was not a words-of-affirmation family and that’s very difficult for her. Pieper and Matt both have to work hard to use their words to express themselves and she tells him that she’s falling for him. She gets the rose. They go into another room and a band called Temecula Road are playing them a private concert. Their song includes a lyric “You’re the last song on an indie record no one’s heard.” They were the only band available to quarantine.
Back at the house, Bri, Kit, Rachel, Michelle, Jessenia, Serena P, Abigail, Chelsea, and Serena C are going to the group date. That means Katie is getting the one-on-one!
The ladytestants are heading to the bowling alley. What else does this resort have? A laser tag arena and mini-golf? Let’s just go full sixth-grade birthday. The winning team gets a cocktail party with Matt and the other girls have to go home. Can you believe we used to bowl? Hygiene-wise, I mean. The Pink Team manages to squeak out the win and Jessenia, Michelle, Serena, and Chelsea are getting a private afterparty with Matt. But because this show can’t let someone have one good feeling without stepping all over it, the other women get to come too! Don’t cry, Rachael. You just had your one-on-one date and the South WILL rise again!
Matt takes the ladies aside and reassures them the best he can. He tells Chelsea that the reason she’s here is because he can see himself with her. He sets Chelsea up to be incredibly frustrated when she doesn’t get the group date rose. That goes to Michelle, but Matt told Chelsea that he can basically see himself with her and when every moment takes on such meaning, saying something really romantic when you might not mean it exactly is just going to set people up for disappointment.
The next day arrives and Matt goes to hang out with Tyler C. After all the offscreen shenangians with Matt and Tyler C, it’s getting harder and harder to see their friendship as a whimsical interracial dance-based alliance. Either way, Tyler gives Matt advice about… being a contestant? It’s a little unclear but he tells him to give everyone a chance because some relationships start slower than others. This will inevitably be used somehow to justify Katie being sent home… and spark her sob story when she’s inevitably the only acceptable white woman left to pick for Bachelorette.
Katie meets Matt outside of the spa and my stuck-inside-for-11-months dry and flaky ass was praying that Katie would get a romantic spa date, but they’re there to star in their own episode of Impractical Jokers. They’re going to feed a masseuse prompts and lines to use on Tyler when he’s getting a massage. I hope Matt is able to see that Katie likes to have fun. The single most important thing in a relationship. Also, Katie does well on this date. As well as you can on a date where you’re tormenting a very hot man through spa-based pranks. Finally, Matt and Katie sneak into the treatment room and Matt starts to massage Tyler. Tyler looks up when Matt’s hands touch him. Does he know Matt’s touch? Does he remember those fingertips on his spine? It’s the #TreatYourBoysChallenge.
Katie and Matt head to the night portion of the date after learning literally nothing about each other. Matt asks Katie if she was able to have fun in her last relationship and she says no. Katie says she’s getting better at recognizing the red flags and she’s not changing anybody anymore. She’s either accepting them or she’s out, but she’s fully committed to Matt and all his pranks. Matt tells her that Katie is great and how much he appreciates her but there are other relationships that have progressed further. Uh…what? There have been no indications that Matt needs anything other than what Katie has been serving up so far. On the way out he reminds us that he’s looking for a wife, he just hasn’t had the feelings he needs to have. What are those? Why didn’t he express that need to Katie or anyone else? Why did he make Katie do this stupid ass date? Unclear!
It’s time for the cocktail party and Heather is slipping on some clear Steve Madden slides that I definitely had in 2001. Everyone is ready for a normal night because all the drama is over and Matt has had a pivotal week. So of course, we can just have a totally norm— ah, shit. Here comes Heather. She gets trapped in a revolving door so we’re off to a great start! She interrupts Matt with Pieper and Matt just starts laughing that “HA HA HA” laugh he does. Pieper, can you give him a second to talk to this woman he clearly knows? Pieper runs out to the other girls and screams “WHO THE FUCK IS THAT?” It’s Heather M, she’s from Colton’s season, and she’s a possible covid vector.
Next week, Heather is going to tell us…the whole story…
TO BE CONTINUED…
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