Once you’ve won a major award, even if it’s your second, you begin to look back on your body of work and think about the things you’ve seen and learned. Listen, I may be only 33, but I’ve lived a life, and that life has included VERY MANY SEASONS of The Bachelorette. My first Bachelorette season was Kaitlyn Bristowe’s, which it’s easy to forget started with a truly bizarre “the men choose the Bachelorette” conceit and ended with the franchise actually acknowledging the existence of slut-shaming. From JoJo’s amazing blue dress, which is honestly the only thing that’s burned into my brain about that season, to Katie Thurston being cursed by a fashion witch (Rachel might have also been cursed by the same witch, but that’s an examination for another day), I’ve seen a lot of shit! But this? THIS? THIS????!!!!
THIS NONSENSE IS NEXT LEVEL!!!!
I’m VERY upset at these gentlemen and what they are choosing to do to our dear Two Bachelorettes! In all my NINE seasons of watching The Bachelorette, I’ve never yelled at a group of contestants like this! Jason! Zach! Erich! (Not Tino!) I was rooting for you! We were all rooting for you!! If my good besties Rachel and Gabby do not end up happily engaged and in love by the end of this, I will riot. And if the show doesn’t stop fucking around and just deliver a frothy, bubby delicious love story, I will riot twice!
Because that’s what we all want, right? For the first few episodes, give me all the drama, but once we get to Fantasy Suites? I want dog sleds under the Northern Lights and Champagne in the hot tub. Ever since the show failed to deliver the love story of Rachel Lindsay and Bryan Abasolo, a Bach couple that’s been together for five years and married for three, I knew we were in trouble, and in an episode with an emotional “I love you! You’re the only one left!” admission, we need fireworks! I don’t care if it’s daytime! FIGURE IT OUT, ABC!!!
Let’s get to it.
We’re still with Erich and Gabby on this bridge that is now some kind of metaphor. Erich is realizing over and over that he majorly fucked up by telling Gabby how he was feeling in front of the cameras after they’d already had this discussion off-camera. Clearly Gabby felt the matter was done and Erich was convinced to get that good drama on camera. Or he just couldn’t fucking help himself. Gabby says she’s worked really hard to show that she has good judgment and is making the right decisions, so she doesn’t need this shit, especially now!
Okay, we gotta talk about Jesse being the “sounding board” for the contestants and the leads. One, he should pick a lane and only consult with one side of the equation. For all the shit you could give Chris Harrison, the sentient flat-front chinos stayed in his lane. Secondly, Jesse offers nothing! He claims to be coming with the experience of previously being the Bachelor, but his input usually comes down to, “Wow, it’s not easy.” Jesse, if you don’t show up with a pitcher of margaritas and 13 Going on 30 on DVD …
And because of the turmoil with Erich, Gabby is putting a lot of pressure on her date with Jason. We’ve all been there. The one date that if it works out, you’ll never have to go on a date ever again. The date you’ve been waiting for your entire life. The date with the guy whose sign is opposite on the chart from your ex and you’re taking that as an indication from the stars that this is all going to work out. Unfortunately that guy is usually either dating three other women or is sleeping on a mattress pad on his friend’s floor, and the first date is at Billy Goat Tavern and he’s making you split the bill. That’s basically the emotional minefield that Gabby is about to walk into.
Gabby takes him to play tennis because Jason used to play in college and she wants to share this passion with him, and they splash around in the pool and he lifts her over his head. The romantic fun and games of the skinny l’il bitches. Gabby is saying things about their relationship that either we haven’t seen (which is the fault of the show for not giving us that footage) or Gabby is filling in based on little scraps of emotion from Jason (which might not be anyone’s fault but is definitely setting her up for failure).
When they sit down for the evening portion of the date, they start talking about how they need to get on the same page, and Jason keeps saying in his confessionals that he hopes Gabby takes it well. I can promise you that Gabby will not take “I don’t think I want to get engaged” well.
My biggest question here is, what the fuck happened with Jason? All we’ve heard about him is that he’s incredibly private and is uncomfortable on camera and basically doesn’t want to be here. So why is he still here? How did he wind up in Mexico? We don’t have any hints that he’s chasing fame or trying to show up in Paradise. So we have to conclude the worst possible option: He’s the type of guy who won’t break up with you because it’s too “awkward.” This man will try to slowly fade the relationship out, claim that you would be better as just friends, or make some absolutely wild claims in hopes you freak out and dump him. Option three seems to be Jason’s strategy.
He says he just doesn’t know who Gabby is and she doesn’t know who he is. He doesn’t think any of this is real. WHEN WERE YOU GOING TO BRING THIS UP, MY GUY??? If this wasn’t real, what did you think it was? An elaborate series of improv games? Ain’t no Zip, Zap, Zop here!! Gabby decides that the best thing for them to do is to have the overnight portion of the date and talk about this off-camera.
They wake up in separate rooms.
It seems like they couldn’t come to an agreement and no argument was ever solved after 2 a.m. so they went to bed alone, and I guess before Gabby left the room Jason said, “This is it.” Oh, I’m fighting. We’re all fighting. Take your earrings out because we are tusslin’. So not only did Jason not want to propose, he was done and wanted to break up with her but didn’t want to do it on camera. NO THANK YOU.
Gabby goes to his room in the morning and tells him it isn’t going to work out and she’s felt led on by him, WHICH MAKES SENSE. She’s remarkably businesslike (in a good way) and just says, “I want someone who is going to want me unconditionally and that’s just not you.”
(Let me note at this point that there’s still the whole Zach of it to get to. The show should have given Rachel and Gabby their own Fantasy Suite episodes because the emotional swings we’re about to take are HUGE.)
Jason keeps trying to stumble through some version of “You’re an amazing person and I want the best for you” and Gabby is not having it (in a good way). There’s no need to lessen the blow, especially after all this time. Gabby smartly says she was the only one fighting for the relationship and Jason was just doing what he thought she wanted. And once he realized how bad this could be, he just froze.
Before Gabby walks out forever, she makes sure he knows she felt led on and delivers the iconic line “I tried so hard not to be reckless with other people and he was reckless with me” through tears. And now, TIME FOR RACHEL AND ZACH’S FANTASY SUITE DATE!! GUITARS! MARIACHIS! STROLLING THROUGH THE MARKETPLACE!!!!
Zach is coming into Rachel’s Fantasy Suite date with a lot of potential to climb into the second-place spot because he’s always been reliable, sweet, and falling in love with her. Sometimes the best strategy is to keep around the guy who loves you most, just in case. Their date is a little awkward, though, like a third date when you realize you don’t actually have that much to talk about. Once they get to “does your dad like to grill?” they’re ten minutes from talking about the weather. Also, can we stop bragging about how your parents have never fought or raised their voice? It’s not a virtue, it’s not an accomplishment. Just say you’re a WASP and move on. We’ll know you’re a WASP anyway once you say of mariachi music, “I don’t even know if you’re supposed to dance to that.”
Rachel’s story line is the stress of getting to Fantasy Suites after Clayton screamed through the streets of … Iceland? Norway? Sweden? Where were they? After he screamed that he was falling in love and then handed her a banker’s box. Zach is fully ready to propose, which makes his heel turn in the morning even more baffling. He’s a few months younger than Rachel and apparently in the Fantasy Suite, she presses him about if he’s ready for an engagement and commits the sin of asking him twice. That was enough to make him question how he was feeling.
FUCK. OFF. DUDE. It makes absolute sense that Rachel would want to make sure that you’re ready to get engaged after what she said, and the fact that her being a little tired or concerned or pensive would scare you enough to think you don’t want to get engaged is RICH. And listen, my boyfriend is like 11 months younger than me, and I’d never seriously dated anyone younger than me, and sure, I had to have a little think about that, but you get over it once your partner demonstrates the qualities you’re looking for. And Zach weeping all over the place that the girl he liked asked him some serious questions doesn’t demonstrate any positive qualities to me.
He meets with Jesse and tells him he wants to meet with Rachel before the Rose Ceremony to make sure she’s still chill or whatever. It seems like the second that all these women have a need or a question these men flip the fuck out. The second these women require something other than a run-and-jump, these men are losing their goddamn minds. I’m over it. I’m over Zach. Famous uncle be damned! Rachel and her men are heading to the Rose Ceremony, and Jesse tells her that Gabby won’t be joining her … because it’s Rachel’s journey now. Then Zach asks her to talk privately and we cut out of that SO FAST. Was this cut using TikTok’s editing software??
It’s time to emotionally whiplash back to Gabby’s storyline. Remember what they did for Clare and Dale? We should have gotten this for Gabby and Erich! Give them a beautiful beach vista and dress them up. Erich is in a T-shirt and jeans, and Gabby is fully dressed. Why didn’t anyone tell this man to pop on a polo? Gabby tells him she had to figure out why Erich didn’t trust her, and with the alone time she got because Jason was fucking around, she realized Erich was giving her the love and support that she needed all along. He was fighting for the relationship even if that fight didn’t look like what she thought it would. He taught her how to accept love and feel safe and that it’s okay to be wanted and loved. She tells him that she loves him and he’s the only one left! THEY’RE IN LOVE!!!! Gabby says she needed to come to it on her own and not be forced there by Erich or anyone else, and yes! Do it for yourself, Gabby! Heal yourself into this love!!! She says he’s the love of her life and everything has been pointing to him. I would have loved to see a little bit of that so I could be even more invested in this love story!
See you next week to see how this show will continue to ruin these women’s lives!!!!