The year is 2056. Jesse Palmer and Tony the Tiger are co-hosting the “Men Tell All” special. They invite Bradler to take his time in the Limited Time Lay’s Flavor Swap Snickers Kettle Chip Hot Seat. “Bradler, would you say that your time with the six Bachelorettes, Everleigh, Ocean, Shay, Shayla, Shaylette Beckham Jr., and Meg, was Flavor Blasted or whatever the opposite of Flavor Blasted is?” The stars of Top Gun: This Time the Bad Guys Are Russia, We Guess? critique the sexual prowess of the final three in the Fantasy Suites. Mecha–Tom Cruise tells Jephree R. that his choice to start the Fantasy Suite night with girl on top instead of missionary was inspired. Four Wings Up! Before they cut to a commercial break, Tony the Tiger tells everyone in the audience that their consciousness will be uploaded into the Dropbox Memory Bank!!!!! It’s GRRRRRRADUALLY TAKING OVER OUR BRAINS! By the way — there was a rose ceremony, but no one ask any questions about it. There’s no footage of it, and we will never speak of it again. That witch in Salem erased it all. Bye-bye, now.
Let’s get to it.
ARE THEY KIDDING ME RIGHT NOW?? We’ve got time for an extended advertorial where Palmer shows everyone how to use an app that exclusively works on a cruise ship when it’s presumably floating in the ocean (I will say that I’m 33 years old and still not fully clear on how cruise ships float in the ocean, also planes and how insurance works), but we don’t have time for a ROSE CEREMONY???
Is The Bachelorette broken? Are you ready for my in-depth analysis drawing upon years and years of Bachelor Nation data collection? Here it goes:
Oh … I thought I was going to have more there. But yeah, I think it’s broken. I don’t know if the purpose of this show was ever really to help people find love or just to create a reality-TV spectacle, but they just have NO IDEA what the audience wants to see or how to deliver it to them.
This show is teetering on the brink of unwatchable, but I guess let’s get to Aven’s SPoooOOOooooOOOOKY Hometown Date. A lady with the most Massachusetts accent who’s allegedly a witch is the most interesting thing to happen on this date. I didn’t learn anything new about Aven, his parents, the complicated logic problem of “Neither of my parents have liked either of my girlfriends. There is also a fox, a bag of corn, and a hen that need to get across the river.” The only notable thing is that Rachel can’t express a specific thing about Aven. She knew that Tino gave blood a lot, but Aven … is a man … with a face who makes her feel … feelings. But it gets Aven’s parents’ approval for the first time in their lives, and Aven says he’s falling in love with her.
And SMASH CUT back to the studio, where Palmer tells us there was a rose ceremony we don’t get to see and all six men got roses. BULL. SHIT. Show me the rose ceremony. Roses are your whole thing. It’s like doing an episode of Top Chef where Padma never says, “Pack your knives and go.” Whatever. Fuck those guys, and fuck Gabby and Rachel and their journey. We’ve got a whole “Men Tell All” to get through!
All right, what are the big stories from the “Men Tell All”? Let’s do a speed round.
Meatball turning down Rachel’s rose: This is nothing.
Men picking Gabby over Rachel: This is also nothing.
Men picking Rachel over Gabby: This didn’t amount to anything. That’s another way of saying “nothing.”
Logan’s whole thing: I guess by definition this could be something, but I remain unconvinced.
Chris: Oooooh yeah, THAT GUY. He wasn’t there, so he was literally nothing.
Hayden: Less than nothing.
Roby: Blond and loud now.
Something that will change your life: It was a cruise. It was just an ad for a cruise. I thought it would be the Bachelor announcement, but it was just a free cruise. How does that change my life, Jesse? HOW?
All right. Speed round over. Let’s talk about some hot-seat moments.
Logan is first up in the hot seat. What is with this quiet, pensive, reflective Logan? He’s not saying anything profound! He’s just speaking in a low and measured tone. Logan explains that when he took a rose from Rachel, he still had feelings for Gabby and their connection was moving. (He means “stirring” and not “a moving target that I couldn’t quite nail down,” which seems more accurate.) He says he never had the chance to pull them both aside and tell them what was in his heart. Logan, again, you’re not the main character. If you took a rose from Rachel but you don’t want to be with her, you quit the show. That’s how this should have worked. You quit the show and hope it doesn’t work out with Gabby’s men and go on one awkward date when the season is over. Logan is using a lot of transformational language to communicate how he’s feeling, and, ugh, I guess. Someone taught these men some therapy language and contrite posture and I’m OVER IT.
Up next in the hot seat is Nate. Oh boy. This one is a RICH TEXT. I have finally been able to sort out how I feel about Nate and something that never quite sat right with me the whole season. Nate seems like a Nice Fuck Boy. Or a Fuck Boy Nice Guy. I haven’t quite figured out the title yet. But if we assume everything that’s rumored to be true about him is true, and if the things we’ve seen from him this season are also true, he’s a Nice Guy with Fuck Boy tendencies or vice versa. Again, I’m workshopping the branding.
It seems like if you’re a woman he wants to claim publicly, you are a woman worthy of all sorts of love and praise who should meet his daughter (even if you’ve been dating for only a couple of weeks). But if you’re a woman he doesn’t want to claim publicly, you are contributing to a dangerous, unstable situation and you aren’t even worthy of knowing his daughter exists. The duality of humanity contained within one person. Plus, he’s got the energy of someone’s little cousin who never got a date but grew up and was kinda hot and tall. Suddenly, little cousin Nate is a menace and dating too many women at once.
The way Nate (and the show) wants to frame the cheating rumors is that he wanted to protect his daughter from his unstable and dangerous relationships as he started dating again after his divorce. First of all, the issue isn’t that you wanted to protect your daughter; the issue is that you should tell the people you’ve been dating for a year that you have a daughter. By conflating the issue, you’re making it so the women you dated who were stunned that you had a daughter are asking you to EXPOSE your PRECIOUS DAUGHTER to a DANGEROUS SITUATION, which isn’t what anyone was mad about. Second of all, if the situations were so dangerous, maybe you shouldn’t have been in them, Nate. Maybe you shouldn’t have dated someone for a year if you didn’t think it would be safe to introduce her to your daughter. Unless … that’s … bullshit??!?!?
Also in this sit-down, Jesse asks Nate about Gabby having tough feelings about meeting his daughter and becoming a stepmom. Why is it Nate’s responsibility to even have a comment on this? Nate says it was hard to hear Gabby say those things because she has all the qualities that would make a good mom. I found this answer a little frustrating because we don’t know if Gabby will end up wanting to be a mother, or how she’s dealing with these questions. The line of thought seems to be that Gabby’s qualities should be put to good use as a mom and if Gabby can’t see her own worth as a potential mother, Nate can! Listen, I might be stretching a little bit, but a woman’s narrative of being conflicted about being a mother being wrapped up with a man going, “She’s caring, so she’d be a good mom even if she doesn’t think so!” is annoying on a show where “spouse” and “parent” are the ultimate end goals.
Also, someone in the audience has a “GIRL DADS RULE” sign, and I don’t have the patience to unpack all of THAT bullshit.
Next up, Gabby and Rachel join for a chaotic run of clip packages, previews, and men saying they’re learning, growing, and holding other men accountable. Also … Victoria F.? Uhh … okay, sure.
Sorry, I’m just getting a note here — Mario has something to say? About how Gabby did him wrong?? Then Jacob cries? Y’all. I’m tired. Exhausted, tired, and confused! THERE IS STILL SO MUCH SHOW LEFT!
Finally, bloopers. Why was this cast so into smelling one another’s armpits? They’re all doing it. Like, way deep in those pits. Seeing Alec fall twice fully made me laugh. Good job, bloopers. You lifted my spirits.
Then Billy Eichner and Luke Macfarlane come out to promote the movie Bros and address the fact that Billy’s joke about Colton being gay actually came true. I just wanted Billy to look into one of the guy’s eyes and whisper “You.”
After a game that’s not fun and weird, Billy hands Meatball a giant jar of sauce and douses him in it, then Meatball tackles Billy. Jesse leans forward in his chair to tell Rachel and Gabby how proud of them he is. This is not the Jesse I want. I want the Jesse who’s questioning all his life choices seeing a man get covered in sauce! He could be hosting The Great Cupcake War instead!
It’s time for the end-of-the-season preview, and everything is going to hell! Everyone shake your phones and get some Champagne! Cheers!
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