A 'Bachelorette' recap: Chickens Can't Fly, But They Can Swipe Right

A 'Bachelorette' recap: Chickens Can't Fly, But They Can Swipe Right

This season of The Bachelorette kind of…rules?

I mean, it's awful for Becca, let's be clear: she cannot and should not marry any of these bozos, save for Blake-Who-Is-My-Boyfriend. And seeing as Blake needs to be the next Bachelor… best of luck next time, Becca! There's always that weird show they keep advertising during commercial breaks that seems eerily similar to one of those frightening Who Wants to Marry a Millionaire-type scenarios that ran rampant when reality TV first started blowing up, and now ABC is just like, Screw it, nothing could be worse for us than it is at this exact moment, somebody look up who owns the rights to The Swan.

But as far as actual entertainment value is concerned, no one is winning more than us, the viewing audience at home, and the segment of TATBT subscribers who continue to insist that they don't watch this show, they just show up here for the run-on sentences and occasional nostalgic callbacks. In this episode alone, an actual NFL player suffers a season-ending injury in a game of pickup-Bachelorette-football against a bunch of software engineers and financial advisors; one bro breaks all the bones in his face because he's been forced to sleep in a bunkbed as a grown man in the name of loving a woman he shares with 20 other grown men; that bone-breaking was potentially willed upon him my a male model who went full Good Son because the other bro questioned his Tinder-match rate, and therefore, somehow, his "professionality."

Do you ever gear up to binge a podcast or TV show, get a few minutes in, realize it's incredible, and suddenly feel an overwhelming sense of sadness just knowing that no matter how much you enjoy it in the moment, this thing you love will still end in the very near future? That's how I feel about Jordan when he says, "If you wanna wreck my image, you can’t succeed, because my image is me!" I love him, but one day he will be gone. This is allegedly still a march toward matrimony, and one simply cannot marry a Cocker Spaniel who wears his Narcissistic Personality Disorder on his sleeve and almost certainly finds a way to get a mirror into the room every time he has sex. 

All of this to say, once more: poor Becca. Who amongst these dumb-dumbs could she possibly marry? There is only Blake, and Blake must be our next Bachelor, because I love him, and he would never do us dirty like Dean once did. His unlimited supply of empathy and color-blocked sweaters are superior in every way, and they make my fingers itch to boop his nose. If I had to compare him to fictional character, it would almost certainly be Nana-the-Nursemaid-Who-Is-Also-a-Dog from the 1953 classic animated feature, Walt Disney's Peter Pan: Blake is supportive and caring, and he will never be treated as well as he should be.

Other contenders include Clay, the reincarnation of Corduroy the adorable button-less bear who is forced to choose between Becca, a very nice lady, and his career as a professional athlete which affords him the opportunity to support his entire family. Then there's the guy who stone-cold created Venmo who we have never heard speak a single word, but could maybe pull a Catherine Giudici. There's also the guy with the 80s-villain hair whose name Becca literally forgets but she allegedly has a crush on. There's Wills, who seems great, but also always seems like he's one long blink away from entering into a full REM cycle. And, of course, Garrett, who Becca loves… who himself loves hi-larious bigoted memes.

There is so much here for us to love, and nothing here for Becca.

And at the beginning of Monday night's episode, you can tell that realization is weighing on our Bachelorette. Entering this season's third installment, following one of Becca's bro-friends launching a TJ Maxx frame into a swimming pool and another informing her that he had a "really great weekend" with one of her best friends before coming on this show where that friend was definitely presumed to be the HBIC until Becca got her heart broken by a sentient Lego…Babygirl looked like she was ready to fire up some Dashboard Confessional, swaddle herself in Pottery Barn's softest wares, put a bunch of Bugles on her fingertips, and TBS-movie-marathon the pain away. But, somehow, throughout the course of the two hours (not including the time that bonus contesticles Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un interrupted), Becca got her groove back.

Somewhere between the amateur football playing, and the forced emotional song writing, and inviting all her boyfriends to massage all her girlfriends, Becca re-convinced herself that she could find love in this emotional gauntlet that has already played her for a fool by a fool in front of fools [ed. note: the last one is us!] once. So, as Becca enjoys husking out before she forcibly Hoovers someone's face, I also tell you: “Com'ere!”

WHEREVER YOU GO, WHATEVER YOU DO…

Richard Marx will be right there waiting for you. The where in question is Capitol Records (where Becca points out such illustrious acts as Katy Perry and Halsey have recorded); the whatever you do in question is baring your heart and soul to a stranger you met for 90 seconds six days ago; and the Richard Marx in questions can be recognized on sight by Chris R, perhaps the most shocking second one-on-one choice in recent memory. It's not that Chris R doesn't seem perfectly nice, or very into Becca, or have a distinctly modern vampire aura about him. It's just that — well, we haven’t seen a hairline this perplexing make such a power play since pre-Trainwreck LeBron. Chris R's hair isn't receding though. No, it's the opposite: he seems to have so much hair that he feels it necessary to…shear it along the front?

Thinking of my own superfluous amount of follicles, I couldn't help but wonder: should I also be giving myself a small headband of baby hair?

I could excuse Chris R for just about anything though after watching him navigate one of the more excruciating one-on-ones in recent memory. First of all, Becca, who is generally well-dressed if not a little heavy on metallics, was wearing a full leather outfit in the daytime, to an indoor event…which, again, was songwriting???

Because I would like to delay the awkwardness of this date, and because pain is easier when inflicted upon those you care about, I would like to give you a timeline of events as to how I experienced Becca's outfit: First it became clear that she was wearing a top with a choker-like collar covered in gems; then it became clear that choker was attached to sheer netting that connected it to the rest of the shirt; suddenly, that shirt was revealed to be a crop top which Becca was wearing under a black leather motorcycle jacket with black leggings; those leggings, I eventually came to understand, were also leather with straight slits cut across the knees, paired with sky high spiked-heels…

Was this supposed to be a very different date? Were Becca and Chris R supposed to be going to a rock concert, or an orgy of some kind, or a last-scene-in-Grease costume party? And that venue cancelled at the last minute and some PA was like, "…my uncle is Richard Marx?" But if that is the case, what could possibly explain the fact that in her solo interviews, Becca is wearing the exact same outfit, except with the motorcycle jacket in silver, like some kind of Highlights “Spot the Difference” game for pleather-enthusiasts. Becca is living proof that not just anyone can handle a Rent the Runway Unlimited subscription.

Now it's possible that I was so distracted by Becca's perplexing outfit choice because I was trying my absolute hardest to ignore the wide-awake nightmare that was the unfolding during this one-on-one. Becca took Chris R to Capitol Records, sat her happy ass down next to Richard Marx at the piano, started singing along to "Right Here Waiting" in a not-good voice, and then looked over at Chris, as if to say, Everybody now!

Hey, BECCA — you might have the thick skin of a gorgeous rhino and the confidence of a Florida-based male model, but poor Chris R looks like he is about to run head-first into the thousands of platinum Halsey records lining the Capitol hallways rather than have to sing along with Grammy-Award winning artist Richard Marx. Then Becca, that tall drink of Machiavellian terror in a crop top, tells Chris that they're going to write song lyrics about how they feel about one another. Y'know, as two people who spent the most time they've ever spent together 10 minutes ago in the limo that was leading Chris to his own emotional demise…

You see, Chris has quite a bit of past trauma related to writing his feelings down on paper; something that Becca could not have known, but the producers surely could have (and possibly Richard Marx, who defines song writing as “a really unique way to fall in love”), Chris tells us, and eventually Becca, that his father abandoned his family when he was a child, and he grew up with only his sister and his mother. But when Chris got a little older, he wrote a letter to his dad, explaining how he still loved him and would like to get to know him. And his father…never wrote him back, or responded, or told him he loved him. AND NOW. This strange, leather-clad woman is asking him to bare his soul to her, in exchange for a one-in-eighteen chance to be her fiancé!

Chris overcomes his nerves (um, PTSD), they write some slam poetry that Richard Marx fucking loves, they make out, and Chris R gets a rose.

THE RETURN OF COLTIA

But if you thought song-writing was an awkward first date activity, just wait until Becca invites all of her prettiest girlfriends into a very small room and asks a handful of her least favorite boyfriends to touch their feet and give them massages. That's right…

It's time for the semi-annual "Whatever We Were Originally Supposed to Do Got Rained Out, So Let's Pretend this Hotel Hallway Is a Spa and Not a Tiny Hotel Hallway Filled With Plastic Tubs That Used to Hold the Mic Wires." And what better place than a tiny hotel hallway filled with the humidity of 12 bodies thrumming with resisted sexual tension in order to rejoin two former lovers, Colton and Tia?!

Basically, once Becca joins together her friends, Sienne, Kendall, Caroline, Bekah M, and Tia, she informs them that one of Tia's former lovers, Colton, is in her harem. This is news to Tia, and while she handles it gracefully, she does not handle it…gladly.

There are a number of things that are made pretty clear pretty quickly without ever needing to be vocalized: Tia is not over Colton, or at least, is not comfortable with the idea of her friend dating Colton. For some reason, that is the one thing Becca doesn't seem to be worried about. While all of her other boyfriends are giving all of her other friends foot massages, Becca takes Tia aside, not to ask how she feels about her dating someone Tia formerly dated, but basically to ask what Colton's deal is. This is not, I believe, because Becca is a bad friend or doesn't care about Tia's feelings — she just wants to have sex with Colton so badly (or at least vigorously rub his biceps), that she only wants to have one hurdle to surmount: whether Colton came on the show thinking that Tia would be the Bachelorette…

Tia straight up says probably, then changes it to possibly he did think that, but really all Becca needed was to see them in a room together, make sure they didn't jump each other, and have Colton tell her one more time that he's really into her and will definitely let her rub his biceps when the time is right.

Of note: Tia tells Becca that she and Colton only kissed during their indeterminate time together, which seems like a good time to mention to your friend that one of her boyfriends who she basically seems to be holding onto specifically for Fantasy Suite Week…is a virgin. But I can't really blame Tia for keeping a few things to herself her.

And while this group date's tension is delicious, the very best thing it gives us is a bunch of bros with painted fingernails for the rest of the episode which, rest assured, the editors squeeze every ounce of comedic effect out of, and it works on this recapper every time.

But Coltia is hardly this season's most romantic portmanteau…

JORDAVID IS MY OTP

Hey, did you ever get any unsupervised TV time in the 90s? I got tons, so you can blame my parents for me being the way that I am. If you did get unfettered access to the basement big screen, then at some point or another, you likely came across a li'l made-for-TV horror movie called The Paper Boy. It terrified me to my core, but I also watched it at every opportunity because I have always been fascinated by sociopaths, even when I was just a wee 9-year-old sociopath myself. (Also because it starred Alexandra Paul, the "realistic-looking one" from Baywatch, and I LOVED Baywatch, while still upholding body-positive feminist beliefs, even as a wee 9-year-old sociopath.)

Anyway, The Paper Boy was about a 12-year-old named Johnny who seemed like a straight-laced, old-lady-helping Boy Scout, but was in fact, an old-lady-in-the-freezer, obsessed-with-his-neighbor-Alexandra-Paul, preteen psychopath. Every time Jordan said something along the lines of, "People who go against me usually end up hurt," I became more and more convinced that Johnny the Paper Boy grew up to be Jordan the Florida-Based Male Model.

The rivalry between Jordan and David McChicken is a tale as old as time: boy meets girl; other boy meets girl; boy wears chicken suit; other boy wears underwear; boy accuses other boy of trying to advance his modeling career with Tinder matches or…something; other boy says his professionality is being attacked. It's a classic, really. But what makes it unique, is Jordan, who said more Best Things on Monday night than I could possibly hope to write down in two hours. Let's assess a mere handful, shall we?

"He's walking around, cooking scrambled eggs all day." David and Jordan are already annoyed with each other at the start of this episode; as David explains it, Jordan is disliked by the house and disrespectful. As Jordan tells it, David walks around all day cooking scrambled eggs, which doesn't seem untrue.

Now, you tell me: whose argument are you more interested in here? [Ed. note: I do feel it’s my feminist duty to point out that David talks like some weird mix of (current) Jack Nicholson and Jesse Eisenberg playing Mark Zuckerberg in The Social Network, which is to say: he has enough vocal fry to spike your cholesterol.]

"If I answer my competitor's questions, I'm taking him seriously." To Jordan's tiniest credit, David is constantly antagonizing him, and Jordan does seem to try his best to ignore him. Mostly because, when Jordan doesn't ignore David, he cannot help but invent words, or at the very best, use words incorrectly, like when he says he's going to have to start being "extremely implicit with [his] strategy" after learning that David told Becca of Jordan's claim to fame around the house: that he had 4,000 matches on Tinder in 2017. But despite David's attempts, Becca seems mostly fine with that. She probably does some quick math in her head and is like, "Eh, I don't really have any hobbies either," which leads the door wide open for Jordan to be extremely implicit

"I'll cook, I'll clean — I'm a Golden Retriever!" This is how Jordan explains his behavior as a boyfriend to Becca. Jordan, everything you say is perfect, but surely you understand…that dogs cannot cook and clean? And surely you understand…that mine and Becca's affections for you are more along the lines of a "so ugly it's cute" kind of situation, and not for that of a majestic purebred Golden Retriever? You are not Blake, pal — you are not the beloved Nana of season 14.

"David, you're living in a world of fiction in your own head. Your perception is your reality, and your reality is not the same as mine." This is technically, verifiable English for two full sentences, so you know Jordan capacity for intelligible rhetoric is about to putter out. I'll turn it over to Wills for some mid-tirade commentary:

"I have an image, and if you're trying to tear down my image … you're failing at it. Because, guess what? Attached to me — is professionality. It's my face, it's in everything I do. It’s the way I walk, it’s the way I talk, okay? So if you want to try to wreck my image, you'll never succeed, you know why: because my image is me." Ummmmm Jordan should have been on the Richard Marx date because THIS ONE IS A BANGER!!!

Hands down, the funniest part of this whole exchange between David and Jordan is how hard Wills and Jason are trying to keep it together — and how fantastically they are failing. They are both crying from trying not to laugh, and have definitely nervous-drunk themselves into at least a brown-out. They now have my affections forever, and I hope they're asked to come on the inevitable two-on-one as a Statler and Waldorf like presence.

"Chickens can't fly and I think we learned that last night." Have you ever heard something more chilling in your life? The previews of Monday's episode tried to make it seem like a fight would take place between David and Jordan, ultimately sending David out of the house on a stretcher with the other guys saying things like, "This dude looked like he got attacked by a bear," and, "We didn't know if he was going to make it," in his wake. But if you have ever seen Jordan, or heard him speak, or watched him fondle a pair of seersucker slacks, you know: this man is not is not breaking anyone's face with his bare hands.

But some shifty, late-night, pushing-an-enemy-off-a-bunkbed-to-make-it-look-like-an-accident…

Oh, that is some PAPER BOY SHIT if I've ever heard it!!! We don't see David again for the rest of the episode, but if I were him, I'd watch my back, and keep any and all small dogs away from Jordan.

SWEET BABY CLAY

Oh, I can't even talk about this too much or I'll get upset. Becca was never going to get engaged to Clay, but he was a good man, and he didn't deserve to break his NFL-playing-football wrist after finally deciding to turn it up to 10 and run solo circles around the entire opposing team in a game of pretend group-date-full-contact football. And then he has the nerve to have a good attitude about it: "I got hurt playing football on The Bachelorette — that’s pretty funny." Dammit, Clay!!!

But alas, any who says, "Being a man is making hard choice and tough decisions, and living with them," when deciding to take care of his health so that he can continue supporting his family is too good to stick around a show where Chris Harrison manipulates a young woman into briefly believing that one of her boyfriends injured another one of her boyfriends so badly he was put in Intensive Care, before eventually revealing that the hospitalized boyfriend just fell [ed. note: WAS PUSHED!] off his bunk bed once she starts crying.

Becca understands this, and she lets Clay go, but not before becoming a Real Sad Girl again at the end of the episode, which is her way…

Just wait until she finds out that one of her boyfriends is a now a registered sex offender. Honestly, who is doing the background checks around here? See you next week to bring the wrath of judgment down upon Lincoln, and likely say our final goodbyes to Jordan — just keep your fingers crossed that he doesn't hand out any final goodbyes of his own :)