A 'Bachelorette' recap: The [Smell] of Love Is in Your [LIES]

I know it's a little early to say I love you; I know it's only been three weeks; I know we've not spent much time together, and there's still so much I don't know, and I'm sure that somewhere in this mansion, there are ChapStick smudges all over a mirror right around mouth-height. But I just can't fight this feeling anymore. I wanna sing it, I wanna scream it, I wanna shout it from the rooftops: I love you, Jordan and I don't care who knows it!

Toward the end of Monday's episode of The Bachelorette, right around the time Becca gave Jordan a rose and all the other brotestants rolled their eyes so hard they caught a glimpse of Chris Harrison ingesting a turkey sub python-style in the AirBNB kitchen, Jordan acknowledges that he knows everyone thinks he's just there for himself: "But I don’t want this to be Jordan's show," Jordan says into the camera of his show. The man simply cannot help his raw animal magnetism! Nor can he help the fact that the producers have been threatening Becca's food rations if she dares not speak his name at every Rose Ceremony until it's reasonable to roll out the contractually obligated two-on-one. [Ed. note: That would be next week, just one week AFTER one bro deemed it reasonable to tell Becca he was falling in love with her. But more on that l8r.]

Jordan swings wildly between the intolerable rantings of an angry toddler and witty turns of phrase heretofore unrivaled in the Bachelor canon. Jordan's only crime is being annoying, and he cannot understand why the other bros are so unbearably annoyed by him. I can't either. It's so easy to ignore someone. Just… don't talk to them! And trust that your briefly polyamorous girlfriend is smart and intuitive enough to know that this is clearly an autosexual man who booked one Sears ad two years ago. Becca isn't trying to date Jordan. His continued presence in her harem (hisem?) can be explained, I imagine, with the same logic that saw me make it onto multiple sports teams in high school: if there are already enough good players, then it's okay that a few are just having fun and running the scoreboard and eating their weight in sunflower seeds.

So, you know what? I support the producers on this one! Dangle Becca's allotment of Carnation Instant Breakfast (or whatever it is she's two-hand-rom-com-clutching in that restorative oversized mug) as long as necessary to keep Jordan on our screens informing us, "I'm one of the better looking guys in the house…some of the guys think I'm the best looking guy in the house." Because Jordan is the perfect distraction from the unsavory finale we're most likely careening toward in season 14: Becca is going to fall in love with Garrett; Becca is going to get engaged to Garrett; and Becca — who openly despises Trump and loves Joe Biden — is going to find out that perhaps the "trust" she found in him because of a shared bobsled experience is not the covers-every-angle, we-share-the-same-values kind of trust.

Listen, I'm not saying that grappling with the moral ramifications of your maybe-(but like probably, right???)-fiancé finding joy in memes that defamed teenage Parkland survivors is something a couple who's known each other for six weeks and spent less than 12 hours alone together couldn’t get through while only being allowed by ABC to see each other under the cover of night for fear of the omnipresent threat of Reality Steve…

I'm just saying that watching Jordan's Precious Moments grr-face get all scrunched up when David gave him the full on "Miley, what's good" after returning from the hospital visit that Jordan almost definitely caused — well, that's a tolerable salve to the Garrett problem that officially reared its block-ish yet handsome head tonight. And even more importantly: in an excruciating period when we are hopefully exerting most of the time, energy, and resources that we have to right much bigger injustices that Garrett’s questionable practices, I will take every brief mental respite I can get, even if it’s just Jordan confusing Picasso and Dali while being so proud of himself .

For some people, coping is jogging; for some, it's buttered noodles or brownies or chicken nuggets; for some, it's looking at shirtless pictures of Chris Hemsworth; for some it's screaming into the void. And for me, right now, it's watching Jordan proudly and repeatedly call himself Captain Underpants.

YOU GET A ROSE CEREMONY AND YOU GET A ROSE CEREMONY!

Last week, Becca was a Real Sad Girl when Clay left, so this week had to open and close with a Rose Ceremony like some kind of Nick's-season nightmare. But first, so-earnest-it-hurts Blake attempts to soothe Becca's pain by talking about their potential future together in the intimate setting of the bunk bed his 6'4 ass is forced to sleep atop in order to date her. She loves it. But then, because Blake is a man without a vagina, he thinks the difference between having three kids (Becca’s wish) and “three to five kids” (Blake’s wish) is similar to the difference between having three to five mini muffins, and has to immediately back pedal when Becca looks at him like she's going to push him off this sacrificial dorm bed. And speaking of…

David is returning from the hospital! While the other dudes say grave things about "what David has had to endure," Jordan tells the camera (seemingly his only friend), "I talk to God every day and, uh, people that go against me just end up hurt sometimes." Incredible stuff. But the Lord God Almighty only aided Jordan in injuring David, not murdering him entirely, so David returns, and he looks both worse and better than I expected. In some ways, I can't believe someone who free-fell onto a cement landing pad face-first didn't break every bone in his face; and in other ways, David broke his nose, has a black eye, and his lips are nearly swollen shut. But not so swollen that after he shows off Clay’s hand-me-down rose that Becca gave him, he can't throw a "What up Jordan, you good?" over his shoulder with the smirk of someone with Winkelvoss-level privilege. It's a pretty baller move from a dude who has otherwise become quite annoying.

But it still doesn’t hold a candle to the moves Jordan is out here to making to with Becca. Here, I'll just let him tell you: "I could have five minutes with her tonight and make the biggest impact I've made with her yet. See, I've got a shirt that's cut out for a tie — it's got the angle collar  —  and I'm not wearing a tie with it. So, it kind of shows her, like: this guy, he could go either way." You know what they say about communication in relationships: it's incredibly important that you do it solely through the subtle and incomprehensible details of your clothing…

And Becca agrees! She gives Jordan a pair of joke Rocky Horror hot pants that still have the Post-It note pinned to them reading, “Give these to the Hummel doll or your secret granola bar stash gets it.” Jordan loves it. "Thoughtfulness is, like, key," he tells us. As for David, Jordan isn’t concerned; with the thrill of golden lycra between his thighs, Jordan feels more confident than ever, something I ignorantly assumed was impossible. "When I wake up here tomorrow morning and make my scrambled eggs," Jordan tells us, "I don't even think I'm gonna look at the skillet . I'm just gonna—"

Indeed, Jordan gets a rose. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for Banjo Ryan and Man-Bun Mike, two perfectly hot, constantly silent men that I would be happy to further see-but-not-hear like Victorian-era children in Paradise.

THE BACHELORETTE'S BIG LITTLE CASTING PROBLEM

Watching Becca and Garrett's one-on-one (the first date after the crew heads to Park City, Utah) is like watching a horror movie \ wearing the skin of a rom-com as a coat. I want to like Garrett because Becca likes him, and I want to trust Becca because her number one trait seems to be that she is honest and respectable, and I want to believe her when she says she has good intuition. Buuuuuut…

Bbgurl also got engaged to Arie in the not so distant past. And from the moment Becca running-mounts Garrett in greeting  —  the move of only the thinnest and most smitten of women  —  then immediately gets emotional telling the camera that he reminds her of her beloved deceased father, it's done. Her judgment is clouded, whereas mine, as always, is hawk-like, liberal, and raging. I analyzed Garrett finding out that their bobsled teachers were a lesbian couple like a radio translator during wartime. My first instinct was to think he was overly excited about them, rolling out what seems to be his signature phrase, "Awesome! That's awesome!"

But really, he probably is fine, in that moment, with these two Olympians being married and in love  —  he simply doesn't think about it that hard. From what I know of Garrett (his Instagram likes, his subsequent apology, his square jaw), he strikes me as someone who thinks the things he's always thought because he doesn't want to think too hard about the things he feels. Ya’follow?

That’s extra concerning considering what Becca says later in the episode about her former failed relationships: "I've never gotten a man who knows what he feels truly, and is able to express that." I think there are a lot of people who can relate to  putting in the difficult emotional work of understanding your own feelings, only to not have that hard work returned by a significant other deeply. That’s what made Arie doing it to Becca on live television so gripping. It’s Becca’s greatest fear, and therefore mine as someone who’s rooting for her, that she would be misled again.

Especially when Garrett casually tells her about his last serious relationship: "After hanging out and exploring life together and going on all these adventures, I grew to love that about her to the point of getting married to her." Oh, to that ol’ point, huh? You don’t say, Garrett! And then what happened? “One thing led to another and we got divorced." That’s quite the yada-yada, friend! Fear covers Becca's face, a woman who might be specifically triggered by the phrase "I fell in love with and married the wrong woman." And then, a few minutes later, after Garrett explains that he has recovered from that pain, and is now looking for a partner in life, 50/50, just like Becca, her worried eyes turn back to sparkly beating hearts once more.

I guess you can't blame Becca for liking Garrett, who is very cute, and probably seems like everything she's looking for without having the time to dig too deep into personal values, which they both leave this date feeling certain they share; nothing gets to the core of someone quite like bobsledding with a third person sitting behind you doing all the work. You can't even really blame ABC for this one because retroactively seeing which bigoted memes someone likes on Instagram isn't very easy (still definitely blame them for purposefully casting racist tweeting Lee on Rachel's season tho!!!!!!!).

You know what is easy to track down: if someone has been charged with indecent assault and battery for groping and assaulting a woman. That's real easy. Thass'a Google away, pals. And ABC either didn't look, or didn't care. And then they have the nerve to reveal that Lincoln is a flat-Earther who thinks that friction is what keeps us from falling off the flat edges of the earth?!?!?! Leo, who should absolutely replace Chris Harrison as the Winter Games commentator, gives the only appropriate reaction to this revelation:

Lincoln elaborates and his hypothesis, "It could be rectangle, I'm not positive," and Jean Blanc comically slides away from him on the couch. It will be the first and last good thing Jean Blanc does this episode…

MISTER I'LL MAKE A MAN OUT OF YOU

You see, Jean Blanc was called last in the episode’s opening Rose Ceremony, which to him signifies that he needs to step it up a notch. What does that mean? I don't know! But it does keep inspiring him to say intense things on the group date like, "I'm focused on the rose, and it's definitely gonna be a challenge that I'm willing to undertake." What does that mean?! (Oh, you're going to find out, and it's going to be torturous.)

But first, a gift! All 13 remaining men that aren’t Garrett or Wills go on lumberjack-themed group date where Becca dresses them all up in buffalo plaid, my own personal textile-kryptonite. And then, John Who Invented Venmo who already exists in my own personal subgroup-kryptonite (hot, sensitive nerds), bashfully enters the lumberjack date saying, "I still get nervous around cute girls and a big group of intimidating guys," only to exit having absolutely beasted everyone in nearly every competition of this Mulan-style group date. The man shimmied up a 30-foot pole.

[Ed. Note: Blake for Bachelor, and John for My Rich Genius Boyfriend!]

But this elation cannot last forever, no matter how many times Becca continues to insist, "I wanna carry this fun energy into the evening!" Becca is on a date with 13 men who all wish they were on a date with her alone (except Jordan). Her good spirits are holding on by a thread by the time she gets to Jean Blanc who presents her with a gift: he says that he collaborated with one of the biggest fragrance houses in the world to make her a perfume, but he seems to have collaborated mostly with Curlz font and whatever the opposite of Emily Post is because he presents her with a bottle of pink liquid called "Miss Becca Blanc," but says he understands she might want to hyphenate her name.

A! Few! Things! 1. Is Blanc his last name??? I thought this was a male double-name situation, 2. Why would he change her last name, then keep "Miss" as the prefix? Are they not married in this hypothetical perfume world? 3. Why, Jean? Why?

Before Becca can even smell her weirdly named perfume, Jean Blanc says he has a secret to tell her, leans over like he's going to whisper in her ear, then sneakily gives her a kiss. Never sneakily give someone a kiss if you’ve never kissed them before! Becca seems thoroughly confused, but luckily Leo walks up in a floral bomber jacket to interrupt. Jean lets him…

But that's only because JB has a plan! "You can't sleep in the game of love," he tells us, (not hyperbolically, as it turns out). While Becca is speaking with someone else, Jean Blanc interrupts and says, "I think I may have some unfinished business with our conversation before." Already, this feels like watching a slow motion car crash where one of the cars is on fire and the other can only nervously blink back at it. Jean starts in: "I just wanted to reaffirm where I see you and how I'm feeling about you." Becca blinks. "I wanted to let you know that I'm truly falling for you." Becca blinks rapidly. "I'm falling in love with you, and I'm just putting it out there."

Week! 4! People! And this is not the worst part! My favorite thing about Becca is how assertive and decisive she is, and she is just immediately like, Jean, BRO, we are not on the same page. Then she hits him with the stunner: "Can I walk you out?" When Bachelors do this I find it cowardly and an easy out. When Becca does this, I find it a power play, and would like to start employing it in my own dating life:

Tells me he's into violent video games during the cheese course: Can I walk you out? Says some shit about women not really wanting to split the bill when they offer to split the bill: May I walk you right the fuck out? Uses an all-lowercase "lol" before we know each other like that: Shall I walk you out of this Bumble message? Smugly informs me that he doesn’t own a TV: Might I kindly escort you off a cliff?

But the short 3-yard walk from the couch to the double doors is where things go really wrong for Jean Blanc. "With regards to before we walk out," Jean says, knowing the canonical importance of walking someone out: "What about the  —  um  —  gift?" Now, I truly believe that Jean was not asking for the gift back, but wondering why he’s being asked to leave, if the gift seemed to mean something Becca…which, okay, is probably just as bad. Becca, being a kind, diplomatic person, doesn’t say, BECAUSE YOU TOLD ME YOU LOVED ME AFTER TWO GROUP DATES WHICH IS INSAAAAAAANE, JEAN BLANC!!!

She simply tells him that she appreciated the gift, but she didn't realize where he was in his feelings for her. "It's not," Jean stutters, "necessarily where I'm at.” What’s that, now? “I thought that was what you wanted." Oh, Jean Blanc. Becca doesn’t hesitate, because Becca never hesitates; she is one stone-cold communicator: "So what you said wasn't true? You're just saying things to tell me what I want to hear?"

There are some awkward goodbyes, sped along by the fact that Becca is outside in Utah in the winter in only an evening gown. And then our Minnesota girl storms back inside to tell the rest of her boyfriends, "I'm only asking for honesty from you guys that's all I want. And to not get that, I feel so disrespected. If anyone else can't be honest with me from here on out, just leave." And then she storms once more away from her boyfriends, with no group rose given. It feels a little bit like when one kid does something wrong, that kid gets sent to the principal's office, and then the rest of the class gets yelled at. But this is The Bachelorette, and you shouldn't come on with 25 other brother-boyfriends to date one woman if you want fairness.

And most of these dudes seem to understand that. Like, they really understand, a little too much maybe. They get back to the house and they're all, "Every guy that goes out with her now, every group date, she's going to be thinking, Well, who's the next guy who's been deceiving me the entire time?" Yeesh, settle down Chris R! Oh, no? You want to get more intense? "Wills is going to have to, like, bring it on the one-on-one.” Hive Mentality Dating  —  only right here, on ABC!

"HI MY NAME IS WILLS AND I'M GOING ON A ONE-ON-ONE DATE TOMORROOOOW"

Oh but our boy Wills, he has arisen from his season-long slumber, and he is up for the challenge!

I love Wills; I love how much Wills loves his own name; I love how Wills takes on the task of everyone weirdly informing him that he has to basically save this shit show for all of them with no hesitation. Wills goes into this date seeking to comfort Becca, he doesn’t treat her emotions like a burden, and he doesn't try to make her have more fun or be happier than she's ready to be. He basically hugs her for a long time, tells her the feelings she's having about Jean Blanc’s actions are totally valid, and then expresses some of his own. As in…he tells her how his last serious girlfriend wanted to give him a hall pass, he said no, and then she just went ahead and took one for herself. See Becca — we've all been through some shit!

Wills is a prince who speaks in a whisper and wears formal scarves and can't walk in snow, and I love him. Becca agrees; she gives Wills the rose, puts herself against a wall for him to make out with her as she is wont to do, and now she's feeling all better. So much better that she tells Chris Harrison to tell her boyfriends she is forgoing yet another opportunity to have to talk to them  —  she already knows what she wants to do.

And what she wants to do is send Nick and Christon home, which I only slightly question because Christon is two snaccs stacked on top of each other wearing a trench coat, and he has perhaps the most mature exit interview ever saying, "Maybe our conversation wasn't what she was looking for — we're just on two different paths, and that’s why I didn't get the rose today." Yes! That is why, Christon! Love is not dead, and Becca is not the only woman for you, and you are a kind man who pulls off turtlenecks and dunks basketballs for a living and got to go to Park City for free  —  you will be just fine!

But our antiheroine, Jordan…oh, Jordan got the last rose. And after 14 seasons, the brotesticles have finally caught on that being called last after a dramatic pause probably means you are part of some producer storyline. And much like Jean Blanc, Jordan thinks he's up for the task of getting out of the last spot. And, my goodness, I hope he tells Becca he loves her. Just imagine what Jordan could do with a love proclamation when he can do this with the much simpler emotion of anger: "I'm much like a sponge  —  you can squeeze me and get everything out of me, but you'll never know until you try."

Truly, you will never know until you try, so why don't you go on and subscribe to this here TATBT newsletter if you haven't already. If you're not sure what to expect out of it, let me just leave you with these words from a wise man: "It's not going to be a big move; it's going to be a deep move. This could be the moment [you] go from Captain Underpants to Captain I Just Took Everyone's Girl." Clear enough for you? See you next week!