One of the great episodes of Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown sees the man aboard a boat a Sicily, preparing to “catch” an octopus. (You can read about it here.) The trouble is, the octopus was already dead, tossed in the water by an overzealous fixer, and Bourdain being Bourdain, he made the episode, at least in part, about the artifice. It infuriated him to the point that he got drunk and ruined his own birthday dinner.
All of that is to say that when Peter—not a fisherman by trade, he’s actually a pilot, did you know he’s a pilot?—“catches” the strangely docile fish he pulled out of the water off the coast of Lima, Peru, this writer pointed an accusing finger at the screen and yelled, “That is a dead fish; that fish is dead.”
Lies! Lies and deceit! That barely flopping fish—what, did they tranquilize it?—serves as a good reminder that, while entertaining, The Bachelor is totally full of shit. Peter took Natasha on that one-on-one because he knew he was going to kick her off, and he picked up that rose in the dinner because some producer told him it would be good TV. The “dinners” aren’t dinners and the food is just for show. And every episode needs a villain, even when the “villain” refuses to play along.
Sometimes, though, this artifice can be used for good, rather than ill. For example, this shot of Peter staring pensively at a painting that prominently features windmills, a structure in which he notoriously humped a lady:
So it’s not all bad. And hey, a guy’s gotta eat. Cue the melancholy orchestra, ready your gulpiest sobs, and let’s discuss what Peter consumed this week.
Once again, miraculously, the answer is yes.
Peter goes on three one-on-one dates in this episode, and two are food-free, unless you count “dinner,” which you shouldn’t. But the second of these three dates, his first one-on-one with the great and powerful Natasha, included eating! First they found a cart selling Peter’s favorite dessert from childhood, Arroz con leche, one of many takes on rice pudding to be found all over the world. In this case, it’s combined with the Peruvian fruit dessert mazamorra morada; the combination, per the extremely useful site Peru Delights, is called sol y sombra.
That’s two weeks in a row with food that’s not just rice and peas. Keep it up, The Bachelor.
Okay, they might be onion rings, but the fried circles that Natasha and Peter go all Lady And The Tramp on seem more likely to be picarones. Once again, Peru Delights comes to the rescue, informing me that picarones are a light doughnut-esque pastry made from a local squash, sweet potatoes, flour, yeast, and sugar.
They look amazing and make me want to travel to Peru ASAP. They cannot, however, make food-kissing appealing.
Even with the food-kissing, Natasha seems to have a very good time wandering around Lima, which is fortunate because she’ll be on a plane home by nightfall.
He also drank a lot of wine, as usual, but this week, he also drinks a very good cocktail!
Pisco sours are great; any cocktail bar worth its salt can make you one, and you should have one tomorrow, because you’ve earned it. Peter has not earned it. Someone take away Peter’s pisco sour before he hits his head on a golf cart and catapults his face into the foam on top.
Peter does a number of misleading things this week. He picks up a rose during Natasha’s dinner (more on that below), which sure as shit makes it look like he’s going to give her that rose, and then he says, “I can’t give you this rose.” He walks Victoria to one of the production cars, which sure as shit makes it look like he’s going to send her home, and then gives her the rose. And on his first one-on-one of the episode, he and the ludicrously good-natured Madison walk past a ceviche cart, and he asks her if she’s tried any yet. She says no. He says it’s good.
They keep walking.
After they snub the ceviche and catch a dead fish, Peter and Madison head to their dinner, where they mostly talk about the importance of religion and faith in Madison’s life and the importance of Madison in Peter’s life. And just like that, over a plate full of large peas and gloopy rice, we get our first Bachelor-induced “I’m falling in love with you” of the season. Nuts to you, Kelsey and Hannah Ann.
Natasha and Peter do not eat the rice with corn during the evening portion of their date, nor the peppers, nor whatever the brown things are. But two other things get served. First, this face:
Let him have it, Natasha. In all seriousness, she was very composed and appropriately, tolerantly disdainful of the terrible decisions this dude is making. Well done, Natasha; see you in Paradise.
The other thing on the menu: an orchestra of melancholy!
Reader, how I laughed.
Peter pretty definitively proves that he’s pro-drama this week, and while it’s a lot less messy and a lot more personal/understandable than the rest of it, the drama Kelsey offers up is drama all the same. She explains that she is in contact with her previously estranged father and that her mother doesn’t know, effectively telling Peter to be cool and not mention her dad if and when they go back to Iowa, which is a lot. But hey, she gets the rose, so it works. This whole date it pretty boring, and this is as good a look at the “food” as we get. Like the date, it is extremely dull.
Behold, an instantly classic Bachelor moment: “I’m just gonna nap right here,”
In fact, it came on the heels of one nearly as good:
Kelley’s obvious resigned frustration over Peter’s obvious preference for emotional turmoil boils over this week, and the result is a nap, some sharp barbs about the “children” by whom she’s surrounded, and the very pointed assertion that relationships don’t have to be hard, they can be easy and fun, even though Peter Weber hates fun. As if to prove her point, Victoria has another mini-meltdown and picks a fight with Peter, and Hannah Ann busts out this note she found in her junior high Trapper Keeper:
So, of course, he keeps them and sends Kelley packing. Kelley, you were too sane for this show. Miss you already.
It’s a tie. First, the obvious:
She and Natasha can share a whole cake. Second, this guy, who had to have the entire premise of The Bachelor explained to him by the Bachelor himself and the three women the Bachelor is simultaneously dating, one of whom was already dreaming about that nap.
Apologies, kind sir, and thank you for your tolerance.