Someone needs to put this Bachelor season out of its misery. No one’s heart is in it. Between this through-the-motions Fantasy Suites episode and last week’s abysmal Women Tell All, it’s obvious that there’s precious little left to enjoy. No one, no one is having fun: not Matt, not the three remaining women, not the people watching at home, not Chris Harrison’s publicists, nobody. Bri got a double entendre or two, and that’s it for fun this week. If two people rub full sticks of butter all over each other and it’s boring, something has gone terribly wrong. In this case, the “something” is Matt James’s Journey To Find Love. So let’s get to it.
He ate a s’more he attempted to roast in a tinfoil packet while sitting next to a capable, intelligent woman who left her job to date him, and who in this episode again declares her love for him, and he once again smiled at her and then just dove in for an eyes-open kiss rather than having to say anything in particular in response. But we’ll get back to that.
A tub of foot oatmeal, many whole sticks of butter, a milk bath, some meat chunks and broccoli rice with one very long thin slice of carrot, Fantasy Suite cookies, flan and sausages, bacon and eggs, a Fantasy Suite fruit plate, and a correctly-prepared s’more.
Because it’s Fantasy Suite week, let’s go by date, rather than food item.
In case the past month hadn’t already made this apparent to you, dear reader, it seems increasingly likely, if not certain, that Rachael Kirkconnell “wins” this season of The Bachelor. The first clue: the likeliest alternative, Michelle “Miss Young” Young, got what seemed like the traditional sexy “let’s rub stuff all over each other” date, but then it turned out to be a wacky “let’s rub whole sticks of butter all over each other and make gloopy foot noises in a vat of oatmeal” date, and then the most apparent storyline to come out of said date was actually about RACHAEL. Not a good sign!
Anyway, Michelle’s “traditional Pennsylvania Dutch spa experience” was far more goofy than sexy, though she certainly embraced it as both. The good news, Michelle: butter skin care is nothing new, and that milk bath actually looked lovely.
The evening portion of the date began with the traditional untouched catered meal, this time involving a beet cube, some chunks of meat, and that huge slice of carrot (or maybe it’s an orange sauce?). Michelle, meanwhile, didn’t eat a French-cut pork chop and some sprouts. During the meal, they talked about Matt’s televised encounter with his estranged father, an event that took up a significant chunk of the episode’s first act and which was sincerely upsetting to watch; this writer hopes Matt has a great therapist, because holy shit, that was a lot and should probably not have played out on camera.
Then it was Fantasy Suite time, and they didn’t eat cookies (pictured above) or really talk about anything other than additional declarations of love received by Matt with huge “that’s nice” energy. Meanwhile, the show would really like you to know that Rachael’s heart is breaking at the very thought of these two together. Yikes.
Perhaps you thought Bri was headed to a sexy secluded glampy cabin in the woods for her Fantasy Suite date. Nope, the second date to emotionally distress Rachael—because this episode is actually about Rachael and Matt and Matt’s dad and that’s it—is a jaunt into the woods, over a “river” and to a big open space where Matt pitched a tent and couldn’t get it up (the tent, jeez). There, they talked about very little other than the fact that they were, in fact, in the woods, and at some point they made s’mores, one of them very badly. They also did not eat this can of baked beans, below. A surefire sign you’re not going to win? The presence of baked beans.
During the evening portion of her date, Bri, too, says some “I love you” stuff, to which Matt replies (I’m paraphrasing here), “wow, weird, did you hear that? I think maybe there’s a dog outside, anyway, let’s change the subject.” They do not eat these plates of flan and sausages and whatever else this is.
No baked beans for Rachael. Rachael’s date was actually the shortest of the three, presumably because they’re just running out of ways to make it seem like anyone else could “win.” But with the exception of Matt’s conversation with his dad, this episode was three dates + a rose ceremony + a treatise on Rachael Kirkconnell’s emotional state, so that 14-minute total (as calculated by @BachelorData, below) is deceiving. The end of Michelle’s date was about Rachael. The conversation after Bri’s date was also about Rachael. The end of Rachael’s date? Literal fireworks.
There was no dinner portion for some reason, and the daytime portion of the date—some light Ghost roleplaying—did not involve food. But there was a fruit plate, which both Matt and Rachael ignored. She also said love stuff, and this time, he said some back. Gee I wonder what the significance of that might be.
The date isn’t what matters here, anyway. What matters is that The Bachelor managed to make all three dates about Rachael. Would scenes in which our frontrunner opines about how hard it is for her to be experiencing what all three of these women are experiencing while the other two just say things like “yeah” and “sure” and occasionally “oh, god” be quite so uncomfortable in another season? Probably not. But here we are, and The Bachelor gave us three separate scenes of a slightly weepy Rachael boring the hell out of Michelle and Bri, a white woman crying while two Black women resignedly stare into space and wait for this season to be over. Some of that’s projection, I’m sure. But not all of it. And luckily, none of us have to wait all that long.
WE DO, gentle reader. We all do. Next week: The sweet release of death.