The Bachelorette (2018): Season 14, Episode 2

By: Jenna Zine (Six Pack) –

Becca Kufrin’s journey to find a somewhat suitable mate amongst the rubble ABC has given her to choose from continues! This week we’ve got TWO sporty events to help narrow down the field, as well as an adorable one on one and a Rose Ceremony that ends with one contestant wrapped in a pink fur blanket. Let’s get started!

Beer One

First off, a scheduling note: There will be NO BACHELORETTE MON. JUNE 11TH if a 5th game is required between the Warriors and the Cavaliers. That’s right, our favorite show will potentially be waylaid by the NBA finals. As you can guess, no show, no recap. Business will continue as usual if one of the teams manages to lock up a win before that. (It happens, but it’s unlikely – in which case Becca’s journey will resume the next night, Tue. June 12th, and we’ll see each other here for more recap fun on Thu. June 14th.)

Now down to the real business. Will Becca jauntily ride a bike as she muses about Arie? Will Chris Harrison regurgitate his usual script about the latest contestant being, “…serious about finding love”? Will Jordan be able to resist stripping down to show us his skivvies? Yes, yes, and hell no! Seriously, I think we’ve talked about Arie more in these two episodes than we did his entire season. And I know Chris doesn’t have much to do, so would it kill him to say something slightly original every once in a while? (“Becca is serious about finding love. If she doesn’t feel it, you’re gone.” Yawn.) Also, did Jordan bring that pink blankey with him? From what we know about him thus far, my guess is yes.

Anywhoodle – we’ve got the first date card to get to, which reads, “I’m ready for my big day!” Going on this mystery date are: Clay, Nick, Chris R., David, Jean Blanc, Jordan, Connor, and Lincoln. Becca notes that on her first date with Arie that she got pampered, and now she’d like to do the same for her mens. And pamper she does, taking them to a swanky barn to don tuxedos. Becca’s no dummy – she stands in the middle of the room while the men change. (I am not embarrassed to admit that I rewound that vision of Lincoln and his abs more than once. Research, people!) Of course, Jordan is the most at home in this environment, claiming, “As far as being clothed and being comfortable, that’s what makes me, me.” Yes, in this case the clothes truly do make the man – because there is nothing else there.

Beer Two

Did you think they were going to lounge around and drink champagne after getting fitted in their penguin suits? The guys sure did! But this is The Bachelorette, and there is no rest for the wicked. They are lead to a field where Rachel Lindsay and Brian Abasolo are waiting to help Becca with the “Groomsday” challenge. Rachel could not look cuter, per usual, and I’m finally starting to warm up to Brian – especially when Rachel makes a not so veiled reference regarding the importance of cunnilingus. If you’re gonna give up Peter Krauss, there’d better be a prize and it sounds like Brian got the memo. Woot!

The “Groomsday” challenge consists of the usual obstacle course the show loves so much – this one is wedding related, including: running with a ball and chain (ah, ABC, the bastion of feminism!), standing in a tub of freezing water to represent cold feet, charging “past your exes,” and a cake tasting. (It is here that Rachel references the importance of using one’s mouth, as the contestants must eat through cake to find a ring in which to propose with while using no hands. I live for her.) Lincoln wins, and is accused of cheating by the lesser men in the group. Meanwhile, Lincoln “proposes” and the two take an adorable photo together.

After showers that we don’t get to see (I demand a refund!), Becca and her suitors reconvene for the evening portion of their “date.” Lincoln pulls Becca aside first since they “got married” earlier that day, to the chagrin of the rest of the group. They have a sweet chat before Becca gives him a framed photo of their proposal. Then they kiss – a smooch that Lincoln says is, “…like flying to the moon on the wings of a Pegasus, while dancing with unicorns on a pot of gold.” I just wish there were more descriptors. You’re leaving me hanging, Lincoln!

Becca has some nice interactions with a few of the other men, including colognoisseur Jean Blanc, who’s starting to stand out more. Meanwhile, Connor gets bratty/fratty with Lincoln. Lincoln – obviously told to flaunt the photo by producers, begins to irritate the others by displaying his gift from Becca. It’s Connor who escalates the situation by grabbing the frame and hurling it into the pool where it shatters. (Who got to clean that mess up?) Lincoln is heartbroken and seeks Becca out to tell her about Connor’s aggression.

Some were calling Lincoln a tattletale, but I’m on his side – Connor’s actions were way out of whack and uncalled for, and the fact that he felt free to destroy Lincoln’s gift smacks of some serious entitlement. Becca needed to know what Connor was capable of, and she indeed calls Connor out for being agro, saying, “It’s too early for this. I’m looking for a man who can stay respectful and handle himself.” Connor is suitably embarrassed, but the damage has been done. Jean Blanc gets the rose!

Beer Three

Okay, now it’s time to chat about Garrett Gate. Even though he doesn’t have much of a presence in this episode, it’s important to address this info, so here it goes. For those of you who might’ve missed it, here’s the scoop. It all began when an Instagram account by the name of @imwatchingyuuo did a deep-dive on Garrett and found some nasty stuff (he repeatedly liked offensive posts, including memes mocking the Parkland shooting survivors, undocumented immigrants, and trans and genderqueer children, among other things of a similar nature). The IG account (it currently remains unknown who’s behind it) sent screenshots to Ashely Spivey, a former Bachelor contestant (Season 15 with Brad Womack) who is actively outspoken about social injustices on Twitter. (We need more people like Ashley who are willing to stand up, no matter what. Believe me, she’s taking a lot of heat for this and has stood strong against the backlash. #belikeashley) Ashely did her own research to confirm the “likes” were not fabricated and then went on to shout about the grossness of his behavior on her account. It created enough noise that the story was picked up by Huffington Post writers Claire Fallon and Emma Gray, as well as catching the eye of professional spoiler “Reality Steve.” It has since been confirmed, via a statement from Garrett Yrigoyen himself, that he is responsible for the actions he took on social media. (Not, it should be noted, before first trying the, “My account got hacked,” before circling back with an apology.)

So… where to start with all this? Because there is a lot to unpack, and it is all very troubling. First off, what Garrett did was, and is, disgusting and wrong. He says in his apology that he, “…never realized the power behind a mindless double tap on Instagram and how it bears so much weight on people’s lives.” He’s never considered it because he’s never had to. That is white privilege and, specifically, white male privilege to not realize supporting hateful, hurtful, bigoted ideologies could bear weight on others. He is walking around with immunity and impunity. As Edmund Burke has famously said, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” Unfortunately, Garrett appears to be actively participating in a culture of hate. (Also, how could he not “realize” this? These are basic human standards of behavior and treatment taught in grade school. Garrett is a grown ass man. He’s waaaaaay too old not to know better.)

I theorized in my last recap that the producers knew of his history. I am currently 50/50 on this. (ABC will not confirm nor deny prior knowledge of the IG likes. No surprise on the lack of confirmation, but they are courting controversy and need to responsibly address it.)  On one side, they’ve done it before, knowingly throwing racist Lee Garrett into the suitor mix during Rachel Lindsay’s season. (A move that was stomach-churningly cruel and unnecessary. It was a horrible thing to do to Rachel, as well as to the other black contestants who had to remain in close quarters with him for weeks. Kenny’s confrontation with Lee made my heart hurt. Kenny is a lovely, gorgeous man, – it is time to crown him the next Bachelor! Meanwhile Lee has never taken responsibility for his actions and has talked about how hot hate-monger Tomi Lahren is on Twitter; so that’s where that stands.) The Rachel, Lee, Kenny storyline was an insensitive and ill-advised trolling for ratings using racism. It didn’t go well for ABC. So why put themselves, or their participants, in that position again? (ABC is, of course, the same network that recently canceled Roseanne after Barr’s scandalous tweet; which is great and was a much needed action, but that does not give them a pass to ignore this.)

And… on the other hand, Garrett Y. linked to the S.W.O.R.D. international website in his bio and was told by producers to remove it, as it was not “a good look.” (S.W.O.R.D. International is an organization committed to providing military, law enforcement, and civilians with small arms. In short, guns. S.W.O.R.D. stands for “Special Warfare Operations Research and Development.”) So they had to, at the very least, have an inkling of his views.

Again, why do this to Becca? I don’t get it. Is it fun to trick someone? And why would they willingly want to ruin the entire season? Because that’s what this has done. Who’s going to be rooting for him or their love story if he moves forward?

In a rare move, Becca has been allowed to address the press – she said in an interview that she hopes people will, “…keep an open mind.” ABC’s Senior Vice President of Alternative Series, Robert Mills, also spoke to Entertainment Weekly, saying, “It’s likes, not things he actually posted…” But here’s the thing: HE LIKED THEM. That means he is following those accounts and likes the content, is interested in the content, finds the content amusing/resonating and so on. I, personally, do not “like” content that would call a mass shooting survivor a “crisis actor” (one of the most abhorrent terms I’ve ever heard), I do not find racism even remotely entertaining, and I don’t think the image of a child being thrown over a wall funny. Those are things I find deeply offensive and disturbing – they are things that don’t resonate with my ideologies. So, while it’s true that Garrett did not post these images to his account, it is social media that he follows, actively/repeatedly sought out, consumed, AND LIKED.

Yes, he did apologize, and they were thoughtful words. But they remain merely words until he shows true change through consistent action. (Some have questioned his sincerity: both in the apology and whether he wrote it on his own, or if ABC “made” him craft it, as well as his decision to immediately open another IG account.)

I feel bad for Becca. We all go through having bad pickers in our 20’s, but 99.9% of us don’t have to see it play out on national television. She is in a quandary. Meanwhile, we can no longer pretend reality television is merely a mindless distraction. In this climate, that luxury doesn’t exist. We must remain vigilant against the potential dangers it presents.

Beer Four

And we’re back! Were you hoping this episode might include a little lovey-dovey action? It does, thanks to Blake! Blake receives the first one on one date card: “Let’s lose control.” Becca and Blake (their names sound good together) hop in a limo, only to arrive… at a deserted warehouse where they are confronted with Chris Harrison brandishing a sledgehammer. What the what?! Turns out Chris (aka the producers) believes the only way for Becca to move on from Arie is to smash stuff that reminds her of Arie. (One thing that might help Becca get over her ex is not having to talk about him every freaking second, but that’s just me.) Becca, ever gracious, agrees to play along. She and Blake don jumpsuits and goggles, grab hammers, are met by Lil Jon, who treats them to a personally DJ’d version of “Turn Down For What,” where they then proceed to smash a room full of Arie-related shit. It looks fun, and I’m sure it was satisfying – but aren’t we giving Arie a little too much credit here? I’m not sure there’s going to be any room left in Scottsdale after this ego swell.

They’re finally allowed to brush off the broken glass and exit the warehouse. They later meet up at The Warwick to stare at each other across untouched food. It is here where Blake, the After The Final Rose suitor who arrived on a horse and showed up in the first Bachelorette episode on an ox, finally starts to shine. The two seemed to genuinely connect while talking about their exes. (Thank god, I don’t want to go one minute without being reminded of Arie, Arie, Arie.) Blake shares that he and his former flame had just exchanged words of, “I love you” when he noticed that things seemed off in the immediate days following. He learned while at her house (“It was a Tuesday morning. She was in the bathroom…”), via texts coming through from her friends asking how the breakup was going, that they were no longer on the same page. Damn. He doesn’t offer – or didn’t receive – an explanation for the sudden turnaround, but does still seem quite broken up about it. He theorizes that it was ultimately a good thing because he knows he can feel deeply. We obviously know what happened on Becca’s end, and she shares a similar sentiment before they share their first kiss. I gotta admit that I thought Blake was really goofy, but he’s stepped up in this segment to become a legit contender and I’m here for it! (One of my dear Twitter pals called it early, spotting their connection the first night, so here’s a shout-out to her eagle eye and kick-ass intuition.) Thank goodness he’s one of the decent ones – this show needs a little romance. Becca says, “It’s the beginning of our story, and I like it so far.” Same. He gets a rose.

Beer Five

And from hubba hubba to verbal abuse, because The Bachelorette likes to keep us on our toes! Next up is another group date: “Love comes at you hard and fast.” Heading out on this round are: Garrett, Rickey, John, Ryan, Alex, Chris, Trent, Leo, Wills, and Colton. That leaves Jason (upbeat Patrick Bateman) and Mike (man bun sports analyst) left out of all the dates this week. Ouch.

The group arrives at a gym in some snazzy outfits, where they’re met with a trio of elementary-aged children who are terrifying. They hurl insults at the contestants, all while chatting about Arie, and are generally hilarious. The guys engage in a game of dodge ball, with Christon (the former Harlem Globetrotter), who has zero reservations about repeatedly pelting Becca with a ball in order to knock her out of the competition. Um, maybe not the best strategy?

They then gather for more dodge ball – this time at a fancy gym, with the game taking place on an interconnected web of trampolines. I want to go to there. Chris Harrison and Fred Willard emcee the event – a thinly-veiled ruse so they can make puns about balls. Chris looks thrilled. Fred makes everyone uncomfortable, and Leo emerges as the all-star.

Thank god Becca got a little sugar from Blake, because the evening portion of this date brings more dramz. It starts out promisingly enough. She pulls Garrett aside because, “…he’s easy on the eyes.” (How?) We’d potentially be rooting for them if we didn’t have the info we do, but that’s not the world we live in now, so moving on. She also has a lovely time with Wills, who emerges from their conversation as a potential frontrunner.

But then… Colton pulls her aside to make a shocking confession, and from there it all goes to shit. Colton’s big bomb is that he, “…spent a weekend with Tia, but the timing wasn’t right to grow a spark into a flame.” Oh, I didn’t realize Hallmark was crafting, “I boned your friend, but then realized I’d rather be on TV than in her” cards. How quaint!

Becca looks absolutely crestfallen. It becomes clear she’d been eyeing Colton as a potential top three, admitting she was really excited about him and attracted to him. Personally I don’t think Tia Booth deserves girl code, considering the way she treated baby Bekah Martinez, and also given the context of this Colton situation. That said, Becca is an upstanding gal and this info obviously has her shook. She tells him that she needs time to think, and it’s clear she’s hesitant about getting invested further. Thanks to Colton’s revelation, Becca is now feeling deflated and unsure of who else might be hiding secrets. And it’s only week two, so this should be fun! Not.  Wills receives the rose this round.

Beer Six

Now it’s time for the cocktail party and Rose Ceremony! Becca enters in a stunning royal blue sequined dress that the guys ooh and ahh over. At least they’re getting one thing right! Clay tries to woo her with football. Silicon John goes analog and reads her a poem, crafted on paper. Trying explaining that when you get back to the Valley, Bromeo! Connor comes crawling, begging for a fresh start. Jordan strips down to his undies and wraps himself in a pink fur blanket. How did Becca not fall for the Pensive Gentleman right then and there?! David, the man in the chicken costume, and Jordan get in a kerfuffle, with David accusing him of “fowl” play for being in his underwear at a party. It’s too good.

Colton pulls Becca aside, but I fear it might be too late for our hunky football player turned philanthropist. He claims he will be there for Becca, “…110% percent,” and that she’ll, “…never have doubt” with him. Um, I’m pretty sure that ship has sailed.

And now for the festival of roses, with flowers going to: Chris R., Jason, John, Clay, Mike (the man bun lives to see another round, despite no dates!), Connor (barely), Leo, David, Garrett (boo!), Nick, Brian, Christon, Jordan, Lincoln, and Colton (surprise!). Jean Blanc, Blake, and Wills already have secured spots for next week. That means Trent, Alex, and Rickey are going home, but not before Alex has a complete meltdown in the driveway with a tearful plea for love. I personally would’ve kept Alex – he looks like he could be a Duplass cousin and he seems sweet. But hey, to each her own!

Verdict

The girls come for a spa date next week, which means it’s about to get even more awkward for Colton when he and Tia come face to face in front of Becca. Meanwhile Jordan brags about his “professionality,” and I have to research whether his claim that there are less than 100 male Wilhelmina models has any veracity.

As noted, our fate hangs in the balance, ironically due to more balls. So I’ll either see you back here Wed. June 13th or Thurs. June 14th depending on what happens on the court. All I know is no one is going to the White House! Until then, friends.

*You can also follow Jenna Zine for live tweets during the broadcast. We hope you enjoy – we welcome your comments and shares!

The Bachelorette(2018): Season 14, Episode 2

Take a Drink: every time someone has the gall to mention Arie.

Take a Drink: every time Becca says, “I’m not gonna lie…” It’s this episode’s, “Let’s do the damn thing.”

Take a Drink: every time Jordan says something quotable. He may be annoying, but no one can deny that he comes up with the best lines!

Take a Drink: every time someone makes a ball pun.

Do a Shot: for Becca as we watch her die a little inside when she hears Colton’s news. (Psst… Tia’s not worth it!)

About Jenna Zine

Jenna Zine is a writer, unashamed Bachelor franchise live-tweeter (@JennaZine1) and recapper, lapsed drummer, and occasional standup comic. She's probably somewhere complaining about her bangs right now. Find more at www.jennazine.com

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