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The Bachelor: Episode 8 Fantasy Recap

"The Bachelor" (Drew Cason / ABC)

The past week has been a confusing and frustrating one for Bachelor fans.  Following Episode 7 of The Bachelor (which reduced the field to 4 women), ABC publicly named the next Bachelorette.  This was not an unheard of move—Bachelors and Bachelorettes have been named before the end of the season plenty of times in the past.  So… what made this move completely unprecedented and (dare I say) completely moronic?  The new Bachelorette has not yet been eliminated from the show.

That’s right—Rachel (who we at the RSJ love) has been declared the next Bachelorette.  And while Rachel has not yet been eliminated from the show, I’ll tell you what has been eliminated: any pretense of suspense or gripping drama.  And if I can’t be pulled in by fairy tale-like wonderment, what do I have?  Nothing.  That’s what.

You think Nick Viall is going to marry (or even pretend to marry) Corinne and her nanny?  I think not.  Is Nick going to be marrying Arkansas Raven?  Don’t make me laugh; she is from Arkansas.  Vanessa is the winner—she’s going to get the trophy.  The biggest problem for her?  The trophy happens to be Nick Viall.  This is a great example of the winner being the ultimate loser, kind of like when the Houston Texans won the Brock Osweiler Sweepstakes.

I cannot even begin to speculate what ABC was thinking by informing us that 1 of the only 2 real remaining contenders did not win with weeks still to go. 

So now we get to see the road that will lead to Nick and Vanessa getting married?  Wow, that seems so… boring.  I am going to do my best to keep this interesting—I really am.  Because if we can’t trust a huge corporation like ABC to have our backs and not ruin our entertainment, who can we trust?  This is when we need to lean on each other, people.  And The Truth is here for you. 

THE EPISODE

Our episode begins with the remaining 4 women all sitting around talking about Kristina like she’s dead.  Nick comes in with some roses and starts giving some dumbass speech and wipes a tear away because whereas a few minutes ago he had 5 women throwing themselves at him and now that number has been reduced to 4.  Unless he decides to become a Mormon before the end of the show, Nick will eventually end up with 1 lousy woman out of the entire harem he used to possess and rule like God incarnate.  And that would make any “man” cry like a little girl.

Anyway, all these women get a Final 4 rose and get their fantasy owners 5 points apiece.

Now let’s get on with the hometown dates.

RAVEN

We start in beautiful Hoxie, Arkansas where US Highways 63 and 67 intersect and where the town motto is “If you have any bars on your cell phone, we’d be shocked.”  Raven rides up to Nick past what appears to be a swamp on an ATV.  She makes Nick get on the back of it like the bitch he is and speeds away.

Raven lists the fun things to do in Hoxie as mudding, frog digging, and making confessionals outside of grain bins.  When you have a meaningful conversation in Hoxie you have it near a grain bin, she explains as she takes him to a seemingly out of the way grain bin.

Almost immediately, a cop pulls up because they are trespassing, and grain bin trespassing is one of the biggest problems plaguing the town–along with rampant illiteracy and incest.  Of course it’s just reality TV, but it has to at least occur to Nick in passing that it’s possible his big city douchebaggery may not impress the Hoxie, Arkansas police force.  Nick is all nervous.  The cop gives him the small town cop shake down to let him know he doesn’t much like out of towners especially when they are lurking around grain bins and that if Nick so much as gives him a glance he doesn’t care for he’d have no problem murdering him, weighing his corpse down with bags of grain from this very grain bin, and chucking him in the swamp where he would never in a million years be found.  The cop ends up being her brother so things are OK for now, but you get the impression Nick might not want to spend a whole lot of time in Hoxie after he rejects Raven.

Now they are each on an ATV and are like racing each other through the mud.  You really could leave a body here and no one would ever know.  Nick and Raven strip down a little and basically wrestle in the mud and make out (+1).  They are going to go meet Raven’s family; hopefully they will be taking showers first.

Nick and Raven walk up to a modest Arkansas home.  There ain’t gonna be no live-in foreign nanny servant up in this bitch, I can tell you that.  Raven has only brought one other man home in her life, so this is a big deal.  Her parents tell her that her father is cancer-free now, so I guess now Nick can stop feeling sorry for them and can leave.  He is a true gentleman so he stays for the rest of the date.  Raven cries (-2).

Raven talks to her father and it’s kind of touching I guess but I don’t want to watch this shit because it is boring and I’m American and I demand more.  Now she talks to her mom which is equally boring.  I mean, they seem like nice people, but there are SO many nice-seeming people that I do NOT want to watch on TV for even a second.  The mom asks Raven if she can say “I love you” to Nick, because that would be her only concern.  REALLY?  That is her ONLY concern?  I can think of a few other potential red flags off the top of my head, but I’ve always been kind of a worrier so maybe I’m putting too much stock in the fact that he is dating 3 other women currently, has proposed to 2 other women in the past year or so, and is a world class jerk-off.

Now Nick talks to her father.  He asks him if he would be OK with it if they got engaged.  The father says he didn’t expect to like Nick but he does, so yes.  He thinks it would “satisfy” him.  It is a truly underwhelming endorsement but it doesn’t matter at all because he ain’t picking her and Hoxie, Arkansas is about to be in his rearview mirror forever.

Raven then talks to Nick at the end and (in a kind of humorous twist) cannot bring herself to say “I love you” to him.  They part and there isn’t much as far as sparks go.

RACHEL

Nick next travels to Dallas to meet Rachel’s family.  They make out as soon as they meet (+1).  Rachel says she is going to take him somewhere he’s never been.

Now this is exciting—the possibilities are endless.  Maybe he’s going to somehow meet the Dallas Cowboys.  Maybe they’ll be eating at the best rib joint in the country.  Maybe she’s into some crazy shit and they’re going to a don’t ask-don’t tell after hours fetish club.  When the dust has cleared and his head stops spinning, they end up in… church.

Nick, although he does look horribly uncomfortable, rolls with this punch fairly well.  Personally, I would have turned to her, given her a hearty handshake, and literally run the other direction as fast as my legs could carry me.  If I saw her again at the reunion show, great.  If not, hey, that’s great too.  She says she wanted to know how comfortable Nick would be in a black church.  Nick says he would love for this to be a regular thing they do as a couple.  He is clearly lying.

They debrief afterward.  Most of what they talk about is how she’s black and he’s white, which I appreciated because I hadn’t noticed that prior to this little talk so it was good for me to get the multiple reminders.

They show up at her house and it’s pretty nice.  He’s clearly nervous.  The dad “couldn’t be there” because of work.  Yeah, right.  They go in and it’s all these black women and another doofy white guy who is married to her older sister, who is very attractive.  (#ConstanceIsHot) At dinner, Rachel asks Nick if he knows what everything on his plate is.  He does, for the most part.  But I pick up on the double entendre even if he does not.

The sister and her geeky white husband take her aside and they chat.  Nick and the white guy do the secret white guy handshake when the women aren’t looking to congratulate each other on being with black women who are way out of their leagues.   I would maybe watch him if he had a spinoff show.

When the mom talks to Nick, she asks if he’s ever dated a black girl.  No, he hasn’t.  There’s a lot of random bull shitting from Nick.  When the mom talks to Rachel, she talks about race a lot and seems acutely aware that they are on TV.  It’s pretty boring and I demand to be entertained.

At the end of all this, Nick and Rachel make out (+1).  I question how much Rachel really wants to be with Nick.

CORINNE

Down in Miami, he meets up with Corinne and they make out (+1).  She takes him… shopping!  If you spent the entire season thinking that there was perhaps a lot more depth to Corinne than we saw, there isn’t.  She is possibly the most shallow person I’ve ever seen.  They try on all these clothes.  And it’s one of those stores where the guy in the store brings them champagne while they try on their stuff.  She buys Nick some stuff and their total bill is over 3,000 dollars.  At least he’s going to leave this with a douchey outfit.

Later, they are eating.  She tells him she realizes how deep her feelings are for him and that she loves him.  He responds immediately by making out with her to shut her up.  Of course, he doesn’t say it back.  She says to the camera later that she knows he can’t say it back, but she is wrong about this.  He can.  He chose not to.

Now they approach some big pink tacky apartment building that I guess is where Corinne’s family has some upscale living space.  Her family seems way trashier than Raven’s Arkansas family.  Nick also gets to meet Raquel the Nanny.

Raquel is serving them food and waiting on them hand and foot but does get to sit and eat with them and the mom makes a point of saying she’s part of the family and “there’s some stuff she couldn’t even do without Raquel”.  This is not altogether surprising because the mother, who looks like she has been through multiple botched plastic surgeries, appears to be heavily under the influence of a potent combination of alcohol and prescription drugs.  It all makes me really uncomfortable.

They eat olives and Nick says he likes it but you get the impression he had to say that since they were all kind of staring at him menacingly and if he didn’t like them that would have been a deal breaker–in hindsight maybe his most graceful exit available.

The father takes Corinne aside.  They lie down on a big bed facing each other and each have a drink.  Is this what dads do with their 24 year old daughters?  It seems really weird to me.  They are just drinking and drinking and are very cozy on that bed.

Nick is talking to Raquel and explaining the situation to her.  She responds in broken English.  I am so uncomfortable.

Later, the father is talking to Nick and spends a while teaching him how to hold his liquor glass.  I think this is easily the 4th drink I’ve seen this guy have since this visit started and that may be conservative.  All this guy cares about is his daughter “having the finer things in life”.  He seems to have nothing to say about Nick’s character or anything like that.  He just wants Corinne to be able to continue her obscene shopping habits.

This family is soooo trashy.  Fuck these guys.  They’re just a bunch of idiot drunks who have made some money in the garage flooring business and think they own the world.  This is like the least appealing family I have ever seen.  I would rather pretend I was having fun at church or maybe get threatened by the police in Arkansas than spend an evening with them.

VANESSA 

Finally, Nick meets up with Vanessa in Montreal.  They go to the special needs school Vanessa teaches at.  All the students (they are adults, by the way) are there and greet them.  Eventually, they are surrounded by her special needs students and they chat for a while and then she has them make a scrap book about their adventures which ends up being good, clean fun.

She tells Nick her parents are not together and get along but are not best friends, so they will be visiting them separately.  They make out (+1) because of this sexy back and forth.

Vanessa and Nick show up to meet the first part of her broken family, whose support is very important to her.  Her mom’s family is large and loud and Italian, and her 2 best friends are there too.  It’s a lot to handle.

The older sister talks to Nick and is pushing him on having conversations about where they are going to live and stuff—which it seems like they have not had.  She then tells Nick she will hate him if he breaks Vanessa’s heart.  I cannot imagine that hate or lack of hate from someone you literally met 10 minutes earlier being what tips the scales in any particular direction, but she puts it out there anyway.

Now Vanessa is talking to I guess a younger brother who looks like the type of kid who would drive a low-level mob guy around but would think he was a bad ass because of it.  Vanessa cries (-2) while talking to him; evidently her last break up was difficult.

The sister talks to Vanessa now.  Vanessa seems like a nice person but the fact that she is going to fall for Nick Viall on a reality dating show makes me think she is damaged in some way.  Her job is appealing to me, but she comes off as a little nuts and immature the more she talks about this whole situation with Nick.  Eventually they leave and go to meet with her father’s side of the family.

Nick and Vanessa show up at her dad’s house.  It is clear when they walk in that the mother won the divorce.  Unlike the mom’s place where friends and families poured out of every doorway and nook in the place, it is just the father and his wife at location #2.  It is a much quieter scene.  Dad immediately takes Nick aside to have words with him.

He asks what he finds so special about Vanessa compared to the other women he is currently dating.  Nick talks about stupid shit like “the vibe” and his comfort level.  Nick talks about how much he respects Vanessa, and her father responds with “but you went to 3 other women’s families, too”.  Nick asks if her father would be OK with it if they got married.  The father says he can’t give Nick his blessing just like that.  He wants to know if he asked all the other families for their blessing, too.  Nick says in a way he “ran it by them”.  The father isn’t having any dumb evasive answers like that and is like, “what do you mean you ran it by them?  Yes or no?”  Then Nick admits that yes, he did.

Vanessa’s father goes, “so you want to get engaged to my daughter?  You’re asking for my blessing, what does that mean to you?”  Nick rambles a little and is very uncomfortable with good reason because he is a total sleaze ball and the father knows it.

Later on, the father is talking to Vanessa and tells her about Nick asking for his blessing.  Vanessa, still with an elevated sense of her importance in all this, is like “oh my god that’s a really big deal.”  Her father then points out that there are 3 other women involved.  Naïve as ever, Vanessa inquires if he asked all of them for their blessings too because that would be a game changer—which it clearly will not be.   The father tells her that in fact he did ask all the other families.  Oh my God, now she questions everything!!!!!  I haven’t seen this much smoke and this many mirrors since the Great Fun House Fire of ’34.

Vanessa and Nick go talk.  They say their good byes.  He will clearly pick her, but we are now supposed to think he won’t.

THE CLIFFHANGER

We’re back in NYC and Nick is drinking a cappuccino or some shit on a balcony looking pensive.

All the women are talking to the camera at various times about how they did or didn’t tell Nick they loved him and how that might or might not end up being the difference.  Vanessa cries again (-2) talking about how he might like other women still.

We see a woman from behind walking through the halls of the hotel heading towards Nick’s room.  I am pretty sure we are supposed to think it is Vanessa, but I immediately recognize the mystery woman because I used to be a big fan of hers.

There is a knocking at Nick’s door.  It is Andi Dorfman, the first of the 2 women who rejected Nick’s marriage proposal on national TV, and in my opinion the hottest Bachelorette ever.

Image result for andi dorfman and nick viall

“Hello, Nick,” she says tersely.

Although this will not make up for the premature announcing of Rachel as the next Bachelorette, I am happy to see Andi.

TO BE CONTINUED… 

Fantasy Scoring Summary

Corinne: 6 points (final 4 rose, making out)

Rachel: 7 points (final 4 rose, making out x 2)

Raven: 6 points (final 4 rose, making out)

Vanessa: 2 points (final 4 rose, making out, crying x 2)

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