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Welcome back to The Bachelor, the story of 30 women who are “literally trying to win over their fiancé.”
I can now say with near certitude that Rachel Lindsay will debut next season as the franchise’s first black bachelorette. This is good news for obvious historical reasons but mainly because it means dearly beloved Rachel is not destined to spend her life with Slenderma — I mean, Nick. Congratulations, Rachel. We are all, literally, thrilled.
Speaking of Slenderman, this episode opens with Nick crying and there does it go more often than any of us are comfortable. From the outset, it appears Nick is leaning in to the permission feminists gave men to express emotions other than anger (honestly, you’re not welcome). Still, one can’t help but suspect that his mom once told him “women like a man who’s not afraid to cry,” and he ran—nay, sprinted—with that misled piece of advice.
Nick is crying in this particular instance, because after three seasons of failed attempts to find love on national television, he’s wondering if it might be slightly less painful and publicly humiliating to simply download Tinder. The women are, understandably, pissed off by the prospect of their season getting cut short just because some little pussy bitch is having an identity crisis. What about Thailand??? Bali??? Las Vegas??? They left their careers, their multi-million dollar businesses, their nanny/maid/best friend for this shit.
Because we’re working with some classy ass bitches this season, they disguise their anger as concern, and it works! Nick feels seen&held© and decides that maybe he does want to spend the night with some of these women in the Fantasy Suite after all. Besides, never forget: falling in love is in his contract.
Nick manages to stop crying long enough to announce that they’ll next be flying to Bimini, and in a shocking plot twist, every single woman seems to be intimately acquainted with where and what that is. Shouts of BIMINI BIMINI BIMINI echo through the hallway with the same lilt of excitement as Don Draper’s children screaming DADDY after he gets home from a long day of sleeping with women who aren’t his pregnant wife EVEN THOUGH HIS CHEATING ALMOST TORE APART THEIR FAMILY LAST SEASON.
Whatever. Good for these women for being geographically cultured. I, personally, had never heard of Bimini, and maybe that’s my parents’ fault for raising me wrong.
Anyway, they fly to Bimini, and once there, Nick takes a chance and gives Vanessa her first second one-on-one. The date takes place on a yacht. How they put Vanessa on a yacht knowing what they do about how her body reacts to transportation, I do not know. These producers have a seriously compromised ethical code. The date only becomes more shocking when it turns out Vanessa is expected to don snorkeling gear, jump from the yacht into the shark-filled water, and make out with Nick beneath the waves.
If you watch closely, Nick’s underwater make out strategy is to assemble his floating body on top of Vanessa’s so that she is fully submerged and unable to breathe but his snorkel is still getting him air from above. This is the closest to murder I’ve ever seen on this show and who among us wasn’t constantly on edge during Chris Soules’ season?
Later, Vanessa pretends that what we all clearly witnessed never happened and only has this to say about the date: “That was my first time on a yacht, that was my first time walking on a yacht, that was my first time jumping off a yacht, that was my first time giving a man a discreet above-the-pants handy on a yacht” and Nick is like “whoa whoa whoa Vanessa, so much information all at once, slow down,” and then she tells him she’s falling in love with him, and he’s like “you’re fine.”
Meanwhile, back at the Bimini island mansion, Corinne finds out she has once again been denied a one-on-one date even though that RAGING BITCH VANESSA “I’m Italian and my whole family gets together on Sundays to make pasta also I’m a special needs teacher” GRIMALDI got TWO.
The next day, Corinne, Raven, and Kristina get to go on a yacht that takes them to even more shark-infested waters than it took Vanessa. Corinne, who has up to now been the queen of group dates, becomes jealous when Nick puts sunscreen on Kristina’s vagina. Applying sunscreen to the cracks and crevices of these women’s bodies appears to consume 90 percent of Nick’s time and energy on this date. The other 10 percent of his time is spent comforting Kristina because girlfriend came TOO goddamn far from that Russian orphanage where she grew up to get eaten by a shark on national television. No THANK U ABC.
Later, Nick gives Raven the group date rose even though she has seemingly done nothing to deserve it. Perhaps Nick is remembering the way she described violently stabbing her ex-boyfriend with a stiletto heel.
Meanwhile, back at the mansion, Danielle receives an invitation from Nick to go on a date and play basketball with teenagers. She goes, but the only point at which Nick’s interest seems even mildly piqued by her presence is when he discovers that she calls her father “Daddy.” He confesses to the confessional camera that Danielle is “sweet,” but it’s hard to have a “natural conversation” with her. Nick ends up dumping her at dinner, and she pretends to be sad about it.
Poor Danielle. I can’t help but wonder if maybe reality television isn’t the best medium for what she has to offer the world.
Later, Corinne roams the hallway, searching for Nick’s hotel room in the hopes that her magical vagina will secure her a rose at the next ceremony. Nick, who is drinking alone when she knocks, invites her in. She attempts to make conversation, but Nick is not interested in conversation with a woman whose frontal lobe hasn’t yet finished developing (that’s a good thing!) and cuts her off with a kiss and a lil thigh squeeze.
They go into the bedroom, but Nick abruptly feigns godly reverence for sexual activity and sends Corinne back to her quarters with a tsk, tsk, tsk. It’s okay though—Corinne is only human and can’t help if embarrassing things happen to her, which is a lesson we would all do well to tuck away for our own rainy days.
Rachel gets the next one-on-one, and per usual, she brings out the best in Nick, but the only interesting moment on this date is when Nick awkwardly tries to get Rachel to talk about whether it will be weird for her family that he’s white.
“Do I look…different…from the men you usually bring home?” asks Nick and Rachel, who is far from a dumb bitch, picks up what he’s laying down.
“Yes,” she says, and that’s how we learn Nick Viall will be the first white man Rachel Lindsay has ever brought home to her daddy. I suppose, as white men go, he’s a reasonable example of one—mildly featureless, low-key sociopathic, weirdly hypocritical about sex, might be Slenderman.
Anyway, remember: she doesn’t end up with him, so none of this matters, and Rachel’s dad will likely meet more white men before this part of his daughter’s life is over.
Nick wraps up this episode by doing what we all knew he had to do before hometown dates—dump Kristina. I don’t think the Bachelor producers expected Kristina to come as far as she did. After all, no Russian ever has before on this show. And, sadly, one needs a hometown for hometown dates. Nick isn’t exactly going to fly to a Russian orphanage to meet—who? Madeline? Harry Potter? Oliver Twist? That’s not how this show works.
Join us next week to discover the true nature of Corinne and Raquel’s relationship.