Last week's Bachelorette gave us some pretty blah one-on-one dates, right? You had Andi and Brian cooking food, which on paper is wonderfully intimate and a great test of natural chemistry. And then you have the execution, which is Brian talking awkwardly about the mashed potatoes his mother used to make (always with the mothers on this show) while "0% sexual compatibility" blinks like a gas meter on my heads-up-display. Andi, you can tell me all you want about how Brian "redeemed" himself by forcefully kissing you later, but we in the viewing audience see a guy who's got only one power move. Returns will diminish over time!
I don't know -- most of the guys still competing echo this concern, from clear frontrunner Josh M. all the way to self-proclaimed frontrunner Nick V. They've each got one move, and little conversational dexterity. Maybe that's what Andi wants?
(I'm starting to realize that, as a heterosexual male recapper of a show designed for women, I'm probably not experiencing The Bachelorette as God/Mike Fleiss intended. I get disappointed when Andi picks the boring guys, or seems to be headed that direction. I want so much more for us, Andi! I mean you!)
(Sorry, this is getting weird.)
A NOTE: Sling, one of my least favorite words/companies in the world, is once again failing to do the thing it's been designed to do, namely stream television from a cable box to a computer. So I'm looking at jaggy frame rates, and practically no dialogue. AWESOME. I'l be recapping this episode as a series of still images, hoping to make some sense of it.
9:53pm: Who's going home?
JJ. JJ's going home, in spite of the best date of the whole show so far. He looks crushed, as I would, too.
Presumably one other guy, too, though I'm getting images so slowly that I think it may have already happened. According to Twitter: no one!
(Just remembered Cody went home about 30 minutes ago. What an episode!)
9:44pm: Weeding out the duds
That's not fair. They're not duds. But let's be honest -- most of the guys still left are pretty bland. Maybe Andi's bland. Maybe I'm projecting. Maybe the version of love and feeling I know is more "This Must Be The Place" than The Bachelorette and, sound or not, it's impossible to take this shit remotely seriously.
But anyway, that's what I'm presuming Harrison is picking Andi's brain about. I mean he has to -- it's right before the Rose Ceremony, the last one before Hometown dates*. Time to make some decisions tonght.
*Which I'm going to do everything in my power to watch live PST, completely detached from Sling and the potential for a heart attack at 28
Suit jackets. Gentle conversation. Is Brian the secret admirer? That was my guess all along.
Josh makes what sounds like a smart comment about vulnerability, and putting himself out there when maybe Andi has not been so forthcoming on her end.
But no time for reflection, Chris Harrison has just "hey guys"ed his way into the room to tell them shit's about to get kicked up to 11, again.
9:23pm: Is Cody the secret admirer?
He seems to be reading from something, which might suggest that yes, it is he! Or who knows, there could be multiple "secret admirers" the same way there were multiple Scream mask killers in Scream 2.
Andi looks kind of pissed? And kind of teary? See, now is the kind of moment I wish this connection were actually fucking working.
Best guess: Andi came clean with the fact that she's just not feeling it with Cody (why couldn't it be Codi, with an i? Missed opportunities...) and sent him home. Or she found out he was working for the CIA. I can't know for sure.
9:13pm: You know how this story ends, right, Cody?
Andi's walking around Venice with Cody, who's a sweetheart but come on -- the guy's days are so clearly numbered. Isn't it just sort of cruel and unusual punishment to keep him hanging around?
Now they're somewhere, with some woman. Andi's wearing a sharp turtleneck. Who knows what they're talking about or doing.
9:00pm: Continuing the cocktail party conversations
Josh is wearing a scarf that says both "I'm sensitive" and "I'm cold," two great qualities in a mate. They make out.
Chris wears a turtleneck, also desirable in a mate. They make out.
Only line of dialogue I can make out, from Andi: "there are some really confusing feelings." Tell us about it! (Or don't, because at least with my television setup right now, you can't.)
8:48pm: Reading the polygraph results
What I'm presuming we learned:
- Marcus has never read a newspaper before
- Brian is still infatuated with his mother
- Josh M. is there for the "right reasons"
- JJ is actually terrified of pants, despite being a pantsapreneur
- Chris is just a nice guy, you know
Quick check-in on Cody, back at the Italian villa, kvitzing over something. Maybe he forgot to pack protein powder on this leg of the trip?
Cocktail party. Andi's looking fantastic, which actually makes this frozen image scenario not so bad. For 30 seconds I've just been looking at Andi looking at Marcus. She's a beautiful woman.
8:34pm: Italian Grouper
Oh Christ, another letter from Andi's "secret admirer"? I hope the police show up when the guy finally reveals himself (hahaha RIGHT AS ANDI BOOTS HIM FROM THE SHOW) and taze him mercilessly in an extended, unedited shot. Not that I think anyone on this show -- or in life -- should necessarily play by "the rules," but don't be so middle school when you break them.
All the guys who aren't Nick V. make their way to...a monastery? A wine cellar? I don't know what's going on. Maybe they're about to MMA fight in a Renaissance era castle. I hope they MMA fight in a Renaissance era castle.
Wait, I think I get it now -- lie detector test, with presumably Italy's finest policemen administering. Or two Bachelorette producers posing as Italians. Who knows!
In any case, how fucked up is a lie detector test for a dating show? Obviously no one should get mad at a show that's in no way rooted in reality, but if I were a guy on this show who did feel something for Andi, romantically, I'd be deeply insulted to be hooked up to a fucking polygraph. Probably I'm overreacting because I'm so butthurt at Sling, but I don't know -- I imagine I'd feel the same way, maybe moreso, if I were actually watching this show as intended.
8:22pm: Tuxedo dinner time!
We're back! And if that frozen image on my screen means anything, it is now night. What little audio I can pick up on yields Nick saying the word "belong," which is pretty much what you'd imagine him saying. Maybe coupled with "We" and "in this moment," or something similarly Magnepoetry.
They both look nice as they eat at a quiet table. "It's hard to imagine" gets spat out of my speakers, and I can at least tell Andi and Nick are talking about his relationship with the other guys. Andi's upset that he's not one of the bros, which makes sense. He's a narcissist! But Andi seems not to mind, reaching out for the Rose as she notes that the guy takes responsibility for himself.
Nick's going Top Two and losing to Josh M, I can feel it.
8pm: Gondola make-out party for two
Nick, far and away the lamest/douchiest guy left on the show, gets the first one-on-one date: a gondola ride through the canals of Venice, Italy. Naturally, it's romantic -- how could it not be -- and based on body language alone, more comfortable for Andi than her date with Brian last week.
But look closely at Nick's eyes, or the spot where human eyes should be but have been replaced by advanced robot imaging hardware, and you'll notice nothing but raw fear and anxiety. His lips probably say something like "I could live in this moment forever" but the rest of him's screaming GET ME TO THE FINISH LINE, MAN, I'M A WINNER AND WINNERS WIN.
You know what? I'm having way more fun watching the show this way than the usual (read: appropriate and normal) way.