‘The Bachelorette’: Tears of the clowns

The Bachelorette
June 29, 2015

Get the tissues handy, this week was all about crying. So much crying. ALL OF THE CRYING.

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As always, we begin where we left off in the previous episode: with Ryan Gosling knocking on Lenny Bruce’s door, and Lenny Bruce panicking that HE KNOWS WHAT SHE DID LAST NIGHT. (Wesley Snipes.) He does not know what she did last night.* Instead, he’s here to be all, “Hey, Girl, are you in love with me?”

are you in love with me bachelorette
No, literally, he straight-up asks her that. 

He then whines that, “Hey, Girl, it’s hard to watch you date other guys,” and worries that, “Hey, Girl, I don’t know if I can do this anymore.” And when I watched this episode the first time — because, yes, I actually watched this cry-fest twice last week for some God-forsaken reason — I thought that this was yet one more example of a contestant truly not understanding what show they were on. It happens all the time on this ridiculous series. But upon the second viewing, I’m pretty sure that the real problem is that Ryan Gosling here has never ever in his life ever had to compete for romantic attention. The fact that Lenny didn’t just stop production, grab the final rose from Chris Harrison and hand it over to Ryan Gosling’s pretty pretty face the moment he stepped out of the limousine on the first night clearly has Ryan Gosling completely baffled.

Ryan_Gosling what?
I mean, look at me!

And so Lenny Bruce kind of shrugs at him they kiss and she sends him away and nothing is resolved. But nonetheless, Lenny Bruce is sobbing hysterically in an interview (that actually appears to be taped later in the week — and which we will see again in the episode) because she’s pretty sure Ryan Gosling knows all about her doing sex things with Wesley Snipes and chose not to say something for some reason. Poor Lenny is giving Ryan Gosling waaaaaay too much credit.

The next morning, Lenny Bruce makes a bunch of sad noises about not wanting to disappoint people, but if Ryan Gosling can’t do this, if he decides to leave, Lenny Bruce rationalizes, she needs to continue sexploring her relationships with other men. And in that vein, she’s off on her two-on-one date with Unemployed and Cletus.

The trio take a boat to an island called Ireland’s Eye, where they have a hideously awkward picnic lunch together and give a halfhearted cheers to the fact that Unemployed is “falling for” Lenny Bruce. At this point, Cletus takes Lenny off to another corner of the island to tell her that he really liked kissing her and that he, too, is falling in love with her. And everyone acts like this is completely plausible based on the seven minutes she’s spent with both of these guys, and not because producers told these two obvious not-frontrunners that their only chance of staying in the competition was to proclaim their love for her.

But whatever. Unemployed uses his time alone with Lenny Bruce to confess his “darkest secret”: that he cheated on his wife and lost everything but his D-Bag card as a result. “Welp, that’s gross and all I needed to hear,” Lenny doesn’t actually say when she informs Unemployed that it’s time he go back home to his daughter.

you're outta here
Bye, Unemployed! You should give Triceratops a call when you get back to the States!

But that doesn’t mean that Cletus just automatically gets the rose — he has to earn it by … hanging out with Lenny Bruce on some couch somewhere. It’s unclear where they are or what is happening. The bottom line is, he eventually does get the rose, and when he returns to the manherd’s hotel, he announces that he’s “falling in love” with Lenny, which just sets Ryan Gosling off again.

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And so, while Lenny Bruce is busily crying about disappointing people in the interview that we actually saw earlier in the episode, after the first time Ryan Gosling came to her room to whine at her, the producers stop her to inform her that Ryan Gosling is on his way to talk to her. Again. This leads to even MORE keening from Lenny Bruce that surely he knows what happens with Wesley Snipes this time, and that this is really, truly the end with Ryan Gosling.

Except, of course, that it isn’t. Instead, Ryan Gosling is like, “Hey, Girl, I didn’t express myself very clearly the last time I came to your room to talk, so I am here to try to explain my emotions to you more concretely. Hey, Girl, the thing is, you told me in San Antonio that I was ‘the one’ and so I don’t understand why you are dating these other guys.” Lenny Bruce can not believe her dumb luck (emphasis on “dumb”) and once she understands that this is about Ryan Gosling being a self-important idiot who doesn’t understand that he is just one of many contestants on a reality dating competition, she reminds him of the fact. “Hey, Dummy, you’re just one of many contestants on a reality dating competition, and this is how the game is played. Deal with it or leave,” she tells him, winning a sliver of my begrudging admiration. Hey, at least she’s not crying any more.

And then it’s time for the Rose Ceremony. Lenny Bruce begins the cocktail party by announcing to the men that she’s had a tough week and has made some mistakes.

huge-mistake

But she’s still here’s to find love, etc. While Wesley Snipes and Ryan Gosling know that they are, in fact, said mistakes, the other men FREAK OUT, each convinced that he, somehow, impossibly, is who she is referring to.

After Lenny Bruce chats privately with Franz: “ME LIKE YOU. ME KISS YOU IN IRELAND,” Lenny is taken aside by Other Ben, who flatly tells her that he knows that she said or did something with Ryan Gosling back in San Antonio, he doesn’t know what, and he doesn’t want to. But she needs to know that whatever it was, it was NOT COOL and he just wants to know whether or not he’s even got a shot here because he’d really rather not waste his time. Lenny Bruce cries and flaps her hands and thanks him for not “jumping to conclusions” even thought it sounds like that’s exactly what he’s doing.

Lenny Bruce, still terrified that it is going to be revealed that she made the sex with Wesley Snipes, finally takes him aside and says that some people were talking about just, exactly, how “romantic” their time was together — which is NOT AT ALL WHAT JUST HAPPENED WITH OTHER BEN, HE WAS TALKING ABOUT RYAN GOSLING. And now I am left to question Lenny Bruce’s listening skills, the editors’ editing skills or The Producers’ honesty skills. Maybe all of the above.

But whatever. The point is, she extracts a promise out of Wesley Snipes that he will not be ungentlemanly and discuss with any of the other men just how intimate they became. (All of the intimate.) The Producers, however, did not take any such oath.

Finally, Lenny chats with Ryan Gosling who has finally got it through that pretty blond brain of his that confronting her about dating other men while on a dating show was probably a mistake …

huge-mistake

… and tries to assure her that this is just a “bump” in their relationship that they can get past. Lenny Bruce looks skeptical because The Producers need to gin up some tension for the Rose Ceremony.

Speaking of: line up, lunks:

Rose #1: Other Ben
Rose #2: Dr. Cupcake
Rose #3: Ryan Gosling because OF COURSE Ryan Gosling.

This means slán, Franz. You seemed like a really nice guy and that whole fake funeral thing that they did to you was completely not OK. But it’s time to go home and comfort yourself with your protein shakes and lifting belts, baby. And slán, That Guy Named Tanner. I liked you for calling Wesley Snipes out as a slut-shamer, and I liked your poem about how Lenny Bruce didn’t even know your name, and I personally would have kept you around a lot longer, but I’m not The Bachelorette for any number of reasons, so you have to leave now.

you're outta here

So the next morning, the diminishing manherd wait for Lenny Bruce in front of a bus hilariously and insultingly enough named “The Paddywagon.” Lenny Bruce arrives in a Mini Cooper and announces that they are moving on to the next location, most of them via Paddywagon, but Cousin Max will join her in the car for a road trip date. The two joke and laugh in the car and take selfies, including this unfortunate cross-eyed one:

cross-eyed selfie bachelorette
NOT CUTE.

They eventually make their way to Blarney Castle where they kiss the Blarney Stone, for “good luck” according to Lenny Bruce. Fun fact! According to legend, the act of kissing the Blarney Stone is not to confer good luck, but is to endow the kisser with eloquence. The legend goes back to a lawsuit involving the builder of Blarney Castle, Cormac McCarthy — not to be confused with the author of The Road and All the Pretty Horses who is plenty eloquent enough. In the story, McCarthy prayed to an Irish goddess for help with the suit, she told him to kiss the first stone he saw in the morning, he did, and he won his suit. So then McCarthy built the stone into a ridiculously high point on the castle that is virtually impossible to actually kiss without developing a strong case of acrophobia. And now you know!

They eventually arrive at their final destination, some castle on the other side of the country. But just as Lenny Bruce says her goodnights to Cousin Max and tries to finally relax, who should show up but Chris Harrison wanting to talk.

oh-brother-tina-fey

After asking her if she’s really, honestly ready to meet these guys’ families (NO), making her confess all of her sundry sins, and then patting her on the back for feeling bad for making the sex with Wesley Snipes, Chris Harrison announces that they are going to change the rules on account of Lenny Bruce going and changing the rules. Instead of going to hometown dates next, Lenny Bruce has to reduce the current six men down to three, with whom she will go on the fantasy suite dates. And only after she has reduced the three to the final two, will her strumpet self be allowed to meet the families. And Lenny Bruce enthusiastically agrees, because who wants to go on four dreaded hometown dates? NO ONE, THAT’S WHO.

Chris Harrison then delivers this news to the men along with the date card: “Dr. Cupcake: Let’s take our love to the edge (and leave it there) — Lenny Bruce.”

The next day, Lenny Bruce picks Dr. Cupcake up for their date, and over sad, foreboding music yammers about how now that she actually is going to be expected to have sex with some of these people soon (I’m paraphrasing here) she is looking “at each relationship more serious,” thus making my inner Grammar Nazi’s blood boil. PLEASE REVIEW YOUR SECOND GRADE MATERIAL ON THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ADJECTIVES AND ADVERBS BEFORE EMBARRASSING YOURSELF ON NATIONAL TELEVISION. THANKS. — THE MGMT.

Anyway, helicopter date time! Dr. Cupcake and Lenny Bruce fly to the Cliffs of Moher where another picnic lunch is awaiting them. There, Lenny Bruce tries to prime the pump for the inevitable dumping by asking Dr. Cupcake about living in Nashville (it’s for his future children!) and what he thinks their life together would look like (like this! with adventures!). And he seems like a genuinely nice human being, which is why she begins sobbing, again, but is like, “Sorry dude, it’s not going to happen. Now I’m going to get back in that helicopter, fly away, and never think about you again. BYEEEEEEE.”

you're outta here
That’s gonna be a long hike home!

And Dr. Cupcake, bless his flossing heart, he keeps a stiff upper lip up until the moment she flies away, at which point he bursts into large, heavy, embarrassing sobs and maybe, possibly considers hurling himself over the Cliffs of Moher, alarming at least one beparka-d producer enough to break the frame to talk him away from the edge.

cliffs of moher dr cupcake bachelorette
“TOO CLOSE! TOO CLOSE!” — all of ABC’s lawyers simultaneously

And then, safely away from the edge, Dr. Cupcake wails and sobs and keens as though someone has died, and not that he was just dumped by a woman with whom he had not been alone with for more than an hour. Good perspective, Dr. Cupcake! You’re doin’ perspective rite!

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*(Well, maybe. As noted, it sounds like at least some of the guys did know about Lenny and Wesley’s sexytime sleepover if TMZ is to be believed.)

The Bachelorette airs on ABC on Mondays at 7 p.m.

This post originally appeared on the Hearst site Chron.com.

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