‘The Bachelor’: Drifting apart

The Bachelor
February 15, 2021

So a funny thing happened down here in Texas last week which you might have heard a thing or two about, and yadda yadda yadda, I’m 10 days late with this recap. It’s funny how not having electricity or running water can be something of a distraction. I apologize for the lateness of this and the next recap but I assure you that I am typing as fast as I can — which is a lot easier now that I have feeling in my fingers again.

We begin this very busy episode where we left off: with Never Been Kissed marching into the show like she owns the joint, looking to talk to Matt James. He interrupts his conversation with Mrs. James to chat with this interloper, sending Mrs. James out to the other women who are well into whipping themselves into a frenzy.

Meanwhile, Never Been Kissed tells Matt James that she is there based on Hannah Brown’s recommendation, that Hannah thinks they would be a good match. Matt James is duly impressed that she flew herself all the way out there, and Hannah Brown is a good friend of his … but there’s not a lot of time left and he needs to think about this. With that, he sends Never Been Kissed out to the piranha pit meet the other women officially.


Never Been Kissed insists she’s not there to ruin anyone’s day, but Not-Doormat informs her that she is doing exactly that — this, I should remind you, being the same Not-Doormat who was a hero just one episode earlier for taking down Pizza Delivery for being a bullying asshole.

Mrs. James angrily points out that Never Been Kissed interrupted her time with Matt James (never mind the fact that she already had a rose and was safe for the night), but Never Been Kissed apologizes anyway only to be sneered at and asked by College Girl, “Bitch, what are you doing here?”

Never Been Kissed begins crying, to which these women are like “SAVE THE TEARS FOR AN INTERVIEW, WE DON’T WANT TO HEAR IT.”

Never Been Kissed does go straight to an interview where she cries and talks about how she didn’t expect the women to come for her so hard. Yeah, surprise! These women are awful.

And in fact, they are still ranting, Sexy Fish calling Never Been Kissed a “virus” who is “infecting this whole system,” (yes, she compared Never Been Kissed to a virus during a pandemic, that is an actual thing that actually happened) and Veronica from Riverdale huffing that if Matt James keeps Never Been Kissed around over one of the other women, THEN IT IS OVER, SHE IS DONE HERE. And I get that the women are stressed with the end of the show looming over them and having already been through the introduction of last-minute contestants, but have they learned nothing from the entire bullying scandal of ~checks notes~ minutes ago?

Back at home, Dildo Queen watching this and preparing for the “Women Tell All” special:

Meanwhile, Matt James confers with Chris Harrison where he admits to be “shook up” and confused: on the one hand, it’s flattering Never Been Kissed came all this way and humiliated herself by renting a minivan, and Hannah Brown is a good friend whose opinion he trusts. But on the other hand, there are ten women out there who will literally tear him limb-from-limb if he introduces yet another woman to this competition. What to do?

Matt James returns to Never Been Kissed, thanks her for making the effort and the big gesture, but is like, “I mean, the thing is, we are nearly at hometowns, and you met those women — they will literally kill us both if I keep you around. For your own safety, I think it’s best you drive that minivan back to the airport and go back to California. You might look into the Witness Protection Program, honestly, those women are not playing.”

With that, Matt James puts her back in her minivan and sends her back to safety.

Matt James then returns to the other women, apologizes to their bullying asses for the Never Been Kissed drama and assures them that his heart is “here” and that they all “give [him] energy.”

And after resuming his interrupted conversation with Mrs. James, it’s time to hand out some roses and eliminate some of these monsters:

Rose #1: First One Out of the Limo
Rose #2: Veronica from Riverdale
Rose #3: Queen’s Gambit
Rose #4: College Girl
Rose #5: Not-Doormat
Rose #6: First Impression Rose

Which means Sexy Fish and The Model — both of whom were bullying jerks not just to Never Been Kissed, but to the round two women, too — are sent packing. About time.

Matt James then thanks — he thanks! — the remaining women for “how they handled everything with grace,” and boy howdy, do I have some footage to show him.

With these eliminations, First Impression Rose and Not-Doormat are the only remaining women who have not had a one-on-one date with Matt James, and so with two one-on-one dates available that week, they are understandably excited at the prospect of finally getting a little quality time with him. And that is why it is super hilarious when the first one-on-one date card is delivered by Chris Harrison and it is for Queen’s Gambit: “Queen’s Gambit: Can our love go deeper?”

First Impression Rose and Not-Doormat:

Matt James explains that he chose Queen’s Gambit for a second one-on-one because the producers thought it would be funny he and Queen’s Gambit are stuck in the friends’ zone and need to have that “breakthrough moment.”

To that end: tantric yoga.

Matt James and Queen’s Gambit are led through a series of increasingly cringy poses by a yoga instructor, ending with Queen’s Gambit sitting on Matt James’ lap while staring intently into his eyes. Matt James monologues that he’s “really into this” and that each pose is bringing him closer to Queen’s Gambit. Mere inches away, Queen’s Gambit is a full-body NOPE. “I was just waiting for it to be over.”

After, the couple shares mimosas, and Queen’s Gambit is very honest: “That was my first and last tantric yoga session and I will never do that again in my life, so thanks for the uncomfortable experience.”

Matt James is taken aback by this, and probes as to why she hated it so much, and she’s like, “TOO MUCH TOUCHY.” Matt James explains that he really enjoyed it, that it made him feel vulnerable and much more connected to her, and Queen’s Gambit is like, “Yeah, I get it but also gross.” And you know what? Team Queen’s Gambit on this one — please don’t touch me there, you don’t know me like that.

That evening over “dinner,” Matt James tells Queen’s Gambit that he appreciated her honesty, and she’s like, “I mean, starting a relationship on a lie — and a dumb lie at that — is a terrible idea.” Which is fair!

They start talking about what meeting her family will be like, and he offers her the rose and then takes her outside for some ice skating while some bored PAs point a snow-making machine at them.

Back at the hotel, the women receive the group date card which will also indirectly reveal who receives the final one-on-one date because that’s how math works: “Mrs. James; No Accent; Veronica from Riverdale; First One Out of the Limo; College Girl; and First Impression Rose: Love will always find a way.”

Which means: Not-Doormat receives the last one-on-one date before hometowns and First Impression Rose receives zero one-on-one dates.

First Impression Rose says she’s confused and doesn’t know where Matt James’ head is at, but I think we all know where his head is at. Girl, hometowns are next week and you haven’t gone on a single real date. You’re better off not wasting your time on this dumb group date, and instead, treating yourself to some spa treatments before your ass is sent home. Honestly, though.

As for the date itself, we actually don’t see the majority of it, but apparently it involved a hot tub:

It’s always so weird to have these promotional photos of events that didn’t happen onscreen pop up on ABC’s site — it’s like peering into an alternative universe.

Instead, we head straight to the cocktail party and everyone is STRESSED with this being the last group date before the dreaded hometowns.

First One is the first one (~wink~) to talk to Matt James where she reveals that she’s just taken a huge bet on him: she had to resign from her job a few weeks ago to stay on the show. It was a hard decision, she loved her career and worked hard for it, but she just feels like being there with him is “extremely worth it.”

Oh, girl. Is it though?

Mrs. James tells Matt James that she is falling for him and wants him to meet her family.

No Accent tells him that she is 100% committed to him and didn’t think that the way she feels about him was possible.

First Impression Rose, however, is honest with him: this week sucked. And Matt James, this guy has the audacity to ask her why. Why? WHY? BECAUSE SHE’S THE ONLY WOMAN WHO DIDN’T RECEIVE A ONE-ON-ONE DATE, YOU DINGALING, WHY DO YOU THINK? First Impression Rose goes on to say that she thought they wanted the same things, and that she had started imagining him in her life, but she doesn’t know if he can see a future with her.

And Matt James is basically, “Nope.” But somehow he manages to make it worse by using his words: He explains that from the first night he was drawn to her vulnerability, beauty, and compassion — she was what he was looking for! And he became so comfortable in their relationship that he explored other relationships instead and then whoops! he’s developed strong feelings for some of those women. Whaddya gonna do? I mean, besides get your ass walked out to the Go Away Now van.

Goodbye, First Impression Rose. You were too good for this season full of bullies and monsters. Enjoy battling it out with Dildo Queen over who will be the next Bachelorette.

When Matt James returns, he specifically asks to speak to Veronica from Riverdale, sending her into a slight panic. Alone, Matt James tells her that he had to be honest with First Impression Rose before asking Veronica from Riverdale if she thinks her mother will grill him too hard during hometowns. So, yeah, she’s a safe bet.

As for College Girl, she spends her time with Matt James detailing her five year plan: finish school, travel, figure out her career, get married some time later, kids will be pushed off for a very long time, like, not until she’s at least 25 or 26. You know, once she’s lived some life.


Matt James is bemused and thanks her for sharing this with him, assuring her that he would never pressure her to do something she’s not ready for. And College Girl, bless her heart, is CONVINCED she’s got this date rose locked up.

Dear Reader: She does not have the date rose locked up. Instead, it goes to Veronica from Riverdale, leaving the other women vaguely nauseous, particularly First One: SHE LEFT HER JOB FOR THIS BULLSHIT?

Meanwhile, Matt James and Veronica from Riverdale enjoy a private concert by Aloe Blacc and this might be a Bachelor first for your trusty blogger, BUT I HAVE ACTUALLY HEARD OF HIM! Either the talent booker is getting older or I am getting cooler and I really doubt it’s the latter.

Later, after Matt James has returned to his house, he is paid a visit by one College Girl who, on second thought, is FUCKING FURIOUS she did not receive the date rose after being so open with him — I MEAN SHE TOLD HIM ABOUT HER FIVE-YEAR PLAN AND EVERYTHING! IF THAT’S NOT ROSE MATERIAL, WHAT IS? does not actually have “the clarity” she needs to go into hometowns. She tells him that he deserves someone who is 100% sure about him getting down on one knee, and that’s not her.


Matt James makes a half-hearted gesture to convince her to stay, but he doesn’t really mean it, and soon he’s loading her up in the airport shuttle and sending her spoiled ass back to Manhattan.

The next day is his one-on-one with Not-Doormat, whose date card read, “Our love will take a turn.” They meet at a makeshift race track where “Matt James” drifts a Mustang Charger for a bit before parking it behind a strategically-place pile of boxes. Because, you see, he wasn’t actually driving, it was the professional drifter (because that’s a job) who will be teaching them the finer points of race car drifting.

They suit up, strap on helmets, and proceed to drift around the course, banging up the poor innocent Mustang Charger in the process. Then, to add insult to injury, they make out on the car’s hood.

That evening at dinner, Matt James thanks Not-Doormat for being patient with him. Not-Doormat talks about meeting her family before confessing that she’s falling in love with him. Meanwhile, Matt James has turned a peculiar shade of green. He thanks her for “sharing that with [him]” before being like, “funny story, my feelings for you aren’t as advanced as they are for other women and I would rather not meet your parents, please and thank you.” With that, he walks her out to the Enjoy Your Economy Flight Home van.

Back at the hotel, the women all gasp and cover their faces to try to hide their glee when Not-Doormat’s suitcase is wheeled out of the lobby. They fail.

The next day, the few women remaining arrive for the rose ceremony, and they just get straight to it because neither Matt James nor the episode has time left for nonsense:

Rose #1: First One
Rose #2: No Accent

Which means we say goodbye to Mrs. James who, alas, is destined to remain Ms. James.

See you kids at the dreaded “hometowns.”

Here are the ladies who were eliminated along with their very not good nicknames:

Here are the women along with their dumb nicknames who are still “dating” Matt and whose nicknames could change as the show goes on, I dunno:

The Bachelor airs Mondays on ABC at 7/8 p.m.arrivefor hm

2 thoughts on “‘The Bachelor’: Drifting apart

    1. You know — I wondered as I was writing it, and my car-obsessed son isn’t in town for me to consult. Thanks!


Leave a Reply