‘The Bachelor’: Houston, we have a narcissist.

The Bachelor
January 31, 2022

This week, the episode begins ahead of the rose ceremony, with the women wringing their hands over what Clayton meant when he told the last group date that “Me address situation” before the cocktail party. They all to a woman agree that Monster Truck Villain is the problem, and wonder if they shouldn’t say as much, before deciding to settle on the cowards’ way out and say nothing, lest they ruin the cocktail party and deprive themselves of time with this dingdong.

Just before Clayton walks in, the women do confront Monster Truck Villain with a unanimous, “What the fuck?” but Clayton interrupts Monster Truck Villain’s whine that they don’t talk to her when Family Heirloom is around.

Clayton asks to speak to Family Heirloom and Monster Truck Villain alone, and takes them outside to hear “both sides” of the story behind their conflict.

Family Heirloom begins by telling Clayton that, as he asked, she tried to talk to Monster Truck Villain and hash out their issues, and in response, Monster Truck Villain told her to … and I quote … “Fuck off.”

Monster Truck Villain counters that she was “upset” and mad and angry and Family Heirloom makes her feel uncomfortable because she’s fake and toxic and is a bully and has convinced the other women to not talk to her.

Family Heirloom, in the face of this histrionic insanity, calmly asks Monster Truck Villain to define “bullying,” and Monster Truck Villain is like, “GLADLY,” before pulling back down off the shelf the Shrimp Saga.

You see, Clayton, Family Heirloom made some shrimp and offered shrimp to everyone in the house, so Monster Truck Villain took some (half of the) shrimp. She then decided to return the favor and make some shrimp, too, and offer it to everyone. But when she walked around the house offering them the shrimp, no one even looked at her, not even to say, “No thank you, I’m full off of my .75 shrimp that I had earlier.”

Family Heirloom understandably wonders what this has to do with her, especially since she wasn’t outside at the time this all happened, and that’s when Monster Truck Villain fully loses it. YES, SHE WAS. FAMILY HEIRLOOM WAS IN THE HOT TUB. FAMILY HEIRLOOM IS A LIAR. FAMILY HEIRLOOM IS NOT NICE.

Clayton:

And let me just pause here while Clayton steps away from this bickering for his own mental health and note that Monster Truck Villain is correct: Family Heirloom was in the hot tub when Monster Truck Villain went around offering her second-hand shrimp. However, what I think this speaks to is less Family Heirloom’s dishonesty and bullying and more to the fact that –AS PREVIOUSLY EXPLAINED — she has ADHD and input issues, and she was engaged in a conversation with someone else when Monster Truck Villain offered the damn shrimp. So this isn’t a Family Heirloom is a Bully issue as much as it is a Monster Truck Villain Lacks Basic Empathy and Might be a Malignant Narcissist issue.

In a side interview, Clayton is frustrated because “No talk relationships” but instead “Only talk shrimp and hot tubs.” Yes! That’s correct! Now, Clayton, let’s use our critical reasoning skills and think reallllll hard about who it is that is screaming about shrimp and hot tubs before we do anything rash …

While Clayton is away, Monster Truck Villain keeps yelling at Family Heirloom about the hot tub, and Family Heirloom is like, “Look, just apologize, dude.” But, knowing that is never going to happen, she eventually removes herself from the conversation altogether.

Now! In again, all fairness to Monster Truck Villain, as Family Heirloom leaves, she explains she’s doing so because she’s a “lady.” Monster Truck Villain fires back, “… a fake one,” which Family Heirloom mishears as, ” … a fat one.” Family Heirloom goes inside and tells the other women that she thinks Monster Truck Villain just called her “fat” — which, in her defense, she did not — and the women are OUTRAGED.

That said, Monster Truck Villain then goes on to give some A++++ talking heads acting like there is an Emmy for Best Reality Villain that she is putting herself in the running for. She talks about how Family Heirloom is just jealous because Monster Truck Villain’s shrimp were better and Family Heirloom’s shrimp gave her terrible shits the next day. (Now: how she determined that it was Family Heirloom’s shrimp that gave her the terrible shits the next day and not, you know, her own shrimp, is a medical mystery, but sure.)

She also compares Family Heirloom to Cruella de Ville, in what I can only assume was a Disney-paid-for plug.

Streaming now on Disney+!

What I will say about Cruella de Ville is that you can call her a lot of things, but fat is certainly not one of them.

NOW.

After loading up a plate of shrimp at the buffet — and God bless the producer who looked at the buffet and screamed at some poor assistant, “NO! THIS NEEDS MORE SHRIMP!!!” — Monster Truck Villain rejoins the group. She then offers everyone some shrimp, knowing perfectly well what she is doing, and everyone is like, “I KNOW YOU DID NOT JUST DO THE THING YOU ARE CURRENTLY DOING IN OUR FACES.”

When the other women confront her about wasting their time with Clayton, Monster Truck Villain whines that Family Heirloom is the real asshole here, noting that she lied about being in the hot tub. Cake Girl is NOT HAVING IT, and points out that Monster Truck Villain is the one talking about Family Heirloom’s mental health issues when she had no business doing so. Monster Truck Villain counters that Family Heirloom is the liar here, was she or was she not in the hot tub when Monster Truck Villain offered everyone shrimp?

“IT’S NOT ABOUT THE SHRIMP!!!!” Cake Girl screams, and by “Cake Girl” I mean “All of America.”

Jesse Palmer then interrupts to announce that Clayton has had enough, and the cocktail party has been canceled.

The women, they are not pleased.

LINE UP, SHRIMP:

Rose #1: Olympian
Rose #2: Teddy Bear
Rose #3: Pilot Rachel
Rose #4: Marinara
Rose #5: Back to the Future
Rose #6: Hannah Brown, Jr.
Rose #7: Death Threat
Rose #8: That Snitch Serene
Rose #9: Cake Girl
Rose #10: Snake Charmer
Rose #11: H-Town
Rose #12: Monster Truck Villain

Which means we lose Dr. Kira, Bouncy Shoes, and, yes, Family Heirloom.

But honestly? I don’t feel bad for Family Heirloom. This woman never once accused Monster Truck Villain of bullying her — which she did — and never once used her diagnosis as a sob story with Clayton. What I am saying here is that in the face of complete assholery and fuckitude, Family Heirloom handled herself with dignity and she deserves someone better than a brick who can’t determine who the real troublemaker is in this situation.

BUT ALSO, before we leave this point, in kinda/sorta defense of that brick, I am almost 100% certain what happened here was that he was sick of the bickering over shrimp and hot tubs, and the producers were like, “OK, can you see either of these women in your final four? If not, let’s let Family Heirloom go, and keep Monster Truck Villain around a little longer,” and he agreed because he’s a dumb brick who was just eager to get rid of at least one piece of this shitpuzzle.

By the way, he’s sorry now:

Anyway, I hope you got that family photo back before you left, Family Heirloom.

The next morning, the women are still in shock that Clayton sent Family Heirloom home over Monster Truck Villain BECAUSE …

Jesse Palmer arrives and announces that there will not be a date today, because they are starting the traveling portion of this nonsense. And their first stop is going to be “a world-class city full of energy, southern charm, and urban chic …”

Houston. They’re going to my hometown, y’all.

Oh and if you were wondering, yes, someone does make a “Houston, we have a problem” joke before they even set foot in Texas.

So, to the show’s credit, I guess, they are staying downtown, and not in some hotel out in the Energy Corridor or at the Houston Marriott at IAH.

Upon arriving in Houston, Clayton receives a visit from Clarence, one of his fellow college players who happens to live here, and honestly, he has more chemistry with this guy than any of the women so far.

Meanwhile, the women receive the first date card: “Pilot Rachel: Let’s find our love in the heart of Texas.”

And apparently by “the heart of Texas,” the producers meant: Willis.

Y’all. YOU ALL. My grandmother lives in Willis having retired there some 40 years ago and I have spent an unfortunate amount of time in Willis. Willis is a lot of things — in the middle of nowhere? yep! boring as hell? sure! riddled with man-made lakes and meth labs? absolutely! — but what it is not is a romantic location for a date. Y’all, the list of 10 Best Things to Do in Willis includes two (2) different RV parks …

WHAT WERE THEY THINKING? WE HAVE A WHOLE-ASS METROPOLITAN CITY RIGHT HERE FILLED WITH PARKS AND RESTAURANTS AND CLUBS AND THEATERS AND ESCAPE ROOMS (I have no idea what 20-somethings do on dates, by the way) AND THEY TOOK THEM TO WILLIS?

Look, I know they had to go to places that were somewhat isolated so as to try to maintain some secrecy about what happened this season, but HOUSTON HAS A FULL 10,000 SQUARE MILES OF PLACES TO GO AND THEY REALLY CHOSE WILLIS.

I just …

Right. So. Pilot Rachel meets Clayton IN WILLIS, where they take a horseback ride through the Montgomery County woods for a while. Eventually, they “happen” upon a backyard barbecue in progress, and these very friendly people invite Clayton and Pilot Rachel and the entire crew filming them to join them for some lunch.

What the show fails to tell us is that our barbecue hosts are Robin Wong, Terry Wong, and Quy Hoang, the proprietors of the Vietnamese-BBQ fusion joint Blood Bros. BBQ, one of Texas’s most innovative barbecue restaurants and one of those places that I think epitomizes what Houston cuisine is: traditional Texas food as interpreted by the immigrant experience.

Why the show not only neglected to mention their restaurant — AND WENT SO FAR AS TO BLUR THE RESTAURANT’S LOGO ON ONE OF THE GUY’S HATS — is beyond me. I guess they were more focused on creating this bullshit narrative that Clayton and Pilot Rachel just wandered into this friendly barbecue being held by a typical Houston-area family and that the whole thing wasn’t organized by the producers? Or maybe Blood Bros. BBQ didn’t pay them for a plug? Which is gross on ABC’s part?

I will say that I give the show credit for using an Asian family for this instead of who most people picture when you say “Texas” and “barbecue,” and thereby giving America a glimpse into Houston’s diversity. I just wish they had given Blood Bros. BBQ the credit it deserved. Seriously, go give them a try if you live in Houston.

Clayton and Pilot Rachel then go sit by one of Willis’ many retention ponds man-made lakes and talk about what a strong connection they have after such a short period of time.

That night, they go to some event space where they have fake dinner, and Clayton asks Pilot Rachel how she’s not currently in a relationship. Pilot Rachel then talks about how unsupportive of her career her previous boyfriend was, and Clayton is like, “ME THINK YOUR JOB GOOD.”

This makes Pilot Rachel tear up.

Clayton then takes her to a “private concert” by yet another mediocre country band you’ve never heard of. There, he offers her the date rose.

Back at the Doubletree C. Baldwin Hotel, the women receive the group date card: “Tony the Tiger; German Sausage; Teddy Bear; Olympian; Death Threat; Hannah Brown, Jr.; Marinara; Back to the Future; Snake Charmer; H-Town; Cake Girl; Bachelor Groupie; Monster Truck Villain: Meet me at the stadium. Love, Clayton.”

The women are taken to NRG Stadium, because of fucking course they are, where under the pretense of “tailgating” they do a commercial for some Hyundai you can plug stuff into.

But that obviously is not the date’s real activity. Two Houston Texan players I have never heard of in my life arrive and announce that the women are going to be playing football.

Tackle football. LOL. YES. ABSOLUTELY.

The women are split into two teams:

The Purple Punishers: Cake Girl; Teddi Bear; Marinara; Olympian; Hannah Brown, Jr.; Tony the Tiger and Back to the Future

The Shrimp Stampede — Yes, the SHRIMP Stampede: German Sausage; Monster Truck Villain; Bachelor Groupie; Snake Charmer; H-Town; Death Threat

Before the game begins, Monster Truck Villain reveals that she overheard the women talking shit about her earlier in the day, and she is out for revenge — mostly against Back to the Future and Cake Girl who happen to be on the other team. Unfortunately for Monster Truck Villain, the other team also has Olympian who plays as if she is looking to get signed by the Texans.

Olympian single-handedly wins this game for the Purple Punishers and I swear to God if Clayton doesn’t give her the date rose … there’s gonna be some weave on the ground.

The prize for winning is that the Purple Punishers go to the cocktail party, and the Shrimp Stampede are forced to go back downtown and take Epsom salt baths. And Monster Truck Villain, who is among the losers, is in a complete panic about what the winning team might say about her when she’s not there to confuse Clayton with her whinging, lying, and distracting.

The cocktail party is at some event space on Washington Ave. I’ve never heard of before called Hughes Manor. But this is an interesting glimpse into the production side of these shows: it makes sense that they would rent out these big event spaces to film these “cocktail parties” both for cost purposes and for privacy concerns.

ANYWAY. Clayton has a conversation with Teddy Bear who complains about how hard it is to watch him date other women; they make out.

He also talks to Back to the Future who is like, WHY THE HELL DID YOU SAVE MONSTER TRUCK VILLAIN, SHE’S A GODDMAN SNAKE. Clayton tries to push back a bit, pointing out that he noticed The Purple Punishers tackling Monster Truck Villain when she didn’t even have the ball. But Back to the Future is like, “Hahaha, OK, dummy, let’s get back to the important thing: that woman is the worst.”

Cake Girl also expresses her concerns about Monster Truck Villain, and in an interview, Clayton is like, “Why ladies still talk about Monster Truck Villain? Me thought done! Why still drama?”

HE IS SO STUPID, Y’ALL. Oh my God, he’s so dumb.

And then Production drives Monster Truck Villain to the cocktail party — which they had to do because it’s not like the party was being held in the hotel. She interrupts his conversation with Tony the Tiger, and this dumb idiot is like, “Wait, you loser?” Monster Truck Villain, in the vein of all narcissistic trolls, is all, “Nope. I deserve to be here, so here I am.” And all this idiot can say is “OK.”

Once alone, Clayton is all, “Why still drama? Why ladies no like you?” And she spins a story about the other women are ganging up on and bullying her. Clayton is like, “OK we make out now.”

Meanwhile, the other women sit outside waiting for their turn, filling with rightful rage.

After chewing on Clayton’s face for a while, Monster Truck Villain goes outside where the other women are, yells at Cake Girl and Back to the Future to keep her name out of their mouths, grabs the team’s trophy, and hurls it into the bushes.

She then declares in an interview “It’s the Monster Truck Villain Show, not The Bachelor.

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

Here are the women along with their dumb nicknames who are still “dating” Clayton:

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

2 thoughts on “‘The Bachelor’: Houston, we have a narcissist.

  1. So as someone who has always enjoyed your recaps even though I had never watched this dumb show before, now that I am watching this dumb show I enjoy your recaps even more. Thank you for doing them, they really add a lot to the experience.

    Shanae is the worst, but I can only conclude that Clayton just liked her at some level, at least at this point in the show. (Watching this now must be quite the trip for him.) Me, I’d have listened to her and Elizabeth fight for like ten seconds and I’d have said “Okay, enough of that, you’re both out of here”. Which wouldn’t have been fair to Elizabeth but would have achieved some peace and quiet.

    Two questions: Do you think the other women will start to lose patience and respect for Clayton because of his weakness for Shanae? (Yes, they should have done what Sierra suggested and told him en masse what a jerk she is. He doesn’t have the full picture, but he does have enough to at least be very wary.) And two, do you think Shanae decided on her own to crash the post-football party, or do you think the producers put her up to it?

    (I’ve never been to Hughes Manor, but I recognized it from driving past. Might be curious enough to check it out now.)

  2. I’m sure the producers put Shanae up to going to the after-party post game. I have read other seasons where someone shows up unexpectedly and that is exactly what has happened. It oftentimes is someone the production wants to see make deeper connections…and not a villian. It’s unfortunate that people get so caught up in a fantasy…but they are isolated and speed dating isn’t reality. No wonder so many of the relationships don’t last.

    It is a historic “no no” to point out to the lead that someone is toxic. Time and time again they will eliminate someone who is truly decent to keep a douche. But that’s human nature as well. Oftentimes good friends will warn someone of their new love interest only to receive the cold shoulder and be cut out of their lives. It’s only AFTER the breakup that a person realizes they were warned.

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