‘The Bachelorette’: The Deepest Cut

The Bachelorette
July 25, 2022

The episode begins with Gabby and Rachel contemplating where they are at in this process: there are 21 men left, and they’ve decided that it’s time to start figuring out who they are really interested in pursuing a relationship with. Meanwhile, the men are having similar thoughts, with a number of them ~Meatball~ unsure which of the women they are most interested. Time to start figuring it out, boys, shit’s about to go down.

Jesse Palmer joins the men at the McMansion, and reminds them that the women are not looking for a fling; they’re looking for a husband. This week will be similar to last week: one date with Rachel, one date with Gabby, and one group date with both women. Jesse Palmer then leaves Rachel’s date card with the men.

“Goose: Today is the beginning of our love story. Love, Rachel.”

Rachel meets Goose at a schmancy hotel, where Rachel tells Goose that she has a fun day planned, but has no idea what they’re doing. Which seems contradictory, but honestly I wonder how often any of the leads really have any idea what their dates are going to be.

The couple is joined by Karamo Brown, best known for Queer Eye, but who is also about to have his own syndicated talk show (and I assumed this appearance was some sort of synergy for his new series, but nope, it’s being produced for NBCUniversal, so goes to show what I know). Anyways, Karamo plies them with champagne and macarons, and explains that he has planned for them a glamorous old Hollywood date: they are going to an exclusive movie premiere and will be receiving the full red carpet treatment.

“A-ha!” your trusty blogger thought to herself, “Here‘s where the brand tie-in comes in. Can’t wait to see which Disney/Marvel/20th Century movie premiere will they be attending …”

Your trusty blogger will turn out to be a trusty idiot.

So, Rachel and Goose try on a bunch of silly outfits before choosing a classic rental tux and an unflattering spangly yellow number with a messy feathered shrug, and I know that Karamo isn’t the fashion expert on Queer Eye, but he’s not even trying here.

WHERE IS TAN?

The pair are sent off to the movie premiere in a limo and arrive at an old movie theater where something called “Me & You” is on the marquee. There are also five photographers lined up across from the smallest red carpet I’ve ever seen. Rachel and Goose spend a solid ten minutes posing in front of the step and repeat as if this is a real thing that is happening and not some sort of elaborate Bachelorette fraud.

Upon entering the theater, they discover it is completely empty, but for a pair of seats that are clearly marked for them with a small popcorn, two glasses of champagne, and a note. OK BUT WHERE ARE THE TWIZZLERS? YOU ACTUALLY EXPECT ME TO SIT THROUGH AN ENTIRE MOVIE WITHOUT TWIZZLERS? DISGUSTING.

The note reads: “I hope this is the beginning of a love story. Enjoy the movie! Karamo.” At this, the curtain rises, revealing pianist Matt White (who I am as familiar with as any of the contempo-country singers featured on this show — which is to say not at all) and the “movie” Me & You begins. Except it’s not a real movie, it’s a collection of photos and home videos of both of them as children, along with video messages from their moms. Soon everyone is in tears.

After the film, they talk for a bit, and Goose reveals that his father always dreamed of being a pilot, and when Goose was a gosling, his dad used to drive him to the airport so that they could watch the planes take off and land. Rachel is delighted by this, because she used to do the same thing with her father, and had never met anyone else who had ever done that.

They then go up onto the stage to dance (somewhat awkwardly) to Matt White’s piano playing and Rachel offers him the rose because of course she’s going to offer him the rose.

And I have to admit, I don’t have anything invested in either of these people — if anything, and this might be bitchy on my part but here it is: I don’t care for Goose’s face — but even my coal black heart was moved by this date. The thing is, this date was genius because it was always going to work no matter who went on it (unless they are a complete sociopath). Being shown nostalgic photos and videos while being away from one’s loved ones is always going to elicit an emotional response, and make one feel a little more vulnerable. It’s a guaranteed way to get people who don’t know one another to open up, and even associate those nostalgic, warm feelings with the other person on the date. And what I’m saying is that whichever psychology major on the staff came up with this date deserves a raise, because well done.

Meanwhile, Gabby decides to pay a visit to the other men back at the McMansion, hoping to see which of the men make an effort with her. Instead, the men throw a football around and all but ignore her. “I don’t want to play anymore,” Gabby declares at one point. “I didn’t want to play to start.”

Eventually realizing that these dingdongs are far more interested in playing catch than talking to her, Gabby, rightfully insulted, takes her leave in a huff.

I suspect this screencap is going to get a lot of play this season.

Later, Gabby’s date card arrives at the house, and the men put the goddamned football down long enough to open it:

“Mullet: Who said three’s a crowd? Love, Gabby.”

The next day, Gabby arrives at the McMansion to pick up Mullet, and he asks about the whole “three’s a crowd” thing, wondering if he should be worried.

“You should be,” Gabby confirms as Grandpa John walks in.

Gabby, Mullet, and Grandpa John load up into a Jeep and drive off into Southern California, and poor Grandpa John is cold. 

PUT THE TOP ON THAT JEEP, GABBY. WE CAN’T BE HAVING GRANDPA JOHN CATCHING PNEUMONIA.

The trio eventually arrives at a … yurt? Let’s call it a yurt-y thing, where they are greeted by a nice New Agey lady who is going to perform a “sound bath” for them.

Gabby and Mullet first light some incense and declare their “intentions”: Gabby wants to move forward with confidence and truly believe that the risk will be worth the reward; Mullet wants to be “presesnt” in each moment.

Grandpa John wants to take a nap:

After, Grandpa John says that the sound bath was an “interesting” experience, before demanding to know where is beer is.

You know who has his priorities in order? Grandpa John has his priorities in order. Bring him on all dates.

Gabby then takes Mullet and Grandpa John to a more amenable activity: bowling. There, Gabby invites an older woman, Julie, to join them and keep Grandpa John company. It’s all very cute.

That evening at “dinner,” Mullet opens up a little about his family: dad is “larger than life” and “stubborn”; mom is the “hardest working person” Mullet knows. Together, they have a “deep love” and are soul mates. And what Mullet is trying to convey, bless his heart, is that he’s looking for that same kind of relationship. Instead, he rips off Gabby’s trauma scab, and she begins telling him about her broken relationship with her mother until she becomes so emotional that she has to leave the table and cry at the producers for a while.

Mullet:

Gabby eventually returns to the table and apologizes to Mullet, explaining that there is a big part of her that is worried that she’s not going to resonate with people. Gabby goes on to call herself “not polished” and explains that she’s not like Rachel, and that she’s worried that she’s not the right person to be the Bachelorette.

Mullet responds by telling her that she seems very in touch with her emotions and that her experiences have shaped her into the unique person that she is today. They agree that they both want to see where this goes, and Gabby climbs into his lap. It’s very sweet and vulnerable.

But maybe, and I’m just spitballing here, but maybe there are better ways to deal with your trauma than going on a dating show and telling strangers about your abandonment issues baked into you by your absentee mother.

Anyway, Gabby offers him the date rose, and he accepts it, the end.

The next day, Gabby and Rachel are at some giant estate in wedding dresses along with Franco that Photographer Guy, which means we are about to embark on a Bachelor/ Bachelorette classic: the dumb photo shoot. The date card read “Who do you picture yourself with?” and it is worth noting that all 19 men are in attendance.

Franco sends the men off to find their assigned costumes, and, y’all. These costumes.

There are crazy patients:

A baby and a Some Guy Named Aven Junior is turned into a pregnant man:

Some Daisy Dukes:

And Discount Fabio is given nothing but a leaf:

Discount Fabio is all about it, explaining that he has two modes: “On and moron more on.” Boy, I sure hope those words don’t haunt him later.

So, photos are taken, all the while Franco is yelling insane things at the men, specifically, and I’m glad the closed captions backed me up on this, at the Daisy Duke car wash boys: “Come on, get on each other,” and “Gabby, these boys are dirty, dirty, dirty,” and — and I could not make this up if I had one thousand years to try — “Wash their scrotum.”

The final shoots involve Gabby and Rachel wearing formal dresses, and each of them being “proposed to” by two men:

Rachel is proposed to by Bob the Builder and Chick Magnet, and Gabby is proposed to by Boardwalk Carny (who has already declared his intentions for Rachel) and Girl Dad who gives Gabby a very lengthy and almost alarmingly sincere proposal.

And with that, they head to SoFi Stadium for the after-party portion of the date.

Rachel has a FABULOUS time: she hangs out with Junior on the field before rolling around in the end zone with him, making out. 

Beats by Dre confesses to Rachel that he’s only there for her. They make out.

Bob the Builder confesses that he is only interested in Rachel. They make out.

In comparison, Gabby, who was already feeling fragile, is having a fucking horrible night.

First, Boardwalk Carny sits her down and explains that while they might have had that proposal moment, he just wants to be clear with Gabby that he’s only interested in pursuing Rachel. Gabby sincerely thanks him for being so respectful and honest, and urges him to go tell Rachel.

But then.

Southern Grocery Joe sits Gabby down to give a similar spiel: he’s into Rachel, they have a great bond, yadda. But then this asshole decides to just flat-out insult Gabby for no good goddamned reason. He begins by telling Gabby that he thinks his “values” line up better with Rachel, and that while Gabby is bubbly and goofy, she’s more “rough around the edges.”

Gabby, to her credit, manages to not spit in this man’s face.

BUT THEN, Discount Fabio, he is clearly in his “moron mode” when he tells Gabby that while Gabby is funny and is “smokin’,” he doesn’t feel a connection with her. And, in fact, he adds for absolutely no reason, if she had been the only Bachelorette, he wouldn’t want to continue from here.

The group is brought back together for the ladies to hand out their roses, and Rachel immediately offers her rose to Junior. However, when it’s Gabby’s turn to give her rose, she’s like, “Yeah, none of you assholes deserve my rose. No rose.”

Rachel’s actual reaction:

I KNOW, RIGHT?

The women leave, and Rachel is like, “What the fuck did they do?” Gabby tells her that Southern Grocery Joe — WHO DOES NOT DESERVE TO HAVE “GROCERY JOE” IN HIS NICKNAME — called her “rough around the edges” and Discount Fabio said that he’d leave if she were the only Bachelorette. Rachel, furious that these idiots felt the need to insult Gabby on their way out, asks if Gabby wants her to address it, but she does not. “I’m here to find a partner, not to teach dudes how to act.”

Again:

Rachel is ready to kill the men, and both women agree something has to change.

And so, at the next evening’s Rose Ceremony cocktail party, Jesse Palmer arrives ahead of the women and is like, “Because a couple of you had to go and be douchebags, things are going to change around here.

1. No cocktail party.

2. The women are separating their dating pools. Whichever woman’s rose you accept is the woman — the only woman — you will be dating going forward.”

Then men:

So. The way this works: there are two pedestals with roses on them, one for Gabby and one for Rachel. They alternate offering roses, and when a man accepts their rose, they head outside to join either Team Gabby, which includes Goose and Junior, or Team Rachel, which at the moment is simply Mullet.

QUICK QUESTION: So, Junior, Goose, and Mullet were locked into Gabby and Rachel’s pools before this new gameplay went into place. Did the producers clear with them that they actually wanted to date Rachel and Gabby respectively? I assume they did, but I’d like to be clear.

Anydoodle. Rachel and Gabby arrive and Jesse Palmer reminds the men that they have a big decision to make, and wishes them luck.

Meanwhile, in an interview, Rachel is worried for Gabby, noting that she would be so shocked and hurt if a man rejected her the way they did Gabby. If someone rejects Gabby’s rose, Rachel stresses, “it could end in disaster.”

The women thank the men for being there, and Gabby pointedly adds that some of the conversations the night before were “painful,” prompting them to separate their journeys. Ya did it to yourselves, dummies.

Rachel Rose #1: Bob the Builder
Gabby Rose #1: Girl Dad

Rachel Rose #2: Chick Magnet
Gabby Rose #2: Vanilla Ice

So far, so good.

Rachel Rose #3: Mic Drop

Except! Mic Drop pulls a needle scratch when he says that he feels like he has a better connection with Gabby and can’t accept Rachel’s rose.

With that, Jesse Palmer enters and is like, “So that we’re all clear on what’s happening here, you are declining Rachel’s rose and holding out for one from Gabby?” When Mic Drop confirms this, Jesse Palmer orders him to go back to the crowd, and then confiscates the rose Rachel tried to offer him.

Rachel Rose #3: Mic Drop

Gabby Rose #3: Mr. Thoughtful

Rachel Rose #4 3: Choir Leader

EXCEPT! Choir Leader here pulls the same move as Mic Drop and says that he doesn’t believe he’s the right one for Rachel. Jesse Palmer swoops back in, and grabs that rose, too. 

Rachel Rose #4 3: Choir Leader

Gabby Rose #4: Motherboy

Rachel Rose #5 3: Boardwalk Carny

THANK GOD HE ACCEPTS.

Gabby Rose #5: Awkward Kiss

Rachel Rose #6 4: Turtle

Gabby Rose #6: Coach Taylor

Rachel Rose #7 5: Beats by Dre

Gabby Rose #7: Dry Spell

Rachel Rose #8 6: Meatball

EXCEPT! Meatball — MEATBALL!!! — he also rejects Rachel.

Jesse Palmer is right there, ready to snatch Rachel’s rose.

After this third humiliation, Gabby and Rachel slip out of the room, and Rachel has a good cry over it. Gabby notes that she knows how Rachel feels, this is how she felt the night before, but Rachel insists that what is happening to her is “public” as opposed to Gabby’s embarrassment which was “private.” And by “private” she means broadcast on national TV to millions of American homes?

ANYWAY. The women return to hand out the final roses of the night:

Rachel Rose #8 6: Meatball

Gabby Rose #8: Muggle

Rachel Rose #9 6: Southern Grocery Joe

He accepts, but why on earth did she give him a rose after he called Gabby “rough around the edges” the night before? I mean, let’s be honest, we all know why she offered him a rose: it was about soothing her ego and saving face, but it doesn’t sit well with me at all. That man needs to go home.

Also … also, can we go over the numbers here? Why did Rachel start off with 9 roses, and Gabby only had 8? Especially considering that Gabby started off with one fewer man going into this rose ceremony since she didn’t offer anyone a group date rose? Had everyone accepted Rachel’s rose, she would have been dating 11 men while Gabby dated 9. As it stands, Gabby will be dating 9 and Rachel will be dating 8 — unless she agrees to take a regretful Meatball back, which they seemed to be hinting at during the cliffhanger credits of this episode.

OH MY GOD WHY AM I DOING BACHELORETTE MATH I HATE THIS SHOW

Anyway. We’re saying goodbye to Discount Fabio to whom neither woman offered a rose (GOOD FOR THEM.) and you just know he is going to show up in Paradise bare-assed; Mic Drop, who certainly dropped something; Choir Leader who embarrassed all of Houston; and Meatball, who, as someone nicknamed “Meatball” had no business rejecting ANYONE, for fuck’s sake.

Southern Grocery Joe should have been on this list, but, alas.

The Men Who Are Soon Going to be Dumped by Gabby:

The Men Who Are Soon Going to be Dumped by Rachel:

The Men Who Have Been Dumped by Gabby and Rachel:

The Bachelorette airs on ABC on Tuesdays at 7/8 p.m.

2 thoughts on “‘The Bachelorette’: The Deepest Cut

  1. I’m obsessed with the level of detail, your notes, the little calculation at the end, and how it seems like you’re watching this both ironically and unironically. cheers

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