‘The Bachelor’: Where is my mind?

The Bachelor
March 6, 2023

Another week, another Eastern European country: Hungary, haven of fascists. Cobblestones, old buildings, the Danube: You’ll be shocked to hear this, but Zach is pretty sure this is the perfect place to fall in love.

Zach also reminds us that this is the week before the Dreaded Hometowns, so he is going to have to widdle this group of seven  — well … six plus our friend Blackface Defender who, hilariously, has been left behind in Estonia, quarantining with COVID — down to four. And because the only woman who has not had a one-on-one is still in Estonia, trapped in her hotel room, Zach gets to have second dates with two of the women.

The women arrive at their Budapest hotel and are greeted with the first one-on-one date card: “Austin Nurse: Let’s fall in love in Budapest. Love, Zach.”

As for the date, they ride a funicular up to the top of Buda Castle Hill, where they enjoy the views and learn important things about each other, like her favorite color (purple) and his family’s original name (Shacklecross). Fascinating stuff.

They enjoy traditional Hungarian drinks/aphrodisiacs, and chat with some Hungarian ladies in traditional Hungarian dress, which all makes sense. What doesn’t make any damn sense is that Zach brings Austin Nurse to a typewriter that is just sitting outside in some random place, and he tries to claim that “lovers come here to share their hearts,” by typing out love poems to each other.


So, Zach goes first and slowly, painfully types out the following:

“Dear Austin Nurse:

Ever since the day I met you, I knew you were something special.

The way you make me feel when we lock eyes makes me feel happy for the future.”

Yeah, but that’s not a poem.

It’s Austin Nurse’s turn, and … you know what? I’m just going to show you because you need to see this:

“Thank you for making.”

Also … so, I call these people by the dumb nicknames I make up in the first episode and maybe I let it go on too long, I don’t know, it’s a schtick. But what you should know about Austin Nurse is that her name is — allegedly — “Kaity.”

Did she misspell her own name?

BUT ALSO, THIS IS NOT A POEM. I swear to God, have none of these people ever read a poem? ANY POEM? ROSES ARE RED, A DIRTY LIMIRICK, ANYTHING?

That night, they head to the oldest bath house in Budapest, which is in a gorgeous building. There, they have their fake dinner, and Austin Nurse tells him that she thinks that he will make a wonderful husband and father one day. She goes on to explain that if he meets her family, he won’t be meeting her dad because he left their family when she was young and moved to Florida. Her mother went on to have a long relationship with another man who served as a father figure to Austin Nurse, but he left when she was in middle school.

Austin Nurse becomes emotional recalling all of this, and Zach assures her that he knows how difficult all of this is for her and that she doesn’t have to discuss anything that makes her uncomfortable. And that’s very considerate and mature and then he goes and ruins it by giving her a smarmy wink. NO THANK YOU PLEASE.

Anyway, he offers her the rose and then they go get into the baths, possibly the oldest hot tub that The Bachelor has ever utilized. Which is something, I suppose. I would have been more impressed had they managed to get that wooden hot tub in the funicular, though.

Back at the hotel, the date card arrives: “Bored; Love Charity; Maple Syrup; Julia Roberts: Love is the only thing on my mind. Zach.”

Julia Roberts loses her damn mind. “WHY DIDN’T HE CHOOSE ME? DOESN’T HE MISS ME AS MUCH AS I MISS HIM?”

Short answer: no. No, he does not. Because, and I don’t know if you’ve realized this, but he’s dating six other women, sweetie.

I’m just disappointed it wasn’t a two-on-one date with Rodeo Girl and Julia Roberts because WE NEED CLOSURE.

The next day, Julia Roberts, Love Charity, Bored, and Maple Syrup go to a spoOooOOooky theater where they meet Zach and Labib Malik, a local mentalist and magician. He begins his routine by drawing a heart on Zach’s hand and “magically” transferring it to the woman who has the most real connection with our Bachelor, which in this instance turns out to be Maple Syrup.

She’s freaked out.


Labib declares that now he is going to read each of their minds which shouldn’t take long. To that end, he brings each woman up to the stage one-by-one where he asks them questions, and then, using a chalkboard, reveals a word that they are thinking.

Maple Syrup is first and after Labib instructs her to picture a cube in the desert, she explains the cube is made of glass. Labib tells her that this represents that “people can see through [her]” but adds that she confuses people. Labib grabs his chalkboard and orders her to think of one word that describes what she is looking for in a relationship with Zach, and when she says “safety and comfort,” Labib reveals that he has written on his little chalkboard, “safety and comfort.”

The women:

Bored is next, and Labib notes that she protects her heart at any cost. Bored’s like, “YEP!” And when he asks her why, she says “heartbreak” which just so happens to be the same word on his chalkboard.

The women:

When it is Love Charity’s turn, Labib asks her to think of the one reason why her previous relationship didn’t work, and after she says “infidelity,” Labib reveals that he has the same word on his chalkboard. Love Charity begins crying, it upsets her so much.

The women:

Finally, with Julia Roberts, Labib asks her if she’s ready for Zach to meet her family, and she’s hesitant: “Mmmmm … I think so,” she answers, noncommittally. Labib asks her if she’s ever considered walking away from “this” meaning this dumb show, and she mumbles an affirmation. Labib then asks why if she thinks she’s the right person for Zach, and she insists that she does think she is the right person, but that this process is difficult.

Yeah, so that wasn’t as much “mentalism” as it was “therapy.”

That night, the women head to the afterparty and they are THOROUGHLY and COMPLETELY freaked out. You sweet summer children. You do understand that the producers not only fed Labib the questions he asked each of you but they fed him the answers, too, right? Please tell me that you definitely do know that before I just go walk into the ocean.

Zach finally arrives, and takes Bored aside for a conversation first. Bored laughs that her father was scandalized when she told him that she was going to be on the show, because according to him, they force everyone to participate in orgies. IF ONLY, MR. BORED.

Bored goes on to explain that she is part of the Ukrainian Jewish community in New York. MAZEL! And now I want pierogis from Vieselka. She says that she has so much love from her family and her community, but she misses having a partner.

Love Charity admits that it was a heavy group date, and that she was very emotional. She goes on to talk about being cheated on and manipulated and how she is still angry with herself for staying with the cheater for as long as she did.

Maple Syrup is all in her head from Labib saying that she “confuses people” which, baby girl, wear that like a badge. I would LOVE if people told me I confused people. I would go around making April Ludgate eyes at EVERYONE.

But she goes into her conversation talking about how she is super ADHD and her brain is moving a thousand miles a second and this is her struggle and speaking of ADHD, I completely forgot that girlfriend lives in my hometown, what with all the Vermont talk and all.

GIRL, DROP THE VERMONT NONSENSE. Yeah, OK, you were born and raised in Vermont, but 75% of Houstonians were born someplace else. You’re one of us now, like it or not.

Finally, there’s Julia Roberts and Zach is like, “YO, WHAT DO YOU MEAN YOU THINK ABOUT LEAVING THE SHOW?” Julia Roberts replies that the process has been difficult and it had just been so long since she had seen him, but she knows she has a good feeling about him and she’s decided to weather the storm for him.

Zach then gives the group date rose to Maple Syrup, and Julia Roberts collapses into hot angry tears at the indignity of feeling unwanted. And you know? Genuinely? I kind of feel sorry for Julia Roberts in a way. I have no doubt that Julia Roberts for all or most of her life has been the prettiest girl in the room, and has never had to compete for attention. It must be psychologically jarring to suddenly realize that men — or this particular man — might be more attracted to someone else. She has probably never in her life had to deal with that before. #PrettyPeopleProblems

The next morning Blackface Defender is released from her Estonian prison and meets up with Zach to let him know that even though she hasn’t seen him in three weeks (!!!) — she literally hasn’t been in the same room with him since they’ve been in Europe — she’s ready for him to meet her parents.

But Zach is like, “yeah, nah, bye.” Blackface Defender, realizing that she has just been dragged all over Europe for weeks FOR NOTHING has a good long cry before being walked out of the hotel and sent back to the States.

But Zach isn’t done yet: he still has a one-on-one with Rodeo Girl. The two ride a pair of bikes (somewhat awkwardly on Rodeo Girl’s part as she hadn’t been on a bicycle since she was 12) through Budapest to one of those tethered hot air balloon things which Zach claims is scarier than skydiving.

They then go to another bath house (is there literally nothing else to do in Hungary?) which appears to be a large heated community pool.

Zach and Rodeo Girl are clearly instructed to go talk to an old couple playing chess in the bath, and the Hungarians ask them how they met, pretending to care. Zach and Rodeo Girl explain that they met on “a TV stage” and the Hungarians reply that they met at this bath 25 years ago. I mean, OK, but why?

Rodeo Girl and Zach then kiss in the bath while all the Hungarians stare at them. It is basically  the image below, except everyone’s face was obscured with bad CGI steam so that the producers didn’t have to collect releases:

It was not sexy, just extremely uncomfortable.

That night at fake dinner, Zach asks Rodeo Girl about her family and who he would meet if he went home with her. Rodeo Girl explains that she would meet her grandma, her mother, and her grandpa who raised her because her biological father is not in her life. When her father left, her grandpa stepped up and took care of herself and her sister, treating them like his own daughters.

Zach asks if she has any fears about him meeting her family, and she’s honest that she has no intention of introducing them to someone that she doesn’t truly see a future with. That said, she is ready for Zach to meet her family.

Zach’s response? “GIMME A MINUTE.”

Zach goes outside to “think” and explains in an interview that hearing about Rodeo Girl’s grandpa and mother and how important these people are to her, how hard her life has been because her father left … he doesn’t take any of this lightly, and he decides that he is not confident that he should be meeting any of these people.

Zach returns to the table and is like, “Yeah, I can’t give you what you need, and I don’t think I should meet Grandpa.” Rodeo Girl begins crying, but assures him that she appreciates him being honest and upfront with her, and she wishes him the best.

Girl, you’re the one who deserves the best, and he ain’t it.

Zach still has to send one more woman home, so line up, ladies, we’re about to find out whose parents he doesn’t want to meet!

Rose #1: Bored
Rose #2: Love Charity

Which means, goodbye to Julia Roberts. You didn’t have to be a mind reader to see that one coming.

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” Zach:

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

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