The first of this week’s two Bachelorette eps opened with the boys doing a bit of a workout in the yard. It had a real prison vibe, except nobody’s cutting anyone else with a shiv carved from soap. This is probably because there is no soap in the mansion. Sam likes her men musky.
Osher showed up and handed out the dates cards; one for a single date, one for a group. Sasha was chosen for the single date - even though Michael hasn’t been on one! - and all of them get to participate in the group one.
The group date involves the boys cooking dinner for Sam, which is either a sign of budget woes or an indicator that the show has already done literally every interesting thing that it is possible to do.
Each guy choose a course to prepare - canapés, entree, mains, dessert - and Michael offered to choose some wine. WINE. Wine is not a course (it is, of course, a way of life).
After pausing so that Richie could Google what “canapés” means, they got started by assigning the seating for the dinner party. It’s done randomly, unless Dave - who laid out the cards - has some kind of trick up his sleeve. Some sleight-of-hand would be a handy skill to show off, given that the main skill he’s demonstrated so far is hating children.
As she arrived at the mansion, Sam reflected, “Tonight, I want to see what they’re like in a group situation before I make such a huge decision.” As if there hasn’t been a group date in literally every single episode of the show so far. Did she just now realise that she should be paying attention because there are tough decisions coming up? Who’s responsible for explaining to Sam how the show works? Osher?!
Sasha, who has a single date lined up, was served an entree with extra garlic. It’s either an unsubtle attempt at sabotaging the date, or the boys believe that Sasha is a vampire. Let’s be honest; both are equally plausible.
They played a fun fact game, during which it’s revealed that Alex has no earlobes. Just howling voids where his ears meet his jaw. Michael’s fact is “My biggest fear is never finding my soul mate,” which is not so much a fun fact as another part of his ongoing audition to be next year’s Bachelor.
Throughout the dinner, Dave was awkward. Totes awkward, I might say, if I were the type of person who was inclined to use a phrase like that. Which I am not.
Eventually Sam took her leave, probably sensing that the boys were mere minutes away from ushering her into the kitchen and asking her to do the dishes.
Later, Sasha and Sam went out on their single date, which involves them painting a mural which be sold at auction to benefit the a stroke charity. This makes sense, because paintings are made of strokes. Brush strokes! We have fun, don't we?
When they’re done, Sasha paints a black moustache onto Sam. They kiss, and - to my enormous disappointment - the kiss didn't rub off just enough of the paint to leave Sam with a tiny little Hitler ‘stache.
Dave’s awkwardness carried on through the cocktail party, which he apparently thought was some kind of cocktail drinking contest. He slurred his way through a one-one-one with Sam, which only served to confirm and heighten the awkwardness, before he was eventually put out of his misery and sent home. Sorry, Dave! You seemed nice.
This week’s second episode brought us home town dates. I would relate what happened, but… come on. It was the home town dates. We know there’s going to be some forced “tough” questions from family members, some declarations of strong feelings from the guys, and some waffling from Sam about how difficult it is to be in this difficult situation and make such a difficult choice.
Anyway, Michael played some one-on-one soccer with Sam, Richie took her to meet his family AND his mates, Sasha did something or other, and Alex was a bit British with her. Somehow this business occupied nearly two hours of screen time. That’s [practically forever] per date.
Then, finally, came the rose ceremony. It’s a tense and melodramatic-
Whatever, I can’t be bothered building this up. Alex got sent home.
This episode went for NEARLY TWO HOURS, people.
Daniel Hall is a screenwriter and pop-culture commentator who has written about a variety of shows for a variety of websites.
Twitter - @danieljohnhall