It’s day two of the longest week of my life, I mean the two part Bachelorette event. Tonight, the crew has traveled all the way to Connecticut. Man, not going too far this season, huh ABC? Tightening the purse strings? Is all travel money being reallocated into Chris Harrison and the underground drug trafficking ring I assume he is the head of?
After the boys all casually canoodle in a giant hot tub, it’s time for the first date card. This one goes to Dylan, who is nervous to tell Andi about his tragic past. This should be fun!
For their date, Andi and Dylan are taking over the Essex Steam Train for a scenic trip through New England. Right off the bat the two young lovers are chatting about the really fun stuff, like how long their last relationships were and why they ended. This segues very nicely into the next very sad topic, as Dylan explains that he found out his ex girlfriend of 8 years got engaged the day after his brother’s funeral. Andi stares blankly at him and asks not one follow up question. Dylan looks uncomfortable at Andi’s duck face and apparent lack of interest and changes the subject. ANDI! React! Are you a sociopath?
Later, as they prepare for dinner, Andi talks about how she can tell Dylan wants to tell her about his past, and that she hopes he will open up. You know what might help that, Andi? Acting even just a tiny bit interested in anything he says. After Andi rudely tells him that he needs to get over being nervous around her, Dylan finally launches into his nightmarish past of both his brother and sister overdosing on drugs. Andi’s lips are reaching new duck heights the entire time, as she blandly says “yeah” to every dark turn in Dylan’s story, showing the same level of interest as if he was explaining the mechanics of a fax machine. Finally, by the end of the story, Andi’s eyes appear slightly moist, but she is definitely bringing the bare minimum of emotion to the table. Despite the very apparent lack of chemistry, Dylan gets the rose because Andi may be a lot of things, but monster is not one of them.
The next day, JJ, Chris, Andrew, Eric, Nick, Cody, Tasos, Brian, Patrick and Josh join Andi for a basketball themed group date. Everyone is wearing workout clothes, with the exception of JJ, who is inexplicably wearing an over sized pair of sweat pants, a flannel button up and a knit cap.
Andi introduces a team of WNBA All Stars, who are there to quickly shame and emasculate our band of misfits. The amount of joy that I experience as Cody confidently goes for a layup only to have the ball unceremoniously slammed to the ground by one of the WNBA players cannot be properly articulated.
After the far too short slaying of the bachelors by the WNBA rockstars, it’s time for Andi to divide up the guys to play for the chance to continue on to the night time portion of the date. It seems that the production staff made some errors in the budget, as only one team, The Rosebuds, is outfitted with professional jerseys. The other team is left with what appear to be high school jerseys, turned inside out and decorated with puffy paint.
Team Rosebuds is comprised of Brian, Marquel, Nick, Cody, Eric and Andrew, and Team “we ran out of money so please enjoy this arts and crafts project and don’t complain” is made up of Josh, Patrick, Chris, Tasos and JJ. Brian, being the basketball coach that he is, leads Team Rosebud to success, and Team Puffy Paint is sent packing. As usual, the losing team treats the loss with the same gravity as if they just watched their entire family get murdered in cold blood.
Eric gets the first one-on-one time at the cocktail party, and Andi wants to talk about how their relationship has stalled. Eric pretty quickly agrees, and calls out how formal all of their interactions have been. Andi seems a little combative as she accuses Eric of holding back. The conversation transitions to his family, and he tells her that he planned a trip back to the US in order to visit everyone in his family, since he wasn’t sure how long it would be until he could see them again. OH GOD. Then he talks about leaving the Mormon church, and how difficult it was because he feared he might lose his family, and JESUS CHRIST WHY IS THIS THE SADDEST SEASON OF THE BACHELORETTE EVER?
Thank god, Brian is here to insert some levity, bringing Andi back on to the basketball court to show off some more. They flirt a bit, and then he nails a half court shot, causing Andi to basically have an orgasm on the spot, but Brian fails to notice and leaves her without a kiss.
Thankfully for Andi, Nick is there to fulfill all kissing requirements, as the two spend their entire one on one time making out all over the place. But basketball beats tongue-ball, and Brian gets the rose on this date.
The last one-one-one is for Marcus, who is only 25 years old! I realized this season that these people are now my peers. Hell, I’m OLDER than this dude. Between Eric’s fate and this realization, the theme of my journey through Season 10 of The Bachelorette is MORTALITY.
Marcus is the lucky recipient of the Leap Of Faith date. They travel to the top of the hotel, where no amount of wind or whining from Andi will stop them from repelling down the side of the building. This goes pretty much as expected. Andi says “oh my god” and swears a bunch, as Marcus calmly encourages her to step off the ledge. “I need to be the man in this relationship and hide my fear,” he says to the camera, reinforcing everything that is wrong with everything in the world. His manly fear hiding works, though, and Andi musters enough courage to climb down and even kiss him along the way. She explains that the point of today’s date was seeing if Marcus could protect her. First of all, the rope protected you. Second of all, FEMINISM.
The dinner date is at a cute resort, where Marcus talks about not dating for 3 years and throws a napkin over the rose. Andi is clearly a smitten kitten, so it doesn’t take long for her to pin that boutonniere on Marcus’s lapel and take him to a private concert. You know what else doesn’t take long? Marcus telling Andi that he’s falling in love with her. YIKES.
Before the one-on-one, we see Andi reading a love letter from a secret admirer. I’m guessing this will be an arc throughout the rest of the season, and we are seeing it in this edit because the author is the one Andi ultimately chooses.
Andi’s riding high off her anonymous love letter, the contents of which have given her the strength to wear a bedazzled gown that looks to way approximately 4,000 pounds. Tasos steals her away first. Andi is so obviously like “unsubscribe.” Marquel is next, and he uses his time to teach Andi self defense moves. I kind of want to be friends with Marquel.
Then comes Eric, who is here to continue their conversation from the other night. It seems that he’s been thinking a lot about it, and feels that she is the one who hasn’t been opening up to him, not the other way around. He tells her that she has a poker face, and makes a comment about her being a “TV actress” that does NOT go over well.
OKAY. This is weird. Everything escalates quickly, and soon Andi is crying. Eric tries to explain himself, since this all seems to stem from completely reasonable concerns that maybe weren’t expressed in the best way possible, but Andi is fired up and angry, and ultimately sends Eric away. Andi returns to the cocktail party full of rage, screaming at all the other guys to walk out if they don’t believe in her. Oof.
Listen. I don’t think Eric looks bad in this final appearance. As he gets into the car, he’s composed and clear and talking about how the whole experience just makes him more ready to find the right one, and it’s all very heartbreaking. That being said, was it really necessary to air that whole argument? Couldn’t they have inserted a Harrison interview where he explains that Andi and Eric both realized it wasn’t a match, and they decided he should leave before the rose ceremony that night? Do we really need to have his last appearance on television being one where he makes Andi cry (whether or not his reasoning was sound)? I’d say no, but I’m not the one in charge.
Instead, the segment that is cut is the rose ceremony. Because for some reason seeing Tasos get kicked to the curb is the thing that is unfair to Eric’s memory and his family. Harrison brings Andi out and they talk about Eric, and how that last conversation wasn’t ideal, but that he was a good dude and they’ll all miss him. And that’s that. Who knows if this was the right way to handle the situation? There probably isn’t a right way. No matter what the producers or Harrison did here, Eric still has a grieving family, and they’ve had to have their tragedy broadcast on national television, and talked about on silly blogs like this one, and that sucks.
And on that note, everyone go hug a loved one and quickly cancel any hang gliding reservations you might have made. We’ll be back for the next episode in two weeks, when hopefully things will be slightly less depressing. BYE!