It’s week three of Clare Crawley’s season of The Bachelorette, and she still wants Dale Moss. How much longer are the producers at ABC going to make us endure dates with other men? Judging by the promos—not much!
Tuesday night’s episode dove straight into where last week left off: the villain of the season, Yosef, finally confronts Clare about... something that doesn’t directly affect him at all. He tells Clare that he’s mad about the “humiliating” naked dodgeball thing, which makes him look wack as hell because he wasn’t even on that date. When he brings it up to her, she begins to tell a story about how her mom is dying and he cuts her off! She entertains his nonsense for 20 minutes and then instructs him to leave; he tells her she’s “classless,” adding that he “expected more from the oldest Bachelorette.” She cries, appalled because she didn’t even do anything to him. Send this man to therapy, stat, for his daughter’s sake. Naturally, Dale Moss, her fave, comes over to comfort her. She cancels the cocktail party and parades the contestants straight into the rose ceremony, where she bids farewell to Blake Monar (the other Blake M., not the Canadian wildlife enthusiast, thank god), Garin (the professor) and Tyler S. (who?).
The next time we see Clare, she announces that the day date has been canceled in lieu of a long cocktail party—for quality time, of course. Instead of doing that, Dale immediately pulls her away and they adjourn to her private quarters for an hour to make out on her bed. Naturally, the other guys are like... what? Behind the scenes, on a hot mic, viewers are treated to Clare behind-the-scenes, whispering to producers “can we kind of hurry the rest along?” after presumably only having time with Dale. He also interrupts other dates, enraging the other contestants who, for some reason, are still here. Eventually, the other men confront Dale and tell him to stop being a politician; he responds by being a bad politician. Clare appears and gives him the group date rose.
The next one-on-one date is with Zac J., whom I’m positive hasn’t been on screen before this moment. She takes him for pedicures (remember, they’re quarantined at the La Quinta Resort, and activities are limited) and he’s super boring. She breaks it off before dinner after an excruciating moment in the pool: she can’t bring herself to kiss him, and he responds by grabbing her chest to pull her back towards him, and then forcefully grabs her neck, almost physically positioning her into an embrace she has rebuffed. Naturally, she cuts things off before dinner, and he’s sent home. The moment is never touched on or discussed again—indicative of The Bachelor franchise’s inability to handle harassment and conversations surrounding sexual consent in any effective manner.
Comedian Margaret Cho shows up for the second date where the boys are tasked with roasting one another, as the rest of the guys from the first “date” sit in the audience. Naturally, all the contestants use the stage as an opportunity to rip Dale a new one, which Cho labels “hostile.” Afterward, at the cocktail party, Clare interrogates all the guys about their Dale jokes, including Ben, who only made mention of the guy once in a throwaway line. When it comes time to give out a rose, she refuses, saying she “did not get what I needed” from them. I’m infuriated on their behalf. Does Clare suck? Or does she simply need to leave this damn show? (That’s facetious. She needs to leave.)
As she walks away, Clare tells a producer, “I really don’t think I can sit there and go, ‘You dished on my fiancé so hard...’ it doesn’t feel right,” which I guess is hyperbole, because if this woman got engaged off-screen, there will be hell to pay. Anyway, the entire show blows up in the final 10 seconds, when The Bachelorette continues to tease Clare and Dale’s departure (Bags packed! Boy brows furrowed!) and Tayshia Adams’s dramatic entrance as this season’s second Bachelorette. She’s introduced, dripping wet, waltzing out of a Palm Springs pool like a James Bond love interest, or Colton Underwood for the entirety of his season of The Bachelor. ABC loves to get the most Christian of their contestants wet—Sports Illustrated-meets-baptismal shower-style—and I never know why. I’m not sure I ever will.
There’s always next week, right?