The second episode of Clare Crawley’s Bachelorette season aired Tuesday night, and I’m not sure why this show is still going when she so clearly only cares about Dale Moss and none of the other contestants. If it hadn’t been completely spoiled that she may or may not leave with him mid-season, she’d come across a bit tunnel-vision-y, unable to date other men. And yet, that ain’t the name of the game, and so she is only able to see him on a group date.
The first date of the season loosely involves author and pastor Gary Chapman’s outdated 1992 self-help guide The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate, where Clare attempts to read each contestant’s love language by having them “express love” to her. “It’s important to me that a guy knows his love language,” she narrates. “And if he doesn’t know—then he’s going to learn it today.” And so she stands on a Juliet balcony as her Romeos attempt to not sound like big dorks professing love to a person they just met (“words of affirmation”); they run to their rooms to find something meaningful to give her as a symbol of “gift giving”; they wear eye masks and hug for “physical touch”; they have a party for “quality time.” The latter enrages Crawley, because the men don’t jump at the opportunity to interrupt each other to spend the aforementioned “quality time” together. The fifth love language, “acts of service,” goes unmentioned. Clare gives Riley the date rose, for some reason, and decides to go on a one-on-one date with Jason, also for some unknown reason.
She instructs Jason to write a letter to his younger self because the theme of the date is “let’s do therapy stuff without a professional present.” They scream together in the desert. They write down the cruelest things they’ve ever been called by another person, such as, “manipulative,” “cold” and “[a] bitch.” Look, I know ABC is positioning Clare as the wise, emotionally mature Bachelorette, but this is clearly a wack date far too early in any relationship. That is, until she burns the dress she wore during the finale of the season of The Bachelor she was on seven years ago. All first dates can be improved by lighting stuff on fire.
The second group date is strip dodgeball, which allows Chris Harrison to say things like, “Look, you gotta be looking for a guy that’s got ball control.” The losing team has to walk back home mostly nude, which tragically includes the sweet Canadian wildlife manager Blake Moynes, who deserves to be the next Bachelor. The winning (clothed) team is invited to have drinks with Clare, where they talk about being unpopular in high school, or something. Eazy gives her a foot rub. Blake Moynes shows up anyway, in an attempt to show Clare that he doesn’t care that he lost, he really only cares about her. It doesn’t go well. She dodges his kiss and goes back to the other men to chat with Brandon, who can’t name a single thing he likes about Clare beyond how “beautiful” she is, and so she sends him packing. She gives Chasen the group date rose, and I mostly still can’t believe there are men named Chasen on this earth and not just in romance novels.
At the cocktail party, Clare takes Moynes aside, kisses him and gives him a rose—she liked his gesture of interrupting the party, she was simply “caught off guard.” Then Dale makes her cry, so she blindfolds and makes out with him. Again, if this is the only dude that she actually likes, why waste Bachelor Nation’s time, ABC?
But twist! The rose ceremony doesn’t take place. Instead, there’s a tease: Yosef, the show’s villain (it really should be Bennett), will confront Clare for being “the oldest Bachelorette in history,” but who knows how many more weeks will pass before the producers deliver on it? It took an entire season before Bachelor Colton Underwood jumped that fence, lest anyone forget! Until next week... I’m going to take a very long nap.