If it was unclear from the number of times the magical phrase was said, this week was Fantasy Suite week on The Bachelor. Matt and the three finalists (none of whom he seems all that interested in marrying) used the intro portion of the show to stand in the forest, staring off into the middle distance, and opine about how important this uninterrupted alone time with Matt was going to be to solidify their relationship because as everyone knows, heterosexual relationships are not real until there’s a sleepover. Like the rest of Bachelor Nation, I was ready for the PG-13 fuckfest in Pennsylvania and the question of whether Matt bangs with his eyes open was going to finally be semi-answered.
But in a turn that was foretold by choppily edited previews, the orgy in the forest was delayed by the appearance of Matt’s father. When it was previewed last week that Matt’s father would be showing up to Nemacolin during Women Tell All, I assumed that it would be after Matt had sexed up all the women and would need to talk about his mixed emotions with the man he seems to dislike the most. But no, it was much worse than that!
Matt invited his father, about whom he has been saying all season left his mom and was an absentee parent, to confront his own demons and fears over a long-term commitment. Matt’s fear of long-term commitment came as brand new fucking information, considering that he was talking about finding a wife all the way back in episode one. Nevertheless, Matt was going to talk to his dad and sort it all out.
Terrible fucking idea.
The interaction between Matt and his father was some of the most uncomfortable television I’ve seen all year. Instead of confronting his father and trying to understand why he chose to be absent from Matt’s life, Matt read his father for filth and shamed him on national television, all while the man was attempting to apologize and “celebrate [Matt’s] success.” Matt wasn’t with the shits.
As we learned during the worst scene in reality television since The Windmill, Matt’s mother up and disappeared one day, taking Matt and his brother out of the home they shared with their father. This was apparently because Matt’s father was a hardcore cheater who had “other families” and Matt—who is at this point begging for his father’s love and validation—thanked God that his mother left when she did. But he also still wanted his dad around despite him being elated that his mother left. Matt whines about needing a father and this is where things get interesting.
Matt’s father reveals that he also, never had a father because his was killed when daddy dearest was just five years old. So Matt discovers that his grandfather was literally murdered, and does not even bat an eye? He just continues to blame his father for ruining his ability to have long-term relationships.
At the end of the conversation the two men hug it out and Matt somehow summons the nerve to say, “I’m not the man my dad is,” as he’s about to walk back into his harem of women and fuck each one of them, knowing he will dump two of them before the month is over because they aren’t wife material.
Had this whole conversation remained in the top half of the show, I think the episode could have recovered. But instead, Matt brought up this conversation on all three dates while patting himself on the back for not being the type of man who would cheat or abandon his family. Not only was it just generally insulting to his father who maybe did or did not deserve to be shamed, but the bigger crime here is that Matt’s hard-on for embarrassing his dad made it impossible for the show to pivot to sexy time because everyone was so stuck on their emotional response to a conversation that Matt kept repeating. Whose fantasy is this!?