This week opens to “gentle music,” according to my closed captioning.
“I am honestly pretty hurt,” Michelle says in her recap of last week’s gossipy man in Minneapolis drama. “It’s difficult when the guys are questioning my character.”
“I felt bad that Michelle felt that her character was called into question,” a dude parrots back in a casual, unplanned chitchat session with a few other dudes. “I think as a group we messed up last week. I don’t want Michelle to lose faith in us.”
In this week’s episode? “Two amazing group dates,” host Kaitlyn tells the men. “And if you feel like there’s something Michelle needs to know, tell her.” Kaitlyn is a shit stirrer!
This Group Date is Brought to You By Fighter Jets
I want a man who isn’t afraid of the danger zone, teases the first group date card. Will these twenty-something men get the Kenny Loggins reference from 1986?
The date is at the Palm Springs Air Museum, and is basically a commercial for the Top Gun sequel nobody asked for. Michelle enters via an airplane that she appears to be driving herself. “The whole thing is sexy!” a dude exclaims.
The group heads into the hangar, and a bunch of dudes exclaim in shock and approval as two actors from the new movie enter. No, not Tom Cruise and Val Kilmer—this show got Jay Ellis and Glen Powell. Did these guys really know who these actors are? Because I had absolutely no clue. Turns out Ellis was on Insecure and Powell was on Scream Queens.
Anyway, Pizza Pete seems to know who they are, and he is super excited because the original Top Gun was his favorite movie as a kid. “I don’t know if it’s the volleyball scene or the ‘I’m running out of fuel!’ scene,” he says, proving that literally everyone, regardless of gender or orientation, loves the sexy shirtless volleyball scene.
The random celebs want to help the guys come up with their “call signs,” nicknames used in the Navy. The names they come up with suck. Pizza Pete gets dubbed “Dough Boy,” Lil Will gets named “Big Willie,” and some dude with frosted tips gets christened “Frosty.”
The lameness continues as the guys are asked to do pushups and high knees. Then, they are each strapped into one of those G-Force simulators. They’re supposed to tell Michelle how they feel about her as they spin. They all worry about barfing. None of them barf. Big Will professes his love for Michelle in Spanish while trying not to puke.
“He’s copying my thing!” Pizza Man rants. “I gave Michelle my recipe for love. Basically he said the same thing I said, but in Spanish.”
The next challenge pairs the guys up to fight against each other with little padded sticks a la American Gladiator. Pizza Pete/Dough Boy is set up with Lil/Big Will, of course. Will handily kicks Pizza Dude’s ass. To cause even more trouble, the show has Michelle award Will with a Top Gun bomber jacket and a ride in a car that was used in the movie. Romance!
“Enjoy your five minutes. Enjoy your jacket,” says Pizza Guy. “That kid’s a bum.”
They return to the hotel for the cocktail hour.
“I feel lucky to have such a wonderful group of mature men,” Michelle says in a voiceover.
Cut to Pizza Man calling Will a bully. “Bro, you wish you had my mouth,” he exclaims, for some reason. Will points out that Pizza Pete’s pizza restaurant doesn’t even exist. “You gotta throw these little chihuahua bites at my ankles,” Pizza Dude retorts.
Will gets up in frustration. Pizza Pete puts on the prized Top Gun jacket and walks off.
“This jacket is a symbol of the disrespect I continue to get, so I had to put him in his place,” Pizza Pete voice overs as he throws the jacket in the pool.
The rest of the dudes are over the drama. “I’m tired of going on dates with Peter,” one guy admits to the other five guys he is also on a date with.
Will returns to see his prized jacket missing. The guys tell him what’s up. Will walks off. He is actually crying.
“I was hurt beyond words,” he says. “I earned that jacket.” He goes on to explain that the jacket has become a metaphor for the obstacles he and Michelle will face on their journey.
Meanwhile “Frosty,” the man with the frosted tips, gets the non-elimination rose of love.
Lil Will fishes his jacket out of the pool while Frosty and Michelle slow dance as a string quartet plays “Take My Breath Away.” Will they play the Caddyshack theme or “Footloose” next?
Minnesota Factor: Nothing! Absolutely nothing! 0 / 10,000 lakes
Solo date time! It’s gonna be with Rodney, the dude who dressed up as an apple in the first episode.
“I think she’s going to keep it in the friend zone,” some dude speculates. “Poor Rodney.”
Poor Rodney, indeed. He is about to get the shittiest solo date this show has ever seen. They get to go to the hotel kitchen, the conference room, and some random suite for their date, which is a game of Truth or Dare. But Michelle and Rodney aren’t choosing or creating the challenges—the show producers are. Lame. In the kitchen, Michelle is blindfolded and Rodney is tasked with feeding her food while she guesses what she is eating. In the conference room, they handcuff themselves together and search through boxes filled with crap for the keys, and in the suite they talk about life.
The last part is just cruel though. It’s a “dare” for someone to streak while the other person shouts “This is our journey!” through a megaphone. Rodney volunteers to go full nude. He covers his crotch with a pillow, but his ass is all out. He looks uncomfortable and like he just wants to get this over with.
“The date has been really fun until this point,” he says. He’s pissed off. Me too, dude.
A few of the guys show up to shout insults at him. This is not cool. He is obviously not okay with this and it’s not silly, it’s humiliating. Poor Rodney.
“It’s pretty bad when everyone sees you in your birthday suit and it’s not your birthday,” he says.
The date resumes at one of those signature Bachelorette foodless dinner tables in the candlelight. Michelle tells a sad story about the time she was called a racial slur at the grocery store and her ex-boyfriend told her to shake it off. Jeeeesus, girl. He sounds like a piece of shit.
“I truly feel like Michelle could be the love of my life,” a fully clothed Rodney summarizes after their date.
Minnesota Factor: Nope. 0 / 10,000 lakes
Group Date 2: Do Not Want!
Oh god, it’s a spoken word challenge. There’s going to be poetry and stuff. Some spoken-word guy named Rudy Francisco shows up. One guy is fanboying.
“I have never written a poem before,” admits a guy named Leroy. The screen tells me he is a freakin’ biomedical Ph.D student. Dude, what are you even doing on this show?
A few highlights from the poetry jam: A guy rhymes “lost” with “lost,” Romeo and Juliet is rhymed with bachelorette (kinda good!), and our season’s villain Jaime tells some weird non-rhyming story about someone getting lost in the woods. The dudes are not impressed.
“Jaime might be preparing to be a motivational speaker or a cult leader,” one guy speculates.
The weird poetry session is followed with a cocktail hour, of course.
“I gotta set the tone that our love is immaculate,” one dude says in an interview.
“No one was weak today, everyone was strong,” congratulates another dude to the group, amping them up. Aw, bromance!
Brandon gets the rose.
“I’m smitten fellas,” he says. “I’m smit-ten.”
Jaime, the villain edit guy who knows someone in Minneapolis, is pissed.
“I think the challenge with Michelle is that she’s basically in spring break mode,” he tells a producer in a totally non-scripted, off-the-cuff behind the scenes talk with a producer. “I mean I’m not going to judge it, but it doesn’t mean I can’t make fun of it.”
Minnesota Factor: I’m giving up hope on love… for Minnesota this episode. 0 / 10,000 lakes
Time for the Rose Ceremony of Love vs. Elimination
“I don’t mind a little fireworks tonight because when the pot gets stirred the rat will be exposed,” one dude says, mixing a lot of metaphors.
It’s time for cocktail hour No. 4 this week. Here’s what goes down: Some guy tells Michelle that no one was gossiping about what she did with some guy in Minneapolis. A few guys confront Jaime about his Minneapolis friend, and he starts rambling on about the Bachelorette audience and what people will see in episodes when they air. The guys start freaking out like they don’t understand that they’re on a TV show. With the threat of the fourth wall crumbling, Michelle ushers Jaime out of the hotel, so he can begin his journey to the airport.
“No more parables, no more lies. Let’s go!” says Rodney. Poor Rodney. He almost never seems to get what is going on.
“If I don’t get a rose tonight, I’ll be sad,” warns Casey.
During the rose ceremony, the final rose comes down to Lil/Big Will and Pizza Pete. “The kid’s a clown,” says Pete, confidently.
Pizza Man is sent home. He handles it well. He’s off to start his pizzapreneur pizza journey toward his pizza empire.
Minnesota Factor: Minnesota is but a mere spectre this episode, haunting Michelle’s character. Rise from the ashes, Minneapolis! 0 / 10,000 lakes
Next week on The Bachelorette: A game of Twister, the guys go shirtless and stare at each other, and lots of men break down crying. What fun!