Warning: This recap for episode 5 of The Bachelorette contains spoilers.
Welcome to week 5, rose lovers — which, thanks to the NBA finals, will also serve as week 6, since we’re getting two back-to-back episodes. (But probably just one rose ceremony though, amirite?)
Part 1 of the “epic” two-night “event” returns us to the South Carolina Yacht Club, where Kenny has just decided — against everyone’s better judgment but his own — to confront Lee yet again for talking trash about him to Rachel.
“Oh my God, what now?” groans Lee.
“Apparently, Rachel thinks I’m some aggressive, angry, antagonistic — but mostly aggressive — sort,” replies Kenny. “You’re a disingenuous snake, and I’m calling you on it.” It’s clearly taking all of Kenny’s strength to remain calm, but he keeps his voice even and quiet as he tears Lee a new one. Iggy, Will, and a few of the other guys watch with intense interest — but from a safe distance, of course.
It’s probably for the best, because it seems Lee is hell bent on provoking Kenny into punching him in the face. “So you wanted to get violent that night,” he drawls. “That’s what you just said… So you have an unrealistic violent aspect about you.” An “unrealistic violent aspect”? Not really sure those words really mean anything when strung together randomly, but clearly Lee is simply trying to push Kenny until his snaps — so Lee can then run to Rachel and say, “See! The big black man is violent!”
But Kenny, God bless him, doesn’t take the bait. “If I was aggressive, Lee, everyone would know it.” Lee shoots back that Kenny is “a stack of bleeding muscle right now,” which makes me wonder… is Lee having a stroke of some sort? He’s really not making any sense. Finally, Lee realizes that Kenny is not going to punch him in the face, so he slinks off.
Naturally, after the confrontation is over, both Kenny and Lee declare victory. “See what a bitch does when a bitch is confronted?” announces the wrestler, as his rival retreats. Lee, meanwhile, gloats, “I’m totally in his head!”
Before we get to the date rose, though, let’s take a minute to address The Bryan Situation. He’s really turning the intensity up to 11: Last week he told Rachel, “You’re my future,” and now he’s got her trapped in a tiny boat where he’s insisting that she’s his “perfect match” because they’re both “too good to be true.”
I want to tell him to take it down a notch, but I can’t… because Rachel gives him the date rose!
If only things could have ended there. But this time it’s Kenny who can’t leave things alone. As soon as Rachel leaves, Kenny begins loudly praising Bryan as “a guy who’s done it the right way,” a “classy dude” who hasn’t “snaked other dudes to get where he’s at” and isn’t a “bitch-ass dude.” Of course, everyone knows who those words are aimed at.
“F*** you,” Lee snaps, prompting Kenny to warn him that he’s likely to become “a stain on that couch” if he keeps it up. “So you’re threatening me again,” sneers Lee. “I’m trying to be kind to you.” Well, that’s a straight-up lie, but Kenny is going pretty over-the-top with his venting: “I want to lay my balls on your f***ing chin because you’re a bitch.” While the guys find this whole exchange funny — after all, none of them like Lee either — it really doesn’t do much to bolster Kenny’s case that he’s not “aggressive.” Maybe just agree to disagree and stop talking to him, Kenny!
Oh Lord have mercy, we still have to sit through Rachel’s one-on-one date date with Jack Stone! You know when you wake up all groggy and you have no idea if it’s the weekend or Monday? That’s how I feel about this episode. Look, Jack seems like a nice enough guy — and Rachel dutifully says they are “a perfect match on paper” — but I think we all know he’s not making it to the end. So we don’t need to spend too much time on this date: There was oyster shucking, there was swing dancing, there was weird blinking.
But there was absolutely zero chemistry. When Jack goes in for the kiss, Rachel pulls away and mumbles something about how she’s sick. It’s all quite boring and sad, so let’s check back in with the guys at the hotel. Hey look, Will’s trying to explain to Lee that “aggressive” is very loaded word that comes with a lot of negative racial stereotypes: “There is a long-standing history in this country of regarding black men in America as ‘aggressive’ to justify a lot of other things.”
“Ohhhh,” says Lee, and for a split second I thought he might have learned something. And then, this: “So he’s the guy who gets mad and plays the race card, and tries to get away with everything he does.” And my hat’s off to Will for calmly listening to Lee and still attempting to engage him in a human conversation. “I don’t think he meant to play the race card,” says Will. “I think he truly was offended by that choice of word.”
It’s a valiant effort, but Lee chooses to keep his ears (and mind) closed. “I don’t understand the race card,” he tells us. “But, it got played, apparently.” And Lee is a douchebag. Obviously.
Oh, before I forget, Rachel sent Jack Stone home, as we all knew she would. His fate was sealed when he told Rachel he wanted to take her back to Dallas and “lay in bed and talk.”
Goodbye, Jack Stone. May you and your two names find happiness someday.
In keeping with the idea of not wasting anyone’s time, Rachel tells us she’s not going to have a cocktail party — when is a shame because she looks amazing in her dress.
Ah, well. Here’s tonight’s robot roll call: Peter, Adam, Will, Matt (wait, who?), Alex, Josiah, Anthony, Kenny, and (of course) Lee join Dean and Eric in the rose corner. And so we say goodbye and good riddance to Iggy, and to this weirdo.
NOT OKAY, JONATHAN!
With that, we’re off to Oslo, Norway. After a quick “promotional consideration provided by” tour of the hotel, it’s time to get moving with the first one-on-one date: Bryan, you’re up! And today, Rachel’s mission is the opposite of what it was with Jack Stone: She and Bryan have a physical connection, but can they click on an emotional level too? Naturally, the best way to figure that out is to dangle together off the Holmenkollen Olympic ski jump.
Because, you know, love is like a pointless and dangerous physical activity. Or something. Anyhow, the exercise worked, because now Rachel and Bryan are really clicking on an emotional level. Like here:
And, of course, here:
Man, I hope the production assistants carry Chap Stick.
To be fair, Rachel knows they haven’t made much progress pushing beyond the physical connection, so that night over dinner, she “opens up” to Bryan about her insecurities with men. It seems Rachel’s sister was always seen as the “pretty one,” and Rachel was a late bloomer — so to this day, she’s always a little skeptical when guys show romantic interest in her. And wouldn’t you know it? Bryan — a former “rail thin” kid with acne — was a late bloomer too. And now that he’s blossomed into a swarthy stud with an intense stare, he never wants to let Rachel go. “I’m truly falling in love with you,” murmurs Bryan. “I really wish that at the end of this, it’s gonna be me.”
Rachel is a little taken aback by Bryan’s proclamation. “I cannot believe that he went all the way out there today,” says the Bachelorette. Neither can we, honey. Still, she gives him the rose, as we all knew she would.
Knock knock knock! It’s the Accent Table of Doom at the door! (Or should I say, Accent Table of Døøm?)
Adam, Dean, Anthony, Peter, Matt, Will, Alex, Eric, and Josiah are chosen for the group date — which means, of course, that Kenny and Lee are headed for the dreaded two-on-one showdown. All in due time, rose lovers: First we get to watch the group date guys squeeze themselves into shiny singlets for a round of handball.
Josiah’s feeling confident. “I don’t got them Donald Trump hands — I got these real hands,” he says with a grin. Uh-oh, should someone tell Dean that you’re supposed to wear your jock strap underneath your uniform?
And in case you were worried, Team Bachelorette did bring Adam Junior to Oslo.
The after party is rife with Romantic Gestures. Rachel and Will have their first real make-out session; Alex reads her a cheesy letter about his feelings (“my favorite moments are the ones where I get lost in your eyes”); and Matt gives the Bachelorette… a piece of cloth embroidered with song lyrics?
I’ll admit I spent way too much time staring at the freeze-framed screen trying to discern what those lyrics say, so if anyone has a guess please drop it in the comments. Anyhow, Rachel is loving all of it — until Josiah implies that God told him they’re going to be together. “I just want to grow old with you,” he says. “And I really, really mean that, Rachel.” The Bachelorette is all, slow your roll, pal. “You never really ask questions about me,” she tells him, adding that she wants him to learn things about her by asking, not by reading them in a tabloid. Yeah, Josiah’s days are probably numbered.
Peter, though, is definitely winning this date.
Good for Rachel for going after what she wants, but isn’t it a little awkward that there are eight other guys sitting around inside waiting for her to come back? And there’s just no masking that chlorine smell without a shower.
Apparently, Peter and Rachel are gone for three and a half hours — or at least, that’s what one of the guys says when Peter finally returns to the holding pen. Still, the group date rose goes to… Will!
Sorry, salt-and-pepper — better luck next time.
And now, rose lovers, it’s time for the Main Event. Lee’s been prepping for the two-on-one by lifting weights (in jeans and cowboy boots), while Kenny’s got a nice pep talk from a fellow bachelor. “You have to be on your best behavior,” Bryan tells Kenny. “If he comes at you, be the bigger man.”
Okay, boys — time to cram inside that helicopter.
The pilot flies them into the “Norwegian wilderness” where Rachel says there aren’t “any other distractions” — and where Team Bachelorette can get a shot of the two-on-one loser being stranded alone in the middle of nowhere when the date is over. Lee says his strategy is to “kill him with kindness,” while Kenny plans to maintain his “Zen-like mode” and focus on Rachel.
The Bachelorette pulls Kenny aside first, and he gives her his sales pitch: “For me this isn’t, like, a week-to-week thing. I’m looking for a forever thing.” It’s all going really well — I just wish Kenny hadn’t decided to get in a dig at Lee, telling Rachel that his rival “lashed out” at him because he was desperate. Either way, she’s happy with their conversation. “My gut feeling from Kenny is to trust him,” she says.
If only we could trust Kenny to keep his mouth shut while he’s ahead. Rather than sitting in awkward-but-harmless silence with Lee when he gets back, Kenny launches into a monologue that’s part earnest, and part provocation. “Look at where you are, and look at what you’re doing, and just be thankful,” Kenny tells Lee, while surveying the majestic scenery. “I couldn’t feel better about today.”
Naturally, this irritates Lee and further fuels his desire to mess with Kenny’s game. “I can be pretty calculating sometimes,” he informs us. You don’t say? To that end, as soon as Lee sits down with Rachel, he fills her in on all the nasty things Kenny said to him — calling him a “bitch” and saying he was going to “s**t in my boots,” etc. — and then claims that Kenny “violently” tried to pull him out of a van at some point. Of course, Rachel can’t believe what she’s hearing.
“It’s out of hand,” Lee continues, adding, “It’s only when he drinks.”
Damn, he’s good.
Our poor Bachelorette is completely confused. “All I wanted out of today was clarity,” she sighs. “But I’m getting two completely different stories.” She didn’t want to have to do this, but it’s time for “lawyer Rachel” to get on the case. She pulls Kenny aside again to put him under oath: Did he get “violent” with Lee? Did he admit to having a “dark side”? Is he “aggressive” and scary?
Of course, Kenny denies it all: “Rachel, on everything I love, it’s 100 percent false. He’s lying to you.”
Having heard (and re-heard) both sides, Rachel dismisses Kenny so she can go “think about some stuff” — and so Kenny can hightail it back to Lee and start reading him the rageful riot act. “He will get washed under in a tide of realness that is Kenny,” declares the wrestler. But not until tomorrow night:
While the preview shows us blood (somebody/something busted open Kenny’s eyes) and tears (Rachel’s, Kenny’s), what it doesn’t show us is Lee — so either it’s all a big fake-out and Kenny goes home, or… actually, no matter what happens it’s probably all a big fake-out.
So tell me, rose lovers — did Kenny secure is safety, or is he his own worst enemy? Is Will emerging as a front-runner? And will Bryan ever take it down a notch? Post your thoughts now! (Chris Harrison will blog about both episodes tomorrow.) I’ll meet you back here tomorrow night, but for now, I’ll leave you with this:
The Bachelorette airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on ABC.