It finally happened, but the conclusion of the plot line doesn't feel triumphant.
Unfortunately, The Bachelorette aired again last night. I desperately needed some time off from the show, but I guess it's perhaps better to get the racism narrative over with as soon as possible. Indeed, within the first few moments of the second half of this week's double feature, Lee, whose sole purpose on the show was to get under people's (black) skin, is summarily dismissed at the conclusion of the two-on-one saga.
But there's no sense of relief. Lee is obviously deranged, and it's completely fucked up that he was ever on the show to begin with. As we probably all remember, Lee fabricated a story about Kenny "pulling him out of a van" and told Rachel that Kenny has a dark side when he drinks (another lie). The episode begins with Kenny asking, Umm, why would you say that? And Lee has the nerve to try to say that he didn't.
Rachel finally puts an end to Lee's tyranny when she tells Lee that she's sending him home. The moment seems set up to be a triumphant one, but it just feels empty. There's probably a more accurate word in the German language for what it feels like to barter away a part of your humanity in exchange for a few hours of television, but I don't know it. I'm just left thinking: What the hell was all this for? At least Lee doesn't get an exit interview to spout more of his nonsense. Presumably he will catch a plane south and start working on his line of bespoke Confederate flags.
Kenny barely makes it out of the ordeal, but he gets the two-on-one rose. Later, however, after the group date, he's sent home, too. It's so stupid. Kenny basically had to spend his time defending himself against a racist instead of with Rachel, and that's what gets him eliminated. But, like I mentioned yesterday, this is the nature of the show, and it's stupid, like I mentioned earlier. Rachel and Kenny have a heartfelt, mutual goodbye after they realize their relationship hasn't been able to advance, and it makes me tear up. I hope nice things happen for Kenny.
Before that, there's a rose ceremony. There's many edits of Josiah saying how confident he is that he will be moving forward as the roses are being handed out. It's clear what that means: Josiah leaves without a rose. I feel fine with this because yesterday, during the group date after party, Josiah hover-handed Rachel while he was talking, and it seemed creepy. I don't think I mentioned that in the last recap because there was just so much going on, but it did haunt me. Anthony, the guy who went on the boring horse date a while back, also goes home.
It's now that I realize The Bachelorette is entering into a new phase: All the men left in the house seem to feel a legitimate connection with Rachel, aside from a couple of guys who have barely made an impression. Matt? Adam? Literally who are they? But I imagine the contenders are going to start feeling similarly to how I feel when my boyfriend is friendly to girls he knows, and start acting out.
For now, with Lee gone, things are pretty calm. Rachel and her harem travel to Copenhagen, Denmark, where Eric gets a one-on-one. He's so excited and can't stop dancing (well) and smiling! Peter and Bryan, whom I dislike, are clearly the frontrunners for Rachel's heart, but Eric has potential. I kind of have a crush on him. Watching Eric and Rachel walk around the city, play games, and have a good time in a hot tub is like listening to a Chance the Rapper song: It's just nice. Eric gets a rose.
It's announced that Will gets the next one-on-one, and the rest of the men go on a group date, where they dress up as Vikings and play seemingly made-up Viking games. One of the games is called, like, "greased stick." The men—Alex in particular—delight in doing masculine cosplay, and Kenny is crowned the winner of it all. But it's here, at the after party, where he gets sent home. It's amicable—Kenny misses his daughter and also fears his relationship with Rachel isn't solid—but it's sad. Peter gets the group date rose for being hot.
If you're counting, a total of three men have gone home at a rapid clip. Next up is Will's one-on-one date, which is so awkward. There's been some discussion in the house that Will, who is black, doesn't like black women because he's told a few of the guys that he's mostly dated white women. This seems to be an issue on his date with Rachel, where he acts like he's in the sunken place. Rachel brings up how she feels like he's not attracted to her and skirts around the possibility that it's because she's black. They don't really come to a resolution as to what's going amiss between them, but Rachel decides to send him off.
Speaking of dating white people, all of Rachel's surviving suitors, except for Eric, are white. I think that's fine and value neutral. Just saying!
At the rose ceremony to cap off the episode, Rachel says another tearful goodbye. This time it's Alex who's leaving. I'll always remember Alex for his surprisingly competent twerking, love of crazy outfits, and Rubix cubes—until the next episode, when I'll have forgotten all about him.