Love is Pain (or, Rachel’s Bachelorette Episode 7)

This was basically the Red Wedding of Bachelorette episodes, people. I can’t even. I mean, I know that I must, so I will, but really, I’m so disappointed in Rachel. Especially after last week’s master class in emotional intelligence, this week’s debacle was a real kick in the ‘nads.

What this season of the Bachelorette really illustrates to me is that when it comes to love, there’s no “the one.” There are a bunch of people who, as Dan Savage says, can be rounded up to one. Rachel is faced with four dudes, all of which represent extremely different paths– this season is basically a Choose Your Own Adventure where 3 out of 4 choices would have very pleasant endings. The fourth choice being Bryan. That story would end in being chopped into little pieces and stashed in a freezer by his mother (more on this below).

The good thing about the Bachelorette being so much better than it ever has been before is that, despite yourself, you really come to care about the people involved. The bad thing about the Bachelorette being so much better than it ever has been before is that, despite yourself, you really come to care about the people involved. There are REAL FEELINGS here, and with REAL NONHORRIBLE PEOPLE (a reality TV miracle similar to immaculate conception). Now that we’re so far along, even the nice moments are tinged with sadness, because it’s a pretty big bummer to think about any of these dudes getting their hearts stomped down the road. Except for Bor-yan. Wouldn’t mind seeing that dude cry– or at least, how his mom would react if he did.

Eric is preemptively breaking my heart. My god. The man is so excited to see Rachel, it’s like he mainlines those giant pixie sticks every time he’s going to spend time with her. His family is absolutely lovely– and they are way more with it than any other family to ever appear on this franchise, especially Eric’s aunt. Eric’s aunt, can we please be friends when all this is done? Or can you at least have your own TV show that I will watch faithfully and purchase a DVR to record? ABC ARE YOU LISTENING?

For reasons I talk about below, I’m about 99% certain Eric isn’t going to be the last guy standing at the end. It’s reasonable given Rachel’s articulation that he has never been in love before and she wants a guy who knows what he wants and is ready to get serious, which is what she’s looking for.

But….

Dang, it’s heartbreaking to see how his face lights up when he’s around her. Look up earsplitting grin in the encyclopedia* and there’s Eric’s picture. It’s delightful to see, but also rough, given that Rachel’s not into the idea of  breaking someone in at this stage in her life (understandable, especially since it’s not 100% clear how much he loves Rachel specifically versus the feeling of being in love with Rachel, which is the trouble with this two-month timeframe, shockingly enough). And she looks just as happy meeting his family and friends! Her face is more open, her smile more genuine, than we have seen before, or with any of the other family meetings. She can give up some of that strength and caution and let herself be folded into the warmth of Eric’s lovely family and just be a gal meeting her boyfriend’s people. It’s super nice.

Oh well. We should be ready for this franchise not letting us have nice things.

Peter, oh Peter. I’m not going to spend much time on this one. He’s making the fatal mistake of applying intelligence to this situation, i.e. not being sure he wants to get married after knowing someone for <2 mo. Rachel seems bummed that he has doubts about the process, which is why she is about as happy as a wet blanket getting into the SUV to go home…. If anything is going to get in the way of Peter locking it down with Rachel, it’s his refusal to give himself over completely to the process of manufactured TV love. Which, in this case, is probably a bummer, because I bet they’d be real happy together!

The only other thing I’ll say is that it was pretty sick to see Peter’s mom sell him out when Rachel asked if hew as ready to commit.

Ok ok one final comment– is there such thing as a salt and pepper fox? If not before than there is now, because Peter is one FOR SURE.

Bor-yan‘s mom, if anything bad happens to Rachel, we’ll know who did it. Yeah, that dynamic is not at all codependent/unhealthy. You just told an entire nation of viewers that you’d ice any woman who made Boryan anything less than happy, so that shit’s officially premeditated. Bryan’s sister basically said that his last g/f deserved the axe for not wanting to hang out with this bunch of clingy loons. The fact that Rachel didn’t run screaming is impressive…

but also another sign of face-hoovering derangement syndrome. Hopefully that hometown made her rethink and she just has a good poker face.

I can barely bring myself to talk about Dean. It’s amazing that Dean is such a lovely human being. Parents are supposed to be the big-hearted ones. Yeah they get hurt, yeah kids can only see their own lives and not their parents’ humanity and flaws… but especially when kids are young (like, Dean’s age and younger), parents should be there to absorb their kids’ blows and still provide love love love. Especially when the kids are as wonderful and need that love as much as Dean. It took a lot of guts for Dean to go back, even more for him to take Rachel. That smile, plus “I’m suppressing every single emotion I’m trying to feel… I’m burying it deep down.” God, Dean.

Which is why Rachel has burned me past the point of return. She didn’t have to marry him. She didn’t even have to bring him along to the very end. But she a) convinced him to open up and told him she’d be there for him, b) told him she was falling in love with him too (a cardinal no-no of the franchise), and then c) broke up with him? In a ROSE CEREMONY? Without offering any kind of explanation?

I mean, look, I can see her point. She was there after his confrontation with his dad, he was super worked up, and then he told her he was falling in love with her too. There was probably a lot of emotional cross-talk going on within him that could have made him think he was in love when really he was more moved by her support. But why. Didn’t. She. Tell. Him. That??? Her breakup speech was really lame– so lame that I’m sure it just reinforced for him that his family makes him ineligible for love and a real relationship.

You screwed up big, Rachel. You did not keep it classy, you allowed ABC to exploit real human tragedy and pain, and worst of all, you hurt the Deanosaur.

It’s probably not a consolation for him, but he was the hottest just-dumped person I’ve ever seen. Dean, let’s introduce you to Raven and you can be sweet and fun and beautiful together.

Wait, that’s a genius idea. SOMEBODY TWEET AT THEM ABOUT IT.

We also need to talk about those Bachelor in Paradise commercials. What. The Fuck. I mean, I love Bachelor in Paradise. It has been a great, entertaining show in the past! But ABC’s marketing of it is reeeeeeeal gross. The commercial literally says, “Paradise was almost lost! … Paradise is found!” Breathe…. breeeeathe……

THERE ARE SEXUAL MISCONDUCT ALLEGATIONS IN PLAY HERE, ABC. AND YOU ARE AT THE CENTER OF THEM. DO YOU REALLY THINK IT’S APPROPRIATE FOR YOUR MESSAGING TO BE, “thank goodness we were able to sweep those under the rug in time to air this tacky AF reality TV show!”?!?!?!?!?!?

You know what? That’s all for this week. I will tune in next week but I am NOT happy about it.

 

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