Will You Accept this Recap?: The Bachelorette Season 16 Episode 2

This season of The Bachelorette has already been one for the books because they filmed during a pandemic; however, with the multitude of spoilers on the Internet, this season could actually be the most dramatic one yet! (We hope you heard this in Chris Harrison’s voice.). This Tuesday’s episode on Oct. 20 has also brought the dramatics and cringe-worthy moments. 

There will be spoilers for this week’s episode, but we will do our best not to spoil any of the endings for the rest of the season. 

 

Blindfolds, Chess Pieces and Dale, Oh My! 

Jess: I have a few questions: did the guys mean to be rude, or have we all just forgotten how to socialize in quarantine because, honestly, same? What producer needs to be fired for literally this entire episode? And was Clare yelling at all the men, or just pissed that her OG, day one, potential husband, first impression rose, Dale didn’t steal her away immediately? 

The love language date, while interesting in theory, failed in its potential. Plus, the whole time I just kept thinking that everytime she said “they,” in terms of how “they express themselves” through love, I felt like she only really cared about Dale, which was apparent throughout the date.

First of all, this date took place in a dark, hotel, conference room—already super weird vibes with the only good thing being Clare’s cute outfits and the comfort of Chris Harrison. 

Second of all, this was the first date of the season. A words of affirmation exercise could be fun, but these guys have barely even talked to Clare yet! How can you possibly know all of the things you love about a person when you haven’t had the foreground to get to know them? The only one that really landed seems to be Riley’s, who tried to make it fun by doing a cute rap.

The rest fell flat because we, as viewers, haven’t seen a relationship betweenClare and any of these guys, besides her declaration that she felt like she met her husband after having a seven second conversation with the guy. It just felt like the Clare and Dale show, without us as viewers really being invested in it yet because we haven’t seen a buildup to the chemistry between them. 

Then we have the gift section of the date, where we see the guys charge to their rooms—some ripping their pants and jumping over bushes in the process—with James Bond music blasting in the background. 

Did it make sense to make the guys scurry around the resort in search of a gift for Clare? Arguably not at all? As viewers, we’re used to fun obstacle course first dates, roasts, performances, anything else. Even though it’s COVID times, they could’ve just chosen a more fun date overall, rather than making an icon like Bennett search aimlessly for something that again, we as viewers have no connection to really. The chess piece—my favorite gift, by the way— baseball and a t-shirt for Clare to sleep in were all nice in theory. But again, I just think production could have really stepped up on this one. 

Lastly, the heinous physical touch part of the date, which in person would’ve been super, super, awkward. Both parties blindfolded and forced to touch, which sounds like a lawsuit waiting to happen. 

Again, it just all felt so forced, unnatural and not really fun. First dates are supposed to have a fun, easy energy. The whole thing just felt forced, and Clare just zeroes in on Dale, making us as viewers invested in barely any of the guys and also confused because most leads keep their top pick to themself until the season gets closer to ending. Chris Harrison deserves a raise (or a rose?) for tolerating any of this. 

Rebecca: It was an odd date. I liked the first parts, but after reading Jess’ response, I realized that they were too much on a first date. It could have been later on. Finally, the blindfolds took things a bit far. Also, I know everyone was quarantined, but COVID-19 is still a thing. It was very awkward to watch Clare and the men feel each other up. The moment with Dale was the most awkward of all of them. 

 

Clare Confronting the Guys After the Date, AKA The Most Uncomfortable Moment in Bachelorette History 

Jess: I want to acknowledge that before s*** hit the fan, Clare looked absolutely amazing. Her wardrobe team or whoever is picking out these outfits are killing it. That was the only positive part of this entire, awkward, post-date after party. 

I honestly felt bad for the guys. This whole process is unprecedented during a pandemic. This isn’t the normal, fun, Bachelor process; there was a lot of stress, quarantining, and overall just weirdness involved because of all these circumstances. One awkward silence isn’t the worst thing in the world, and after a day of 120 degree La Quinta heat (yes, I’ve heard on podcasts that it was absolutely sweltering where they were filming during all of this), I wouldn’t feel like talking either. 

Also, Clare was mad none of the guys asked to steal her for a second, but she could’ve just as easily asked if anyone wanted to go to talk! And she did, but I just think yelling at the guys to care is not necessarily going to make them care. If anything, it’s just going to add more pressure to the awkwardness and stress of this unprecedented season. 

As Clare went to go back to yell at the guys, I couldn’t help but laugh at how Bennett was just waiting for her back in the room they were talking in. Also, Bennett’s glasses, such a look we stan. 

I didn’t have a problem with Clare addressing the group; I just didn’t really like how she addressed it. I think if she acknowledged, “hey, this energy is weird, is everything good?” that would have been a million times better than asking, “does anyone want to spend time with me? Because I could just go home and go to bed.” It just came across as insecure or projecting something, even if that wasn’t the intention. 

THEN, just when we think it can’t get any worse, Yosef stokes the fire by starting out a statement that’s supposed to be calming with the words: “I think you’re crazy to think…” To Yosef, and any man out there who may possibly read this article, if you take anything from this episode and piece, know that you should never call a woman crazy because that will not end well. I’m not sure how he meant it, and maybe he didn’t mean it in a negative way, but it’s just never a statement that isn’t going to come off as gaslight-y and off-putting. 

Two guys get up to talk to Clare, but she only lights up as soon as Dale steps up to the plate, further reinforcing that this is the Dale and Clare show. 

Rebecca: I applaud Clare for speaking her mind, but I do wonder if Clare took things a bit far when she yelled at the men for hanging out with each other later that evening. While a contestant would usually steal the lead to begin the one-on-one talks of the night, none of them took the initiative. Clare could have done this herself. Instead, she awkwardly forced one of the men to steal her then subsequently left that poor man to go yell at the others. In past seasons, most of the men fight, so it was a good thing that they were getting along. Her comments made them start to argue. It was very unnecessary. 

 

First Dates or Therapy? 

Jess: If I got a date card telling me to write a letter to my younger self before I get there, I would probably leave the show. This date was absolutely a first date from h*ll, with fires and burning literally included. Burning dresses you wore with your ex, writing letters to your younger self, writing down the worst things people have called you, screaming at the top of your lungs together—I would personally bail two minutes into this or hide in the bathroom. 

I didn’t dislike Jason. He seems like a guy who loves to laugh and have a good time. Yet, production threw him and Clare into this super dark and weird date which made me feel both bad and confused for and about him? 

Jason constantly kept referencing his “demons” and how people had told him he was “manipulative” and “dark,” making me question whether he was about to confess to a previous murder he committed. And Clare absolutely loved it as he kept repeating how he has demons. 

What ever happened to asking someone what they like to do for fun on a first date rather than skipping straight to the childhood traumas? 

Rebecca: To be honest, I can’t remember this date very well. I feel horrible because I know Jason and Clare really opened up, but it felt forced. I think that’s why it didn’t feel memorable. I always appreciate a little fire though, and burning that dress is an A+ for me. 

 

The Dodgeball Game From H*ll

Jess: This is just another thing within this entire episode that simply didn’t land. I feel like production thought that this was going to be so punny and clever, but it just was dumb. I don’t personally blame Clare for this because production decides this stuff. There’s no way they weren’t involved. Still, it was absolutely tasteless, lacked boundaries and consent, and viewers felt just as uncomfy as the guys seemed to. 

First of all, the faces that the guys made as soon as Clare announced that this date was strip dodgeball said it all. This ref, screaming at the men to take their shirts off, was making me laugh hysterically at his investment in the date. Chris Harrison’s face every time each piece of clothing was removed was honestly relatable. The naked hugs, I visibly cringed. It was a problematic mess.

The franchise consistently makes the mistake of falling into sexist, heteronormative, racist tropes, and this was just another reflection of how they have shown that. Playing dodgeball naked? Really? Chris Harrison covering his eyes was the most accurate moment of the entire date because the rest just missed the mark. It’s 2020, and although it’s been an absolute s*** show of a year, aren’t we past toxic masculinity and objectifying bodies for America’s entertainment? According to producers, apparently not. 

Rebecca: There’s a lot to unpack here, especially considering the backlash and fan reactions. I agree that there’s a definite double standard because women would never be asked to strip naked; however, they’ve been asked to wear lingerie and hit each other with pillows during Peter Weber’s season. It’s also unfair for those who feel uncomfortable stripping or wearing revealing clothes. To be fair, only the men who felt comfortable removed their jockstraps, but even that was taking it too far. Why couldn’t the men keep their shorts on or have boxers instead? While Yosef wasn’t on the date, he expressed his distaste about the date to the other men who laughed about it. There’s nothing wrong with speaking an opinion. Overall, the producers need to start creating more dates that aren’t classified to either gender. Why can’t dates be more gender neutral? 

 

The One Who Crashes the After-Party

Jess: You never want to be the guy doing the ABC Cam move. We all saw how that ended last year on Hannah Brown’s iconic season. As soon as Blake started doing the Joe from You montage of staring eerily in the mirror while getting ready, I knew this was a doomed move. Cue the assemblance of what looked like a preppy frat coming to kick Blake out of their party. 

The kiss rejection, the strip dodgeball, all of it: CRINGE, CRINGE, CRINGE! Just like Peter, Clare is rewarding behavior like Blake reaching out to her during quarantine when it’s against the rules and crashing the date. I like Blake, but I think the move was bad, and this season isn’t that good yet, tea. 

Rebecca: I personally dislike it when any contestant crashes a date they shouldn’t be on. Yes, the rules aren’t always fair, but life isn’t fair. While technically, anything goes in The Bachelor Franchise because it’s a reality show, there’s such a thing as respecting others’ time with the lead. Also, I’m all for a strong woman who knows what she wants and likes, but I did think it was a bit much for Clare to give Blake a rose for his behavior. She already spoke with him during the date’s cocktail party that he shouldn’t have been at; I think the rose just rubs it in the faces of the others. It’s unfair to the other men who put their whole lives on hold. It also rewards bad behavior.

 

The Brandon (AKA Nev From Catfish) Meltdown-Debacle-Hot Mess

Jess:

Brandon: “I plan on redeeming myself here this evening.” 

Brandon, 5 minutes later: *leaves for the entire evening and season, because he’s eliminated*

This entire interaction mirrored the vibe of this whole episode: ABSOLUTELY CRINGE. 

I do agree that Brandon’s responses to Clare’s questions were odd and didn’t really seem to add up. However, I do think it was fair for him to say that he didn’t really know that much about her because, again, these are only the first few dates where they’re supposed to be getting to know each other! 

I think this just seemed like a pairing that didn’t match. It was an interaction that went south almost immediately. Leading, sadly, to Brandon and his potential influencer career ending early.

Rebecca: Oh gosh I forgot about this moment until I read back Jess’ answers. There was so much that went down during episode two. Basically, I agree that Brandon didn’t really say the right things. He could have just said that he wanted to get to know who she is in-person rather.

 

Clare’s Weird Obsession with Dale (Plus the Blindfold?)

Jess: Clare’s energy is a lot more intense than I was expecting. I get it, she’s 39 and she knows what she wants. But I wish we had a little more context into what exactly is so appealing about Dale? Because all viewers saw were like brief moments with them that don’t seem to explain why he might potentially be her husband. However, they’re an Aries/Libra pairing, which is super compatible, so I’ll ship it. 

Rebecca: Clare made headlines when she expressed that she thought she “just met her husband” on night one when Dale stepped out of the limo. It does seem like Clare isn’t giving many of the guys a chance, but there are a few others (see: Blake) that have piqued her interest. She may have taken things a bit too far when she brought the blindfold from their date to continue making out with him. As I wrote earlier, I’m all for a woman who knows what she likes, but, again, these men gave up a lot to be on the show. I think it’s hard to comprehend because Clare is the first Bachelorette (and lead) to call out a favorite so early. Most leads would just continue to play the show. I can’t say much because I don’t want to spoil anything, but we’ll just have to see how it plays out.

 

Bennett’s Superior Suite

Jess: I just want to note that Bennett’s suite literally looked like where Bachelor in Paradise should be. This man had so many shoes lined up, an abundance of face masks, white cloth robes, multiple fireplaces, spa water, green juices and a master bedroom. We stan a man who prioritizes self care. 

Rebecca: I always love the bonus scenes at the end of the episode. I’m just wondering how Bennett got this suite. I’m pretty sure one of the other guys mentioned they had roommates, but I don’t know for sure. I’m guessing that if it is Bennett’s real room, he paid for extra amenities somehow since he could be stuck there for a while, assuming his relationship with Clare goes well. Or it could all be a joke and they planted his stuff in the room for a few minutes. Who knows with reality TV.

 

 

While we did not write about week one, we hope to write about each subsequent week. This was an idea born over text messages, so our reactions are a bit late for this week. Overall, we’re excited to keep working together as we make it through this dramatic season of The Bachelorette!