The Bachelorette Recap

This week's Bachelorette shows exactly how not to talk about race

This week's Bachelorette shows exactly how not to talk about race

Bachelorette episode 5, Rachel Lindsay
Decisions, decisions. Bachelorette Rachel has much to think about. Photo courtesy of ABC

If you recall, we left last week’s episode on a group date with the tension between Kenny, the pro-wrestler, and Lee, the wannabe country singer, escalating rapidly. Thankfully, we get an almost immediate Bryan interlude, during which he continues to charm Rachel’s socks off and make my ovaries flutter. Can we just stay here forever?

Apparently not. While arguing by some lovely boats, Kenny calls Lee a “disingenuous snake” for telling Rachel that Kenny has an aggression issue. This descriptor gets shortened to “snakey,” and as Lee removes himself from the situation, Kenny waves and chants. “Bye, Snakey,” like that’s Lee’s new pro-wrestling moniker.

Lee returns to the group and prances around in front of the other guys, proud that he’s been able to get under Kenny’s skin to this extent. When Rachel comes back into the fray, she announces that the group date rose will be going to Bryan, aka my future baby daddy.

Kenny then feels obligated to give a speech, during which he says he respects Bryan because Bryan has done it “the right way,” without being a “snake” or a “bitch-ass dude.” Well said, buddy. Here, here!

Lee replies with “F*#& you!” and Kenny goes off on him, though in a decidedly and very deliberately non-aggressive way, by which I mean he’s whispering “Lee, you’re a bitch. Fuck your cowboy boots.” The other guys stand by and alternately giggle and look very, very uncomfortable.

The next day, the sun is shining in beautiful Bluffton, South Carolina, for Rachel’s one-on-one with Jack Stone. They go on a carriage ride through the town, then they eat raw oysters. Then we all die of boredom. Even my mom, who regularly watches this show with me, is bored to death by Jack Stone, and she likes everyone.  

They try to get more comfortable with each other by joining in a dance competition, and it’s clear there is zero spark there. Jack keeps trying to be sweet and flirty, but he’s just. so. awkward. At one point, he goes in for a kiss, and Rachel pulls back, telling him she’s sick and doesn’t want to get him sick, too. Ouch.

Back at the frat house, Lee and Will have a chat about Lee’s issues with Kenny, and Will, a black man, tries to explain to Lee, a proven racist POS, that there is a long history of white dudes calling black men “aggressive,” and it’s kind of not okay. Lee accuses Kenny of “playing the race card,” and Will says that Lee is probably just ignorant. I think that’s actually giving Lee too much credit, because ignorance implies he could know better but doesn’t. Nah, man, Lee is just a jerk.

At least he isn’t boring, though. Jack is back to putting me (and mom) to sleep on the evening portion of this date, so he becomes the first dude not to get a rose on a one-on-one. To Rachel’s credit, she manages to muster up some tears as she sends him home.

And now we find ourselves, finally, at the week four rose ceremony, halfway into the week five episode. Rachel has decided to forego the cocktail party, because she knows exactly what she wants to do. She sends home Iggy and Jonathan. Jonathan, aka the Tickle Monster, gives her a little tickle “for the road.” And Iggy cries. Lee and Kenny are both still around to duke it out in the next destination of Oslo, Norway.

The Norway dates begin with a one-on-one with Bryan, who is looking as gorgeous as ever. Rachel admits that while they’ve already got the physical connection down, she wants to see if they can develop an emotional connection. The two go to the top of Holmenkollen Olympic ski jump, and because they’re crazy, they decide to rappel down all 187 feet of it. Rachel helpfully points out that 187 is slang for the crime of murder, according to the California penal code.

To no one’s surprise, the couple makes it out of this incredibly dangerous staged situation and have a serious talk about how their relationship is not, in fact, too good to be true. Rachel can’t figure out how someone so handsome and educated and 37 years old is still single. (I know why. It’s because he hasn’t met me yet.)

Bryan tells Rachel he’s falling in love with her, and she seems convinced that maybe he can be that perfect, so she gives him a rose. 'Cause, come on, duh. He is perfection.

Meanwhile, the date card comes, and, shocker, everyone is going on a group date except Lee and Kenny, who are going on the dreaded two-on-one. For those of you who don’t know, only one man can return from a two-on-one, so they tend to create some tension.

At the group date, Rachel reveals that she wants “a man who knows how to use his hands,” so they play a traditional European game — handball. The bad news: It is completely unclear how this game actually works. The good news: All the men have to wear spandex onesies, so carry on, gentlemen!

During the after-party, the men pull out all the stops trying to impress Rachel: love letters, jokes, signs from God. It’s all a bit much for the poor gal, until Peter comes along and is super suave. He starts kissing Rachel then stops and pulls the No. 1 good guy move, saying he just wants to talk to her more because they have such a great connection. Then they go make out in the hot tub, and after an uncomfortably long absence from the group, the two return, so Rachel can hand out the group date rose.

If you thought Peter was going to get it, you are not alone. But the rose went to Will, the MVP of handball.

The next morning, the guys all gather to say fond farewells to Lee and Kenny, who are pretty much going off to fight to the death in an old-fashioned duel. The date takes place in the Norwegian wilderness, replete with symbolic snakes. Rachel takes Kenny aside first, and they chat about how he thinks she could be a great role model for his daughter. Then he brings up Lee and their drama, and Rachel thanks him for his honesty.

Next it’s Lee’s turn, and his hair is higher than ever — it’s a good half a foot in the air. Lee and his hair immediately start telling Rachel that when Kenny drinks, his dark side comes out. He claims that Kenny tried to pull him out of a van to confront him and that he essentially admitted to having a drinking problem. Rachel is understandably confused, so she goes full lawyer to get to the bottom of it.

She tells Kenny what Lee said about him, and Kenny starts cackling in a very, um, frightening way as he walks back toward Lee, claiming that the country boy is about to “get washed under the tide of realness that is Kenny.”

The previews for Tuesday night’s episode show Kenny bleeding and then crying and Rachel crying, so maybe, just this once, Chris Harrison will be right, and we really will witness the most dramatic rose ceremony ever. Stay tuned.