The Bachelor Vs. The Platinum V (Finally)
It's the moment we've been waiting for: Corinne and her 'sex charm' against Nick and his stupid face.
As we all know by now, Rachel will likely go home tonight to begin her preparation to become America's first non-white Bachelorette. It's very exciting to know that ABC let this information get out ahead of tonight's episode to save us all from unnecessary stress and worry. Thank you, ABC. That's very kind of you. But I am a bit sad that Jasmine won't be the first non-white Bachelorette, if only for the episode where she plays Chokey with all her suitors. I guess I'll just have to imagine all of their surprised and terrified faces. And don't think I won't.
But we must move onward, ever onward, as we slog toward the almost certain moment where Nick realizes maybe he's not interested in any of these ladies and sheepishly asks the producers for a "do-over." Time to get this party started, the party where Corinne gives Nick full access to her vagine and vagine-adjacent sex-ports. And time to answer the burning question: Will Raquel be nearby with cucumbers and warm towels? And, yes, there's still a cure for the burning part of that question.
The Final Six
Now when I see that weird picture of Nick in profile, holding the rose with one hand and his own neck with the other, I like to imagine he's playing a game of Self-Chokey, to try to figure out what the big deal is. "Do I like this?" he seems to be asking himself. "I don't, do I? Maybe I'm not applying enough pressure? Maybe I should use both hands? Oh, man, why can't I do ANYTHING right?"
We begin the episode with the ladies lamenting Nick's sullen mood of the night previous. Raven, Rachel, and Kristina hang out on the couch, while Vanessa and Final Danielle hang out in a bed. Corinne does whatever she does on her own.
"Yesterday was an emotional roller coaster," Rachel says. "Nick walks in and was just full of emotion." It's true. He was full of that one emotion that he has. So full. Raven puts her finger on exactly where Nick's panic springs from. "It was about the potential of not finding your partner here. Again," she says. Yep, that's it. Nick fear being an idiot on TV all over again.
Needing guidance, Nick calls in noted love expert and author Chris Harrison for advice. "Are you ready to quit and walk away from all this?" Chris asks. Of course the answer is no. Nick is an addict, and this franchise is his drug of choice.
"I just don't want him to lose hope," Final Danielle says. "I've never been more afraid," Vanessa says. "I'm terrified." Really, Vanessa? Then I guess you haven't seen Alien or The Exorcist in the theater. Because if this experience terrifies you, those films will probably kill you. Nick comes back into their hotel suite. It's awesome, because I love the moments when you can see the rooms that these people live in. Regardless of the gender, the rooms are like the post-apocalyptic hovels of half-human/half-hamster people. Belongings are strewn everywhere. For instance, in their room, a long dress seems to magically hang from the center of a wall. As if a picture was taken down and put in the closet, so that the dress could hang there instead. Perfection!
Nick gives a long-winded speech to the ladies before saying, with tears choking him up, that these six women are the reason why he sent those other ladies home. The ladies are all happy and "hopeful," he says, which gives him the confidence to cancel both the cocktail party and the Rose Ceremony so that everyone can fly off to Bimini -- as the sign says, the Gateway to the Bahamas.
All of the ladies realize how close they are to hometown dates. So close, they can all almost taste it. Corinne seems especially focused on it. "I want Nick to meet my family," Corinne says, without specifically mentioning her nanny. But we all know her nanny's input will be the most cherished. Corinne hopes she'll get the one-on-one date, which would almost certainly mean a hometown date. Instead, Vanessa gets the card that says, "Let's go deeper, dot-dot-dot," as Kristina reads it.
"And I think Nick wants to get deeper emotionally with her," Corinne says. You think? I mean, it's theoretical, actually. I don't know that Nick can get deeper emotionally with anyone. It's all puddle-deep up in his emotional pool. And a lot of it has evaporated. Not sure if that metaphor works at all, but that's fine. Nick's emotions don't work either.
Vanessa in Bimini
Vanessa greets Nick for the date in the traditional style, by leaping into his arms and wrapping her legs around him. She says it feels like years since she last saw him, whereas I believe it feels like years whenever we spend any time at all with him. So I guess we're even. Nick and Vanessa have a boring conversation on a boat. Is there any other kind of conversation that Nick has? No, there is not.
Back at the hotel, Corinne complains to Rachel about Vanessa. "He just wants her to open up more to him emotionally-wise," she says. "I just don't see her getting deep about her feelings." Then she adds, "Nick only sees this special needs teacher. How much depth does Vanessa have?" That's a very good question. How much depth could somebody have who gives their time and their life to the benefit of kids less fortunate than others, right? A person like that seems PRETTY SHALLOW, by definition. Corinne's the best, guys. The best at being a terrible human being.
To further prove this, Corinne again emphasizes that she wants to get the one-on-one so that she can show off her family, and especially her nanny, whom she says is her best friend. Aw, that's so sweet that a paid employee is your best friend. That's not sad in the least.
Nick and Vanessa go snorkeling by an old shipwreck. They kiss in the water. Which proves to her that this is love. Instead of proving what it should prove, which is that kissing underwater is terrible and uncomfortable. Anyway, Vanessa decides she wants to tell Nick that she's falling in love and she wants to do it tonight. Vanessa is pretty and boring enough to be Nick's mate. So I still feel like she's a strong candidate to win this thing. Admittedly, this is a definition of "winning" that I'm not as familiar with.
Over dinner, or plates of dinner that no one ever touches, Vanessa tears up a bit as she works toward telling Nick that she's falling in love with him. His reaction is to kiss her, first on the lips, then on the forehead, then on the hand. Then Nick says, "I really really like you, but…" And the dramatic music begins as Nick gives her a wishy-washy answer about why he can't say anything of substance back to her. You know, because of the way the show is, and how he wants it to be special or some bullshit like that. His non-answer bums Vanessa out, as it should. It reminds her that even though she might be feeling something for Nick, just beneath the surface, he's still a turd.
Three Girls & A Little Shark
"I'm the queen of group dates here. Literally," says Corinne, presumably an English major. The group date Nick has planned involves getting on another boat. "I've been on a boat bigger than this," Corinne says. The three-way date plays out awkwardly from the jump. There's some awkward application of sunscreen, by Nick to Kristina, and by Corinne to Nick. It's not sexy, just aggressive. Nick lets the ladies know that this date will be nothing but "awesomeness," including the part where they're going to snorkel with sharks. None of the three women find that news to be "awesome."
"I know they can bite. And they can smell blood. And you can die," Kristina says, never one to understate anything, especially anything related to death.
When they see a shark in the water beneath them, Kristina gets terrified and gets back on the boat. Nick gets out too, to comfort her…and to leave the other two women to the sharks. Smooth move, champ! Corinne gets mad that Kristina has basically taken a page from her playbook, that thing where she gets special attention from Nick at the expense of the other women. It's something she's done almost every episode so far. But it is unfair to her when someone else tries it – unfair on copyright grounds, I'm assuming.
At the cocktail portion of the date, Corinne says if she doesn't get the rose tonight, she's gonna go crazy. I hope this comes true, and that by crazy she means "clinically insane." I look forward to her throwing her own feces and screeching like a trapped animal. Nick takes Kristina away for some alone time first. And I notice during his confessional moments that he frequently makes a face like he just smelled a fart. And that while he's talking to the women, he looks like he's holding in a fart. I don't have anything to add to that. Just wanted to associate Nick with farts.
Nick spends a lot of his time with Kristina, talking about D-Lo and why he let her go. He was forcing the relationship, he says, instead of letting it happen naturally. Right, because that's what you have to do on this show. There is no "naturally" in this universe. "I just let my emotions get the best of me, Nick says about letting D-Lo go. And saying this makes him start crying. So, wait, is he letting his emotions get the best of him now? Or is this something else? I honestly don't know what the fuck Nick's emotions are about. Or if he has more than one.
Back on the couch, Raven and Corinne chat while Corinne shoves upwards of two dozen cubes of cheese into her mouth. "I'm eating my feelings!" she says. It's the most charming she's ever been.
Raven is the next to get one-on-one time. She spends it wisely, dropping the bomb on Nick that her dad was diagnosed with lung cancer two years ago. "Is he in remission?" Nick asks. "He's good now," she says, totally dodging the question, artfully planting the seed of tragedy in Nick's dumb brain.
Back at the hotel, Final Danielle gets the next date card. It reads, "Let's ride off into the sunset together." Vanessa reads the date card and then says about it, "Oh, that's beautiful." Okay. She's definitely got to get out more. See some real beauty in the world. A painting. Any painting. Because "let's ride off into the sunset together" isn't beautiful; it's lazy, even by the standards of this stupid show.
When Corinne finally gets to spend some time with Nick, she mostly complains that she hasn't had a one-on-one date. Nick counters that their recent two-on-one date was basically as good as a one-on-one. Of course that's not true, but of course Corinne goes along with it. "You're still here," Nick says. "You're doing something right," he says after that. But he marble-mouths it into, "Yerdoosmuthingeye." Every time he does something like that now, I pretend he's having another micro-stroke. It helps explain a lot of what happens on this show.
After their time together, Corinne is satisfied. "Now Corinne is Corinne again," she says. But Nick gives the date rose to Raven, because cancer. Then he and Raven walk down to the beach to see another of those mystery singer-songwriters that pop up on this franchise. This episode, it's Adam Friedman. Yes, THAT Adam Friedman. No, wait. Not THAT one. Not the dentist. And not the CPA. Not him either. And not the neighbor kid who's having the Rogue One-themed bar mitzvah either. You know what, just forget it. Forget I even mentioned his name. Whose name, you ask? Exactly.
"Corinne is annoyed," Corinne says. But she then adds, "Corinne is gonna keep doing Corinne." It's the same shit we hear from her every ten minutes. Final Danielle meets Nick near the beach to discover that "riding off into the sunset" meant riding bikes. Cool. I mean, "beautiful."
Nick waxes (his version of) poetic while they ride their bikes. "It's kind of like a swing, right? You kinda forget how amazing it is." Bikes, swings, staying up past ten, these things are amazing, to an idiot. In typical Bachelor fashion, the producers convince a group of local kids to play basketball nearby. Nick notices them and says, "Let's play some basketball." Because that's a totally NOT WEIRD thing for adults on a date to do -- crash some pre-teen kids' basketball game.
Oh, but this is so much fun! The bicycling, the basketball, the awkward dancing in the daytime. Final Danielle couldn't be having a better time. "I'm definitely falling for him, like 150 bajillion percent," she says.
Man, the chemistry between Nick and Danielle does NOT exist. Remember back at the haunted house where Nick faced away from Danielle the whole time they sat on that bench together? And while she cuddled and kissed him, he had has hands clasped on his own knee? This is kind of like that. Only with conversation, or the obvious lack thereof. "So hometowns are around the corner," Nick says, trying to fire up some dialogue. After a long pause, he adds, "Would we go back to Wisconsin?" She says yes, and Nick purses his lips and shakes his head, falling silent again. Then he stares for way too long at a small island of shells thirty yards away in the ocean. He just stares and stares at it. Because he would rather stare at a pile of shells than at Danielle's face. Sounds harsh, but it couldn't be clearer.
Back at the resort, Rachel gets her date with Nick, and the card says, "Let's get a taste of the local flavor." Rachel is thrilled. "I love doing local stuff!" she says.
At dinner with Final Danielle, Nick says to her, "You're fun to have fun with. And I always appreciate that." Fun to have fun with, he says. And he always appreciates that. Jesus, I don't even know what the fuck he's talking about. When the conversation lags, Nick goes back to, "So…hometowns. Just around the corner." Final Danielle pours her heart out to Nick, and as she does so, his posture makes him look like a man who has recently been punched in the stomach. "It's scary because I don't know how you feel," Danielle says. And then she looks into Nick's face, which is just a face scrawled onto a dinner plate by a child in Sharpie, basically. I mean, for all of the depth or emotion that it conveys.
And just as with the other Danielle, right after this Danielle opens her heart to him and talks about how she's looking forward to spending more time with him, Nick realizes he has to say goodbye to her. Whoops! Sorry, Final Danielle! We all look forward to you continuing your journey on Bachelor In Paradise. In the long run, Danielle, at 31, was just too old for Nick, 36, who needs an emotional baby as his equal.
Attack Of The Platinum Vagine
"When I want something, I get it. Always," Corinne says. "No if, ands, or buts." So…plural and, plural but, singular if. Got it. Corinne finally decides she knows what to do to get her hometown date. The thing we've all been waiting for since the first episode of this shitshow. Corinne goes to Nick's room to seduce him into sexing with her.
"I definitely know how to turn on the sex charm," she says. "I know how to make a man feel good. And I do it way better than anyone else." After accepting an offered drink, Corinne leads Nick to his own bedroom. She closes the door and then, apparently, gets him into the bed where some sort of massage action begins.
"You're very attractive," Nick says.
"I'm very attracted," she says back.
"Do you mind if I pause this so I can barf again," I say to my wife.
"Wait, wait, wait. Slow, slow down," Nick says, stopping Corinne from grabbing his crank, obviously. "I don't think this is a good idea." And just like that, in a surprise move, Nick refuses the platinum vagine, the aluminum b-hole, and all the other "sex charm" Corinne has at her disposal. "Thank you for checking in on me," Nick says, as he shows her the door. "It was great to see you. Glad we got to hang out."
Corinne does not take this well. "Tonight definitely did not go as I wanted it to. I tried to do something nice and very cute for Nick, and it just backfired," Corinne says. Which sounded super familiar to me. So I went back to see how she reacted when she pulled her Reddi-Wip stunt. Remember when she tried to have Nick lick Reddi-Wip off her boob, but then, as now, Nick slowed her down. Then "Pre-Chokey" Jasmine interrupted them and Corinne said this: "Tonight didn't go as I wanted it to. I tried to do something nice and very cute for Nick, but it backfired." That's pretty eerie, don't you think? Or lazy scripting. I mean, it would be lazy scripting if someone were feeding her lines to say. But we all know THAT isn't happening.
Nick arrives to take Rachel on her date, which he describes as a "chill" day. They go to a bar, "famous" for having no tourists, only locals. Or, in this case, no locals either. Nick and Rachel mostly talk about how nervous Nick is to talk to her dad, to any dad really, but mostly her dad. I mean, should he go to her hometown. Which he definitely will not, since she's going home. We all know this. Rachel tells Nick that she's dated a white guy before but never brought one home. But she doesn't really bring guys home that often, only when it's serious."Today feels like I'm on vacation with my boyfriend," Rachel says.
Nick talks about how their relationship started off fast and hasn't slowed down, which gives him confidence. But that's almost exactly what he said about Final Danielle shortly before giving her the boot, so it fits with the profile that Rachel's going home as well. "Today was perfect," Rachel says, signaling that we're nearly at the end of the date. "I couldn't have planned a better date today." Really? You couldn't have planned a better date than going to an ocean-side bar to have one beer and then coming home? "You're already back," Raven says when Rachel returns. Even she knows it was weird. I mean, what the fuck WAS that date?
The Rose Ceremony That Wasn't
Nick decides he needs a little more advice from Chris, or just a pep talk maybe. Nick knows that he doesn't want to do a Rose Ceremony because he knows who he's going to say goodbye to. He wants to have a more private, personal moment with this MYSTERY WOMAN he's sending home. And the show tries to milk the drama, but we all know, because of the announcement today, that Rachel is going home. Only…
...when he shows up at their hotel room, he pulls Kristina aside instead. "Beginning this week, I really started thinking about the end some more," Nick says to her, but he's not talking about suicide. Sorry, everyone. Kristina obviously knows from the get-go what this convo's about. While Nick gives his bullshit turd explanation, Kristina levels her eyes at him, with that look she probably gives an enemy agent as she slides a shiv between his ribs and watches the light expire from his eyes. "You're letting me go," Kristina says. "Yeah," Nick says, while shaking his head no. Then he shrugs and shakes his head again. So, we know for sure that he's a psychological mess.
"I certainly didn't mean to hurt Kristina. I know she deserves better than this moment," Nick says. Well, duh. Nearly every person on this show deserves better than every moment on this show.
Corinne whines about being tired. Then she "sleeps" on the sofa and Rachel and Kristina stack cheese cubes on her head.
So, congratulations, ABC, you screwed up more than one episode with the Rachel Leak. And I'd be lying if I told you it didn't ruin some of the "enjoyment" of this episode for me. That said, how in the world are they gonna stretch six more episodes out of this disaster of a season? We're only seven episodes in and there's hardly anyone left. We've got the hometown visits, the Women Tell All, and the final episode, but that only brings us up to ten total episodes. How are they gonna stretch two or three more episodes out of this? I shudder to think. Oh well, in for a penny, in for a pound. I'll watch the rest of them no matter what. Because it's my job.