The new season of The Bachelor sallies forth despite the fact that love is a lie. Bachelor farmer Chris Soules is on his journey to find a farm frau, and he will kiss every milk maid, plow every field and leave a string of farmer analogies in his wake to do it. One editorial note: because the only two men on the show are both named Chris, it’s necessary to take a page out of the Bachelor playbook (which is also a preschool playbook) and use initials to differentiate between the multiplicity of Chrises.
Here’s what happened on The Bachelor:
Best Recycling: When we last saw The Bachelor, one of the contestants was so eco-friendly she wanted to recycle herself. Kimberly, the yoga instructor, has done too many up-dogs to leave without even talking to the man of her dreams. She can’t understand why things didn’t work out the way she had them mapped out on her vision board, so she goes to beg for a second chance. As she cries, Chris crumbles and goes to ask his eternal wingman for advice. Chris Harrison, noted anarchist, blithely tells him, “There are no rules!” So Chris S. shrugs and starts recycling contestants. The women are not thrilled. Ashley I., the freelance journalist, makes a lot of air quotes, while Kaitlyn fires off a few bon mots, and Jordan appears on screen long enough for people to read her name.
First-Date Card: As Chris Soules once again uses his outdoor shower (does he not know that they have indoor plumbing in Los Angeles?), Chris Harrison goes to alert the women that a lonely young farmer is shacked up just over yonder and gently points out that if they want to lend him some sugar, he is their neighbor. Then he hands them a group-date card, which includes Kimberly the repeat offender.
Worst Look: Chris Soules appears on camera in a hoody unzipped just enough to reveal he is wearing nothing underneath it but bronzer and a smile. Oh, honey: no, that’s not an outfit. That’s what you throw on when the UPS man shows up with the iPhone holder socks you ordered from Amazon Prime while you’re in the (indoor) shower.
Meanwhile: Back at the old homestead, one of the blondes whose name is still TBD (Megan, maybe?) and Jillian, a news producer, took Chris H. up on his dare and broke into Chris S.’s house while he was out, because nothing says love like light breaking and entering. The most notable moment of the break-in is that Jillian wore a bikini bottom that was so small, the network standards and practices required a black bar follow her around on the front and the back. The other girl did her best Juggernaut impersonation, strapping on Chris’ motorcycle helmet and ramming her head into the wall, a refrigerator and another wall.
Best Reason to Back Up Traffic in LA: Chris S. invites the lovely ladies to a pool party. However, that turns out to be a feeble excuse to get the women in bikinis, because five minutes after they arrive at the pool, he ushers them out the door, parades them through the streets of L.A. in their bikinis (which should make for a dazzling thinkpiece for one of the great feminist minds of our age), and reveals the real activity — a tractor race. In bikinis. Can’t wait for the calendar to hang in the garage! Ashley I. the freelance reporter won the race, because Jersey girls don’t mess around when it comes to driving, and all the girls give her the stink eye because that means quality time with Prince Farming. But when Chris S. returns he asks MacKenzie out on a one-on-one date. Luckily, the producers let her go put on clothes first.
First One-on-One Date: Newly clothed MacKenzie is taken to a bar and immediately announces that she likes his big nose, asks him if he believes in aliens, admits she hasn’t been on a date in a year and admits that she has a son named Kale. Swipe left! Swipe left! Wait, Chris is super into produce. He hands her a rose. Then she kisses and tells, which none of the women appreciate.
Second Date: Megan, a buxom blonde make-up artist from Nashville got the second date card, but she did not quite understand that a date card was actually an invitation to a date and some of the other women had to explain it to her. (There is a strong likelihood that Megan was the woman ramming her head into a wall at Chris’ house.) Chris whisked her from a town car to a private jet, where they sipped champagne. Just your typical day for an Iowa farmer! But that’s not all he had in store for her.
Bachelor Milestone: First helicopter ride! The blushing Bachelor sweeps his date into a helicopter for a ride over the Grand Canyon. After a tour of the landmark, they have a picnic on the banks of the river, and Megan tells Chris her tragic backstory i.e., she applied for The Bachelor and then her father died, but she followed her heart and is now here.
Bachelor Milestone: Megan made a two-fer by saying all the magic words, including assuring Chris that she is “not here for the wrong reasons” and adding that “being on this journey” is amazing. Chris (and the producers) declare her “perfect,” and he hands her the rose. They make out. For a woman who didn’t know what a date card was, Megan is just a wealth of Bachelor-isms, as she declares that she is “head over heels” for Chris.
Second Group Date: Best. Group. Date. Ever. The date card promises death, which some of the women claim is like, so not funny, but totally is. Then producers pile a bunch of women into a limo, send them to a dark corner of The Walking Dead lot, and surround the car with zombies. The women scream in terror, but most women would agree this isn’t nearly as terrifying as walking the streets of L.A. in a bikini. Chris finally swoops in to save them all, sadly not wearing a white-knight costume. Turns out his idea of a dream date is zombie paint ball. The women divide into teams and start taking out walkers. Ashley S., the Brooklyn hairstylist with the love of onions, either does not get the game at all or is doing some serious Andy Kaufman level of humor that will make a great final project for her Tisch performance-art degree. Obviously Chris’ team won.
Post-Date: As the women gossip around a fire pit, Ashley stares into a candle until she sees angels. Kaitlyn suggests that if Chris handed Ashley a rose, she would eat it, and she’s probably right. The rest of the time is spent watching Ashley wig everyone out, as she stares without blinking, crawls around on the ground, answers even the most innocuous questions aggressively, and everyone just sits and stares at her until they get alone time with Chris. Chris gives Britt a coupon for a free kiss, but gives the date rose to Kaitlyn.
The Cocktail Party: Whitney, the fertility nurse who asked Chris about hog insemination during their first encounter, makes a big move by hijacking Chris and wooing him with her baby voice and a bottle of bourbon. Then Ashley I., the tractor-riding freelance journalist, has a surprise: she’s a virgin. As a mom, MacKenzie is super jealous that she can’t use that line, but Ashley is not sure that she wants to tell him, even though, MacKenzie swears men “love” to take women’s virginity, a comment that does not merit commentary other than: ew. Instead she invites him to rub her bellybutton ring and make a wish. He wishes to make out with her, so they do while all the women judge her technique (lots of lip). Then Chris makes out with several more women until drunk Jordan kills the vibe for all.
The Rose Ceremony: Britt gets the first rose, followed by Ashley I., then it’s a blonde named Trina, Kelsey, and a brunette named Samantha. Then Chris S. calls Juelia, but Jillian barges forward, realizes her mistake, backtracks, trips, and then bursts into an insane laugh that echoes through the hallways. Then there’s a parade of Ambers, Tracys, Jades, a Carly, a Becky and a Becca, and finally Jillian, for real. Whitney gets a rose and then Chris S. hands the final rose to Ashley S., because he likes the free entertainment? He wants to help her find counseling? The producers made him? Who knows. Sorry, Kimberly, it turns out you can’t recycle yourself.
Best Reason to Tune in Next Week: Jimmy Kimmel makes an unlikely appearance.