Monday, February 23, 2015

Episode 9: Flogging Bali

If there is one thing I have learned from watching The Bachelor, something more than I would ever expect to learn from a show like this, it is that the "final three" episode is almost always skippable. Tonight's episode was so long and devoid of any real content that even as I write this, it already feels like Tuesday. In total, I'd estimate that we saw maybe 45 minutes of content stretched over two hours. Briefly, I considered taking out my boredom induced rage by making this blog post as pointless as the episode, but I've really grown to like you, the reader, and wouldn't want to subject you to undue stress. There, I said it. I like you.

ASL for both "I like you" and "Van Halen is starting!"

This episode of The Bachelor sees the remaining three women travel to Bali. As is tradition, we see Chris Soules posing in thought around a variety of scenic locations, presumably deep in thought about the remaining women vying for his heart. After seeing Chris throughout this season, I'm more inclined to believe he was trying to remember his own name as opposed to thinking about anything important. Either that, or he's wondering why there are so many minorities in Bali.

Chris' first date is with Kaitlyn, who might be my favorite contestant from this season. The two enter an ancient Hindu temple which strictly forbids displays of affection, not unlike a high school. Apparently the Hindus do not have strong feelings about invasive television crews exploiting their religion to generate ad revenue however, because that was a vast majority of this episode. Then again, it would have been surprising if the Hindu religion had predicted the advent of television. It would probably have a lot more followers if it had.

"Our temples and holy symbols will probably never be bastardized right?"

After their brief time in the temple, Kaitlyn and Chris abandon any notion of spirituality to wander through the streets of Denpasar drinking beer and talking to locals. Personally, this seems like a much more entertaining date than feigning spirituality, but to each their own. Far and away, the date highlight was watching Chris and Kaitlyn feed monkeys and watching Chris get peed on by said monkeys. By the end of this episode, I felt like peeing on him too.

During their dinner, Chris and Kaitlyn discussed relationships and how difficult it is for each of them to open up. Kaitlyn reveals that her guard is often up because of a failed past relationship. Closing herself off from potential heartbreak is a defense mechanism that helps to prevent future pain, however it is something she is working on. Being the kind person that Chris is, he immediately offers her a fantasy suite card. To break that down for the casual reader who is not familiar with the terminology, Kaitlyn told Chris some of her most personal issues and Chris responded by asking if she wanted to fuck. I completely understand why this man was single for so long.

Kaitlyn, of course, accepts Chris' invitation and the two enter their suite. The only point of interest here was the couple's tub in their room that was filled with rose petals. When I say filled with rose petals, I mean filled with rose petals. For all we know there was no water in that tub, only rose petals. Just a tip for any would be romantics out there, if you need to clear your tub of rose petals with a pool skimmer before getting in, you've overdone it.

In case you wanted to need a shower after your bath.

Whitney had the next date and went on a romantic "boat picnic" with Chris. The highlight of this date was not the couple, but the boat captain who immediately ran the boat into a dock upon departure. Don't worry though, he gave the camera a thumbs up after the mishap which I assume is the nautical hand signal for, "Don't worry everyone. I definitely know what I'm doing." Later on in the date, Chris and Whitney were making out when the camera panned up to the captain who again gave a thumbs up. If I had to guess, this was a nautical hand signal for something very different.

During their time together, Chris and Whitney discuss her sister's unwillingness to provide a blessing for the relationship. Whitney, in particular, is upset by this, in large part because she feels as though her sister isn't realizing how important this is to her. While I understand what she is saying, blind support isn't what being a good older sibling is about. This is especially true when your younger sibling has displayed poor decision making in the past like getting a stupid tattoo or wanting to marry a guy she's known for three months. There are some things worth being skeptical about.

Chris and Whitney's date ends with Whitney reiterating that she would gladly give up her career to be a mother in rural Iowa. While I would never say that giving up your career to be a mother is an inherently bad decision, as some of the best people I know are mothers, I just wish that The Bachelor had another point of view on this. Every woman on this show is willing to drop off the face of the earth in order to be a mother, to the point where it seems like that is the only option for women. It would be great to see just one woman on this show say "Yes, I want nothing more than to be a mother, but I also have a great career and am not defined by the people that crawl out of me." I know that's asking for a lot, especially from a show that devoted fifteen minutes to the natural hilarity that is monkeys, but with a little focus I think they could do it.

Even this monkey still has a job in Human Monkey Resources.

The final (and most boring) date of the evening belonged to Becca. She and Chris walked through the countryside, and briefly spoke to a priest at the local temple. Much like the boat captain in Whitney's date, the priest was the best part of Becca's date. Becca asked the priest if he thought they were "meant to be together" to which he responded "You are a good couple." I would assume he said this either because he literally just met them and would have no way of knowing such a thing, or because like the audience, he has zero faith in Becca. Chris also asked the priest if he had any advice for their date, to which the priest responded "make love." Even the priest is tired of hearing about Becca's virginity.

At dinner, Chris expressed his concern about Becca never having been in love, and wondered if she ever would be. I'm not a fan of Becca, but that is some bullshit logic. I've never died before, but that doesn't mean it isn't going to happen. To say that someone is incapable of a thing they've never done is only true until they do that thing. Watching Chris and Becca on this date was like watching two idiots pretend to be interesting. They tend to ramble on and on without ever making a significant point.

Two. Idiots.

Finally, we get to the crux of Becca's date when she is offered a night in the fantasy suite. After accepting and entering the suite, Becca finally decides to inform Chris of her sexual inexperience. Chris is understandably surprised by this considering how long she waited to tell him, but handles it well. With that, the pair goes to sleep for the night. If nothing else, Becca proved tonight that even her dramatic moments are incredibly boring.

The next morning we see Chris perturbed about his night with Becca. Apparently, the morning after their time in the fantasy suite yielded some disconcerting conversation. Chris reveals that Becca is the only woman that still has reservations about joining him in Iowa, will not say that she loves him, and does not seem enthusiastic about the process. Chris Soules brings these concerns to the often irksome Chris Harrison, who seems as confused as myself as to why Chris Soules hasn't sent Becca home already. She brings nothing beyond her previously secretive virginity to the table, yet Chris keeps her around week after week. Any reason he has for keeping Becca around is lost on me.

After much ado about nothing, we cut to the rose ceremony at another sacred temple. Before it can begin, Chris pulls Becca aside to discuss their previous conversation. Seemingly aware that she is on the verge of leaving, Becca immediately begins apologizing and tells Chris that she is falling in love with him. The entire conversation seems predicated on the notion that Chris is about to send her home, but after several minutes of stammering and half baked confessions of love, Chris reenters the temple with Becca. 

A gif of Chris picking Becca over Kaitlyn.

Once Chris brought Becca back the writing seemed to be on the wall for Kaitlyn. Whitney was a lock going into the ceremony and Chris wouldn't have brought Becca back only to eliminate her, which left Kaitlyn as the odd woman out. Normally, I have a sick sense of schadenfreude when seeing women get kicked off this show, but not with Kaitlyn. Perhaps it is because of her similarities to myself, or the fact that Chris is clearly missing a great opportunity by letting her go, but Kaitlyn's departure is the first of the season that has left me sincerely disappointed. Here's hoping she will be the next bachelorette.

Kaitlyn was also the only departing contestant I have ever seen actually use her seatbelt when leaving. Ralph Nader would be proud.

Automotive safety is important.

I think the clear question surrounding this episode is why Chris choose to keep Becca and ditch Kaitlyn. From what we have seen, Kaitlyn is cute, witty, and fun, while Becca is a virgin. I do not mean that to be disparaging, but we really know nothing about Becca outside of the fact that she is a virgin. There has been no development of her character or significant interest towards her person as a whole. If I had to venture a guess, Chris is keeping her around because she is as boring as he is. They are two people defined by singular respective traits (farmer and virgin) without much else going on. As mind numbing as it is to watch, Becca may actually be the best choice for Chris due entirely to her dull demeanor. I don't like it any more than you do, but boredom attracts boredom and it wouldn't surprise me in the least to see Chris pick Becca in two weeks.

Much love,

Gossip Squirrel

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