‘The Bachelorette’ Recap: Rocka-Bye, Sweet Baby James
This week on The Bachelorette, we leave "Buenos Eye-rez" behind and head for the Argentinian countryside! JoJo's packing and voice-overing about how she simply couldn't let Alex and James Taylor go at the last rose ceremony (later in this episode, it becomes clear that's because she disliked them equally).
This is the last episode before "hometown dates," when we get to visit the final contestants' house and judge them by their family. It's all anyone can talk about; everybody says "I mean, hometowns are just around the corner!" at least once. Honestly, the eliminations in this episode felt like a foregone conclusion, because hasn't it been painfully obvious who'd be the final three out of four for some time?
This week it's four one-on-ones and a group date — and Alex, who's being super emo about the "pity rose" he got alongside James Taylor last week, is first up. As he and JoJo are whisked away to their date in an SUV, the remaining brosephs also leave the hotel in a red and green bus. They start beatboxing and freestyling on their ride, and that's when I half-hope the bus is headed toward a cliff. Very "Top That"-level rhyming skills on display here.
Meanwhile, in the car, Alex ALSO starts fratboy freestyling. What producer decided this would be fun shtick? What forced whimsy is this?
JoJo and Alex arrive at an estancia to be “gauchos for a day” on the ranch. Once Alex changes into the mandatory traditional dress, JoJo tells him “he’s a cute little gaucho.” Joelle Fletcher reeeally shows her hand when she isn’t attracted to someone, but then again so do I.
During the one-on-one, the rest of this walking pack of cargo shorts are kept busy eating Argentinean steakhouse meat and gossiping. Everyone’s moussed hair is really holding up in this weather! Jordan gives me yet another reason to despise him by complaining that they're stuck eating "cow intestine," in the country known for some of the most delicious meat on the planet.
“You look like something, um, out of like a Ralph Lauren model magazine,” Alex, a U.S. Marine AND a natural poet, tells JoJo.
Of their magical horseback quality time, JoJo says, “It makes me feel like a relationship, what love should be like.” It's JoJo quote #451 that suggests she thinks marriage will be like a permanent vacation.
Then they watch the actual gaucho manhandle a horse into cool yoga positions. It’s pretty chill. Then the gaucho tells them to go “spoon the horse.” So they do!
“I am in a sense of enlightenment right now,” Alex V.O.s, flexing his wordsmithery once more. And as the sun sets behind them and they both press their faces into a horse, he whispers those three little words: “I’m your goocho.” The Bachelorette really got weird with it this season.
At dinner, though, Alex says he's falling in love with her and goes in for an intense makeout session — and JoJo pulls away and ruffles his hair before cutting him loose. Later Alex, you petite powder keg.
On to the next one-on-one: Jordan dons his freshest V-neck and meets JoJo at the private plane to go wine-tasting in Mendoza. Soon they’re tasting grapes, screaming “YES!” in unison at a man who tries to speak Spanish to them, and squishing grapes with their feet. Then they sip on their foot juice stew, strip down to their swimwear and make out in a conveniently placed hot tub.
“When I picture a future with Jordan I see a life of excitement and passion,” JoJo says. Okay. I know I keep bringing this up, but Joelle Fletcher is not ready to get engaged, as badly as she wants to be, because her woefully naive concepts of love as a consistently pulse-racing thrill ride clearly have yet to be tested with even a real long-term relationship. It's not because she's only 25; there are 25-year-old people who are ready to marry, and have. The problem is she's still at a stage that a lot of women pass through in which they overlook kind and stable potential partners and pick "bad boys" (jerks) and/or failed professional athletes with big muscles and blindingly whitened teeth who can dazzle her with feats of strength.
Chase tells the camera, “I think JoJo’s looking for a real guy with a real job for a real relationship.” Chase would love to think this because he is a medical sales rep, which is much more of a concrete job than the other remaining men's occupations as listed on ABC's site: "Singer-songwriter" James, "former pro quarterback" Jordan, "former competitive swimmer" Robby and "war veteran" Luke.
JoJo and Jordan sit down to dinner and reminisce about how “great” and “fun” it was drinking their toe-flavored grape juice, and GOD they are coma-inducingly dull together. But JoJo’s got her eye on the prize, and wants to know who she’ll be meeting when, uh — IF Jordan gets a hometown visit.
“My little brother won’t be there,” he says, referring to Aaron Rodgers. JoJo tries to hide her disappointment. “Me and Aaron don’t really have that much of a relationship,” Jordan admits, and a huge neon sign that says THIS IS AN ISSUE I'LL BE WEIRD ABOUT IN THE FUTURE starts flashing above his head, but JoJo seems not to see it.
Then Jordan tells JoJo he loves her and she stops just short of saying it back, and they make out in a stairwell some more.
Chase, James Taylor and Robby’s planned group date is rained out, so they spend the day with JoJo in her hotel suite. JoJo dares James Taylor to shove as many fries in his mouth as possible, and I haven’t seen JoJo less attracted to a man since that time she pulled out of a kiss to ruffle Alex’s hair. Then she orders all the dudes to form a massage train, which is actually hilarious.
They play truth or dare, which involves Robby running up and down the hotel hallways in his underwear. Seeing JoJo ogle Robby's perfect body, James Taylor tells the camera that "I’m gonna turn this into what I need it to be,” and on the date he mumbles some story about Robby eyeballing the local Argentinian women. When will James learn to stop trying to make a fellow contestant look bad? It backfires EVERY TIME.
Robby and JoJo wander outside to a bench and she asks him why his family didn’t like his last girlfriend. He said they dated for over three years but he never saw her house, and only met her mother once. Was she a spy or something? Anyway, it was a messy breakup. JoJo asks if he’s actually ready to get engaged at the end of this show and he insists that he is.
In James Taylor’s QT with JoJo, he tells her he’s definitely noticed they have more of a sweet, emotional vibe than the hot magnetic attraction she has with a Jordo or a Cowboy Luke. She admits he’s right, but recognizes he has husbandly potential. It’s the most grown-up thing she’s ever said about a relationship over the course of this entire show.
Robby gets the rose, and then tells James Taylor and Chase that it would just be super awkward if they stayed, so bye! James and Chase take a sullen car ride home, knowing one of them is doomed.
The next day it’s Luke’s turn for a one-on-one, and the weather is perfect. JoJo seems the type to take this as a sign from the heavens that it’s meant 2 be.
“Luke has a way of explaining his feelings that’s not like most men I’ve met in my life,” JoJo tells the camera. Given her Chads-filled history I’m 100% confident that’s true.
“Luke’s for sure a man, there’s no doubt in my mind,” she says, as he fires a shotgun at a clay pigeon. Unless she means he’s definitely has a penis because she checked in one of her many grope-y Luke pat downs, this is another demonstration of JoJo’s assumption that manhood means sports, beer, filling out a V-neck with big muscles, shooting guns and usually being named Chad. A clever, duly employed Wells or a kind, doting James Taylor is lost on her.
After their horses ‘n guns date, JoJo and Luke have a heart-to-heart, and she stops even pretending Luke might not be in the final three: “I don’t even need a cocktail party.” JoJo is ready to serve up some roses — to quote Cowboy Luke’s homespun take: “The hay is in the barn.”
In a gorgeous, glittery floor-length black dress, JoJo tells the remaining five that she remembers how hard this final, pre-Hometowns rose ceremony is. Then she rips off the bandaid: Luke, Jordan and Robby get their roses, obviously, and after 18,000 dramatic violin-accompanied beats, Chase gets the fourth rose. That means there’s at least one episode left for me to ascertain what Chase's personality is, exactly.
JoJo escorts an emotional James Taylor out, and tells him she really wants her to meet a great girl who deserves him. This is not what anybody wants to hear when they’ve just been dumped, of course, but I honestly believe JoJo means it here. Tears flow all around, and then JoJo sends James Taylor off into the night.
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