Monday night was the Fantasy Suite episode of The Bachelorette, the episode every season where the sex happens. Every season, the Bachelor or Bachelorette goes to an exotic locale with their last three contestants, they go into a room with each, the door closes, and cameras stop filming. We're left to assume there is sex happening. Personally, I've made the decision to stop calling them "fantasy suites" and start calling them "SexRooms," because I just like being honest.
Basically, two things happened on this episode. The first is a holdover from last week, when we were cliffhung. You may remember that JoJo was in the process of breaking up with Luke, the charismatic, handsome, smart, funny, romantic, athletic, country music-singing Army veteran. You also may remember that she's breaking up with him to continue dating Robby, who may have broken up with his ex-girlfriend to be on TV, Jordan, who may have cheated on his ex-girlfriend and might only be on this show to land a job as a TV football analyst, and Chase, who was constructed by advanced white person scientists to look 78 percent like Robby and Jordan. Great call, JoJo.
Luke is primarily stunned, because he felt he did everything he could. He just kinda stares off into space. But JoJo explains: She just didn't know how her relationship with Luke stood, in part because he waited too long to say "I love you." She begins crying, and fears she has made a mistake.
The second thing that happened was JoJo broke up with Chase inside the
Fantasy Suite SexRoom. After JoJo invited him back, Chase tells her that he too is in love with her, and she realizes that him saying that didn't make her feel the way she wanted, and tells him it would be best if he just left.
He doesn't take it well.
You may remember that last week Chase talked about how being the child of divorced parents made him feel unwilling to admit to love, so hypothetically, it was hard for him to say that. I mean, it's hard for humans to say that in general.
This is a theme with JoJo. A few episodes back, her face got sullen and she immediately realized things were over with Alex at the exact moment when he said he loved her. She also broke up with Wells after their first kiss when she realized it didn't feel right.
The human part of me sees JoJo as somebody who is genuinely trying to figure out how she feels about these people, and applauds her for her ability to assess her emotions in these benchmark moments. The cynical part of me thinks she's waiting until people share extremely emotional moments in front of a bunch of cameras before kicking them off because, damn, that's, like, spectacular TV, and applauds her for maximizing heartbreak for profit.
So, let's summarize here. On the last season of The Bachelor, JoJo had her heart broken because Ben told her he loved her, then went ahead and got engaged to Lauren. So on this episode, she a) breaks up with Luke, because he hadn't literally said "I love you" even though he'd done a lot of things to indicate that and then b) breaks up with Chase, because she didn't feel the way she wanted to feel when "I love you" was said, although she did want to love him.
Think maybe we're getting into a bit of a stigma about those few words, JoJo? Maybe just gauge how you feel generally instead of gauging your reaction to the timing and delivery of certain words?
Anyway, back to the episode, which took place in Thailand. Robby greets JoJo by riding up on a little rickshaw, which completely befuddles her.
Okay, look, I get it, JoJo, you've never seen this thing before going to Thailand ... But there are at least four of them on the same street you are standing on.
Later, Chase greets her on a scooter. This also absolutely befuddles her.
JoJo, it's a scooter. It's a damn scooter. It's a scooter. We have them in America. It's a scooter.
Upon waking up next to Robby, she points out that it's their first breakfast together.
Then, with Jordan, she once again points out that it's their first breakfast together.
Last year we made a lot of fun of Ben, a jumbo-sized tub of low-fat cream cheese made human, for being so impossibly boring that even beautiful women and beautiful scenery couldn't inspire him to have an eighth of a regular human's personality. That seemed to be offset by JoJo, a vivacious woman with an interesting backstory.
But watching JoJo repeat the same lines for two out of three guys makes me realize that this season, pretty much none of JoJo's personality has shown. I'm trying to think of definitive personality traits and interests she's been shown to have on The Bachelorette, and here's what I've got:
- Attracted to men
- Values honesty, and when people say they love her
- Laughs sometimes
- Knew enough about sports to talk about them on SportsNation for 38 seconds
- Attracted to white men
- Enjoyed riding horses, although not competent
- Likes places and romance
- Attracted to white men with gelled hair
Am I missing anything?
I think this means one of two things. One, it might be a decision by the producers -- it makes more sense to develop the 25 other characters while portraying the person being pursued as an amorphous, constantly desirable blob. If we actually got a feel for JoJo's personality, maybe we'd realize which guys would never make sense for her.
The other is that maybe it's just hard to remain unique and original for so many different relationships. There is a reason we are suited to monogamy. Maybe dating somewhere between two and 25 humans simultaneously turns you into a catchphrase junkie, just figuring out what the best thing to say in any scenario is and repeating it until as many people like you as possible. When we watch someone date a bunch of people simultaneously on TV, they're bound to repeat themselves.
The episode ends with a glimpse of next week's finale. JoJo explains her predicament to her parents. You see, she worries that if she chooses Jordan and things go sour, she'll regret not picking Robby, but if she picks Robby, she'll always wonder if things would've worked out better with Jordan.
That's ... like ... the easiest choice in the world, right? Because even in her best-case scenario with Robby, she's still wondering about Jordan, right? So I think we know how this ends up.
But of course, this show isn't actually about winning -- it's about being the next Bachelor. Which is why after Chase got eliminated and acted sour to JoJo, he triumphantly returned to say how much he cares for JoJo and how he didn't want their relationship to end badly and how he was proud of her and how she was good and how she was great and how he cared for her:
Of course, it is nice to end relationships well. But it's not really necessary on a TV show! Chase could've just flown away. Instead Chase apparently stuck around an extra day in Thailand to make nice -- which is helpful if you're trying to ensure you're the most personable person on a TV show which selects its most personable loser to achieve even more fame by being the star of the next season of the TV show.
Which gets us to the next part of our post:
The Bachelorette power rankings
(Remember, these aren't power rankings of who will win, but rather power rankings of who will actually win by getting invited onto further Bachelor-related TV shows and therefore continue living in a semi-vacation with free booze and appear on TV often enough to get enough Instagram followers that you can make side money hawking beauty products.)
Luke should be the next Bachelor. I don't have any jokes here.
Jordan is almost certainly going to win this show, which makes sense, because he was better looking and more interesting than everybody else. He'd better, because if he loses, he probably should be the next Bachelor, and that films in September and October, which is exactly when he'd hypothetically be starting a gig analyzing college football for whatever network wants to sign him. I guess the dream scenario here is
a) win The Bachelorette
b) go work for the SEC Network
c) stay together with JoJo for long enough that it's not uncouth to break up
d) be good enough at your job that you can stay employed after people forget you were on The Bachelorette like we generally have with Jesse Palmer
I think Luke has The Bachelor gig locked up, but Chase really made a push for it. I'm proud of him.
At the beginning of the season, I referred to Robby as "evil Will Forte." I'd like to thank USA Today's Charlotte Wilder for finally putting together the photo evidence:
In this episode, Robby makes it clear he's fully romantically attached to JoJo by making it clear he doesn't consider "JoJo" to be an acceptable name for the one he loves. He refers to her multiple times by her full name, Joelle, in interviews, and when he shows up unannounced at JoJo's suite, he calls her simply "Jo."
Robby, let's have a talk. You're a grown man who calls yourself Robby. You seem like a reasonable guy, so let's talk like adults, even though, as previously noted, you still choose to call yourself "Robby" at 27 years old. Now, Robert -- can I call you Robert? -- sometimes you'll meet people who were given bad names by their parents. Sometimes you'll meet people who have decided over the course of their lives, they'd like to be called a specific thing. And Rob, I find it's best to just call them by that thing. Because it's kinda disrespectful to ignore the most basic preference somebody has about how you address them while expecting them to call you by the name you want, which in your case is "Robby," a name for 12-year-olds. So just stick with JoJo for now.