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The Favorites Advance to the Final Four on ‘The Bachelorette’

Everyone knew that Adam and Matt were goners, but honestly, it was kind of nice to have an episode devoid of stress and full of dogs and expensive watches

(ABC)
(ABC)

The Bachelorette has reached its Final Four, after an extremely predictable episode saw all of the 1-seeds advance. Coming into Monday night, there were six remaining contestants: Bryan, Dean, Eric, Peter, Adam, and Matt. The first four guys had all been the topic of significant story lines at different points in this season. Matt and Adam, though? Matt is probably best (and only) known for dressing up as a penguin, while Adam’s most notable moment was arriving on the first night with a creepy puppet, even though he was not a ventriloquist. Both were first-night gimmicks likely invented by production staff. The show has continued on for, like, two months, and they’ve just been there, hanging around.

Rachel seemed eager to just fast-forward through this week. She had the option to distribute three one-on-one dates among these six guys, therefore forcing the three leftovers to share a single group date. If Rachel were being pragmatic, she would’ve used the one-on-one dates on the guys she was unsure about, turning them into final tests to determine who deserves a chance. But, no, the leaderboard was too obvious. Rachel instead opted to have a great time with the guys she clearly likes the most — Bryan, Dean, and Peter — leaving Adam and Matt to sit in a hotel and look sad, and Eric to confusedly contemplate how on earth he was being lumped into a group along with them. They were the most obvious B-team in Bachelorette history, but at least they got to go to several European countries!

Rachel cries while getting rid of Matt. She says Matt reminded her more of herself than any other contestant, which is weird, because she is a beautiful and personable and charming person who became the Bachelorette and Matt is … I mean, I’m sure he’s a nice guy if you get to know him! There is some suspense at the end of the episode, as Rachel struggles to decide who to give the fourth and final rose to, but we all knew it was going to be Eric, as hard as ABC tried to sell us on the alternative.

The episode was predictable, but that’s fine. Rachel made the right calls here. I enjoyed watching her go on interesting dates with interesting people much more than her stringing along hopeless dudes.

Most Ballin’ Moment in Recent ‘Bachelorette’ History: Rachel’s Date With Bryan

This week’s episode is in Geneva. Sometimes it feels like The Bachelor/ette goes to cheap-ish places solely because the show was paid by a local tourism board that wanted to drum up interest. (I still remember the look on a bunch of women’s faces when they went to Deadwood, South Dakota, on The Bachelor.) Geneva is not that. Geneva is one of the most expensive places on earth. I’ve never been, but so far as I can tell, it’s the no. 1 place on the planet to purchase unnecessary luxury items with literal blocks of gold.

Rachel’s date with Bryan embraced all of that. They drove in a Bentley to a Breitling store, where Rachel casually bought two watches. Here’s the one she got for Bryan:

(ABC)
(ABC)

So far as I can tell — and mind you, I am far from a luxury-watch expert — that’s a Brietling Navitimer 01, which costs around $7,000.

If Rachel actually spent her own money on that watch, I’d call Bryan the winner right now. You don’t impulsively spend seven grand on one of your top four boyfriends; you spend it on the only boyfriend you could conceivably see yourself marrying. But I’d suspect Breitling comped the watches in exchange for the product placement, considering Rachel barely even contemplates which watch to buy. She doesn’t even look at multiple watches! She just takes the first ones they see!

Then they make out in this concert hall.

(ABC)
(ABC)

The only thing I’ve ever seen that’s as opulent as this concert hall is the cover art to Watch The Throne, a Jay-Z–Kanye West album I illegally downloaded in 2011.

Long story short: The Bachelorette is clearly propaganda perpetrated by the bourgeois media to reinforce the notion that the romantic passion we crave as humans can be attained only via ostentatious displays of wealth. Please instead watch my show The Socialist Bachelor, where one lucky worker and 30 eligible suitors try to seize the means of production — and America’s hearts!

Least Committed to Romance: Rachel

Dean’s date with Rachel is an awkward one. Dean is a very giggly 26-year-old and is admittedly nervous about transitioning to the part of the show where he has to stop giggling. Notably, he’s concerned about bringing Rachel on a hometown date, because his relationship with his family hasn’t been great since the death of his mother.

Rachel notices this nervousness and tries to push Dean to discuss what’s bothering him. He deflects, asking Rachel a series of non sequiturs: “Do you believe in the Tooth Fairy?” “What’s your favorite dinosaur?” Rachel scoffs and continues to push Dean to be serious.

Hang on, though: She completely ignored those very important questions Dean asked. He has a right to know whether the adult woman he’s dating still believes a small sprite leaves money under children’s pillows after their teeth fall out. What if her favorite dinosaur is trash? What if she’s super into apatosauruses? I would never date a woman who, given the right to choose from any dinosaur ever, chose an apatosaurus. Other dinos were out becoming the baddest killing machines in all of prehistory, and these megasized salad fans were pounding tons of lettuce.

I know my girlfriend’s favorite dinosaur is the triceratops, and I respect that. I think “buncha horns on my damn face” is one of the raddest defense mechanisms in history. Triceratops are like armor-plated rhinos. Way better than apatosauruses, a.k.a. WE EAT TOO MUCH KALE FOR YOU TO KILL US. Dean has a right to know this info. And if Rachel wants this relationship to last, she should be more forthcoming with her dinosaur opinions.

Saddest Viewing Experience: Copper

You ever wonder what it’s like to be the ex of a person on The Bachelorette? It’s gotta be so strange, watching somebody you were once in a relationship with explore their romantic future on TV. Like if you used to date Raven, who spent most of last season talking about how her ex was a serial cheater who never brought her to sexual climax. Anyway. You know what must be harder than being the ex of somebody on The Bachelorette? Being Copper, Rachel’s dog, and seeing Rachel go dog sledding in the Swiss Alps on her one-on-one date with Peter:

We met Cooper on Peter’s first one-on-one date with Rachel, when they went to a dog-themed pool party. This was probably already jarring for the little guy; clearly, his owner was interested in hanging out with other dogs. But for Cooper to sit at home with his little cast on his little dog leg and see Rachel flying through the snow with a slew of castless dogs? Brutal.

Meanwhile, Peter apparently can’t get Rachel to go on a date with him not in the presence of at least eight dogs. Maybe this is great for Peter; he gets to hang out with dogs and Rachel! But maybe this is a sign things aren’t working out; maybe Rachel is using packs of pups to distract herself from Peter.

Either way, I think Peter somehow had the best date. Sure, Bryan got the expensive watch, but would you rather get one expensive watch or get to ride across the Alps in a dog sled? I don’t even wear a watch — I’m 27, I’ve had a cellphone for almost my entire adult life — but I have always wanted to go in a dog sled. Look at how happy they are! They just wanna run!

Philosophical Champion: Eric

Rachel tells the three men in the conclusive three-on-one date that her decision would be “difficult.” It was just a nice thing to say to make it clear she cared about all three. Somehow, though, it sparks a theoretical battle of life viewpoints between two of the three contestants.

Adam saw the word “difficult” on the date card and tells the group, including Rachel, “I don’t like that word. I don’t think anything is difficult. It can be challenging, but not difficult.” Ignoring the fact that the definitions for “challenging” and “difficult” are almost indistinguishable, I think we need to make note of Adam’s outlook on life. He may be the first human I’ve ever heard insist that the world is a really chill, easygoing place where only good stuff happens.

Eric, on the other hand, is a personal trainer. His job is literally to tell people that there’s a payoff for the extremely unenjoyable things that they’re doing. “Life is hard,” he tells Rachel after Adam’s speech. “But that’s what it’s about to get what you’re really supposed to have and need for the rest of your life. Cheers to this being hard, but being worth it, because you deserve it.” He went on to discuss growing up in Baltimore and how his family struggled, and how that made him want to focus on helping other people.

Honestly, this was a philosophical ass-whooping. I look forward to The Bachelorette deciding more eliminations by having two guys expound on their opinions about the universe.