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‘The Bachelor’ Recap: Behold As Arie Shimmies Into a Makeout Session

Also: Krystal lives long enough to become the villain, Annaliese has bumper-car flashbacks, and ABC exhibits commendable concussion protocol


Arie didn’t get the checkered flag very often as a professional race car driver, but through two episodes of his season of The Bachelor, I am getting so many red flags. I think what I’m saying can be summarized by Arie’s apparent closing move.

He wants to kiss Bekah, but seemingly does not possess the human words to communicate this desire. So instead he just shimmies until she asks him if he’s trying to kiss her, and then they kiss. It is horrifying.

I first became skeptical of Arie in the opening episode, when he met every contestant, waited for them to walk away, and then muttered, “She’s so pretty,” under his breath. I feel like he was probably coached to say specific and topical things after meeting each woman, but the onslaught of attractive people made his brain malfunction.

A date during Monday night’s episode only further confirmed Arie’s total inability to court women in a normal fashion. He flew in a private jet with Krystal to his home in Scottsdale, Arizona, where they went to his high school, watched childhood videos, and visited his parents, who live 10 minutes away from him. This was a first date. These were 32nd-date activities. If you’re ever with somebody who chooses to make your first date a celebration of their childhood, run.

Eventually, Arie stopped laughing at home movies and chose to listen to Krystal. She told him about her broken family and her brother, who has become homeless in recent years. She cried. Here are the things Arie said to her about that:

• “I hate to see you like this.”
• “I love your story.”
• “I have friends who had difficult upbringings.”

During my stint as a Bachelor recapper, I have been critical of the guys who get to be the Bachelor. I kept ragging on Ben from two seasons ago for being a boring software salesman. I couldn’t take Nick seriously last season because of his craven desire to be on television. But I need to apologize to both of them, and every other Bachelor I have ever zinged. All of them were fine. They were reasonably charming, sometimes made funny jokes or comments, and were enjoyable to watch flirt with people on television.

Arie is none of these things. He’s too awkward for me to support, and I say this as a person who twice this week responded to, “Have a safe flight,” with, “You too.”

Best Plot Twist: The Frank Discussion of Arie’s Racing Career

We talked last week about Arie the race car driver, a.k.a. Fail Earnhardt Jr. — his dad won the Indy 500 twice, while he won one minor league race in 66 starts. The premiere episode seemed very intent on hyping up his racing background, and didn’t delve too deeply into the fact he’s now a realtor.

On Monday night’s episode, the women competed in a demolition derby. I don’t know that this was a good idea — one contestant, Brittany, missed the next date with an undisclosed injury. (Holy hell, The Bachelor’s concussion protocol is more effective than the NFL’s.) I’d presumed that the point was to once again sell Arie as a sexy car-driving man. However! Chris Harrison and former NASCAR driver Robby Gordon (the derby’s “commentators”) took a moment to joke about the fact Arie actually kinda sucked:

Robby: “Arie’s had some big wrecks, so this is probably going to be very fitting for him.”

Chris: “Could this be the first time Arie actually wins something on a racetrack?”

My hope is that by the end of the season, one of Arie’s dates is interrupted by a bunch of drivers roasting Arie.

Best Strategic Move: Annaliese’s Bumper Car Trauma

Annaliese introduced herself in the first episode as the kissing bandit who was actually fine settling for hugs. Apparently she fears many things, because the demolition derby triggered her. She broke down in tears remembering a time as a child when she was in a bumper car that stopped working, allowing all of the other children to repeatedly bash her disabled bumper car. The show accompanied her tears with stock video of children on bumper cars set to dramatic music, perhaps the best moment of the season so far.

Another contestant, Jenny, was critical of this tactic. “I’ve never heard of bumper car trauma!” she exclaimed. “We all want time with Arie, but I’m not sure crying is the way to get it.” Well, guess what: Jenny got eliminated on this episode, and Annaliese did not.

Basically, any event that brings out emotion counts as character development on The Bachelor, whether it’s revisiting an upsetting event at an amusement park or talking about a deceased relative. “Bumper car trauma” was a great tactic.

Best Haul: Becca

Arie might not be good at talking, but he proved to be quite talented at acting obscenely rich. His first date with Becca didn’t have any theme besides over-the-top gifts.

She got a pair of Louboutins with red bottoms, the so-called “bloody shoes” that Cardi B covets. Rachel Zoe showed up, and Becca got to try on a variety of Rachel’s dresses. Arie asked which one she liked best, and then told her that, just like Cardi B, she didn’t have to choose, because she got to keep them all.

(Side note: He didn’t quote Cardi B, however; it is unclear whether Arie knows who Cardi B is.)

(Second side note: I don’t really know anything about Rachel Zoe except that her husband is somehow named “Rodger Berman,” which means I am obligated to fight him to the death should we ever meet.)

Then, a man approached Arie and Becca as they sat by the beach and introduced himself with the phrase, “Neil Lane sends his regards.” (Typically not a good line to deliver to somebody with regard to weddings.) He then presented Becca with a variety of jewelry.

Becca can get eliminated next week. She has already won this show.

MVP: Whichever Contestant Altered Their No. 9 Demolition Derby Car by Turning It Into No. 69

Screenshot via ABC

Second-Most-Valuable Player: Bibiana

The main drama of the episode revolved around Krystal. Krystal got a rose from Arie on their one-on-one date, meaning she automatically got to stay on the show for another week. In a questionable move, however, she repeatedly interrupted women desperately trying to converse with Arie at the episode-ending cocktail party.

She met stiff resistance from Bibiana, who failed to work up the courage to talk to Arie throughout the evening. Bibiana called Krystal “a selfish bitch,” told Krystal that she’d messed with the wrong girl, and ended a rant by literally saying “mic drop” and walking away.

I associate very strongly with Bibiana: I, too, often fail to work up the courage to talk to people I would like to talk to. On the other hand, Bibiana had the courage to call somebody a bitch. She somehow contains the best type of cowardice and the best type of confidence. I am rooting for her.