Almost everybody cried on Monday night’s episode of The Bachelorette.
Blake cried because he’s in love with Becca and can’t stop thinking about the fact that she might be in love with other people. He spent about 80 percent of his interactions with Becca telling her about his worry that she might pick somebody else, which seemed self-defeating. You’re on a dating show, buddy. Get over it.
Garrett cried because he’s in love with Becca, but also because he’s been in love before and got married and divorced, and he worries the same thing might happen again.
And Becca cried because she had to dump somebody. You could’ve figured out which somebody it was going to be pretty early in the episode: Becca explained about five minutes into the episode that she’s in love with two men—Blake and Garrett—and “falling in love” with a third, Jason. She couldn’t quite explain why—hint: It’s because she thinks the other two guys are hotter, which isn’t something you can say out loud, even on a show as superficial as The Bachelorette—but she knew her potential future is with Blake or Garrett.
Becca’s feelings here took a lot of the verve out of an episode that’s typically pretty dramatic. Jason didn’t even make it to the bedroom portion of the fantasy-suite date, as Becca opted for a mid-dinner dumping. That left just two men for a climactic rose ceremony with two roses. The show tried to reinsert some drama by having Jason return toward the end of the episode (ABC producer: “So, uh, Jason, we already paid for your hotel room for the whole week … and honestly, it’s gonna cost us like $700 to change your flight, so, uh, wanna hang around for a few days and talk to Becca again?”) but Jason didn’t bite, continuing to be relentlessly positive toward Becca. He even gave her a relationship scrapbook. (That same ABC producer: “So, since you’re not really doing anything for the next few days besides sitting in your hotel room … wanna put together a scrapbook? Our interns will help!”)
Somehow, Jason was the only main character featured in this episode not to cry, despite the fact that he was the only one who got dumped. (Also not weeping: various Thai monks, Chris Harrison.) He almost cried the second time he talked to Becca about the dumping, but held off. His composure was honestly impressive: He didn’t badger Becca to take him back, he didn’t force her to give him answers about why, and he seemed to mean all the nice things he said about her future.
And in doing so, Jason may have become the front-runner to become the lead on the next season of The Bachelor. If ABC wanted that eventual outcome, the studio basically groomed him for the role in this episode. He’s fun and sweet and kind. The only holdup is the hotness thing—we’re going to have to do something about his hockey hair.
Worst Talker: Becca
Becca came into the season with a catchphrase—“Let’s do the damn thing!”—which, surprisingly, she hasn’t used that much. Monday night, her catchphrase was simply shouting “WE’RE IN THAILAND!” when she was enjoying herself but couldn’t come up with anything to say. She said “We’re in Thailand!” at least three times in the episode, even after she’d already been in Thailand for a week.
Becca’s not particularly good at figuring out what to say. Her new move is just straight-up leaving conversations when she isn’t sure how to handle something—she did it two weeks ago, after Colton revealed his virginity and twice Monday night when she wasn’t sure how to tell Jason that she wasn’t as into him as she was the other guys. It first happened when she commented on their potential shared future, then realized she didn’t see him in that future, ending their daytime date in the process. It happened again at dinner when she brought up the fact she left their daytime date.
This was great television—it was fun to watch Becca’s conversational victims squirm, stewing in their thoughts as they wondered what they did to force Becca to leave. But it would have been better TV if Becca actually stuck around and faced her dates when things got uncomfortable.
Best Karma: Blake
Shout-out to the Thai tourism board, who convinced The Bachelorette to film two fantasy-suite episodes in Thailand in three seasons. Just two years ago, JoJo took her last three guys to Hua Hin before making her final decision in Phuket; Monday night’s episode was in Chiang Mai, which is more inland.
Becca and Blake hiked to a temple, where they were given very basic relationship advice by a Buddhist monk. (“Be honest in relationships”—Buddha, apparently.) But the most important thing you need to know about the temple: Kissing and touching are forbidden there because the temple was sacred ground. The pair joked that a kiss would incur a curse and cause them to “burn up on the spot,” which isn’t really how Buddhism works.
This was also true when JoJo went to a temple with Jordan on her season. You might think that if you really love someone, you have to be willing to desecrate the sacred place of a foreign culture to make out with them, but The Bachelorette is proving that’s not the case. Jordan and JoJo worked out in spite of the fact they had to briefly not kiss each other. Becca and Blake are on the same path—plus, alliteration.
Best Date: Garrett
While Becca and Blake were walking slowly next to each other and not kissing, Becca and Garrett went rafting on a river—a very crowded river, because as Becca and Garrett found out, it was a Thai national holiday. (Cross-referencing Reality Steve and this list of Thai public holidays: It was Thai Labor Day!) They lazily floated down a stream among hundreds of beer-drinking Thai folks, then drank a beer themselves, and oh yeah—saw a bunch of elephants.
It wasn’t even stock footage of an elephant! They really saw some cool-ass wild elephants up close!
Then Becca and Garrett stayed in a sweet tent instead of a hotel room.
I take back what I said earlier: It’s honestly not even fair that Garrett got to drink beer around elephants while Blake had to slowly walk alongside Becca without kissing her. They must have known how much further ahead Garrett is than Blake, because I don’t see why you’d give one guy elephants and the other guy not-elephants.
Worst Wording: Garrett
Garrett is in love with Becca; Becca is in love with Garrett. I don’t doubt this! But Garrett dropped an unspeakable line when affirming his love for Becca: “Every day, I choose her.”
On its face, that’s a cute affirmation about ongoing commitment on love. But it’s also basically exactly what Arie said about Becca while proposing last year: “I choose you today, but I choose you every day from here on out,” was Arie’s promise, which turned out to be, uh, not true. A few weeks later he decided to choose somebody else.
Garrett’s relationship with Becca seems the strongest, so here’s what’s going to happen: He’s going to propose to her in the final episode, she’ll say yes, and then he’ll whisper “I love that” in her ears, ripping off his Garrett mask to reveal that he’s been Arie all along. This whole show is just an elaborate ruse to get Becca dumped on camera again.