It’s week two of Bachelorette Becca Kufrin’s journey to find love, which means that the contestants are plentiful; the mansion drama is mild to medium; the tears and fears have been unleashed. And somehow we’re still talking about Becca’s ex, Arie Luyendyk Jr.
The episode begins with Lincoln, the charming 26-year-old sales executive from Los Angeles, “winning” an obstacle course group date. But flaunting his prize — a picture of him and Becca under a fake wedding altar — in front of the other guys makes Connor, a 25-year-old fitness coach from St. Petersburg, Fla., so jealous that he hurls the framed picture out the window of the mansion. It lands with a splash in the pool.
Becca isn’t pleased with the envy that results from what should have been a playful group date. “I’m looking for a man who can still stay respectful,” she says. “It’s early on for this, I’m not going to lie,” she adds, the poor sportsmanship clearly getting on her nerves.
It wasn’t all drama, however. Here are the best, worst and weirdest moments from last night’s episode.
Best moment: Smashing remnants of Becca’s relationship with Arie
Yes, every Bachelor, Bachelorette — and most contestants who make it past the first few weeks — are expected to unearth the details of HOW THEY’VE BEEN HURT IN THE PAST, all in the service of being vulnerable and making a connection with someone they just met.
But viewers already know all about Becca’s past pain. How long is ABC going to milk that? In the premiere, several of Becca’s men directly referenced Arie — and how they wouldn’t hurt our leading lady like he did. But it’s now week two, and the producers are sending Becca on a one-on-one date with Blake, a 28-year-old sales rep from Bailey, Colo., to a rage room to work out any residual anger over being dumped on television just months ago.
“I know you suffered some serious heartbreak,” Chris Harrison says to Becca as she enters a warehouse full of paraphernalia from her relationship with Arie. Inside, Becca and Blake encounter a race car with an ARIE JR. license plate; the gray couch on which she and Arie were sitting when he said he wanted to try again with Lauren; and television screens playing footage of Becca and Arie’s proposal.
Rage rooms are popular spots to process painful breakups. As we’ve noted on Solo-ish, “most rage room owners report that the majority of their customers are women, who usually arrive in pairs and sometimes with a photo of an ex-boyfriend.” A place where you can act out a car-smashing “Lemonade” fantasy with your girlfriends without a “Bachelorette” production budget.
But it’s not the ideal spot for a first date. And yet, Blake goes with it and is totally smitten with how Becca can swing a sledgehammer with a smile. Seeing her work through her pain, and having a great time doing it, makes it easy for Blake to open up about his own past failed relationships. “I have felt such comfort and ease being with you,” she tells him as they lean in for a kiss.
Somehow this date that seemed so incongruous ended up hitting all the right notes. Never has exorcising an ex’s ghost looked so gleeful and oddly romantic. Bonus points for a musical guest — Lil Jon, who DJ’d throughout Becca and Blake’s time in the rage room — who’s beyond Bachelor Nation’s default roster of little-known country stars.
Worst moment: Colton telling Becca he’s dated her friend, Tia
After a group date of dodgeball at an elementary school, the guys hang with Becca and steal her away for one-on-one chats. During Colton’s time with Becca, he tells her that he had a brief relationship with Tia Booth, who was a contestant on last season of “Bachelor” and is still one of Becca’s close friends.
Props to Colton for coming clean with this tidbit on his own, rather than be outed by someone else later in the season. But Becca is shaken by the revelation. “I’m very attracted to you,” she tells Colton, adding that “it’s a very tricky situation” that makes her feel “a little bit sick.” She later tells the camera: “If Tia and Colton didn’t have a past, I’d be all about it.”
Welcome to the small, incestuous world of Bachelor Nation, Becca, where former contestants often date contestants from other shows. Maybe a call to Ashley Iaconetti and Jared Haibon, who just got together after three years since first appearing on “Bachelor in Paradise,” will ease your mind about this one.
Out in the real world, this is an issue as well. While it’s easy to decide you won’t date a close friend’s serious ex, the less-serious ones, as Colton and Tia appear to be, can be harder to rule out. Maybe it just wasn’t a match with Tia — or, as Colton says, it was just bad timing. We haven’t seen the end of this dilemma; the teaser for next week shows Tia popping back on the show for a cameo.
Weirdest moment: Jordan prancing around the mansion half-naked
Yes, Jordan is a model. He can’t stop mentioning it, or talking up his fashion sense. In an attempt to show Becca how “comfortable” he is around her, Jordan strips down to his underwear and pulls a “can I steal you for a second?” while Becca is chatting with David. “I want her to fall for my personality,” Jordan says of his plan to go shirtless. Of course, this just comes off as a naked play for attention. In their one-on-one time, Jordan rambles about how he can’t wait to have a “mini-me” running around. Maybe he thinks he’s showing Becca he’s serious about settling down and being a father. But he’s really just showing her what a serious narcissist he is.
And still! This season needs a villain, so Jordan gets a rose.
The shenanigans of this week’s episode leave a laser-focused Becca unsure whether she can find a true match in this bunch. “I’m fearful I’m not getting what I’m looking for,” she says.
Meanwhile, viewers are still mourning the loss of Joe Amabile, the adorkable grocery store owner Becca eliminated last week; #JusticeforJoe was trending on Twitter as the Joe-less episode unfolded. Maybe we’ll see him on “Bachelor in Paradise” this summer — he’s got watermelon swim trunks at the ready.