It was the best of times; it was the worst of times. Last night had a few very high points, but mostly a lot of low points. It starts off with Becca, shaking and nervous, riding a bike with a basket on it, looking like she’s excited to get to the mansion and start finding love. And ends with Becca, shaking and nervous, handing out 15 roses, looking like she’s excited to leave the mansion, go to bed, and never come back. Let’s get right into it, shall we?

Wedding Obstacle Course Group Date

Folks, if you recall, Becca’s first date on The Bachelor consisted of Arie taking her to a place where she got to pick out a bunch of fancy clothes and jewelry while Arie ate snacks. The romance. Since this season is the season of Holding a Serious Grudge about Arie Becca Moving On, she decides to start off her first group date with the men by… letting them pick out a bunch of fancy clothes.

But then psych! Instead of doing a normal mock wedding, a la Nick Viall’s season, Becca has the men complete an obstacle course that is straight out of The Worst Bridal Shower Ever Planned. Complete with terrible puns about “the ol’ ball and chain” and “cold feet,” the men must complete a series of wedding-themed challenges: Running connected to a ball and chain, submerging themselves in a vat of ice water (cold feet), doing an army crawl through some mud to get a bouquet (I don’t remember this pun because I was yelling at the TV), something about eating cake with just your face to find a ring, and then crawling down the aisle on your knees with that ring to Becca, who is waiting at the end (subtle). And yes, ruining your shiny new tux along the way—all in the name of love.

But hey! It wouldn’t be a Bachelor wedding-themed obstacle course without a special guest, right? (Tbt to last season’s obstacle course guests Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher.) This season’s guest is: Rachel Lindsay and Not Peter Bryan Abasolo. God, I hate Bryan.

Long story short: These men make fools of themselves tripping over everything. Memorable moments include: Clay just straight chilling in the ice water vat because—as he reminds us yet again—he is a professional football player. Lincoln makes an early exit from his ice vat, causing the men to immediately turn against him. “If he cheats at sitting in the ice vat, how can Becca ever trust him with her heart?” many men repeated in multiple different ways. To make matters worse, Lincoln then wins the challenge, and a kiss and a wedding-like photo from Becca.

At the post-group date party, tensions are high because Lincoln is a cheater and now Enemy No. 1. Lincoln, high on victory, decides he’s going to steal Becca for a second right out of the gate, proving he is not here to make friends (and he definitely does not). During their one-on-one time, Becca gives him a gift: a framed photo of them from earlier in the afternoon, that I have to imagine an intern had to go quickly run to print out at a nearby CVS. This photo will become known as The Photo That Launched A Thousand Ships. Lincoln also gets another kiss from Becca, which he describes as “unicorns on a pot of gold,” which is just so dumb I won’t even comment on, but I couldn’t leave it out.

The rest of these conversations don’t matter because what takes center stage here is the large kerfuffle between Connor and Lincoln over TPTLATS. Lincoln refuses to just keep his photo to himself—thankfully because this episode needed some good TV—and insists on keeping it on display on a table so everyone can see it. This sends Connor into an absolute tizzy that eventually ends with him throwing the photo like a Frisbee, causing it to break and land in the pool, destroying it.

Lincoln sheds the first tears of the season over this to Becca—who, on her first date as The Bachelorette, is already being forced to mother someone and do emotional labor for their feelings—which causes her to confront and scold Connor. You know, as if they are children. Connor says a bunch of weird Mark-Consuelos-on-Riverdale things like “I just got rid of it,” and “Let’s say I sent it away.” Becca is just about as over this date as I am.

Oh wait! I forgot. There must have been another important conversation during this generally annoying and boring date because Jean Blanc gets the group date rose, causing me to yell, “Wait, what?! But did he tell her that his job is actually just a made-up word?! Does she know?!”

Smash Up Arie One-on-One Date

My Future Husband Blake gets the first one-on-one date of the season, meaning he’ll probably go pretty far in this journey for Instagram fame to find love. (Hey, Blake. If you’re not currently engaged to Becca and you happen to stumble upon this, HMU. 🌹 Also, @ everyone else, feel free to help this cause. Meghan Markle’s friends set her up on a date that made her a princess. I’m not asking for much here.)

Becca and Blake arrive at a sketchy looking alley, and when they exit the car, they find Our Lord and Savior Chris Harrison like this:

He pulls away a tarp to reveal jumpsuits, workboots, and safety gear for the two love birds. That’s right: In another date themed around how completely over Arie we all are, The Bachelor team spent probably a ton of money recreating different vignettes of Becca and Arie’s relationship for Becca and her potential new fiancé to smash with sledgehammers. I just… I cannot. (It should be clear that probably the most savage part about this for both of them is that there are TVs replaying Arie and Beccas proposal.) TBH, this seems like a fun date if you forget it’s centered around the world’s biggest douchebag.

And surprise! LIL JON IS THERE. Need to know how they got Lil Jon to be part of this. With the addition of Lil Jon, this smash-it-up date has now become my dream come true.

At the post-sledgehammer dinner, Blake decides to talk about somebody else’s ex for once (his own) and how the last relationship he had, they said “I love you” after two months and then she promptly broke up with him a few days later. He also found out via reading her text messages with her friends, which I’m going to skim over because I’m blinded by love, and Becca did too, because she of course, gave this man a rose. They also share many kisses on this date—most of which are initiated by Becca. Girl, get it.

Dodgeball Group Date

Our next group date features: Garrett, Rickey, John, Ryan, Alex, Wills, Leo, Colton, Trent, and Christon. (None for Mike and Jason, bye.) The men are shipped via school bus to a gymnasium to be coached on the art of dodgeball by a bunch of ruthless children—and it is amazing. They use a machine to pelt the men with dodgeballs at speeds up to 100 mph, and laugh maniacally the whole time. Then, in the perfection audition for all three of them to have their own Disney Channel show, they bully the men into oblivion in front of the girl they are trying to marry on national TV. At one point, one kid yells “TRASH! Do you think Becca wants TRASH?” and I’m so happy that I begin to tear up. This is beautiful.

There are only a few standout moments on the actual dodgeball section of this date:

  • During practice, Christon is the only man who dares hit Becca with a dodgeball—and she’s slightly offended, but also like, “I guess we should be 50-50 in this relationship. 🙄”
  • They are told they’re going to play 5 vs. 5 in an arena, in front of a crowd. The arena is an indoor trampoline park. Please @ me on Twitter if you know how I can get to be part of one of these crowds.
  • In case you were like, “Hey, Ali! We noticed that this date had nothing to do with Arie, nor has anyone mentioned Arie,” someone in the crowd was holding an “Arie sucks!” sign.
  • Fred Willard is inexplicably there to commentate with OLASCH.
  • Leo is consistently the last person standing on his team.

Later, magic happens: Colton decides to have his “first big conversation” with Becca, and I yell “Oh right! He’s a virgin. Let’s get this over with.” Surprise! He not only doesn’t drop that bomb, but also instead drops the fact that he previously dated (former Arie reject and Raven look-alike) Tia, only further solidifying my theory that up until Arie ruined literally everyone’s life, Tia was supposed to be this season’s Bachelorette. Although Becca and Tia dated the same man (Arie) at the same time for at least six weeks on national TV, Becca is unsure if she can cope with the fact that Colton previously dated Tia—meaning, he’ll probably get the last rose at this ceremony and this will be something we’ll have to deal with again soon (Maybe with Tia present?! Hopefully!).

Harry Potter Nerd Wills has a nice convo with Becca that leads to a kiss that he describes as “sultry” 😷and a group date rose.

Cocktail Party

Jordan, who was unable to win the Brass Balls trophy because he didn’t participate in that group date, is the real star of last night’s cocktail party. “I’ll show you brass balls,” he says, as he disrobes to only his underwear and shoes, and parades up to Becca while she just sits down to her one-on-one with David, saluting and winking at the other men along the way. A voiceover gives us a classic Jordan philosophy (which I hope one day are all published into a coffee table book I can purchase): “Nothing attracts a woman more than being comfortable next to a sexy man.” He then sits next to Becca for a one-on-one conversation in which he spews a bunch of nonsense about how he’s much more than a model—although he has yet to talk about anything else on this show thus far.

The men, especially David, are upset about this. David has a long argument with Jordan, wherein he tries to explain to him how disrespectful he was, which is about as useful as trying to explain to a piece of toast why it is disrespectful to burn in your toaster. Jordan retaliates with gems such as, “I wore my underwear, bro! That’s not me trying to get attention.” This goes on for awhile, brilliantly setting up what I imagine later will be a two-on-one date that rivals the Alex vs. Chad two-on-one from Queen JoJo’s season. It’s a whole lotta nonsense—but really shows off the (probably accidental) brilliance of Jordan: Somehow, David is the one who came out of this argument looking like an ass.

Elsewhere in the party, Clay plays football with Becca because ICYMI: he is a professional football player; Venmo John writes her a poem; Connor frames a photo of himself for Becca to throw into the pool, smoothly redeeming himself; and a bunch of other inconsequential things happen.

Rose Ceremony

With (my husband) Blake, Harry Potter Wills, and Cologonisseur Jean Blanc all pinned up with roses, the remaining 15 go to:

  • Chris R.: Shit Stirrer
  • Jason: Is he actually Andrew Keegan?
  • Venmo John
  • Clay: Remember, he’s a professional athlete!
  • Mike: Man bun that’s not Leo
  • Connor: Comeback Kid
  • Leo: Man bun wearer; dodgeball superstar
  • David: Chicken suit; chicken sh*t
  • Garrett: Ooof.
  • Nick: I just… who?
  • Ryan: Banjo.
  • Christon: 50-50
  • Jordan: Brass balls, baby
  • Lincoln: Cheater
  • Colton: Possible virgin; possibly banged Tia

Can’t wait for next week when Tia (and other girls who regrettably dated Arie and aren’t Tia) is there, Jordan uses the world “professionality” to describe his face, and someone goes to the hospital!

Tick tock, let’s make it rock,
A

Photos: ABC