This episode of The Bachelorette was all about whittling down. Six guys got sent home, and unlike in previous weeks, we knew them all pretty well. We may have mostly forgotten Anthony's 1-on-1 date, but when we remembered it, we remembered liking Anthony. Things are getting tough for Rachel now, because all the guys left are pretty good guys, as were most of the guys she sent home.
However, let's start with the first guy to get eliminated in the episode, who was a very bad guy. Things started with the conclusion of Lee and Kenny's 2-on-1. Lee didn't get left behind hard enough, quite frankly. There was no dramatic shot like Ashley I. sobbing alone in the Badlands as Chris flew away in a helicopter.
After Kenny unleashed what might be the most-bleeped torrent of profanity ever shown on network TV on Lee, Rachel came back and told Lee that she didn't trust him, and for that he had to go.
"That's okay, sweetheart," he all but interrupted. "I just want you to know that when he came over here he threatened me." What a smarmy, condescending, disingenuous (to use this season's signature word), racist trash heap.
She didn't give Kenny the rose right away, and instead wanted to see how the rest of the date went. But then, instead of winning with grace and dignity, Kenny had to leave Rachel waiting in the helicopter to go back and berate and gloat at Lee some more, which was a very bad move. "This is so stupid. I feel stupid. I look stupid," Rachel said. You don't embarrass Rachel. If I were her, I would have been like, "No, you blew it, you're not getting in this helicopter," but Rachel is more forgiving than me. The rest of the date went well, and she gave him a rose.
As if it wasn't already clear from going on a 2-on-1 date that Kenny wasn't going to progress much further (95% of 2-on-1 date survivors are eliminated within the next four weeks), his tears during his FaceTime call with his daughter foreshadowed that he couldn't do this much longer.
Then it was time for the first of the episode's two rose ceremonies. Josiah was very cocky going in, so of course he got eliminated. Anthony also got cut. You know who's still around, though? Adam's creepy doll from the premiere! They're traveling with it. They had it looking in the window during the rose ceremony. I can't believe Norway allowed it through customs. You'd think Bjorn the security official would have been like, "No, this is horrifying, I'm not allowing this into my country."
After that, it was off to Denmark. Eric had a nice 1-on-1 where he opened up about his difficulty accepting love. He got a rose. Then there was a group date where the guys did Viking stuff. They rowed a longboat to the place where two lovable goofballs named Tom and Morton had them play Viking games (which were mostly just shoving competitions). I would watch a show where Tom and Morton teach reality stars how to be Vikings, just saying. The Challenge: Valhalla. Peter ended up getting the group date rose.
During the group date, Kenny went to Rachel and said that he felt like while there could be something very real between them, something was missing. He didn't want to go into hometowns and introduce Rachel to his daughter Mackenzie and have Mackenzie fall in love with her only to have her end it soon after. He wanted to protect his daughter. And Rachel said she couldn't guarantee that it was going to work out, so he should go. It was an amicable parting. "If Mackenzie grew up to be like Rachel, then I knew that I did my job," he said, which was so sweet. I like that he left the show mostly because he missed his daughter. Kenny seems like a good dad.
Will got the next 1-on-1 date, and it was underwhelming. Will and Rachel's conversation about both growing up mostly around white people but having very different dating histories was interesting, but Will seemed shy or reserved even though Rachel was very into him and he didn't get the rose because of it.
After this episode, Eric is the only black contestant remaining. Eric isn't Bachelor material, so there won't be back-to-back black leads, which is too bad. That would have been fun.
In the second rose ceremony, Rachel eliminated Alex the Russian, who didn't seem too broken up about it. I would have said "he'll be great on Paradise," but now I'm kinda dreading Paradise. Oh well.
This was kind of a quiet episode after the intensity of previous weeks, but it served a purpose. It deepened some of the guys' characters, and definitely deepened Rachel's. Rachel is getting to that inevitable wall that all leads hit where the emotional pressure becomes intolerable. To quote Kanye West, "stick around, some real feelings might surface."
The Bachelorette airs Mondays at 8/7c on ABC.