Before we get into the awkward moments, it has to be said that the true star of this episode — and the whole season — was Chad. I could have just written a list of things Chad did and said during this episode and left it at that. Chad's return to the show reminded me of how problematically entertaining he is and how boring the show has gotten in his absence. No matter how you feel about the obnoxious, hypermasculine carnivore — and chances are you think he's a terrible person, because he is — you have to admit that he's compelling.
Every moment he was onscreen and much of the time he wasn't during the "Men Tell All" episode, he monopolized the conversation through the sheer force of his personality. The only other thing worth talking about this season had nothing to do with what was happening onscreen (Aaron Rodgers finally spoke publicly about his brother Jordan being on the show, by the way), and Chad's performance reaffirmed that. It was great to have him back, especially just for a few minutes. He's overwhelming in large doses. This was the perfect amount. He was so funny and so despicable tonight, which of course I'll get more into later. Because there were non-Chad things that happened, too.
Luke and Chase each got some time in the hot seat, because they are the finalists to star on The Bachelor next season. Like "Jordan or Robby," there's not actually a question of who it will be — it'll be Luke. But The Bachelor and The Bachelorette love to pretend that there's drama where there isn't.
Speaking of pretend drama, let's get to the awkward moments.
8. That dishonest Bachelor In Paradise promo
Bachelor In Paradise starts next Tuesday, the night after The Bachelorette finale. The deeply inconsequential spin-off where the runners-up hang out and hook up in Mexico needs to justify its existence somehow, and it looks like it's trying that this season by ratcheting up the lunacy. There are going to be three(!) proposals, lots of making out followed by tears and Nick Viall is going to show up for the third time. We can't get rid of him! Worst of all, the promo committed the recurring, annoying Bachelor franchise sin of making it look like things got violent when they actually didn't. The promo was edited to look like Chad injured Evan, whom he beefed with during The Bachelorette. He didn't. Evan in the ambulance has nothing to do with Chad (I'm not going to spoil Bachelor In Paradise for you, but spoilers are out there if you want to seek them out and they'll tell you what really happens with Chad). The Bachelorette did the same thing earlier this season, teasing that Chad gave Evan a bloody nose when in reality Evan apparently suffers from spontaneous nosebleeds. Evan seems kind of frail. He probably got heat stroke.
I'm tired of these misleading promos. They're not even necessary. The real drama is dramatic enough.
7. Chase won't stop talking about getting kicked out of the fantasy suite
On last night's episode, Chase got eliminated after telling JoJo he was in love with her while they were in the "fantasy suite," a.k.a. "the room where it happens." This reunion was filmed several months later, and Chase was still sore about JoJo bringing him to the fantasy suite only to send him home. Chase, you see, really, really wanted to sleep with JoJo and he didn't get to. When he's harping on "why did you accept the fantasy suite card," that's what he really means. Since they didn't sleep together, it doesn't really matter what room they were in when she cut him. JoJo thought she was protecting both of them by eliminating him before they went to another level of intimacy, but I bet Chase would still rather she had cut him the morning after. I see you, Chase! You're not low!
6. JoJo gives Chad the brush-off
I'm going to get more into Chad later, I promise, but Chad's moment with JoJo deserves special mention. Chad insulted both of her finalists to her face, and she chose not to respond. "I could go off right now," she said, but since he was only trolling for attention, she wasn't going to give him what he wanted. "He's not even worth my breath," she said like a boss, which earned a standing ovation from the rest of the boys. She thanked them all for being respectful even after being eliminated, except Chad. Chad just smirked and ate cold cuts in response to all this.
5. Jon's kilt
Jon, the Scotsman from the waist down who was eliminated night one, showed up wearing his kilt. Not a surprise, because that was his thing. The sad part was that his kilt wasn't acknowledged until JoJo shouted it out halfway through the show. He didn't get any other speaking lines. Sucks to be Jon.
4. Alex: still the worst
Early in the show, before Chad came out, the season's second-tier villain got addressed, and he continued to look bad. Derek was diplomatic when talking about his conflict with Alex (I don't remember what that was about, do you?), but then Nick B. jumped in with a truth bomb, calling Alex a manipulative instigator with a Napoleon complex. All true. Wells defended his friend, saying that since he'd spent his whole adult life in the military (which we'd forgotten, thanks for reminding us PSYCH lol), he was most comfortable in conflict. He fought with Chad and won, but then once Chad was gone he didn't know his role anymore and thought he still had to fight, which manifested in inappropriate ways. To which Luke, the grownup in the room, basically said "I was in the military, too, so that's no excuse to not know how to behave." He indirectly called Alex immature and directly called him a "clown." Then they stopped talking about Alex and started talking about Chad, because they're incapable of not talking about Chad.
3. Santa getting his airtime
Nick B. was an unmemorable guy who was eliminated early in the season, but he made his presence felt during the "Men Tell All." The guy who showed up dressed as Santa called out Alex, to which Alex made a comment about Nick getting his 15 seconds, which isn't exactly the expression, but Alex is inarticulate. Then during the Chad bit he stood up, took off his jacket and challenged Chad to a fight, to which Chad said, "Good luck with your airtime there, Santa." Nick barely interacted with Chad during the show. Then Nick spoke directly to JoJo even though he had nothing to say. But I'm talking about him now, so it worked. You're not low, Nick, you thirsty rando.
2. Literally everything Chad did
Chad was perfect during the "Men Tell All." He dressed all in black to signify that he's a bad guy. He snacked, smirked, insulted everyone, dropped hilarious non sequiturs and made some actually good points. He revealed that since the show's ended, he's dated Grant and Robby's exes, which is such a high level of commitment to being an irritant that you kind of have to admire it. He called out everybody for Not Being Here for the Right Reasons with specific evidence (James Taylor is a singer, Jordan wants to be a sportscaster, etc.) while dodging the obvious fact that he, too, has some kind of ulterior promotional motive that has not yet fully become clear. He called Grant "Daryl." He implied that Robby is gay (which he made explicit in a truly awful tweet last night). My personal favorite Chad moment was when he told Derek that his pocket square didn't match his shirt. I admit it: I love to hate Chad.
1."In what other experience do you get motorboated by a unicorn?"
Gross, Chris Harrison. Don't talk about JoJo's boobs. You're like her weird uncle.
All in all, this was a great "Men Tell All." It was the best episode of The Bachelorette since Chad and Alex's one on one. Next week is the finale, which will be predictable unless Chad shows up and ruins it. I can't wait.