Welcome back to The Bachelorette, where Desiree’s quest for love continues. Des is determined to separate the man-wheat from the boy-chaff and find out who is here for the right reasons, who thinks things are really real, who believes in fairytales — and to live out every girl’s dream and force a man to propose to her with a Neil Lane diamond engagement ring on national television. Des is determined to find love regardless of what gel-haired, spray-tanned, weeping wack-jobs the producers put in her path.
Here’s what happened on The Bachelorette:
Group Date: The date card reads “Love is a battlefield,” which leads to Des leading the men to slaughter at the hands of the National Dodgeball League. At first, the men all high-five each other, then the dodgeball professionals smear them against the gym floor while Des watches. Chris Harrison walks in to earn his weekly paycheck by telling the men that he’s sick of watching them lose and wants to watch them battle each other. But private humiliation isn’t enough for these buffoons. Instead, the contestants are paraded out for public humiliation on their path to love. The men are escorted to a park and forced to battle it out short shorts, knee socks and headbands.
Best Quote: “You can’t even hear the whiz of the ball as it flies by your face.” – Michael G., before the ball hit him in the face.
Taking One For The Team: Brooks is taken out with a broken finger, which Des found personally dismaying, because she couldn’t fix it herself with her magical tears. Brooks is rushed to the hospital where he is given oxygen after passing out while they realigned his bones. Clearly a sympathy rose is in his future.
Worst Reward: Des is only supposed to take the winners to the after-party, but she decides to take them all. They toast Brooks, who is still in the hospital.
This Week’s Red Flag: While Ben trotted his son straight out of the limo, Zack (not shirtless Zak) only admits that he has a three-year old son now that he and Des have a “connection.” While that’s understandable, perhaps Zack should have abstained from mentioning that he hasn’t dated in two years. And maybe glossed over the dropped domestic-violence charge. TMI, your name is Zack.
The Twist: Chris, a mortgage broker from Seattle, wants Desiree to know he exists, so he sweeps her away for a private moment on the roof. He thinks he’s going to get the rose, but Brooks makes his triumphant return from the hospital and shows up at the after-party wearing his short shorts. But, surprise: Chris gets the date rose! Can Des really see past an injured man in a tank top?
Bachelorette Milestone: This season of The Bachelorette is doubling down on the ultra-private concerts. This time, Desiree and Chris get to slow dance on a concrete walkway in front of a makeshift stage (read: lawn) while all the other contestants watch. Not awkward at all.
The Phone Call: The phone interrupts Des journaling about how much she loves her “entire group of guys.” It’s Chris Harrison with some “bizarre news” about one of the men. Turns out, someone is a liar and has a girlfriend back home.
The Most Dramatic Moment In Bachelorette History (JK): While Des should be primping for her date with Kasey, an advertising executive from California, she drives over to the mansion for some words with Brian (whoever he is), the big old cheater. In Des’ words, “It’s so rude when someone is playing a game, when finding love is not a game.” That is the truth.
The Confrontation: Des calls Brian out to make sure, that “like in the rap video,” he’s here for the right reasons. He swears he is. Cut to Chris Harrison ushering a ticked-off looking woman through the house.
Best Reaction: “Aw, jeeeeez” — Brian, upon seeing his putative girlfriend, Stephanie.
Most Rational Sentence Of Their Entire Conversation: “I did throw rocks at you…because you’re a jerk.” — Stephanie, making lots of sense. (Say no to rock throwing, kids.)
Team Paulie: Chris Harrison cuts through the malarkey and asks Des if she wants him to stay. “Uh, no.” That settled, Chris beckons “Paulie” over. Paulie is a huge man in a paper boy cap who towers over Brian and ushers him out of the mansion.
The Fall Out: The person most affected by this drama? Brandon. Who is crying into the confessional cam about all the father figures in his life who left him — and how he “doesn’t want anyone to leave him again.” Can we start a kickstarter for Brandon’s therapy fund?
The One-On-One Date: Des takes Kasey to dance on the side of a building with the help of some rope. Kasey is a self-professed terrible dancer.
Best Tweet: The Bachelorette production team frequently puts important tweets at the bottom of the screen to entertain short-attention span viewers who are bored with watching men substitute flexing for flirting. Viewers may have been surprised when a tweet popped up from Dr. Jill Biden, as in Vice President Joe Biden’s wife:
— Dr. Jill Biden (@JillBidenVeep) June 11, 2013
Unfortunately it’s just a parody account, but the idea that the wife of the Vice President of the United States is strangely satisfying.
Biggest Sign From Mother Nature: After their slightly botched and boring vertical dance party, Des and Kasey head to a private dinner on a rooftop. Suddenly, Mother Nature sent down a Sign in the form of a Santa Ana wind rushing through the dinner party blowing out candles, knocking over trees, ruining the romance and nearly sending the rose flying. They jump in the pool, but it’s too cold to swim. Kasey gets a pity rose.
Second Group Date: Apparently clinging to unresolved issues from Brian-gate, Desiree kicks off the second group date by invites her men out to a dude ranch, where she kicks one of the resident dudes off a balcony for looking at her funny. If she had done that to Brian, she wouldn’t have any unresolved feelings. Turns out the men will be trained by a Lone Ranger stunt man and whoever does the best, gets to be Des’ Lone Ranger. (Speaking of movies, Bryden’s hair is straight out of the set of Dumb and Dumber.) Former pro-soccer player and noted heartthrob Juan Pablo spoke Spanish during his entire stunt and earned his Lone Ranger badge and a kiss. For his efforts, he got to watch a sneak peek of The Lone Ranger.
Worst Way To Earn A Rose: James, a man previously only notable for having a neck as wide as his head, apparently has an ailing father back at home. Thus, he really wants to know if Desiree is interested in him. If not, he’s going to go home to his father. So Des gives him a rose.
Don’t Hate The Player: Des opted to cancel the cocktail party, in order to hang out with 20 men in Speedos at a pool party. Before Des can step foot into the pool party, single-father Ben (a.k.a. The Villain) cuts her off at the front door and asks her to go for a 15-minute drive before the party. Des agrees, and they head out — while the other men wait. Mikey the plumbing-contractor-who-is-not-from-New-Jersey and Michael G., the federal-prosecutor-who-cannot-be-helping-his-career-by-appearing-on-this-show, confront him about his bold move. In the words of the Gin Blossoms: Hey Jealousy!
The Bachelorette Milestone: Brandon is falling in love with Desiree. He also Rick-rolls her by promising that he’s never gonna say goodbye, never gonna tell a lie, never gonna make her cry or desert her.
The Rose Ceremony: After Brian-gate, Des feels the need to announce that she trusts each and everyone of her bachelors. Then she doles out some roses: Bryden (someone fixed his hair!); Juan Pablo; Zak W., Brooks; Drew (who?); Zack and Brad all get some boutonnieres. For added drama, Michael G. and Mikey get some of the last roses.
The Final Rose: It’s down to Ben and Brandon. Ben gets the last rose, meaning some guy named Dan gets sent home along with Brandon — on the same episode that he declared his love. That’s harsh, even by Bachelorette standards. Brandon adamantly insists that she is making a huge mistake. He basically out Des-es Des. Seeing that pain reflected back at her, she pulls him aside for a “private” chat in front of the cameras. She wants him to know that this was a mercy killing. She didn’t want it to go any further so he would be more hurt. Brandon sighs that “once again, someone left.” He can’t cry, though, because he’s out of tears. Think my therapy Kickstarter campaign is a joke now?
Best Reason To Come Back Next Week: Des takes her harem on the road and they head to Atlantic City.