After a week away, The Bachelorette is back, but unfortunately, it’s not better than ever. This week, the gang travels to France and encounters racism, miming, and frog legs, in that exact order.
Chris Harrison has a heart-to-heart with Andi at a French café where he asks her if she’s falling in love. Andi coyly demurs, but it’s pretty obvious the way things are going from the first one-on-one date of the night with Josh, the former pro-athlete. (Marcus who? I officially change my end-game prediction here.) Andi is clearly besotted, but Josh spends nearly the entire date convincing her that he’s not the stereotypical athlete who goes through women like “flavors of the week” at the ice-cream store. He seems really concerned about this, but they make out a lot anyway.
Back at the hotel, JJ tells Marquel that Andrew had referred to him as a “blackie” at a previous rose ceremony, as in, “Wow, Andi gave roses to a couple of blackies.” Though JJ says later in a confessional that it might have just been “black guys,” the fact that Andrew thought it was worth remarking upon is still good old-fashioned racism.
Marquel tears up a little when he speaks, quite genuinely, to the camera about his feelings regarding this situation: “Sometimes, no matter how you treat a person they just have this idea of you, and the first thing people recognize about me is that I’m a black guy.”
First mortality, now racism. But lest The Bachelor franchise inspire any prolonged authentic emotions, the camera quickly pans back to Josh and Andi making out. Thank God: I was feeling too contemplative there for a minute. Marquel just experienced actual racism, but Josh gets more screen-time recounting his troubles over being pegged as the hackneyed lady-killer athlete to Andi. Mon Dieu. Josh gets a rose.
On to the group date! The date card said nothing, so what could the afternoon’s activity possibly be? In an array of different colored shorts, the men are led by Andi through Marseilles, the pronunciation of which she mangles completely, saying “Mar-SAY” in a horrid Valley girl accent. Surprise: the guys will be learning how to mime and then sent outside to perform for the natives. From what little I know about French people—the women don’t get fat, for instance—it seems like they don’t easily suffer fools. I’d volunteer for a street performance in Manhattan any day over this.
Nevertheless, the guys are game and make like Marcel Marceau, or their best approximation of him, as the crowd stonily looks on. Marquel’s miming is actually pretty awesome, and JJ’s routine includes a reenactment of his and Andi’s first date. I hate to give a “pantsapreneur” points for anything, but that’s actually pretty cute. Nick sulks because he doesn’t want to pretend how not stupid this date is.
Day turns into night and everyone assembles at a lounge. JJ whisks Andi outside for a ride on some kind of spinning contraption that’s supposed to be a ferris wheel but which looks and functions more like the nausea-inducing teacup ride I take my kids on at various amusement parks. JJ and Andi manage not to vomit, which is good because they make out a lot on the ride. Can you just imagine?
Back at the lounge, Nick and beefy blond Cody get into a fight over Nick being too smug and Cody being too grateful, or something. Cody mad. Cody want to smash. Nick realizes he is about to get squashed like a skinny grumpy bug and wisely starts placating Mr. Muscle.
Despite Nick’s apologies, every guy who has alone time with Andi badmouths Nick and when it’s his turn, Nick owns up to it. Andi keeps calling him salty, like he’s a potato chip or a margarita, but she loves the lame poem he offers up and they make out.
More party drama: Marquel finally confronts Andrew, who went to the OJ Simpson School of Responding to Accusations and denied, denied, denied his “blackie” comment. “I respect everybody,” he blusters. “I never said that!” Methinks the asshole doth protest too much. Marquel gives a dignified response—“I’ll never stand for that kind of talk”—and just walks away, and I love him so much, but JJ is the one who gets the date rose.
Bryan gets the next one-on-one date. He and Andi eat their way through a market and giggle impertinently over “gross” frog legs, and even I, as rude an American as the worst of them, wince at this display of immaturity. They watch a movie, The Hundred-Foot Journey, that was just featured in a commercial and now gets more advertising as Andi tries to talk it up as naturally as possible. Forget frog legs, the lines she’s being fed here are the worst comestibles of the whole night. Bryan gets a rose.
Andi skips the cocktail party this week, because she already knows she’s sending home Marquel, Andrew, and Patrick. If Marquel isn’t the first black Bachelor next season, someone’s going to get an angry letter about it, mark my words.
Next week: Subterfuge! Tears! Gondolas! Until Venice, readers.
Catch up on all the Bachelorette re-caps here. (Editor’s note: Ep. 5 was was a ‘highlights’ episode which we did not re-cap, because a re-cap of a re-cap is too meta, even for us.)
Image: Patrick Aventurier, ABC / The Bachelorette