Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Katie emerges as the unlikely queen of this Bachelor episode

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Photo: Craig Sjodin/ABC

Whew, this Bachelor episode was a ride, wasn’t it? I didn’t think I was ever going to get over the increasingly cringeworthy stakes of the out-loud erotica reading (TIL: Chris Harrison wrote a book!), but by the end of the episode, at the end of all the Sarah drama, I barely remembered them. Plus there was a one-on-one date. With a donkey. It was a lot.

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But it all goes back to the fact this is a really weird, fucked- up way to meet the person you’re supposed to spend the rest of your life with. Naturally, Sarah must have been somewhat familiar with the show before coming on, which means that despite her great date with Matt, he was going to go on many more dates with girls who are not her. Maybe it’s the kind of thing you understand in the abstract but find much harder to handle in reality. But wandering around in a puffy coat, refusing to come down to be with the other women: I haven’t been watching the show for that many seasons, but has anyone ever done that before?

At any rate, it was extremely unfortunate, because any chance we had for a non-toxic season (granted, Victoria made that impossible the nanosecond she stepped out of the limo) flew out the window tonight as the women almost venomously piled on weeping Sarah. Not saying that there wasn’t some justification for their actions; I liked Katie wrestling her time back, but the next step should absolutely be, “No, you know what? You had a one-on-one with him, and this is my time.” (Meanwhile, Matt’s just sitting there like a chew toy getting fought over at the dog park, like when Sarah said she could bring Matt back to his original date in five minutes. Speak up, man!) It’s part of the ridiculousness of this super-packed Bachelor season; with so many contestants still on board, the fight for even a few memorable moments with Matt becomes next-level competitive.

Nevertheless, this does not excuse the Mean Girl festival of a group of women lashing out at a crying person—particularly led on by Victoria and Kit, who likely got tons of practice in such situations at sorority chapter meetings. Yes, Sarah ill-advisedly crashed your group date and then kept to herself for awhile. It’s not like she ran over your new puppy with a lawn mower, not that you’d know it by the way some of these women were acting. And Victoria and Kit seemed to be gleefully egging them on, whether out of malevolence or straight-up boredom I really couldn’t say. Probably a combination of both. I keep hoping for a Girl Power Bachelor season; instead I get these hopefully smart, accomplished women spending their time moping over the same guy and grappling for the same few minutes with him. (Who doesn’t understand the concept of the show now, right? I know, I know.)

Which is why, with literally no other options, we have to award Katie—yes, Dildo Girl Katie—as the queen of the episode. Sure, she and Sarah had their run-in earlier, as did Sarah and Victoria (Life lesson: If Victoria ever comes up to you feigning sympathy, I would advise you to run away as fast as you possibly can.) But Katie is the only girl who cared enough to actually, y’know, check on Sarah and her mental state, and have a heart-to-heart with her about why she wanted to leave. When Sarah opened up about her ill dad, and Katie responded with, “I understand that more than I would like to,” it was an actual, genuine, Bachelor moment, the kind of thing that people actually watch reality TV for. Again, not saying that Sarah wasn’t annoying, but the other contestants treated her pretty shabbily, and I’m glad she got to leave on… if not a high note, at least a compassionate one.

Then, Katie takes on the Mean Girl crowd herself, explaining that Sarah is leaving, and that they should all avoid these pile-on tendencies as the season progresses, revealing that Sarah had a severe family issue she was dealing with as well. You never know how much anyone else is dealing with, so it’s always better to err on the side of kindness, even though Victoria is about as familiar with kindness as she is with effective, non-shiny concealer, or actually fashionable outfits. Anyway, it’s hard to believe that someone who walked out of the limo holding a vibrator on the first night, and then tapped one of the other women on the shoulder with it, would wind up being the most emotionally intelligent one of the bunch, but here we are. Sarah, you definitely made the right choice to leave that toxic situation to be with your dad. I’d like to think that everyone else would learn from this week and Katie’s speech, but since it’s The Bachelor, I’m not exactly holding my breath.

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Stray observations

  • It is absolute bullshit that Marylynne got sent home, based on some made-up gossip from Victoria, with no explanation or followup from Matt. #JusticeforMarylynne
  • Please, Sarah, save yourself. Don’t come back for Women Tell All.
  • Obviously, I like Katie, but I also can’t help but think of SNL’s Vanessa Bayer whenever I see her.
  • Matt’s date with Serena P was surprisingly cute. He actually has strong ties to several of the girls now, like Bri, Rachael, Abigail. I don’t envy his choices, but it should make it easier to get rid of toxic sludge like Victoria and Kit.
  • I could barely watch the erotica readings out of so much embarrassment for the participants, although I am kind of curious about some of the unbleeped versions.
  • Since Matt is such a down-to-earth, non-drama guy, do you think the producers are going out of their way then to stoke the drama to keep the viewers entertained? The adding on of five more contestants (judging from next week’s preview) seems to be the last thing anyone on this show needs.
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