Our latest installment unfolds in New England where Dylan is greeted with a bad pun date card: “our relationship is picking up steam.”…Sauna?...A cooking class requiring boiled water?...NOPE! Give up?...A TRAAAAIIIIINNNNN
The pair boards the Essex Steam Train up the Connecticut River. They comment on the view by children's bookishly identifying objects outside the window, as in, “Hill.” “Tree.” Dylan, a Connecticut native, even narrates their newfound connection by commenting, “I’ve never crossed this river before” (lest you should assume the Bachelorette video editing team doesn’t get metaphor.)
Next, Dylan finally opens up about his sad personal history and two siblings who died of drug abuse. He’s just being real, and he doesn’t want a "pity rose." Andi assures him that is not the case. “I cannot even express enough how far beyond the opposite this is of a pity rose,” quoth she.
For the group date, the beautiful former lawyer took the guys to Court…the basketball court, that is! HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HAH A HA HA HA HAHAHAHA (Andi wishes she had a zinger like that ready!) Anyway, this was obviously a chance for Thus Far Silent Brian the Basketball Coach to be a thumb-shaped head above the rest.
The first game is the guys vs. Andi and a group of WNBA players. Josh M.’s voiceover claims he recognized them and goes through the gals with a few names and stats (even though pretending that Josh M. keeps up with WNBA news is the most unrealistic thing that has happened all season.) I wasn’t really paying attention to who won the game, because my pay rate for watching basketball would be higher than my rate for writing Bachelorette recaps, and I am a HUMAN BEING. Anyway, Game 2 was guys vs. guys, while Andi and the WNBA players cheered them on by yelling positive affirmations across the otherwise empty gym.
Obviously, Brian singlehandedly carried his team to victory, and then got to spend some one-on-one time with Andi. He gave her a few shooting lessons, and she acted like he was basically curing pediatric cancer. Before he went for a tough-to-sink half-court shot, he was like, “OK, if I make this, what’ll you give me?” And I was like, “dude, you don’t get to claim nookie as a victory prize, like she’s the gosh-darn spoils of war, YOU NECKLESS MONSTER.” (He made the shot, but didn’t make a move on Andi.)
The guys on the losing team were major jags about it, too. Especially Josh M., who whined about it in the locker room like a giant, hunky baby. Josh M. is obviously one of Andi’s frontrunners, even though I HATE HIM. I hate his whole “golly I sure am so shy tee hee hee” bit. As if he ever walks into a room without thinking, “I can’t wait to honor these people with the gift of my body and face.” He’s so dreamy it’s suspicious, right? I’m, like, sexually attracted to his teeth. He’s so dang handsome that I just kind of want to make life harder for him. YOU HEAR THAT, JOSH M.? A SIX-OUT-OF-TEN WRITER IN BROOKLYN THINKS YOU HAVE A SIX-OUT-OF-TEN PERSONALITY. Phew! That’ll show him. (If Andi absolutely needs to get Josh out of her system, I hope she just plays with him for a few weeks and then marries a sweet dolt like Nick or JJ LIKE A GROWN, SENTIENT WOMAN.)
But Eric was by far the biggest news of the night. He’s kinda been sidelined since their first one-on-one, and he seems understandably put off by the ‘group dating on camera’ structure. Andi tells him something about seeming closed off, and then he mentions that he was raised Mormon, which explains why he’s so handsome. Have you noticed how exceptionally good-looking Mormons are? Mormons are so good-looking, that they can go around talking about angels burying secret golden plates in Upstate New York and no one says boo.
Later, Eric takes this up with Andi again. He says that, really, she’s the one who has been guarded – the guys don’t really know much about her. (Yeah! Her sister was actually on the show, but all we know about their relationship is that Andi’s Sister is so proud of her for putting herself out there.) Eric also breaks the fourth wall and implies that it is hard to read Andi’s feelings when she has to have a “poker face” and play for the cameras, LIKE A TV ACTRESS, which is a refreshingly normal observation to make about a dating reality show.
...BUT! Andi. Flips. Out. “You have no idea,” Andi cry-screams. “For you to tell me I have a poker face? That is so offensive. I’m not going to sit here and pretend to be okay with that!!!” Alrighty then, AUTOCRATIC DICTATOR OF CRAZYTOPIA.
She harshly boots Eric before the rose ceremony. Knowing he tragically died weeks later made his lonely exit by taxi harder to watch. I might have lingered on the sadness of it, had my boyfriend not chimed in with, “wait, shouldn’t that dude have some luggage or something?” (Indeed, that dude should.)
The action abruptly cuts to host Chris Harrison sitting with down with Andi. In light of Eric's death, they say it didn’t feel right to show the rose ceremony. (It seems more likely that the Bachelorette brand chose not to sully their Golden Girl with footage of her sassing the deceased.) So they do some PR about feelings and journeys and closure, and how Eric was part of the Bachelorette family.
Oh, yeah, and at one point she goes on some building climbing date and kisses Generically Hot If You're Into That Marcus, and eliminated Tasos. Bye, Tasos. Here’s hoping you’re stricken by the kind of grief that makes you shave your goatee.