Once. Twice. Three Times Rejected.

Football was a big subject of this week’s episode, so it’s only fitting that the show felt like a dull game that suddenly got filled with drama in the last half of the fourth quarter. We should have known right from the kickoff, though. The guys were having conversations about which ones liked Gabby, which ones liked Rachel, and who wasn’t sure, yet. The girls had a conversation about wanting clarity as to who was here for who and they didn’t want anybody who wasn’t trying to move the ball into their territory.

In statistical terms, the guys were a normal curve but the girls wanted a bimodal distribution[1].

A bunch of the usual minor stuff happened throughout “the game” – good 1-on-1 dates, group date silliness, deepening connections, and moments of critical self-reflection. But all the real action happened late with yet another canceled Cocktail Party!! I took a sip to honor Long-time, Loyal Follower of These Musings, KMD[2]. The girls decided to go straight to the Rose Ceremony with one clear plan in mind: to separate the guys here for Gabby from the guys here for Rachel. The process was designed to be simple but like a lot of plays in football, they don’t work as simply as they were drawn up but I’m getting ahead of myself. Basically, each girl would call a guy they liked, and that guy could accept the rose or reject it because they were into the other girl. What could go wrong? [cue Royal Blood Trouble’s Coming]

At first, nothing, such that Rachel smiled and declared:

Meanwhile, during production:

And then Crypto Guy Termayne rejected Rachel’s rose.

At that Jesse Palmer playing the role of Rose Ceremony Referee, jumped in to explain the rules: Jesse would take the rejected rose and remove it from the game, and Crypto Guy Termayne would go back in line in case Gabby wanted to draft him to her team. This was all very awkward.

And then Alec rejected Rachel’s rose.

And finally, Meatball rejected Rachel’s rose.

And Rachel had a mini-meltdown. [cue Queen Somebody to Love]

Look, I’m sympathetic to anyone feeling rejected. But this is a case of being careful what you wish for. To keep the power of this being about their Journey, the girls decided to make the guys decide to decide on one or the other. No playing on both sides of the ball. And Rachel was the biggest advocate for this process. What she obviously hadn’t counted on was: somebody that she had decided on decided not to decide on her; how that might feel if somebody that she had decided on decided not to decide on her; or both.

Gabby had gone through the same thing earlier on the group date as several guys she pulled aside indicated they were there for Rachel. Again, they were giving her the clarity that she desired but when she got it, she wished that she hadn’t. [cue Fleetwood Mac Tell Me Lies]

In the end, the girls got what they wanted: being mutual Bachelorettes on separate Journeys. So, we’re good right? Except that Meatball makes a comeback to plead his case to Rachel that what ha-happened was he said he wanted to be in Gabby’s team but he really wants to play for Rachel [cue Ella Eyre Comeback]. And that’s the cliff we are left hanging on until next week.

Oh, and there are those previews of guys still trying to switch teams with all the emotional mayhem that will surely ensue. Yes, the Evil Genius Producers are choosing violence.

See you next week.

P.S. After spending a week with some lovely wines in Sonoma County, I needed to up my game for this week’s viewing wine. No $4.99 bargains from Costco. I had to pull out Unanime Malbec. Lucious. https://unanime.mascotavineyards.com/wines/unanime_malbec

P.P.S. I am here for appearances of Gabby’s Grandpa John such as the one on her 1-on-1 with Erich. I hope he hired an agent after his star turn last season.

[1] I’m a stat nerd. I couldn’t help myself.

[2] She’s pretty much become a title at this point.

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