Opening scene: Boatload of bros, wearing shirts the color of sherbet, sail into a Venetian harbor. They collectively whoop and holler when they see Piazza San Marco, as if it were a woman who just flashed her sweater puppies at them. A few hundred miles south, the Pope shudders involuntarily and doesn’t know why.
Andi greets them near a canal. They do a long, drawn-out bit in which Andi announces the first date begins NOW, and various contestants begin musing to the camera that it will definitely be Cody’s date because he is the only one who hasn’t gotten a one-on-one yet. I speak fluent Bachelorese, so I understood that this means Cody is totally fucked.
The one-on-one date goes to Nick, and I feel drunk with power and knowledge. Nick flashes a turd-eating grin and pretty much cannonballs into a nearby gondola to play Casanova for Andi. For the first time in this season (but not the last time in this episode), I feel bad for Mackleroid. Andi then helpfully reminds the viewers that this is her journey for love, and not these effing Crayola-hued bros’ journey so everyone can go pound it. I bet she’ll be a total dream to plan a wedding with.
Renee from Juan Pablo’s season interrupts our lovefest to deliver a wooden performance during an infomercial about the benefits of using Suave shampoo. “Wow, Marcus. I wish I had this look on the show,” she montones, reading off a teleprompter with her eyes half-closed.
The boys then do their own infomercial for the glorified Super 8 Motel that they’re staying at in Venice. I believe it’s Josh who says unenthusiastically, “Look at these amenities: the balcony. Look at this view.” The camera pans to a busted rooftop and more hotels. Try harder.
One-On-One Date with Nick
Nick and Andi stroll around Venice and eat pizza in an alley where someone likely peed the night before. They let pigeons land on their heads because they’ve seen movies where other boneheads do that in Italy. They’re rowed around in the gondola. This is my nightmare job: rowing tourists around canals while they attempt to suck each other’s faces off. Pass.
They change into their black-tie formalwear (which one always packs when one travels to Europe) and meet up again. Andi rows up to Nick in a gondola holding up one of those sequined masks. It’s already played out and we’re three seconds into this date. Andi confronts Nick about the House Dramz, re: the other bois hating on him. Andi needs her bae to be liked by everybody. She straight-up asks him, “Do you think you’re the frontrunner?”
He dances around the question with a non-answer, passes the interview, and gets the rose. They don sequined masks and go to a masquerade “ball,” which consists entirely of the two of them.
Andi gets a note from her secret admirer, Chris Bukowski, who’s been riding around in gondolas shouting her name and attempting to track her down so he can introduce her to his good friend, a chloroform-soaked handkerchief. Then Josh, Brian, Dylan, Marcus, JJ, and Chris get the group date, which means Cody will finally get his first one-on-one.
The boys visit Castello de Monselice, which Andi’s dad Hy has rented out as an interrogation chamber, a la Gitmo. Andi introduces Tony Soprano and his associate Silvio Dante who will administer a lie detector test. The color drains from most of the dudes’ faces. I’m strangely excited for the first time in many episodes.
Josh panics about all the biddies he’s banged back in his “pro” baseball days and talks strategy about how to beat the lie detector. It’s exactly like watching a panicky employee after being told he’s about to be randomly drug tested. “Dude, pee in this cup for me! Seriously, dude, you have to!”
Dylan reveals that he doesn’t wash his hands after he goes to the bathroom and that he’s slept with more women than he has fingers and toes. I cringed because everyone else’s embarrassing answers seemed to end up on the cutting room floor. C’mon producers, at least spread the humiliation around. Dylan fakes a stomach ache to go back to the hotel so he doesn’t have to see Andi’s reaction to the test results. After he leaves, Tony Soprano delivers the packet o’ lies and she decides she’s going to rip them up. Bo-ring. I wanna know Josh’s number.
They go to dinner and Josh gets super-sketchy and tells Andi how happy he is that she ripped up the lie detector results. He feeds her the same old BS lines (it’s like a Madlib with the words “trust” and “like”) and she calls him on it. Chris the Farmer reveals that he’s the secret admirer who’s been writing her letters but stays mum about the fact that he’s been engaged before. He gets the rose. JJ needlessly freaks out about the potential of going home tomorrow. Foreshadowing.
One-on-One Date with Cody
Andi tries to think of something nice to say about Cody before their one-on-one date in Verona and the best she can come up with is: “His eyes are so green! They pop!” I laughed. Rut roh. He’s like a big, sweet, dumb dog, who’s super enthusiastic but not firing on all cylinders. So of course he gets the date where they have to respond to letters addressed to Juliet. I was genuinely afraid that he wouldn’t be able to read or write. But he proved me wrong; he actually wrote a really sweet response and seemed like a genuine and kind dude under all those sinews and veins.
It was downright cruel watching Cody and Andi’s dinner unfold. Homeboy needs a lesson in body language. Cody’s talking about bringing her home to meet his parents, rolling around with her (?), how she’s going to fall even more in love with him as time goes on…and Andi’s literally crying and not making eye contact. She flips the switch on the electric chair, and Cody leaves on a surprisingly dignified note. I hope he finds a kind woman to guard that puppy dog heart of his.
Even with Cody gone, Andi still has one cut left to make. Since she ripped up the lie detector results, she has no idea that Dylan is walking around with pee-stained hands most of the time, so he makes it through for another week (though we predict it will be his last). In the end, she lets JJ go. It’s probably for the best—now he can spend more time with his pants.
T-minus two weeks til Hometown Dates. Let the Hunger Games begin,