Season 12, Episode 2: Recap

And just like that, Week Two is in the books. The more I watch this show, the more I feel that episodes two and three are the best of the season. The real wackos are just starting to hoist their freak flags up the flagpole, the frontrunners are posturing for the top spot, and the group dates are still utterly whack competitions where the first place prize is an extra three to five minutes of time with JoJo, along with a side order of humiliation.

The first date consists of the group competing to be crowned Best Firefighter. Normally, I’ll wait until a sixth date or so before I make a guy pass the firefighter physical ability test, but “The Bachelorette” is all about a speedy courtship, even compared to the Duggars. The men are put through a series of grueling physical challenges that they perform as if their actual lives depended on it, not just a brief one-on-one conversation with JoJo. Wells (or three kindergartners sitting on each other’s shoulders?) nearly passes out from heat stroke, earning the season’s first medical attention points.  

As soon as Wells’ blood oxygen level stabilizes, Chief Tracey plucks him to compete against an ex-Army officer and an actual firefighter in the very drills that had incapacitated him moments earlier. He does not win. Grant wins a conversation with JoJo and Luke sulks, kicks his steel-toe cowboy boots into various door frames, and complains in a monotone for the rest of the night. JoJo gives Wells the group date rose to make up for nearly killing him. Wells is self-deprecating, charming, and has All-4-One on a personal retainer. He’s too good for this show.

Next up, Derek and his teeth get the one-on-one date. He and JoJo make a series of decisions about where to go and what to do (which is pretty par for the course in the real world of dating). They conflate their ability to agree on a date activity with a sign that they’re connected on a deep and spiritual level. I couldn’t stop wondering about the producers who had to coordinate the date Derek and JoJo didn’t pick. What a waste of a workday. Derek gets the rose.

The best part of this one-on-one date is when we’re not on it. Back at Bro HQ, Daniel and Chad are sowing the seeds of a beautiful bromance wearing matching black tanktops and abusing literary devices. Chad shares some wisdom with the viewers at home about how women should avoid nice guys (noted — thanks, Chad), and then attempts to diss the other guys with a bizarre, and ultimately unsuccessful, metaphor about the shitty protein shake they would make if you were to blend them. While this powwow is taking place, the rest of the guys are sitting around the pool earnestly rehearsing a song they wrote for JoJo. Somehow, I hate Chaniel less in this segment.

The last date of the episode brings us to ESPN’s LA studio and the men promptly jizz their pants because #SPORTZ. They perform touchdown dances because two TV hosts tell them that’s how they will prove they love JoJo, which makes total sense. The hosts rank the guys and give Chad second place, despite his obvious disinterest in the charade and the fact that he called JoJo “naggy.” Chad really starts to chap Alex’s ass, and Alex begins his crusade to take Chad down. Remember, it’s not the size of the Tiny Alex in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the Tiny Alex. While we’re on the topic, Alex is actually more naggy than JoJo (who literally wasn’t at all) though Chad doesn’t seem to notice.

Underdog James Taylor ends up at the top of the power rankings, disappointing the rest of the group who all worship at the church of ESPN and likely have protein shake on tap in their bachelor pads. He’s seen fire, and he’s seen rain, but he has not seen this show before because guys that act like James Taylor go home (to Carolina in their minds) before episode five. He later reads JoJo some piece of prose that sounds like wedding vows, despite knowing her as well as I got to know the Uber driver who took me to the airport yesterday. (Shout out to Roger! Hope your sister’s recovering from that knee operation.)

Chad is hardly likeable, but he does astutely remind the rest of these guys, who are literally proclaiming their love for JoJo, that they actually don’t know anything about her yet. They do know she’s smokin’ hot though, which I guess is enough.

Unfortunately for Chad, the high point of his week was when he tied that luggage to his waist and did some pull-ups. Alex forms a posse to harass Chad after they learn that he *gasp* had a conversation with JoJo on her way into the party. They start singing, “When you’re a bro, you’re a bro all the way, from your first protein shake, to your last dying day.”

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Chad can’t be bothered. He’s roaming around the house shoving fistfuls of deli meat into his mouth. He can’t be worried about haterz when there’s that much meat in the house. Like a newborn baby, Chad has to eat at very specific intervals or he gets fussy.

In the end we say goodbye to Brandon, James S., and Will. Onto bigger and bro-ier guys this week.

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