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The Agony & The Ecstasy – Your Bachelorette Recap! (S16, E4)

Remember when we held an election on Tuesday, November 3rd… and then nothing happened? Yes, it was adorable that The Bachelorette moved their programming to Thursday, operating under the assumption that, you know, we’d have a President by then. But hahahahaha that was hilarious because in no way did that happen in a remotely timely fashion! Instead, everyone was still stress eating Thursday evening as the fate of our nation hung in the balance. Was anyone able to pay attention to this excruciating episode? Did it even matter? Not really! So, it’s through this lens that I viewed Clare’s final (until next time) episode. Come with me!

We open with the guys bitching about Clare. A completely understandable thing, because honestly Clare has been quite rude to the majority of her contestants. All but one gets her blatant and undivided attention. The object of her affection is, of course, green-eyed Dale, the 31-year old former pro football wide receiver. The men are upset that Clare left them rose-less after an exceedingly lame cocktail party because she “didn’t get what she wanted from them,” – i.e. nonstop confirmation that, yes! Dale likes her.

It gets so bad that Chris Harrison has to pull Clare aside to “have an honest adult talk.” Harrison proceeds to grill her about her involvement with Dale. Was she in touch with him before the show? Clare swears up and down that that’s not the case, though she does concede she did check out his social media because, you know, quarantine. What else is a gal to do to get through the day?

Chris starts swearing, as production bleeps out his F-bombs and it is hilarious. Do you think Harrison has lost one wink of sleep over this bitch? The answer is no. But it was worth every second of this fuckery when CH pretends to eke out a tear for Clare. There might not be an Oscar ceremony in 2021, but do we even need one at this point? We just saw the Best Performance of 2020. Clare says she wants to get to know Dale, and only Dale, and Chris congratulates her on “blowing up” the Bachelorette. It needed to be blown!

There is more bitching from the guys. Chris piles on, telling them there will be no cocktail party or Rose Ceremony, but doesn’t tell them why. You are at the mercy of the La Quinta – accept your fate! Meanwhile, Clare sets up a private dinner with Dale. She needs to be sure of her feelings. How else to accomplish that than by dining on food from the hotel cafeteria while seated at a rickety table in front of a spa? The thing of dreams!

They spend time “getting to know one another,” all of which I fast-forwarded. I’m sorry, but we’re aware that you’re both leaving so I honestly don’t feel like wasting my time with the minutia of your childhoods and everything that lead you to “this moment.”

Of course, it being the Bachelor franchise, they managed to fit in an awkward concert! After dinner, Clare and Dale are forced to sway to “Listen to Your Heart,” by Chris and Bri, who maybe won the show by the same name? Don’t know, don’t care.

In keeping with the whirlwind pace, Clare and Dale hit the sheets for what is essentially the Fantasy Suite portion of their courtship. We are treated to closeups of Dales nipples and pectoral tattoo. The next morning, Clare asks, “What do you think is next?” Um, breakfast? Wrong answer! When Dale says, “I don’t know; I haven’t thought about it,” he is advised to “start thinking about it.” Like, now. Have your future children’s names picked out by the end of the day or suffer the punishment! Also, enjoy your mixed fruit plate.

Meanwhile, the men are still complaining. Can’t you at least go swimming? Do something productive! It’s like groundhog’s day while we refresh CNN for Electoral College votes, and it’s apparently groundhog’s day at the La Quinta as well.

Chris goes to visit Clare in her suite, the funk of the night before still hanging in the air. He tells Clare she’s getting engaged! OMG! But… no, this is not coming from Dale, this is a mandate handed down directly from production. In fact, Chris has already taken it upon himself to FaceTime with Neil Lane, claiming he needs a ring “right away.” ALERT – A COUPLE HAS HAD RELATIONS OUTSIDE THE CONFINES OF MARRIAGE. RECTIFY THIS IMMEDIATELY.

Clare is excited… and then overwhelmed… and then extremely concerned. We hear an intern ask her what’s wrong off camera and Clare bursts into tears. She really likes Dale and can see a future with him, but perhaps she shouldn’t scare him off by insisting that he propose to her today? If it’s moving too fast even for Clare then it is officially too fast!

But guess what? They are not leaving the premises without getting engaged. This is not a request. This is all but a veiled threat from the higher ups. It is a ring on that finger, or else. Chris tries his best to make this a jaunty affair. He says, “Next step; proposal. That’s where we’re headed.” Clare gamely asks, “When are we doing this?” Harrison responds, “Tonight!” Um, does Dale know?

But first Clare has a little housekeeping to do. That would be apologizing to the guys for ignoring them, the process, and their feelings for the entire course of her brief run as the Bachelorette. They do not take it well, but most of the men try to rally and remain gracious. However, irritation is in large supply. She leaves, and they’re left hanging, again. But not before asking for hugs and claiming she’ll miss everyone. This lady has gall.

Clare and Dale get engaged. I fast-forwarded this momentous occasion. You are leaving. My investment in you has ended. Buh-bye.

Now Chris is left to deal with the contestants. He relishes in rubbing salt in the wound, telling them that Clare got engaged and “has left the bubble.” He pretends to offer them the bright side: they were here to help Clare find love, and that goal has been attained! Sensing an uprising at hand, Harrison finally offers the guys the silver lining he’s been hiding in his pocket: due to the unprecedented situation, they’re going to do something they’ve never done before, in the history of the franchise! That’s right, they’re going to take their feelings into account and offer them another chance at love with a brand-new Bachelorette. Woot!

And, with that, Chris is off to greet… Tayshia Adams! Yes, we had to sit through nearly two hours of Clare and Dale to get to two minutes with our queen, Tayshia, before those brats in production gave us the old “To be continued…” toss off.

But that’s okay, because not only do we have a new Bachelorette on the way, we also HAVE A NEW PRESIDENT! Let the healing begin. Until next week, rose peeps! xo

Follow and share my weekly recaps – here on Jenna Zine every Wednesday!


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