America, dear readers, gentle followers and fans:
I’VE FUCKING DONE IT AGAIN! I HAVE WON MY SECOND EMMY!! HAHAHAHA!!! YES! YES! YESSSSSSSSSSS!
And because the universe balances out your greatest wins, it’s time to talk about Fantasy Suites. No time for a fun preamble about an ABC executive using dynamite to make more cenotes or Jesse Palmer writing by hand every Fantasy Suite date card. Let’s get into it.
What the fuck is going on with these men? I am extremely over this gaggle of sales executives and real-estate professionals deciding that they’re just not into the premise of the entire television program. Sorry, fellas, but if you want the free trip to Mexico, you gotta realize that the woman you love has the option to sleep with a couple other dudes and you might have to propose. This is the “proposal” television show. If you want a low-stakes dating experience, might I suggest Are You the One? gold Boy Island gold Love Island. (I think that last one is low stakes? I haven’t seen it. There are too many episodes and they’re allowed to have their phones? I’m already overwhelmed.) I know in terms of future Instagram sponsorships and Coachella hype houses that it’s the reality franchise to beat, but if you can’t even consider getting engaged, DON’T GO ON THE BACHELORETTE!!!
Rachel seems to have managed to get to the finish line with at least a few viable options, whereas everyone in Gabby’s stable is either freaking the fuck out or just not taking it seriously enough. Johnny calls Gabby “the dopest girl I’ve ever hung with,” and I would throw myself into a volcano if my boyfriend ever called me that. That’s not how you talk about your future wife. The utter humiliation.
Rachel and Gabby sit down in Mexico to let us know that Mexico is the perfect place to fall in love thanks to the scenic vistas and the vibrant culture and nightlife. Can they have their money now? Then they catch up on how each of their relationships is going. This! This is what I wanted from my Two Bachelorettes™. I want to see my gals sipping Champagne, talking about their boyfriends’ deep-seated traumas. Gabby thinks that each guy is ready to commit (except for Johnny), and Rachel is excited that every guy’s family loved her and welcomed her with open arms (except for Tino’s). Gabby and Rachel are also quietly freaking out because it was this time last year when Clayton ruined their lives, so they don’t want to do the same to their men … but they’re also completely ready to get it on with some hotties. They won’t be saying “I love you” unless the moment is right, but they will be Frenching on the beach. To the suites!
Gabby is starting her week off with Erich. They both say that they’re falling in love with each other after spending hometowns with Erich’s family and seeing Erich’s more emotional side. Gabby says she wants to spend this day “reveling in that bliss” of saying “I’m falling in love with you.” Read: exchange several orgasms. It’s clear that Erich is pulling away as a real front-runner for Gabby (at least at this point in the episode), and because of the extra time spent on all the other bullshit this season, we haven’t gotten to see the slow development of this anxiety from Erich. In any other season, we would have gotten glimpses of the front-runners on group dates and at cocktail parties with the lead, expressing their frustration, or at least in an in-the-moment interview. But no! The only thing we’ve got is Erich saying in confessionals and to Gabby that this is the hardest part of the season but he’s happy to get through it for her. Erich says, “This has to last forever now. I’m not leaving you,” which in the context of gazing out over a beautiful cenote is sweet but in any other context would be … a bit much. Same goes for Gabby saying “I wanna crawl inside you.”
At the evening portion of the date, Erich tells Gabby that watching her drive away after their hometown date made him realize that he’s in love with her, and she says, “You’re so sweet,” and crawls inside his mouth so she can kiss him from the inside. In terms of Eldritch body horror, it’s pretty romantic. Gabby is blissfully happy, and they head up to the Fantasy Suite. No wacky Fantasy Suites this time. No floating sex barges or traditional precolonial Mexican houses. Everyone is fucking in the Executive Luxury Suite at this hotel.
The next morning, Gabby basically floats down the stairs in her little washable silk pajama set and coos, “I think I should cook.” My gal got RUMPLED LAST NIGHT. She knows she’s in love with Erich now, and Erich knows that she still gets to sleep with two other people and he’s FREAKING OUT. She tells him to be patient and that she’s here for him, and he should absolutely take that as code that he’s in the lead. But as we’ll see, these men just can’t help themselves.
Then we get little glimpses into Tino’s inner workings, something that no one needs or wants. Again, Tino is clearly Rachel’s front-runner, but the show is very interested in making this man look as annoying as possible. He wants to throw up at the thought of Rachel wanting to spend the night with someone else. Your dick is not that powerful, Tino. There is no dick that powerful.
It’s time for Rachel’s date with Aven! He is such a li’l sweetie that I know pretty much nothing about! Rachel and Aven spend their pre-date interviews going on about how attractive they think the other one is. There have been engagements built on much less. Rachel and Ave—what? What the fuck? We’re cutting back to Tino?! Sitting down with Jesse?!! What is happening here? First of all, Tino does not have main-character energy, and we should stop giving him main-character time. He has Oh, I didn’t know Jason Segel was in this energy. Secondly, can we not continually interrupt Aven’s date with this nonsense? Aven has been through enough. His hometown date had to happen before the “Men Tell All.” Can’t he get his moment? I know that his moment is just making out with Rachel and telling her how well everything is going, but it’s still a moment I want to see!
Anyway, Aven is ready for an engagement, and Rachel lets it slip that she’s falling in love with him, and they head to the Fantasy Suites. I don’t know if Aven is F1 material, but he’s definitely the great boyfriend you have after a shitty one, and you keep the relationship going because the sex is good and his best friend has a boat, so you can go on a boat all the time. That’s the vibe, and I want that for Rachel. He also gets the fireworks at the end of the night.
The next morning, Rachel says that Aven has the whole package and is the full package. Okay sis! When she leaves, she says, “Don’t forget about me! Don’t forget I’m falling in love with you!” Rachel is the type to never forget a thank-you card.
Now it’s finally time for Tino’s date, and ugh, fine. The best part is when he walks up on the horses and goes, “Oh, horses. So meat!,” and then just keeps quietly repeating “horses!” The main story line of Rachel and Tino’s date is that Rachel clearly can tell that his family doesn’t like her or this show or the idea of romance in general. Also, his family reacting so poorly makes me want to know … do they just not trust Tino to make a good decision in this environment? Because we haven’t seen “great judgment” from Tino so far. In the face of Rachel’s objections, Tino just goes, “Well, if we’re engaged, they’ll have to accept it,” which sounds more like a 16-year-old’s plan to get their nose pierced without their parents knowing. There are just too many movies whose posters feature a set of parents squashing their daughter-in-law like a bug (but in a fun way) for Tino to think his parents will just get over it. In order to defuse the tension, he tells Rachel that he’s in love with her, and she repeats it back. As I said out loud to my boyfriend on the couch, “Well, that’s the game!” They don’t even get a morning-after because this show is edited by amateurs who don’t want us to know what romance is.
Moving on to Gabby and Johnny’s date. I mean. Um. There is a sailboat. We do know that. Do any of us see Johnny getting down on one knee? Especially when he’s been in previews for Bachelor in Paradise? Well, he’s not ready to propose to Gabby, and I’m guessing the main reason is “25-year-old Realtor.” Whatever the reason, we’ll see Johnny in paradise, and Gabby is going into her last Fantasy Suite a little apprehensive but glad that the men she’s most excited for are here for her — what? OH FUCK.
Somehow Erich and Jason manage to have two separate but equal freak-outs about the concept of this television program. Jason meets with Jesse, and they awkwardly stand around while Jason explains that he’s not ready to get engaged. And Erich slips Gabby a date card to meet on the bridge, and I have never seen a man fumble the bag so fucking hard. Gabby is so excited to see him and smooch him a little more, and if he had just kept his mouth shut and said how much he missed her and couldn’t go another day without seeing her, his status as front-runner would have been cemented. Playfully bending the rules to give your lady a smooch? A fucking slam dunk at the buzzer, my guy! Reminding her that you can’t stand the thought of her being intimate with other people when that’s the whole concept of the show? After you already said it feels like she’s cheating on you? And you’ve already had this conversation, and it seems like she reassured you? And now she’s pissed that you’re bringing it up again, in front of cameras, so she feels pressured to answer the right way again? That’s whatever the opposite of a slam dunk is. A “pull away gently”? Yeah, that’s it.
Gabby is full on upset. She feels like she walked into a test that she doesn’t want to do on-camera. She feels like they already had this conversation. I would bet Erich didn’t know that Johnny was eliminated, and he was just trying to check in to make sure she hadn’t banged Johnny, and if he would have just WAITED, he would have realized that everyone else around him was slowly imploding. But no! There isn’t a man left on Gabby’s team who isn’t deeply invested in making this a Bad Time for her.
See you all tonight for the epic conclusion of Fantasy Suites!