The Bachelor Recap: Mocktopussy

Previously on The Bachelor: we were all expected to act as if being dangled from a crane were romantic, and Keira bitched about everything.

Tonight we begin with the bachelorettes sitting around suppressing their hatred when suddenly TAFKAAG shows up to justify his existence for the week and hand them both an envelope and a “shaken and stirred” joke that means, yes, we are about to put through the incalculable pain of a James Bond-themed date.

Keira hopes it’s her going on the single date, and says if it’s not her she’s going to be unhappy, but it’s pretty much implied that if it is her she’s going to be unhappy as well, given that she’s unhappy about literally everything. “We’re not here just to look pretty, we’re here for one reason: RICHIE!” she explains, apparently thinking that these are two separate reasons.

Anyway it’s not Keira, it’s not Faith, who I don’t think has even spoken on the show before now. “Osher said I’d be shaken and stirred, so I’m not too sure what that means,” she says, never having heard of movies.

Faith waits at a pier for Richie to show up in a speedboat, just like James Bond in the movie “The Spy Who Loved Me And Picked Me Up In A Speedboat”. He claims his jaw hit the floor when he saw Faith, but he already knew what she looked like and she hasn’t undergone any major plastic surgery during the show, so either he’s lying about how surprised he is or he’s suffering from the Drew Barrymore in 50 First Dates disease.

Frankly they’ve both looked better.

Richie claims that what he loves about Faith is how they laugh together all the time. Literally all the time. Like, in the four and a half minutes they’ve spent in each others’ company so far, they’ve laughed together. He claims he planned the date specifically for Faith, which is just the latest in the unending litany of lies with which Richie is systematically condemning himself to hell.

The couple take the speedboat to a cocktail bar, where a guy makes them cocktails. It becomes apparent that Richie is right: Faith does laugh all the time. ALL the time. She just keeps laughing and laughing, and there is nothing funny happening and nobody is making any jokes, but that doesn’t seem to bother her — the laughs keep coming. The boat is hilarious. The bartender is hysterical. The cocktail glasses are side-splitting. There is no such thing as an unfunny object on Planet Faith.

Back at the mansion a group date envelope has arrived, with the news that in a bizarre coincidence, Keira is to go on another group date. It’s almost like the producers have noticed that going on group dates pisses Keira off, and that Keira being pissed off provides good footage, so they’re deliberately provoking her. I mean, if that were the kind of thing that goes on on shows like this. Which it isn’t. But Keira is indeed unimpressed, as she was hoping to have a rest day, taking a break from all the sitting around and lying down and getting dressed and drinking that her current lifestyle involves.

Back on the Richie-Faith date, Richie once again assures us that he and Faith are constantly laughing together, in increasingly desperate tones. “We laugh together!” he yips, the hunted look in his eyes betraying despair at his poor life choices.

The pair continue to laugh together as they jump into the pool with a ball and Faith attempts to murder Richie. “I tried to drown him a few times!” she says, still laughing — what’s the word for someone who never stops laughing and occasionally tries to kill people?

“I can’t remember a first date where I’ve laughed so much,” says Richie, blinking distress messages in Morse code. “I’ve had such a good time with Faith today — we’ve laughed, we’ve…” he struggled at this point, unable to remember anything that’s happened today besides the laughter. The ceaseless, maniacal, menacing laughter.

It seems apt at this point to note that unless there’s a movie where James Bond plays water polo with a giggling murderer, this date has strayed quite far from the theme.

Richie and Faith lie by the pool and trade vague cliches about relationships. Richie says he was in love once. Faith says she wants a man who shares her values. Richie says he can’t stop laughing and his cheeks hurt, but can’t work up the courage to explicitly beg her to let him go, so instead he kisses her, hoping that will at least give him respite from the nightmarish sound of her mocking cackle. They kiss deeply and passionately and Richie finally understands the meaning of the old saying, “openly making out with a different woman every day and still somehow convincing them all that you’re worth pursuing is a pretty sweet deal”.

Faith gets back from the date and doesn’t tell anyone she kissed Richie, but they all know she did because Richie will shove his tongue in anyone.

Next day it’s group date time. The mood is a jocular one, set by Keira’s very funny joke, “I get along well with all the girls.” Ha ha! Good one!

The group date is a ballroom dancing lesson: obviously, since Richie plans, after the show is finished, to settle down in pre-Revolutionary France, it is vital that both he and his chosen woman are well-versed in the art of dance. The lesson will conclude with a dance-off, and Richie selecting one bachelorette to be his “Cinderella”, which either means he’ll take her to a ball or he’ll force her to clean his fireplace.

Keira responds to this news with that weird semi-smile where she pushes her lips way out and looks like she’s swallowing vomit. I think she means by this to convey devious seduction, rather than acid reflux. It’s probably this look that earned Keira her nickname, “Keira AKA Walter, Stephanie’s friend from Full House who the other kids called Duckface.”

“I’m looking for someone I can create sparks with on the dance floor,” says Richie, but doesn’t explain why. Keira attempts to create sparks on the dance floor by falling over and laughing a lot — which based on his date with Faith is indeed the way to his heart.

Eliza takes a more conventional, stiff-legged approach to the art of the dance. “I feel like I’m on the set of Sleeping Beauty,” she says — probably because of all the cameras and boom mikes and stuff.

Olena doesn’t dance very well either, but to be fair it’s a stupid task and anyone who tries too hard will look like a dick. Several women then proceed to look like dicks.

“So far, the girls are all playing it safe,” says Richie, like he’s Nigel fucking Lythgoe. He seems to be under the impression he’s selecting a candidate to attend ballet school, rather than just picking a woman to play princes and princesses with.

Keira steps up to take her turn and puts on a fairly humiliating display, hopping about and feeling Richie up and licking her teeth and whispering that she’ll blow him if he picks her. So he picks her, and everyone rolls their eyes at how transparent Keira is and how gigantic a tool Richie is, but they all still want to marry him for reasons that will just never be clear.

I can’t believe you lost either, man.

Keira is incredibly smug about winning the dance-off, which is like boasting about winning a glue-eating contest. “Suppose this means I won’t get a single date,” she mutters to her fellow bachelorettes, even though…she just did get a…single…date. So…uh…yeah.

Anyway the bad dancers go back to the mansion to join the others, and they all bond over how much they hate Keira. Meanwhile Richie and Keira, who is dressed as Cruella De Vil at her deb ball, have retired to a replica of the Von Trapp house and dance in a very awkward, robotic way with each other. Keira is very impressed with Richie, as people often are when he’s not talking.

After the dance, Keira comes back to the mansion and squirts smug all over the other women. She’s on cloud nine, but she is soon to be busted down to cloud eight or possibly even lower, as Eliza tells her that her weird crack about not getting a single date was kind of “ungrateful”. And to be fair, complaining that you’re not getting a single date at the exact moment that you’ve been told you’re getting a single date is kind of ungrateful, as well as confusing.

Keira explodes in a violent seizure of righteous anger. She assumes Eliza has said this purely to ruin her good mood, because when Keira says things to people, that’s usually what she’s trying to do. Eliza tries to explain, but Keira won’t let her speak because she’s deeply offended by the idea that someone who isn’t her is trying to speak. She storms out in a feeble imitation of a huff.

Time for the cocktail party, always the dullest and least exciting part of the day. Keira comes in dressed in black in the best tradition of the American Western. Eliza wants to smooth things over, but Keira refuses to talk to her because Eliza has irrevocably wounded her with her basic observation of the obvious. Eliza approaches Keira to apologise and Keira tells her to fuck off, only not as nicely. “I may forgive, but I won’t forget,” Keira confides in the audience, accompanying the words expressive hand gestures to ensure we all understand just what an incredible knob she is.

There’s also some more unbearably tedious blithering about Alex and the white rose and please god make it stop. Alex is upset that Richie hasn’t come to her, and she hasn’t gone to him because whenever she goes to him the other women all throw tantrums, and it’s all just so tragic and dull.

Once the festive sleeping pill that is the cocktail party is over, it’s time for the rose ceremony. Alex is worried that her decision to not use the white rose under pressure from her idiotically nasty castmates might cost her. The audience is worried that if Alex gets a rose tonight we’re going to have to listen to more bullshit about the white rose. Marja is worried that Richie might not pick her because he is unaware of her existence. Keira is worried that the other women might get melanoma from being so close to the glow of her magnificence.

The roses are handed out. The first few are of no particular note because obviously everyone would switch off if we found out what was going to happen to the ones we’re following straight away. Eventually Richie gives a rose to Eliza, which is good because it makes Keira look like she just found a skunk in her underpants drawer. But it’s also bad because what if Eliza sings again?

And then Alex gets a rose and, I dunno, hooray I guess or something.

The final rose will go to Kiki, Marja, or someone else. Kiki thinks she has to stop playing it so safe, and maybe try to kill Richie like Faith did. Marja would love to spend “more” time with Richie, meaning “more” in the sense of “any”. The other woman has no discernible opinion. And so the rose goes to Kiki, and Marja and the other woman go home, victims of Richie’s preference for women whose names he has learnt.

Tune in next week, when Richie tries to find out which of the women is committed enough to ignoring children to fulfil his needs.