Quid Bro Quo

Bromans Episode 3 Recap

Read last week’s recap here.

Last time on Bromans: Newcomers Liam, a giant with a mushy heart, and Ellie, possibly a literal demon, arrive to shake things up — until they don’t, with unimpressive performances at both the first task (wrestling over a sandbag) and the second (fighting with giant Q-tips). Ultimately, Kai’s inability to follow directions and low boiling point lead to his banishment. I’m mostly surprised that the narrator didn’t chastise Kai for failing to show emotional restraint according to Stoicism, “an ancient Roman philosophy.”

Episode 3 opens with stimulating breakfast conversation. “I get that the Romans liked eggs and had chickens, but how are they boiling it?” Nicola asks. (Unclear whether she means boiling eggs or chickens.) “With a pan,” a Broman ventures, but he’s no match for Nicola’s wits: “How’d they have a pan?” she retorts. “I thought they invented the pan,” Jade, I think, supplies. Wow, Western civilization really does owe the Romans everything!

Dear God, I was kidding when I suggested last week that they would introduce new contestants every episode, but apparently that’s a thing now. Meet Callum, who’s not as big as the last surprise, Liam, but more than makes up for it by being a ginger, and his girlfriend, Rachel. “My gladiator name would probably be Gingers Pelimus,” it sounds like Callum is saying. It’s a shame that the producers didn’t force them to adopt cute Latin-y names (“Bromulus”).

(Is it just me or is Callum not Domhnall Gleeson dressed up as one of the photo-op gladiators who hang out by the actual Colosseum in actual Rome?)

Hey, didn’t I see you in “Brooklyn”?

The Bromans react to pasty, skinny Callum in pretty much the opposite way that they reacted to brown, brawny Liam. “Are you fit?” they ask him. I was under the impression that “fit” was the British version of “hot,” but for some reason I don’t think that’s what they’re getting at here.

Callum is about to learn the real objective of this show: pleasing Doctore. “Liam, who’s your friend?” he asks. “This is Callum. New guy,” Liam says, shaking Callum’s hand. Doctore is not pleased. “Did I tell you to shake his hand?” he responds coldly. Come on, let Liam be a sensitive soul! The second thing that irritates Doctore, who’s a bit of a prickly pear this morning, is that Brandon looks into his eyes — a move that tends to be received very differently on American Bachelor, but when in Rome, do as the Romans do.

That one was my fault, so I’ll take two shots. (SHOT! SHOT!)

Unfortunately, the first task lacks the imagination of the previous ones (what happened to giant Q-tips in the palaestra?), as we see the Bromans furiously exercising in what looks like a second-rate fitness center, complete with cheesy fitness center music. And that’s pretty much it.

(Oh goody, on the side we get to hear more about Jordan and Jade’s sex life — or at the moment, lack thereof. I guess the writers have decided that what this show needs is an unconvincing subplot about how Jordan is in heat and Jade isn’t giving in, so he’ll work out super hard to get into her gold bikini bottoms.)

Doctore declares that the first two Bromans to be granted a reprieve from the sheer dullness of this task are Brandon and Glenn. “It was sort of David versus Goliath,” Glenn boasts, “and I think I was Goliath today, and the other people were just your average Daves.” Instead of leaving it at that, which I thought was kind of cute, he continues, “Is Goliath the right one? I think David was the weak one and Goliath — I’m not sure if he was even human. I think he might have been a dragon or lizard or something.” Nooooo! You ruined it.

Dino, used to winning, is not happy about the results. Neither is Liam. “I’m a big lad, I’m here to fuck shit up,” he says, timidly, as if even saying bad words is hard for him. Aww! Sure enough, the next shot has Liam complaining to Ellie that the grapes she’s feeding him are giving him heartburn.

Now it’s the Browomans’ turn. They head to Dominus’ art studio to learn how to sculpt. “The Emperor has requested that some of your favorite body parts be turned into sculptures and added to his collection,” Dominus says, I guess because the objectification of women has thus far not been literal enough. The women immediately start deciding between their boobs or butts as if they have no other body parts. What about a nice eye sculpture? Come on.

(If I had to do this task, I would totally sculpt my fingernails. I really like my fingernails.)

Hold on — “I’ll do my feet, I’ll be different,” Nicola says. You go, girl!

“So let me get this right, the girls are basically going to strip off and cover their naked bodies with plaster of Paris — I mean, Rome — whose idea was this?” the narrator, Roman Kemp, asks, because even he can’t believe it.

(From today’s soundtrack: “Bang Bang” by Jessie J featuring Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj, clearly meant to mock Jordan.)

Roman quickly recovers, however, and quips that the Browomans are rubbing “ancient Roman lubricant” (SHOT!) on their chosen body parts. Good thing Jordan isn’t here, because we are treated to a view of women rubbing each other’s boobs and butts and talking about how good it feels. No, really.

Actually, just as I typed that, Roman said, “I think it’s best for all of us that Jordan isn’t seeing this.” Jinx! I think we could be good friends, Roman and I. Hell, at this rate I could take over his job. It doesn’t sound like he wants it.

Speaking of body parts that we want to stop discussing, the camera pans to Glenn telling Brandon, “Everybody here is saying that you’ve got a massive schlong.” Um. “Tom loves it, mate,” Brandon says, “Tom was literally going on about it and going, ‘You’re the longest I’ve ever seen.’” Glenn won’t be beaten, as he assures Brandon that it’s not just about length, in fact he’s known as “Girthy Glenn.” (Later on we hear from Summer: “Girthy Glenn? You call yourself that, mate.”) Brandon bemoans the difficulties of carrying around a massive schlong all day long, before feeding Glenn an oversized chili pepper that he claims is about the size of his (flaccid!) penis. Okay, that’s enough.

The next morning, Jordan says that he’s going to write a poem because Jade likes that shit: “If I can nail a poem, I can nail her.” They’re really committed to this subplot, aren’t they? I won’t subject you to Jordan’s artistic soul, except to note that it contains the rhyme “I want to bang you, my balls are bright blue,” which should give you an idea of how the rest of the poem goes. Jade is so touched that she says she’ll think about it, and then says no right away.

The main event of the day makes up for the fitness center session’s lack of imagination: each couple is tied together on a podium, which the Browoman rotates so that the Broman can grab a ball (“ammo”) from a basket. She then rotates the podium back around, he throws the ball at their opponent, whichever couple gets the most hits wins.

Dino and Glenn do well enough (Glenn wins), while neither Liam and Brandon know how to use a slingshot properly. Brandon ekes out a victory, much to Ellie’s displeasure. (The real question: will Liam and Ellie still be engaged by the end of this show?) Tom underestimates his opponent, Callum — “He’s very pale and ginger, so he should be an easy target for me” — correctly, it turns out, as he wins 2–1. (Gingers really can’t catch a break in this country, no matter how popular Ed Sheeran is.) But to be fair, Tom, who’s been killing it, doesn’t do especially well this time, prompting Dominus to ask, bitchily, “They do understand that they actually have to hit the opponent?”

But the surprise MVP is Tian, who destroys Jordan 6–1. “Finally you amount to something!” Doctore crows, like an abusive parent.

Banishment time! “Which one will be leading his girlfriend out of Rome?” the narrator asks. (Look, I know you’ve already established multiple times that you’re not doing the feminist thing, but do you have to put it like that?) First on the chopping block is Liam, whose eyes — if I’m not imagining it — actually light up at the prospect of leaving, followed by Jordan, who is probably thinking that some privacy with Jade would not be a bad thing. Liam and Jordan shake hands, but Doctore generously lets it slide this time.

Everybody except for Dino and Cherelle back Jordan. However, Dominus says, he has a surprise. (Please please not another Broman.) The Emperor will spare both of them! This show really is plotting to stay on air forever. Also, the producers have clearly decided that the best way to punish Liam is to force him to stay on this show and deprive him of the chance to write poetry.

We can’t get everything we want in life, but we can always watch more Bromans. Until Episode 4!

Yung In Chae is in too deep.