But, alas. Fred starts by admitting that he once slept with a woman twice his age. There’s nothing wrong with this, obviously, but it serves to remind Rachel once again that he’s a) younger than her, and b) she knew him when he was a bad little boy. Fred insists that Rachel is embedded in his soul (another turn of phrase he probably should have kept to himself) and is distressed to discover that he’s the only one on the group date who hasn’t kissed Rachel yet.
His solution to this is kind of admirable in a world where men catcall women on movie screens. Fred asks Rachel if it would be alright for him to kiss her. This is the very definition of good consent practice. It should be applauded! Unfortunately, his way of asking for consent isn’t very sexy and, if nothing else, Rachel has made it clear this season that she likes a man who goes for a direct first move with her.
It feels like the kind of thing you’d expect to hear from a third grader shyly approaching his eighth grade crush. Oh, wait, that’s right—that is what happened. Rachel sends Fred home to become a man.
Speak up, Anthony!
Anthony could have actually benefited from letting something dumb slip between his lips. Anything to spice up the most boring one-on-one date I’ve ever had to sit through—even though it happened on horseback. What is it with these animal-based dates? The puppy party last week was hellish in its own way, but at least Peter made up for it with the fact that he is literally the most perfect man ever. While Rachel and Anthony made small talk and poop jokes as they rode down Rodeo Drive, I checked out to make pasta, TBH. By the time I returned, Anthony had a rose, and Eric had a theory.
Actually, who said anything about talking?
The second group date is a mud-wrestling tournament. Rachel and her friends from The Bachelor love it.
But back to Eric, who needs to hush and smile
So here’s the thing: Throughout the episode, Eric has been suggesting that Rachel is “playing a game.” But Eric, beloved: Rachel is the star of an ABC reality show. And you are a contestant on said show, competing for her hand in marriage. You are all. Playing. A. game.
But Eric doesn’t seem to grasp this very basic fact/the way he’s chosen to live his life for multiple weeks, so he spends an entire day in the mansion complaining to the other guys about Rachel’s lack of attention towards him. In classic franchise fashion, Bryce and Lee whisper to group date guest, Bachelor veteran Raven, that they don’t think Eric is an appropriate match for Rachel. Like a good little bird, Raven immediately passes that information onto Rachel. Rachel is shocked. But not shocked enough, clearly, because Eric ends up with the group date rose.
If you think this is enough for our guy, you are wrong. Goddammit, Eric! All you have to do is listen to Rachel’s critiques, understand that her hackles are up because of the DeMario situation, nod, smile, and promise that you’ll do better.
Instead, Eric screams at the rest of the guys for telling on him. “MY NAME IS IN YOUR MOUTH!” he spits. This is going to end well for him, to be sure. TO BE CONTINUED.