Hello again, dearest rose-lovers! How I’ve missed our time together. While my inconveniently-timed maternity leave forced me to sit out Ali and Roberto’s storybook showmance, thankfully I’m back now, just in time to recap the most CONTROVERSIAL and SHOCKING season yet — The Bachelor: Contractually Obligated to Find Love Again!
The night begins with Chris Harrison welcoming us back to Casa Bachelor, where three years ago one Brad Womack walked in the door and began his ill-fated “journey,” which ended with him sending two women — DeAnna and Jenni — home in the reject limo, sobbing and tragically single. Brad’s horrifying decision — the decision not to marry or propose to two women he barely knew and did not have any discernible feelings for — sent the Bachelor into a sad, self-imposed exile back home in Austin. “I watched the finale, and I felt like a jerk,” laments Brad. “And then I’m starting to think, what’s wrong with me? Not what’s wrong with the girls — what’s wrong with me?” Haunted by panic attacks, Brad locked his door and holed up in his apartment, reading scathing blog entries about himself and steeping in his own shame juices.
After four months of spectacular self-loathing, Brad tells us he found “an incredible therapist” who helped him dig deep into his “phobia of commitment” and “trust issues” (short answer: it’s Daddy’s fault). Then we are shown images of Brad cavorting paternally with his nieces and nephew, to further prove that he is no longer the Toxic Bachelor he once was. (His nephew’s “Who is this man and why am I on his lap?” expression is priceless.) Good Lord, now even his MOM is getting into the Brad-bashing act. “I see a change in Brad. I can tell that he’s ready to settle down,” says Mama Womack. “That commitment just wasn’t there before.” For the love of all that’s holy, what kind of Dostoyevskian family intervention happened in that household?
Mom: Brad, we’ve called you here because we can no longer be silent about your problem. You… you exercised good judgment and free will. We didn’t raise you that way, son! [Sobs]
Dad: Look what you’re doing to your mother! You’re tearing this family apart!
Twin Brother: It’s always all about you! You’re so selfish! Stop NOT marrying people!! God!
Housekeeper: Now go back on that show and pick a damn wife already! You’ve done enough to disgrace the Womack family name!
Can we discuss the fundamental flaw in this whole Brad is a Changed Man premise Team Bachelor is so desperately trying to shove down our throats? It is this: BRAD DID NOTHING WRONG THE FIRST TIME AROUND! In fact, if he wanted to go to therapy, perhaps he should have found a counselor who’d help him work through the deep-seated emotional issues that drove him to look for a wife on TV not once, but twice. Oh crap, there I go again, questioning the entire existence of The Bachelor. Come on, self — you know no good can come of this. You will never stop watching this show. Just accept it and move on. After all, it’s time to meet the “ladies”!
NEXT: A mouth artist, a manscaper, and a woman who sees dead people