The Bachelor recap: 'Women Tell All'
Welcome to the Women Tell All recap, where…WE GOT BLOOPERS! I repeat: We! Got! Bloopers! People!
Now listen, I’m subbing in for your trusted EW Bachelor recapper Kristen right now, and I don’t want to cause a stir by insinuating that I don’t like bloopers. I like the bloopers, okay? But I also know that these bloopers I’ve apparently been waiting all season for will only last five minutes. Five minutes out of the — count ’em — nine hours we’ve now committed to the Bachelor franchise this week alone (that’s if you were watching Bachelor Winter Games, of course, and my goodness, why wouldn’t you be watching Bachelor Winter Games? They had beefy Australians and hot tub appointments and a bona fide marriage proposal).
I know this is how it goes every season, but the constant touting of the patented Women Tell All blooper reel at the end of such a prolific week almost felt like it was mocking us: You’ve devoted the equivalent of a full night’s sleep to watching our selected pod people fall in love — now you will take your clip of Lauren Z. getting attacked by a carpenter bee or whatever, and you will LIKE IT! And who are we kidding, it’s Arie — how wild could these bloopers really be? This season is about to roll into Fantasy Suites, and the most interesting thing we can say about Arie is that his love language seems to be buying women dresses.
But don’t worry, despite Arie’s status as fine-just-fine, Harrison assures us that “this truly is the most dramatic ending in Bachelor history.” So we’ve got that to look forward to. Plus the best part of Women Tell All is that it finally focuses on the most interesting part of any Bachelor season: the women. And these women — these Krystals, these Bekahs, these swear-you-never-saw-them-once-on-this-season brunettes — have come to play. They’ve donned their best sheer panels, cold shoulders, and ribcage cutouts, and they’ve sat down together to talk about the perfectly tolerable boyfriend they once shared.
And let’s not leave out any Women Tell All’s most important character: the audience. There are ladies in “MISSING: Bekah M” shirts, there are ladies in “FOUND: Bekah M.” shirts, and there’s some guy in a Kissing Bandit mask who’s probably just trying to hide his identity. No need, pal, you’re at the event of the season: Krystal is about to call Arie a needle dick.
BEHIND THE SCENES WITH KRYSTAL
Now, I cannot say with 100 percent assurance that Krystal called Arie a needle dick. It was bleeped every single time, and it certainly seems that Krystal never got her peepers anywhere close to Arie’s needle, because I am confident she would have told us about that. But when Krystal steps into The Hot Seat with Chris Harrison™, her recap reel includes an extended scene of her raging to a producer about Arie being a liar after he crapped all over the sanctity of an all-binding bowling win. In said clip, she explains that she is a woman who dates men, not needle dicks who LIE ABOUT BOWLING!!! (Recap continues on page 2)
This tirade is now added to the list of things Krystal has said that Arie’s gathered ex-girlfriends don’t love. Seinne says that Krystal didn’t need to call the rest of them desperate; Lauren S. says Krystal was inauthentic; Tia says it seems like it was all just a game to Krystal; Bekah says she wishes Krystal would just be herself and not try to “curate a presence of always being Zen and love and peace when that’s not who you really are.” And Caroline…well, Caroline has a lot to say, and it doesn’t matter if you remember who she is or not. To be fair, I am down to listen to most of the things Caroline has to say (especially one thing, which we’ll get to later).
Caroline tells Krystal that she’s mean, and she called all of her friends the c-word, and “ALL YOU DID WAS BE A SOCIOPATH!” It’s not eloquent, but it is inciting, so Krystal finally loses her cool, screaming back, “Are you f—ing kidding me?!” Krystal says Caroline talked about her behind her back, and Caroline’s basically, like, Yeah, I did talk about you, but that’s because you’re awful. Plus, Caroline didn’t call anyone a c-word or a needle dick (…just a sociopath). Krystal’s ongoing narrative seems to be that she got angry, yes, but that happens to everyone, and that it was hard for her to watch everyone hang all over Arie all the time. “It sounds like you’re doubling down — like you’re saying you weren’t condescending, and they were desperate,” says Chris Harrison, earning his paycheck all in one night.
But the real winner here is Olivia, a woman who was eliminated in the very first Rose Ceremony but still brought herself and her big, beautiful hair to L.A. to say something very important: “I’m hearing you speak now…why did you speak like ‘uhhhhuuuhh’ on the show?” I hadn’t even noticed that I had been listening to Krystal speak for upwards of 15 minutes and not had to take a single vodka break, because for some reason, she was no longer attempting to speak like a sexy muffler on a heavy dose of NyQuil at the Women Tell All. I’m grateful for that change in Krystal, but Krystal is thankful for something much bigger than that. Her brother, whom she spoke about on the show, heard about it, realized how much she cared about him, and has now reconnected with their family and is off of the streets. “So it was all worth it,” says a teary Krystal. That really is wonderful.
SEINNE FINDS LOVE IN A HOPELESS PLACE
Y’all, I think Chris Harrison is falling in love with Seinne and I am here for it. Seinne hops in the hot seat to talk about how Arie did her dirty with his 180 during their date in Tuscany, but mostly says very reasonably that their relationship probably wouldn’t have progressed all the way anyway, so she’s at peace with the dismissal. Most importantly, Chris Harrison keeps talking about what a total package Seinne is — “intelligent, beautiful, and sweet…an incredible woman, very accomplished, with so many amazing attributes” — and I think I ship them now. At the end, Seinne says she’s single, so if he knows anyone, send them her way, and I swear, her eye twinkles. (Recap continues on page 3)
BEKAH’S LOOKIN’ 22 BUT FEELIN’…I DUNNO, 26 MAYBE?
Finally, it’s time for Bekah to school all the women questioning her on just who was and wasn’t ready for a serious relationship with a 22-year-old when it comes to her and Arie. I’ve never really been sure what the deal was with Bekah being on this show when she’s 22, and I absolutely don’t think there’s any world in which she and Arie should have gotten engaged, but — BUT! — her saying, “I think a lot of times he was projecting his insecurities for being too old, and made it about me being too young when really I think he felt he was too old for me,” is the most insightful thing anyone said all night.
Bekah was always honest with Arie about how serious her feelings were or were not for him, and yet he continued to question her seriousness because he was insecure about their age difference. That’s fine — he shouldn’t be dating a 22-year-old, and it seems like there is some introductory form he could have made that clear on — but he shouldn’t blame that insecurity on Bekah, who was perfectly secure dating a 36-year-old man whose personality could basically be described as “race cars and stuff.”
But who cares about integrity and insecurity when we’ve yet to discuss the fact that it recently came out that Bekah was briefly listed on a missing persons’ list in California this year. I like to think she wore those insanely large earrings at Women Tell All as an homage to the head-size peacock feathers she was infamously wearing in her “missing” photo. Bekah explains: She simply moved to a marijuana farm for a few weeks and didn’t have any cell service, so she just…didn’t call her mom to let her know that she was safely sleeping in a tent on a marijuana farm. Bekah can be as emotionally mature and well spoken as she wants, but only a true 22-year-old would do that. And she can be as coy as she wants, but Chris Harrison suggesting that Bekah might be “disappearing to Mexico for a few weeks this summer” is basically a binding Bachelor in Paradise contract.
WE STILL GOT BLOOPERS BUT FIRST A CHECK-IN ON TIA’S SHATTERED HEART
Tia gets the most sympathetic and coveted seat of any Women Tell All woman: the broken-hearted, fourth-place finisher who just got blindsided by that mean, mean Bachelor man. Indeed, Tia didn’t see her elimination coming, and even if you didn’t love what she did to Bekah the week before, it was pretty tough to watch her ask, “What did I do wrong?” to Arie, the human equivalent of stale bread that you don’t really want to eat but it’s all you have to make a grilled cheese with at 10 p.m. on a Tuesday. Tonight she says she’s angry at herself for reverting back to feeling like she did something wrong in the relationship right after the breakup. She just couldn’t believe he would give up on their relationship. “I don’t know if this makes it better or worse,” says Chris Harrison, “but when he came back in, he told me he wasn’t sure if he had made a mistake.” Tia says that’s gut wrenching to hear — so definitely worse, Chris. BUT WE STILL GOT BLOOPERS COMING!
THE NEXT BACHELORETTE…
Is not announced, because gone are the days of a clear successor to the throne, and here are the days of scrambling to figure out who the people will hate least, which is how you end up with Arie dating a bunch of recent college graduates. I did think Chris Harrison’s final questioning of Tia about if she was ready to love again did feel a little like it was testing the waters, though. Her audition monologue was as follows: “It feels good to be in love. Heartbreak sucks! But how lucky am I to have felt something so special and so real with someone?…I’m open to the chance to fall in love again.” Not bad, Tia, not bad. (Recap continues on page 4)
THE CURRENT BACHELOR
Arie comes out to face his harem and give them closure by making vague, non-incriminating statements that for some reason inspire a lot of thoughtful, closed-mouth smiles. He tells Tia, “It wasn’t because of anything you did, it was about my emotions, and my emotions toward Kendall at the time were maybe a little further.” Feel that heart healing, Tia? He tells Bekah, “I think I let [your age] scare me. In the moment, it was too big of a risk for me.” See, no more need to run off to marijuana farms, Bekah! Then Arie tells the group at large that people always say “no regrets,” but it’s a lot of pressure being the Bachelor, and there are definitely things he would have done differently…
“WHAT WOULD YOU DO DIFFERENTLY?” hollers out Caroline, like a 10th place finisher with some 1st place dirt. Arie sputters out trying to think of an example that won’t get him in trouble, and Chris Harrison offers up, “You make the decision you can in that moment.” But that’s not good enough for Caroline — she’s got a vague statement of her own. “So, this whole time you’ve said you’re here because you’re trying to find a wife,” she says, emotion evident in her voice. “I know what you did…and I don’t know how you could do that. I just really don’t understand…but I hope you found what you’re looking for.” No one asks any questions. Chris Harrison does not ask Caroline to elaborate on what the hell she’s talking about. Arie just says that he appreciates (???) her saying that, and she replies, “You don’t need to answer me, but I needed to say it.” Well I need him to answer her — what did any of this mean?!
ARIE STEPS ON THE GAS
For the Bachelor’s last scheduled appointment of the evening (OTHER THAN BLOOPERS!!!), Chris Harrison asks Krystal if she has anything to say to Arie. She tells him she’d like to handle her business on the couch, takes her seat, and pivots toward her ex-boyfriend for an intimate chat, assuming she’ll be getting the timid man who was somehow able to tolerate her kitten-with-laryngitis-and-an-adult-phone-line-side-hustle vibe she had on the show. But no. Arie has now seen the real Krystal, and he’s prepared to bite back.
Krystal says she just wants to talk about Arie’s cold goodbye to her, and he responds, “Looking back now, I felt like it was pretty appropriate.” Oh my! Krystal says that she felt mocked when he added the loser bowlers to the group date and rejected because he spent so much time with other women. “Yeah, but this is The Bachelor,” says Arie. OH! MY! Krystal apologizes for saying some bad things when she was upset, and Chris Harrison informs her that Arie doesn’t yet know “about the needle dick comment.” Or he didn’t, rather. The audience and other women start chanting, “Play that clip! Play that clip!” And we have ourselves a moment.
Add on John Cena, Leslie Mann, and Ike Barinholtz randomly showing up to promote a movie, all those hilarious clips of Arie swatting at bugs and making funny noises in the bloopers, and Chris Harrison’s final declaration that this will be the Most! Dramatic! Ending! in Bachelor history, and maybe we’ll actually have ourselves a season too. Please do drop your theories on what Caroline was talking about, ideas for the next Bachelorette, and suggestions for needle-dick-level insults in the comments.