Week 2 of "The Bachelorette" begins at the Westlake Village Inn, which is essentially the Motel 6 of Los Angeles, where Rachel is staying with her wounded dog. A nice parallel if you ask me.
Chris Harrison, who looks like he spent the morning being pampered at the new Nobu Ryukan luxury hotel in neighboring Malibu, approaches the group and says he hopes everyone is here for the right reasons — which means tonight is the episode we learn someone is not, in fact, here for the right reasons.
Chris goes on to share that there will be two group dates and a one-on-one date this week before leaving them with the first date card.
FIRST DATE CARD
Lee, the singer/songwriter who sang Rachel a song on the first night, reads, "Dean, Jack, Blake, Iggy, Fred, Lucas, Jonathan, Kenny… I'm looking for husband material, signed Rachel." Lucas "Whabooms," which is now a verb I guess.
FIRST GROUP DATE
The men arrive at Malibu Farms to greet Rachel, who is grilling out, because as she has said three times already tonight, she is "wifey material," which I guess means she knows how to grill. After they eat wieners and toss around a football, Lucas "Whabooms" a few more times, which upsets Blake, who has a self-proclaimed large penis, enough to threaten that he's got dirt on Lucas.
Rachel tells the group that she has a surprise for them and leads the men to a field, where they are greeted by her "friends" Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis. The celebrity couple claims to love Rachel so much that they called the "Bachelorette" producers to be on this season. That's about as likely as me not laughing at a "that's what she said" joke.
The next part of this group date involves each of the suitors competing in a "Husband Material" obstacle course, meaning they will race through a series of six tasks that a "trophy husband" would be expected to ace. At each stage of the course, one suitor will be eliminated and sent to the "dog house" until the race is over and a champion crowned.
This includes six hurdles: changing a dirty diaper; putting on a Baby Bjorn and placing the baby in it correctly; carrying the baby while vacuuming; clearing the hair out of a bathroom sink drain; finding an oversized diamond ring in a full kitchen sink; decorously setting a dinner table; picking up a flower bouquet and running them to Rachel. None of these things equals "husband material" to me, but then again, "husband material" to me is the character Ashton Kutcher plays in "No Strings Attached" when he brings Natalie Portman a congratulations balloon after she has sex with him. What can I say? I'm a simple gal.
Ashton predicts that the guy Rachel will ultimately choose is not on this date, leading to him confess that he knew on day one that Mila was the one for him, which is funny because he knew her when they acted together on "That 70's Show" and still married Demi Moore, but that's beside the point. Mila then claims Ashton is going to get laid for saying that, or at least get something that was naughty enough to be bleeped. If I said things like "couple goals," I would say that here.
The final two are Kenny, the pro wrestler with a confusing wrestling name, and Lucas, "Whaboom" — a truly winning team. When they get to the flower pick-up and delivery, Whaboom "straight arms" Kenny (that's what they call it, but it just looks like a push to me) and "wins" this challenge. This usually means he gets one-on-one time with her, but instead Lucas gets a fake medal to wear around his neck. Regardless, this upsets Blake, who drops his fake baby to the ground as though it's a mic and says "Whaboom," desperately trying to fulfill his given role as this season's villain.
For the cocktail portion of the group date, everyone heads to RC Vantage which is basically North Hollywood's version of Dave and Buster's.
Rachel pulls Lucas aside for one-on-one time first because he won the challenge but also because Blake, who has a self-proclaimed large penis, needs to tell the rest of the group what he knows about Lucas without Lucas or Rachel hearing.
Blake shares with the other men on the date that he knows "Whaboom" and that Lucas is only there to be on TV. I'm pretty sure that's why they are all there, but that's all Blake has to maintain his "villain" role at this point.
As this is happening, Lucas reads Rachel a poem that includes "just the tip," so that's all of the poem I hear.
Back at the mansion, the second date card arrives. Adam, the guy who brought a doll he named Adam Jr., reads, "Peter, I'm looking for my best friend – Rachel."
When Blake sits down with Rachel he claims that he lives with Lucas' ex-girlfriend and knows that Lucas is there for the wrong reasons. This seems a little too staged and incestuous even for "The Bachelor" franchise, but I guess that's where we're at.
Blake then goes back to the group date and confesses that he shared with Rachel that Lucas was here for the wrong reasons. Lucas thinks it's because Blake is jealous that he has a "connection" with Rachel and says, "I'm sorry that you don't have a Whaboom." I hope at some point, someone asks Lucas to define exactly what "Whaboom" means because there are just so many options.
Dean, the "once you go black you never go back" guy from "After the Final Rose," is next to sit down with Rachel and for the first time all night, she seems interested in a conversation. They talk, again, about the "once you go black you never go back" comment from "ATFR" and Rachel shares that she wanted to be the first one to tell that joke this season. I get it. I hate when someone steals my jokes, too.
Whaboom and Blake are still arguing. Whaboom says that he knows Blake is crazy because his ex-girlfriend who is also Blake's roommate told him so. Blake responds with, "That's why that roommate is getting evicted," and someone should have coached Blake on how to be a villain. Chad, where you at?
Kenny, the pro wrestler with a confusing wrestling name, is the last to have alone time with Rachel and he reminds her that he has a daughter by saying, "She's 10 going on 27," and I'm pretty sure he is confessing that she actually is 27.
Rachel grabs the group date rose and offers it to Dean, the "once you go black you never go back" guy from "After the Final Rose," who says, "You're kidding me," before accepting. Dean walks Rachel to her car and kisses her goodnight.
Peter, who I said will be the Shawn Booth of this season in the preview, is definitely the Shawn Booth of this season, and he and Rachel drive in a Tesla SUV up to a private jet. She shares that they are going to Palm Springs, then tells him that while he thought it was just going to be the two of them, there is actually a third joining. She goes on to say that her best friend was in an accident and she hasn't seen him for a while so she invited him along. Peter fears it is an ex-boyfriend of hers, but it's her crippled dog in a cast, and I'd rather a girl that is hotter than me third wheel any of my dates than an animal wearing a cast.
On the plane, Peter is petting the injured canine and Rachel says, "If you touch him that's all he needs," to which Peter responds, "I think that's most guys" and I laugh out loud.
When they get to Palm Springs they limp their way into a sponsored pool party … for dogs. It's called BarkFest and it is my personal hell. There are dog smoothies, dog photo booths and wet dogs just, like, running around aimlessly.
There is a dog dance party but since Copper the dog is crippled, Peter has to hold him while dancing.
If you can't tell, I hate everything happening right now.
Back at the mansion, there is a knock at the door and Blake reads, "Will, Jamey, Diggy, Alex, Adam, Lee, Matt, Erik, Josiah, DeMario… Swish." And now Katy Perry's new song is on repeat in my head.
In Palm Springs, Peter and Rachel are at having dinner at a La Quinta … with the dog. I'm not sure how he's still here because I would have ditched this and gone to the Meridian for a steak and a midnight pool party.
The two of them relate so well because they both have a gap in their teeth, which to them is a love connection but to me is like comparing sob stories. He claims this runs in his family, and I'm not totally sure gapped teeth are hereditary, but what do I know?
Rachel asks him the inevitable "Why are you still single?" question after the producers coax her, and he tells her that he has been brokenhearted. But, you guys, he went to a relationship therapist and is now ready for love. Because, you know, so many straight dudes think seeing a therapist after a break-up is totally the way to go. It's definitely not rebound sex.
And … what do you know, much like their shared tooth gap, she has also been to a relationship therapist. With so much in common, she knows she must offer him the first date rose. He accepts.
After a hug and a kiss that she initiates — probably advice from both relationship therapists — Rachel lets him know that there is one more thing left to do on their date. They head outside, with the limping dog, for the season's first fireworks show.
If nothing else, at least every "Bachelorette" season is consistent.
SECOND GROUP DATE
Rachel is "shooting hoops" in a high school gym because this group date is, you guessed it, basketball. But things can't get started until another of Rachel's "friends" arrives. This time it's Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who honestly looks like he'd be better off teaching water aerobics at the local YMCA than assisting in a basketball game.
They go through a bunch of drills while Kareem incessantly blows his whistle, and I'm distracted because Lee, the singer/songwriter who wrote Rachel a song on the first night, is wearing those low-crotch yoga pants in a camo pattern with a white T-shirt. Like, that's what you wear to a "donation only" yoga class, not a basketball game.
After dunking the ball repeatedly, DeMario, who used way too many exclamation points in his bio, compares himself to Michael Jordan, Tom Brady and Derek Jeter, and now all I can think about is deflated balls.
Kareem stops blowing his whistle long enough to tell the group that they will be playing a basketball game in front of a full audience.
As the "fans" arrive to "Bachelor Nation High School" (seriously what they're calling the auditorium), Chris Harrison introduces Rachel, Kareem and then the suitors while everyone cheers. For what, I'm still not sure.
Watching this game is about as boring as I imagine watching an actual high school basketball game is.
Eventually, the white team wins (no pun intended, they were wearing white jerseys), and Kareem gives them a trophy. Not sure where this will go or who will keep it, but congrats guys.
While the men are in the locker room, Rachel is interacting with the "fans" at "Bachelor Nation High School" and a very skinny, very white woman wearing a non-flattering outfit and a scrunchie on her wrist, approaches her to talk. I'm pretty sure it's the "Cash Me Outside" girl, TBH, but my terrible reality TV watching only goes so far, so I can't confirm.
This woman, Lexi, claims that DeMario had been her boyfriend for seven months before she saw him, with an engagement ring, on "After the Final Rose." She claims that he still has the keys to her apartment and now I'm more confused about why she would give a guy she's known for seven months keys to her apartment than I am about the scrunchie, but I'm also single so maybe that's how love works?
Lexi insists that DeMario never broke up with her — he just disappeared and the next time she saw him was on national television proposing marriage to Rachel.
Rachel says she'd like to go get DeMario to discuss this and Lexi says, "I can't wait to see the look on his face."
Rachel goes into the locker room and asks if she can borrow DeMario for a second. He is excited about it and says, "The basketball gods have once again blessed me," and while I know what is about to go down is important, I'd also like him to elaborate on what that means, exactly. Like, the basketball gods blessed you how?
As Rachel and DeMario approach Lexi, she stands up and begs, "Karma's a [expletive], isn't it DeMario?"
He says, "Ohhhhh…" and then quickly changes his reaction to, "Who is this?" which translates to, "I'm screwed" followed by, "Try to play this cool, bro."
Lexi takes the opportunity to go off on him, like, hard. She uses every curse word she can muster, points her fingers in his face and raises her voice to a volume that shouldn't be used in a high school gymnasium.
DeMario, knowing he just got caught, asks for the conversation to be had off cameras because he feels this is a personal matter, and Rachel disagrees because her journey to find love on camera is a personal matter. I pause the TV to make sure I'm not accidentally recapping "The Jerry Springer Show." Sadly, I'm not. This is really happening.
The cameras stay on, and Lexi looks directly into them declaring, "On my fathers' grave … on both of my cats sleeping in my bed right now, I swear we were [expletive for having sex] until he came on the show," and I'm still wondering if this is the "Cash me outside" chick.
Rachel busts out her attorney skills and mediates the conversation, ultimately resulting in Lexi sharing text exchanges that validated what she had confessed about DeMario.
Rachel is upset and tells DeMario, "I am not here to be played. I'm gonna need you to get the [F-bomb] out." When a Bachelorette drops the F-bomb, you know it's serious.
DeMario leaves "Bachelor Nation High School" flustered and Rachel refuses to talk to Chris Harrison. I wonder out loud if Chris threw a tantrum about being dissed without rhetoric, but he's probably still zenned out from his $10,000-a-night hotel room in Malibu.
Rachel marches back into the locker room to tell the rest of the men on the group date what just happened. She says she wants to "keep it real and be 100," so if anyone else has a girlfriend they need to confess now.
They are obviously surprised at this, but if I'm "keeping it 100," they're definitely pleased at his departure. Did I use that term correctly?
Once everyone has showered (I hope) and changed, they head for cocktails at the Cabinet of Curiosities in downtown L.A. Rachel solemnly approaches the group date and reminds them that she is upset and hurt and doesn't want to have that happen again.
Every single suitor on this date offers their best attempt at assuaging Rachel's feelings and she ultimately offers the group date rose to Josiah, the attorney who was arrested when he was 12, because she saw a "protective" side in him. Probably a trait he learned in juvy.
It's raining at the mansion, and honestly when it rains in Los Angeles nothing goes well, so it's safe to assume something "dramatic" is about to happen.
Rachel and her exposed leg greet the remaining men and Bryan, the aggressive kisser who speaks Spanish to a woman who doesn't, is the first to take her away. He gives her another kiss that is as uncomfortable as watching a sex scene with your parents. He tells us that he gave her a gift certificate for a massage, because he's a chiropractor, and she cashes in after today's antics.
As she is being massaged, we hear the producers say that there is someone outside of the mansion hoping to speak with Rachel. Security tells this person he needs to talk to "Mr. Harrison" before deciding whether he can be let in, and I would bet my life savings that Chris Harrison is high-fiving himself while watching this at home.
Chris Harrison goes out to talk with DeMario, the man Rachel just sent home, who asks if he can see her. Chris says that he will go ask Rachel what she thinks. Chris interrupts Fred, an executive assistant who acts exactly like an executive assistant, and his alone time with Rachel to let her know that there is an "uninvited guest" here to see her. When she learns it is DeMario, she claims her curiosity is at an all-time high, and after confirming that security is with him, she wants to hear what he has to say. Chris escorts her to see him while the remaining men in the mansion gather outside to, I don't know … witness? Keep her safe? Gossip?
Guess what? We won't know until next week, because ABC is hitting us with the "TO BE CONTINUED" early this season.
HOMETOWN DATE PREDICTIONS
Peter, who is definitely the Shawn Booth of this season.
Bryan, who is way too old to be on this show, because he got the first impression rose.
Josiah, because he was in the teaser reel and has a sad story, so he'll be around a while.
Bryce, my soulmate, just because I want him on my TV for the next three months.
LINE OF THE NIGHT
There were two for me tonight:
"The only leg I have to stand on are my two legs" – Lucas.
"I'm a pro wrestler — I know all about white dudes acting crazy" – Kenny.
This is going to be an interesting season. I can tell already. Let me know what you think on Twitter @abbydraper. See you next week!