Lucas is not here for the right reasons. But Blake needs to be careful, because informing on other contestants never goes well for anyone. He should be more like Dean. Is this really the same guy who made the “ready to go black” comment? He seems to have more sense than the others: He treats his one-on-one time like he’s actually on a date, talks to Rachel about her interests, and tries to make her laugh. Wild. He’s rewarded with the group date rose just a few moments later. And then? A kiss.
4. Be Peter
If there’s anyone ahead of Dean at the moment, it’s Peter. Peter is a white man who will never put Rachel in a situation where her hair may get unexpectedly wet. Peter won’t blink twice at a night bonnet. Peter just knows that these are Black Girl quirks necessary for Black Girl Magic. Peter, with his perfect smile and perfect gapped teeth, probably claps back at his racist relatives at Thanksgiving. Peter gets it.
Wait: Peter is also willing to move to Texas. That’s it! That’s a wrap. It’s done. Do we really need ten more episodes?
I guess we do, so he gets the first solo date card. Rachel charters a plane to Palm Springs for the two of them—and her hobbling, beloved dog, Copper. Peter bonds with Copper, perfectly. Because everything Peter does on this date is perfect.
They end up at an event called Barkfest, some sort of pool party for dogs and their owners. It’s filled with people who almost certainly kiss their pets on the mouth. But Peter, Copper, and Rachel have a great time discussing their future together while lounging on inflatable pool toys. Matching tooth gaps? Check. Loves dogs? Check. Open to therapy? DOUBLE CHECK. Rachel is a “smitten kitten” over Peter and she has every right to be so.
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Kareem Abdul Jabbar joins the contestants for a group date on the basketball court. Rachel claims to want to see how the men manage teamwork, but she also clearly wants to see dudes play. She’s worried about DeMario’s cockiness after he dunks on her, but also clearly kind of likes it. One of the guys insists that “women love to watch their men play basketball,” which, sure, if the only other option is to watch a man play golf, then maybe that’s true.
Despite his dunks, DeMario’s team takes an L…but it’s nothing compared to the L he’s about to take.
6. Be single
I mean, really. We shouldn’t have to say it. After the basketball game, a woman called Lexi shows up. She’s DeMario’s ex (or current? It’s unclear) girlfriend and she is here to drag him.
DeMario pretends not to know who Lexi is, and he is the world’s most terrible liar. His face does a hilarious swerve, and it’s all downhill from there. Lexi claims that DeMario was dating her up until four days before he met Rachel on The Final Rose. She even threatens to whip out time-stamped text messages; I haven’t been this tense since Real Housewives of Atlanta Reunion: Part Four.
While Lexi was clearly brought in by a producer, and might be angling for a spot on Bachelor in Paradise—her prerogative—she seems on the level. She has texts! And DeMario’s story has taken on more forms than a confused boggart. He can’t keep his side straight. With no ceremony at all, Rachel turns to DeMario and tells him to “get the fuck out.” But she’s really upset.
7. But if you aren’t single, be persistent…?
As we approach the end of the episode (Josiah goes in for the kiss; Alex sings in Russian), you might start to think that maybe we’re going to get a rose ceremony this week without having to suffer yet another cliffhanger. But no: DeMario is stubborn, and he’s back. He doesn’t like the way Lexi has “assassinated his character” on national television. His tale must be heard, and he’s willing to delay everyone’s enjoyment of a rose ceremony to do it.
The actual surprise? Rachel is willing to hear him out. She throws on her fur and follows Chris Harrison out to the driveway, where DeMario waits with security and the final shreds of his dignity. To be continued…