This week takes the ever-dwindling group to Italy, where they engage in super culturally-relevant activities such as lie detector tests and answering fan mail! I don’t know about you guys, but I felt the Italian vibes coming off the TV in waves!
Nick V. Date: Salty to Sweet
Andi chooses Nick for a one-on-one, ostensibly to “grill” him about what happened with the guys last week, i.e. she wants to make out with him for a few hours and this is the perfect excuse.
I do have to say that this seems like some negative reinforcement (thank you, AP Psych) on Andi’s part: Nick acts like a whiny toddler on the group date last week, so she gives him a one-on-one? I would have put Nick in a proverbial time-out by intentionally including him on yet another group date as a test to see whether he can change his salty, salty ways, not rewarded him with coveted alone time!
Nick V., so salty right now. Nick V.
There’s a gondola ride, some smooches, and a lot of what I’ve decided to term Andi’s patented “downward duck” face: it’s like duck lips, but turned downward into a semi-frown, and she tends to pull it out whenever she’s asking the “tough questions.” Which here constitute Andi demanding to know WHAT THE F**K HAPPENED LAST WEEK WHEN YOU CALLED CODY THANKFUL. WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT? WHY, YOU MONSTER?
If Nick came off a little self-congratulating on last week’s episode, this time he’s all about the downcast eyes and bashful grin—someone’s had quite the large slice of humble cannoli since he was boasting about being a frontrunner! By dinnertime Andi drops the pretense of being angry with Nick, and the two commence with the goo-goo eyes, topped off by a declaration from Nick that he’s defs falling in love with her.
The night ends with some slow dancing courtesy of a few dudes plucking at some instruments—is this the Italian equivalent of the failed pop stars we’re usually treated to for these serenades? Che magnifico!
Group Date: Truth Hats Are On!
This where the episode really started to lose me—two terrifying men in dark suits administering lie detector tests to the group, in what looks like an ancient dungeon. Um. Fun.
Andi gamely agrees to go first—such a trooper—where she bravely answers questions that she DEFINITELY didn’t pre-approve before being asked. The guys all follow in turn, and we’re treated to some tidbits about them that I never needed to know, such as the adorable and endearing fact that Dylan doesn’t wash his hands after he goes to the bathroom (?!?!?). Wow. If I wasn’t completely charmed by Dylan’s multifaceted, brilliant personality before, I’m sold now. Dylan makes an early exit from the group date with what might be a tummy-ache, or gonorrhea—we aren’t sure, because he’s apparently lost his ability to speak and just gestures vaguely to different parts of his body when Andi asks him what’s wrong. Someone’s clearly rushing back to the hotel for the free cable and room service.
After all of the guys endure the lie detector tests, Andi makes a big show of ripping up their results to show the guys that she DOES trust them! So let’s review: she makes these poor guys sit through what seems like hours of lie detector tests to see whether she can trust them, and then proceeds to rip up the tests because she trusts them? If I was one of the guys, I’d smack her, that’s honestly so annoying. But the guys all melt over this gesture, except for Josh M., who has relieved Nick V. of the “Group Date Poutypants” title and has now decided he’s disappointed that Andi doesn’t seem to trust them. He tells her as much at the cocktail party, and she goes on the uber-defensive and is like “Well, what are you trying to hide? A cloud of doubt has just descended over me” #doubtcloud. Bad move, J.
The best part of the date was Andi trying not to look disappointed when she finds out Farmer Chris has been the one penning her those disgustingly sappy, anonymous love letters. I think it’s hilarious and am also more than a little impressed/surprised that he’s capable of composing full sentences. Chris duly receives the group date rose, which prompts JJ to complain about the fact that the guys congratulate each other when one of them gets a rose—well NO MORE false cheer from JJ, so there! Honestly, how many of the guys are on the rag this episode?! This feels like my bunk in summer camp when all our cycles synced up.
Cody Date: Bad Dog
Oh, Cody. Cody, Cody, Cody. I adore this bro, but he doesn’t have a steaming shot in hell of nabbing Andi’s heart. Going into this date, Cody has the two fatal Bachelor Franchise strikes working against him: 1. This is his first one-on-one with Andi, five weeks into the competition, and 2. He’s the only guy who hasn’t kissed her yet. Even Brian, who I’ve started referring to exclusively as “The Blob,” has managed to manipulate the muscles in his mouth enough to land a few sloppy smooches. Also, earlier in the episode, Cody referred to himself as the “pet dog” of the group. Cody, how can she take you seriously when you’re willingly equating yourself to a canine?
The pair kick off their date at the Juliet Club, a society that basically answers fan letters to the spirit of the Shakespeare chick who never existed in real life. What? They start wading through a pile of letters, and “coincidentally” happen upon two that are, you guessed it: All. About. Love. My favorite part is when Cody manages to keep a straight face when reading a letter from a “guy” (read: Bachelor Intern) expressing his unrequited love for a girl who barely knows he exists. Cody pens a response to him, and in Extremely Patronizing Schoolteacher Mode, Andi squeals “Cody! That’s AMAZING!” and gives him a high-five.
HIGH FIVE = BACHELOR KISS OF DEATH. BYE BYE, MR. THANKFUL.
But poor Codes just isn’t taking the hint! Hours go by, and even though it’s so beyond obvious that Andi couldn’t be less interested in him romantically, he thinks the date is going swimmingly. Not even average, but like AWESOME. It’s actually a bit sad to watch, as Cody practically skips around while Andi checks her watch and is like, how long until I can bounce and go suck face with Nick V. again?
The dog sh*t really hits the fan at dinner, when in a nod to their Shakespearean-themed afternoon, Cody writes his OWN “unrequited love” letter and then launches into an extended soliloquy about his feelings for Andi, and we watch her go from mildly disinterested to confused to flat-out horrified. Thanks to some terrific editing by the Bachelorette production team, here’s how it goes down:
Cody: I just want to be with you—
Andi: Nods non-committedly and picks at her food
Cody: like, I just want to kiss you—
Andi: Silent, eyes widen slightly in alarm as she stares resolutely down at her plate
Cody: I just want to ROLL AROUND with you—
Andi: Eyes almost explode out of her face, Downward Duck emerges
Cody: like, I want to take you to Chicago—
Andi: Downward Duck morphs into Twisted Grimace
Cody: and have you meet my family—
Andi: Eyes start to well up in blind panic
Cody: because if you keep me around, you’re in trouble—
Andi: OMG, this guy is going to kill me in my sleep
Cody: because you’re going to love me, because—
Andi: Stabs herself with her own steak knife
I’m just kidding, but she does effectively shut him down and send him home right then and there, on the premise that she feels like they’re just friends. To her credit, she’s doing a lot of crying because she clearly feels bad putting a preemptive end to the only time Cody will ever travel outside the U.S., but a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do. Cody’s super dejected—and, I hope, at least moderately embarrassed—as he heads to the van. Corresponding gasps ensue from the other men when a porter pops in to grab Codes’s luggage, and I can totally empathize, you guys; I would be devastated if my dog died, too.
Nick V. manages to alienate the group once again when he dares to steal Andi away for some alone time, despite the fact that he already has a rose! The NERVE! This is an age-old Bachelor/ Bachelorette disagreement, and a perpetually stupid one: the roseless always get pissed when a rosed (?) contestant takes up too much time on ceremony night. But like, get over it, this is a competition! JJ, Mr. I’m-Not-Congratulating-Anybody-Unless-They-Buy-A-Pair-Of-Pants, should understand this competitive mentality better than anyone, and yet here he is again just whining away. Farmer Chris is preening because he’s NOT taking time with Andi tonight, since he already has a rose… ah, yes, failing to take advantage of the very few and far between opportunities to speak privately with Andi and strengthen your connection. You go, Farmer Chris!
Alas, the rose ceremony approaches, and is it a coincidence that JJ goes home the same exact night he weirdly resembles an unkempt axe murderer? I was terrified. Inexplicably, Brian the Blob is saved, and Dylan lives to demonstrate questionable bathroom hygiene for another week!
In the next episode, the group is on to Brussels—if we got a lie detector test in Italy, what can we expect this go-around? An impromptu LSAT at the Atomium? A dental checkup (that Dylan would surely fail, let’s face it) at the King Baudouin Stadium? Be sure to tune in next week to see what happens in the place voted Most Boring City on the Continent in a survey conducted by TripAdvisor in 2008!