The first few minutes of this week's Bachelor Nation Eternity Event (three hours of emotional whiplash, hot seat trauma and cheesy noodles) answered questions about Raven's #orgasm.
Raven frolicked music-video style, made snow angels, kissed a stuffed deer, then got on an elevator that was apparently going down. GET IT!? Oh, and Nick is "really good at what he does," according to the now-euphoric Raven.
I wonder if the mastermind who conceived this little metaphorical sex montage is dying in a vat of cheese right now? Or receiving a trophy for Cornballiest moment in "Bachelor History." Or getting a high-five from the fromage consiglieri himself, Chris Harrison, Chairman of the Cheeseballs?
So . . . Raven is good. We don't have to worry about her anymore. She shows up at the end of the hour wearing a vampiral get-up with her ol' go-to fashion staple: cleavage.
Moving On: Rachel's Final Date with Nick.
The producers have created a kind of reverse tension with their big Rachel Spoiler which is turning out to not have mattered because it seems like Nick loves her and they are definitely ending up together. That's how well this date is going.
He advises her to "have the strength to be a mess." (PSA: if you ever hear this line, run.) Because that coaxes her to reveal: "I’m falling in love with you." It's genuinely endearing to watch her reel from the embarrassment of this giddy exposure. They kiss. Then Nick says "I'm falling for you. 100 percent."
Then she says: "I love it when you say it so much better than me."
Wait . . . Rachel! He didn't say it! Did he? It seems like he said it but he didn't say it. #NickFoolery
Dammit. We've known she's outta here to Bachelorette Land, but it still HURTS to watch this Nick kid play fast and loose with Rachel's heart.
And then she shows up in the morning in a fleece romper. Rachel makes a penguin print look like effortless chic so get ready for some pajama style on the runways next season. She's even got some gorgeously tragic mascara tear tracks in the limo ride that are very "somebody-paint-my-wan-portrait-as-I-recline-in-melancholia."
Then later when she meets Nick on the #WomenTellAll hot seat couch, and he gives her some lame throwaway about how the next group of guys is so lucky, Rachel zooms into power-mode without missing a beat and gives it to him straight. "They are."
YES THEY ARE. Bye Nick.
Time for Canadian Vanessa and Nick "I'm Proud to Be an American" Viall
Lapland (a place in Finland and where this episode, and apparently the finale, is filmed) is supposed to be magical like Narnia, but temperature-wise? It's more like deep space or a meat locker. Here's something else that makes no sense: bare feet in snow.
We already know that Bachelor show-runners are IN LOVE with metaphor, so you know they're up to something when they devise this ice bucket submersion challenge thingie for Nick and Vanessa.
Oh, to be a fly on the wall during these date pitch sessions with the people in charge:
"Let's add some physical torture to match the tone and pace of their uncomfortable convos."
"What if we have them jump into freezing water, then race several blocks barefoot — in snow — to get to, I dunno, a sauna or something?"
"I like it. It's good. Just make them count to ten when they're in the water."
"Genius! And is it a 'yay' or 'nay' on the swimsuits?"
Why does Vanessa love Nick so much when she obviously can't control him? He should be willing to do anything for the woman he loves . . . but go to family brunch in Canada every Sunday? That's really far from the "Dancing With the Stars" soundstage, Vanessa. Like really far.
Look Nick, if Bachelor Nation and can slog through three hours of this Up-Down-Hot-Cold emotional cage fight of an episode, then yes, you can spend three hours supping with Vanessa's family once a week.
And there's another three hours next week for the Big Finale.
And we are going to miss the hell out of our Love-Hate Bachelor Games while we wait for Rachel's season to start.
Time for "The Women Tell All" Which Usually Gets Its Own Episode, But Whatever, ABC, Let's Do This
This is actually a Corinne Rally. And it's pretty terrifying to see "Make America Corinne Again" hats and T-shirts and a bunch of "I LOVE RAQUEL" signs because . . . a reality show star is actually president right now. Remember?
This is how it starts! And we don't need a bunch of additional political angst right now. Because if Corinne decides to run, you know they'll vote for her.
"I'm not the brightest crayon in the box," says Corinne, with a slightly beige tone.
Not to get existential, but it seems like that kind of downhome outsider honesty could really strike a chord with voters, I mean viewers, and now I'm thinking maybe Corinne would be an okay president. Right? I mean, she doesn't even know where Russia is . . . unless Kristina told her . . . but she doesn't listen to other women and she seems to be decent at business . . . Raquel loves her, so . . . how much worse could she be than— . . . OMG STOPPIT.
You guys: Please no more reality star people for president.
The Hot Seat Run Down.
1. Liz of the "Sex with Liz" plotline.
This Liz story is getting beyond ridiculous. Liz descends to the center of the arena only to have Chris Harrison ask her about "Band-aid" sex with Nick. Again. We know.
She actually wasn't sure if Nick would remember her because they were so drunk, blah blah, we've heard this story zillions of times. Also, Liz builds wells for orphanages. What!? That's awesome!
And here's the cool part. Liz totally rejected this Slut-Shaming narrative that America has put her through. She does ramble something about having a man fight for her. (Ladies: we need to get away from wanting that. This isn't medieval times and you are not really a princess, which is fine.) A bunch of the other women stand up for her and it's pretty beautiful because that's what we need. Coalition among women. Women supporting women. Topple the Patriarchy.
2. Taylor, 'Swamp Monster' with a Master's Degree.
Okay, that's a hard stop on that patriarchy takedown because the women are bickering their hearts and brains out and calling each other bitches and you can't hear anything and I'm about to yell "Be Nice to Your Sister!" but my kids are tucked into bed already.
What is this, Bachelor? Are we supposed to be this stressed out?
Taylor is super upset. She's also accountable and empathetic, which is really cool. Because her adversary is really difficult.
Corinne is a narcissistic liar with the disposition of chalkboard fingernails and eardrum hives. She's adept at Kellyanne Conway logic pivots. She's the type to storm off and get a glass of champagne during filming. Just for her. Which gives a painted middle finger to the rest of you. Where's my nanny? Wah.
And the audience loves her.
Aren't we expecting too much of Taylor? Who is in a helping profession and at least trying? Granted, everybody here murders that stuff called "Emotional Intelligence," as rare as Pandora's unobtainium, as unverifiable as the dossier. For now.
Except those Backstreet guys. Harmonize away, Loverboys! I will so buy your album. Please title it "Emotional Intelligence." And Chris Harrison MUST join this band. Please.
I don't want to say anything mean. Because women have to stick together. We have to learn how to support each other. And listen to one another. And forge coalition. And you were only slightly more promiscuous than you had planned. Rock on. Do whatever you want. Deliver fairy-sized portions of pasta to the whole audience. That was nice of you. Whatever it was Taylor actually said, what you heard her say was "you're stupid, " and that's your Achilles. No comment.
So let's just say this: I really wish you would've ended up with Nick.
4. Kristina, of Hope and Dignity and Living Life in Color.
We are all crying. Chris Harrison sets up Kristina like it’s a regular exploitation ritual. "Tell me about that lipstick that you ate. How was that? How did you feel?"
But here's the thing about human beings, and the catch to this Bachelor franchise and other reality shows — sometimes what is actually real enters in.
Realness is like a cousin to cool, that other ineffable featherspark that's always blowing away or disintegrating the moment you recognize it.
Because Kristina has got this. Neither this show nor this stupid hot seat can turn her into sentimental drivel. She's somewhere beyond living her actual life which we got a few glimpses of when she talks about the woman she's becoming.
Then Liz managed to spring out of the salacious #SexWithLiz cage the producers built for her. Because here she comes with an impassioned speech about women building each other up and not tearing each other down and how none of us understand our privilege.
If only we didn't need tragedy to get to these realizations. Or to have to cry before we can figure out how to support each other. Maybe if Corinne would listen to Kristina, then she could hear Taylor.
And stop all this nonsense infighting. They could all see what it means for women to truly love and support women — even on a show that's about how to compete with each other.
We saw that kind of love in the fervor that overtook Rachel when she rushed into her throng of former housemates, and they all embraced her. This seemed to be a glimpse of that love Nick was talking about. Something new and different that we had never felt or seen before.
And Nick wont' tell us if he found it.
5. Nick, Telegenic Hot Seat Vet and Star Dancer.
Raven or Vanessa?
Which girl would you save from this Viall disaster? Is that too harsh? He just doesn't seem anywhere close to the kind of love he claims to want.
After he sent Rachel off, he knelt in the snow beside a man-sized lantern — in his signature promo pose. Head down. As if in prayer, or just super despondent. Did we have our clue about this outcome from the very beginning?
Perhaps if Nick would have actually listened to Kristina? Instead of getting all weirded out by her history, maybe she could have caused something inside of him to get closer to real?
Let's all do as Kristina did, and put the questions about this bachelor into simple, binary terms:
The question is Nick Viall.
Answer yes or no.
Now, what was missing?