What did these women do to Chris Harrison to earn such a relentless nightmare of a season? Is there a reveal coming up soon that they all unknowingly wronged Harrison at some point, and now this is the host's diabolical "Saw"-like revenge? If a little creepy puppet tricycle rolls in next on the show, we'll know what's going on.
But really, that's growingly the only explanation for why Harrison keeps finding new ways to ruin these contestants' lives – well, that and Matt James is really boring so Harrison is trying to goose as much drama as he can on his own, from fostering toxic bullies in the house to introducing five bonus women well after opening night and now calling in another bonus contestant from a previous season to serve a midseason party crasher. It's a turn that's not going to go well for her, the established contestants, Matt James or my supply of wine – and yet Harrison get away scott-free. HARRISONNNNN! (*shakes fists*)
Before we get to the new drama, though, we have some old beef to deal with: Jessenia and MJ, who are waiting to tell Matt their sides of the story about the last remaining mean girl drama. MJ – her hair, like Regina George, full of secrets – is calling Jessenia a b*tch and grumbling villainous lines like, "She's not going to get away with this," so that's unnerving and not good. (Maybe she's the one who's pulling the strings behind the party crasher's arrival? A very elaborate "Saw"-like twist for sure!) Meanwhile, Jessenia's saying that she has nothing to be worried about, aka everyone's final words on this show, so maybe Matt will get rid of them both? Back with the rest of the ladies, Katie's rooting for MJ to leave and end the old drama once and for all. She must be so annoyed her vibrator is now named after one of her nemeses. A real turn-off.
Anyways, after MJ does one final dramatic hair fluffening, each lady gets her chance to explain herself to Matt. Jessenia explains that MJ was one of the key figures in the bullying going on in the mansion and that, when given the chance to own up to her words and actions, she lied. In other words, Jessenia tells the truth. MJ, on the other hand, continues to deny that she participated in any name-calling or abuse while saying things like she leads by example. Well, you can lead yourself right out the door because Matt thankfully sees through it in the end and eliminates her as Jessenia takes her firsts breath of the night. Well, well, well, MJ, if it isn't the consequences of your actions – though she doesn't take it that way, instead grumbling the whole ride home that she's been done wrong and that the women back at the mansion are going to be so surprised and sad that she's gone.
Cut to the women back at the mansion neither being surprised nor sad.
Indeed, actually everyone's pretty thrilled that the petty drama has finally exorcised from the premises and that they can finally start breathing again. Well, at least until Harrison unleashes his next twist – which is about five minutes later as he tells the ladies, so excited to have a calm and normal night with Matt, that there will be no cocktail party and instead they'll jump straight to the rose ceremony. Katie and Rachael simultaneously chug their wine at this news while Serena C., seeing there's a depressing lack of toxicity in the house, decides that she hates Katie. To which I say HOW DARE YOU!? Katie is a human saint who's shown rare empathy on this nightmare program, so you keep your comments in your damn pocket! But actually, Serena C.'s mad because she's annoyed the bullying was brought up to Matt. BE MAD AT THE BULLYING, SERENA! That was the problem here! Her complaints have got some real "we wouldn't have so many COVID cases if we stopped testing" energy to it.
Anyways, for the sake of protecting Katie, she musts be eliminated. We already have a Serena anyways, so we're in the clear to ditch one.
Unfortunately, Matt disagrees and gives his final rose to Serena C. Meanwhile, Magi's sadly gone (we'll always remember your pumpkin boat rowing) along with new arrivals Ryan and Brittany. So let's recap the latter's time on the show: She arrives late to a house filled with women who hate her, gets bullied and recklessly accused of being a sex worker by a fellow contestant, and then shortly after gets eliminated from the show. Wow, what a truly worthwhile journey she's been on these three weeks. Simply a magical process she's experienced.
As for the remaining women, Pieper gets the first date of the night, trekking out into the dark abandoned woods with Matt with only some cheap lamps to light their way. WELL, I'VE SEEN THIS HORROR MOVIE BEFORE! Thankfully, they don't stumble upon a serial killer but instead find a huge carnival waiting for them to play in. Though, again, abandoned carnivals are a classic horror movie staple. Knowing Harrison's deviousness this season, I'm sure he invited a demon clown around there somewhere.
Luckily, Pennywise RVSPed no so instead the two have an adorable night playing games and getting on all the rides without having to wait in line. It's a great date that they follow up with a nice dinner date, with her confessing that she struggles with opening up but that she's also falling in love with him – aka magic to the bachelor's ears. She gets a rose as well as a quick show from requisite musical guest Temecula Road, who gets to perform while their only two audience members make out in front of them. Awkward – but hey, a gig is a gig these days, I guess.
Back at the mansion, Serena C. is not done trying to fill the toxic void left behind by MJ, Victoria and Anna, attacking Katie for "her antics," aka trying to stop bullies from having a free-for-all on their fellow contestants and making the house deadly. It's wild that Serena's blaming Katie for trying to stop the bad behavior as opposed to blaming the bad behavior itself – and thankfully the others in the house agree, including Kit who notes that Serena needs to chill and stop blaming Katie for her own lack of time with Matt. Who guessed after her introduction that Kit would end up being a voice of reason?
Well, Serena's about to have other issues on her mind anyways because a familiar (well, familiar-ish) face just pulled up to the gate – which apparently is something you're able to do, I guess. It's Heather, aka a contestant from Colton's season, aka somebody who I forgot existed until this very moment – and she wants to talk to Harrison about getting on the show. Imagine the GALL of pulling up to a reality show set and being like, "Can I speak to the manager please?!" Harrison comes out, TOOOOTALLY shocked by this development that he DEFINITELY didn't call to arrange, as Heather explains that she heard from a friend that Matt was totally perfect for her so she came by in the hopes of meeting him and joining the show. Wait, you haven't MET this man?! YOU TRAVELLED ALL THIS WAY TO HIJACK A REALITY SHOW FOR SOMEONE YOU HAVEN'T EVEN MET!? Heather, you're too young to be this desperate to meet a guy.
Apparently, they actually DID likely meet before this as Matt James is close friends with Bachelor Nation favorite Tyler C., who is obviously close with Hannah Brown, who is friends with former fellow Colton competitor Heather. So one can assume they've met before – though why the show keeps acting like she's just looking to meet him for the first time, I don't know. It's just making her seem cringe-inducingly desperate and crazy – and that's before she starts balancing pizza on her head to amuse herself.
The only thing more painful than how Heather's coming off is Harrison acting like he didn't call her in to do this. So yeah, in case it wasn't obvious, despite the rules of the show and how deep the season is, Harrison lets her quarantine and join in the fun. Because Harrison will not stop until he's found every possible way to emotionally torture these women. They are trying so dang hard to make this season interesting. I'm even feeling bad for Matt as it's so transparent how little confidence Harrison and company have in him.
But enough of that; LET'S GO BOWLING! Indeed, the week's group date is bowling – or gutterballing in the case of most of the women. (Not Michelle, however; of course the Midwesterner is lethal on the lanes.) But here comes Harrison yet again, showing up to ruin their nice, relaxing night and make everything harder. DID ONE OF THEM ACCIDENTALLY KILL YOUR PET OR SOMETHING, MAN?! He will not rest until every single person on this show goes home a shattered husk of a human. Anyways, he forces them to split into teams and compete for the right to have an afterparty and time alone with Matt. Because at this late point in the show, it's definitely fair for one's bowling skills to determine who gets time with Matt. Thankfully, Matt thinks better of it all and re-invites the losing team to the afterparty, which everyone's actually surprisingly chill about. Michelle gets the rose while Harrison gets mad that his diabolical plan didn't result in more yelling and drama. PREPARE HEATHER FOR ENTRY!
But first, some filler. Tyler C. drops by to play pool, give Matt some advice and mostly play pool. Seriously, Tyler seem very disinterested in giving Matt tips for the camera and just wants to play some billiards, dammit. But he does pass along some advice about keeping an open mind about relationships on the show – advice Matt takes to heart because "I've seen this process work Tyler." Have you, though? Because I remember the process ending with Hannah B. ditching Tyler to briefly date an opportunistic dog food jingle writer, only to go back to Tyler later and now he's rumored to be dating someone else completely unrelated to the show. AH, JUST HOW HARRISON DREW IT UP!
Tyler C. isn't just there to play pool and know things, though. He's also there to get pranked on Katie and Matt's one-on-one date, which is some strangely complicated "Candid Camera" situation where they're going to have a masseuse do silly things to Tyler. I don't know, the whole thing – having a stranger do uncomfortable things to a person out of their control while very exposed – seems a little ... violate-y for my taste. But Matt and Katie have fun, and Tyler doesn't get too badly pranked, so I guess it's a win.
Unfortunately, the next part is very much not a win. Katie and Matt finish up their date with dinner, but after talking about relationships and some validations, Matt doesn't give Katie a rose, saying that she's a great person but their connection hasn't evolved the way others have. It's not wholly surprising – fun, seemingly normal and well-balanced people with actual personalities never make it that far, and we haven't seen a ton of chemistry between the two – but it is wholly a bummer as Katie was one of the few non-toxic people in the house this entire time. She was positive, sex positive and, a rarity for this season, a good person who cared about others – so obviously she had to go. Oh well. Make her the next "Bachelorette" and make the tagline something like, "She's got good buzz." You're welcome, ABC.
Well now that one of the empathetic people on the show is gone, TIME TO SEND IN THE NEW PERSON TO MAKE EVERYTHING NUCLEAR WASTE TOXIC AGAIN! Indeed, the women gather for the night's cocktail party and rose ceremony, all tempting fate by saying things like "should be a normal night" and "it'll be more about the love stories and less about the gossip now" and "surely no one will come driving up in a mini-van and dive-bomb the show." But yes, that's exactly what Heather does, pulling in and walking into the estate like she runs the place, shooting the ladies a smile that happily says "Harrison told you I was coming, right?!" But that would require Harrison not being trained in Dark Ages torture techniques – so no, he did not tell them, Heather. So while she cuts in and introduces herself to Matt – who, judging by his big comfortable laugh at her arrival and the fact that he knows her name, definitely knows her – the rest of the women outside are having a mental breakdown.
And now that Katie the peacemaker is gone, I'm not sure this doesn't end with Nemacolin getting burned to the ground.
As much as it is a gigantic cliché to say that one has always had a passion for film, Matt Mueller has always had a passion for film. Whether it was bringing in the latest movie reviews for his first grade show-and-tell or writing film reviews for the St. Norbert College Times as a high school student, Matt is way too obsessed with movies for his own good.
When he's not writing about the latest blockbuster or talking much too glowingly about "Piranha 3D," Matt can probably be found watching literally any sport (minus cricket) or working at - get this - a local movie theater. Or watching a movie. Yeah, he's probably watching a movie.