If The Bachelorette had a drinking game—Watch What Happens Live style—tonight’s word would have been “Richmond” and I would have been too drunk to finish this recap. Seriously, I’ve been watching this show for nearly a decade and can’t remember a city ever getting so much promo. Can you?
It starts right at the top, with Becca swaning around Richmond talking about how it’s the complete opposite of Las Vegas because Richmond has “fresh, clean air.” Even Chris Harrison has traveled to Richmond to experience this amazing fresh, clean air! But first, he has a quick sit down with Becca to call her out for looking at wedding magazines on the flight there. Cut her a break, CH—it’s a little extra, sure, but it’s not Tinsley-trying-on-wedding-dresses-for-her-mom-even-though-she’s-not-engaged extra.
Meanwhile, Jason gets a date card for the week’s first one-on-one. Chris, never one to miss an opportunity to be the worst, declares he wants the other one-on-one date but would settle for a two-on-one. For some reason, Lincoln takes issue with this and the two bicker and fight while the camera weirdly zooms in on their legs touching. (What is that about?)
It’s all so, so dumb that even Garrett, a man who once “liked” a post implying a Parkland survivor is a crisis actor on social media, is starting to seem like a better pick than Chris. Meanwhile, Chris declares he can “destroy” Lincoln, even though Lincoln’s the one reportedly convicted of assault and battery.
“It’s very apparent that the wheels on the bus have come all the way off.” – Colton
Happily, it’s time to move on to Jason’s date with Becca. They take a trolly to the place where Patrick Henry gave his “give me liberty or give me death” speech, and Jason does a half-decent job pretending like this interests him. They head to a doughnut shop next, followed by an Edgar Allen Poe museum tour. The real, uh, excitement comes at the “unhappy hour,” a gathering that a man dressed all in black says is for “those who tend more toward the gothic realm of things.” As Stefon would say, this party has everything: a sad man playing an accordion, a sad man playing a mandolin, drinks that look like blood, interpretive gothic dancing, and ice breakers like, “Do you enjoy life or death?”
“May you be unhappy evermore.” – An actual toast
Becca claims there’s an even bigger surprise ahead for Jason, though I can’t imagine what could possibly top this delightful gothic cocktail hour. Turns out it’s his best friends, who have traveled all the way to Richmond in a fun twist. The bros serve as excellent wingmen, telling Becca that Jason’s a good catch. That night, Jason opens up about his grandmother’s Alzheimer’s—it taught him not to take any moment for granted—and gets a rose.
The next day is a group date with Colton, Garrett, Wills, Connor, Blake, Lincoln, and Chris. They’re greeted by “George Washington” and “Abe Lincoln,” who tell the guys they’re going to have a debate. Or, rather, Beccalection 2018.
It’s such a serious event that the Governor of Virginia, Ralph Northam, shows up to ask the first question. I’m too distracted to hear it what it is, though, because he pronounces idea “idear.”
Anyway, the debate goes pretty well until Lincoln—the contestant, not the president—calls Chris out for that time he threatened to leave. Chris hits back by hinting that some of the guys are “playing” Becca and ranting about Lincoln’s “nasty” side. The audience, including Gov. Ralph, looks shocked—probably because everyone’s surprised Becca hasn’t told Chris to leave yet. She does admit that she’s not happy with Lincoln or Chris’ behavior and calls the whole thing embarrassing.
“It’s childish and immature.” Says the one who’s being childish and immature.
That night, at an after party at a mansion Becca describes as “creepy,” Lincoln asks for some alone time. Instead of, I don’t know, forming a connection, he uses that time to shit talk Chris, telling her he’s scared to be around him. Before he’s able to say too much more, Chris interrupts.
Becca confronts Chris about what Lincoln said and admits she’s freaked out about the whole thing. He denies it all, but Garrett comes in before they finish their conversation. Annoyed by all the drama, Becca asks if she can have five minutes alone to herself instead.
Meanwhile, Chris and Lincoln fight again and it’s so, so, so, so stupid. The only bright spots: Connor’s glasses and the face Wills makes when he has to listen to Chris’ nonsense. Garrett eventually tells Chris he needs to shut up and get over it because he’s ruining the mood for everyone—for Becca, for the other guys, for whatever ghosts lurk in that creepy mansion, and for us viewers at home, who are tired of this shit.
Later in the night, Becca perks up after she spends some alone time with Garrett, Colton, and Wills, and the group date rose goes to Colton.
The next day is Leo’s solo date, but Becca admits she’s still in her head about the night before. Leo’s very sweet about it—he just listens to Becca vent and says he’s happy to just do nothing, whatever makes her feel comfortable. She appreciates it, and her mood improves even more after he puts his hair up into a luxurious man bun while they catch oysters. Later, at dinner, Leo opens up about his insecurities—he’s always felt like he let his father down, which carries over into other aspects of his life. Becca likes seeing a vulnerable side of Leo, so he gets a rose.
The date ends with a concert from Morgan Evans—and, wait, I actually know this one! He’s a country singer married to Nashville It Girl Kelsea Ballerini.
Back at the hotel, I’m loving this Bachelorette horror movie montage that involves Chris sitting alone in his dark hotel room writing…things…while Jason and Connor gossip about how much he’s “changed.” When Leo gets back from his date with a rose in hand, Chris huffs out of the room without saying a word.
He stalks through the dark parking lots of Richmond complaining that Lincoln eats too many eggs in a day until he gets to Becca’s hotel down the street. She does her best to pretend like she’s not bothered by his surprise appearance, though we all know she’d rather have a hot bath and a face mask than hang out with the guy who looks like crazy Eddie. The conversation is tense and awkward, and it ends with Becca dumping Chris. It’s the best call she’s made all season. He reacts very Chris-like, whining about how he doesn’t need her to walk him out, and drags his ass back to the hotel to pack his bags.
He’s such a mood killer, in fact, that Becca decides to skip the cocktail party the next day and head straight to the rose ceremony. This leaves guys like Connor, who hasn’t had a one-on-one date yet, shook. But I’m shook by Becca’s gorgeous dress and old-timey car arrival. Stunnnnnning.
Anyway, roses go to Garrett, Blake, and Wills, and we say goodbye to Lincoln, Connor, and Connor’s glasses. Next week the crew heads to the Bahamas!
PS: I hope you stuck around to watch that kicker scene of Becca trading bad puns and Arie burns with “Abe” and “George” like, “It really warms my heart to know that you emancipated yourself from that Arie.”