It says a lot about this season that by far the most romantic thing any of the bros have said to Ali is, ‘Nice one, babycakes.’
It’s Bachie time again! Last night, we discovered that there might actually be a tolerable — nay, delightful! — bro in this house of dreadful toxic masculinity. God bless Silent Todd and his beautiful leading-man-in-a-CW-show hair.
…it’s a pity about all the other awful bros, hey.
And tonight Ali is starting by spending time with the most toxic bro of them all: Charlie.
It really is impressive the way that Charlie — who has had ‘winner’ tattooed all over him since the first episode — has managed to so comprehensively shoot himself in the foot … where by ‘impressive’ I mean ‘the exact opposite of impressive’.
I am lowkey a bit impressed with Ali, though. ‘I am pissed off with Charlie,’ she announces. ‘This is not a date. This is an opportunity for me to get out some of my frustrations with him.’
I’m glad she clarified that this is not a date, because there is nothing that sounds more horrifying to me than the thought of a date at the gym. Ali (well, ‘Ali’) has put together a hardcore gym circuit for Charlie to do, designed with the express purpose of destroying him.
They start with kickboxing. Charlie, unprepared for the fact that Ali is a champion kickboxer, is surprised in a real cor-I-didn’t-know-little-ladies-could-punch-like-that kind of way. Then they move onto other gym things — pulling tires, dragging ropes, doing sit-ups … I don’t know, gym things. They all look horrific. I’m sure they make you fit, but has anyone really done a cost/benefit analysis here?
Ali tells us that going through all of this has helped her work through some of her frustrations with Charlie, and that she feels better about him and his whole deal. However, she does not take him to a Couch of Wine and Intimate Conversation, which is honestly the most dire Bachie slight I can imagine, so it’s safe to say that she’s still pissed.
Next up: the group date! This one has an interesting premise which the show had to work REALLY HARD to tie to notions of romance.
‘Ali, you’re looking for your forever partner, right?’ Osher asks her.
‘Yes,’ she replies.
‘Would you say you’re looking for someone you can be with until … the end of time?’
‘Sure, I guess.’
‘Then welcome to this apocalypse date!’
…yeah, it’s a stretch.
The bros are divided into teams: Charlie and Paddy, Bill and Taite, and Daniel and Dan. Todd is left on his own, which — very obviously — means he gets to team up with Ali. All the bros grumble about how unfair this is, and how they would have tried to be the one to team up with Ali if they knew that was on the table, but … bros. There was seven of you. How did you think this was going to go?
Their failure at basic maths proves that not only is Todd the handsomest and most delightful bro, but possibly also the smartest.
He and Ali also rule at this game. They’re in a pseudo-apocalyptic maze, where every team has a nest they must protect. The aim of the game is to get as many items in your nest as possible — but you can’t just nominate one of your team to go and find things for you while the other protects your nest, because you’re tied together.
While the other six bros beat each other up, Todd and Ali stroll around the maze picking up things, and then plonk themselves down in their nest holding hands. ‘Nice one, babycakes,’ Todd whispers to Ali.
It says a lot about this particular season of The Bachelorette that this is by far the most romantic thing any of the bros have said to her.
Elsewhere, the other bros are really getting into it, particular Paddy + Charlie and Bill + Taite, due to the intense Charlie/Bill rivalry. Bill tries to tear Paddy’s shirt off at one point, because of … I don’t know, reasons? And then in response, Paddy punches him a bunch of times in the stomach.
Ali sees this and does not like it. ‘There’s way too much testosterone in that Paddy/Charlie team,’ she whispers to Todd, who agrees with her while having perfect bone structure.
‘Come on!’ one of the team of Daniels yells to the other bros at large. ‘Someone has to make a move in this game!’
‘Already have,’ Todd says, lacing his fingers through Ali’s.
For such a gentle soul, that is a hell of a power move.
Also, I assume that Charlie didn’t hear that, or his head might have literally exploded.
The team that performs the worst ends up being Paddy and Charlie, because — life lesson — Toxic Masculinity Does Not Pay. This leads to what must be one of the most glorious Bachie punishments of all time. Ali cooks dinner and has a sleepover with the other bros in the mansion: while Paddy and Charlie are literally sent to bed without any supper.
Bless your heart, whoever planned this date. That whole ‘end of time’ thing was a stretch, but this: this I can get behind.
The other bros make fun of beautiful Todd during the dinner, because he fails to be able to take the lid off something. ‘I just moisturised!’ he protests, to gales of laughter.
You laugh now, bros, but if the worst thing Todd does in this season is fail to take the lid off something, he will still be the best bro there by far. And that is coming from me, someone who basically believes that men’s primary purpose is taking the lids off things and getting things down from high shelves.
But for some reason, Ali does not nab Todd and run off elsewhere to make out with him and his perfect face. Instead, she is nabbed by Taite, for some pretty intense solo time.
I quite like Taite. I proclaimed myself Team Taite for a minute there last week, and he is clearly the second best bro in the house. But … did Ali not see how handsome Todd’s face is, and how gentle his spirit, and how soft his perfectly moisturised hands?
Taite and Ali go outside. It’s apparently freezing, so they have to snuggle together for warmth under a doona.
‘You scare me a little,’ Ali whispers to him. ‘You make my heart melt. Our connection is electric.’
‘I could see myself falling for you,’ Taite whispers back.
And then they make out hardcore.
‘Can you feel that?’ Taite says to her.
She’s like ‘…why yes, I can feel your heartbeat,’ but I think we all know he’s talking about his boner.
About two seconds later, Bill walks out. ‘Can I cut in?’ he asks.
‘Give me thirty seconds, and I’ll come back in,’ Ali tells him, and then proceeds to make out with Taite for nine thousand more hours.
If this had been Charlie, his head might have exploded, but Bill takes it in his stride, and instead, makes it a point to be the first bro to whisk Ali aside at the cocktail party the next night. They go to a part of the garden called the ‘Moroccan lounge’, where apparently the other bros are forbidden to interrupt.
There, they have a perfectly pleasant conversation. ‘I love how you always seem to be the happiest person in the room,’ Ali tells Bill, which is the politest way I’ve ever heard someone say ‘you have a terrifying rictus smile permanently plastered to your face’.
But elsewhere, Charlie is telling the rest of the bros horror stories about what it means to get taken to the Moroccan lounge. ‘SHE ONLY TAKES YOU THERE IF YOU ARE GOING TO HAVE HEAVY CONVERSATIONS,’ he proclaims. ‘MARK MY WORDS, BILL IS IN TROUBLE. MARK MY WORDS.’
When Bill comes back, Charlie and his little buddy Paddy spring into action. ‘WHAT DID YOU TALK ABOUT?’ Paddy bellows in his face. ‘HUH? HUH? WHAT DID YOU TALK ABOUT?’
‘I, uh, don’t have to divulge the contents of my private conversations to you,’ Bill replies, still rictus-smiling.
‘YOU ARE A DISHONEST MONSTER!’ Charlie howls. ‘IF ALI ENDS UP WITH YOU, IT WILL RUIN HER LIIIIIIIIIIIFE!’
Honestly, I’m like 99% sure that Bill is a swarm of bees in human form, and he’s still by far a more desirable option than Charlie at this point.
The rivalry is set to continue in the next episode. Charlie and Bill both come away with roses, as do Taite, Todd and his perfect features, and (mystifyingly) Daniel, who still has not said one single thing to Ali except that MY SISTER HAS SWEATY HANDS wordsplosion from last night. Tonight’s the night we farewell Dan, most notable for boring Ali with talk of all his favourite breakfasts when she just wanted to stare at Todd’s abs in peace, and Paddy, most notable for his toxic masculinity.
‘My Tinder is going to be going off!’ Paddy crows on the limo on the way out of there.
…please, God, have mercy. Don’t let them send Paddy to Paradise.
The show airs on Channel 10 on Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7.30pm. You can catch up on previous episodes via TenPlay.