by Steven Hale
When this week's preview revealed that the cast of The Bachelorette would be performing Shakespeare in Stratford-upon-Avon, I felt certain that the sheer force of this horrible irony would cause the earth's magnetic poles to reverse and, possibly, bring about our extinction. Alas, here we are, with what seems like a decent chance to make it to next week.
My wife tells me that these recaps have been a little long. Personally, I think anyone who clicks on a Bachelorette recap deserves whatever they get. But I'll cut to the chase and skip the Shakespearian group date, which was an affront to anyone who has ever read an English-language work of even moderate length.
The big news this week out of London was Kalon's exit. This was always going to happen, though admittedly I had assumed the producers would encourage a reality that kept him around a little longer. Every season needs a character that America can hate for weeks, together. But Kalon's asshole-light burned too bright, too soon.
The catalytic event was a comment Kalon made, in which he referred to Emily's daughter Ricki as "baggage." Like desperate housewives, The Guys spread the quote to one another, expressing their manly anger with each other but never with Emily. Until, that is, the word made its way to Doug, the 33-year-old single father, who strives to mentor The Guys, take care of Emily and remind you that he's a father. Even if you've never watched the show, you know what he did next.
Once Doug told Emily — I'm sorry, once he "warned" her — about Kalon, she was understandably angry. Anyone would have been. But what most people wouldn't have done is say they wanted to go "West Virginia-hoodrat-backwoods on his ass." Read that again. Take it for a spin yourself and feel the shock and awe as you hear it coming out of your mouth.
Anyway, she threw him out, but the experience has her questioning everything. She's even beginning to have doubts that this whole process can really work. The pain of watching someone catch up to the rest of the world on national television was almost unbearable, but I soldiered on.
The night's two dates went to Sean — the really big, really nice guy — and Jef — the really boyish, really nice guy. Sean and Emily took a sight-seeing ride on a double-decker bus, stopped off at Speaker's Corner, where Sean proclaimed his hope of love with Emily, and ate dinner in a dungeon at the Tower of London, because "love takes no prisoners." If clichés were edible, that's what would have been served. Jef and Emily did similarly British stuff before sharing their first kiss beneath The London Eye. Frankly, the kiss left something to be desired, mostly because it was practically introduced by Jef. But the monologue he delivered as they sat atop The Eye had me wanting to offer him a rose. Jef is on his game. Additionally, he has great hair and only has one 'F' in his name. This is how dark horses are made.
With Kalon gone, there was only one elimination to be made at the end. The show hastily made an attempt to convince us that this might be Arie, who was in the doghouse for not standing up to Kalon or telling Emily about L'affaire Baggage. But he was safe — and his path to victory continues. In the end it was Alejandro, the quiet 24-year-old mushroom farmer, who got cut.
"I know that we are young," Emily did not say. "And I know that you may love me. But I just can't be with you like this, anymore. Alejandro."