“Literally all I’ve ever wanted is a man like Dale who will come over and protect me and make sure I’m OK,” Clare later says in a confessional. “Dale is everything that I’m looking for.” And then, a reveal: It’s not even the second rose ceremony, and she’s already falling in love with him.
But we still have a show to produce, so we must continue on with a rose ceremony. Remarkably, Clare agrees to give men not named Dale roses as well, including, Zach C., Demar, Brandon, Jordan, Joe, Jay, Bennett, Eazy, Ben, Ed, Ivan, Kenny, and Zach J.
The next day, Clare meets with former Bachelorette DeAnna Pappas to get some “advice.” But the conversation is all about he who shall not be named. Not because he’s evil–it’s just, like, how many times can we talk about Dale?
Even on the group date, he steals Clare away first. They head to her room for some heavy petting and are gone so long that poor Eazy must awkwardly knock on the door to interrupt. Later, we see Clare ask a producer if they “can hurry the rest along.” Guess who gets the date rose!
The next day, Clare has a date with Zach…I want to say, H? (Sorry, I refuse to commit to knowing who’s who among these men until week five.) It’s uneventful, until Clare suggests they take a break so she can change clothes before dinner. She leans in for a goodbye kiss, but Zach doesn’t lean in far enough? It’s weird and awkward and unclear what happened there, but basically they don’t kiss. But then Zach makes it way worse by trying to grab Clare—by the neck, no less—to pull her in for a make-up kiss. It’s obvious he’s not intending to hurt her, but it does clearly make her uncomfortable. Later, she cuddles up with her dogs and explains that the incident triggered some issues from her past.
That night, Chris Harrison tells Zach that Clare isn’t coming to dinner and he needs to leave. It’s jarring, yes, but impressive: I’ve watched countless seasons of The Bachelorette, but this is the first time I remember one clearly stating that a man made her uneasy and removing herself from the situation without apology or remorse. More of that.
Another situation I don’t think Clare wanted to be a part of: the second group date, because Dale wasn’t invited. Margaret Cho was there, though, which is a sad commentary about the state of comedy in 2020. When living legends are suddenly available to host Bachelorette roasts, our culture is in trouble.
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