This post contains spoilers for The bachelorette Season 16, episode 4.
You know things are serious when Chris Harrison pulls you aside and says, “We need to talk.”
Clare Crawley is officially gone The bachelorette weeks before the final – a long-awaited implosion, given his obvious fixation on former professional football player Dale Moss. Thursday night, the other guys in his quarantine harem have had enough! And so, the crispy Bachelor Nation frontman found himself delivering a lot of bad news to several sad-faced beef cakes.
This week, Harrison finally dismissed Clare for a “no bullshit” discussion – and at the end of the episode, Dale proposed, taking his 12-day-old fiancée out of that La Quinta like it was completely normal.
“He does it!” Clare chirped as Dale knelt down. “Oh my God!”
“I do,” replied his completely unreadable beau. “Claire, will you marry me?
“Oh my God,” Clare gushed again, running her hands over her fiancé’s pecs. “Like, look at you, though! I mean what ?! “
Obviously the other guys weren’t happy with this – but fear not, Tayshia Adams is finally here! To … make the most of Clare’s sloppy seconds? Honestly, she deserved better. But before we run off to sunset with Tayshia, I would like for a moment, if you will allow me, to defend the Bachelorette who “exploded.” The bachelorette. “
At first, making Clare this year’s Bachelorette role seemed like a no-brainer; ever since she stood up to Juan Pablo Galavis during her Bachelor season 2014, she was a mainstay of the franchise, appearing in two seasons of Bachelor in Paradise and Bachelor Winter Games. But after just a few weeks, Clare managed to become a major lightning rod among fans, many of whom just can’t fathom how a supposedly mature woman could “fall” “in love” so quickly, giving up on all other buff himbos. Memes on the topic of elections were a must.
Clare and Dale, for the record, both swear that contrary to any cynic’s suspicion, they never spoke to each other until this season – although they have stalked each other on social media. (Clare even swore at her father’s grave.)
But honestly, anyway? Good for Clare! In these trying times, when so many of us struggle to string together two sentences in casual conversation, don’t we deserve a patron saint of elevated social interactions? Do us yearns for such a cheeky example of COVID brewing? (Seriously – the two of them rushed to the “fantastic suite” in the same amount of time it often takes me to pick up a prescription from the drugstore!)
And anyway, really, isn’t it wrong for such a stupid drama? Why Clare should waste her time pretending to be interested in Patrick Bateman lookalikes when she can find herself a bona fide quarantine buddy now? As our Devil Caring Bachelorette once said, “It’s really true. You know when you know. And I know. “You know what? Sold.
And as strange as it is to deal with these two COVIDgaged, I will also say this: Dale and Clare both speak in platitudes that are reminiscent of something one might have found on Tumblr in 2014 after searching for the tag “#empath” . Maybe that means they’re sort of on the same page? What can I say? I am very curious to see where this journey takes them!
But as funny as it all has been, it’s hard to discern what Clare could have done to appease fans of the show – or her chiseled dudebros, for that matter. The show’s production did him no favors, cutting out the background sound at difficult times to play out every break, failed joke, and awkward silence. And when Clare, as she had promised Harrison, told her guys she was running off into the sunset with Dale, their reactions left a lot to be desired.
Granted, no one is at their best when it airs on national television. But nonetheless, the law jumped.
“You should apologize to the band,” hissed Kenny, the boy band manager. “You should apologize for faking it. You should have admitted that you were in love with Dale from the first night, because that’s kind of what it looks like. Another contestant, Blake, complained that he went so far as to purchase an Alzheimer’s disease book to better understand Clare’s mother’s condition. “Why did I invest so much without getting anything in return?” he lamented.
But the guys’ complaints, shared by many fans, are irreconcilable. Should Clare have waited any longer to decide whether or not she was really in love with Dale, or should she have left earlier to avoid “driving anyone?” It can’t be both.
Clare didn’t have it. As she said to Kenny, “I will apologize if I wasted your time. I’ll apologize if I hurt you. But I’m not going to apologize for the love.
None of Clare’s big speeches really landed with the gravity she seemed to want this week – largely because the production wasn’t behind her, and so the usual musical swells and supporting frills were nowhere to be found. After all, Tayshia still has to date all of these guys – so the show can’t pass them off as losers.
So what can we say? Clare Crawley was a strangely appropriate Bachelorette for incredibly strange times. And after a week of waiting to find out whether a certain president will ever leave the White House, it was rather refreshing to see a single celibate flee La Quinta with unprecedented speed. Now let’s see how his successor is doing.
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