Episode 9

The only thing worse than watching a super boring episode is recapping a super boring episode. And the less excitement I have to pick things apart, the more I procrastinate. Sorry for this recap's lateness; I deflect blame and am placing it squarely on this week's (blessedly half-length) episode.

 

 

ANDI'S VISIT

I know there were mixed feelings about Andi showing up, but in all honesty I saw this segment as this week's saving grace. Like, sure, it seemed totally staged, Nick didn't appear remotely surprised to see her, and the "advice" undertones were forced at best. However, I'm always for any situation where the lead isn't in complete control, and this fit that bill. What I like is that Andi has nothing to gain by "sucking up" (to use Corinne's term) to Nick, and that in and of itself normalizes things somewhat...

These two can shoot the shit and sort of tease each other, which I feel like we haven't seen for awhile on this season. And no, Raven and Nick debating irons vs steamers—a conversation so mind-numblingly mundane that it made me want to take back every statement I've ever made about wanting more "real" conversation—does not qualify as shit-shooting in my book.

As I said in my The Morning After video, I wish there'd been more about how Nick could now relate better to Andi; that wasn't fleshed out AT ALL which annoyed me as one would think it could be the main point of her visit. Also, I did unfortunately feel like the "advice" bit felt like shoving a round peg into a square hole. What in the world does Nick's now-infamous "if you weren't in love with me why did you make love to me" from 2.5 years ago have anything to do with, much less affect his ability to fall in love now? This line...

... struck me as very forced as one could argue that Andi, of all former leads, is evidence of this entire experience—romantically speaking—NOT working out. I just wish they'd called a spade a spade with this segment: a ratings-driven scene just for hell of it, featuring the first Bachelorette Nick was ever seen on TV courting and with whom he still has good chemistry and banter, and just be about two friends catching up and relating on something very few of us could. I have no issue with any of those reasons, and they all insult my intelligence far less.

 

ROSE CEREMONY

What can I say? My feelings on Corinne going home can be summed up with a massive shrug. I didn't see Corinne making it to the very end of this thing, but along the way I would have expected some sort of explanation as to WHY she stayed this long (I believe she's the first contestant to ever get a Hometown without ever having a 1-on-1?), and additionally this week, WHY she was going home. Anyone with half a brain knows Corinne's presence was milked since she's good television, but where was the cursory "I like you so much, BUT..." speech? If we're to "believe" that Nick and Corinne had some inexplicable connection (which, again, based on the fact that she made it so far with so little 1-on-1 time, we'd have to "believe"), all the more reason why we'd need the barest bones of an explanation upon her elimination. Nick only insisting that Corinne did and said nothing wrong before sending her on her merry way does not suffice. We needed a simple but clear, "I really love A, B, and C about you, but because of X, Y, and Z, I just don't see a future with you", just for the facade's sake! UGH.

 

RAVEN'S FANTASY SUITE 1-ON-1

Dissing this episode aside, I really do like Raven. Much like last week when she told her mother that it was through “the grit of her teeth” that she said she loves Nick, Raven has a way of addressing this show’s clichés but with a knowing laugh, like she’s fully in on it and kind of can’t believe she’s saying what she’s saying.

Exhibit A:

Exhibit B:

The one spot where Raven drops the ball is in trusting her producer to the point where she talks orgasms (or lack thereof) on camera, and likely several times. Like I said in my The Morning After video, I have NO issue with Raven’s sexual history (since it’s none of my or anyone else’s business), but rather that the show would exploit this incredibly personal tidbit. It’s like the virgin thing, circa Chris Soules’ season, but the 2.0 version. I respect and can relate to her candor, but this is something that a woman might share with a close girlfriend, and call me a prude but I can’t imagine anyone being 100% OK with it being used on national television as a plot point. Something about the way Raven says it, too, is like it’s been brought up several times…

There's no laugh, grin, or even the faintest twinkle in her eye as she says something so personal, and it's outside in the cold where you know they weren't suddenly delving deep into sex talk. You can tell she was prompted to say that.

The evening conversation looks very much like the daytime conversation, except that Nick has unwisely chosen a highly distracting (both for us and for him) turtleneck...

... and that Raven finally comes out and tells Nick she loves him. (There was a lot of build-up around this, but um, did she not let some version of ILY slip in Episode 5?) My favorite part of this conversation was how Raven vaguely gestured the cameras when saying this profession of love was "a lot" for her, and also how openly and adorably stressed out she was by it all...

The two retire to their Finnish Fantasy Suite, because the only thing more romantic than the possibility of witnessing the northern lights is reindeer hides...

... in every room...

Random personal culture shock moment: I have been to Helsinki once and it is the most reindeer-ific, fur-obsessed place I've ever been. Like, in my world, reindeer are super cute animals known for pulling Santa's sleigh. In Helsinki, it's all reindeer sandwiches and hides.

Because episodes are now completely amorphous, with no beginning or end, we're left with a very depressing, grasping-at-straws cliffhanger of, I suppose, the question of whether or not Raven will get "fireworks" in the Fantasy Suite, because nothing is sacred or private anymore. I feel dirty.

As always my frontrunner list can be found over at Flare.

 

BEST DRESSED

As always, I'll begin with requests! Sara asked about Raven's owl sweater she wore while playing darts...

Raven's sweater is by Woolrich sweater sells HERE.

Julia asked about Nick's parka he wore on Raven's 1-on-1...

Nick's coat is by Sorel and sells (on sale!) HERE.

Karen asked about Rachel's white and grey speckled Rose Ceremony coat...

Rachel's Maje coat is currently selling half price HERE, and there's a great look-for-less alternative for under $100 HERE.

Karen also asked about Raven's burgundy off-the-shoulder sweater...

I'm near-positive Raven's sweater is by 525 America (available HERE), but since I wasn't able to find her burgundy color, there's a near-identical sweater selling (at a much nicer price) HERE.

Raven gets an Honorable Mention with her cute wintry accessories...

Being a person who loves Winter, I'm always on the lookout for cute but functional cold weather pieces. I thought her hat was precious and the scarf was both unique and versatile. Raven's hat sells HERE but there's a look-for-less HERE, and if you prefer faux fur, there's a near-identical one (also with a removable pom!) HERE. Her infinity scarf (the piece from this week that I'm eyeing for myself) sells HERE.

Andi is this week's Best Dressed...

She looks every bit the badass and while the look is clean and well-coordinated, it's got edge with all the leather and packs a punch with those showstopper heels. Andi's leather jacket and leather pants are both by Vince. Her jacket is sadly from a past season and hard to find, but there's a fantastic look-for-less HERE. If you're hell-bent on having her exact jacket and are willing to go the used route, there's an XS (HERE), S (HERE), and M (HERE) available right now, while her exact jacket but in black is still available (on sale!) HERE.

Her leather leggings are sadly no longer available (HERE), but if you've been reading my stuff for awhile you know I can't talk about leather leggings without raving about and referring you to my all-time favorite pair. (So obsessed am I that I dedicated a blog post to them.) 

Andi's Balenciaga booties are sadly sold out (HERE)—though, if you're like me, at the $1,335 price tag, this doesn't matter. However, I found an AMAZING look-for-less option, which is not only far more palatably-priced but is also still available, HERE!

 

WORST DRESSED

 He knows.

He knows.

 

Until next week, fellow pandas!