Bachelor Matt Recap: Fantasy Suite Dates

Bachelor Matt Fantasy Suite Dates |

We reached the week of Matt James’ fantasy suite dates, and there were many more tears than I expected. And maybe my head was in the gutter for most of the episode, but I feel like the sexual innuendos were excessive. I probably uttered, “That’s what she said,” seventeen times during the two-hour extravaganza.

But before we get into it (that’s what she said,) we must discuss how Matt James tackles his demons on national television by using a good old-fashioned bait-and-switch. ABC promises Mr. James an all-expense-paid vacation to the Neapolitan if he agrees to smile and nod at his son while the camera films his every twitch. But instead of sharing an afternoon honey bourbon or wafting along on a father/son hot air balloon ride, Matt holds an intervention so he can tell his dad everything he’s ever wanted to say in his thirty years of living.

ABC is the worst. 

First of all, how long has it been since Matt James saw his father? Did that contribute to the emotion? Second, you know Mr. James was blindsided. Sure he wasn’t in Matt James’ life, and that is extremely sad, but it’s clear from his defensive stance that he had no idea the walk down Memory Lane was going to careen off a cliff. And finally, who made Matt James pour out his fractured heart on primetime television? 

This coming off the Meghan and Harry interview with Oprah was almost too much to handle. But since I’m a professional recapper, I will do my best to try. 

In a nutshell, Matt James wants his dad to comprehend the following:

  • He wants to be a dad one day. And that means showing up, having tough conversations, and being there for his kids. Unlike some people…
  • Matt James feels that his dad’s absence in his life is why he puts a wall around his heart. 
  • He claims that when his dad “started other families,” it affected him negatively and that when Matt needed his father, he wasn’t there.

This is the moment when Mr. James bristles. Emotions arise, and Mr. James lashes out that he didn’t have a father either. His dad was killed when he was five-years-old. Then he about faces, arguing that Matt’s mom was just gone when he came home one day. 

Matt James’ eyes widen as he emphatically yet firmly states, “For good reason. Who wants to be with someone who isn’t faithful?”

Mr. James: “No one is perfect. We make mistakes. We are going to fall. It’s how you get up.”
Matt: “I thank God that she had the courage to stand up and do something because of the situation you put her in.”

Matt’s dad realizes he is about to lose it, so he softly tells Matt that he’s not there to discuss his mother. He’s here to celebrate this journey.

Matt shuts that business down. It is not a celebration. It’s about the demons. 

I assume this is when the ABC Psychotherapist finally arrives on set. We see Matt James weeping in his solo interview, choking out through crocodile tears, “He would come around now and then to drop off shoes or buy pizza. I didn’t need shoes. I needed my dad.”

Understanding that man tears are HUGE for ratings, the ABC Psychotherapist shoves Matt James back out to his father.

Matt: “I don’t know what it was like to grow up in Africa without a dad. But I do know what it’s like to grow up here without a dad.”

Mr. James knows that he needs to surrender the moment. He cries quiet tears and apologizes for hurting Matt. They agree that they will work on their relationship as Matt James promises there is still a lot of life to live together. Then they hug, we all cry, and agree once again that ABC is the worst.

Matt James takes a shower, musks up, puts on his favorite chartreuse sweater and camouflage shoes, and rushes off to finish the last leg of his journey. 

FIRST FANTASY DATE
Michelle

Who knew the Pennsylvania Dutch were so kinky with their spa sessions? Michelle and Matt James walk into a room with a vat of thick, sticky oatmeal poured into a large tin container on the floor, a bathtub full of creamy milk, sprinkled with sprigs of lavender, and a delicate podium stacked high with blocks of melting yellow butter. 

Matt James surveys the space, looking for someone to guide them through what exactly is happening here. The dead eyes of a scary-looking bear, a few deer heads, and other taxidermied animals local to the region look back. It would appear they are on their own.

The pair start by dipping their toes in gluey oats, undoubtedly of the Quaker variety, I’m sure, and dare each other to eat said breakfast treat. Later Matt James spanks Michelle’s butt with some hyssop before he suggests they rub butter all over each other whilst making out. Then he invites her to join him in the milk bath, where they lazily soak their troubles away. 

Once they bake in the oven at 350-degrees for twenty minutes, Matt James and Michelle dream about what it would be like to be together for real. She tells him that her parents loved him, and he comments how he thought they were so cute. Michelle explains that everyone talks about falling in love and being in love, but she thinks it’s more important to stay in love.

You have to think about those things when life gets hard. What about when your family is exhausting? How will you do small things to show the other person that you haven’t lost that spark?

These are the things Michelle ponders. They are logical and normal, which proves she should not be on this show. I love her. 

Matt James changes into his signature turtleneck and purple dinner jacket. He shares with Michelle an abbreviated version of the conversation he had with his father and how he landed in a place of “I’m not going to be him.”

Michelle handles the moment beautifully, understanding that her family is the exact opposite of his. Instead of feeling guilty about it, she praises him for trusting her with this information and encourages him that his upbringing is just as important. His experience helped him know exactly who he wants to be — and who he doesn’t. 

Matt James is smitten. He gives her the forgo card and tells the camera that he’s ready to go deeper with Michelle. 

That’s what she said. 

Michelle looks our bachelor in the eyes and says, “I love you, Matt.” I appreciated the fact that she said his name at that moment. And I think as cheesy as it was when Matt James called to her from the balcony as she was leaving and blew her a kiss, I may have audible uttered, “Awwwwww.” 

There’s no “may” about it. I said it. 

Michelle makes her way back to the hotel lobby, where the producers have dragged Bri and Rachael out for the most awkward scenarios. Both seem to be on the verge of puking as Michelle carefully words how she spent her time with Matt James. Bri feels like she needs to step up her game. Rachael wants to cry all the livelong day because other women have intimate moments with her beau. 

And she’s going to the fantasy suite last. Ew. 

SECOND FANTASY DATE
Bri

We should have known when Bri’s date consisted of a hike through the woods with the unclear presumption that her fantasy suite date would be taking place in a tent that she was a third-place contender. She’s not outdoorsy. She doesn’t know how to pitch a tent. Matt James doesn’t either and is afraid he can’t get it up. (Bri delivered a well-timed “that’s what she said,” which I appreciated.) 

As my friend Stephanie said, “Bri is our people.”

Finally, the ABC Intern, who was also an Eagle Scout, pitches the tent and builds a fire for the couple, and hands over all the fixings for s’mores. Both are done with the great outdoors thirty minutes later, and each scrambles to wash nature off of their bodies so they can eat dinner in an actual room with electricity. 

Over dinner, Bri wants to know if Matt James is ready to be engaged after such a short amount of time. Matt James answers by sharing the details of the conversation with his father. Bri’s reaction is polar opposite from Michelle’s since she has an absent father, too. Both agree that they are pretty decent people and have faired well without a paternal presence. 

Matt James gives Bri the forgo card, and she leaps on the chance to spend more time with him. Her accommodations are a little bit nicer than Michelle’s, which is only fair. Michelle’s baking spa date was far better than wandering the woods for hours. We see the lights go out, and it’s no surprise the next morning when Bri tells Matt James that she is in love with him. 

THIRD FANTASY DATE
Rachael

She’s a hot mess. There’s no other way to describe it. It’s the only explanation of why she would choose to wear a top that exposes just her belly button. There was a literal upside-down “V” cut in the fabric for the sole purpose of her belly button peeking out. 

It’s a cold belly button. 

And I can only assume she borrowed Matt James’ denim jacket because that thing swallowed her. Perhaps she needed the feeling of something wrapping around her fragile body since she’s so devastatingly shook thinking about Matt James hooking up with other women. 

The ABC Intern creates a perfect pottery wheel opportunity for Rachael and Matt James to reenact Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore in Ghost. I’m sure they paid thousands for the legal rights to play “Unchained Melody” at the precise moment when Matt James would unequivocally sidle up behind Rachael to work her clay into a phallic shape so people like me could giggle.

Instead, Rachael whisks him away to a nearby couch so she can explain how this week has been unbearable for her. She backs that statement up by demanding that he take his time to look into every relationship to be fully confident of his choice when he finally makes his decision. She lays it on really thick when she laments that she doesn’t know if she will be able to handle losing him.

At its core, Rachael is pretty much asking Matt James if she’s the last woman standing. 

Matt James puts her mind at ease by reminiscing about the day she nearly killed herself by landing face first in the Neapolitan golf course. He truly wondered what it would be like to live in a world without Rachael? 

That’s all he said. And Rachael is a new woman. Ready to Ghost it up with her man.  

That night at dinner, Matt James tells Rachael the story about his dad. Rachael’s reaction is a bit like Michelle’s. She loves the man he is today, no matter what his past kept from him. She’s ready to take on life, so Matt James hands her a forgo card, and they get busy in a very nice hotel room with fireworks outside of the window. 

Question: Do you think there’s a code that the producers give to the fireworks guys when they film the two crazy kids making out on the bed and line up the shot with the window directly behind them? One guy speaks softly into a walkie talkie noting, “The eagle has almost landed. I repeat, the eagle has almost landed.”

ROSE CEREMONY

We don’t see the morning after with Rachael for some reason. Our Host Chris Harrison greets each woman and escorts her into the rose room. Bri by far outshines the other ladies in a gorgeous gown, perfect hair, and flawless makeup. I was genuinely surprised when he did NOT call her name.

I really thought my girl Michelle was going home! 

Zero people on a reality show about finding (and losing) love have access to tissues, so Bri is forced to wipe away her dainty tears with the tips of her fingers. She’s kind in her good-bye. However, she does remind him that she gave up a lot to be here. 

Matt James puts her in the rejection SUV, and we listen as Bri calmly tells the camera that there had to be some reason for meeting Matt James. It couldn’t be all for nothing. 

How sad is that? Do you think she will be at After the Final Rose? What’s going to happen next week when Matt James is weeping on the driveway with Our Host Chris Harrison?

Stay tuned for next week’s THREE HOUR finale to find out!

Photo By: abc.com
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Amanda
Amanda
March 9, 2021 12:30 pm

Oh man, am I the first comment?! This is so exciting I’ve forgotten what I wanted to say!! “That being said…” Lincee, thanks for an awesome recap as always. You make my Tuesdays (and sometimes Wednesday or Thursday) better. 🙂

Lacy
Lacy
March 9, 2021 12:33 pm

Thank you for calling out ABC on the unkind treatment of Matt’s dad. Although we know ABC is now in the business of being unkind (RIP OHCH). This was Matt’s attempt at an “I’m a grown-up” speech but he came across like a 9 year-old. And then insisting on telling each of the women about it?? Time to grow up, Matt. And my guess is Tyler’s sick of hearing by now too. ;).

Elizabeth
Elizabeth
March 10, 2021 1:25 am
Reply to  Lacy

LOL at lumping Tyler in with Matt’s gfs

lm3js
lm3js
March 10, 2021 9:58 am
Reply to  Lacy

I am so glad Lincee called this out too! I said the same exact thing when I was watching it. The exact way to NOT repair relationships is to ambush them on national television. This show has jumped the shark into Jerry Springer.

Rosa
Rosa
March 9, 2021 1:39 pm

I agree with you and Lacy. They totally exploited Matt & his dad. That was not a conversation for TV, especially during this volatile season. I also grew up without my dad around and I can’t imagine having that conversation on The Bachelor for the world to see. They need therapy, not 3 cameras in their face for 30 minutes. I reaaaalllly like Michelle (and I think she could carry her own show) and Bri is absolutely stunning. Hanging on one more week to get through this season!!!

Lisa
Lisa
March 9, 2021 2:02 pm

He “musks up” for his date! Bwahahaha!
Also, I have new respect for Bri and hope she finds happiness in the real world!

RA Funderburk
RA Funderburk
March 9, 2021 3:16 pm

I haven’t had a chance yet to read Lincee’s recap, but had to quickly come here and say this

Bri: Beautiful, elegant, articulate and classy!

Rachel E Shaw
Rachel E Shaw
March 9, 2021 3:28 pm

I had a real “LOL” moment at your assessment of Rachael’s shirt. That was a very odd choice. But speaking of fashion choices- Bri has been AMAZING all season! By far the best dressed of the season. She killed it with her rose ceremony look, as always. I’d love to see her as the Bachelorette.

Lacy
Lacy
March 9, 2021 4:10 pm
Reply to  Rachel E Shaw

That shirt! All I kept thinking was Seinfeld doing his “Hello….!” bellybutton voice!

Donna
Donna
March 10, 2021 1:17 am
Reply to  Lacy

So funny Lacy! Can get this out of my head now!

Phil Debin
Phil Debin
March 9, 2021 4:43 pm

The most important thing here is that Rachel’s virtue was preserved by not showing her waking up in bed with Matt or walking in with a big smile to discuss with the other women how she enjoyed her night. Thank you Bachelor for making sure not to offend my antebellum-esque sensibilities.

Last edited 7 months ago by Phil Debin
Shannon McDonald
Shannon McDonald
March 9, 2021 6:17 pm

“She’s a hot mess. There’s no other way to describe it. It’s the only explanation of why she would choose to wear a top that exposes just her belly button.” LOL. I may have died laughing. When I saw that shirt as she resolutely trudged up to her date (no Jump-and-Straddle for her!!) I was scratching my head trying to figure out why anyone would ever design, sell, buy, OR wear that shirt!!

Teri
Teri
March 9, 2021 7:05 pm

She looked like she was walking to the gallows.

Grace
Grace
March 9, 2021 8:17 pm

As always, thanks Lincee for an amusing recap (hard to do when there was not much to be amused about)

Allia
Allia
March 9, 2021 9:05 pm
Reply to  Grace

Exactly what I was thinking! I turned the show off halfway through the convo with dad. Dad’s blindsided discomfort and Matt’s immaturity made me feel so awkward watching… ABC is the absolute worst, but Matt also has a lot of growing up to do. That was NOT the way to handle anything.
It takes some real talent to pull humor out of this mess.
Between the mean girls and the controversies, this show took a steep dive for me this season. I honestly wanted to enjoy Matt finding love, but now I just feel sad knowing that the ending is gonna be full of race drama. I can only imagine how much it sucks for Matt…

Maribeth
Maribeth
March 9, 2021 9:35 pm

The whole thing with Matt and his dad was weird. Why would you have that conversation in front of cameras? At this point in his journey I think that Matt has become immune to the cameras and let his guard down. Shame on ABC… and yet I watch.

Also, Matt already knows who he is going to choose, and yet he drags the other two women through the Fantasy suites…just to make sure

Why didn’t they show the morning after with Rachel?

Speaking of Harry and Meghan…

Emily
Emily
March 10, 2021 12:21 pm

Aw, I don’t think those were crocodile tears when he had the shoes or pizza line

FaninAZ
FaninAZ
March 10, 2021 4:32 pm

Matt’s chartreuse sweater with the chunky collar, skinny cropped jeans, and sneakers with no-show socks would be an adorable outfit for… MAH-SELF. Seriously, I’d love a day in this man’s closet to dress myself. Sure, nothing would fit right, but you get the point.

FaninAZ
FaninAZ
March 10, 2021 4:38 pm
Reply to  FaninAZ

Also, I agree Bri is just the best. Whole package: beauty, brains, style, class! Would be a great Bach’ette.

Diane
Diane
March 11, 2021 5:28 pm
Reply to  FaninAZ

Bri is too young. I dont want another young bachelorette who doesnt pick the right guy!

Sassy
Sassy
March 11, 2021 8:40 am
Reply to  FaninAZ

I said to Hubby “no man would wear that!” He disagreed, meanwhile he would never wear that!

Cathy
Cathy
March 11, 2021 12:03 am

Interesting he only tells Rachel he’s falling in love with her…. and she got the fireworks. He told her he kept her for last so she’d have time to heal after the sky diving faceplant.

ABC is the worst. I also felt the dad had no clue what was happen. Surprised they didn’t bring on Dr Phil or Dr Drew ‍♀️‍♀️ Ug. Uncomfortable. I don’t blame Matt for wanting to talk to his dad. I don’t think it’s immature. Who are we to judge him on that decision when he didn’t really have a dad growing up but there were a few moments that were painful and raw 🙁

Bri is stunning and so articulate and classy. Bachelorette material for sure.

I feel bad for Michelle. I think the writings on the wall for her.

janis young
janis young
March 11, 2021 7:57 am

They never have a Kleenex for these women! How is that a thing?

Norma
Norma
March 12, 2021 8:02 am
Reply to  janis young

YES!!!!! I get so tired of seeing the tears and snotty noses. Nobody wants to see all that mess!!!!

Sherilyn
March 15, 2021 12:17 pm

I have heard the phrase “My Person” so often this season, that if I never hear it again, it’ll be too soon. I decided to make it a drinking game for the finale… Pray for me!

Paul Helgren
Paul Helgren
March 16, 2021 8:24 am
Reply to  Sherilyn

Amen. Hate that expression.

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