Golden Bachelor Recap: Don’t Stop Believing
Golden Bachelor Recap | Episode 2
In the year of our Lord 2023, I anticipate that there isn’t much weird guilt that is associated when someone mentions that they have spent a week-ish suffering through the symptoms of COVID. Therefore, I will not hesitate to share with you that this is my second time to have the virus, and it knocked me down the same way it did when I had it almost three years ago.
I experience extensive fatigue when crippled by COVID. It attacks every cell that is responsible for making sure my body is awake, alert, and energetic. My neck resists holding up my head, and my eyelids literally shut down in protest. I’m unsure how anyone can sleep eighteen hours a day, multiple days in a row, but if it’s a line item in the Guinness Book of World Records, sign me up.
Last Wednesday, I felt sluggish while teaching Bible Study. I was awarded with a sore throat the next morning. By Thursday night, I knew something was up when I struggled to stay awake during Gerry’s one-hour debut. It was lights out for the foreseeable future.
But I’m back! And halfway full of energy. I’m hopped up on Theraflu and Dr Pepper because I refuse to let another week go by without writing a recap on one of the best seasons in Bachelor franchise history.
Ladies and gentlemen, join me as we experience together the very emotional journey of The Golden Bachelor!
The following information you are about to read is of personal opinion. You probably aren’t even reading this because the simple disclaimer has been a part of my recap since the days I emailed this puppy to just a few of my closest friends. HA! Fooled you. You’ve skipped this amusing mockery and will not know what in the world your friends are talking about when they say, “Did you like the new disclaimer Lincee wrote?” However, if you or someone on Instagram happens to personally know, sort of know, know the brother/cousin of, thought you saw in the grocery store buying patriotic candy or have an Orange Theory instructor who looks exactly like one of the bachelorettes on the show…none of this is personal. I’m sure they are all lovely people.
It’s evident that this isn’t your typical Bachelor season when the women casually saunter into the mansion to check out their new digs. No one will be running. Not only is that a surefire way to twist an ankle, but monitoring blood pressure is a serious business and should not be mocked.
When the cameras reach the sleeping quarters, I immediately shake my head in frustration, spying a severe problem. Come on, ABC Producers. Are you really going to ask these women to utilize bunk beds? Can you blame poor Theresa for curling up on a bench to see if her tiny body fits?
Suddenly, anyone who has an artificial hip or knee calls dibs on the lower beds. Then it’s a cross-reference among the remaining women to see whose age begins with the number six. These spring chickens are forced to breathe through the arthritis pain to spend the next fortnight praying they don’t pull a hamstring when climbing up and down a wooden ladder.
This brings me to the next issue addressed by the ladies: nighttime bathroom visits! Let’s hope there was a flashlight in the granny grab bag that will help these women negotiate how to get to and from the toilet in the wee hours of the morning. BLESS ALL THEIR SWEET HEARTS!
Whippersnapper Jesse Palmer (44) appears in the sunken living room to an array of praise and accolades. The women think he’s darling and are hella confused by the random blank envelope he has mysteriously placed on the coffee table in front of them. I believe it was Nancy who inquired, “What is that?” Jesse explains the definition of a “date card,” and when no one rushes to read the contents of the mysterious envelope, he encourages Kathy to do the honors.
Theresa’s name is read aloud, and the women genuinely applaud her fortunate luck as the recipient of the first date. Susan joins her upstairs to help do her hair, and when Theresa kindly asks Susan to please curl AWAY from her face, she is shut down immediately. Susan has been doing hair for 35 years, toots. Calm down and trust the process.
To Susan’s defense, she’s been up since dawn making meatballs and chicken piccata for the house. It’s been a long day.
Gerry picks Theresa up for dinner in a vintage convertible Corvette. Things immediately go awry when Gerry notices that his headlights don’t work. It is at this moment that I conclude the producers didn’t plan dates using a geriatric lens. Poor Gerry, the guy who has barely left Iowa, is on the 101 in California driving a faulty vehicle at dusk. Theresa can’t see because they forgot to give her a hair tie, and Gerry can’t see because of the cataracts.
Thankfully, Theresa realizes that Ger is not going to pull over onto the shoulder to call for help. In a moment of panic, she does what anyone would do and touches Gerry’s shoulder. She gives it a squeeze and tells him he’s doing a great job.
And Gerry L-O-V-E-D it. This shot of adrenaline was exactly what he needed to make it to the parking lot of the old-timey diner. It’s not elegant, but it’s home. Gerry orders fries and a milkshake with two straws as people look lovingly at our couple sharing a booth.
- I would want my own milkshake, thankyouverymuch.
- Lara and Todd (in my watching party) both pointed out how odd it was that randos were milling about in the super trendy old-timey diner. Did we cut Gerry’s budget? Can we not rent out the entire establishment?
Theresa dives right in and shares her love story with the endearing man sitting across from her with engaged eyes. She was married to her high school sweetheart (sound familiar?) for 42 years. He had bad kidneys and was on a transplant list, but he didn’t make it. She watched him take his last breath.
Gerry and I tear up in all the right places. Theresa chooses to be ultra-vulnerable at this moment because Gerry knows exactly what it’s like to lose a spouse. Gerry agrees with Theresa and adores that he can talk about his wife to someone who legitimately understands his sorrow.
But it will get better! There is life to be lived! They only need to accept it. Don’t stop believing!
Cue the quintessential Journey song, ABC Intern! Oh! And look at the randos falling in line to perform a spontaneous flash mob! How wacky. Get it, Gerry! You do NOT stop believing. You hold on to that feeling.
Gerry cha-chas over to the death trap where a single rose is waiting on the hood of the car. He extends the rose to Theresa, she accepts, and then he gives her one big kiss for the camera.
Bachelor franchise photographer Franco is here, everyone! Praise to the good Lord that he refrained from wearing his shorty shorts in front of the elderly women. Amen?
Franco instructs Gerry to give him a little blue steel. Not understanding that pop culture reference, Franco pivots to the more universal, “Show me James Bond!” Gerry gets it and tosses out a gangster sign.
Twelve group date women arrive, and I laugh as April is the first to reach our bachelor. Let the record show that there was not a Jump & Straddle™. Can you imagine? Even I would need a ten-minute stretch before hopping into someone’s arms and wrapping my legs around his waist. The hip flexors aren’t what they used to be, my friends.
Franco informs the women that they will be split into four groups for four different photoshoots for a fake romance book cover. He instructs them to go pick out an outfit from the hanging garments over yonder, and they all scoot in a blob to try and get there first. I did hear one woman scream, “I’m not running!”
Do they get points for being sensible?
Franco puts Gerry in a horrible Fabio wig for the first photoshoot. Apparently, “pirate wench” is a sub-category for romance novels that I’m unaware of, but the women accepted it as best they could. Next up is a seventies vibe, followed by biker girl. Then we have three women who have to wear a wedding dress, and this sends Nancy over the edge.
Why? Because Nancy hasn’t worn a wedding dress since her wedding day, which was the happiest day of her life. Of course, the strange predicament she’s in makes her overwhelmed in a way that is unexpected. She tries to tell Gerry this when he wonders aloud if she is okay, but he can’t hear her answer.
Turn your ears up, Gerry.
He later finds Nancy sitting on a bench and asks if she’s okay. She explains her emotions, leading with the fact that it hit her out of the blue. She was bombarded by happy, sweet memories, followed by something that felt sad.
My boy Gerry, who I think is the nicest man on the planet, tears up when Nancy confesses her feelings. Then he tells a story about how the same thing happened to him when he walked into a bakery one time and smelled cinnamon. It reminded him of his wife at Christmastime, and he just wept in the store. HE GETS IT, NANCY!
In that moment, Nancy feels seen, heard, understood, and not silly. She can feel joy for the past and hope for the future. It’s okay! There is still life to be lived! And no one is forgetting Mark and all the happiness he brought when she stepped into that original wedding dress.
I just might keel over right now. Gerry for President. I love this man.
Gerry visits Jeanie for a few minutes and learns that instead of attending Woodstock, she had a baby. Quick math confirms these dates check out. Thank you, Amy.
Then he sidles up next to Leslie, the rocker chick who is really a hippie, and tells her that she is one sexy woman. I blush. Leslie does not. Instead, she showers him with compliments and bonds over the fact that they have matching hearing aids. So freaking cute. He whispers a sweet nothing into her ear, and Leslie refuses to tell the camera what he said.
I like this woman.
Gerry wanders into the mansion the next day, hollering for anyone to come say hello. He finds the entire cast outside in party hats, popping out from behind bushes (no crouched positions) to wish him a happy birthday.
One of those fake cakes is rolled out beside the pool, and Susan pops out of it wearing a white fringe dress. Kudos to the ABC Intern for finding that bad boy in the Dancing with the Stars prop closet, and way to go, Susan, for having the wherewithal to pack a flapper dress on her stint with the Golden Bachelor.
We see Kathy firing up the grill as April insists she doesn’t cook. She prefers to decorate a man’s life with love and joy. And shimmies if you count her “birthday dance” in front of Gerry. GAH! Natascha gives him a pinata, Edith gives him some wine, and everyone else laughs as if they are gal pals for life.
Well, Faith isn’t having any fun. She’s upset because she got the first impression rose, yet Gerry didn’t invite her on a date this week. She’s not a fancy girl. She doesn’t care for jewelry. She swims in rivers and drinks out of a hose! What does she know about flapper dresses and Botox? Gerry assures her that she’s in the running and gives her a peck on the cheek for good measure.
Then he joins Joan ON THE TOP BUNK and has a heart-to-heart about being a widower. What in the actual hell is going on here? Why are two grandparents on the top bunk? Why are they together on said bunk? WILL IT HOLD THEIR WEIGHT? Can someone help them down? I have no idea what was said because I was too nervous for the dismount. Luckily, no bones were broken, to my knowledge.
Finally, Gerry finds Ellen (ROBERTA!) and gives her a gift. It’s a picture of the two of them in their pirate wench photoshoot. Ellen is blown away by this gesture and tells the camera that no one has ever made her feel this special. I have all sorts of questions. Does this mean Gerry likes her the best? He did say he enjoys her personality. Is Ellen the one to beat? Did anyone else find this odd?
April tells the camera that she’s going to kill Gerry if he doesn’t give her a rose. I’m glad he obliges because she might be my favorite. Sadly, Peggy, Jeanie, and Natascha are sent home. In a moment of sheer sweet, genuine love, several women shout, “Call me! We love you!”
Gerry cries legitimate tears, and I fear for his heart for weeks to come. If he’s this emotional on episode two, what is the finale going to look like?
Hopefully, the finale will have rose ceremony chairs. Thanks for the parting advice, Natascha. I’m sure the ABC Intern has a note in his APP for “constructive criticism,” and that suggestion will be implemented next week.