Remember when Detective Alonzo Harris, frustrated with Jake Hoyt’s reluctance to participate in, um, the police-orchestrated armed robbery and murder of a retired-cop-turned-drug kingpin, screamed “THIS SHIT’S CHESS, IT AIN’T CHECKERS” at his visibly terrified protege at the end Training Day?
That’s what I kept thinking of while watching Chad absolutely burn down these first four episodes of The Bachelorette. From the jump, the others housemates’ attitude toward Chad could be fairly summarized as, “Hey, dude, don’t be such a dick.” But this generic take doesn’t quite do justice to the unique brand of anarchy that Chad brings to Agoura Hills. He makes people uncomfortable not because he’s rude, or because he’s the Bachelorette villain du jour, or even because he’s not there for The Right Reasons. It’s because he decided to play a totally different game than anyone else, this season or ever! While Chase and Derek goofed around with toy lightsabers, Chad was hoisting that gigantic broadsword that Mel Gibson strapped to his back in Braveheart. Jordan and Luke sat on the balcony played Battleship, while Chad chugged up and down the coast launching missiles at the Bachelor Mansion from an ACTUAL battleship.
Why? Who knows! And that’s precisely what was so compelling. Chad showed absolutely NO interest in participating in the show’s structure, snorting disdainfully at the very IDEA of a group date, which, um, kind of HAS to happen on a show where the gender ratio is 18:1! He even cared little for the bachelorette herself, sneeringly refusing to play nice with the other contestants even when an irritated Jojo intervened directly. It’s not clear WHAT motivates Chad, other than demolishing complex carbohydrates, lifting weights, and threatening to find Jordan (and Derek and Evan and Grant and probably others I forgot) and come to their homes and kill them after the show. In an environment where contestants’ motives are ostensibly both obvious and aligned, Chad’s dead-eyed inscrutability is what makes everyone else so uneasy. Some men just want to watch the world burn.
Now, all that said, who won’t be around to watch the rest of the Chad fireworks this season?
Oh. Right. Just as Detective Harris died in a hail of Russian mobster gunfire, Chad’s gimmick ran its course, and he failed to make it out of episode 4. Still, watching him gleefully wreak havoc with the hearts and minds of Jojo, his fellow contestants, a hapless Chris Harrison, and even a goofy rent-a-cop was at all times an utter delight. Not to brag, but this is what I wrote before the premiere after looking at a PICTURE of the dude.
Inevitable outcome: Jojo, instantly attracted to Chad’s perfectly fitted heathered v-neck tee, rewards him a coveted early one-on-one date. But the show takes a dark turn when Chad lets this success go to his head, and we endure a bunch of B-roll footage in which he struts around calling guys things like “champ” and “buddy” and clapping them on the shoulder a little too hard. Someone (probably Alex, after Chad pats him on the head one too many times) snitches to Jojo that everyone else in the house thinks Chad is fake and can’t be trusted and is not here for the Right Reasons. An emotional Jojo, BETRAYED by her instincts, dramatically dismisses him mid-episode.
Let me know if you need lotto tips or gambling picks for next football season.
To be clear, homicidal tendencies aside, the show will be worse off without Chad, a man who appeared to subsist on nothing but lunch meat, NO-XPLODE, and the crystallized fear and insecurity of his fellow contestants. Chad is so jacked that he looks like he’s made out of veiny Legos, and after what seemed like the seventeenth threat against a fellow contestant, a visibly terrified Chris Harrison (whose face screamed HEY IF THIS DUDE WITH THE CHUCK NORRIS BEARD REALLY HITS ME I STAND TO LOSE A LOT OF MONEY, PEOPLE, I DID NOT SIGN UP FOR THIS SHIT) finally had to stage a mini-intervention. Harrison brought up the teensy possibility that the guys suspected Chad of using steroids. The dutiful, mumbled response? “Well, I couldn’t have BROUGHT them here.” Only pragmatic considerations prevent Chad from juicing, apparently. Now that he’s off the show, it’s time to get back on cycle.
He had plenty of chances to redeem himself, and gigantic Canadian doofus Daniel haltingly suggesting that Chad (who was munching happily on a raw sweet potato) act a little less like Hitler and a little more like Mussolini or Donald Trump was perhaps the single greatest moment in television history. But Chad lost his stupid beef with Evan, puzzlingly insisting that he pushed Evan not because Evan publicly accused him of using steroids, but because EVAN pushed CHAD first, which is hilarious given that Chad looks like a stem cell growth-related science experiment gone horribly wrong, while Evan’s body appears to have been the inspiration for the title character from Nickelodeon’s Doug. Eventually, Alex the Tiny Marine became the hero America needed, scoring the rose on a 2-on-1 date and sending Chad home for good.
OR DID HE?! I wrote before the season that although The Bachelor gets uncomfortable because the infighting among contestants so dependably reinforces crappy gender stereotypes, there is absolutely NO sociopolitical guilt to watching a full-tilt bro villain menace other bros on The Bachelorette. And since the producers are clearly aware that Chad is the best thing this season has going for it, he might not be gone after all! One of the franchise’s funniest motifs is abandoning the loser of the 2-on-1 date in the typically remote location (remember when Chris Soules axed both Ashley I. and Kelsey and let them standing silently in the desert choking back tears, and then it was getting dark, and you were like WAIT HOLD ON ARE THEY GONNA BE OKAY OUT THERE?). This time, even though Chad, Alex, and Jojo left for their date in a helicopter, the producers edited the episode to make it appear that Chad rage-trekked for miles through the woods back to the hotel, Highlander-style, to exact revenge on Alex (and probably everyone else, to be honest). Promos for next week show him standing ominously at the front door like a protein shake-drinking Jason Vorhees. You can almost hear the producers telling Jojo between takes, “Listen, I know he’s a square-muscled sociopath and you feel physically afraid to be near him, but…can you ride this out another week or eight?”
Breathe easy, Jojo. Rules are rules. Chad didn’t get a rose, so whatever faux-serial killer act he pulls in the coda to last week’s episode won’t go on for long. But his time this season will last forever in our hearts, and he’s a mortal lock for Bachelor in Paradise this summer. Thanks for everything, Chad. You’re great! Now please don’t find me and hurt me.
But enough about Chad, I guess. A couple other contestants also left this week for somewhere between six and twelve months of promoting off-strip parties in Vegas, posting photos to Instagram of themselves modeling brands no one has ever heard of, and trying like hell to stay out of the South Beach police blotter.
You’re not going to believe this, but after four episodes
there is only one minority contestant left on this show. Ugh. Maybe next year.
I have nothing to say about Nick, who did nothing noteworthy even though he earned my respect by sticking with his Santa Claus outfit during the entire premiere despite sweating visibly and profusely. So, since The Bachelorette is off for a week for a potential (update: definite) Game 5 of the NBA Finals, stop what you’re doing, start this video at 6:30, and and watch North Oakland Mayor Mistah F.A.B. deliver this brain-bending seven-minute freestyle about pretty much every Golden State Warrior ever.
Sway makes me so happy when he shouts out names of increasingly obscure players and then cackles with glee every time F.A.B. responds with another punchline. I never wanted this to stop, even though it would have gotten absurd really, really quickly.
“TALK ABOUT…ERICK DAMPIER!!!”
“TALK ABOUT…TROOOOOOOOYYYYY MURPHY!!”
“MICKAEL PIETRUS STEPPING ON THE BASELINE EVERY TIME HE TRIED TO DRIVE!!!”
“DANNY FORTSON’S EXPLODING HEART!”
“MONTA ELLIS’ MOOOOOOOOPPEEEDDD!”
Anyway. Go Chad, and go Warriors. See you in two weeks.
Previously in insightful commentary on today’s most pressing issues:
- Take a Moment, Say Your Goodbyes: Bachelorette Obits, Vol. 2
- Take A Moment, Say Your Goodbyes: Bachelorette Obits, Vol. 1
- Uselessly Premature Predicts For All 26 Bachelorette Contestants