Before we get into how Matt enjoyed some ball play while pregnant women selected his date for him, let’s check in with the verdict.
In short, we’re now down to an all-blonde final six. Goodnight, Sogand, and flights of uncomfortable belly dancers sing thee to thy rest.
This episode featured the much-vaunted Return Of The Previous Bachelors, Matty Johnson and Sam Wood, who gave Matt priceless advice like that it was hard and that he should choose a lady that he likes: searing insights from men who have been there, done that, and up-knocked their chosen Bachette.
And it was those two visibly pregnant former winners – Laura Byrne and Snezana Markoski – who were dispatched over to the ladies’ house to find Matt a date by interrogating the women.
Meanwhile, the dudes tossed a football around and chatted about chicks.
In terms of compelling drama, it was a lacklustre first act. But it did provide a snapshot of the state of emotional labour divided by gender in 2019 Australia: get the women to the hard yards while the blokes hang out and jawbone.
The winner of the date was Helena, who took the advice she received from the former Bachettes seriously – and gave an indication of what all dates from here on in will look like in that it was little more than running through future plan checklists.
That contrasted with the solo date, which was off to a chocolatiers with Emma and yet another of Matt’s standard smearing-stuff-on-women moments. Honestly, it’s a thing.
Life Lesson: Society Sure Puts The Zap On Women’s Heads, Huh?
But the real lesson of this episode is that wow, people do not appreciate the degree to which women are conditioned by society to be deferential and put their interests last, and also that this reticence to advocate for oneself can be manipulated by people who are suitably ruthless.
Case in point: two private date cards were handed out by the show’s charmingly amoral angel-demon Osher Günsberg, with the instructions that the women were to decide among themselves who would get them before disappearing, evidently fighting the urge to cackle maniacally as he went.
Honestly, Osh, you’re a shoo-in for the villain in a Saw reboot. Thank heavens he didn’t throw a blade on the table as he departed.
And Sogand took one with little objection from the rest of the crew, but then there was a masterclass in manipulation as Elly – dear, sweet nurse Elly! The one whose career is literally all about bringing comfort to others! – was convinced to willingly hand over her date card to Abbie after the latter told her how very, very much she really deserved it.
That moment where Elly realised just how badly she was duped was perhaps the most heartbreaking yet in a show which is only going to get more fraught.
Especially given how obviously, overwhelmingly, slightly discomfitingly besotted Emma is, and how bad that comedown is going to be if she doesn’t win…
And also, just in case we haven’t made this point enough: pregnant women doing the work, man playing ball.
Alpacawatch: They gambolling!
Oh, you beautiful ungulates, cavorting and capering on the Bachie lawns, presumably doing pungent dumps which some poor intern has to gather up…
Look, it’s just great to see them out and about, eating grass, having a whale of a time, being relieved they’re not really involved in this kerfuffle.