No media content has made me feel such physical pain as Provo’s Most Eligible Season 2 Episode 3 made me feel.
I recently learned that Foley artists recorded the noises of a pug to create the alien sound effects in Halo. I would like to take a page out of the pug’s book and offer my talents to anyone looking to capture the sound of abject horror. The process will be as simple as me watching Provo’s Most Eligible with a microphone and recording every groan, “no no no no no,” and scream.
So intense and violent was my reaction to this episode that my husband kept running in from the other room to make sure I was not being stabbed to death by an intruder. I was not. I was just feeling every negative emotion a human is capable of feeling, because episode 3 of Provo’s Most Eligible Season 2 is excruciating and should be ruled cruel and unusual by the courts.
It starts with a Crossfit competition:
The men who have survived to see another week of this dating competition pile into a “box,” as Crossfitters stupidly call their gyms, to lift weights and do squats incorrectly while Bee, Lauren, and Ellie stand around and cheer them on. In 2019.
The segment lasts way, way, way too long. There’s only one activity more boring than exercise and it’s watching other people exercise. The creators of PME make us do just that for like 47 minutes.
I came away from the experience with only one important takeaway, and it is that people talk to bench-pressers the same way people talk to a woman pushing out a baby.
“Breathe! You got this! One more! Just one more! You’re so strong! You can do it!”
Also, bench-pressers look as though they are crowning and a head will pop out at any second.
Lauren’s team “wins” the competition, whatever that means, so they get to go ice skating at Peaks Ice Arena, the location of many a birthday party, FHE, and yes, date, from my past.
Part of what makes watching PME so traumatic is watching these children go on the same kinds of dates I went on as a bright-eyed BYU student. It only took one date at Peaks, and one near-fatal slip on the ice, for that light to dim. I was once asked on a date by a boy I liked, but when he explained that we would be ice skating, I had to tell him to find someone else to take. Because ice skating is dangerous and terrible and strapping knife-shoes on your feet and walking around on a cold, slippery, surface is not fun.
Fanny-Pack can relate. He explains that the last time he was on ice he ended up in the ER needing stitches.
Plus, no one really knows what to wear ice skating:
Like the Crossfit segment, this ice skating nonsense lasts nine times longer than it should and nothing happens beyond some light hand-holding:
Lauren takes the body attached to that hand on the one-on-one date to Orem Summer Fest. She does seem to have favorable feelings for Johnny, the tall Canadian dentist, and I love that for her.
What I don’t love so much is Ellie bringing MAGA Hat.
This dude can’t be a day over 20 but talks like a 54-year-old used car salesman and really leans into his Kentucky drawl in a way that feels exaggerated. I half expect him to snap his suspenders and say, "Now I'm just a country lawyer," at some point during this season.
Bee brings Keaton, a man with whom she seems to have a genuine connection, and if I’m being honest, a man with whom I would like to see her end up.
The six of them do Summerfest-y things,
And end the date with some mild cuddling and fireworks watching.
Up to this point the episode has been infuriating only in that watching it is a complete waste of time.
The second half, which spans a day spent at Sleepy Ridge golf course, becomes infuriating in new and terrible ways.
Remington explains three dudes will be sent home that evening.
This gives them all a few hours to try and convince at least one of the three ladies to keep them around for another week.
Then they’re off to the races:
Extreme Side Part tells Ellie that he has something special planned.
It’s a ride in a limo. Going nowhere. Just circling around.
The thing about limos is that they are just cars and riding in them is not exciting if you are not actually going anywhere. And they usually smell weird. And they remind me of the episode of Seinfeld where George and Jerry end up in a limo with Nazis.
Caleb takes Lauren for a quick golf lesson:
out of the goodness of his heart and with no ulterior motives I’m sure.
Bee chats with Daniel whose company she seems to enjoy, and who, from what I can tell, would make a very fun and good boyfriend,
Unlike some floppy-haired doofuses on her team. We’ll get to that.
First we have to talk about Fanny-Pack. He has set up a blanket, a laptop, snacks, and...
“mints just in case.” It was after that line I yelled “NOOOOOOOO!” for the first time and my husband came running into the room for fear he might suddenly be a single dad.
Fanny-Pack plays Phantom Of The Opera of all movies and forces Lauren to cuddle with him. Lauren is a nice person who does not like upsetting people, but she clearly hates it:
I’ve never wanted to punch through my television and rescue the person on screen as badly as I want to rescue Lauren from this interaction.
I doubt the guy who interrupts has any idea the service he’s providing in this moment:
Speaking of men being unable to read a room:
“Why?!!!” I yell from the couch and my husband runs in to see if I've just received some troubling news like a death in the family or a terrorist attack or something, and then I have to explain to him that no, it's just a Trump supporter dating a teenager on YouTube.
MAGA Hat tells Ellie they are going for a walk.
He does not ask Ellie if she would like to go for a walk. He just tells her they are going for a walk.
On that walk Scott says things like, “My domain will be the basement and the yard,” and, “Whatever the wife wants, she’ll tell me, I’ll pay for it,” and “What’s it going to take to get into this 1997 Ford Taurus today?”
Meanwhile, Bee and Keaton connect. If Lauren’s body language gives you an indication of how she feels about Fanny-Pack, you can use those same skills of observation to decide how Bee feels about Keaton:
During the course of their conversation it comes up that Keaton has dated a wide variety of women.
“I’ve dated all types of people. Black, white, hispanic, hair girls,” he says. Like hair girls need their own race when they already know they’re so much hotter than the rest of us.
Keaton and Bee are interrupted by a guy holding a baby.
It is never explained who the baby belongs to, and for all I know there should be an Amber alert sent out.
Then Walker hands Bee some flowers and whisks her away:
“Let’s go into the woods,” he says. Congratulations to Bee on being the only woman to survive after having a man say that to her.
Walker pulls out a 2 liter of the hard stuff and champagne flutes from Zurchers:
They sip and small talk for a minute, and then something shifts. They start doing that thing people do right before they kiss for the first time. They say things that don’t make any sense and then get quiet and then slowly move closer together until...
The noise I made while watching this kiss was a noise I think a rhino might make if it was experiencing sharp ulcer pains. My husband asked if it was a medical emergency, and I had to explain that I had just remembered how terrible first kisses are and that having to experience that level of awkwardness second-hand is not something I’d wish on my worst enemy (the Madewell cashier who refuses to laugh at my jokes).
After the kiss Walker has an on-camera interview.
“We had a little smooch. It’s whatever,” he says. Then, “I feel as though we are going to become closer, we are going to become to this level, so why not participate in an action that will make us closer sooner rather than later.” That’s a direct quote. It's also gibberish.
That kiss between Bee and Walker has to be the height of discomfort in this episode, you are probably thinking to yourself. And reader, I wish it was. But it’s not even close.
Because this guy decides that he wants to throw Lauren her own personal FHE:
“I love games and I love being spiritual,” he says. And my husband comes running in the room because I shriek as though I have stepped on twenty thousand legos, and again I have to explain that everything is fine, some guy is just forcing a women into participating in a private devotional.
He makes her play some dumb cup game:
And then. THEN. I need you to sit down for this.
Are you sitting?
Are you sure?
And then….he reads her a scripture from Alma. But he changes the words to better suit the current situation.
He tells her he knows how tough being one of the ladies of PME must be, and he implores her to trust in God during this dating competition.
I tried to warn you.
And now I must warn you again because Fanny-Pack is back and he’s decided it’s time to take things to the next level with the girl he has spent fourteen minutes with:
In front of a window where a room full of people are watching:
He plants one on her.
And then another one:
Until she pushes him away.
Lauren is a nice person, and my guess is she has a hard time letting men know when she does not like what’s happening in their relationship. And now she’s found herself in a relationship with someone who is either completely oblivious, or has no regard for her feelings. Because Fanny-Pack cannot contain his excitement,
but Lauren cannot contain her embarrassment.
Word of this second kiss spreads across the country club, and people have opinions.
“If she ends up picking him she’s making a dumb choice,” says the guy who styles his hair to look like a duck is sitting on his head. It’s not that I disagree with this take, I just have a tough time aligning my opinion with someone who chooses to wear a Bump It.
Ellie is faring only slightly better than Lauren as she sits in a hammock with an eager young man expressing his intentions.
“I want you to know I have a crush on you,” he tells her. “Okay,” she says in response, moving her body as far from his as is possible while sitting in the gravitational black hole that is a hammock.
Afterward the poor guy compares cuddling with Ellie to cuddling with a 2x4. The more Ellie seems disinterested in any of the men on this show, the more I like her.
Lauren is still trying to recover from the Fanny-Pack attack when Johnny leads her to a private room and lets her vent about her day which has not been great.
Then he turns on some music and they dance
And it seems pretty sweet.
But not as sweet as tacos, which is what this guy brings to Ellie:
He mentions that the girls probably don’t get a chance to eat and will someone please call Child Protective Services and make sure Bee, Ellie, and Lauren are being fed?
Finally, it’s time for the flower ceremony, a term that will never not make me laugh.
Remington calls the names of the men the women have decided they want to stay and one by one they are flowered
Until all the names have been called but these three:
The losers say their somewhat salty goodbyes,
And just when you think the train is fully wrecked, there’s a cut to Ellie and Scott overlooking the sunset on the golf course.
“Our kiss after the fair was great but there wasn’t a sunset there. I think this calls for another,” Scott says. And then:
This is when I screamed so loud I woke up the baby and my husband ran in and saw what was happening and then he started screaming.
Arianna will walk us through whatever atrocities play out next week on episode 4, so stay tuned for her recap, and pray for us all.
(Design: Josh Fowlke) (Editor: Rachel Swan)