“It takes two to tango” is the sort of truism that can ring false. Sometimes when two people clash, only one person is really at fault.
But it certainly felt apropos during Monday’s episode of “The Bachelorette,” when contestants Lincoln and Connor threw down over, of all things, a framed photo of Becca and Lincoln pretending to get married.
The altercation began early in the episode, when Lincoln apparently cheated to gain an advantage during an obstacle course by prematurely moving on from a timed challenge. He went on to win the race, nabbing a kiss from Becca at the finish line and covering her white gown in mud as they took a beaming photo together. At a cocktail party that night, she gave him his prize, the photo in a frame.
Rather than play it cool, Lincoln made his second error. He paraded the photo in front of his fellow suitors ― flaunting it, talking to it, kissing it and propping it up on a coffee table nearby.
But then, with Lincoln on the verge of nailing down the villain edit, Connor swooped in to one-up him with even more egregious misbehavior: He grabbed the framed photo and threw it over a ledge into the pool.
There’s certainly a loser here. Connor’s aggressive, destructive reaction was a far greater violation than Lincoln’s annoying braggadocio. But can there really be a winner in a feud as childish as this? And are any of Becca’s bachelors capable of acting like adults?
HuffPost’s Claire Fallon closely analyzed this cringe-inducing throwdown with BuzzFeed community manager and “Bachelorette” obsessive Brett Vergara:
Claire Fallon: Lincoln takes the picture around and is kissing it, talking to it. He’s putting it up on the coffee table.
Brett Vergara: Some showboating going on.
Fallon: It just seems like a perfect opportunity for all the other guys to show that they’re above it and make him look like an ass, and they did not take that opportunity. They were like, “‘What if we were worse?’ is gonna be our theory of how to handle this.”
Vergara: And also, man, everyone just needs to really learn the lesson of not to get involved. Just, what are you doing?
Fallon: Usually a good part of the guys, at least, would be setting the tone of “It’s the first week. Let’s all be on our best behavior. Let’s not cause drama. He just wants attention. Don’t worry about it.” And instead, they all just freak out.
Vergara: Yeah, just all jump in. And then the slow descent into madness. First ― not to give that much credit, but to give the tiniest bit of credit, I guess they have stages — at first, they were like, “Hey, can you not have that out there?” And the second was, “Oh, let’s just put that down.” They just had it facing the table.
Fallon: But it’s just so childish.
Vergara: Oh, it’s all so childish.
Fallon: Let him put it up. Ignore it. It was facing away from them. Pretend it’s not there. If you keep putting it facedown and being like, “Hey man, get rid of that. Why don’t you just toss it over there?”
Vergara: It’s drawing way more attention to it than it was doing before. I think that, once again, Clay coming in with the solid truth of just, “Yeah, I thought the picture was a bit much, but the way that was all handled was also.” It’s like, yeah.
Fallon: Did we cover how [Connor] threw it in the pool? Connor is the one who gets really aggressive.
Vergara: Oh, yeah, just like, let’s get pulled right into the shit of it.
Fallon: First he picks up the photo and throws it on the ground behind the couch.
Vergara: Which — I was surprised it didn’t break.
Fallon: Yeah, we heard it clattering. I heard a clatter but not a shatter. And then Lincoln is like, “I’m going to put it back on the table, because what the hell.” And then Connor says he just had to do something. Which, bro, you did not.
Vergara: To give Lincoln a little bit here, he did have a good point. He’s not going to be able to put it in his pocket. I guess the other solution is going to your room. It was like, OK. Fine.
Fallon: They’re not even at their [mansion]. They’re on a group date.
Vergara: Oh, right!
Fallon: Here’s the thing. Either the producers were like, “Just keep it with you,” and wouldn’t take it from him, or they were like, “Do you want us to take that?” And he was like, “No, it’s my wife.” And I don’t know which one it was. But it’s true, he couldn’t just put it in his pocket. It was too big.
Vergara: Well, do you think ― I very much, probably, also think that Connor got “Isn’t that picture annoying the shit out of you?” I don’t know if there was enough —
Fallon: Yes, probably true. However —
Vergara: Doesn’t make it good.
Fallon: So he takes it and throws it in the pool. At this point, Lincoln is like, well, obviously it’s ruined, so he just sits there quietly.
Vergara: Also I did enjoy how we got a very loud glass-shattering sound, even though it landed on water.
Fallon: I mean, to be fair, it’s ruined. But maybe there could have been a splash sound effect?
Vergara: Yeah, I think that could have worked.
Fallon: It was weird for me to watch it. Even though Lincoln is not my favorite contestant and I don’t love the showboating around after winning a challenge, it makes it seem like it’s not really about Becca. However, there was a really weird dynamic to this whole encounter that made it feel like it might have played out differently if he was white.
Vergara: Yeah, yeah.
Fallon: All of the white fratty bros being like, “What the hell, man? What are you doing?” and kind of escalating constantly, trying to get a reaction out of him.
Vergara: Right, it was very much a pile-on.
Fallon: Yeah. And it’s crazy to me that Connor felt comfortable taking his stuff and destroying it and feeling like he was going to get away with it.
Vergara: Yeah, and they were just going to move on from there, and it was going to be like, “Oh, that was fine. That was the right thing to do.”
Fallon: And then he sits down with Becca, and she brings it up to him, and he’s kind of got a shit-eating grin, like she’s going to think it’s funny or something.
Vergara: That’s the thing ― all of these things can be true. Because I am not the biggest fan of Lincoln, but at the same time, he absolutely did not deserve this pile-on for this picture by any stretch.
Do people love “The Bachelor,” “The Bachelorette” and “Bachelor in Paradise,” or do they love to hate these shows? It’s unclear. But at “Here to Make Friends,” we both love and love to hate them — and we love to snarkily dissect each episode in vivid detail. Podcast edited by Nick Offenberg.