Batman is nothing without the Joker. Star Wars needs Darth Vader. And this season of The Bachelor would be nothing without Krystal, the perfect reality show foil.
We saw glimpses of Krystal’s villainy throughout the first three episodes, but in week four she took it up a level. It was the first time she was just one of the other girls caught in the slog of a group date. Instead of trying earnestly to maintain her connection with Arie, she grumpily went through the motions as the other ladies ate bugs and peed in bottles (no, seriously). She spent her camera time referring to the girls actually participating as insecure, pathetic and immature. The irony, of course, is that she came off as all those and more.
But while Krystal’s antics infuriate the women in the house and viewers at home, it’s all part of the game she’s boosted herself to the top of. During the group date, Krystal criticized the other girls for lacking self identity, and that’s because she knows exactly who she is—a vapid crybaby who speaks in platitudes and cliches. Her evil stepmom vibes exude an air of authority as she talks down to the other women, all while cementing her status as the pettiest and most insecure contestant imaginable.
Bachelor producers couldn’t have created a better villain in a lab. She’s a game show contestant that doesn’t want to actually compete, and it’s working for her—despite interrupting the rose ceremony, Arie handed her the final rose of the night. The other women (most notably Tia) are onto Krystal’s act, but as long as her feigned connection and strained vocal chords keep Arie interested, she’ll be around for the long haul.
Speaking of The Bachelor himself, week four was a first class display of Arie’s vacuousness. During a one-on-one date, Sienne opened up to Arie about the difficulties of growing up without portrayals of African American women in love stories. Arie responded to this layered, heartfelt thought by telling Sienne she “impresses” him. Talk about a conversationalist. Sienne seems like a thoughtful, intelligent, genuine person, and it’s for all these reasons I hope Arie doesn’t pick her.
As mentioned last week, Arie is an empty reality show vessel incapable of complex thinking or nuance. He displayed this time and time again in week four, perhaps never more so than his one-on-one date with Bekah M., the 22-year-old nanny from Los Angeles. Bekah begrudgingly revealed her age to Arie, who immediately went into an emotional tailspin. He said repeatedly how “afraid” he was that Bekah hadn’t lived enough life and wouldn’t be ready for a serious settled down relationship—only to offer her the rose at the end of the date. It makes sense, since Arie’s rumored to have plenty of experience with college-aged girls. (Is there any way in which this guy isn’t the worst?)
But there may be a silver lining. Through four episodes, we’ve established that Arie is a surface-level jerk who can’t hold an actual conversation, while Krystal is an insecure drama-monger (who desperately needs a glass of water). She really believes her connection with Arie is deeper than everyone else’s, and maybe it is. Their collective dullness makes them perfect for each other. End the season now and get them both out of my face.