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The Bachelorette: Goodnight, Sweet Protein-Powder-Chugging Prince

Ding, dong, the Chad is dead (and also amazing at Instagram)

Shit. Chad’s gone. Shiiiiiiiit.

It’s cool though, because to everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven. Or in other words, Chad — who is officially the greatest villain in the history of the Bachelor franchise — may have been eliminated from the mansion, but he lives on. In the tabloids, on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, on the dramatic third season of Bachelor In Paradise this August, on his incredible Instagram (more on that later), and ever in our hearts. Even the remaining men aren’t ready to let go. “Gentlemen, we are here today to honor arguably the worst person anyone has ever met,” Wells says, as the housemates scatter handfuls of Chad’s protein powder like ashes into the wind. “Death to tyrants!” they cheer. If you need me to tell you whether or not an acoustic guitar was involved in the proceedings, I kind of feel like you’re not even taking this show’s motifs seriously.

But wait — what’s that I hear drifting through the Nemacolin Woodlands Resort and Spa in scenic Pennsylvania? It’s Chad’s signature whistle, which he revealed last week was based on a Skrillex song that had been stuck in his head the entire season. I am so fucking serious.

Chad returns for one last confrontation, scraping the windowed door gently with his fingertips like a serial killer taunting his summer camp prey. Erectile dysfunction specialist Evan demands $20 for the t-shirt Chad ripped last episode, again. “Are you really that broke?” Chad asks, genuinely curious. “I thought you owned dick companies!” Robby steps in, saying, “Don’t turn this into insults,” which in fact turns things into insults because Chad was literally stating what Evan does with his life. One last Chad whistle, and he’s gone. For now. Let’s speed-walk through the rest of the episode so we can get back to Chad’s glorious Instagram.

If the map on-screen is to be believed, the gang take a direct flight from Farmington, Pennsylvania, to Punta del Este, Uruguay — a city where elite people hang out, as JoJo weirdly puts it. JoJo can really see herself falling in love in Uruguay, much unlike every other city these weirdos experience from inside the equivalent of a Sandals. Jordan gets a one-on-one date, during which he and JoJo swim with seals and have a painfully awkward dinner wherein JoJo addresses the multitudinous rumors that Jordan is a giant turd of a boyfriend. Apparently, she ran into his ex before the season began filming; they talked about “trust stuff.” What she really means is that, like, six different women have come forward — on Instagram, in the tabloids, to Reality Steve — alleging that Jordan is a slimy douche who is using this show as a platform for self-promotion. A shocking breach of the show’s unflinching moral code, to be sure.

Jordan assures JoJo that this is all just noise, and that if perchance he was ever not a totally upstanding boyfriend in the past, it was because sports. Somehow these words ease JoJo’s fears, and they make out a bunch. Meanwhile, several copies of Us Weekly, which so happen to feature JoJo’s diabolical ex-boyfriend (WHO IS ALSO NAMED CHAD) talking mad shit, have appeared in the men’s Punta del Este suite (English-language copies, mind you). It’s almost as if the producers realized nothing cool was going to happen post-Chad and had to take the episode’s narrative into their own hands. The production crew sends in a ringer — the Mountain to Mike Fleiss’s Cersei Lannister, if you will — to make JoJo cry by forcing her to read the magazine, and succeeds.

If it wasn’t obvious by now, this show’s tail is so far into its esophageal tract that things will never, ever return to normal, if by “normal” you mean adults competing to marry a near stranger. Don’t let the show’s faux-empathy for JoJo’s predicament fool you: The meta-ness is what keeps the cogs of the Bachelor franchise in perpetual motion. They need the tabloids to gossip about the shady backgrounds of JoJo’s suitors; they need the cast member Twitter beefs and the incestuous web of ex-cast member hook-ups and breakups and subsequent stints on Marriage Boot Camp. Runoff from The Bachelorette spills into the media which spills into the next season of The Bachelor, the detritus of which is funneled into the ingenious Bachelor In Paradise, and so on and so forth in mass media’s shlockiest Rube Goldberg machine. Chris Harrison just sent a drone to fetch his midday tonic of ram’s blood, stem cells, and kale.

Back in Uruguay, Robby and JoJo jump off a rocky cliff together, both wearing Vibram FiveFingers, because spontaneity is important. “I’m here for one reason: to find love, and for you,” Robby assures her. He tells her he loves her on their first date, which is chill.

Ughhhhhh, whatever, let’s go back to Chad’s Instagram. THIS FUCKING GUY JUST POSTED A PHOTO COLLAGE OF HIMSELF MAKING OUT WITH ROBBY’S EX-GIRLFRIEND, IN WHICH HE EXPOSES THE FACT THAT ROBBY ENDED THEIR FOUR-YEAR RELATIONSHIP TO “PURSUE FAME ON A TV SHOW.” LONG LIVE CHAD. NEVER SKIP LEG DAY.