It’s been a long season, but the end is in sight, folks. Shit is finally starting to hit the fan, but before we break this week’s episode down, make sure to put on a life jacket, because you’re about to be swimming in man tears.
As per new Bachelorette tradition, we start exactly where the last episode finished- we saw Kaitlyn gave Jared the group date rose, prompting Ryan Gosling (Shawn, if we’re being technical) to lose his goddamn mind. There’s always one contestant who is oblivious that the premise of this show is for one person to date everyone else on the show simultaneously and as a result feels they should be treated like a special snowflake; apparently, we’ve found this season’s culprit. Special Snowflake Gosling marches up to Kaitlyn’s room in tears, confused and hurt that she’s pursuing relationships with the other dudes on the show (gasp). She reminds him that there are still nine dudes left, so he asks her point blank if she’s in love with him. She has to backpedal – when he told her he was falling in love with her on their date she responded that she felt the same way; we learn she also snuck down to his room off camera in San Antonio and said the same thing. However, since then she’s had another round of sucking face with every other dude as well as a night of playing hide the sausage with Pubehead McGee. She clearly has strong feelings for Special Snowflake Gosling, and while she wants him to stick around, she doesn’t seem ready for him to get down on one knee with a Neil Lane diamond engagement ring quite yet. She tells him she knows that the process is hard, but it’s up to him to decide if he can stick it out. They tenderly play tonsil hockey, and his fears are assuaged.
Kaitlyn starts getting emotional after Gosling leaves. She tells the camera that her feelings for him are “overwhelming,” and she feels guilty about “being intimate” with Pubehead McGee. If that phrase made you vomit in your mouth, you’re not alone – and don’t worry, she only uses it six more times throughout the episode. I can’t tell if her saying “being intimate” or Pubes saying “making love” is more cringeworthy. She tearfully says that “I feel like I’m constantly disappointing people,” and I honestly can’t tell if that’s the lack of sleep, the booze, or her daddy issues talking.
Two-on-One with Joe and JJ
Two-on-one dates are both my favorite and least favorite part of the Bachelor franchise. The concept of a regular date is terrifying enough to me, so the thought of pitting two competitors head-to-head for a single rose is just cruel; then again, that’s exactly why we watch this show.
The three of them board a piece of shit tugboat and plug away to their date. If Kaitlyn hadn’t brought every dude to Ireland, maybe they could have afforded to rent a nicer boat. Secretly, I hope they get to reenact Titanic, and instead of giving out a rose, Kaitlyn has to decide which guy she’d rather share a floating door with and who she’d be okay watching drown.
They arrive on Ireland’s Eye to a picturesque picnic which looks like it consists of nothing but a bottle of Jameson and three glasses. Given the situation that seems highly appropriate, if not absolutely necessary. Kentucky Joe is the first one to talk to Kaitlyn alone. As if the context of this date wasn’t already miserable enough, the two of them sit on a rocky beach wearing their winter coats. Such romance. Even though Joe has had virtually no screen time, he thinks she’s one in a million, and says he’s willing to put everything on the line for her. Considering the population of his hometown is less than five thousand, I think he just needs to get out more and meet a few women outside his family tree.
JJ’s conversation goes a little less smoothly. He prefaces it by telling Kaitlyn he needs to be honest with her about his biggest regret; it turns out that three years ago he cheated on his wife. She says that being cheated on is actually her biggest fear in a relationship, but since he’s gone through it once, she’s confident he won’t make the same mistake again. Right.
When it comes time to give out the rose, Kaitlyn can barely take the pressure of having to make a decision between these two – a decision that is literally the entire reason why she signed up to star on this show. She starts by telling Joe that their relationship needs more time to develop, and for a second, I think she’s going to send him packing and keep JJ, the twat rocket and cheater. I grab my pitchfork and light my torch. However, she says it wouldn’t be fair to JJ or his daughter to make her miss any more court approved visitations, which means “hard pass on playing stepmom or marrying someone who cheats on their wife” in Canadian.
Although we don’t see any more of her time with Kentucky Joe, he returns to the Dublin Radisson with a rose. He tells the rest of the dudes that the date went well, and he feels like he’s falling in love with Kaitlyn. As soon as those words are out of Joe’s mouth, Princess Special Snowflake Gosling gets up, storms out of the suite, and heads to Kaitlyn’s room again. In a brilliant piece of editing, we get to watch Kaitlyn’s reaction when one of the producers tells her that he’s on his way; she stops speaking, puts on her bitch face, and executes an eye roll that any angsty teenager could only hope to perfect. From there, she immediately bursts into tears, convinced that Princess Gosling is coming to confront her about porking Pubes. They spend ten minutes having the exact same conversation as before, since Princess Gosling doesn’t like seeing her with other guys any more than he did yesterday. Kaitlyn stands up for herself this time and reminds him that this is how the show works and he can either STFU or GTFO. Neediness is not a good look for him, and he’s on the brink of going full on Fatal Attraction.
Instead of desecrating a church this week, ABC rented out a castle for the cocktail party and Rose Ceremony. Kaitlyn enters the room and tells the eight remaining dudes that “Standing here tonight I am emotional and confused, my feelings are all over the map. I’ve made mistakes. My heart is still open, and that makes me hopeful that I will find what I want, and I just want to toast to that.” Crickets. No one has a fucking clue what she means.
Ben Z steals her away first and says that there’s one thing he hasn’t gotten to do yet in Ireland – kiss her. She obliges. After that, Ben H takes her to have a private conversation in the castle’s library. Kaitlyn is mesmerized by all the books, and I hope that someday she learns to read so she can enjoy them all. He calls her out about the night she snuck down to talk to him and Princess Gosling off camera; he left to take a shower at some point, and when he returned the dynamic in the room had shifted. He thought the Princess seemed happier and more confident, and although he didn’t want to know the details of what happened, he wanted to ensure his connection with her wasn’t one-sided. Ben H can speak for himself – you bet your ass I want to know the exact details of what happened. If ABC had a cameraman recording the soundtrack of Kaitlyn and Pubes practicing their procreation, how did they miss this? If Ben H left them alone, I’m guessing that Pubes may not have been the first player on the team to slide into home plate this season. Kaitlyn gets weepy again and tells Ben H she wants him to be there. They make out. I yawn.
Kaitlyn pulls Pubes to the side. He’s still wearing the damn Claddagh ring from their date. Kill me. She asks him to be conscientious of the other dudes and perhaps not reveal that she was a slam dunk after dinner to everyone. Consistent with the theme of the night, he starts crying. Seriously, is someone spiking the dudes’ drinks with estrogen? I haven’t seen waterworks like this since the first ten minutes of Up. Pubes starts freaking out and scratching himself all over, saying he’s afraid of being the “overconfident guy” again this season. I’m afraid if he’s that itchy, he may have picked something up from Kaitlyn.
Princess Gosling talks to Kaitlyn yet again, and for the third time in an hour we watch them have the same conversation. Third time is not the charm; Kaitlyn is just as over this shit as the rest of us and tells the Princess she wants to take things back a step. He thinks this is just a “bump in the road” in their relationship; in reality, if she didn’t want to jump his bones, she would have sent him packing after his first breakdown.
So far Pubes, Jared, and Kentucky Joe already have roses. The first of the remaining three roses goes to Ben H, who must have won some points by being less needy than Princess Gosling after Kaitlyn’s secret visit to their room. The second rose goes to Cupcake. In unison, Bachelor nation screams “WHAT THE FUCK” at their televisions. This is the first rose ceremony that hasn’t been totally predictable – with a single rose left to give, Princess Gosling, Ben Z, and Tanner are left standing. While the Princess and Ben Z are doing everything humanly possible to control their bowels and tear ducts, Tanner is perfectly calm, wondering if Kaitlyn can actually see him standing there and hoping he charged his iPad for the long flight home. Princess Gosling gets the last rose, which means that along with Tanner, Ben Z is done. Ben Z tells the camera that he was totally blindsided by this, and after a few well-placed tears and one liners about finding love, I wouldn’t be surprised if we see him again in January as the next Bachelor.
Road Trip with Jared
The next destination is Killarney, Ireland. Kaitlyn picks Jared to ride with her and take a road trip instead of with the rest of the dudes in a tour bus with vPaddy Wagon written on the side of it. While Jared is rocking his homeless chic look, Nick decided to wear the same fucking sweater he had on in New York – seeing it makes me want to eat a bunch of Indian food, shit all over it, make him put it back on and set him on fire. He must have a special attachment to that monstrosity, like it’s knit out of the eyelashes of all the girlfriends he’s murdered or something.
Kaitlyn and Jared visit the Blarney Stone. As they lean over the edge to kiss the rock, Kaitlyn gasps “What happens if we fall?!?” Easy answer – you’ll die, the season will be over, and after about a week, everyone will forget about you. Alas, they manage to defy gravity and continue on their trip. When they reach her hotel, Kaitlyn says this date helped her get back on track. No one cried, and she managed to be alone with a dude without having sex or promising anyone the final rose, so hopefully Chris Harrison puts a gold star on her date chart for this rousing success.
Speaking of Chris Harrison, as Kaitlyn is settling in she hears a knock on her door and opens it to find him standing outside. Her initial relief that her visitor wasn’t Princess Gosling is short-lived. Harrison informs her that he’s changing the rules for the remainder of the season; while traditionally the final four men take the Bachelorette to meet their families, he doesn’t feel she’s ready for that step. Instead, she must eliminate three of the remaining six dudes this week. Those three will go on the fantasy suite dates so they can have time off camera to “even the playing field” (read: bone), and only the last two will take her to their hometowns.
One-on-One with Cupcake
Kaitlyn gets three dates this week. While there aren’t any roses attached to them, Chris Harrison urges her to send any dude home that she knows won’t be advancing to the fantasy suite. With that looming over her head, she hops into a helicopter with Cupcake, and they are whisked off to the Cliffs of Moher. They remark that it’s “the most beautiful place on earth,” and while that may be true, it’s not an ideal location to dump someone on national television. They sit down with a picnic and some champagne. They are sitting way too close to the edge of the cliffs for what is inevitably going to happen. Sure enough, as soon as Cupcake asks Kaitlyn how she’s doing, she starts crying.
The breakup goes something like this:
Kaitlyn: You are literally everything I want in a man but I don’t want to be with you.
Cupcake: *sobs inconsolably into his man scarf*
Kaitlyn leaves alone on the helicopter. Will the helicopter come back for Cupcake? Or does ABC cut ties as soon as the dudes get cast off? Cupcake is torn up and says that he thinks Kaitlyn deserves a lifetime of happiness, but isn’t sure that she’s ready to find that yet. I think he’s hit the nail on the head. At this point, he’s standing mere inches from the edge of the cliff, creating a cascading waterfall of tears that crash into the sea below. Usually, the producers make a concerted effort to stay off camera, but during his interview there is one in plain sight; apparently, the threat of him jumping to his death is concerning enough to break those rules, but they’d still rather get this raw commentary than move him to safety. Classic.
It looks like Catholic guilt gets the best of Kaitlyn next week, and she finally lets the other dudes know she gave Nick her goodies. If this many tears have been shed over the petty shit that’s gone on so far, this revelation is going to bring on a flood of Biblical proportions. See you then. .
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