“Sir,” an assistant chirps meekly. “I think she’s had enough.” The assistant’s hands shiver as he holds The Plan in his hands. The Plan for Kaitlyn’s life. The Plan that lays out exactly how the world will perceive Kaitlyn as she continues to be the Bachelorette. “Enough?” a cigar-smoke-choked voice coughs out. “That’s fucking rich.” A supple leather chair slowly spins, and the president of ABC lets out a billow of smoke from his thin lips. “Enough? You come to me and tell me that she’s had enough. She had sex before the Fantasy Suites. I’ll tell you when she’s had enough. Put The Plan into action.” As cigar smoke and the patriarchy fill the room, the assistant puts his foot down. “No,” his voice quivers. “I think we should lay off. Does she really have to—”
“YES!” The president’s voice booms. “She has to tell Shawn she had sex!” The assistant turns on his heels and dashes out the well-appointed office, slamming the heavy mahogany door. The president spins back to look out his window at his emu farm and laughs a diabolical laugh.
We get it! Kaitlyn had sex. She had sex with Nick before the Fantasy Suites, the producer-approved point at which sex becomes acceptable. It’s the TV version of the third date or going steady. It’s completely arbitrary, and any sexual contact before that point is completely frowned upon. It’s almost like they didn’t create a show where they put a bunch of single men in a house with an attractive woman who has been very upfront about how much she likes sex and intimacy and then got mad she had sex.
Oh wait, it’s exactly that.
This is also the point in the season where they have run out of footage but have to stretch it over the remaining episodes so we’re treated to about a half-hour’s worth of actual events stretched over two hours. I can’t stop checking my damn phone during this episode. When my friend’s Snapchats of her poorly lit potato salad from the Fourth is more fascinating than your episode of TV, you goofed, ABC.
The episode starts with Kaitlyn and Ben H., the lesser Ben, going on a date to frolic through some ruins. Yeesh, they’ve even run out of date activities. Isn’t there an Irish dancing class they can take? Maybe crash an Irish family’s St. Stephen’s Day dinner? Nothing? Fine, go sit in front of a fireplace and make out.
Ben H., like all humans on Earth, had a bad relationship and thinks he is unlovable. Again, Kaitlyn succeeds in totally handling that sensitive confession the wrong way: “Hearing that just blows my mind.” That’s just what you should tell someone. Their feelings are CUH-RAZY and they shouldn’t feel that way. Kaitlyn needs a read through The Love Languages.
Ben H. doesn’t get a rose … yet …
Next, Kaitlyn takes Joe, Nick, and Shawn to go sit on a bench sort of near a castle. There’s not even like a Color Me Mine or something in Ireland? Shawn takes Kaitlyn aside because he feels he’s fulfilled his obligation of “taking a step back” by not being the worst for about two or three days, and it’s time to ratchet the intensity back up. Shawn was that kid who would take the class hamster home for his turn to care for it over the weekend and then hug it to death the night before it was supposed to go back to homeroom so his parents had to go the pet store with a dead hamster in a bag to buy an exact match. He loves hard.
The two get interrupted by Nick, who steals Kaitlyn away. I think the Metaphor Department was working overtime with that transition. I don’t know, then Nick and Kaitlyn talk some more about the fact that they had sex and how she feels guilty about it and Nick loves it or something. I was busy playing Farm Hero Saga. I have to stop those rabbits from eating my crops!
Finally, it’s Joe’s turn to have a private conversation with Kaitlyn. He tells her that he loves her and that he’s ready to kiss only her for the next 60 years … and she breaks up with him. Girl. She has been extra-cold these last two episodes. Then she does the thing that I hate the most in real life: She expects the person she broke up with to get all weepy and open up about the experience. Why would Joe want to sit around and talk with you about being broken up with on a reality show? Granted, Joe got a little cold and harsh, but come on! Just like I told the guy who lived in an actual pantry (someone told him a pantry was an extra bedroom and he put his bed in there) who broke up with me on our first date: You don’t need to hug me. Just do better.
Just do better, Kaitlyn. Fight back against all these producer-mandated interactions. Men who just got dumped don’t really want to hug it out. You don’t need to tell Shawn you slept with Nick. But she does; she takes Shawn in front of another fireplace. Is Ireland Gaelic for “land of a thousand fireplaces”?
She tells him that she had sex with Nick, and he presses her to admit that she regrets it. Bruh. Gross. Why do we need to frame a sexual encounter between two consenting adults in their right minds as a mistake, a regret, and the worst thing in the world? It’s a Garbage Pail Kid of a situation. Slut-Shaming Sue.
Shawn just nods over and over when he hears the news and is rendered completely speechless and goes into the bathroom and can’t pee because he’s so tense. Those beautiful eyes look flat like a shark’s as he peers into her face. He also asks the perfect question: “Why would you tell me this right now?” Because he knew deep down that Kaitlyn and Nick had sex, but why tell him? Rude, producers who manipulated this moment. Very rude.
No one gets a rose today. Shawn also has kept his very weird habit of not referring to Nick by his name because he hates him. I do not like this habit because I’ve never met anyone who has done that in real life, but I can’t actually hate that hard because I read Harry Potter and I get it.
There is no cocktail party, but we’re going to jump right into the Rose Ceremony. Shawn gets the first rose, but he demands more private time with Kaitlyn to talk to her about how much he hates Nick because he’s the absolute worst now. He accepts the rose.
Nick gets a rose. Ben H. gets a rose. Jared goes home.
I’ll miss you, Killian Greyjoy. Enjoy managing the Providence Oyster Company.
Nick and Kaitlyn go to Cork, where he drops that Shawn has maybe been bragging that he’s Eskimo brothers with a country singer, but do men brag about stuff like that? Whatever. Nick and Kaitlyn bang again, and they argue about ham in the morning. The stuff of great romance.
After the date, SHAWN GOES TO NICK’S ROOM TO CONFRONT HIM. I’m over it. You can’t make me do this.
Ummm … this is Ali’s little brother. She just stormed off muttering something about the emotional fragility of white men and how their masculinity leaves him threatened by women’s sexuality. We were all sitting around eating pasta salad watching The Bachelorette and she stormed off. I guess … I’ll finish the recap?
Uh … two white guys were arguing over a girl who looks like Fairuza Balk, and Sandra Bullock had a love-child. The one with the schnoz asked the one who looks like Spencer Pratt his reasons for being there because a lot of better guys went home? I think? I’ll see if I can find her.
Nope. She’s really gone.
Okay, next week that fight is going to continue, and then two people named Britt and Bratt maybe in matching Peruvian wool scarves said they were going to try long distance. Hopefully Ali will be back next week.