Episode six. Can you believe we’ve made it halfway? We’ve gone through so many phases of Zach: hating him, maybe liking him, then maybe hating him again. We’ve gone through so many blonde Katherines. So many registered nurses. So many Sean Lowe appearances! And what do we have to show for it? A handful of loose connections, a group of women clearly on the verge of breakdown, and a lead that’s become a walking superspreader across Europe.
Let’s get into it.
This week, we wake up in Tallinn, Estonia, fresh and COVID free … you thought! In a karmic twist of fate, Greer, of all people, is now “under the weather.” (Side note: This news is delivered by Jesse, who appears to be drinking out of the world’s smallest espresso cup, or he just has really big hands.) Zach hopes she feels better, but it should be noted that he does not video-call her this week — apparently, only the lead gets the privilege of a personal Zoom call. Maybe Zach didn’t want to hear that she can relate to being in quarantine during an important time now that she’s literally in quarantine during an important time? But most pressing of all: What kind of super-antibodies does Gabi have to have escaped this fate? Despite her aversion to kissing, she swapped saliva with Zach mere hours before he became a handsome biohazard!
Of course, Charity is getting the first one on one in Estonia because hers was canceled last week. But when Zach comes in to pick her up, Kat steals him to talk about nothing and make out with him in the hallway. When they return to the room, the girls notice he has lip gloss on his lips. Sherlock Holmes has nothing on them! To cut the tension, Zach exclaims, “Estonia!” and takes Charity away on her date. The Zach Shallcross School of Conflict Resolution, everyone.
Once they leave, Brooklyn confronts Kat, telling her she ruined Charity’s date. When Kat says she just wanted her moment, Brooklyn cuts her off. This season has been unusually drama free, but clearly Brooklyn has been using the downtime to prepare for a moment like this. She has a laundry list of insults ready, telling Kat the move was classless and selfish. And … yeah! Charity, a girl so nice you could run her over with a truck and she’d apologize for getting in the way, got screwed over last week, and when she finally gets her special day, you kick it off by touching tongues with her date! See, this is the kind of drama I love — good, old-fashioned “You stole him” drama. Someone getting involved who clearly doesn’t need to be there! An insult so intense and personal that Kat will surely think about it forever, cut with a thick Southern accent! And, best of all, absolutely nothing about Instagram followers! This is The Bachelor in its purest form.
During Charity’s one on one, they parade around Tallinn in a horse-drawn carriage. During a completely unplanned moment, they come across an Estonian “wife-carrying” competition because … of course. But the second Zach gets Charity over his shoulders, he takes off. It’s all Charity can do to hold on for dear life. At first, I thought Zach had no personality, but there must be something there because there were clearly some ghosts chasing Zach on that Estonian obstacle course. Run, Zach! Run like Greer is behind you, trying to talk about her quarterly sales numbers!
Back at the Swissôtel, Kat tries to explain herself to Ariel. This is a real conversation that happens:
Kat: “If Zach hadn’t got COVID, I totally wouldn’t have pulled him!”
Ariel: “But you did pull him.”
Back to Tallinn!
During the night portion of the date, Charity shares that she was in an emotionally abusive relationship in which her ex-boyfriend cheated on her multiple times. Zach wipes her tears and says he knows the feeling because he also lost himself in a previous relationship. Look at him … relating (cough, cough). They ride off in the horse-drawn carriage, and Charity gets the rose.
Time to announce who’s going on the group date, and Jess really wants the one on one, so naturally she doesn’t get it. She’s the last one to get a one on one. Well, as Gabi points out, Greer also hasn’t had one, but Jess basically waves that away as a moot point because, clearly, she’s getting eliminated next week anyway.
The next morning, it’s time to talk about the Kat drama again, and, without a trace of irony, Kat says she’d rather not do this before a date. Fatal. Mistake. Brooklyn has had even more time to think of potential insults over the past 24 hours, and she unleashes them in a fit of southern fury. She says she’s gonna box Kat’s ears off. She says she’s gonna lace that bitch up. She said she’s gonna roundhouse kick her off the balcony of the Swissôtel. Okay, maybe she didn’t say one of those, but can you really remember which one?
Group date time! It’s one of those “We’re in an Eastern European country, the culture is sooooo different” dates. There’s a witch. There’s a fire. To quote Nicki Minaj, there are pills and potions. Zach is wearing altogether too many layers. After saging themselves in the name of “love,” they take turns staring at Zach through a candle. Kaity and Zach share a deep moment. Gabi and Zach gaze at each other lovingly. And Jess’s candle … goes out. The Bachelor isn’t exactly known for its subtlety.
It’s the night portion of the date, and … poor Jess. She just had an anxiety attack about the whole situation. I doubt this environment is healthy for anyone, but especially not her! And when she and Zach sit down to talk, Zach, who has donned about three more layers for this cocktail party, isn’t doing much to help the situation. They start talking in circles: She’s insecure; he’s shocked. She says she’s the last person to get a one on one; he says it’s not about the one on one! He is basically unwilling to understand why Jess is feeling insecure about not getting a one on one, but he, of all people, should understand that, in Bachelor world, that’s essentially the only validation you have. At one point, he even says she doesn’t have to wait for the one on one to get vulnerable, which is ridiculous because it’s essentially required to reveal whatever sort of trauma you have during that one singular date. Zach, just an hour earlier, you noted that you don’t know Jess very well — might you have guessed that this is why???
The problem is this: Zach is very honest, which is, in theory, a good quality for the Bachelor. But right now, it’s obvious who his front-runners are and, more important, who they are not. And if someone’s in the “not” category, there’s very little they can do to change that. Example A: At the end of this conversation, Zach says he’s not confident in them anymore and walks her out, essentially confirming every insecurity Jess ever had. R.I.P. Jess. Another victim of the Shallcross School of Conflict Resolution.
Zach’s all shook up about Jess leaving, so he’s not giving out a group-date rose tonight. Kat cries. Brooklyn sharpens her knives.
It’s Ariel’s one on one, and the one word Zach likes to describe Ariel with is fun. Nudist sauna? Fun! Smacking each other with palm fronds? Fun! Hanging out with a nude older couple who definitely showed too much cheek while getting into the hot tub? Super-fun! Despite how much production plays up the nudist angle, Zach and Ariel do not get nude, which is shocking considering the number of times we’ve seen Zach showering this season. During the night portion (which was clearly filmed in the afternoon), Ariel says she uses humor to cover up her true feelings and has led a lonely life for a long time, so she doesn’t have to compromise who she is in a relationship. Zach likes her because of her cute football helmet during the group date. She gets the rose, and Zach compares their relationship to Sean Lowe and Katherine’s, which, TBH, is a pretty good sign for her considering the angle they’ve selected this season. I kind of love Ariel — she speaks in the most deadpan monotone but whips out a joke at the most unexpected times. I’d love to see her and Gabby Windey in conversation.
Zach uses the cocktail party to tell every woman he has a connection with them. Brooklyn uses the cocktail party to interrupt Charity and Kat’s conversation about the drama. Once it’s clear that Kat can’t take advantage of Charity’s kindness in a one-on-one scenario, she storms off and says she’s not going to deal with this. Jokes on you, Kat: Producers are gonna make you deal with this! They’ve clearly tipped off Zach, and he asks if the vibes felt “off” at the witch group date (not because a witch was making them sage one another but for interpersonal reasons). Kat denies it. Zach breathes a sigh of relief not to have to deal with women’s problems. We move on.
We’re down to just one row of women at the rose ceremony, which is when you know it’s getting serious. Gabi, Kaity, Brooklyn, and Kat get roses, so Aly is sent home. Sigh. Another cool, normal woman bites the dust for a girl named Kat. The Bachelor has worn me down.
Next week, we’re in Budapest, but later this season, Zach bans sex from Fantasy Suite Week? But also maybe has sex? Two words: Conflict. Resolution.
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