The Bachelorette Recap: Rest in Pizza

The Bachelorette

The Men Tell All
Season 18 Episode 8
Editor’s Rating 4 stars

The Bachelorette

The Men Tell All
Season 18 Episode 8
Editor’s Rating 4 stars
Photo: John Fleenor/ABC

I feel like I’ve watched 1,300 hours of Bachelor content, listened to and appeared on several Bachelor podcasts, followed every Reddit thread, and even watched a TikTok or two from the “Controversy Crew” (apparently Anna Redman from Matt’s season thinks the reason we all don’t like her is because of her teeth), and yeah, that was this year. But after an incredibly loooooong 2021 filled with Bachelor Nation drama and consternation, aren’t you just wiped? So, if you’re anything like me, the “Men Tell All” special is a calming, soothing balm where a bunch of men in their best colorful suits try one last time to get their catchphrase to take off.

And you know what? That’s what we got, and for that I am thankful, especially after a year of unconventional endings and the two-story-high face of Thomas Zooming in to “The Men Tell All” and Tayshia not getting an “After the Final Rose” so she has to awkwardly announce the end of her engagement moments before Rodney gets his chance in the hot seat. The Bachelor Cinematic Universe has already taken so much from us, and they’re already asking a lot of me by having the finale two days before my birthday. So let’s just have Will and Peter toss pizza-based insults at each other and try to end this year on a high note.

Let’s get to it.

This “Men Tell All” special takes the unique approach of putting all the fights from the season into one montage just labeled “drama.” There is also a montage labeled “drama” that plays inside my head as I drift to sleep; it’s just every unpleasant or slightly awkward interaction I’ve ever had in my life playing on a loop. The “drama” montage features Peter and Will, Brandon and Jamie, Ryan’s dossier, Martin’s nonsense, and Li’l Chris S. Can we power through some top-line observations about the drama this season before getting into some more detailed observations?

Peter and Will: “This man is really pushing my buttons” is an iconic Bachelorette line, and it needs to go down in history as one of the greatest.

Jamie’s nonsense: How dare they give Jamie his own moment in the hot seat, and how dare Jamie’s eyebrows move like that? They know what he did.

Ryan’s dossier: This is barely a complete thought, but is Ryan a parody of Katie and her intense preseason preparation, or have I been reading too much Reddit? My brain don’t work so good anymore.

Martin’s nonsense: This is a footnote to Jamie’s nonsense, but is Romeo the worst judge of character for looking up to and admiring both Jamie and Martin and changing his hair to look more like Martin?

Li’l Chris S: Calling Olu “low IQ” in isolation is damning.

Whew! There’s a lot to dive into here.

First up is Will and Peter. Kaitlyn wants to know if Will meant what he said when he called Peter a narcissist. Listen, Will managed to use the perfect set-up of being asked to spell narcissist to both insult Peter and avoid having to spell a genuinely difficult word. It’s a good bit, and I can never be mad at a good bit! Will says if Peter wanted to use the opportunity to promote his business, he should have gone on Shark Tank. Investors, I’m looking for a 25 percent stake in this fucking slam. Peter’s defense is “This pizza restaurant is how I pay for my family and support myself.” which the audience keeps reluctantly applauding.

For a quick detour, let’s take a moment to appreciate a real Men Tell All-Star: Casey! Casey is 36, which is basically 40, which is basically dead in Bachelor years, and he is making the most of his last years in the franchise. Casey is on fire this entire “Men Tell All.” He was someone who I kept having to ask myself “Is he the poem guy?” all season, but now he’s holding his own. He says Peter would wake up every day and scream “Bon-bon-bonjourno!” to no one in particular. Peter sounds like a nightmare and Casey is a hero.

Will also says that Peter’s sister is sliding into his DMs. For what purpose, I DO NOT KNOW, but I would like to see the evidence. We’re about to use that big board to show some totally real Yelp reviews. Will, see if you can Chromecast to the big board. Eventually, the fight between Will, Peter, and the rest of the house gets so out of hand Tayshia and Kaitlyn are screaming “Excuse me!” and banging on the coffee table to get everyone’s attention. Perfect. No notes.

Before this segment is over, Peter wants Will to know he’s brought someone with them. Then an actor from Craigslist comes in carrying a stack of blank printer paper and he “serves” Will with a “sub-pizza” for defamation of character. Peter says this is just a little taste of what could happen in the real world if Will doesn’t keep his name out of his mouth. Rest in pizza. I think Tayshia speaks for us all when she says, “I’m sorry, what?”

Up next is Ryan’s dossier. Ryan claims his friends wrote this document for him and he didn’t read any of it but some of it was his notes, though. He wanted to prepare in order to find love. Some of the notes are like, Most teachers feel like their job is who they are. Make it seem like you are super-interested in that. This is Nice Guy 101. The rest of the guys keep asking, “Why did you feel like you had to prepare?!?” One of the guys also brings up that Ryan was on Bachelor Live — whatever that is … Some of the night-one dudes are pissed Ryan took up time in the house and they didn’t get time to talk to Tayshia. Daniel and Pardeep are making their presence known! Pardeep says if Ryan made it to the top four, he wouldn’t want to apologize about his dossier.

Up next is Martin. This bitch. Olu says Martin was two-faced and was fooling a lot of people but Olu was not fooled because Olu is a detective, a scholar, and a king! Romeo admits he dyed his hair to be more like Martin, and that’s honestly so embarrassing. Martin says he was just trying to give Michelle a compliment when the real rumors start to flow: Martin had a girlfriend. He doesn’t say he didn’t not have a girlfriend. He says he was dating someone and they weren’t a couple and they started dating immediately after he got eliminated. I would like to ask her, “Did you think you were his girlfriend?” Martin’s best defense is “We didn’t have our phones.” Casey says Martin told Peter about his girlfriend and that was his biggest mistake. Kaitlyn jokes that his girlfriend is right there — and c’mon, Bachelorette, follow through. Find that girl. Interrogate her.

Up next is Chris. This guy just fucking sucks, and he doesn’t know how to actually make an apology. His apology is “I didn’t mean it.” Rick is mostly upset that Chris S. spoke over Michelle because she’s a strong woman who can speak for herself. The amount these men love her and have been transformed by her amazingness is inspiring. I love that for them, and Rick has a good “Men Tell All.” When he’s not on the verge of tears and puts a little bass in his voice, he cute.

The biggest moment of the Chris S. story line is when Olu demands Chris look him in his face and tell him he has a low IQ. Olu stands up and says “You’re looking at Black excellence right here!” ICONIC! OLU FOR BACHELOR!!! Chris can’t even make eye contact and tells Olu to sit down and that he doesn’t have anything to say to him.

Now it’s time for Jamie. Ugh. Jamie. He comes out doing fake kisses and says he’s been fabulous. Jamie starts to answer every question by going, “Good question. Some context. Two things. Three things.” Jamie doesn’t really have a good defense for anything he said on the show. He said the “spring break” thing was more about feeling like one of 22 guys and that he walked in on Michelle smooching another guy. Everyone says there were two Jamies, one who would compliment you to your face and one who would talk shit behind your back. Casey calls him “Tony Robbins.” We’re really going down to the wire to see if the episode belongs to Casey. He’s making his case.

Jamie also insists that the moment never came up to say he started the rumor about Michelle and Joe because — lemme check my notes here — we all were talking about it by that point. YEAH BECAUSE YOU STARTED THE RUMOR. He keeps insisting on a timeline that didn’t exist. PJ says Jamie was the only one who had time to talk to Michelle. Oh shit, that’s motive, means, and opportunity. Lock him up!

It’s time for the “Li’l Sweeties” portion of the “Men Tell All.” Normally, these would be your Bachelor audition reel, but we know they’ve already selected Clayton and given him Rodney’s tagline. Up first is Rick. Again, Rick really comes across much better when he’s not trying to whisper confessions of love into Michelle’s ear. They bring out a table with a giant Rick head made of cake that absolutely doesn’t look like Rick. It looks as accurate as the butter sculptures! It looked at me in my nightmares and told me the date I’m going to die!

Now it’s Rodney’s turn —

Oh, wait, no. Kaitlyn is going to have Tayshia talk about her breakup in the middle of the goddamn show. Tayshia is clearly frazzled. Even if she’s acting or trying to turn up the drama (as some people have mentioned), her body language is not comfortable. Tayshia says she’s heartbroken and they tried really hard and she’s not sure what the future holds. Once Rodney comes up for his moment, Tayshia emotionally runs off backstage. What the fuck is happening there? 

So … Rodney’s turn? They show his emotional montage and Michelle calling him an underdog!!!! My notes at this point were just, “Aww, Rodney.” He’s really emotional watching his relationship with Michelle and says he just moves a little slower than other people but they had something really special and they’ll always want to cheer each other up. Kaitlyn says maybe we’ll see Rodney in Mexico? (Not an official casting announcement.)

Then we get a selection of fun moments that were just cut for time? Bachelorette, please, show us fun goofy stuff in the episodes! These are not the bloops. Wait for the bloops.

It’s time for Michelle to come out to confront all the guys. They give her a standing ovation. Michelle says Rodney was always kind even when times were tough, and she respects that the most. She says Rick was so committed, and it showed a lot about his character. Rick is just glad she didn’t call him “my little lettuce wrap,” which is a very cute nickname.

Now it’s time for Michelle to confront Jamie. Jamie decides this is the best time to tell Michelle she was always authentic and real and she was a good coach?!? Sir, what the fuck are you talking about! You’re supposed to apologize. Michelle says that when you’re a coach, you’re supposed to be a good example all the time and treat people how you’d expect your team to treat people. She says she did that and she doesn’t know how he can preach positivity without owning up to what he said and did. Jamie starts a bad apology and says “if anyone feels…” and Michelle goes “No!” It’s amazing. Jamie says he just needed to vent so he’s allowed to say what he wants as long as he’s venting. Michelle tells him words do matter and he needs to own up to it. She says she’s going to close the conversation because Jamie hasn’t learned anything. Saying “I’m sorry if your feelings got hurt” puts the blame back on the other person, and it doesn’t matter if it’s a friend or intimate relationship, it’ll never survive if you have to backtrack and blame the other person. Then Jamie does an actual good apology! Just do that from the start!

Then it gets opened up to the guys. PJ tells Michelle how much he commends her for being a good role model for Black girls all across the country. Martin says they had a lot of miscommunication but he does apologize for the way things ended. Michelle says Martin needs to lift women up and not talk down to them. Martin says, “I have a soul mate now, and I treat her right.” Oh, cool. Very cool to know Michelle didn’t deserve that treatment but your new girlfriend does??!!? Michelle says if you do treat her like a queen, you need to listen to her and not call her immature when she speaks up about her trauma. Chris apologizes, and Michelle takes it well! Okay!

Finally, Michelle and Olu have a moment between them because Michelle says he was the one guy she wishes she had given more time. She saw how connected he was to her and the process and how vulnerable he became. Olu says he never brought that to his other relationships, so thank you, Michelle. Michelle is making everyone’s boyfriends better!

It’s time for bloopers and pizza! There’s a lot of insect-based bloopers, and Michelle can’t say “Rancho Cucamonga.” Peter flew in his amazing Florida-based pizza to share with everyone. Will is not happy about it. Peter says “slice appétit.” Y’all, I cannot with this man. Will begrudgingly says, “It’s better than the pizza we had at the hotel.”

Then Peter says something amazing: “You wanna bury the hat and shake and be bygones?” You wanna BURY THE HAT and shake and BE BYGONES!!!

With that, I’ll say “slice appétit” and see you next week for fantasy suites!!

The Bachelorette Recap: Rest in Pizza