Dear friends and the occasional hater, I’m back! Thanks to Kathryn for filling in while I was trapped without power for hours and forced to entertain myself by making shadow puppets of Justin’s eyes. You can make them go in any direction. And boy, oh boy, to return to The Bachelorette and still somehow be in the same “week” is mind-boggling. Does the Hyatt Regency Tambourine exist outside space and time? I’m going to have to say “yes,” because that’s the only explanation for why we’re still doing this whole Thomas thing.
I need literally every single person on this television program to chill the absolute fuck out about Thomas. Because every single person who is on this television program who says they didn’t think about being the Bachelor is a liar. They’re just lying! They’re all lying! I wish they all would stop lying! I imagine that going on any of the Bachelor Cinematic Universe programs is a bit like going on a singles cruise. Yeah, sure, you technically could meet someone and fall in love. That is a possibility within reason, I guess. More likely, you’re gonna get drunk, go snorkeling, and have some casual sex. And that’s fine! That sounds like a great week! If you went on a singles cruise and every single person was single-mindedly focused on getting married by the time the boat docks in Cabo San Lucas, you’d want to get the hell off that boat. So, please, can everyone stop pretending like they’re the Knights of the Round Table?
But I guess I’m the asshole, because the continued collective bargaining worked. If enough men get together and insist that a kinda annoying guy who they all don’t really like is manipulative without any evidence at all, that man will be eliminated. Oh, I desperately want these men to realize their power and begin testing the fences. “Katie, Local Bach 41 has come together and voted that we no longer want to go on humiliating group dates and we’d like to go race go-karts instead.”
Let’s get to it.
The episode opens on a turkey vulture strolling around the property for his morning jog. And since the show thinks we forgot, we cut to a grainy black-and-white flashback of Thomas’s alleged crimes. Tre says that there’s no way Thomas can go from waiting to be the Bachelor to falling in love in three weeks, because it’s extremely normal and expected to go from Instagram entrepreneur to falling in love in three weeks. Thomas tells Quartney-with-a-Q that he feels like he must go around and be a politician and say what he needs to say to get people to like him. Bruh, at this point, you’re basically Ralph Nader. No one is on your side, you’re ruining it for everyone we actually like, and anytime you show up, everyone is like, “Why is this man still here?”
It’s time for the second group date of the week, and we’re already repeating pandemic group dates. The contesticles will have to race around the hotel grounds and embarrass themselves! The first event is to eat a plate of carbs with the calories listed, which prompts Mike P to shout to Katie “If I get fat, she better still love me when it’s over.” Good Christ. In just this one dare, there’s a whole dissertation on anti-fat bias and diet culture. If it was just a pile of twinkies or a giant thing of mashed potatoes, that’s enough of a dare. You don’t also need to draw attention to the calories and have the guys joke about how long it’s been since they’ve had carbs. Then, the completely unprompted and unrealistic comment that Katie better still love Mike P if he gets fat. Buddy, you better be more concerned if Katie still loves you after you too eagerly attempt to have sex on your wedding night and confuse her clitoris with a button on the duvet.
Next, the guys have to whisper sweet nothings in a giant ear for a minute straight, and Andrew breaks out his British accent again. Does… does he think it’s good, or is this just, like, an extended bit? I’m curious as to what Andrew’s endgame is with breaking that accent out. He’s taking something that’s essentially a party trick and trying to make it his thing. It’s like your friend who suddenly breaks out close-up magic at the club. Greg decides to list as many states as possible and asks Katie to bend over and show him her New Jersey. Something something turnpike.
Then the guys have to wax each other and see it as a bonding experience, and the final challenge is eating two habanero peppers and proposing to Katie. It’s the ultimate test of a guy who would do anything for love and it’s the ultimate test of what the hotel had on hand. Greg tells Katie he loves her and then is wrapped in a foil blanket to chug a pitcher of milk.
It’s time for the evening portion of the date and the guys are extremely positive and determined to have a great night. This is in no way going to last. Andrew shows Katie that he’s prepared two tacos and a deconstructed Lunchable. Katie says, “Cheers to foodies!,” and neither of them know what a foodie is AT ALL. There are, like, two full men on this date that I have no idea who they are. Johnnifer? Is there someone named Johnnifer? Katie tells Greg that she’s already starting to fall for him, and I need the other contesticles to stop worrying about Thomas and unionize against Greg. The purpose of alliances is to eliminate your competition!
Tre decides he’s going to ruin the whole date to bring up Thomas to Katie. Andrew makes the ONLY LOGICAL DECISION and says that he trusts Katie to suss out Thomas and he’s going to focus on his relationship with her. Andrew points out that one guaranteed outcome is losing time with Katie over the drama. Has no one else watched a single season of The Bachelorette? Tre says, “You value 15 minutes with her over the rest of her life?” On this here television program? Yes. That’s literally how it works. Tre sits down with Katie and doesn’t listen while she talks and waits so he can bring up Thomas. “Oh wow, you liked to go Jet-Skiing with your dad? You know who I wouldn’t trust to drive me around on a Jet-Ski? Thomas.” Impeccable transition. Andrew tells her that Thomas came here with the intention to be the Bachelor and he’s a manipulative manipulator. How has he manipulated people? He’s used manipulation. Katie says, “Tell me more.” Katie is, among many things, a messy bitch who lives for drama. She runs off to cry to a producer that she really wanted to perch atop Thomas’s cheekbones and that’s really disappointing.
Tre comes back and Andrew calls him a Buzz Killington for sparking drama and killing the whole vibe. Tre says Katie wanted to know what was going on in the house and Andrew says Katie said to trust her. Well, Katie comes back to the group date after a bit away, crying over Thomas’s cheekbones that she’ll never ride into the sunset. The rest of the guys tell her that they have their concerns but they trust her intuition. Tre gets the group-date rose because a producer said he had to.
Back at the Hyatt Regency Tampon, Katie sits down with Tayshia and learns that someone wants to join her season. Who could it be? Could it be the guy she’s been DMing with for weeks, or could it be literally anyone else? Y’all better keep the same energy you had for Claire and Dale for Katie and Blake if they end up together. Katie is worried that bringing a new mystery guy into the competition is going to damage the relationships she’s already been forging. Kaitlyn should have been there to provide some advice on bringing a multi-appearance contestant into your season. But the advice might have just been, “He’ll just end up being the Bachelor.” So Katie goes to meet Blake … I mean the mystery guy who hasn’t been teased at all in commercials. Blake is VERY attracted to Katie and even though he’s dated two other Bachelorettes, he’s there for the right reasons, because if it doesn’t work out, he’ll look like an idiot. Just what every girl wants to hear. Katie says, “You’re a troublemaker,” which is white girl for “Oh, we fuckin’.”
Katie has to decide what to do about Thomas and Blake and there’s a cocktail party coming up … and a full moon rising over the resort. The contesticles show up for the cocktail party and there’s one salmon jacket missing. Thomas heads over to Katie’s hotel room to clear his name.
Okay, Thomas says a lot of bullshit and he’s very clearly enamored with the sound of his own voice. And we could talk about a lot of what he says. (One of my favorites is he says that Katie is the first person that makes him feel like he doesn’t have to lie and always finds the right thing to say. Very cool that it’s all about you!)
But we gotta GOTTA gotta talk about the fact that Thomas says “de-monsterize.” De-monster-ize. Could you use it in a sentence? “It’s been hard to listen as my integrity and my reputation has been de-monsterized.”
Okay. Wow. Let’s just …okay. So “de-monsterize” implies that the word “monsterize” exists which would mean “to be made like a monster,” I guess? So “de-monsterize” would be to make something not like a monster, so Thomas is using this made-up-as-fuck word completely wrong. You would want your integrity to be de-monsterized, no? To be unlike a monster or a monster’s integrity.
What word was he trying to use? Demonstrative? Demoralize? Denigrate? That one at least kinda makes sense, but he pivoted to “de-monsterize” which is amazing and perfect and I love this stupid show. Katie is not having it and is staring with intensity into the middle distance until Thomas stops speaking. She’s gotta think about it.
It’s after midnight and Thomas returns to the cocktail party, where all the guys are slowly turning into gremlins. Hunter says he doesn’t even know if Thomas had a conversation with Katie and, honestly, would love if Katie was just a shared delusion created by Thomas to lure the other contesticles into a pyramid scheme. Andrew gloats that he knew bringing this up would result in them all losing time, and Aaron says, “What do you want us to do? Bury our heads in the sand!?? Don’t yell at me! Be respectful!” I need Aaron to take it down 200 notches.
Katie finally comes in and says she doesn’t even want to do a fucking cheers. She also says that Thomas says he is ostracized in the house, which causes everyone to lose their goddamn minds. Thomas finds a relaxation room to think of his next move and he Googles “perfect apology for a big group of people that hate you -pdf.”
It’s time for the rose ceremony. Before Katie can start the rose ceremony, Thomas says he would like to openly acknowledge and apologize for his behavior, and Justin hits him with the Daniel Underscore Kaluuya Underscore Oscars Dot GIF. Thomas reads the suggestions for a good apology instead of crafting his own and says, “I acknowledge and apologize for anytime I’ve diminished the value you guys have as men,” as if that fucking means anything.
Uhh … it’s time for the roses?!?!? Hunter, Greg, Brendan, Andrew, Aaron, Mike P., James, Josh, Quartney, and Andrew M. all get roses, and then Katie picks up a rose and asks Thomas to approach her. She then TAKES A STEP BACKWARD and tells him his audition for Bachelor ends now so get out. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAA!! Would thoust like to live deliciously?!!! Inject that shit directly into my goddamn veins. The other guys watching immediately burst into giant smiles and feel something inside themselves awaken that will lead them to Google “strong women mommy punish the bad boys.” I’m very excited for everyone’s browsing history.
Drunk on power, Katie heads to Blake’s hotel room and makes him stand in the hallway naked while she tells him “You can stay” and that she hopes it’s all worth the wait. Then Blake gets locked out of his hotel room. Local Bach 41 is going to go on strike.
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