The Bachelorette: The saga of Shawn B. vs. Nick V. continues
After the obligatory postmortem on last week's episode, Week 7 of The Bachelorette got off to a strong start with the continuation of last week's cliffhanger — Shawn confronting Kaitlyn about her feelings.
"Are you in love with me?" Yes. Oh, wait, you weren't talking to me. Carry on.
He finds it so hard to fall in love with someone who is dating a harem of other dudes, and it is hard watching her give someone else a rose, and he's having a very hard time with this, and good heavens, man! Bless the gutter-brained soul who edited that clip.
Tormented over betraying Shawn's trust by sleeping with Nick, she does the only logical thing to assuage her guilt: make out with him. 'Cause, duh.
After roughly seven minutes of beleaguered sighs, some light petting and confessional moments during which Kaitlyn liberally uses the words "difficult" and "awful," Shawn admits he doesn't know if he can do this.
Hey now, hoss. Just hold up a minute. Do you really want to be responsible for breaking
everyone in the free world's Kaitlyn's heart?
We begin the next morning with a gratuitous dramatic moment of solidarity as Kaitlyn considers the events leading up to her tense conversation with Shawn. "Shawn ends up having a meltdown, and it just all goes to shit." Well, that's one way of putting it.
Meanwhile, sneaky little Benedict Arnold, er, Benedict Tanner, er, Tanner is creeping around the castle courtyard with Nick V-is-for-villain. Really, Tanner? You're better than this.
But enough of that, because we've got a two-on-one date to go on! JJ says it is the biggest day of his recent life. Or, in other words, since he broke up with his man-friend two weeks ago and sobbed man tears into a shrub on national television.
That was a day for the scrapbook, my friends.
He feels confident, though, that Joe isn't a threat. In fact, he has a solid game plan going in to score the coveted solitary two-on-one date rose: Tell Kaitlyn about
that time he killed a man the worst thing he has even done.
Somewhere in the world, Clint holds a lonely fist pump to the sky and whispers, "Villains gotta vill."
In other news, JJ just won a role in the sequel to the hit 2003 rom-com How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days. Accordingly, it will be called How to Lose a Girl in 10 Dates. Subtitle: Pump the Brakes, Dude.
Arriving at an island called Ireland's Eye, the three head toward an awkwardly romantic picnic for three setup. This could go one of three ways: No. 1, super boring; No. 2, super dramatic; or, uh, No. 3, a three-way. Alas, Eyes Wide Shut fans, this date went down in No. 1 fashion.
As Joe excuses him and Kaitlyn for some private time, JJ quips, "Don't do anything I wouldn't do, buddy." But since JJ fessed up to popping the back zits of another contestant, it seems safe to say there's not much this guy wouldn't do. So he basically just gave Joe carte blanche to do whatever he wants.
During his alone time with Kaitlyn, Joe tells her he's falling in love with her and, despite his Bart Simpson hair, I can't help but think he's adorable, gosh darn it — even if every time he talks to Nick, I pretend he's saying, "Eat my shorts."
JJ asks if he can borrow Kaitlyn, and he comes in hot with "the worst of him." Amazingly, it's never-before-seen footage.
"So, I don't know where to begin, but the simple explanation is three years ago I cheated on my wife. I made the mistake that has basically destroyed my life."
In this moment, I wish The Bachelorette were like Pop-Up Video circa 1997, and a helpful little information bubble would fill me in on whether that 3-year-old of his was the byproduct of the affair three years ago.
Kaitlyn thanks him for his candor, but says, "I'm not gonna lie — that is my biggest fear in a relationship." Sayeth the woman dating eight men.
JJ is just amazed that Kaitlyn didn't tell him to go walk the plank. Apparently, we missed the plot twist where Kaitlyn became a pirate. Perhaps it was lost in translation somewhere between the men transitioning from sumo wrestlers to mariachi singers.
Kaitlyn does make JJ walk the proverbial plank, though, when she chooses Joe over him. She's crying. He's crying. Oh, no. No, he isn't. "I totally didn't expect to be standing here right now... I just really want to find someone special. I want to share my life with him. I want a partner in crime."
Kaitlyn decides to switch things up and play hard to get for a minute, so she withholds the rose from Joe until they can spend some more time together. And, c'mon, he's cute, y'all. Who can resist a Southern accent? Plus, how sweet is it that he lifted Kaitlyn's spirits?
In a moment that I'd probably consider far creepier if he didn't look like Ryan Gosling and Calvin Harris' love child, Shawn is pacing about the courtyard in the dark, still stressing about the mysterious "off-camera" moment they shared last week in San Antonio.
"There was a moment when Kaitlyn looked at me and said, 'It's you. I think you're the one.'" Rein it in, Shawn — no one likes a guy who Snapchats and tells.
Suffering from an acute case of "I've forgotten how the show I auditioned for actually works," Shawn frets that the more time Kaitlyn spends with other guys, the more likely it is he'll lose her. That's generally the gist of it, big guy.
After Joe gets back and the other guys ask how things went, he tells them he's falling in love with the girl. Shawn gets up and leaves the room. And he's never coming back.
J/k, j/k. But it was dramatic. He heads up to Kaitlyn's room for the second night in a row, and even I have to admit this seems a little unfair to all the other brother husbands.
Kaitlyn is in a mid-camera confessional cry sesh when the producers tell her Shawn is on the way up, and she's obviously super enthused. There it is, ladies and gents, the look of love.
With every passing minute in anticipation of Shawn's arrival, Kaitlyn unravels a little more. "I'm worried Shawn knows what happened with Nick."
"Shawn's going to tell me he doesn't want to be here because of the mistake I made. I'm so frustrated right now."
"I don't need anything else today. I can't. I can't. I'm freaking out. I don't want to go through this."
Sheesh, all right already. This is exhausting. Who sponsored this episode? Kleenex? Maybelline? I haven't seen makeup smudge so beautifully since Lauren Conrad and Audrina Patridge de-BFFed.
In a move I like to call "cry when a cop pulls you over," Kaitlyn pulls the oldest trick in the book by issuing a preemptive strike — she's been crying her eyes out all day and she couldn't sleep last night. What, like he's going to dump her now? Smooth move, K. Smooth move.
Shawn softens up and tells her that it was difficult for him to see her with the other guys after she told him that thing she told him. Off camera. Remember, Kaitlyn? That thing you said? This is starting to feel strangely reminiscent of one of those shows where an undercover cop is trying to catch someone in a lie.
Having said that, if Shawn needs to be checked for a wire, I volunteer as tribute.
Later, Kaitlyn kicks things off at the cocktail party by confusing the everliving heck out of the guys with a speech about the mistakes she has made and the tough week she has had. Naturally, every single guy becomes irrationally paranoid.
Nick, who is proving more and more to be the guy that cannot resist filling any silence with awkward conversation, is all like, "Yeah, no, I don't know what mistakes she's talking about either." But the way his eyebrows arch is a dead giveaway that mentally he's saying, "Bow-chicka-bow-wow."
Ben Z. is the first to steal some alone time, and not a moment too soon. Show of hands: Who's been missing screen time with Ben Z.? *cue raised hands of every woman in
America the world*
Next up is adorable Ben H., who takes Kaitlyn into a huge library. The only thing that could make the moment more perfect is if she were wearing a yellow ball gown and a teapot popped out of the cupboard and started singing, "Tale as old as time, true as it can be...."
But alas, this is no fairy tale. Ben H. has a serious bone to pick with Kaitlyn. In a moment that is equal parts revealing and puzzling, Ben H. tells Kaitlyn that he knows she told Shawn something special while he was in the shower.
I'll give you a minute to dwell on the shower imagery. See also: producers and camera people, get your lives together. Ben H. was in the shower, and we have no cinematic evidence? You have failed the American public in this moment.
Aaaand moving on. So last week, when Shawn said he and Kaitlyn spent the whole night together and she told him he was the one, Ben H. was with them the whole time? And, Kaitlyn confessed her love for Shawn in the span of time Ben H. was in the bathroom? That must've been some shower.
He wants to know he isn't just spinning his wheels, and Kaitlyn tearfully assures him he isn't.
Back in the room with all the other suitors, Nick is still talking about the great date he had with Kaitlyn. "When I think about it, I probably spent the most time with her." Yes, that will make them like you more in this moment.
Then, during he and Kaitlyn's alone time, he gets super defensive when she asks him not to discuss their alone time around the other guys. "I didn't say it was romantic. I didn't say it was intimate. I didn't say it was passionate. I didn't say any of that."
May it please the Court, I'd like to refer to the transcripts of said alleged conversation. And I quoteth, "The date with Kaitlyn was great... it was a kind of romantic setting. She said do you want to go back to my suite... It was intimate. It was really personal."
Kaitlyn starts to bristle when Nick gets defensive so, in a surprise reverse move, he busts out the ol' "cry when a cop pulls you over" move, too. And those were some impressively legit crocodile tears, y'all.
Next, during her one-on-one time with Shawn, he apologizes for putting so much pressure on her. She tells him she regrets telling him what she did and, let's be real, looks over it.
They decide to take a few steps backward, and I don't think she's talking about the two-step anymore. Although one can't be sure. I was confused for most of this episode.
She and Chris Harrison have their ritualistic pre-rose ceremony pow-wow, and she tells him she knows what she needs to do. I'm not sure who is sweatier in this moment: Shawn B. or me.
The first two roses go out to Ben H. and Chris. Left vying for the final rose are Shawn, Tanner and Ben Z. She calls Shawn.
Yay, Shawn! No, wait. What just happened? Does this seriously mean Ben Z. is going home? Can we get a do-over? You mean to tell me Chris got a rose over Ben Z.? This world is not right.
He, who never cries, gets emotional, saying his mom would have liked Kaitlyn and that he is looking for forever love. D'awwwww. No, I'm not crying. I'm cutting onions. In a field of allergens. And I got a speck of dirt in my eye.
On the plus side, he can finally drop that "Z" and start going by just "Ben" again. See also: We can officially launch our campaign to make him the next Bachelor. Please and thank you.
Kaitlyn informs the remaining guys that they will all be heading to Blarney, but she only asks Jared to join her in her car. Likely because he is the only one tiny enough to fit into it with her.
On the bus the other guys have to take together, Shawn makes an attempt at a civil conversation with Nick. Nick is having none of it. Who needs casual conversation anyway when your hair has so many secrets to keep you company?
Shortly after, the other guys are giving a sleeping Shawn the stink eye for snorting. Whatevs, homies. Give the man a Breathe Right strip. He's still fine as hell.
After narrowly surviving Kaitlyn's comically bad driving skills, she and Jared arrive at Blarney Castle to kiss the Blarney Stone. Which, FYI, vandals are known to pee on. 'Cause what says romance more than putting your lips on public urination? Kinda gives new meaning to the expression "potty mouth."
As the other guys arrive and head in, Chris muses that the beautiful building is what his soul looks like. Weird, I pictured it looking like Funfetti cake.
Determined to actually make good on his promise of the most dramatic season yet, Chris Harrison pops in to inform Kaitlyn that since she has had "off-camera" time with some of the guys, she should get off-camera time with all of them. Hence, he switches the intimate, exotic dates with hometown visits.
So, basically, Chris Harrison thinks she should bone everyone before she meets their moms. Solid.
The catch here is that Kaitlyn has to send three guys home this week. He encourages her to cut anyone loose she can't see a future with. When she almost immediately asks Chris on a date, well, we all know we're about to bid adieu to the Cupcake mobile.
After a few lukewarm kisses, the two fly off in a helicop — um, is that a fake deer? Really, guys? You've got it in the budget to rent a castle, but you can't spring from some real wildlife? Smh.
They land on a scenic moor high atop a cliff, and Kaitlyn notes that it is the most peaceful place she's ever been. But, give it five minutes.
She starts crying, calls him the good-on-paper guy and tells him that ultimately she doesn't see them together. She hugs him and then bails, leaving him standing on a cliff. Alone. And devastated.
This was not well thought out.
As Chris sobs hysterical man tears into his scarf, he says, "It feels as bad as it looks." Oof. It looks pretty bad, brother. "Just looking at her, she's a mess." Only later will the full irony of this statement dawn on you, Chris.
Next week, also known as the episode we thought we'd be watching this week, Kaitlyn finally really seriously tells the other suitors about her tryst with Nick, you guys. It's gonna be a real ball-buster.
More on this season of The Bachelorette
All images: ABC