This week of The Bachelorette begins with Kaitlyn Bristowe mourning the loss of Cupcake, who she dumped and left stranded on the edge of a cliff.
Kentucky Joe is pretty broken up about it, too. And while I’m not doubting Cupcake was super sweet, his full Mesnick, sobbing into a scarf meltdown is still etched into my retinas.
As Kaitlyn walks around a scenic courtyard in Killarney (yes, they are still in Ireland — apparently part of the fantasy this season includes work visas), she decides it is time to get really honest with the guys. As opposed to…? C’mon, you’re making this too easy for us.
Back at the hotel, Ben H. — who, per his norm, is gosh darn adorable — gets the first date card of the week, saying, “Let’s make today unforgettable.”
Which is apparently code for “make you paddle me across a gigantic lake in the frigid wind to hang out on an island quite possibly inhabited by denizens of the undead.”
Still, Ben’s a good sport about it, even when she starts her time-honored tradition of talking about all of the dudes she isn’t actually on a date with to the guy she is with. “I want to support her when she does care deeply about people. I don’t want her to brush those things off. I want her to feel the real emotions that she’s experiencing, and I want to be there to help her.” Told you — adorable.
After they arrive at the island, no thanks to Kaitlyn, the non-committal paddler, Ben decides (a) Vikings must have lived here and (b) it would be super fun to play hide-and-seek. Admittedly, my first thought is this is either headed straight for horror movie territory or a low-budget porno.
Happily (I think?), neither is the case — yet. Instead, they sit on a park bench to discuss what makes someone spouse material. For Ben H., it’s someone who is hot, which he insists, “You kill that one, babe,” and someone who brings him joy and makes him better.
For Kaitlyn, it’s someone who won’t bail when she’s being a major B — her words, not mine. OK, well kinda mine, too. “I didn’t think that was an option,” says Ben H., and every woman in America melts into a puddle of gloopy googly-eyed goo.
Later, the pair head inside to sit by the fire, have a few cocktails and talk about losing their virginity. Wait, what?
It all started with Ben admitting he is worried he is unlovable, which Kaitlyn found just as laughable a notion as the rest of us. What she found less laughable, however, was the fact that Ben said he didn’t want his overnight date to be all about sex.
You can literally hear the screeching of Kailtyn’s mental brakes during this moment.
Since obviously there must be something awry about a dude not wanting to sleep with her on their third date, Kaitlyn straight up asks Ben if he’s a virgin. Could he be this season’s Becca Tilley?
Nope. This sweet little dude long ago lost his V card. He was just trying to be respectful and chivalrous. the nerve of some men! Now that that’s cleared up, cue copious amounts of making out. ‘Cause, not virgins.
At the hotel, the “group date” card arrives. And by group date, I clearly mean an extremely awkward and uncomfortable three-on-one.
Jared reads the date card, which invites Kentucky Joe, Shawn and Nick V-is-for-villain out to run a-muck with Kaitlyn. Mass confusion ensues as the guys try to make heads-or-tails of the phrasing “a-muck.” Shawn guesses they’ll be getting dirty. Nick says he doesn’t know Irish stuff. Jared posits that “amok” means chaos.
And I’m over here like:
When date day actually arrives, Kaitlyn tells the boys, “I have a nice little day planned for us.” In a surprise twist, this means they will be — wait for it — hanging out on park benches.
I’m starting to think ABC blew its production money for dates on the soap-opera style musical scores that now play during every dramatic scene.
Shawn steals Kaitlyn away from their
super awkward cozy park bench first, saying he is ready to get things back on track. “I’ve missed you a lot,” Kaitlyn tells him.
She laments that the last time they saw each other was the first time they hadn’t made out, which is normally kind of a strange thing to say to someone you only met a month and a half ago. “No more of that nonsense,” she jokes. Cue loud kissing.
But right as Kaitlyn breaks off their makeout session to tell Shawn about her tryst with Nick, the devil himself pops into the picture to steal Kaitlyn away. The moment between the guys is alarmingly civil, possibly due to the sheer weirdness of realizing they shop at the same lumberjack-boot-and-skinny-jeans boutique.
First things first, Kaitlyn asks Nick how he felt about “what happened” after their date the other night. “I don’t know why I feel like that was just fast.” Um, because it was fast. Crazy how that works.
Nick’s all, “I feel good about it?” And hey, you have to give the guy some credit for not trying to hide the fact that he’s super psyched he bangered her mash in Ireland. *Tee-hee*
He then tells her he is falling in love with her — after she tells him to. At least that’s what I think he said. His hand is covering his mouth so much, I’m 67 percent convinced he is either a voice-thrower or — maybe more likely? — a dummy in a traveling ventriloquism troupe.
Kaitlyn buys the spiel, though, so the two do the only logical thing to cement this magical moment shared on a three-on-one-date shortly after kissing another dude: make out.
At long last, Joe snags some alone time with Kaitlyn, too. After much prodding on her part to drag out Joe’s feelings about being engaged and the potential permanence of their relationship, he confesses, “I’m in love with you, baby, but I don’t think there is any denying that.”
Sweet little Kentucky Joe feels great in the moment “to be able to tell the girl I love that I love her.” Oof. Give it a minute, man.
That face says it all. As does Kaitlyn’s comment, “Hearing he loved me was flattering.” Ouch. She then tries to
decimate Joe by telling him she needed him to open up and fall in love with her and tell her those deeply personal things so she would know where she stands.
I think Joe’s face says it best — welp.
Although, I’m also partial to the dead eyes he displays in this frame.
He is obviously deeply hurt, so Kaitlyn takes the opportunity to try to get him to express his feelings. “I’m not saying shit to you right now,” he responds. And, seriously, is that so wrong? Give the man a hot Kentucky minute, will ya?
Then, he says the thing we’ve all been thinking, “What am I supposed to do now?” No, seriously. How the f*** do I get off this island?! Thank you, Joe. Thank you for being a voice for us voiceless masses.
In a less than classy moment, Kaitlyn returns to the park benches to give Nick and Shawn a play-by-play of what went down with Joe. This is the face she uses when describing how a man she “cares deeply” about told her he loved her.
Two words, Kaitlyn: no bueno. To quote Nick, you’re “a cool chick” and all, but sometimes I just want to shake you vigorously a little. Next, Kaitlyn sends Nick back to the hotel, and he is none too happy about it. He gives Ben and Jared the postmortem on their three-on-one, which mostly includes whining about not having had nearly as much time with Kaitlyn as the rest of the guys.
Guy, get real. You’ve been inside of the woman, for Gollum’s sake. Later that evening, Shawn meets Kaitlyn at a bar so they can spend some time together. Little does Shawn know that this is code for “I need to tell you I nailed another guy.”
After roughly three minutes of my life I will never get back, Kaitlyn finally manages to spit out the truth.
After roughly three more minutes, Shawn manages to respond with a fully formed sentence. Said sentence being, “I just need to go to the bathroom and regroup.” ‘Cause everyone knows the best soul-searching comes when you’re sittin’ on the can.
Whilst in the bathroom, Shawn is heard saying, “I’m so tense I can’t even take a piss.” Wait, who is he talking to? Are there, like, producers in there with him? This show gets more bizarre by the minute.
Meanwhile, back at the hotel, Nick is still bitching about not getting as much time as the rest of the suitors. Yes, it’s called math — you came in halfway through the season.
Back on the date/bomb detonation, Shawn takes the news surprisingly well, telling Kaitlyn he is going to man up and deal with it since he thinks she’s worth it. It would be cute if he wasn’t feeling like such a creeper these past two weeks.
Later, as the guys anxiously await the cocktail party, Chris Harrison pops in to drop a bomb of his own — there will be no cocktail party. Such a fun guy, that one.
At the rose ceremony, she calls Shawn’s name first. At which point he utters the six most hated words in the English language: “I need to talk to you.” Ruh roh, Shaggy.
Basically, he still has doubts. He doesn’t like Nick. Blah, blah, blah. Even I — who has adored Calvin Gosling since day one — have grown tired of this song and dance. Did I mention I missed Shark Week for this? For shame.
But after Kaitlyn clears things up by telling him she is here to explore “other” relationships, Shawn accepts the rose. So do Ben H. and Nick, respectively, which means Jared and his endearingly patchy facial hair will be on the first flight back to the continental U.S.
In what is very likely the classiest breakup ever, Jared offers Kaitlyn his coat to keep warm, tells her he wants her to be happy and urges her to find the man of her dreams because she deserves it. If this is an audition to be the next Bachelor, you’ve got my vote, buddy.
The next day, Kaitlyn embarks on her overnight date with Nick. She wants to figure out if there is more to their relationship than sex, so they head into a church. Hint: Probably not the best place to take that gamble.
After Nick tells her a
highly unlikely touching story about how his parents met in a church, Kaitlyn muses that their relationship isn’t just physical — it’s spiritual, too. Someone should probably tell her “nearly making babies in a church” is not the same thing as spiritual. Afterward, at a local pub, Nick regales her with stories of his first confession. About touching private parts.
Uh, I’ve got nothing.
When a bunch of burly old Irish dudes join them, Kaitlyn says, “These locals, I have no idea what they’re saying sometimes.” Which, coincidentally, pretty much sums up how I’ve felt this entire season.
One Irish dude, who’s been married for 36 years, says the secret to long-lasting happiness is trust. “That makes sense,” says Nick. He said trust, Nick. Trust. Not lust.
They decide to round out the world’s most unsexy date with a trip to an old jail.
There, Nick is stricken with a sudden and severe case of verbal diarrhea. “I don’t respect people who brag about being Eskimo brothers with famous country singers because they f***ed the same girl on the same night.”
First and foremost, I’m going to need someone to explain to me what an Eskimo brother is. Secondly, while we’re at it, can we just leave the poor Eskimos out of this? Kaitlyn brushes it off, though, and is bubbly enough by the end of the night to prank Nick into thinking they’ll be bunking in a musty old jail cell.
He’s all, “Super!” Because, let’s be honest, he’d do it anywhere. Which is pretty obvious when he says, “I’ll do this anywhere.” Happily for him, they soon head to a swanky fantasy suite to bang, er, I mean bond.
The next morning, they argue over the merits of real bacon versus Canadian bacon. And I’ll confess, the appeal of shirtless Nick is much less mysterious than the appeal of regular Nick. Maybe this should be his new look.
According to Kaitlyn, the two stayed up all night on the couch talking and having a lot of chocolate. Sub “sex” for “chocolate,” and you get the truth. Voilá!
The next morning, Shawn is seen pacing in his room before dialing the operator to ask for “the room number of Nick Viall.” Dear God, please let the pronunciation of Nick’s last name be vile, as Shawn says it, ’cause that would be super.
In Nick’s room, Shawn comes in hot. “You’re manipulative. You’re arrogant. You’re cocky.” To which Nick basically responds, “I’m rubber, and you’re glue, whatever you say bounces off of me and sticks back onto you.”
We are obviously dealing with two incredibly evolved adults.
Before we get to see if the confrontation comes to blows, though, we’re slapped with a big ol’ “To Be Continued…” screen. And, interestingly, I’m just happy this week’s cliffhanger didn’t actually involve a man on a cliff.
Next week, the tension between Nick and Shawn continues to mount. At this rate, I fully expect they’ll whip out their wieners and use them like light sabers to duel to the death before the season is over. In other words, stay tuned.