This episode of The Bachelorette opens with the sounds of birds chirping, according to my closed captioning. And while the birds sing their songs, the men are gossiping about Jaime, the dude who knew someone who saw something in Minneapolis.
“I really did drink his Kool-Aid,” admits one guy.
“His snake actions were his downfall,” concludes another dude.
“Yeah, it just shows that she’s a strong woman right here,” says another man making a totally not scripted observation about the Bachelorette, Michelle.
Meanwhile, Kaitlyn and Michelle are also recapping what happened last week, and how it will inform this week’s story.
“He planted the seed for my character being questioned,” Michelle reminds viewers.
“You’ve cleansed some negative energy!” Kaitlyn exclaims.
“These men are really good at being vulnerable,” agrees Michelle.
Hot Tub Bad Time Machine
Single date time! All of the dudes have been summoned. One guy, Chris S., sits down in a chair and falls over. The other dudes laugh.
“Since day one I’ve really grown my relationship with Michelle,” claims a guy who has never been around Michelle without a camera crew.
Martin, the guy with the frosted tips, gets the one-on-one date. The chorus of men are concerned, because Martin was “very close to Jaime.” Does Martin also know the Minneapolis dude who saw something?
The date opens on a driving course. There’s some promo shots of cars, which are some type of BMWs I’m not gonna pretend to know or care about. Michelle and Martin are going to learn how to drift, and then race against each other. In separate cars. Romance!
Michelle tells Martin that she has drifted in the snow before.
“Sexy car, sexy lady. Just a whole lot of sexy,” says Martin in a voiceover. “It’s working out well.”
Michelle wins the race.
The show segues to a closeup of a cheese plate that has nothing to do with anything. Implied cheese, setting the scene, I guess. Then the camera pans to a giant… steel tub? Like, the kind of thing farmers use to bathe cattle? Michelle and Martin get in like it’s a hot tub. They pop champagne.
The sexiness continues as Martin brings up his “close” buddy Jaime. Martin defends him as a good guy. He is totally team bros before hoes. Michelle looks annoyed, as she should. This hot tub cheese session is over!
Dinner time! There’s a shot of red and white wines. This date is out of wine sync!
While they’re at their fake dinner, Martin talks about growing up with toxic masculinity, and he explains that he’s learning not to be a total dick. He and Michelle bond over being scared to show emotions. He gets the rose, ew. They get up from their untouched plates of food and wander to a nearby… observatory? It’s a little unclear. The date ends with them making out next to a giant telescope.
Minnesota Factor: Michelle’s drifting joke is very Minnesota, and the Minneapolis man who saw something is kinda still haunting the show, but I’m not going to count any of this toward our tally. 0 / 10,000 lakes
The Historic Battle of the Teddy Bears, 2021 AD
Group date time! The guys are given a variety of different pajamas to wear. One guy is gifted a pair of tighty whities and a button down work shirt. The crew makes him film a super awkward recreation of that one scene from Risky Business, a movie that came out in 1983. Does anyone under 40 know about that movie?
The group date is a “slumber party” type… thing. There’s Twister, a cotton candy machine, and some pizza that looks like it’s been sitting out for a few hours. The guys are super into it. They’re putting on face masks, firing up the foot spa machines, and organizing a game of Duck Duck Goose. (They should know it’s GRAY duck for Michelle, fools!)
Michelle is sad because they are all acting like overstimulated puppies in a room full of stuff to do.
“I didn’t prepare myself to not be seen,” explains Michelle about why she’s bummed.
Next two WWE stars (the Bella Twins) arrive and tell the men to grab a giant bear, because they’re going to be forming two teams where guys will beat each other with stuffed animals in one-on-one square offs. The team that wins the most battles gets to go to the cocktail party afterward.
“I am gonna wack the shit out of somebody with this bear!” voiceovers some dude.
“I’m not going to cry,” warns Michelle to herself, still in bummer mode.
The guys proceed to take turns swatting each other with giant stuffed bears. One team wins.
“Where’s the trophy?” someone says as the camera zooms in on Michelle, who is now feeling even more bummed.
“I’m hurt and I wanna figure that out,” Michelle narrates to Kaitlyn. “People aren’t making small moments.”
Meanwhile, the guys are congratulating themselves and talking each other up.
“I think we have the strongest people we can ask for!” one dude toasts.
Michelle joins the gang, and explains that she was sad today watching them beat each other with teddy bears. The dudes look crestfallen. Oh, buddies.
Michelle flashes back to her childhood, explaining that she was always the token black person at school and often felt “unseen” growing up. Her story brings Olu to tears.
“Shit! This is her time to find what she truly wants,” says Olu to the other guys after she leaves the room.
The group reflects on their behavior and questions whether or not they’re being overly competitive on this dating show competition they’re on. Then there’s a montage of apologies from the guys during their one-on-one moments with Michelle.
Olu, still crying, tells Michelle that she is seen, and that he relates deeply to what she said as he grew up with four sisters who often faced the same struggles. It’s actually a very sweet moment. Michelle thanks him. Olu gets the date rose, of course.
Minnesota Factor: Nada! 0 / 10,000 lakes
Another Guy Talks About His Dead Parent on the First Date
It’s time for Rick’s one-on-one. For those who don’t remember, Rick was the dude who spent the first episode with his head on a plate.
Their date is hella boring. They go up a mountain in a cable car. They walk around a forest and sniff trees. One apparently smells like butterscotch. Rick mentions that his dad is dead. Good times. They sit on a log and hold champagne flutes.
“I’m connecting on a deeper level than I thought I could in a few hours,” Rick tells us in an interview.
Next, they do another one of those dinner dates where they sit at a table full of drinks and untouched food. Michelle tells Rick that it was nice to have a normal day. You know, the kind of day where you cable up a mountain and just walk around a forest with a camera crew and pretend to day drink. Relatable!
Rick brings up his dead dad again. Michelle tells him that she is willing to listen to whatever he is willing to share with her (and the camera crew and the millions of people at home).
The story: When he was 17 he saw a text on his dad’s phone from a woman. Turns out he was having an affair. His mom divorced him. Then he died ten years later. That sucks, man.
“I can’t rule out the fact that I could be falling in love with you,” Rick tells Michelle. He talks about his gut for a bit, then he concludes that he does love her, in fact. She kind of stares at him. I’m pretty sure she can’t react. Like, contractually she can’t react, because that would ruin the premise of the show.
“Michelle has changed me in many ways,” says Rick of their first one-on-one date.
He gets the rose.
They end their date in the worst way possible: with a concert. Some band performs a song that sounds like a car commercial.
“This is a guy who is here for the right reasons,” says Michelle. “He’s proof that the process is working.” Ah yes. Every Bachelor/ette says something like this at least once per season, speaking of contractual obligations. Hard evidence!
Minnesota Factor: C’mon, Minnesota! Get back in the game! 0 / 10,000 lakes
Chair Guy: A New Villain Emerges
With Jaime and Pizza Pete gone, Chris S. has been cast as the new douchebag. He starts off the cocktail hour shaming the guys, in front of Michelle, for making her feel bad during the teddy bear fight.
“He is just saying stuff and we’re like, ‘What is happening?’” one dude, uh, exposits.
Chris S. explains to Michelle in a one-on-one that some guys think they have things “in the bag.” He mentions Nayte as someone who is too confident. Chris S. makes a weird mouth gesture like he wants to go in for a kiss but stops himself because she clearly doesn’t want him to.
“I wanna make it clear that no one has it ‘in the bag,’” Michelle tells Nayte on his one-on-one moment. “In the bag” is the new “questioning my character,” apparently.
“There’s been a hiccup in the trajectory of our journey,” says Nayte (yes, that is actually how he spells his name, by the way) in an interview.
When Nayte comes back to the cocktail party he decides to have a one-on-one with Chris S. They fight over the definition of the word “probed.”
“I’m not doing your homework!” Chris S. tells him, before mentioning that he is worried that Nayte is going to touch him. The show made it seem like there might be a physical fight this episode, but it’s really just one dude calmly asking the other to stop gesturing so much with his hands.
“I came in on my white horse and I saved her from the castle she’s been stuck in,” Chris S. claims in an interview. Dude, calm down. You can’t even sit down in a chair.
Nayte tells the other guys that Chris S. is a “dweeb.”
“He’s a rat, a snake, a crocodile–basically every reptile out there,” one dude concludes about Chris S. Someone get that guy a taxonomy book.
At the rose ceremony Nayte and Chris S. make it through to the next round. Big Will, last week’s Top Gun jacket winner, does not get a rose. Some guy with a beard and some other guy I literally have no memory of are also asked to journey elsewhere.
Afterward, Michelle has an announcement to make: They’re all headed to Minnesota, baby!
“You’re gonna see where I grew up!” Michelle exclaims. Oh good. She has shared so many good memories, so far.
Minnesota Factor: I’m going to give this segment one lake, because you are getting my hopes up, Michelle. Let’s get back to town! 1 / 10,000 lakes
Next week: Viking stuff! Twins stuff! Swimming in a lake! Even more crying!