Hello, Bachelor fam, and welcome back to your regularly scheduled Bachelorette recap! Yes, it’s the day after July 4th and, yes, ABC had the audacity to air a new episode while their audience is violently hungover. It’s fine. I’m only having to pause the episode every three seconds to pray for death and chug my Gatorade. IT’S FINE.
What Do We Really Know About Blake?
Going into this week, Blake’s sudden entrance into the house is still a massive storyline. If you’ll recall, Blake scored the final rose at last week’s rose ceremony despite the fact that 1) he was not present at the actual rose ceremony, and 2) he received his rose whilst wearing nothing but a retainer and his underoos, like a seventh grade boy before he crank calls his math teacher. To each their own, Katie, I suppose.
Katie is worried that the men won’t take the news well and goes to host Kaitlyn for advice. Kaitlyn had a similar experience during her own season of The Bachelorette when she severed the Bachelor Mansion’s magical wards and let an evil spirit slither into the house in the form of Nick Viall. They both shrug and laugh like, what’s the worst that could happen lol? And I think they’re forgetting what a scourge on this earth Nick’s time on the franchise was. Do we not remember how ABC held us hostage while Nick terrorized our television screens for four different seasons of this godforsaken franchise? I still have nightmares about him licking his lips in those chunky knit turtlenecks. That’s the worst that could happen!!
Katie decides that the best way to deliver the news is gently, with great care and respect for all the parties involved. So, she gives Blake gets the first one-on-one date of the week and tells the guys not to worry, there’s just some “great chemistry there” that she wants to explore. Katie! Talk about shooting a man’s horse! Look, I’m not going to tell you how to do your job, but this crowd that looks like at minimum they each drink 12 scoops of pre-workout a day. Their nerves are so frayed they’d jump that lamp if Katie expressed too much interest in it.
On that note, Katie takes Blake for a romantic horseback ride. It’s all fine and good but I literally cannot stop thinking about Blake’s job description. His bio reads “wildlife advocate” which is a vague and meaningless title that at the very least suggests he’s an animal person, AND YET, this big wilderness guy cannot get that damn horse to heel to him for him. He’s like, “how do I make it go??” How do you make it go? What are you, a 16-year-old girl crying through her dad’s lesson on driving stick shift? I thought this was your profession! Horses are like, the most domesticated wildlife out there! He looks about as comfortable with the wildlife as I do trying to fill out a W2 form.
I was so disturbed at how bad he is with animals that I even looked him up on Instagram to see if I could glean some more details on his job title and, let me tell you, it’s suspect at best. There are several selfies of him posing with various wild animals but all the images look cropped and are mostly up-close shots. What are we cropping out, Blake? It makes me wonder that if the full frame of these photos would reveal that he’s actually handling these animals under the supervision of a petting zoo. Like, are you a wildlife advocate or do you just occasionally donate money to your local humane society? What is the truth? And what else have you been lying about, Blake? If that’s even your real name!
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You be the judge…
I’ve been struggling to understand Katie’s immediate connection with Blake. As I’ve said before, Blake just doesn’t do it for me. And by “do it for me” I mean every time he speaks, my libido physically shrivels up and dies. But they do seem very into each other. Conversation flows between the two of them in a way that’s sort of unnatural for a first date. At dinner he asks Katie about her journey to sex positivity, and I think I get his appeal even more. Once again, Katie rehashes her traumatic nonconsensual sexual experience and Blake handles it well. I’m sure he wasn’t at all expecting her to launch into that kind of deeply personal territory, but he just goes with it in a way that feels genuine and supportive.
And it works! By the end of the date they’re making out on an abandoned dance floor while a band, that looks like they would pull a Jennifer’s Body and sacrifice a high school cheerleader for this not to be the make-or-break moment of their career, strums along in the background. All is right in The Bachelorette universe.
A Brief Break In Your Programming To Gush About Andrew S
Andrew S gets the other one-on-one date of the week, and I could not be more pleased. I’ll admit, when Andrew first graced our television screens and his immediate play to enter the house was to lie his ass off to Katie with that fake English accent, I was almost certain I would hate everything about this guy. But week after week he continues to impress me. When the Thomas situation last week had the rest of the guys in the house acting less like romantic, supportive partners and more like angry TV dads in a sitcom about teenage daughters dating, Andrew was the only one to suggest that Katie is a grown-ass woman who can make her own decisions about the men she chooses to spend her time with. We love to see it. He’s just consistently non-dramatic and it’s refreshing to say the least.
Also, that smile:
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That being said, their date is trash. I’m not sure who planned this excursion (and I’m using that term loosely here) but Andrew deserved so much better. While Blake got a scenic horseback ride and a romantic picnic, Andrew is tasked with answering riddles hanging from a tree like he’s an extra in Pocahontas and this is Mother freaking Willow. Twinkle lights don’t make this a romantic date, ABC!
At least Andrew is a good sport about all of this. He answers all of the tree’s riddles, even the ones that force him to pretend he finds Katie’s dance moves sexy. They both seem to think they have a lot in common, even if the only thing they’ve agreed upon thus far is that they don’t hate Sundays and both like brunch. Can you imagine if one of them admitted that they hated brunch? How un-American.
ANDREW: I’m so glad we’re doing this, I’m finding out we both have so much in common!
WHAT THEY HAVE IN COMMON:
Honestly, I’ve made a relationship work off of less.
During the dinner/drinks portion of the evening, their connection seems to deepen even more. Andrew opens up about his strained relationship with his dad and his past struggles in interracial relationships. When he talked about how his ex was hesitant to have children with him because she wasn’t sure she wanted mixed children, my heart actually broke for him. Okay, Andrew is my favorite. I don’t even want him for Katie, I want him for me. Andrew, if you’re reading this, I am reading every single one of my DMs and would answer literally anything you sent me even if it’s only emojis.
There’s No Crying In Bash Ball
Shortly after Katie announces Blake’s arrival in the house, she decides to test the tenuous grasp the men have over their own emotions by hosting a group date disguised as an athletic thunderdome. Smart. Clearly, she’s choosing not to pick up on any of the palpable hostility in the house. Katie, is it really in your best interest to throw a bunch of guys whose diets consist of red meat and protein powder into a televised Greek gladiator games? Hmm? Think about it.
Of course, ABC can’t come right out and call it that. No, this is Bash Ball, a totally-not-made-up game that appears to be a distorted version of both rugby and basketball that has two main purposes: to humiliate and to maim. The humiliation aspect comes when the men are forced to don wrestling uniforms with shocking hem lengths and Katie’s name all but bedazzled on their asses. I’ve seen less revealing workout sets in the clearance section of a Bebe. Michael in particular looks scandalized at how he’s going to explain to his young children that daddy showing his nipples on live television is somehow a noble quest for love. Good luck with that, buddy.
Then there’s the intent to maim. Every season ABC awards the most bloodthirsty of producers for coming up with some demented sports situation that results in bodily harm and outs at least five of the contestants as sociopathic. This season is no different. Perhaps no one has revealed their true self more than Hunter. The bloodlust radiating off of him on this field right now is absolutely astonishing. He looks like the type who psyched himself up in the locker room by pounding raw eggs and and violently masturbating to Braveheart.
HUNTER PREPPING FOR THIS GROUP DATE:
And what do you know? Hunter is the first to draw blood on the field when he tackles the sh*t out of Virgin Mike and practically bathes in his blood, he’s so high off the carnage. This results in the rest of the men losing all semblance of self-control and launching into uncoordinated attacks all over the damn field. At one point Single Dad Michael gets injured. It’s a harrowing moment in which a man who survived the death of his spouse is curled in the fetal position, shaking uncontrollably and looking like he might vomit into the grass, as production has the audacity to zoom in on his ass to emphasize the bedazzled hearts on his uniform. Jesus Christ, ABC. Show some respect!
It turns out Michael is fine—he’s not hurt, he’s just above the age of 26! But Katie still calls off the game and invites everyone to the cocktail portion of the date. While the rest of the guys look humbled by their behavior on the field, especially after Michael reveals that today is his dead wife’s birthday and instead of grieving privately, production has gussied him up in a slutty wrestler’s costume and then let loose a hoard of men on him who suffer from anger management issues. Greg is openly sobbing by the time Michael is done speaking. Meanwhile, Hunter is manically rubbing his hands together and is like, “yeah today was fun wasn’t it?”
What’s crazy is how Katie doesn’t see any of this. Though he comes off as overly aggressive and cocky towards the men, he uses the opposite strategy with Katie. Sure, he’s the same guy who got a hard-on from watching a single father practically dislocate his shoulder, but look Katie, he has pictures of his kids! Damn. He knows how to play the game, I’ll give him that.
Tensions in the house remain heightened between Hunter and the rest of the men during the rose ceremony. Even though Hunter snagged himself a rose at the group date (seriously, how did that happen?), he still wants more alone time with Katie. He doesn’t give a sh*t about the men in the house who don’t have a rose. He’s William F*cking Wallace and he’ll do what he wants.
Cut to James, aka Box Guy, looking less than thrilled. Honestly, I can’t take this dude seriously either. He’s decked in all black, from his turtleneck to his skin-tight pants, with only a tiny chain necklace to break up his outfit. I’m shrieking. He looks like a Rocky and Bullwinkle villain.
I mean… the similarities are uncanny.
All of this tension and drama ultimately leads to nothing. The episode ends with a regular ole rose ceremony. Boooo. Here’s who moves on to next week: Blake, Hunter, and Andrew S., Greg, Aaron, Michael, Connor the Cat Man, James/Box Guy, Justin, Mike, Brendan, and Tre. Until next week, pals!
Images: Giphy (3); @andrewzspencer /Instagram (1); @blakemoynes /Instagram (1)