This week on The Bachelorette, Gabby smashed my heart into 4 bajillion pieces by sending the best guy there home, Miss Rona took one man out, and Tino threw a baby back bitch-fit when he realized Rachel is dating other dudes.
It's all tulips, canals, and bicycles as the
promotional consideration provided by Valiant Lady pulls into port in Amsterdam. Gabby and Rachel are feeling good about their "journey" — but they're also feeling the pressure, because next week is hometown dates. Seriously? Why does it seem like this season is flying by? I guess with two Bachelorettes, everything goes by twice as fast.
Rachel's first one-on-one date goes to Zach, and boy, is Tino disappointed.
ABC Tino is bummed.
"You can't help when you don't get, like, the date card to be, like, 'What the f---?'" says Tino, who's extra annoyed because Zach's already had a one-on-one. More on this later, rose lovers.
Gabby's one-on-one goes to this man:
ABC Nate's happiness is short-lived.
Dang it, look how happy he is! "I really feel good about the connection that me and Gabby have," gushes Nate. Poor guy, he has no idea what he's walking into.
Meanwhile, Jesse Palmer crashes Gabby and Rachel's coffee klatch to grill them about how they're feeling before their dates, and right away the host can tell something's going on with Ms. Windey. "You seem a bit emotional," she says gently. "Are you doing okay?"
Gabby says she's just bracing herself for a hard week — one where she'll have to make tough choices ahead of hometown dates — but her mind is really on the day ahead. "Nate does have a daughter, so I have to think about both of them when I'm making decisions," she says. "If I wanted into a commitment like that, I would want to be 100 percent ready."
What Gabby isn't saying is that she already knows she's not ready to take on any kind of parenting role — which is why this date is going to be very short, and very sad. "Nate is an amazing person and an amazing father — I know he is," she says. "But I have more healing and growing to do before I become a mom."
And so, after a brief stroll through the city, Gabby leads Nate to a bench and immediately bursts into tears as soon as they sit down.
ABC Gabby breaks the bad news to Nate.
"I wanted today for us to be so special," she says shakily between sobs. "I have such deep feelings for you… I never want to say goodbye, but I think we're just at two different places in our life. And it's not you, and it's me… I'm, like, terrified of not just, like, being a mom, but being, like, bad at it."
Ooof, my heart hurts for Gabby. She clearly has such strong feelings for Nate, but childhood trauma can be a real beast. Nate does his best to console Gabby while processing his own sadness and disappointment. "When the time comes, I know you're going to be a great mom," he says quietly. "I'm gonna miss you a lot… I don't know if I've ever met anybody as sweet as you."
Ugh, this breakup is like a dagger through my soul. Before y'all start screaming in the comments, yes, I've read Reality Steve's column about Nate's past relationships — and it's a bummer to know that he (allegedly) acted so badly in the past. But based on what we've seen on this show, he and Gabby seemed to have genuine feelings for each other, so watching her struggle so intensely with sending him home is also a bummer.
Okay, Suitcase Ninja… do your thing.
ABC Bye bye, Nate's bag.
Man, this episode has been a real downer so far. Come on, producers — can't you do something to lighten the mood?
ABC Rachel and Zach and a bajillion tulips.
Ah, to be young and in
love like in a field of tulips. Zach and Rachel stroll through the rows of flowers, picking tulips (it's ok, it's allowed!), taking Polaroid selfies, and smooching, smooching, smooching. Then it's off for a bike ride through the picturesque countryside, where producers have stationed locals to showcase some classic Dutch wares like cheese, wooden shoes, and… child labor?
ABC Don't they look happy to be here?
Just kidding, just kidding. According to Unicef, the Netherlands is a great place to raise kids.
Oh, thank God — we've finally reached the "incongruous hot tub" portion of the date. I was worried that the producers forgot.
ABC This is totally normal.
Zach and Rachel meet up for dinner at a stunning cathedral-museum location, and they both can't stop talking about how great their "bucket list" day was. But Zach knows that if he's going to get that ticket to hometown dates, he needs to Open Up™ fast.
So, he launches into a story about his last breakup, a time where things "took a turn" in his life and he "wasn't okay." Zach says that a few years ago, he was overweight and very unhappy. It led him to a realization that if he couldn't love himself, he wouldn't be open to receiving love from anyone else. Thanks to therapy, though, Zach was able to push through this difficult time. And Rachel LOVES it. "I feel like [therapy] really helps you get to the bottom of everything," she says. "After coming off of Clayton's season, going to therapy was my favorite part of the week… I truly love it so much."
Hooray for therapy! Everyone should try it! Anyhoo, Rachel and Zach continue to seem very into each other. In fact, he just told her that he's "falling in love" with her! And she cannot contain her glee:
ABC Affirmations are music to this girl's ears.
They smooch and smooch and smooch, and then Rachel gives Zach the date rose. "After tonight, engagement feels and seems like a very real possibility," he tells us. Slow your roll, buddy — Rachel still has to meet your family, and you still have to pass the Big Tony Test.
Back on the ship, Gabby drops by to see her remaining five guys: Jason, Erich, Logan, Johnny, and Spencer. She's still feeling pretty weepy and emotional after sending Nate home, and all the guys want to do is make her feel better. "We've been thinking about you all day," says Johnny. "Can we hug you?" Yes! Bring it in, guys!
ABC Jason comforts Gabby.
After a good night's sleep, Gabby and her dudes reunite for this week's group date. And it's gonna be a weird one, rose lovers.
ABC Welcome to the red light district.
Mistress Susie informs the men that "people all around the world come to Amsterdam to explore their fantasies," and that she's here to help them "communicate with Gabby." And she's got her work cut out for her, because when the Mistress asks, "How many of you know how to treat a woman in the bedroom?" only Johnny raises his hand — and he sure as hell doesn't look too confident about it.
ABC Not buying it, Johnny.
The first assignment is pretty easy: Pick a safe word. (I will never not think of this SNL sketch when I hear the phrase "safe word.") The guys get pretty creative; Spencer picks "Albuquerque," Logan goes with "asbestos," Johnny says "pumpkin," and Jason goes with "cruise ship." (Unclear why they skipped Erich.) Jason blushes a deep, deep shade of red when Mistress Susie asks if he enjoys giving o*a* s** — which Gabby takes as a "yes."
Oh, this looks fun.
ABC Gabby searches for a husband.
Johnny even stripped down for the occasion! "He's leaning in," raves Gabby. "I appreciate that he's kind of like leading the way for all the guys." Eventually, Mistress Susie makes all the men take their shirts off and has them lie on the ground. Doesn't this look fun?
ABC Ah, the old "burn a guy with candle wax to determine if he'd be a good husband" test.
Producers are really breaking the bank for these group dates. An empty warehouse, some dollar store rugs, a can of whipped cream and a candle? Truly over the top. (Hopefully Mistress Susie got paid her full day rate.) All that matters, though, is that Gabby had fun. "I'm excited about handing out a group date rose tonight!" she says.
ABC Gabby's all dressed up with nowhere to go.
Knock knock knock! There's a Bearer of Bad News at the door! Palmer arrives at Gabby's cabin to inform her that Logan just tested positive for Covid-19, so they must cancel the post-date cocktail party. What he doesn't say, but what eventually becomes apparent, is that Logan's Bachelorette "journey" is over. No, he's not dead — the show just can't wait around for him to get better since next week is hometowns. Man, what an anticlimactic ending to Logan's team-hopping, intentional-villain-edit run. See you at Men Tell All, buddy!
Our final group date of the week takes place in Edam, also known as "the cheese capital of the world." Aven, Ethan, Tino, and Tyler meet up with Rachel for some cheese tasting and folk dancing. (Guess everyone on this team tested negative!)
Knowing that this date is the last chance before hometowns, Aven takes the first opportunity to pull Rachel away for some "alone" time by the water. Tino's all, Me next! Me next! But before Tyler and Ethan have a chance to grab Rachel for their own one-on-one time, an older gentleman in a bowler hat announces that it's time for Cheesy Feats of Strength™.
ABC Rachel searches for a husband.
"The other guys look like the work out a ton," says Tino. "But I'm going to let my arms fall off before I lose." And that mind over matter mentality works for the contractor: First Tyler drops the cheese, then Aven, and finally, Ethan. Congrats, Tino — you're the Cheese King of Edam!
Going into the afterparty, Tyler is determined to shake off the cheese loss and earn himself the group date rose. He admits to Rachel that it was hard to watch her smooch Tino after the cheese contest, but he understands that every guy there is on their own "journey." He also assures her that he takes the idea of a hometown date very seriously. "My parents said, if you bring another girl home and she is not the last person you bring home, don't bring her," says Tyler.
Wait, what? How many women has this guy brought home? Doesn't Tyler realize this makes it sound like his parents are sick of meeting his girlfriends? Not a great way to convince Rachel to give him the rose if you ask me. But all Rachel hears is Tyler saying, "I'm so, like, falling very, very hard for you," and she LOVES it.
ABC Tyler and Rachel
When it's Aven's turn, he informs Rachel that both his parents will love her — even though his mom didn't like his last girlfriend and his dad hated the one before that. No pressure! Ethan, meanwhile, wants Rachel to know that she means the world to him. "I love my family more than anything," he adds. "I want to introduce you to them. I was, like, waiting for the person to, like, open up my heart to — and it's you."
ABC Ethan and Rachel
Awww, he's so cute! Why haven't we seen more of Ethan and Rachel together? I don't even think we've seen them kiss before tonight. (Correct me in the comments if I'm wrong.)
Finally, Tino wants Rachel to know that he's very ready for her to meet his family. "I haven't had a doubt in weeks," he says, before they start smooching. Later in his confessional, Tino says that he "totally hit it out of the park" during his chat with Rachel. "This is a rose that I want more than usual. I'm really expecting it because I, like, literally think I'm her person."
ABC Tayler FTW.
Congrats, Tyler! Tino is very disappointed — which is fine. What I don't love about his reaction, though, is how petulant and snappish he becomes. And I really don't love how he keeps talking about dating Rachel like it's a football game you can win or lose. Earlier in the episode he groused about Zach having a point on the "scoreboard" for getting a second one-on-one date, and now he's venting to a producer that he should have received the rose because he "crushed" the date.
Prior to losing out on the date rose, Tino says his thought process went something like this: "I'm rollin' into hometowns. I'm about to put Zach out, I'm about to put Aven out — anybody else who tries to f--- in these waters, you're toast. Done. Let's roll." Okay, Captain Testosterone — take it down a few notches.
"Tino's acting like a real baby back bitch," whispers one of the guys (Ethan?) as they hang out by the bar. Aven jokes that Tino should be in a good mood because he won the cheese challenge. "Me and you didn't win s---," he says to Ethan with a laugh. "And I've still got a better attitude about it," Ethan replies. Amen to that! If only Rachel could have seen Tino's hissy fit before making cuts. Perhaps things would have been different.
The morning before the rose ceremony, Ethan sits on the sundeck with Tino. "I'm not trying to, like, invalidate your feelings," Ethan begins. "But last night, we took some disrespect to [you] walking off, because we're all here for the same reason." To his credit, Tino doesn't get defensive — he just says that the end of the date "shook" him, and he "couldn't really focus" during the post-rose chat with the men. He doesn't quite apologize, but at least he claims to feel bad about walking off.
Cool, cool, cool. Let's just get this over with. All four of Gabby's men walk into the rose ceremony hoping that none of them will be going home, because there are typically four hometown dates. Little do they know…
ABC That podium is kind of garish.
Rose ceremony roll call! And we won't be taking turns this time, folks.
Team Gabby goes first: Erich, Jason, and Johnny will be heading to hometowns. So sorry, Spencer. You'll always have a piece of our heart for offering Rachel and Gabby a chair on night one.
And now for Team Rachel: Aven and Tino join Tyler and Zach in the Winners' Circle™. Poor Ethan! But he handles it like a champ. "Thank you for this opportunity," he says after hugging Rachel goodbye. "You light up every room you're in." Awwww, what a nice guy. If he's still single next season, I hope producers cast him again. (He's too sweet for Paradise.)
Holy cow, rose lovers — hometowns is NEXT WEEK. And in even more shocking news, apparently Zach is related to Puddy from Seinfeld?
ABC Patrick Warburton, what the hell are you doing here?
My mind is blown. Anyhow, do you think Rachel and Gabby made good choices this week? Are you sad to see Nate go? Who do you think will make it to the final two for each? And when was the last time you rode a bike? Post your thoughts below!
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