Recap: The Bachelorette: Week Seven (episode 8)

Stop reading now if you don’t want spoilers on week seven (episode eight) of The Bachelorette with Kaitlyn Bristowe (original air date: Monday, June 29, 2015).

Welcome back rose lovers! When we last saw our Bachelorette she was inviting Shawn into her hotel room. Shawn’s all sad face this week because apparently Kaitlyn has told him off-camera that he’s “the one,” so he doesn’t love the fact that she’s still, you know, dating a bunch of other dudes. You know, like the entire point of the show. What Shawn (thankfully) doesn’t know is that Kaitlyn banged (“was intimate with”) Nick who is Shawn’s nemesis of late. Shawn asks Kaitlyn if she’s in love with him, and after telling him that it’s not fair to be put on the spot like that she cutesy-voiced tells Shawn that she’s “falling in love” with him. Nothing reassures a bro like a solid hotel room makeout, and he leaves Kaitlyn’s room uplifted, beer in hand, to rejoin the man harem. “The guilt comes from where my relationships are with other people,” Kaitlyn says in her private interview. She then ugly cries all the feelings. “My heart would break if Shawn left.”

The next morning, Nick and Tanner are strolling the grounds of their Dublin, Ireland hotel while Shawn – doing a pitch perfect rendition of a ‘needy girlfriend’ type – broods on some nearby steps.

Kaitlyn embarks on the uber-awkward two-on-one date with JJ and Joe. “I’m my biggest enemy,” JJ declares, and hints that he has some truth bombs to drop on our Bachelorette later. He’s been less “villains gotta vill” in the past few weeks, but no amount of Irish Spring can wash away all traces of douche. Joe’s the kind of guy that you would have a slight crush on if you were co-workers, and you’d have a makeout at the office holiday shindig and then spend the next six months awkwardly avoiding eye contact at the coffee machine. Otherwise he’s kind of forgettable and overshadowed by Nick, Shawn, Ben H. and Jared who are my predictions for final four. The two-on-one dates are of the ‘there can only be one’ variety – one man will be sent packing before the evening is up. Sweet, Southern Joe has had very little screen time this season. All we know about him is that, according to Kaitlyn, he’s an amazing kisser. “I can’t get enough of you Kaitlyn, because I’m falling in love with you,” declares Joe during some private time, coming completely out of nowhere. The dude’s never even had a one-on-one date with Kaitlyn. Ah, the heightened emotions of the Bachelor/Bachelorette world.

When JJ gets his time alone with Kaitlyn he reveals that he cheated on his former wife three years earlier. “Shocking!,” says absolutely no one. “I’m building this relationship with you…if a long-term relationship comes from this I want to be so upfront and honest,” JJ tells Kaitlyn, as an explanation for his confession. Decision time: Kaitlyn launches into a speech saying that she hasn’t really had a lot of time with Joe buttttttt she doesn’t really see a future with JJ and feels bad keeping him away from his daughter. So JJ is sent packing (and is quite  gracious about it) but Joe isn’t safe from being sent home in the sad sack limo either, as Kaitlyn doesn’t give him a rose either…yet.

Standing on a beach, JJ literally watches Joe and Kaitlyn sail off into the sunset together while he waxes poetic about finding love. Peace out JJ. Kaitlyn likes that Joe lifts her spirits, which is something she’s needed this week. No amount of Guinness can soothe her soul, apparently.

Meanwhile, Shawn is lurking in the shadows talking about how hard this all is, watching the gal he loves dating other men. Because apparently he has selective amnesia about the entire point of this show. Shawn reiterates that during an off-camera moment in Texas, Kaitlyn conveyed that he was “the one”, so he’s all “this is so tough” watching her build relationships and form strong connections with other men. “I’m just worried that I might lose her,” Shawn says. “It might have been better for me to not even know how she was feeling.”

Joe returns, date rose in hand (success!), and tells everyone that he’s falling in love with Kaitlyn. This (obviously) sends Shawn into yet another “brutal” sad spiral. “She just makes me feel something I’ve never felt before,” Shawn offers by way of explanation for his heightened emotional state. I mean, the boy can’t even eat y’all.

An exhausted Kaitlyn is back in her room recording her private interview when she is informed that Shawn is (once again) making his way to her suite. I mean, at this point just give the guy his own key. Kaitlyn for realsies rolls her eyes at the news, though this appears to have less to do with Shawn’s persistence in seeing her alone and more about her living in almost constant panic that he will learn that she was “intimate” with Nick and Irish exit out of there. She paces around her room in a nervous fit before finally letting Shawn in. She breaks down crying, telling Shawn she’s “having a rough time.” After their conversation the previous night she’s terrified that he wants to bail.

Shawn brings up the now infamous “off-camera” time they spent in Texas (if she did sneak down as she’s alluded to, are the producers super pissed?) and the fact that Kaitlyn had apparently conveyed that he was the one. Kaitlyn is super-relieved that this isn’t turning into a break-up chat. “Maybe I’m at fault for reassuring you so much,” she admits. Basically Kaitlyn tells Shawn that this is part of the process and he better suck it up, buttercup. “I haven’t been (as reassuring) with other people,” she tells him, and no one else is walking about in a constant state of pout-iness and barely-contained jealousy. “You have to focus on..that this is the rest of our lives,” Kaitlyn emphasizes. “The more reassurance you give me the harder it is for me,” Shawn confesses, biting his nails. “I want to work on being better at this…I want you more than anything,” he ends, basically speaking right to all of Kaitlyn’s lady bits.

Time for another COCKtail party full of love confessions and regrets. Kaitlyn admits in her private interview that her reassuring Shawn in San Antonio (where she now outright confesses to “sneaking” down to see some of the men) was “a mistake”. Conveying to Shawn that he was “it” has caused a total mindfuck on his end. “I shouldn’t be doing that because I do have feelings for a lot of other guys.” In retrospect, in trying to comfort Shawn and in feeling in that moment like she could see herself with him she created 99 problems (but a douche-y JJ ain’t one). A shaky-voiced Bachelorette addresses her man harem, saying her feelings are “all over the map.” “I make mistakes…my heart is still open,” Kaitlyn announces.

A very nervous Kaitlyn is quickly (and gratefully) whisked away by Ben Z. Ah “handsome, manly” Ben Z. He started so strong but has kind of faded into the background these last few weeks. They cozy up under a blanket on a bench and sip wine and kiss a little. Later, my boyfriend Ben H. (whom Kaitlyn refers to as a “handsome devil”) scores some solo time with the Bachelorette, and she adores his sweet and funny side. Ben H. takes the conversation to a more serious place, saying that he senses something is going on between her and Shawn that is perhaps more intense but he “doesn’t want to know details.” He only wants to know if he has a chance. Ben H. even pinpoints the exact night when he felt something shift, and it’s the infamous “off-camera” night. Kaitlyn gets super emotional about it and admits to feeling “extremely disappointed” in herself. “That night really altered something for me, and not in a great way,” she cries. “Thank you for not jumping to any conclusions,” Kaitlyn wraps up before making out with my boyfriend.

Later, we learn that Kaitlyn remains “terrified” that Nick will reveal their “intimate” encounter to the other men. “If they’re gonna know, I want it to come from me,” her voiceover states. Kaitlyn tells Nick that he can talk about the date but not about how romantic it was. He tries to reassure her that he never used words like “intimate” to describe their date, but if you read my recap of last week’s episode you know that’s not true. He said intimate. Then he cries, and tells Kaitlyn they “want the same thing” and all her fears seem to evaporate. “Nick’s emotions were so sincere tonight…and I believe him,” gushes our Bachelorette.

Later, Shawn and his super blue suit apologize to Kaitlyn for contributing to her tough week, saying he got in his own head and drove himself crazy. Kaitlyn says that sneaking down to chat with him in Texas was not her best idea ever. Their relationship “bump” seems to be haunting Kaitlyn more than Shawn, who just wants it to be glossed over. “It just messed everything up,” she emphasizes. “I feel like I’ve been unfair to you and everyone else…and myself,” Kaitlyn adds. After telling Shawn that she doesn’t want to “dismiss other relationships” she announces that they need to “take a step back.” Nothing like having your first fight televised to a national audience, eh?

After a pow-wow with host/discount therapist Chris Harrison, the rose ceremony finally happens and when the dust settles, placeholder Tanner and strapping Ben Z. are left rose-less. Hey, there are worse places to nurse a broken heart than Ireland! A “blindsided” Ben Z. tears up during his exit interview. Bro, with that body and those eyebrows you’ll barely be single for a hot minute. “This is a girl that my mom (who passed away when he was young) would’ve been proud to meet,” he says, melting even my cold, cold heart.

Onwards and upwards. It’s group date day and Kaitlyn’s dudes board a ‘Paddywagon’ to Killarney. Well, not Jared. He has been chosen to join Kaitlyn on a scenic drive. We see Nick and Shawn interact for what may be the first time, and no blood is shed. We also learn that Shawn is a snorer.

Kaitlyn and Jared have such a cute, natural connection and I love how he teases her about everything from her laugh to her driving. They test their fear of heights and death-by-choking-on-one’s-own-vomit to kiss the famous Blarney Stone. Jared then gets a tour of Kaitlyn’s hotel-castle room. “I love our chemistry and I love our banter,” Jared announces. Then we watch them make out. Cute city.

Chris “Cupcake”, Nick, Ben H., Shawn and Joe stroll through Killarney and Chris is particularly smitten with the town, stating that it’s “old and well-kept” and reminds him of his own “soul.” Groan. My soul is more ‘old man trying to send back soup in a deli’. Later, Kaitlyn and Chris Harrison have a heart-to-heart and she “regrets” what happened with Nick (all the sex), to which Harrison responds “we all screw up.” Kaitlyn has a tough decision to make: which men will move forward to hometown dates. Harrison announces a twist: whereas typically Kaitlyn would, this week, be narrowing six men down to four for hometown dates, she will be sending three men home (instead of two), spending off-camera time with each, and having overnights/Fantasy Suite dates with those three men. After those overnights, Kaitlyn will narrow her harem down to two men and only then will she meet their families. It’s all very math-y. Main bullet point? Everyone will have private off-camera time with our Bachelorette before hometowns and only the final two men will have hometown dates. I can only imagine the scrambling that the Bachelorette team had to do to reschedule all this given that the timing has now all changed. Is this decision forcing Kaitlyn’s hand or helping her make the best decision?

Harrison announces the scheduling twist to the remaining men and leaves them with the date card. Chris “Cupcake” gets a solo date card that involves a helicopter ride and a picnic on the picturesque Cliffs of Moher. Kaitlyn attempts to dig deep, asking Chris if he would want to stay in Nashville. He thinks Nashville is the perfect place to raise a family. Hint.

Kaitlyn starts to cry and then breaks the bad news: she’s just not that into you, Cupcake. “I have this check list and you’re it every time…but I also promised myself that I wouldn’t lead any relationship on…and my heart is elsewhere right now.” She tells Chris that she doesn’t see them together in the future. He’s super sweet about it, and tries to engage Kaitlyn in a dialogue to talk it out, perhaps thinking he can change her mind. Alas, Kaitlyn’s mind is firmly made up. They say their goodbyes atop the  cliff and Kaitlyn leaves Chris, dumped and alone, while she flies off in a helicopter. “Just looking at her, she’s a mess,” Chris cries. “I get it…I’m really scared too.” He paces perilously close to the edge of the cliff while a producer stands nervously nearby. Cupcake really starts to cry then. It’s hard to watch! And that’s where things end for the week: A crying Chris Cupcake on a cliff. It’s the Dr. Seuss of TV break-ups.

Next week: truth and consequences. Kaitlyn makes a sex confession (?), and the repercussions look – say it with me – dramatic.

Until next week!

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