The theme of this week, and really the entire premise of this show is time. Time is the ultimate luxury for all of us. It’s the one thing money can’t buy and also the only thing we cannot get back after we’ve used it. What started out as a group of ~30 men is now about 15 men and they are all feeling the pressure of growing their relationship with Katie and standing out as a life mate. But some (Tre, Aaron) are more focused on what other men are doing instead of deepening their connection with Katie.
We start with a few shots of the resort, which by the way looks more desolate than any of the previous COVID seasons. This place looks small and the men always looked a little cramped no matter where they are in the resort. After three seasons like this, I am definitely missing the extravagant travel. I almost wish production would lean into how boring staying in one place is and give us dates that are more Netflix and chill and less ridiculous dares.
Anyway, we get a soundbite from Tre about feeling comfortable that everyone left is there for Katie, obviously he is probably wrong, but whatever helps him sleep at night, ya know? Katie confides in Kaitlyn Bristowe about her decision to bring Nick Vial onto her season after it had begun. Kaitlyn is honest and says it caused some drama and that Katie’s decision probably will too. But the damage is done at this point. I kind of wonder if this conversation actually happened before she choose to let Blake in the house. That would make more sense to me.
Back inside the resort Tayshia comes in to deliver the news that a new guy (Blake) is joining the house. They did Tayshia so dirty by making her do this. It’s Katie’s season, Katie’s decision and so Katie should’ve done it. I understand there needed to be someone to introduce why Blake was walking into the house, but I think Katie could have done that. After Tayshia makes the guys aware that a new man is entering the house, she doesn’t stick around for many questions, but the men do speculate a bit that it’s probably someone from her season.
Blake enters the room and addresses the tension immediately, which is a good move. All you can do in this situation is reiterate that you’re there for Katie and want to see where things can go. That’s what he did. He then gets the first one of one date of the week, which causes the men already in the house to be even more bothered by his presence. He somewhat validates the guys opinions on him entering this late in the game, but that doesn’t do much to ease tensions. Him and Katie head off to their date.
One on One with Blake
I like this move of giving the newest contestant a one on one. Michele got the first one one one date with Matt James after entering the house last season. When you’re coming in late, it makes sense to take that time with the new person/people to see if there’s even a spark there because if there isn’t, they can just go home.
Katie and Blake walk up to a field with some horses, their hands interlocked, which feels pretty intimate for a first time date. There’s been speculation that Blake was on site a lot earlier than we saw as an audience, I’m not sure I believe it to be true. But them holding hands in this way on their first date definitely makes me wonder.
As they walk up to the horses, Blake admits he’s a bit freaked out by horses, even though he’s literally a wildlife specialist or some shit. He’s also asking questions about the horse as if it is a car, which is very confusing. Like dude, do you work with animals daily or no?
Katie and Blake ride horses across a field of some sort. I know its supposed to look pretty, but it doesn’t. The scene just looks tan, gray and boring. As they continue to ride their horses, they talk about traveling and work a bit. We learn Blake goes to Africa for work, but then we get nothing about what he does while there, which felt like a missed opportunity. The horse trek continues and they bond over loving nature, being outdoors and other shit that I absolutely hate. Throughout this entire date, Blake looks at peace. I know he admits to being nervous a few times, but Katie and him look comfortable together, like they’ve been here before somehow.
Back at the hotel, we see Greg and Connor B talking about Blakes entrance on the show. They admit he’s Katies type and for the first time we see two men who seemed pretty secure in their relationship with Katie worry a bit about what Blake’s presence could mean for their relationships.
Now we see Blake and Katie on the night time portion of their date. Katie says she can’t stop smiling and her and Blake say they feel they are very similar people. I agree, again, they just seem like they fit. Blake asks what makes Katie so sex positive and why that’s important to her and so she is forced to share her story about being in a situation a few years ago where consent wasn’t given. It felt like Katie glossed over this quickly, but that’s totally understandable, she already shared it for the first time on national television with a group of guys who were mostly strangers to her. I appreciated the way Blake comforted her in this moment. Even as he struggled to find words, he made sure to hold her hand and make eye contact with her and that’s really important.
Katie asks Blake if he’s ever been in love before and what that experience was like, we don’t get to see the answer though (thanks producers 🙄) but it must have been good enough for Katie because next thing we know she is saying that letting Blake stay was the right decision and being with him feels easy. She offers him the rose and he accepts. Blake says he hasn’t felt this way in a long time and they get to have a cute moment at a private concert with some musical guest I’ve never heard of before. Do y’all think we will ever get a Black musical guest (besides that man who won Listen to Your Heart)? I’m not holding my breath.
The Group Date: Bachelorette Bash Ball Battle
There are two one on one dates this week, which means we’re getting a huge group date with all the other men. On this very large, hyper-masculine group date we have Greg, Quartney, Aaron, Mike P., Michael A., Andrew M., Josh, Justin, Brendan, James, Connor B., Tre, and Hunter. Hunter breaks ahead of the pack to ensure he gets to hug Katie first and as the men great her we get a voiceover of her calling out her strong relationships with certain men, namely Michael A. and Greg, no love for Hunter I guess.
The men are going to be playing a game that is a cross between basketball and football, like most Bachelor Nation sports, the rules are not explained to the audience at all. The hosts are Wells Adams and Franco, two Bach Nation faves. Within seconds we see the men prancing out out in onesies with hearts on their asses. We’re reminded just how much these men work out and we get a moment of truth from Michael A. where he admits he’s a bit self conscious becuase of his dad bod. Personally, I love a good dad bod and the more facial hair Michael A. gives us, the cuter he gets.
Greg comes in hot by starting the game off with a slam dunk, which impresses Katie. Meanwhile, Hunter is out for blood. He begins getting rough with the other men, tackling them and doing whatever it takes to not only show off in front of Katie, but also assert some dominance, hence why I called this date hyper-masculine. Michael A. gets the ball and has a chance for a breakaway play and out of no where, Justin the painter comes out and slams into him from behind. Michael falls to the ground in the fetal position, barley moving with the cameras all up in his face. Sidenote: I’ve been watching the show Unreal for the last few weeks on Hulu and it’s been hard for me to convince myself that what happens on that show, doesn’t also happen on Bachelor Nation shows. I just thought it was so wild that as Michael is laying on the ground in clear pain, we see a camera right in front of his face. How fucking annoying.
After seeing how hurt Michael is, Katie runs over and calls the game immediately saying that if someone gets hurt and has to leave the property to get checked out, they can’t come back and she’s not willing to risk that (at least not willing to risk it with Michael). Even though the score was being kept this entire time, that goes out the window and Katie says that every one is a winner and invited to the cocktail party later. I truly hate shit like this, this show never sticks to “the rules.” I know there are no real rules and the producers can decide to change anything on a dime, but every season there is a date when one team wins and is supposed to get some more face time with the lead and it never happens because the lead/Chris Harrison/producers always invite everyone for the later portion of the date.
As the group settles into the night time portion of the date, Katie steals Michael A. to make sure he’s feeling okay. She admits that it was emotionally jarring to see him hurt, which let her know how much she cares for him. They flirt a little bit and kiss and I just love these two so much, they’re so freaking cute.
Meanwhile, we start to see Greg come undone as he realizes that Katie has other relationships that are progressing and even a new budding one with lots of potential with Blake’s arrival. While Greg was a clear standout the first few weeks, the drama with other men in the house has definitely taken the focus away from growing relationships. For now, it seems like Greg is choosing to lean in to his feelings for Katie and share them.
Next we see Connor B. with yet another instrument in his hand and a song he probably wrote as part of his audition for this show. I really liked Connor at first and off camera, I’m a big fan at how he speaks up for social issues and is just cool with being silly and himself. However, this is the third time we’ve seen Connor with an instrument on camera singing something. By the second time we saw Jed do this, we were going in on him, mostly because both his lyrics and voice needed work, but ain’t nobody got anything to say about Connor? Worse of all, Katie is crying over this performance? We’ve got to do better. I’d like to see conversation between Connor and Katie, he seemed like a real standout choice the first two weeks, but he’s fallen into the background since and we really don’t know anything about him from his time on the show.
We then get a montage of men who will inevitably be going home in the next week or so: Aaron and James have issues with Hunter’s confidence/cockiness, Tre is talking about a bunch of nothing with Katie, Quartney is making a series of puns about toilet paper, Mike P. and Katie share their first kiss, which happens to be the most normal one we’ve seen all season, and Hunter is convinced he’s the one for Katie. I will say, the focus on Hunter felt very random this week. I know there are so many conversations between Katie and these men that there is no way we could see all of them, but the focus on Hunter we got this week felt so out of left field. Whatever he’s doing is working because he gets the group date rose, leaving Greg, who admitted to falling for her, just as shocked as the rest of us.
One on One with Andrew S
Andrew S. has been my favorite from the jump. Since I first read his bio on ABC’s website and attempted to stalk his Insta, he’s had a special place in my heart. This date really just confirmed that he is the man he presents himself as: confident, goofy and open to love. I honestly think Andrew might be the most genuine guy on the show next to Michael A. I kind of hope Katie doesn’t pick either of them, so we can get them as Bachelors!
Their date gets a late start, which is referred to multiple times. I like all the time references we’re getting this season, it helps us understand why contestants are so grumpy sometimes. While I’m sure there’s some jealousy among the men, there’s also probably some pure exhaustion going on, affecting the way they treat one another, especially when they don’t get their way.
Katie and Andrew are walking through the woods and I immediately got Get Out vibes. Black people can’t just be out here walking in random wooded areas at all hours of the night. Andrew, run! They eventually come to a stop and Katie plugs in two electrical cords and a dark area of the woods lights up with envelopes hanging from the trees. One by one they open the envelopes where questions are written inside for them to answer. At first the questions are pretty basic, they share their signature dance moves, talk about what a good day together could look like, etc. As they move deeper into dark rooms, the questions begin to center how they feel about one another, what their difficult upbringings have taught them and what type of partners and parents they’d like to be.
Then we got a pretty random, badly edited segment where Andrew acknowledges that he’s a Black man and Katie is a white woman and he wants to know how she’ll navigate that, specifically with children who may not look like her. We learn that Andrew has an ex who was very concerned about her babies being Black, Andrew wants to make sure Katie wouldn’t have the same “concern.” He maintains that his ex wasn’t racist, but when you’re a white person, in love with your Black partner, but so concerned with potentially having Black kids that you let it interfere with your relationship, I’m not sure what else you can call it, but that. Essentially, Andrew is looking for reassurance that he’s not going to experience this again. Katie drums up some tears, but doesn’t actually say much to reassure Andrew in my opinion. She admits she’s naive as a white woman when it comes to this subject, which is her admitting that she ain’t really dated men of color before. She tells Andrew that all she wants is true genuine love and a lasting marriage with the right person, Andrew agrees.
This conversation left me disappointed. In general, I don’t like these conversations about race where so much is edited out that it comes off as confusing and disjointed rather than informed and eye opening. Andrew wanting to talk about the fact that they were from different racial backgrounds and that in America that matters was good to see, but the lack of response from Katie (or the heavily edited response) was really lame and it made Katie look like she wasn’t really listening.
Regardless of the awkward conversation, Andrew got a rose and a steamy makeout in the hot tub!
Cocktail Party and Rose Ceremony
Well, it’s time to send some men home. We’re at the point of the season where the guys the lead hasn’t made a connection with on camera start to stick out (Andrew M., Josh, Tre lowkey) which means their days are numbered.
Brendan hands her a drink and she tells the group of men that her husband is in the room. Honestly, I know it’s a line that many leads feel like they have to say, but when Katie said it, it really felt like a line. I didn’t believe her and as I’ve listened to some of her media tour interviews and watched her social media, I believe it even less. I’m not convinced she ends up with anyone, which sucks for her.
Before Katie hands out roses, she gets some time with guys she hasn’t had a chance to connect with. Justin and her play a card game he made up, which is really just 21 questions. Hunter brings out a telescope and a cute setup with fruit and champagne to create a mini one on one date and some of the men are bothered by it. Hunter already had a rose, so it could be argued that he didn’t need to do all of that for Katie during this rose ceremony becuase he was already safe for another week. Meanwhile, James, Tre and Aaron are all rose-less and haven’t gotten any one on one time with her that hasn’t centered house drama.
James decides that he’s going to take matters into his own hands and interrupt Hunter and Katie so that he can have some time with her. Thank god he does because otherwise he would’ve looked as dumb as Tre and Aaron complaining about not getting time with Katie while also actively not finding time to spend with her. James tells Katie he has feelings for her and they share an awkward kiss. Honestly, he’ll probably be gone next week, so we don’t need to spend any more time on him.
Gathered around a fire pit, Tre and Aaron have officially found a new man to be bothered by, Hunter. Sure Hunter is a little weird and comes off as disingenuous, but why are we still so worried about what other men are doing with their time with Katie? It’s getting ridiculous. Tre entered the season in a ball pit and set up some alone time with Katie where it seemed like he was really interested in getting to know her, but since then he’s been so worried about everyone else instead of about himself and his connection with Katie and that’s why I think he’ll be gone by week seven. Aaron on the other hand is just doing what he does best, hating things. He always seems so angry and so bothered and it honestly scares me. He doesn’t need to be vying for Katie’s heart, he needs anger management.
James joins Tre and Aaron and together they stew over the fact that they aren’t getting enough time with Katie. Despite there being at least 10 other men still in the house, they decide to blame Hunter because he had the audacity to try and deepen his relationship with Katie despite already having a rose. Hunter walks up to the gentlemen, trying to gauge what the issue is and James tells him that his setup was unnecessary becuase he has a rose already. Tre and Aaron chime in saying they may be going home because they’ve gotten no time with Katie at the cocktail party. Hunter responds saying that he hears their concerns, but he can’t change what he did. The three men get even more upset and say that Hunter is using the same phrases Thomas did, insinuating that Hunter may be shady or there for the wrong reasons.
Honestly, this entire conversation is stupid. None of these men seem like front runners to me and while they are all arguing with one another, they could be going to bring Katie a drink, or pulling her aside just to tell her she looks lovely. Also, it’s not like Hunter bought the champagne or strawberries or whatever was laid out, the producers did. These guys know this. They know Hunter didn’t come with that in his bag. If anything, they should be mad that they aren’t getting budget the way Hunter or other men are.
At the end of the day, they are all on a show where time is the biggest luxury, if they don’t step up, realize that and do something about it, then that is their own fault.
Anyway, the rose ceremony begins and she reminds the men that this is her journey and she is following her heart. The first rose of course goes to Greg, not only did he admit to being crazy about her, he slipped in an ‘I love you’ last week, so he is very much still at the top of Katie’s list. We get voiceovers of men being in their heads about whether they’ve connected with Katie as much as they think they have. Tre questions whether he’s going home, but of course he’s not! Katie still needs her resident tattle in the house, he’s probably good for another two weeks, especially if he keeps coming back with ‘for the wrong reasons’ accusations.
Going home are Quartney, Andrew M., and Josh. In the final cheers of the night, Aaron begins to speak, but Hunter cuts him off and ends up giving the final toast of the night.
Instead of a preview for next week, we get a mid-season trailer that has a lot of tears, a whispered I love, passionate kissing and a voiceover of Andrew S. (?) reading a poem. Blake questions his feelings, James is ready to tattle like his friend Tre, and Greg gets a bit snippy with production. The montage ends with Katie saying she really is on the show to fall in love and that walking away with nothing would feel like a waste of time. It’s a little bit of an awkward statement becuase we know this show doesn’t have the best track record when it comes to the lead ending up with their final pick long term. Regardless, here’s to hoping the second half of the season has better drama than the first half.
See you next Tuesday ✌🏾.