The Bachelorette Recap: Rom-Com Vibes – Vulture
Meet Katie! She’s a fun, sex-positive woman who allegedly has a career! Something in marketing, we guess!
“I was hoping to pass the torch to you! Knowing the fantasy suite is so far away! I might need it a little longer!”
Katie hasn’t had the time to find love … until The Bachelor Cinematic Universe intervened.
“She had a vibrator, and people remembered her name! Honestly! That’s all we can hope for! Plus, Michelle isn’t avail until, like, late-July.”
So now, just when she thought she’d never find love … 30 hot guys found her!
“I’m Greg!” “I’m Justin!” “I’m Andrew!” “I’m Brendan, and I’m still here for some reason!”
Sometimes, all it takes is a little help from her good girlfriends and a resort in the New Mexico desert for a girl to finally fall in love.
“Gentleman, this is the final rose tonight. And Katie, just a quick reminder: Don’t fuck Nick Viall.”
But sometimes finding the one can get a little bit difficult.
“I’m being demonsterized!!”
From the people that brought you Bachelor Winter Games and the people who refuse to bring back Bachelor Winter Games.
COMING AT SOME POINT ON THE SACRED TIMELINE:
“They call me Cuddle Queen!”
Something I’ve thought in my head and said on podcasts is that the Bachelor Cinematic Universe hasn’t been able to tell a cute, sweet love story in a long time. Either because they thought the drama of the season would be more interesting than the love story being told at its center, or there was some postseason drama between the lead and their number one pick that had to be addressed at the After the Final Rose special. Think about it. In no particular order: Rachel Lindsay being painted as an unfeeling Black woman at her “After the Final Rose”; Becca having to address Garrett liking anti-immigrant posts on Instagram; Pilot Pete running through a slew of women during and after his finale; Arie’s unedited break-up with Becca; a car spokesperson and LinkedIn personality telling us that as long as racism hasn’t reached the heart it’s not that bad. Need I go on?
But now … now … it feels like the show has the opportunity to tell a fun, sweet love story, and how are they doing that shit? With the most powerful cinematic language in the history of humankind: the motherfucking rom-com.
Give it all to me. Give me the kisses in the rain. Give me the running down the hall because you just can’t let him go. Give me breaking up with the guy who is good but boring for something more exciting. Give me a pair of quirky best friends who just show up to give advice.
Now, I just need this season to deliver. Get trapped in an elevator. Run through the airport. Stand up and object at a wedding. Play “This Will Be” by Miss Natalie Cole non-stop until our ears bleed.
Let’s get into it.
The contesticles are at the resort, and they’re reeling from the last eliminations. Oh, you sweet children. You know not what’s in store for you. This week is huge because it’s the last week before hometowns, and we’re here already? Without an international trip or a couple fraught two-on-ones, it’s hard to gauge the passage of time. Two guys haven’t had a one-on-one date yet so … they’re going home at some point soon, but they’re holding out hope. Until that first date card arrives.
Greg is heading into his second one-on-one with Katie and has to carefully moderate all his emotions so as not to upset Mike P. or Brendan. Greg and Katie’s date is a Potemkin version of Seattle. A few fruit stands and some whole fish is supposed to represent Pike’s Place Market? Also, we’re going to mention Pike’s Place Market without mentioning the famous Real World Seattle opening credits where a fish is tossed only to reveal the words REAL WORLD SEATTLE written on it? Well, Katie and Greg try their hand at fish-tossing and Greg manages to break every single twinkle light suspended above the “market.” Katie also eats an oyster that’s been sitting in the sun and gags. Romance!
During the evening portion of the date, Katie asks Greg if he’s going to be able to make it through the rest of this process because he looks scared and confused most of the time. Greg reveals that he was pretty short and skinny so he was bullied and carries a lot of insecurity with him at all times. And after his father died, he hasn’t let his guard down with anyone. He tells her that he’s excited to have his family meet the woman he’s falling in love with and Katie says she feels this gravity pulling them together. That just might be the centripetal force as they launch fish and footballs at each other but they are FEELING. EACH. OTHER. Katie asks him about the first rose she gave him and talks about how he still amazes her and she wants to meet his mom. This is good mom conversation on a date. Remember this for later. Greg gets the rose and they go outside and make out in a manufactured rain storm. Katie screams “THIS IS THE BEGINNING OF OUR JOURNEY!” This is wild, unhinged rom-com energy and all Greg has to do is not fuck it up.
It’s time for the next date card to arrive and Justin, Andrew, Blake, Michael A., and Brendan are going to find out there’s an art to love. Brendan immediately spirals. Why is he still here? Why didn’t he get a one-on-one? Can anyone tell us literally one fact about him? Is he best friends with Blake but we didn’t hear about that on camera at all? Mike P. is getting a one-on-one and Brendan is losing it. He heads over to Katie’s suite and puts on his finest chapstick. He’s getting a smooch or some reassurance if it kills him.
Katie opens the door and is positively shocked to see a man whose name she’s like 86 percent sure of. Brendan lays out his case, that if she thinks about how far they’ve come with only group dates and cocktail parties, think about what they could do if they were able to spend the whole day together. He has so much to offer. Oh, buddy. Once you’re starting to say, “I have so much to offer,” it’s no longer a relationship, it’s a job interview, and no one wants to fuck Applicant #426. Katie realizes what she has to do and says if he’s feeling like this, they might not have enough time to get where she would be comfortable meeting his family. HARD CUT to Brendan dragging a suitcase down the hall. (Is it just me or was the editing this episode … a little inelegant?) Brendan says goodbye to his dear friend Blake, and Blake has to break the news to the rest of the guys the next morning.
It’s time for the group date! First the contesticles stare at some very vulvic flower paintings, and then they’re tasked with creating some art that represents their love for Katie. Blake is immediately like, “How can I make the most disgusting, graphic piece of art that ABC will have to black out in its entirety? This is what I do. This is my mission. Sensual equals graphic tempera paint p-in-v.” Andrew paints a pretty cute picture of someone eating sushi, since he and Katie are foodies together. Michael A. sculpts a thicc ass. Justin paints a few flowers, since that’s as far as he got in the YouTube painting tutorial, and then some Blair Witch–esque stick figures. No one wins. The images must be burned lest they summon juicy, muscular asses and formal stick figures with no heads.
The pressure is on for the night portion of the date. Blake decides to take the opportunity to tell Katie that his family would love her but he’s not in love yet. Blake, what the fuck? If you can’t use one of the 12 designated “Falling for you” phrases, don’t say anything at all. Justin paints her a big picture of flowers and butterflies that looks like it would be in the clearance section of a Homegoods. But not one of the good Homegoods. Like, a city Homegoods. There’s no serving dishes or accent lamps, only argan oil and shower curtains. Katie loves that she can feel herself around Justin, and he says, “I love that about us.” Justin moves fast.
Katie sits down with Michael A. and says that his life and his family include James and Laura, and she’s going to help with the juice boxes, and the life she pictures with James is a dream for her. FUCK. I’m WEEPING. Katie says that the only thing they have to do is let love guide them and everything else will fall into place. Well … there might be a bit more planning required. Andrew starts his time with Katie by saying that “every athlete dies twice,” like that’s a chill, normal thing to say, and tells her that if she wanted him to, he’d stop playing. Katie is the most chill girl in the actual world and says that whatever they plan to do together, her job is to encourage him and figure it out. Katie is the ultimate Cool Girl and I’m starting to see the appeal. Andrew recreates their one-on-one and tells her that he’s falling for her.
It’s time for the group date rose and Katie gives each man a compliment sandwich and gives the rose to Michael A.
It’s time for Mike P.’s one-on-one date. Honestly, we all knew the writing was on the wall before this nonsense even started. “Let’s put the virgin on the date that requires subtle navigation of body language and sexual chemistry.” They’re greeted by the lady who lives in the woods. They head out into the woods, dressed in all white, and are forced to cuddle with each other, and this man won’t stop bringing up his mom. Like, I get it, you do want a partner that has some of the qualities you admire in your parents, but you don’t fucking whisper it into her ear while you’re spooning. Also, we need a deeper investigation of Mike P.’s virginity, because he keeps saying that his pledge to wait is there to “protect him” and he’d be out there “humping everything” if he wasn’t staying a virgin. You can and should hump a bunch of people, but you probably shouldn’t ascribe to a belief system that tells you there’s something scary out there when it comes to sex and intimacy and leads you to believe that without it, you’d be a sex-crazed monster. Katie finally sits Mike P. down and tells him she’s not just feeling it. It’s time to get ruthless and send the virgins home. Again, Blake called it when he said, “Mike P. is by a book and Katie is not by a book.” I need just one of these guys to get an aphorism all the way correct by the end of the season. Please.
It’s time for the rose ceremony. No cocktail party. Let’s do this shit. Blake and Justin get the final two roses of the week. What a fucking twist! I had Andrew going all the way to the top three and it seems like Katie did too! Katie walks him out and positively weeps about how he deserves love and connection and she’s so happy they met. Andrew’s crying in the limo as Katie breaks down on the ground to her producers. What if she made a mistake!
The next morning, Andrew doesn’t make it any easier when she shows up at her door to… make sure she smiles when he leaves this time? Hi. I kind of hate this. Just let her go. Just let everything go. Everyone please move on. It’s a game show. They sit together and go over how difficult the rose ceremony was and Katie tells him she wasn’t exactly confident in her decision and Andrew slips her a note. When I saw that man pull that out of his pocket … it’s motherfucking rom-com time.
The note says, “If you change your mind, I’ll be waiting … ” with a lil’ smiley face. The other thing about rom-coms? They have absolutely no sense of boundaries. This is a WILD thing to give to someone in the real world. If you’re Patrick Dempsey and the woman you love decided to be with the man her father wants her to marry and it’s 19th-century Kansas? Go for it. Katie sprints down the hallway and screams Andrew’s name and jumps into his arms when she finds him. She asks him if even a part of him would want to come back. Come back. Andrew… come back. Andrew tells her that he can’t do that. Wait… what the fuck?!?!? Don’t give the note if you’re not willing to follow through! That would be like if in The Notebook, Ryan Gosling wrote “psyche!” at the bottom of all his letters! Katie gets the closure she needs from Andrew’s kiss, and she’s one step closer to finding her husband.