‘The Bachelorette’ recap: It’s my journey and I’ll cry if I want to
After the barrage of emotional meltdowns we witnessed starring the entire cast of The Bachelorette, I have little evidence pointing to the season 11 marketing ploy that Kaitlyn was the most fun choice of women vying to find true love. We were promised quirky dates, lots of laughter and crazy adventures. Seven episodes in, we’ve enjoyed panic attacks, running mascara and tension one could cut with a knife when Kaitlyn enters a room.
I imagine the sales guys over at Pfizer are frantically calling Fleiss right now, pitching Xanax as the official anti-anxiety medication of each rose ceremony. Maybe the ABC Psychotherapist could crunch some up and sprinkle it into the morning mimosas? Or maybe I should take one myself before watching?
Oh wait. I’m already doing that.
In a nutshell, nerves have officially been exposed and everyone is over-tired. The fact that Kaitlyn did the dirty dirty with Nick does not help her mental state. Let the record show that SHE DOES NOT FEEL GUILTY. She’s just reeeeeeeaaaaaalllllly nervous that people will find out. And by “people” I mean Gosling.
Let me refresh your memory in case you have forgotten where we left off last week. Here’s a quick beta cap from episode 6:
Ian complaining. Ian offending. Kaitlyn “Oh no you didn’t-ing.” Ian leaving. Nick swooping. Nicklyn snogging. Nick one-on-one-ing. Bird freaking. Nick protecting. Cathedral kissing. Lincee head shaking. More church kissing. Arch kissing. Suite inviting. Microphone recording. Couch kissing. Door slamming. Heavy breathing. MICROPHONE RECORDING. Rooster crowing. Nick smiling. Kaitlyn regretting. Balcony Mesnicking. Irish waking. Gosling brooding. Gosling door knocking. Kaitlyn eye widening. Stay tuning.
Kaitlyn is freaked out that Gosling has come to her room to talk. She hands him a beer, but he doesn’t drink. She leans in for a kiss and he stops her short with an abrupt, “Are you in love with me?” She chastises him for putting her on the spot. He responds with a simple, “Yes or no?” She assures him that she is falling in love with him.
Here’s the 4-1-1 based on context clues I was able to pull from Gosling’s mumbling and Kaitlyn’s reaction: Kaitlyn told Gos in San Antonio that he was the one, yet she just gave a rose to Jared at the ceremony. Gosling feels that rose should go to him—since he’s The One. He doesn’t like seeing her going out on dates with other dudes.
Some of you roll your eyes at this entire exchange, irritated that Gosling has yet to grasp the format of this reality show. You wonder why he expects every date rose? She can’t give it to him every single time! Those aren’t the rules!
I understand your concern, dear reader, but may I remind you of two things?
1. There are no rules. Only right reasons (right reasons.)
2. He just got back from losing his best friend in World War II and renovating the Windsor Plantation. Cut the guy some slack!
Kaitlyn boxes tonsils with Gosling to make him feel better and to keep him from saying anything he’d regret, like “I can’t do this anymore.”
Ah yes! We never went on this date last week. It’s too bad that Kaitlyn is super distracted the entire time, wondering if Nick is going to spill the beans about their tryst. And if he does, will Gosling leave? Oh look! A boat!
After a quick Irish joy ride, the trio disembarks the boat and settle in at their picnic spot. JJ makes the most of this awkward moment by telling Kaitlyn, in front of Kentucky Joe, that he’s falling for her. Kaitlyn’s reaction to this news was non-existent. It’s not that she was trying to refrain from leading him on, per se. I believe she was mentally creating a pro/con list of husbandly traits, comparing Nick and Gosling. She simply didn’t hear him.
Kentucky Joe takes the proverbial bull by the horns and leads Kaitlyn away to remind her that their chemistry is undeniable. He tells her that she is one in a million, just like her statement rings. He’s falling in love. And to prove it, he makes out with her.
Later, JJ tells the camera that it’s time from him to confess something to Kaitlyn. Their future relationship must be built on rock—not sand. He sits her down, looks in her eyes and shares that he cheated on his wife three years ago and lost everything as a result. Kaitlyn checks her watch, noticing that it’s just about time for the boat to come back and pick her up. She graciously thanks JJ for being so honest before admitting that cheating is her biggest fear in a relationship. Unless you’re dating eight other guys at the same time. Then it’s totally okay.
She releases JJ, encouraging him to spend time with his daughter. Instead, he signs up for Bachelor Paradise. Raise your hand if you didn’t see that coming.
Although Kaitlyn invites Kentucky Joe to join her on the boat ride back to Dublin as JJ watches from his rejection spot, she does NOT give him the date rose. She needs more time. Like an hour or so. She just wants to make sure the chemistry is really there. I was anxious for a minute that she was going to make the ABC Intern secure a cathedral. Luckily, she was able to find chemistry on a normal couch. He’s technique was rewarded with a boutonniere.
Kentucky Joe is escorted to the communal area where all the guys have gathered together to hear about the details of his date. No one seems to know or care that JJ is gone. Kentucky Joe uses the words “romantic” and “alone” when giving a play-by-play. This sends Gosling over the edge and the entire viewing audience experiences a moment of Groundhog Day when he begins to fidget, waiting for the elevator to take him to Kaitlyn’s room.
Here we go again.
Producers inform Kaitlyn that Gosling is coming back and he is not happy. Kaitlyn begins ugly crying because she is FOR SURE that Gosling knows she and Nick re-enacted the lyrics to a popular Marvin Gaye song.
Kaitlyn invites Gosling in to sit with her on the couch with the purple blanket. They talk about their feelings, yet never really say anything. Gosling basically tells her again that he wishes she had never told him he was the one. Kaitlyn jumps in his lap, grateful that he isn’t leaving due to the fact that she and Nick knocked statement rings. She quickly switches from tears to paranoia, wondering out loud if she reassured Gosling too much. She takes full blame for his anxiety and promises him that she will pay equal attention to all the guys from now on. Then she lectures Gosling, reminding him that this is how the game is played.
Clearly, this does not assuage Gosling’s fears. He starts rambling. He wants Kaitlyn to know that she is worth the pain.
Kaitlyn: This is just weeks in our forever. But when stuff like this happens, it makes me question us.
Gosling: I want you more than anything! If you’re a bird, I’m a bird!
Kaitlyn: YOU DON’T KNOW ME AT ALL!
Kaitlyn walks into the rose ceremony. Her Morticia dress matches her somber mood. She tells the guys that the week has been emotional. She’s confused, she’s worried about mistakes she’s made but her heart is still open. Upon hearing the word “mistake,” the other dudes become as worrisome as Gosling.
Ben takes her outside to toast Ireland and make out, while the others try to figure out the “mistake” enigma. Nick is hopeful that it’s not him. Gosling is certain he’s the culprit. Of all the opportunities to wear whimsical statement socks, this was not the day.
Peter Brady takes Kaitlyn into a hidden study. He immediately puts on a stern face. Once again, Kaitlyn is forced to have serious talk about life, love and other mysteries. Peter is upset because he and Kaitlyn had a really great date in San Antonio. That night, she snuck off-camera to hang with Peter and Gosling. For some odd reason, Peter decided to go upstairs to take a shower. When he came back, Gosling was happier. Something happened. Peter gently requests Kaitlyn not to tell him, but he does want her to know that he’s aware that Gosling received some sort of perk. Is he just spinning his wheels?
This is really hard for Peter to admit. Everyone knows that middle children need validation. Kaitlyn gives it to him, promising that they are gonna keep on, keep on, keep on, keep on dating all through the night.
This is a friendly disclaimer, reminding you that we are STILL IN THE ROSE CEREMONY. We must press on.
Next up is Nick. Kaitlyn is stone-faced. She basically asks him if he has been “respectful” when it comes to their date in Dublin. That’s code for “have you kept my secret?” Nick immediately responds that he has said nothing about the coitus. Kaitlyn thanks him, offering that if anyone found out, it could ruin relationships with other guys.
Now it’s Nick’s turn to pause. He receives this information as a threat. Is he just supposed to not talk about their time together even though that’s scheduled into every day between morning brunch and sitting around time? Kaitlyn informs him that he can talk about the date—not the romance.
Nick begins to rock back and forth. XANAX PLEASE!! HE’S GOING TO BLOW!
Nick: Who said I was talking? Who told you that I talk about what we do? I never say it was passionate.
Lincee: That’s a lie.
Nick: I’ve never said it was intimate.
Lincee: PLAYBACK! CAN I GET SOME PLAYBACK FROM LAST WEEK PLEASE?
Kaitlyn is not amused. Nick begins to hyperventilate, remembering how overconfident he was with What’s Her Name from his season. He turns on the waterworks. And he turns them on big time. This softens Kaitlyn’s stern exterior. She makes out with him because she was drawn to his emotional side. I wonder how hard Nick had to bite the inside of his cheek to produce that many tears?
Gosling rushes up to Kaitlyn for his alone time. He’s so concerned about their relationship that he forgot to get mad at the person who dressed him in a shiny royal blue tuxedo from 1989. He apologizes for making life harder on her. She apologizes for coming to see him that night. She’s considering that moment the catalyst of when her entire journey started falling apart. If she hadn’t told Gosling he was the one, she would have never churned butter with Nick.
Yeah. That’s it.
It was a bump in the road. So was Our Host Chris Harrison’s blood clot tie, but that’s neither here nor there. It’s time to hand out roses. Along with Nick, Jared and Kentucky Joe, boutonnieres go to Peter, The Dentist Cupcake and Gosling. Ben and Tanner are sent home. Tanner will be joining JJ in Paradise. Ben will go home and find a nice girl at the CrossFit gym. I’m SO GLAD he didn’t cry for the first time since his mom’s passing on The Bachelorette. And I’m SO GLAD he didn’t give in just to help make dramatic television.
Back in Kaitlyn’s room, she tells the camera that she’s “worried that mistakes could ruin her forever happiness.” Interesting. Is boom-boom with Nick the mistake? Or is Gosling finding out about it the mistake? Or is telling Gosling “he’s the one” the mistake? Or are they all incorporated on the list because her mistake is plural in the quote?
There’s not time to figure that out. We’re taking this journey to the other side of Ireland! Everyone load up in the Paddywagon bus! Everyone except Jared. He’s the lucky guy who gets to road trip with Kaitlyn, fearing for his life that they make it to their destination in one piece, stopping only to take selfies with an old school camera. How quaint!
Cut to Gosling sleeping on the Paddywagon. The poor guy was sawing logs while sitting straight up. This is just additional proof that he is over-tired. Night night Gosling.
Back on the road, Kaitlyn and Jared kiss the Blarney Stone and then kiss each other. With all the making out that’s going on this season, I have five bucks that they all get the runs in 48 hours.
Kaitlyn and Jared arrive at “her” legit castle just in time for evening cocktails. They make out on the bed (that’s their thing) and then Jared leaves for the night. Kaitlyn tells the camera that she is really happy and then someone knocks on the door. Her eye roll was FABULOUS. At this point, you can tell she thinks life will be a lot less hectic if she tells Gosling that she did the hokey-pokey with Nick.
Surprise! It’s Harrison! It’s time to shake things up. Harrison tells Kaitlyn that he thinks she’s not ready to visit home towns. Then he asks her if she thinks she’s ready. She cautiously shakes her head no. She confesses to Harrison that she messed things up and is disappointed in herself. She regrets going back to her hotel with Nick.
OHCH: That’s good. We all screw up. Where you go from here is a sign of your character.
Kaitlyn stares blankly back at her mentor, unsure of exactly where Harrison is going with this scenario. Her eyes widen when Harrison says that the show runners think she needs “off camera” time with all of the men in order to make the playing field even. They feel that all the relationships need to get up to speed. Kaitlyn begins bouncing in her chair. Now EVERYONE will get “off camera” time and she won’t have to worry about anyone finding out that she boffed Nick. Everyone gets a boink! Hooray!
But there’s a catch. She has to narrow it down to three guys at the next rose ceremony. Then she will have fantasy forgo card dates with each of them before sending one packing. Kaitlyn will only meet the families of two bachelors. Do we have a deal?
Kailtyn agrees that this is the best course of action for her personal journey.
The next morning, Harrison has the same conversation with the guys. I’m not sure what he said because the Irish sun was hitting him directly in his aquamarines and I got lost. In his eyes. And I felt my spirit rise. And soar like the wind.
Cupcake Chris the Dentist get the one-on-one. Obviously, we know that this means he’s about to get dumped. They take a helicopter to the Cliffs of Moher. Kaitlyn’s face says it all. They barely sit down for a celebratory drink before she starts bawling. She blames stress, which Cupcake wants to believe. But when she resorts to crying in her infinity scarf, he knows the end is near. He chooses to combat this fear by invading her personal space.
Kaitlyn: You’re everything on my checklist!
Cup: If this is our last chance, tell me more.
Lincee: I don’t get that, but keep going.
Kaitllyn: Something is wrong with me!
Lincee: She said it…
Cup: You’re just scared.
Kaitlyn hugs him goodbye and walks to her waiting helicopter. Cupcake is forced to watch her fly off into her dream future with her dream man while he ponders on the side of a cliff. I’m thankful that the lady with the furry coat was there to grab him in case things got dramatic. Fortunately, Cupcake sits down on a bed four-leaf clovers to have a good cry. A good, long cry. A very long, good, gut-wrenching cry. It was the emotion of a Mesnick without the balcony. I’m going with Irish Mesnick. Or Cliff Mesnick? We’ll have to put it to a vote.
Cupcake is taken back to town, where he sits on a porch all day long, drowning his tears in Guinness. By the way, what do you call a guy who sits on a porch all day long in Ireland?
I’m here all week folks.
[Thank you to Bryan Engle for providing the Patty O’Furniture joke. Your humor is a gift to my readers.]