Alright you guys. We’re in the home stretch for The Bachelorette, so this drawn out facade of Desiree Hartsock and her fairytale come true is finally drawing to an end. Last night’s episode was the last one before hometowns, so there’s hope for our Monday nights, yet! This week we’re in Madeira, which is a relief because it’s so beautiful that it distracts me from the constant tearing up on the part of everyone with a camera in their face. Not me at all. I’ve become a soulless creature who doesn’t believe in love.
ANYWAY. We start out the episode by inviting some ‘girlfriends’ from last season — Catherine, Jackie, and Lesley. Catherine gives more lip service to the fact that she and Sean are best friends, and then the girls get down to business. Who’s the hottest? Who’s the best kisser? Who’s the sweetest? The most adventurous? Ready for marriage? Biggest dick? You know, just normal girl stuff while they watch the boys with binoculars and Des slips a reference to having ‘kissed a lot of frogs’ in there because she’s a champ at the fairytale game.
Brooks gets the first one-on-one date, and he wants to spend today figuring out if he and Des should be in a relationship. It’s been a long time since their first date, so he’s feeling nervous and wants to see where Des is before he puts himself out there. The two of them decide they need a word in between ‘like’ and ‘love’ while they’re driving around up above the clouds on the island. Which seems super awesome, by the way. Des says privately that she’s on the road to falling in love with Brooks, and her goal for the day is to get him to accept those feelings (read: say he loves her too), but I actually really like that he’s not pushing himself to say things he doesn’t feel. Things are easy with them, physically, and they talk about Des meeting his family. Brooks gets teary at the table getting worried about his family meeting Des and getting attached and then her going away, because this is a big deal for him. They come up with the extra relationship words — stepping, skipping, jogging, running, and finish line — and Des tells Brooks she’s breaking into a run, while Brooks says he’s starting jogging. He wants her to meet his family, she wants that too and says she sees him as The One, and then boom fireworks!
Chris gets the second one-on-one date, and the two of them are heading out to the open sea. The guys are really jealous, but they shouldn’t be, because the two of them are gonna write a really stupid poem together and put it in a bottle. Chris says he came into the situation as a skeptic, but now he loves Des and he’s planning on telling her tonight, even though it’s not a word he uses often. They talk more about parents, and Desiree reveals that her own mom and dad only ever met her high school boyfriend, and meanwhile Chris is spending the whole dinner twitching and sweating getting excited to tell her that he’s in love with her. He tells her in another effing poem because he doesn’t have the balls to just say it straight out, and he gets rewarded for his sub-mediocre efforts with lots of face kisses like you’d give a good puppy. Chris is excited to start his life with her and thinks he’s found The One, so we’re already two for two in ‘The One’ references.
Michael gets the final one-on-one, and they’re just wandering the city together, because Michael is so clearly not right for her that there was no point in making real plans. He does have this gem, though: “If you were on a scavenger hunt to find the perfect woman and there were forty-seven things you had to find — Desiree has forty-eight.” THAT’S EXTRA. THAT’S EXTRA, MICHAEL. He says he hasn’t had feelings for someone in a while, and then it’s time for awkward kisses and a toboggan ride down the hill! It’s a bumpy ride, so let’s make sure we compare it to the wild ride of love. Very good, thank you. Des thinks Michael is very protective and has her back, but she’s not convinced he has the ability to be vulnerable, yet, so she wants to see that. He tells her he was raised by his mom and his grandparents, which actually explains a lot. He reveals he had a falling out with his dad at age sixteen over the bills for his diabetes treatment, and they don’t speak to each other now, and that his last serious relationship, she cheated on him. Now he wonders if he’ll ever love again, and I wonder if Des is aware that she dresses just like a middle-schooler.
Since there are only five guys left, the two-on-one date is the only opportunity to get a rose before the ceremony, and even if you’re the guy on the date who doesn’t get one, you’re not necessarily going home. So it’s kind of a win-win. Des decides to take robo-Drew and Zak, who says he’s ‘been in love with her for weeks’. Hoo boy, buddy. They go go-kart racing because Des wants to see Drew let himself go, and Zak step up and try to hold her attention in a group setting. Zak wins go-kart race, mostly because robots can’t drive cars, so he gets the first one-on-one time with Des. He shows her a bunch of paintings he’s made of the whole process, and Des rewards him with sweet sweet kindergarten teacher kisses. I also just noticed that she has a really annoying habit of starting her sentences when she’s one inch away from their mouths, going in for a kiss, and then awkwardly talking around their lips. Zak elects not to tell Des he loves her because she can’t say anything back, and Drew swoops in to snag the rose for himself by opening up about his handicapped sister whom he wants Des to meet. She’s not able to communicate but she experiences emotions, and Drew wants Des to meet her because he’s never felt anything like this before. In fact (!! this is the moment !!) he tells her he’s fallen in love with her. Here is your rose, sir. Don’t let the door hit your ass on the way innnnnn.
Speaking with Chris Harrison before the Rose Ceremony, though, Des does something really unexpected — she picks out a clear frontrunner. She says Drew is the best looking and sincere and kind, but then her descriptions are completely derailed when Chris brings up Brooks. She says she’s in love with him, but she doesn’t know if he is back, and that scares her. She’s definitive enough about her preference that Chris Harrison asks if the competition is over, so she quickly adds that she’s also falling in love with Chris. SCANDAL! At this point in the game, she’s sending people home based on the growth of their relationships — or lack thereof — versus any kind of character failing.
Drew is safe going in, and roses are given to Brooks, Chris, and Zak, with Michael missing out on the hometown date and also true love. AW SHUCKS. Oh and the best part of the whole episode? The part where he calls his mom from the car to tell her he got sent home and her EXACT RESPONSE is “Oh here we go again.” I’m obsessed.