Katie Thurston’s season is heating up—quickly. With only 15 men left, relationships are forming, emotions are running high, and the men are beginning to get quite…territorial. Of course, this only heightens when newcomer (OK, not that new) Blake Moynes shows up like “Hey guys! Did you miss me?” The men are not happy to have a new man vying for their “girlfriend” Katie’s heart, but that’s the name of the Bachelorette game! Blake handles the tension well and Katie shows up to “open the floor” for the men to air out their grievances. Soon enough, Blake gets the one-and-one date and he and Katie are off, leaving the pouting men behind.
I wasn’t sure what to expect from Blake and Katie’s date. They might have had initial chemistry in last week’s episode, but will that hold up this week? I was unsure. Well, that uncertainty didn’t last long. Katie and Blake’s date consists of horseback riding, Blake checking off all the characteristics on Katie’s husband-to-be list (including being a good kisser), and deep conversations. Katie tells Blake about her nonconsensual sexual encounter and he responds with kindness and empathy.
“No one deserves to go through that,” he tells Katie. “I have a new appreciation for who you are and I know how hard it is to talk about. And I hope you know that regardless of what you’ve kind of been through, I will always be very, very mindful of that topic.”
Then they roll around in the hay (really) and make out for what feels like an eternity. Props to Katie for making the most out of being the Bachelorette. Let no man go unkissed.
It’s group date time! Judging from the promos, the men get competitive (by competitive, I mean aggressive) while playing what looks like a cross between rugby and basketball. It’s called “The Bachelorette Bash Ball Battle” and there are two teams: the black team and the red team. The focus is on Hunter, who seems determined to tackle every man on the opposite team in an attempt to win. Sadly, the game gets a little too heated and the dad of the group (Michael A.) is injured.
During the afterparty, Katie spends time with Michael A. and he opens up to her that his late wife’s birthday was the day before. “It was just kind of a lonely, thoughtful kind of day,” he tells Katie. “Usually, I spend it with my family. You know, being here, you bring comfort in my life.” It’s a sweet moment and just makes me love Michael A. that much more. Other men talk to Katie like Connor B. (who sings to her), resident nice guy Greg, and possible villain Hunter. Hunter gets the rose and it’s all very anticlimactic for everyone—everyone except Hunter.
The next one-on-one date is with Andrew S. The mission? To find out whether Andrew S. and Katie connect on a deep level. In order to figure this out, they ask each other questions in a romantic game and get real during their dinner. Andrew S. opens up about how it felt to be a kid after his father went to prison.
“There’s not a chance in the world that I’m going to miss any moment, whether that’s a band concert, whatever it is, it doesn’t matter,” he explains to Katie about the kind of father he wants to be. “I’m going to be there for my kid because that’s all that matters to me.”
He also expresses that his ex was worried about having biracial children. Katie tears up after hearing that heartbreaking confession. “No one’s going to come between what beautiful children that you and I could make,” she says. “That has never crossed my mind and maybe that’s because I’m native as a white woman, you know, but—and maybe that’s just in the community that I live in—I’ve never had to think that way because to me, all I want in life is love. All I want is to have a beautiful family regardless of how they look.” I’m here for these conversations. Let’s not tiptoe around the issue of race, people! Katie and Andrew S. end the date in the hot tub making out, of course.
This brings us to the rose ceremony. Three men have roses and three men will go home. The fact that Hunter has a rose doesn’t stop him from pulling Katie away for an impromptu date full of champagne and astronomy (don’t ask). This doesn’t sit well with the other men and they call him out on it. He tells the camera that he doesn’t “give a shit” about what the other men think. Clearly. Ultimately, Katie sends home Andrew M., Josh, and Quartney with a Q.
That leaves 12 men fighting for Katie’s heart, and from the looks of it, there’s some steep competition.
The Bachelorette airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on ABC.
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