Heads-up, y’all: I am coming to you live from Long Beach, Indiana, where I am holed up in a beachhouse with my 14-year-old daughter and four of her friends. So I have a few helpers watching The Bachelorette with me this week, the kind that groan in pain whenever there’s kissing (and obviously, there was a lot of kissing this episode).
Young teens being teens, they had lots to say about Katie’s three contestants, even as I tried to explain the overall concept of The Bachelorette (“Does she kiss the other guys like that?” one wanted to know as Katie and Blake made out numerous times on their Canadian date). The girls’ introductory thoughts: Blake “looks like a brick” and Greg “doesn’t look as much like a brick.” But this was a really rough episode for an introduction into The Bachelorette. It’s funny, at the beginning we were all kind of making fun of it, and by the end all six of us were riveted, hanging on the edge of the beach house sectional and screaming at the TV. (“Don’t break Greg,” said one of my daughter’s friends. “I hate her!”)
I am torn. I feel like if Greg had just trusted Katie? She basically said everything she could possibly say without blowing the ending. On the other hand, like she said, the process isn’t easy for her either, and it was wrong of him to try to force her into a place in the relationship that she wasn’t ready to be in. She didn’t want to say “love” while she was dating multiple people, and she stuck to that.
So let’s ask the panel. Don’t know if it was his Teen Beat good looks, but all my co-watchers were on Greg’s side. They zeroed in on the moment when Greg poured out his heart to Katie and she replied with, “I just love looking at you.” Sample comments: “She was giving him absolutely nothing,” “She was keeping it surface level,” “They were on different levels in emotional vulnerability.” (Kids these days.) You could see Greg frantically try to grasp for some semblance of normalcy in a relationship that started in the most unnatural way possible. When Katie called him her “number one,” he was obviously frustrated that she was still using Bachelorette terminology to define something he wanted to take to the real world, where roses are just a flower. I think she did seem removed, but probably due to contractual reasons, because she’s not allowed to come out and say, “It’s going to be you.”
But… if Greg couldn’t just hang on for one more week after all these weeks? That relationship went from storybook to a dumpster fire in a shockingly short amount of time. You’re having a fight on national television—which is not normal times! Let her give you the final rose and you can work it out afterward. But since they were already so at emotional odds at this point in the game, it’s probably good that they broke up. We do not want to sentence Katie to a life of fights with Greg where he gets mad at her because she didn’t say what he considered to be the right thing. During their second talk outside, when she was on her knees and he was still saying that he deserved more, even my local fan club started to turn on him: “He shouldn’t have said that.”
It was still sad, though, and incredibly emotional. The girls and I were riveted, even as we realized that we were basically looking at a bathroom door and ugly carpet for about 15 minutes, which is a credit to this show. And thank god Kaitlyn was there instead of Chris frickin’ Harrison, someone who has gone through what Katie’s been through and was able to be there for her. You gotta wonder, though: Katie was one of the strongest Bachelorettes we’d seen in a while and her group of guys (with a few exceptions) was pretty stellar. So if that combo can’t make it, or wind up with an actual love story, like Katie despaired, isn’t it all just for nothing anyway?
- More commentary: “Wow. Seven knocks.”
- Also: “She says the same thing about every guy.”
- My insightful daughter with about 50 minutes left to go: “There’s no way these 50 minutes end well.” I mean, with me as a mom, she has watched a lot (probably too much) TV.
- Props to Blake’s intense mom in the leather pants. Also to his sister for calling him out as a serial Bachelorette dater.
- Justin’s mom bringing the logic over the phone: “I’m not quarantining for two weeks to make small talk for a few hours.” Have any other contestants had parents who refused to participate in Hometowns? I feel like once Justin’s parents didn’t show up, that was a flag. Not blaming them, I totally get it, but it was not a great sign for the relationship. I like Justin, especially his reactions, but it’s so surprising that he’s made it to the top three. Well, two, now.
- Also, how is there a man under 70 named Herb?
- But: “Okay, guys, who do we like best overall?” “…We like Herb.”
- The teens also found the Silhouette commercial to be hilarious.
- Pro tip: Just don’t ever wear (breakup) blue on this show.
- Man, Greg even got an in memoriam montage. That rain scene was brutal.
- I hate talking about grades on here, but I honestly had no idea how to grade this episode. Went with B+ for the high dramatic factor, which was excellent.
- Next week: Big Finale! I think the girls are too disillusioned to join me.