We open on a house rattled. “Last night was crazy,” Genevie says. “A lot of things happened unexpectedly. Christina went home, and Brianna left.” She makes no mention of the fact that her arm is in a sling. Seriously, did they think we just wouldn’t notice?! I’m going to need a whole Women Tell All segment about this.
Jesse is here to do what has become his thing, which is faking the women out with faux bad news. “There’s not going to be a date today because Zach’s no longer here,” he tells them solemnly. Because he’s already traveling to the Bahamas! Everyone screams. Cue the map to show the route to the Bahamas in case you’re bad at geography and what is essentially an ad for the resort that shelled out for The Bachelor to film there. “It is truly paradise!” someone says convincingly. “We have our own private pool and beach area, which is super cool!” gushes another. They all chant “Zach the Snack” and we cut to Zach showering again. Did he have a shower scene quota written into his contract?
The first date card comes for Katherine. “How deep is our love?” it reads, and everyone’s faces fall. Greer starts crying, and they all comfort her, including Katherine. The ethos of the house has been one of supportive sisterhood, but the cracks are starting to show. But there’s no time to dwell on Greer’s tears. Katherine has a yacht to catch! They rub sunscreen all over each other and Zach says, “Are you SPFing me right now?” It’s a little surprising that he didn’t want to be a stepdad to Blakely Mae, considering how quick he is with a bad joke.
They do some snorkeling and dance on the boat, and Zach is having a hard time processing that Katherine is into him. “Kat literally looks like a model. I don’t date models.” Over the course of the date, she also transitions from Katherine to Kat. I assume because Cat (blond girl with the insane facial expressions, if you need a refresher) went home, and now Kat can use her name again. When they end up on the beach for a chat and a make out, Kat says they have an ease between them that allows her to be herself. “That’s all I can ask for,” Zach says, completing her performance review.
She seals the deal over dinner, when she shares that she had a rocky relationship with her mom growing up. Those difficulties only reaffirm her desire for a “traditional” family, but she cries over the possibility that Zach will find her “unlovable” or judge her background. He, of course, eats this up. A woman physically out of his league with just enough trauma to get vulnerable but not so much that he has to deal with something messy? Plus no five-year-old at home? It’s a slam dunk.
They kiss as fireworks explode in the background, and Zach describes it as such. “It’s like two meteors perfectly colliding and creating a star.” Neil deGrasse Tyson might have something to say about this, but Kat is our new frontrunner.
The group date is a beach party with some Jamaican food and music, and because this show does not have a great track record, I’m on high alert for something culturally inappropriate. The racism does come out, just not in the way I expected.
“Today is pretty critical. I want to put everything out there,” says a girl whose name I still don’t know, four weeks in. Unfortunately, I’m about to be forced to learn it (Anastasia), and a lot of other things about her. She puts herself on the map in a hilarious way by asking Zach for a “kiss for courage” before she does the limbo, only for him to offer her his cheek. I would have simply walked into the ocean from sheer embarrassment. Anastasia, however, commits to more bad choices when she “steals” him away from the group. No one is happy, and after a few minutes, Kylie seeks them out to ask for time of her own. “Can we have a few more minutes?” Anastasia asks. Kylie pushes back awkwardly, and eventually says, “I don’t like to fight, please?” Anastasia gives up but proceeds to tell every other woman on the beach that Kylie threatened her with physical violence. This is a choice, considering that Kylie is a woman of color, and Anastasia is deliberately perpetuating the angry Black woman stereotype. Others report back to Kylie, who is understandably upset at having her words twisted so grotesquely.
This drama bubbles among the women during the evening portion of the date until Zach gets some alone time with Kylie, who rats out her foe but goes one step further and tells Zach that she heard Anastasia has been talking about social media clout. Oh no! Mild racism, he could have tolerated, but being here for Instagram followers? Well, that goes beyond the pale. “That freaks me the fuck out,” he says, looking genuinely freaked out. After Charity confirms Kylie’s story, Zach confronts Anastasia, who puts on a good show about being bewildered, but Zach clearly isn’t buying it. After passing out the group date rose to Ariel, he leaves for the night. Kylie admits to the group she threw Anastasia under the bus, and shit is tense.
The next day, while everyone whispers among each other about the drama in their special, private Bahamas resort pool, Brooklyn heads out on her one-on-one to drive ATVs with Zach. She’s a rodeo girl, so he knows she’s up to do “something a little wild and crazy.” Though they have fun, he’s worried she’s holding back. When she fist bumps him after their kiss(!!), I think the edit is absolutely setting her up to get cut over dinner.
But after we get that domestic violence warning, I know there’s no way Brooklyn is going home. Her story is definitely devastating–“literally the cops waking me up because I got knocked out”–but it will never stop feeling gross that these women have to relive their past traumas to advance on this show. You don’t owe this man your story! Brooklyn gets the rose.
It’s time for the cocktail party, but first he pulls Anastasia to send her home. He does this in a respectful but authoritative way, asking her how she’s been doing, but ultimately letting her go without a shred of indecisiveness. This man has no tolerance for drama! If he gets even a whiff of mess, you are out. Kylie crumbles, knowing her days are numbered as the woman who brought this to his attention in the first place.
Because frankly, at this point, it’s pretty obvious who Zach likes. He has a top five or six that he actively seeks out, and when women from the outer circle pull him to chat, he’s barely feigning interest. He plays a whole game of pool with Kat when she already has a rose but doesn’t even talk to some of the other women during the cocktail party! Let this man cut more people! Mercedes is still here? To do what?
Kylie hyperventilates during the rose ceremony but is the last name called, meaning Davia and Genevie head home. We’re down to his top 11, and I’m just going to say it: This season is maybe good? Zach’s zero-tolerance policy for drama has created a strong group of contenders, an air that he’s taking things seriously, and the feeling of actual stakes.
Next week, something rocks the house. There’s some webcam footage of Zach like he’s on a Zoom call. Does he get COVID?!
- When Zach and Kat make out in the ocean, I am forcibly reminded of the time Ben Higgins admitted filming often has to pause for men to get their erections in check.
- We have to talk about Jess: By her own admission, this sweet girl is always shaking like a chihuahua. What made you sign up for reality TV when being around the man scares you so? During the group date, she also says, “I wish we could peel off these petals and everyone one of us could get part of it,” which has big crying girl from Mean Girls energy. She doesn’t even go here!
- When Ariel and Zach talk, all I can think is that if they ended up together, their kids would have the deepest voices.
- The big bad social media thing Anastasia supposedly said? That people in the top 14 would likely have 50,000 followers at this point in the show. I’m sorry to tell her that outside of their fallen comrade Christina Mandell, the contestants all had 25,000 or less to start week four, according to @bachelordata. Instagram isn’t what it used to be!