Katie Thurston, as I’ve said, is a welcome change for a Bachelorette, a sex-forward woman who knows her own heart and mind and is there to meet her future husband, dammit. And, so far, she seems to have made some great choices. This is a (mostly) solid group of twenty-plus men. But it wouldn’t be a Bachelor production without some manufactured drama, and what starts out as a promising second episode of the season completely derails at the end, all on the basis of comments from one extremely shady contestant. We’ll get there in a bit.
First: Katie has two group dates and a one-on-one this week. The first group outing involves the guys making a play for why they’re the greatest lover of all time. Some found this pretty difficult—Ladies! If a guy who doesn’t know the meaning of the word “erogenous,” that’s probably a warning sign. (Although when one of the guys said, “This is harder than I thought it was going to be,” did anybody else go immediately to a “That’s what she said”?) But some men got creative, with Connor’s song (wish that didn’t bring back Jed flashbacks), Tre’s puppet show, and frankly, Christian’s offer to do all the chores at home was pretty hot. Karl decided to fall back on his horrific motivational speaking skills, which primarily seemed to involve tossing small whiteboards around. But in the end, Mike the virgin won everyone over with his speech about the importance of waiting for the right person, and in a surprising turn of events, won the greatest lover trophy. Good for you, Mike!
The first impression rose guy also got the first one-on-one date, as Katie and Greg went off fishing, and Katie reminisced about outdoor outings with her dad. Gotta say, it was pretty great to see a girl driving a pickup around on this show for once. Katie really opened up about fishing trips with her dad, who died nine years ago, and honestly one of the most thoughtful things about Greg is that he didn’t even bring up the fact that his own father had passed until dinner that night, letting her have that moment. You know how some couples look like each other? The only disturbing thing about Katie and Greg is that they kind of look like siblings, but if they can get past that, surely, we should be able to.
Honestly, the whole episode was running along at a pretty nice clip until group date number two, which involved some cowboy version of mud wrestling. It was so nice to see guys like John and Kyle just accept the fact that they were about to get their asses handed to them. But then the tensions between Aaron and Cody, hinted at last week, boiled over, aided by them getting pitted against each other in the wresting match. Aaron got the one-on-one time with Katie (seems kind of suspect, but oh well) and primarily used it to diss Cody. After all, the guy did bring a blow-up doll the first night. So it seemed like Katie was attempting to defuse the drama before it really blew up by sending him home, therein making her the Bachelorette of our dreams.
But of course, nothing on The Bachelorette could ever be that simple, because Karl decides to use his time at the rose ceremony cocktail party to plant seeds in Katie’s head about an apparent flock of guys who are there for the wrong reasons, a phrase that should be banished forever from reality television, right along with “I’m not here to make friends.” And Katie, who we had just seen be so savvy the night before, somehow gets sucked into Karl’s web of fabrication. Yes, you’re on a TV show and it’s probably difficult to parse out what’s real and what isn’t. But even Katie admits that she doesn’t know Karl that well, so why in the word should she take his tarnished word for it? You get the feeling that the producers had a talk with her: “Okay, you can boot Cody right away, but Karl has to stick around for awhile.” Unfortunately.
Because so far, Karl seems like a sociopath at worst and a manipulative personality at best. He has now turned the entire house of guys against him. He keeps talking about The Bachelorette, and Katie, as if it is a game for him to win; unlike the other guys, he never talks about what he actually likes about her as a person or his actual feelings for her, just his intent to win. (“I want that trophy,” he said about the greatest-lover-in-the-world designation, which makes it even better that Mike got it.) Katie seems to have good instincts; can’t she see that she’s better off listening to her gut than she would be taking the advice of Karl, a guy who says “suffercate” instead of suffocate? Another helpful rule of life: Never trust anyone who says “You can trust me.” More likely, Karl figures that the only way his hyper-competitive ass can stay in the game is by trying to take as many guys out as possible, hence his need for manufacturing drama right out of the thin air. Joke’s on Karl, because it seems like overall, this is a really good group of guys, with little scandal to be unearthed. Or is there? We shall see in the upcoming weeks, as always.
At least Andrew S. proves that he is swoon-worthy by being the first guy to come out and make sure Katie’s okay. Like with Greg, the two bond over shared experiences—in this case, money problems growing up, which would definitely have an effect on your adulthood.
Couldn’t all the guys just go to Katie and tell her, “Karl is a bunch of bullshit”? She’s been so good about everything else, it’s frustrating to see one talk with Karl mess her up so much. (Call Tayshia and Kaitlyn! That’s what they’re there for.) Tears on episode two is a bit much already.
Katie, we get it: You’re new at this. It’s early days. You’re a smart girl; just trust yourself, and you’ll be fine. At least Karl is so wholly uncharming that there’s no way he can be sticking around until the final four or anything, no matter what the producers have to say.
- People who already have roses should not be hogging time at the cocktail party, c’mon, Thomas.
- Katie at the cocktail party: “I don’t know how tonight could be ruined…” Cue Karl.
- Also, Katie wondering if Karl is just stirring the pot? YES!
- It’s surprising to witness how many of the guys are so roasted by the New Mexico sun, especially Mike. Guess sunscreen is not a big priority.
- I don’t even know who said it, but why was this line so funny as the guys watched Katie greet Greg? “That was a good hug. Damnit.”