Hi, Bachelorette fans! It’s me, Abby! I missed you while I was pinned under a stack of editing, but tonight I’m back in the saddle and ready to go…just in time for The Passion of the Kaitlyn. My notes are a little impressionistic in the first half, but I have confidence that we’re all deep thinkers and can keep up…

Ian has decided that Kaitlyn is NOKD (not our kind, dear). He’s a smarty smartypants from Princeton, and Kaitlyn just wants to fool around on TV with a bunch of guys who make fart jokes. Oh, Ian, I’m so disappointed in you! So much potential drowned in so much jerkosity.

A little perturbed that Kaitlyn gets so hung up on being called “surface level,” but doesn’t seem to care about the slut shaming? (I mean, “get your field plowed”? C’mon, bro, that’s rude.)

Love how the other guys all pop up like prairie dogs (“something’s happening!”) as Ian leaves.

“I went to Princeton, Deerfield, and that’s what I have to offer.” Um, that’s school, not depth. And then he makes his pitch for being the Bachelor, not understanding that A) he’s peaking too early and B) he’s just displayed the fact that he’s a snob and a shitty breaker-upper but C) not too much of a snob to want that sweet, sweet TV time. You know what? I wish they would pick him to be the Bachelor—and I wish they’d give him twenty-five of the most talented, brilliant, charming, educated women…who don’t look like models. Let’s see how important “depth” is to him then.

While all the broheims wonder what happened to their pal, Nick takes advantage of their stupor to zip up to Kaitlyn for comfort and possible Nice Guy points. Why does he seem huge on the couch next to Kaitlyn? I feel like I’m watching a forced-perspective shot from Lord of the Rings.

Side note: cannot approve of Nick’s armful of bangle bracelets worn with his suit and bowtie.

Back at Boys Town, men are mad at Nick for seizing the day, instead of themselves for missing the opening. Why don’t dudes blame themselves for failure? How do I get some of that self-confidence?

How did the show not flash #makeoutbandit on the screen during Kaitlyn’s “intimacy is important” talking head?

Kaitlyn was offended because she “started the night off saying how serious I take this.” A distant murmur from a black SUV in the distance: “…seriousLY.”

The Alamo at night—perfect setting for a rose ceremony. I guess love is a battlefield? Sure, I’ll go along with it if it gives me an excuse to post the awesome Pat Benatar video.

Chris points out that they’re in “an incredibly special place” and that it’s particularly special to him because he’s from Texas. Yeah, but “special” does not necessarily mean “romantic,” producers.

As the guys stand there nervously and get their close-ups one by one, I am concerned by how many of them still look like serial killers.

Intern Ty is unimpressed by Kaitlyn’s opening rose ceremony speech and is cleaning his toes noisily in protest. It’s…not pretty.

INTERN TY

Rose-getters (Shawn and Nick already have them): Jared, Brett, JJ, Joe, Ben Z (are there still multiple Bens or has the nickname just stuck?). The final rose goes to: Tanner. Goodbye to: Josh (iron worker) and Dustin (serial killer).

Josh’s farewell interview is all about how he doesn’t trust Nick and Nick shouldn’t still be there. He seems sad to be losing, not so sad to be losing Kaitlyn.

Time for the foreign trip, and this one’s good: Dublin, Ireland! Previews include dancing with…Jared? Kaitlyn cheerfully sitting in a coffin (???) and lots of on-street making out from Nick. Plus, sobbing Kaitlyn as the slut-shaming comes home to roost.

As soon as they’ve landed in Dublin, Kaitlyn announces that the first one-on-one date will happen right…NOW. And of course she picks Nick, because it seems that tonight will be the Nick show.

Beautiful day for a walk, and Nick & Kaitlyn stroll through a park, where Nick learns about Kaitlyn’s fear of birds. She’s hilariously edging past some innocuous pigeons, and then we get a little break in the fourth wall as we see her ducking out of shot, rictus of terror on her face, when a bird flies too close to her head.

OK, I’m impressed with Nick’s upper body strength. They come to a crowd around a street performer, and without missing a step, Nick just wraps an arm around Kaitlyn and hoists her onto his hip like a baby. He’s not wobbling or sweating or anything! Seriously, now I really need to know how big/small these people are. My mind is blown.

Then they just “stumble upon” some performers doing Irish step dancing in a square (or “Irish Riverdancing,” as Nick calls it) and just “happen” to be asked to join. This is the “I call shenanigans on local culture” portion of the date, I presume. Best part of the whole thing is the cutaway to a bystander, filming K&N, with a look of horrified disbelief at Nick’s terrible dancing. You know how they say you can tell what a man’s like in bed from how he dances? I guess Kaitlyn hasn’t heard that saying, if the previews are to be believed.

But the theme of this date is quickly becoming “get a room,” so I imagine Nick will be Riverdancing the hell out of Kaitlyn real soon.AWC_Key_Art

Commercial break, and this exchange is the reason I might watch Astronaut Wives’ Club: “Oh, no, I don’t drink in the day.” “But half your life is in the day!?!”

The leftover guys are strategizing in their hotel, waiting for the date card. Jared does some advanced math and announces, “If they read the date card and there are only two names left, then we’ll know it’s a two-on-one.”

And after math, we get English lit, I guess. I will transcribe the date card in full:

“Nine fine men in Dublin she met/ To fall in love her heart she let/ But what you don’t knowses/ There are no more roses/ Cause here lies our Bachelorette.” THAT’S NOT EVEN A LIMERICK YOU MORON PRODUCERS WTF IS THAT METER?

The two odd men out wind up being JJ and Joe. (Joe, incidentally, looks like a key grip who woke up late and wandered onto set. He has confusing hair, a blank stare, and the blandest t-shirt yet. THERE, PRODUCERS, THAT’S ALREADY A BETTER POEM.)

Now we’re back at dinner for two w/Nick & Kaitlyn. More smooching and giggling and very little eating. Do you think the contestants lose weight on this show, or do all the alcohol calories make up for it? After way more making out than I care to watch, she gives him the rose. Surprise. This is feeling like Des and Brooks all over again. Will a similar heartbreak ensue?

Kaitlyn tells Nick it’s been a great evening, and she doesn’t want it to end. He’s quick to agree, but she’s all, “No, I mean I don’t want it TO END.” And then she invites him back to her hotel! Hey, get some, Kaitlyn! You do you.

Intercut with scenes of them making out on her couch, we get Shawn explaining that he doesn’t trust Nick and hopes that Kaitlyn will figure out “his true character” soon.

Kaitlyn takes Nick into the bedroom, we hear amplified slurping, and watch a closed door while subtitles say that Kaitlyn “feels good about all of this” and Nick “wants to know every part of her.” This feels inappropriate in a Skinemaxy way. Bleh. Cut to…gushing fountain outside her hotel, followed by shots of birds and bees? C’mon, producers. Lame.

We come back from commercial to Nick doing the walk of shame and Kaitlyn grinning on her balcony. She tells an off-screen producer that she doesn’t want it to be an issue, but only now does she realize that if she accepts the premise of the show, then last night was kind of cheating. She says she hopes Nick doesn’t say anything.

So of course, Nick makes it about two minutes before volunteering the information that he went back to her hotel suite. He claims that they just hung out on her couch, but of course he’s set the guys off by even mentioning the hotel visit.

Back to Kaitlyn, now freaking out because she’s only just discovered empathy. She’s scared that if Nick opens his big mouth, the other guys might leave and she’d be left “with no one.” Um, presumably you’d still have Nick, no?

Cue the waterworks in 3…2…1…

Oh, my mistake, that gun’s not going off yet, apparently. Time for the group date with the “confusing” poem. Obviously, it’s going to be “an Irish wake.” (Is that racist?) The guys all walk up in identical dark suits, looking like the road company of Reservoir Dogs.

reservoir dogs

Cupcake rises in my esteem when he says, “I tried to warn her…if she’d just floss more. It’s too late now.” Jared may have topped it, though, with “Poor Kaitlyn…so much talent. Such a terrible laugh.” Heh.

Kaitlyn is doing her darndest to leave a beautiful corpse, but she can’t stop laughing, so the mood is kind of killed. All the guys are whispering to her, “You’re doing terrible.” She whispers back, “I know, I’m bad at this!” She should have practiced her “pretending to be a dead girl” before the show, like I always do before a date.

Tanner ad libs (well, they make it look like he ad libbed it, anyway…I’m skeptical) a better poem to Kaitlyn than any date card on the last 10 seasons of the show. Jared goes second, also doing a poem (so there’s no way this is ad libbed), and then kisses Kaitlyn on the head. So now each of them has to one-up the previous. Cupcake sings his poem to the tune of “O Danny Boy.” Ben H. (there IS a second Ben!) delivers a eulogy as though he won K’s heart and had 50 years of marriage…it involves a dress made of bread and a flock of pigeons. Shawn gets bitchy: “I was devastated when I heard you took your own life, but I understand…I would have done the same thing if I had to spend the day with Nick.” Everyone (including Kaitlyn) is laughing uproariously. Finally, Ben Z asks the other guys to step out of the room, and the mood grows “serious.” Having lost his mother when he was young, he doesn’t find the funeral setting wacky. Kaitlyn’s touched by his heartfelt speech, which I didn’t bother recording because boring.

Fortunately, the guys found some Irish banjo players in the other room, so now it’s time for drinking and singing and clapping! Yay, fake sponanteous misappropriation of cultural stereotypes!

That night, they meet up at the Guinness factory/museum. Cool. Kaitlyn’s the only one not drinking Guinness, though—she’s a white wine girl. I’m surprised…she seems like she’d be into it. But I suppose the Bachelorette has to avoid being filmed with a foam mustache.

Jared’s the first to slip away with her and get some smooches. The other guys are still chewing over the Nick scuttlebutt like dogs with a bone, and Shawn finally works himself up for some one on one time with Kaitlyn. He pulls out some family photos and she coos over them appropriately. Kisses for Shawn (but they look like Friend Zone kisses to me.)

The final rose, a bit surprisingly, goes to Jared. I guess she liked that he made fun of her laugh? Kaitlyn and Jared go off for the late night part of the date, while Shawn is crestfallen.

The private date is set in a cathedral, and as Jared and Kaitlyn stroll up the aisle, who’s waiting for them but the Cranberries, playing “Linger.” The lead singer has an expression like she can’t believe this is what it’s come to…or maybe she realizes no one’s thought about the lyrics to the song, which is about a woman in love with a guy who’s cheating.

Shawn has gone off to mope and then to talk to some guy in a backwards baseball cap. I guess a producer? His handler? I think someone’s had too much to drink. But whatever the case, he’s reeling because Kaitlyn came to his room (some episodes ago) and stayed six hours and told him he was in, he was the one. He’s freaking out now, just muttering, “I can’t do this.” He heads back to the hotel.

“She’s ruining everything that we have,” he tells us in voiceover. Love that–he hasn’t misinterpreted her feelings, she’s just ruined it. Oh, Bachelorette, eternal safe haven of the mansplainer!

He goes to Kaitlyn’s room, and HA! The real secret is finally revealed–Kaitlyn is eating room service. I knew they had to eat sometime, but they never have more than a bite of those carefully crafted dinner a deux meals! And I love that she’s got her stuff thrown all over her suite.

He sits on the couch and puts his arm around her, but she’s looking cagey, trying to figure out if he’s there to complain about her night with Nick. (This is intercut with the sobbing interview we’ve seen for weeks.) And…NEXT WEEK ON THE BACHELORETTE.

BOO! Nothing happens tonight. I guess because we got an actual rose ceremony in this one, that was enough excitement for us. But more tears are coming up next week. Lucky us.

So until next week, Bacheloristas, may the road rise up to meet you, may the wind be ever at your back, and may you always, always, receive the final rose.