Ah, Brussels, Begium: One place I’ve never had any desire to travel to, and apparently neither has Andi, since in the opening talking heads scenes she recites the requisite “Brussels Fun Facts” with all the enthusiasm of someone on her way for a root canal. I love Andi’s completely organic and not-at-all-prompted eye for the classic Brussels combo of old history with new—she is so culturally intuitive [Abby says: but what about the waffles? Did we hear about the waffles?]!

Whereas Andi’s keeping pretty cool on the Brussels front, the remaining “Sweet Six” (as she refers to them later on in the episode—LOL) are practically wetting themselves over their excitement at staying at the Steigenberger hotel. Brian the Blob: “The Steigenberger. The classiest of the classy.” Because if there’s one person who knows classy, it’s the basketball coach from Nowheres, PA. Bri, how many takes did you need to wrap your tongue around “Steigenberger”?

We need to get Dylan back to the U.S. ASAP, since by the state of his hair the guy seems to harbor a fear of foreign barbershops. He actually has it in a half-pony this week, I kid you not. Those pee-hands deftly working through his hair to create this man-bun is so not a visual I want to entertain.

I will say this, Brussels is lookin’ pretty dang good on Chris Harrison. He comes traipsing into the guys’ hotel room, and has apparently picked up the torch of deep V-neck tee + sports jacket fashion statement now that Cody (ruf ruf) has gone. At least he’s not pairing his outfit with a “unisex” infinity scarf, like EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. OF. THESE. GUYS. Farmer Chris, really?! I expected more from a rugged Iowa man, even though it does do wonders in neutralizing the size of your gigantic head.

Date With Marcus: something to write home about

Reaffirming our suspicion that there is absolutely nothing of real value to do in Brussels, the date with Marcus commences with… what else? You guessed it, roaming amidst the “locals” and eating! A lot of eating, might I add. This is the most I’ve seen Andi put away since the season started. Nothing says “Getting Comfortable in Week 7” like stuffing your face in front of the guy you’re pseudo-dating while wearing a gigantic sweater/pashmina motif.

Marcus: “So the other day, I was writing in my journal…”

RED ALERT. RED ALERT. RED ALERT. Someone’s pulling out the big guns pre-hometowns. Why are these guys WRITING so much? First we have Farmer Chris and his anonymous love letters, and now we find out Marcus is journaling. I sincerely hope he’s wrapped up nice and cozy in his infinity scarf while pouring his heart onto the page at all times.

On the off chance that the casual mention of journaling didn’t seal Marcus in for hometowns, at dinner he goes for the jugular and brings up his childhood, which apparently was one filled with an absentee father, abuse, and a side dose of neglect. He looks like a sad puppy while relaying this story, and my heart breaks a bit for him, but I’m not convinced he fully thought this out timing-wise. Week 7 is when you make your family sound AWESOME so Andi is DYING to meet them—private yacht, servant’s quarters, vacations on the Caribbean: you do what you need to do to lock this shit down. Everyone who’s anyone knows you’re supposed to get the teary, dirty-laundry confessions out of the way by Week 3!

And then he pulls out this whopper: “When I feel like I love someone, I tend to run in the other direction” –WHAT?! NO, MARCUS, NO!! Another example of a Week 3-level statement right there. By Week 7, you’re obsessed with the idea of committing, dude, not trying to escape it! He could have seriously hurt his chances with all of these very ill-timed admissions, but we’ll have to stay tuned to find out, because—dum dum dum—there are no roses on one-on-ones this week!

Sneaky Time with Nick: One salty bedtime snack

Because who doesn’t love some salt-‘n-vinegar chips right before bedtime? No? Just me?

In a bold move that has now become a staple of any self-respecting Bachelor/Bachelorette season (think Slutty Claire/J.P. in the ocean and Slutty Ben/Courtney, also in an ocean), Salty Nick decides he needs to see Andi and promptly hatches an elaborate scheme to snake his way into her quarters [Abby says: with no ocean, Nick will have to resort to skinny-dipping in the famed Manneken Pis fountain.]

Here’s the blueprint for this impeccably laid-out scheme:

1. Exit the elevator, approach front desk with a downright frightening leer on your face.

2. Request extra key, and when asked what room number you’re in claim to have forgotten, despite assumedly having JUST LEFT said room, because you came out of the elevator.

3. Tell front desk room was booked under wife’s name, and sneer down at front desk attendants as they compliantly look up name and give you extra key.

Nick: 1, Steigenberger Security Team: 0.

With the security virtually nonexistent on his tail, Nick makes it to Andi’s room and the two sneak out for a late-night makeout sesh. Not positive why they had to leave the room to do it, but I guess the wall they’re leaning up against for forty-five minutes does help set the mood.

Date with Josh: Weather forecast says #DoubtCloudy

We know that Josh and Andi ran into some murky waters last week when he questioned her methods of using a lie detector test to find out more about them, but it seems our favorite failed athlete has been given a chance for redemption, so off they set out to do some wandering… and eating… and aimless walking… and eating. Geez, are the Steigenberger digs that pricey that we had to do away completely with activity-time for this week’s dates?

They’re getting along well, but Andi’s expressing some concern that Josh doesn’t seem to be communicating the full depths of his feelings. #Doubtcloud emerges. She doesn’t feel confident taking him to hometowns if he can’t be “honest and open” with her, i.e. tell her exactly what she wants to hear.

Operation Force Sappy Confession from Josh commences at dinnertime, when Andi whips out Downward Duck face in full force and insists they get to the meaty details. Josh hems and haws, but eventually tells her he thinks he’s falling in love with her. Aaaaaaannndd hometown is a go, fosho!

Group Date: A monk, a farmer, and a Dylan walk into a bar…

We finally get the group date, which consists of Farmer Chris, Dylan, Nick, and the Blob, where stakes are high as this is the only date with a rose this week. Rather than subjecting the guys to the usual intense humiliation that seems to go hand-in-hand with the group dates this season, Andi instead decides to torture them with extreme boredom, kicking the day off with a rousing tour of some slabs of rock and then really ratcheting things up by sitting around outside a monastery.

Dylan getting in touch with his deeper side at the ruins: “I want our love to stand the test of time, just like these ruins.” No you don’t, you idiot, those are RUINS.

Weird how the monastery won’t allow kissing within its sacred walls, but probably is totally chill with the intense eye-sex going on between Andi and Nick for what seems like three solid hours.

In a completely random and unexplained move, Andi decides she and Chris should have some alone time at a pottery barn, strategically placed beyond the walls of the monastery so that some good-natured frolicking and kissing can take place. If you ask me, Andi is way more into the pottery than the Farmer—also, how long is this alone time, five hours? Andi’s like “I know I have three guys waiting for me back at the monastery, but IDGAF, there is clay here that demands to be molded!”

Despite Chris’s best attempts to “fire” up Andi’s heart (pottery puns, anybody?), the group date rose goes to Nick, who then gets to spend the rest of the day alone with Andi while the other three guys slink home and debate Nick’s legitimacy in being here. Conspiracy theories abound. Ruh-roh.

When Nick gets home, all of the guys—including Josh and Marcus, who’s probably just finished an intense journaling sesh and is now sipping on a glass of red—“confront” him about his “questionable behavior.” The conversation is actually painful—I feel like the other five guys working together to crack the Nick case is about equivalent to the deductive reasoning abilities of a single sixth grader. In the meantime, Nick uses big words and the Blob gets confused and calls the whole thing off.

Rose Ceremony

Nick claims not to care what the other guys think of him, but then is also legitimately bawling in one talking head, so I just don’t know what to make of this. It seems like he’s getting choked up thinking about A) How the guys don’t like him, B) How he’s excited for Andi to meet his family, but mostly C) How pleased he is with himself that he managed to wrangle two one-on-one dates on a week when he was essentially scheduled only for group time. This guy is all over the place.

When Chris confesses to Andi that he’s falling in love with her, he does it with about as much passion as when he cleans up chicken poop every morning back at the farm. Major selling point to Andi on choosing him for hometowns: “If you come to Iowa, you’ll see a lot of flat land. Tiny town. Really small.” Is this a metaphor? I think Chris means well, but there’s no way Andi is taking this guy seriously if she’s still referring to him as “Farmer Chris” in her talking heads. Which she is.

Not shockingly, Andi ends up saying bye bye to The Blob and He-Who-Does-Not-Wash-His-Hands. No great loss there on either front. Only The Blob doesn’t think so, convinced Andi has made a terrible error in not pursuing a future with a high school b-ball coach, and effectively showing the strongest display of emotion we’ve seen on him this entire season: “Oh great, f**k, they’re laughing in there. Wonderful, I can hear them laughing while I’m out here. That’s f**king great.”


Tune in next time when Andi flies around the country for hometown dates! The teaser promises us drama, intrigue, and more fame-hungry mothers dressed remarkably similar to prostitutes. See you then!