I hope you all had a great Thursday off and that for anyone who didn’t take Friday off the day was chill enough it felt *almost* like a four-day weekend. I did indeed take the day off and played Boston Tour Guide, doing more what’s what in Boston activities in the past four days than in the past four months.

In other words I am exhausted.

But not too exhausted to not also get through a recap! Please also use this as a reminder to fill out your bracket for tonight’s episode! I realize this means we have not one but two recaps because I’m LATE on this one, but instead of I’m sorry for bailing last week, maybe we can pretend I’m saying instead you’re welcome for the double feature this week?

Let’s get into it!

The guys are sitting around talking about nothing, while Michelle and Kaitlyn have a chat about what she’s looking for and how she expects the week to go, which naturally will not happen. This week we have two 1on1s and a rather large group date, so the guys pretend to be chill when they find out they aren’t getting any special time.

Martin ends up getting the first date, for no other reason than he and Jamie were apparently friends and production wants to milk that drama for as long as possible while they work on flipping another guy in the house into joining the ranks of villains who came long before.

The date seems relatively fun, if you’re into driving, I guess. Not to knock myself too far down, but I objectively am a trash driver so them doing drifting and whatnot is 100% my speed. The goal isn’t even to drive well here! I do that ALL THE TIME when I drive. I want to say that in my defense I haven’t really driven a car since I graduated high school, but again, to be fair, it wasn’t like I was a good driver when I was in high school either.

If it helps Martin seems to suck at driving on the date too.

They then have a hot tub portion of the date because obviously that makes sense. Equally nonsensical is that Martin decides to unprompted tell Michelle that while he respects the decision she made with Jamie, he doesn’t agree.

He explains that while he wasn’t there for her conversations with him and doesn’t actually know the details, he’s buds with Jamie and therefore is certain there must have been a misunderstanding. Jamie’s a great guy. Sure he’s known him for all but a week and he’s basically irrelevant in Martin’s life from this point forward, but he must be avenged!

Michelle handles this better than any other human could and says that considering she was the one in the relationship she knows she made the right decision for her. And then she begins to talk about how she needs someone who will trust her decisions – or would have, had Martin not decided this was the moment to cut her off and continue talking about Jamie being a good dude.

Because as we know, if a person treats their friends with respect, they MUST be treating their romantic partners with respect. Obviously.

While this date is a cluster, I will say my favorite part of it is watching Michelle get the ick in real time.

We however have to continue on the date despite hating Martin! In the evening portion Martin talks about how much he screwed up the earlier portion of the date. Apparently he just sometimes comes off as condescending when talking to people – but don’t worry he’s working on it. Yay?

Similarly, he mentions that he doesn’t cry and let me just say, Martin, you are no Cameron Diaz in The Holiday.

Michelle being Michelle asks questions too smart for these idiots and asks him how he thinks having terrible communication skills will impact building a family and he’s basically like IDK I guess I’ll figure it out.

That being said, Martin gets a rose because production tells her too Michelle thinks he does a great job listening and changing his behavior when she points out how he sucks.

Alternatively, she could have sent Martin home and he could have talked about his communication issues with a therapist, BUT WHO’S TO SAY WHICH IS BEST?

In prep for the group date, we need to set up some drama for later. Rick gets the 1on1 and because people are evil they ask Nayte specifically how he feels about not getting that 1on1 time.

Nayte has big HOW DO YOU THINK I AM vibes but says that he’s not worried because he knows it’ll come when the time is right.

Chris S thinks this is a terrible answer though because it implies Nayte thinks he has it in the bag. Which, to be clear, it does not. It’s just him respectfully being like I’m not going to sweat it. BUT DRAMA.

We move onto the group date on that high note. The guys get a bunch of pajamas and are told they are going to have a slumber party themed date with Michelle. Cute. The date itself looks like a ton of fun – they are told to Build A Bear, they play Twister, there is a ton of cotton candy and other sugary snacks. Ideal.

Do you know what’s not ideal though? Having so much fun with your boys at a slumber party date you forget you are there to date Michelle.

The guys full on ignore Michelle. Like she is going above and beyond, calling them over individually to try to spend time with her and while that’s happening the guys are looking over their shoulders at the fun their friends are having.

Like it’s so bad that at one point they have an ‘Abs of Steel’ challenge where they decide to punch each other in the stomachs to see who has the best six pack (????????? Please tell me this isn’t what dudes think is fun at sleepovers????) and Michelle is like oh who wants to be my partner and one of the guys LITERALLY tells her she can sit this one out and boxes her out of the circle.

Naturally this is upsetting to Michelle BECAUSE OBVIOUSLY. Sleepovers as a whole seem so traumatic. I didn’t do the whole sleepover thing because my parents were crazy overprotective, but to be honest it seems like everyone has at least once piece of childhood angst related to being at a sleepover, so I feel like I maybe didn’t miss out on anything?

The second portion of this date is the ‘teddy bear takedown’ where the guys attempt to whack each other with the teddy bears they just made. And while I care zero percent about that, what I do love is that when Michelle joins Tayshia and Kaitlyn on the couch she lets out a big sigh and Tayshia and Kaitlyn are ON IT. Chris Harrison could never. They immediately are like what’s up what’s wrong do we need to step away why are you upset does someone need to die. THAT’S WHAT FEMALE FRIENDSHIP IS FOR. I love to see it.

In the afternoon Michelle and Kaitlyn chat and Michelle talks about how growing up she’s felt like the token black girl and not being seen which the date made her feel again. And she also emphasizes that she all but literally just read them a poem last week about those feelings so to have them ignore her is even more of a slap in the face because they all collectively lack listening skills too.

The evening date then starts with the guys being like we had so much fun, we love the date, we think it’s great there is no drama which is hilarious foreshadowing for what’s to come.

Michelle enters and tells them how they made her feel, emphasizing that she doesn’t need to be the star of the show (even though she is the star of this show) but even just “a hello during a date” is what she wants. Which is a LOW BAR if you think about it for more than two seconds.

Michelle pulls Nayte aside first and basically says I like you best so I’m angry at you most. Nayte takes it in stride and is like I’m sorry I’ll do better and I’m sad I wasn’t there for you.

Otherwise the only thing of note is Olu talking about having sisters and knowing not being seen is something they go through and he cries because he’s so empathetic to Michelle’s issue and can’t believe he caused her hurt. Their conversation is cute and being the only other conversation of note for the night, Olu gets a rose.

We move onto Rick who has a fairly chill date. They go on an alpine ascension thing (ski lift but in a glass box? I’m sure there is a name for this but I have no idea) which is pretty cool and then they go on a hike. Which honestly is a great date because it’s more like something they might actually do if they end up together. Maybe not a private view of a gorgeous forest, but hiking is a super normal couple activity I myself did weekend before last.

On this hike they ~jUsT sO hApPeN~ to come across a ‘Wish Box’ which is this TOTALLY NOT FAKE box in the woods where fellow hikers write down wishes they’ve had. And even though it’s SO TOTALLY RANDOM it just so happens that all the “wishes” have to do with love or Rick’s baggage around his family.

Rick opens up a bit later about the specifics, but basically his damage is that he had a terrible relationship with his father and his father has since passed so he can’t get closure. And why does he have a terrible relationship with his father? Thank you for asking! Basically in high school his dad was cheating on his mom and the dad was being sketchy so Rick told his mom he thought something was going on. As a result his mom confronted his father about it, it turns out he was indeed cheating, and his parents got divorced. And apparently Rick’s father decided that RICK, AND NOT HIMSELF, was to blame for this sequence of events. THE ACTUAL AUDACITY. So while they had a relationship post-divorce, the dad treated Rick pretty poorly as a result and they never recovered their relationship.

Rick is understandably emotional about this and Michelle as always says the right things. On top of all of this Rick also talks about wanting to have small special little moments with Michelle, which is exactly what she’s been craving on all of these other dates. Naturally Rick gets the rose.

In an even more surprising twist, when they go to have a private concert it is not a rando country “star” but Andy Grammer! Like multi-platinum singer/songwriter Andy Grammer. I thought a while back when Aloe Blacc showed up that would be peak in terms of actually relevant people. But I stand corrected! Andy Grammer needs to promote his new song “Lease On Life” so we get what is essentially a music video that occasionally features short cuts to Michelle and Rick. I mean you could argue it was a solid minute of music video content and not only a few seconds of awkward making out to a private concert. Who knows who they will bring on next?? (A country singer, definitely a country singer).

Flash forward to the end of the night with an evening cocktail party pre-Rose Ceremony. Michelle comes in to welcome the dudes and whatnot and dummy Chris S. interrupts her (so rude) and says that there are guys who think they have it in the bag.

They go to have some one on one time and Chris calls out how he heard she was upset that people weren’t putting in the time and trying to create moments and he basically tells her that he was doing that on the date and that makes him different than the other guys. But may I point out that he didn’t? So he in fact is not great? Like you were on the date bro and didn’t do that, let’s not try to rewrite history.

When he can see that he’s not winning over Michelle that way, he goes after Nayte, throwing him under the bus by saying it’s super obvious he is expecting to make it far. Here’s where I also ask – is it that bad to say that you think you have a strong relationship? Is the difference only the wording. Like if Nayte was like I’m confident in our relationship and am putting trust in Michelle she feels the same I’m sure we could all agree that’s great. But when Chris S says that he has it in the bag that’s gross.

Boo Chris S.

Michelle comes back to talk to Nayte because she’s not here for him to get involved in drama, he’s messing up the love story she’s already plotted out.

To keep it short, Nayte absolutely fumbles his 1on1 moment to clear the air. To reiterate, all he has to say is “I’m just confident in the connection I think we have so I am choosing not to worry.” And instead this idiot goes “I can’t control how people feel about me.”

NAYTE. BRO. TELL ME YOU ARE BEING SHITTY WITHOUT TELLING ME YOU ARE BEING SHITTY. That sounds like “I’m being an utter jerk but it’s not my fault people are offended.” YOU DIDN’T EVEN DO ANYTHING. WHY ARE YOU MESSING THIS UP. Michelle seems annoyed still because she should be after that stupidity, so goes to talk to the other dudes.

Meanwhile Nayte has a conversation with Chris S that goes as well as you would expect. Not to be too much of a Nayte truther, but to start, props to him for directly talking to Chris S about it and taking him aside rather than just murdering him or talking about him behind his back for an entire season.

In their conversation Nayte asks him why he brought up his name and what he said and Chris S lies through his teeth, which continues to amuse me each and every season. YOU ARE ON FILM CONSTANTLY WHY ARE YOU LYING. But whatever, he thinks he can get away with it for at least the conversation. Nayte is understandably annoyed and keeps telling him not to walk away and to answer his questions.

Something to point out here is that Nayte talks with his hands – which he has done in the majority of this season and I’m sure his life. I point this out because Chris S has the absolute audacity to at one point ask Nayte “are you going to put your hands on me” in a pseudo-threatened voice.

I don’t have enough time to explain how not about this racially charged bullshit I am. The fact that this white man who is clearly guilty of what he is being accused of (being a pathetic lying troll) has decided that the best course of action is to pretend that he’s worried the black man having a conversation with him about his actions is a physical threat is disgusting. I’m down for these idiots being evil to one another left and right and starting petty fights, but the insinuation that if necessary Chris S can pretend Nayte is being physically threatening to come off looking holier than thou and can then justify his sins by being afraid of a black man is nauseating. Tell me Chris S how you think you are a good fit for Michelle, a black woman, if you think this is even remotely appropriate behavior.

Putting my anger aside for a second and moving on, they end up separating and Nayte goes around telling everyone what a weirdo and dweeb Chris S is. Truly the top insults of the season, I need to clearly go back to my elementary school lexicon to get some inspiration.

In other highlights of the night Michelle has cute moments with Joe, Rodney, and Brandon, reminding me yet again that those are the only other men I know the names of this season.

Also Chris in an in the moment interview says that they all hate him and giggles his diminutive giggle as though it’ll make him endearing instead of a bigger piece of garbage. I am absolutely disgusted by this man.

The rose ceremony comes and Michelle gives out roses to Brandon, Leroy, Joe, Rodney, Clayton, Nayte, and Chris S because production clearly won’t let a villain arc end in one episode when they can stretch it out. Plus everyone else seems relatively chill so who knows how long it’ll take them to mentally break down someone else.

These guys join Olu, Rick and Martin in getting roses, and Michelle announces “exciting” news to the men: they’re going to Minnesota! Everyone pretends to be hype about going there as if they are going to like, Cancun, but considering all these men are secretly trying to be actors anyways they give it their best shot.

And there ends our episode! Catch you in TWO DAYS when I recap tonight’s episode!


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