Happy belated Thanksgiving everyone!

I realize we have an episode later today, so I’m going to give you the quick update on last week’s episode – not going to be as fleshed out as most weeks, but ‘twas a holiday week and all the jazz. I promise this Thursday will be regularly scheduled!

We start with the boys sitting around stressing about how next weekend is Hometowns. Which, truthfully, was the first I realized we were this close to the end. Is it just me, or has Michelle’s season just started? How are we going to be down to four by the end of the episode? With all the other Bachelor Nation drama happening this week (Hannah Brown’s Tyler Cameron updatesthe Peter / Madi / Kelley / Hannah Brown / Hannah Ann timeline questionsKatie’s 12 Days of Messy / John Relationship Announcement, Zac and Tayshia breaking up, etc.) I’m finding it hard to even consider this season the Most Dramatic Season Ever, when the off-camera drama is even more dramatic.

Anyways, we find out that children from Michelle’s class are in charge this week. AKA some cute kids producers found and directed to award the correct contestants with dates. I’m not necessarily a “kid person” (I consider myself more so a “dog person” at this stage in life) but I will admit the kids here are fun. Definitely when they keep referring to each of the contestants as the next potential Mr. Young.

But most especially when they roast Martin for wearing too much cologne and being obnoxious. We’ve known that for minimum of two weeks now, but it’s nice to hear even an eight-year-old (or however old these kids are, they could be anywhere five to twelve and I couldn’t tell the difference) can tell who is trash.

They decide that Clayton is the best because he had superior fort-building skills and producers told them he needed to go on the 1on1 date. This is the most of Clayton I’ve seen all season, again, surprising me how he was the selection for our next Bachelor.

Clayton and Michelle go on their date and it’s cute? I guess? They have a limo with sugary snacks and pizza, they go to a Minnesota museum at night by themselves, they learn a bit more about each other. They have 100% early stage dating vibes.

But unfortunately for Clayton, despite it being their first date, Michelle needs to decide if she’s willing to get engaged to him in fourteen seconds (so normal!) and meet his family next week. And despite him checking all of the boxes, they just don’t have chemistry, so Michelle sends him home.

Clayton didn’t do his job well enough on the date though, selling himself in as the future Bachelor. So he gets a “real” letter from the “kids” earlier that tells him they loved him and hope he finds love on his journey with someone else. If you told me they filmed this a month into Clayton filming his season of the Bachelor because producers realized they didn’t have enough footage of him from the actual season and America was disappointed in their choice, I would be unsurprised yet highly amused.

Next up is the group date at a farm. The only stars of this date are Rodney and Joe. Rodney is freaked out by basically everything (in a fun way) while Joe, according to a direct quote from Michelle, “knows how to handle teets.”

Moving on, they have a competition for the best farmhand, which Joe wins because he is significantly better at basically every single skill related to farming than all of the other guys combined.

In the evening portion of the date, we get some solid showings from some of the guys. Nayte kicks us off by talking about his family situation, mentioning that his dad has essentially zero interest in meeting anyone he is in a romantic relationship with, but he feels differently about Michelle so he’s excited to introduce her. For some reason we don’t unpack what this means because Michelle likes him too much to be like why, so they make out and we skip ahead.

Joe and Michelle talk about how growing up his grandparents had a farm and that’s why he smoked everyone else in the farm competition. As an aside, I want to say that I really like Joe. I’m sure I’ll be proven wrong later, as I am with basically everyone I dare to like on this show, but he seems like a weirdly chill guy just out here trying to form a connection with Michelle. That being said, I feel like he comes off as shy and introverted which, as a result, makes it seem like the other guys are so much more into her when I am sure Joe actually is really about it, he’s just quiet.

Next up is Martin. Oh Martin. Martin Martin Martin. I’ve been waiting for this moment since the 1on1 where you had to defend your strange friend Jamie’s actions despite not having any context for what actually happened. Michelle, like me, has hated you since then and I am oh so glad you provided us such wonderful fodder to hate you just a little bit more.

Martin starts out by talking to the boys about how he felt like Michelle didn’t understand what he was trying to say last week when he was mansplaining to her how women are so high maintenance in relationships normally and men can’t be because they don’t expect their partners to take care of them. He says that she is immature while Martin, by contrast, is just “brutally honest.”

(Cue Taylor Swift’s line in All Too Well: So casually cruel in the name of being honest).

Olu, being the only person in the crew to not have a date, reads the writing on the wall and decides to be a saving grace on the way out. In his quick moment with Michelle, he tells her (respectfully) that Martin is human garbage and has been talking smack about her.

Naturally, Michelle, queen of immediately ditching the morons in her cast, goes to talk to Martin directly. It goes as well as you’d expect.

He keeps trying to talk and every second he does makes it worse. He tries to refer to her as his love, which she has hard no vibes about, then, every time she tries to talk, he cuts her off. When she tries to get a word in he tells her that it’s not true that he’s cutting her off and being domineering, telling her that she just doesn’t understand. You know, things you want to be told when you’re already upset.

Being much classier than everyone I’ve ever met in real life, Michelle tells Martin that he has not listened to why she was hurting and decides that at this point Martin and she are at an impasse so it’s best for her to just walk him out.

Keeping in character, Martin declares in the car driving his sorry ass home that “a woman like that does not deserve my time.” To which I say: YIKES YIKES YIKES YIKES YIKKKKKKKKES

Drama aside, a rose needs to be given and it goes to Nayte, despite contributing little to nothing on the entire date.

Hitting the tail end of the episode with lightning speed, we get a 1on1 with Brandon. They go to get ice cream and then go hang out at Michelle’s childhood home. Which, to be fair, is a great date for this show. Is it incredibly weird for a 1on1? Absolutely. But if you’re trying to sus out who would be a great life partner when you only have maybe three dates, having one at your home and showing them as much of your real life is a wonderful idea.

Even better? When your parents show up to crash the date while you’re making out in the hot tub!

Somehow the show plays this off as super cute instead of what it actually is, incredibly uncomfortable. Michelle barley has had time to decide if she likes Brandon and we’re out here asking her parents to weigh in? How weird, but at least that tracks with what we know about the Bachelor franchise.

The meet and greet goes surprisingly well with her parents, most of all because Brandon is SUPER INTENSE about Michelle already. She gets up for maybe point five seconds and my boy is out here asking for her parents’ blessing. It seems to take them back as much as it does me, but the apple didn’t fall too far from the tree because Michelle’s parents handle the weirdness like champs and are as gracious as can be.

We move onto the dinner portion of the date which I won’t lie, I talked over a bunch with my family (because you know I forced everyone to watch it while I was home) because it was boring. But it looks like Brandon gave Michelle a bracelet that his mom gave him that has some special meaning(?) and told her that he is falling in love with her. Brandon seems very unproblematic and sweet. Not great TV though, I want more Martin meltdowns as much as I pretend that I’m in it for the love story.

Michelle rounds out our evening by canceling the cocktail party and saving us all time, moving immediately into the rose ceremony. With Brandon and Nayte having roses, Joe and Rodney each also get roses rounding out our final four. This results in Rick and Olu being cut, both of whom seemed lovely despite not making Michelle’s list. Here’s to seeing them again in Paradise.

That’s our wrap-up! Hope everyone had a great break seeing their families – and don’t forget to relive it this week when we watch Hometowns.



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